I don't know much about Sri Lanka. I have a friend that was born in southern India, which is close, but she left at a tender age but of her own free will - back in the day when it didn't occur to us to forcibly separate tender age children from their parents. So she hasn't been able to enlighten me much, so all I really know if that there's been a lot of conflict there over the years. Maybe they made up by now, but that's all I remember.
But I digress. Point is I know nothing about Sri Lanka so I'm in no position to judge. Fox News, that promoter of childhood trauma (I'm gonna keep coming back to that, I promise), reported today that a couple of guys in Sri Lanka tried to bribe a police officer. Since, as I say again, I know nothing about the local scene, I don't know if this is a big deal there. But Fox News thought it was a big enough deal to put it on the wire, which is no surprise I suppose. Probably hoping for harsh criminal penalties for the miscreants, even separation from their obviously incompetent parents, though these dudes were well about tender age. (See)
Well, there's one unusual twist to the story, one that begs for judgement, and not of the litigious variety. The guys were trying to bribe a cardboard dummy. In another example of stupidity's expression in the age of social media, one guy filmed the transaction with his cell phone while the other tried to convince the stoic cop to take the loot. The guys were of tender brain, not age.
No word on the crime the guys were trying to slip out of.
BBC News reports that the delinquents "are charged with damaging public property, and humiliating and creating a bad public image of the police."
So, even though they walked into the situation with their records clean for the day, they left the scene on the way to the police station, where they were charged and released on bail.
You might be wondering why Sri Lanka has cardboard cops strewn around. Well, first of all, while less agile and energetic than living versions, they're pretty damn cheap. Second, if you pose them right and put a speed gun in their hand they either slow drivers down or jolt them into a perilous skid. Finally, they look pretty cool out there.
But they're altogether too prone to damage and mischief. One errant skid, and the thin blue line thins further until a replacement is summoned from the warehouse. And kids, with their impulsive rebelliousness, will go out of their way to create "a bad public image of the police" using spray paint and other weapons of personal destruction.
What can be done to restore the public image of Sri Lanka's public servants?