23 June, 2021

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All The Courts A Stage: Reverse Process Of High-Profile Criminal Cases

By Tassie Seneviratne –

Tassie Seneviratne

All the Courts a stage – All the players are still rehearsing their parts, their sixes and sevens’.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Political Victimization of public and semi-public personnel between January 2015 and November 2019 appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, (The Commission) has stirred up a hornets’ nest. 

By a sudden quirk of events, the accused in high-profile cases investigated by the Police and the consultative Attorney General, have been exonerated by the Commission. This includes cases filed in courts. Whether the law as laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure has been followed, is in question.  

The people are in a quandary whom to believe. Either way, the Police, the Attorney General and the Judiciary are in a no-win situation.

Into the bargain is a fourteen-page document titled: “Sri Lanka: Under Rajapaksas’ Watch, Rule of Law suffers the onslaught of Politics” authored by internationally recognized researcher, Alan Keenan, writing for the International Crisis Group. 

The report goes on to say inter alia, “The politically motivated Presidential Commission of Enquiry has been distorting politically-connected criminal suspects into victims, and investigators and legal reformers into criminals.”

The report further states: “The unprecedented efforts of the Government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa – most strikingly through his presidential commission of enquiry into so-called “political victimization- threatens to do more than just eliminate the possibility of justice in the specific cases it is considering. These specific cases relate to that of political allies of the state, and in instances where family members are being rescued from prosecution. In doing so, it risks distorting judicial and police procedures, by which the very existence of a meaningful justice system is cast into doubt.”

There is also a witty circular prepared by a group of professionals, doing the rounds in social media:

වැඩ කරපු සතියක්!

🔴නොවැ 19 උදෑසන : රු. මිලියන 600ක රජයේ මුදලින් මැතිවරණ අල්ලස් ලෙස භාණ්ඩ බෙදූ අනූෂ පැල්පිට, ලලිත් වීරතුංග සියලු චෝදනාවලින් නිදොස්කොට නිදහස්

🔴 නොවැ 19 සවස : කෝටි 100ක බදු වංචාවක් නිසා සීල් තැබූ අමාත්‍ය ජොන්ස්ටන්ගේ මත්පැන් ෆැක්ටරියට අදාල බලපත්‍රය කිසිදු අයකරගැනීමකින් තොරව නැවත ලබාදේ.

🔴 නොවැ 20 උදේ : ඇමති ජනක බණ්ඩාරට එරෙහි නඩු දෙකක චෝදනාපත්‍ර බලශූන්‍ය කෙරේ

🔴 නොවැ 20 සවස : රජයට කෝටි විස්සක වංචාවක් සිදුකල “ලක්පොහොර” සභාපති ඇප මත නිදහස්

🔴නොවැ 21: නීතිවිරෝධී අවි ගනුදෙනු සහ මුහුදු ආරක්ෂක සේවාව නීතිවිරෝධි ලෙස ලබාගෙන රජයට පාඩු සිදුකල, විදෙස්ගත ශ්‍රමිකයින් ලංකාවට ගෙන්වීම හරහා අසාධාරණ ලෙස මුදල් ඉපයීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් චෝදනා ලැබ සිටින ඇවන්ගාඩ් සමාගමට බඩඉරිඟු වගාව සඳහා ඉඩම් අක්කර 5000ක් ලබාදීම

🔴 නොවැ 23 : රු මිලියන 2991 ක මුදලක් සාපරාධී සාවද්‍ය පරිහරණය කිරීමේ චෝදනාවට ලක්ව සිටි බැසිල් රාජපක්ෂගේ විදෙස් ගමන් තහනම ඉවතට

🔴 නොවැ 24 උදෑසන : දෙරණ මාධ්‍ය ජාලයේ සභාපති දිලිත් ජයවීර මහතා රාජ්‍ය සේවා කොමිසමේ සාමාජිකයෙක් ලෙස පත්කෙරේ

