Home / Letters to the Editor/ Survey at gunpoint

Survey at gunpoint

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 29 May 2017 00:02

Last week along the Galle Face Green road a strange kind of public survey was conducted.

Traffic policemen were stopping vehicles arbitrarily and directing them to a civilian who was conducting an opinion poll.

I was driving along this road for an urgent meeting. Suddenly a policeman ran across the road and stopped me by flashing a torch. I thought I had committed a traffic offence and was thinking it was really bad luck and my appointment would be missed.

But then I was directed to a small group of civilians who were either from the Transport Ministry or perhaps the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. They did not identify themselves. Instead they asked me questions like, “How much petrol do you pump every week? How often do you come to the city? How many miles would you do on an average day?”

I was really annoyed that these chaps rudely interrupted my journey to conduct an opinion survey. So although I pump only about Rs. 3,000 a week I told them I pump about Rs. 6,000!

It is very wrong to conduct surveys in this manner. The policemen add a touch of force or power to the exercise.

Whoever conducted this survey has no idea about opinion polls.

The policemen by stopping vehicles for no reason like this are obviously abusing the authority given to them through the law.

Gemunu Gunasekera


Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Things to do in a Democracy when you’re dead…

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In yesterday’s column, I argued a case for not impeaching the chief executive of the coup that has left our country situation in ruins. At the end of a pitched battle between the forces of unconstitutional ambition on one hand and democratic resist

Tweaking the New Inland Revenue Act (Part II)

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In the backdrop where the recent amendment to the country’s supreme law is called in question, it may be appropriate to recall that the passage of the new Inland Revenue (IR) Act through Parliament was far more controversial. Nevertheless, the new

Advancing gender parity in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Asia-Pacific today is a true engine of growth in the world—a region that has barely tapped its potential to develop, invest, and innovate. But as the region speeds ahead, the dynamics of its workforce, one that was predominantly male in the past, i

What’s next after the Supreme Court decision?

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Last Thursday, just before the courts closed for Christmas holidays, the Supreme Court, sticking strictly to a legalistic path, put an end to the controversial issue of defining the powers of President Maithripala Sirisena, leaving the nation to wres

Columnists More