🔴 නොවැ 24 දවල් : පිල්ලෙයාන් නිදහස් කිරීම

🔴 නොවැ 24 දහවල් : අතිගරු ජනාධිපතිතුමාට එරෙහි ලලිත් – කූගන් නඩුවේ සිතාසිය අභියාචනාධිකරණය විසින් බලරහිත කෙරේ

🔴 නොවැ 25 දවල් : රිශාඩ් බදුර්දීන් නිදහස් කිරීම
මෙවන් ජයග්‍රහණ මතු මතුත් ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් ලබාදීමට ජනාධිපතිතුමා ඇතුළු සියලු දේශහිතයිශින්ට ශක්තිය ධෛර්යය  ලැබේවා! pastedGraphic.png🇱🇰

These are hard assertions. But the quarrel has complex sides to it: It is no gainsaying that there was political victimization under the so-called Yahapalanaya (Righteous) Government. The unlawfully established Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) operating under the directions of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, is a glaring indictment against the Yahapalanaya Government. When the FCID was established in 2015, I released a press report revealing its unlawfulness on 7th of June 2015. Excerpts from it read as follows:

A special unit titled the Financial Crimes Investigations Unit (FCID) was set up by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) on 26th February 2015.

On 7th of June 2015 I pointed out in an article released to the English newspapers that “FCID has been unlawfully established.”                 

“The establishment of the Financial Crimes Investigation (FCID)in the Police Department has given rise to many sore issues. The main issue being that it is selective and is politically motivated. The FCID has been challenged in the Supreme Court on that basis.

Be that as it may, a Government Gazette establishing the FCID has been signed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) purportedly under Article (Section) 55 of the Police Ordinance.

Section 55 of the Police Ordinance does not authorize the IGP to sign a Government Gazette.  …….”

“It is very clear that section 55 authorizes the IGP only to issue Departmental orders (DO) that are generally published in the Police Gazette which is a confidential document distributed only among police officers, and that has been the practice from day one.

“Establishment of a Police Force (Division) by Government Gazette can be done by the Minister concerned under Section 4 of the Police Ordinance and such gazette has to be signed by the Minister. Hence the Government Gazette signed by the IGP is a bloomer on his part, and is unlawful.

“Section 4 of the Police Ordinance reads: “It shall be lawful for the Minister, by order published in the Gazette, to establish a Police Force in any place other than large towns, – – – – -“ 

“It appears that the IGP and the Minister have swapped roles. In matters of high public concern such as this, the IGP and Ministers concerned are expected to act with due care and precaution and not be guided by expediency whether political or whatever.”

It is when confronted with the law on the identical grounds that I had laid out five years earlier, that on 16th October 2020, testifying before the Presidential Commission on Political Victimization, RW was compelled to admit that the formation of the FCID was unlawful. There was not even a semblance of remorse when he made the admission.

It is utterly bewildering that the judiciary and the whole judicial establishment, the Attorney General and others relevant, watched all this in silence. The Police were not only completely compromised but waded into with glee. The National Police Commission and the Constitutional arrangements were reduced to nothing. None of them dared to assert its authority over this unlawful exercise. 

The FCID was blatantly a cover for pollical ends. For five years so many people were subjected to so much victimization for so long under this unlawful gazette, whereas it would not have taken anyone more than a few minutes of reading the gazette, to perceive its unlawfulness.  

But that was the FCID. As for the CID, it is known how attempts were made to manipulate it during the tenure of Shani Abeyasekera (SA) as its Director, but failed. That is why the FCID was pitched. Therefore, investigations handled by (SA) consultatively with the Attorney General, have to be taken as done with due care and precaution. Of course, the accused are innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.  

Presently, questions are also raised as to whether the action taken in some controversial cases is proper: 

1. Case against former cabinet minister Rishard Bathiudeen for illegal clearing of the Kallaru Sanctuary in the Heritage Wilpattu National Park. Court of Appeal (COA) has ordered replanting of the forest. Did environmental experts take into consideration the fact that it takes over 2000 years for a rain forest to develop? The penalty should commensurate the upkeep of the newly planted trees till a rain forest comes to being. What the government did while the clearing of the forest was taking place amidst wide public protest over it, is another question. The answer is as clear as clear can be – the massive vote-bank, Bathiudeen had built up by doling out State resources, helped to obtain two-third majority in the Parliament. Heritage had to wait! Ecology is not a part of juris prudence for COA.  

2. Shooting of under-world character, Madushanka: Two bullet injuries have been found at back of head. Police evidence too accounts for these bullet injuries. But according to medical evidence, he had died of bleeding in the stomach! Have the Attorney General and the Courts delved into these discrepancies in evidence, to find out the truth? Was he done away with because he knew too much?                                                     

3. Since recently there is a whole train of events where persons have been shot dead trying to runaway even with handcuffs on. Courts and AG see no problem. The days when SC Judges like Sri Skandarajah J. kept an eye on these non sequiturs, is long gone by default of expectations.

 Justice is yet at sixes and sevens, not the one for law and order.

*The writer is a Retired Senior Superintendent of Police. 

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Latest comments

  • 11
    0

    ……..Either way, the Police, the Attorney General and the Judiciary are in a no-win situation……….
    Says Tassie Seneviratne.

    In that Play by Shakespeare, As You Like it we see the lines….
    ….All the worlds a stage and all men and women merely players…..
    The 20th Amendment was the Rajapakse gift to the SB voter as per their likes.

    Psst: Tassie : Be Thou For Ever!

    • 16
      1

      My dear PLATO,
      .
      Those police, the Attorney General and the Judiciary AND their supporters are not from any other worlds, but the ones who gather even truthful informtion during the good governance period. If any one with some sanity would remember, any school going children would pose the question – HOW CAN A LAND PROPERTY BE EXISTENT WITHOUT BELONGING EITHER TO STATE OR PRIVAT OWNER ? However, next verdict in favour of DIWINAGUMA Musalaya, aka 10% BR would be welcome by the very same folks as if NOTHING would do even if anything would have been robbed out on broad day light. :
      .
      Next two big verdicts would be
      .
      1) Release of THUGS but their supporters in the prison today
      .
      2) Gampaha IDAMA whose OWNER is public secret, but JUDGES would be bribed to release it in favour of BALLIGE PUTHAS.

      • 13
        0

        Excellent and unbiased piece of writing. This shows the quality of officers in the past, most unlike the nincompoops we have from top to bottom nowadays, who are there only because they belong to a specific community. Even doctors and scientists are the same, as seen in the Committee on Muslim burials and the GMOA. We are clearly incapable of governing ourselves. The Brits are not likely to come back. Chinese, Indians, even Bangladeshis… let’s pay them to come and run the place.

    • 8
      1

      Decent RW has finally open his mouth.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzGjfDXsg6Y

      He is truly right here, like Emilie, the current govt should be accoutable for spreading blatant lies misleading the easy targets (who are the majority in this country).

      • 6
        0

        The govt is not in a position to tell the truth. Doing so it will have to acknowledge its incompetency in managing the situation. This is against self interest of the powers to be.
        USA is faced with a similar situation, there is no comparison to the number of deaths or hospitalization just because of the size of the two populations.

  • 21
    1

    Brief, to the point, accurate. The writing should be a lesson for all journalists.

  • 25
    1

    Dear Mr Seneviratne,
    .
    You are spot on. Thanks god, at least few of senior citizens still remain in my country. Sir you have articulated it as no others. May you live long !
    .
    All these were going through my head through the last two weeks, how abusive people s mind set should be to have given them another mandate ? But they did going an extra mile, not only that but also they also agreed with their 20 A to prevailing constitution, without any shame. Today, the uncivilized people stay as if they are caught by crocodile attacks.
    §
    As I am reading this, I was thinking how abusive srilanken judges should be. They are not from a foreign countries but all the same bunch turning their judgements time to time, pleasing Rajaakshes. How abusive their mind set should be to see against CRIMEs and their repeated occurences. These men were produced by FREE EDUCATION being a burden to tax payers, but to show the posterior when it comes to repay it ? I now feel it has lot to do with sinhala genetics. They should have some genetic areas, genes that only express for CORRUPTION going beyond the levels of any other folks.

    • 17
      1

      continuing.
      §
      Besides, there is something like A LICENCE – which is called approbation- that seems to have ZERO value in our home country. ?????
      §
      But as we know, people and their professionals getting elected and selected to that island are highly corrupted or they stay passive as if they too support any corrupt handlings.
      §
      Whole lot of people in my home country are like mercy cows. kNOWING THAT VERY WELL RAJAPAKSHE TO FISH ON MUDDY WATERS ?

      Not insulting cows, but as human beings they should be able to rethink before doing anything. I really dont know what srilanken march backward today. From what I read about our elders, srilankens were known as an island nations to have produced world figures. Immediately I put my feet to europe few decades ago, the first they asked me was, ” you come from the land of Bandaranayakes”: But today generations called as the country of Rajapakshes who are recognized by whole lot of europeans and mlechcha politicians of all times.

  • 17
    0

    Dear Plato
    “Psst: Tassie : Be Thou For Ever!”
    I will add my guarantee he will – because we were together and of that vintage that was cosmopolitan and very tolerant of each others race and religion – 65 years ago. As Prof Charles Sarvan recently said of those times, we called each other names but with no malice whatsoever. It was good-natured fun but such words now will end up with much acrimony.
    Cheers

    • 14
      0

      I make my comment mainly as a vote of respect for the author who has been challenging abuse. But to speak of a golden age of the Police and the Judiciary is a mistake. The assassination of Bandaranaike grew out of underworld and political interests that hoped for gain under him, which he disappointed. The weapon and bullets came from the Police. The hanging of Somarama, a nobody, was a convenience that left everything intact. The Party (SLFP) was deeply compromised. Tyrell Goonetilleke, then an Inspector in the CID wanted to get to the bottom of it, but was discouraged. The Magistrate’s court discharged Vimala Wijewardene and Dickie de Zoysa, but sent to trial Anura de Silva (again a nobody) against whom there was next to no evidence.

    • 2
      2

      Man is man Man, cannot be to molten to remake into sage or saint as per hypocrites preaching. Xinjiang prisons camps do not create souls but walking corpse. Man needs the opportunity to live, being left alone.A divorce is better intelligent solution before husband and wife seek refuge in ways to murder each other.

      Before it becoming India -Pakistan, Malaysia – Singapore is a good timing.

  • 11
    0

    From a person with a shady background what else do you expect? He is achieving his motives one by one and there are more to come. As he and his stooges say 69 lakhs (ignore the balance 155 lakhs) have given their permission to do as he likes.

    • 9
      1

      Eratne,
      .
      It is high time Sociologists and psychologists other professionals in that line should come forward and find out why our people are easily manipulative. Why do the same people let them be caught by all record high criminals ? Has that lot to do with the mind set of the average ? Most of them are so called BUDDHAGAMA followers. If they would have been asked to WORSHIP fake relics being carried by a water snake- simmilar to a fairy tale, they would line up to do so, without questioning twice. If they would be asked to eat cow dung or any thing like that, in order to heal any health problems, they would go for it … without any further persuation.
      :
      By 2015, his brother s regime had broken all records in terms of all high criminal records. Lasantha W s, Thadjudeen, s Ekanaligodas and severa other murders would bring all the evidence how mlechcha Rajaakshes have become. However, following GOOD GOVERNANCE years did not pave the way those criminals be caught by their horns. Instead, with the backing of MEDIA and PEOPLE of this country, u tuned the expectations.
      .

    • 8
      1

      Eratne,

      You are absolutely right 69 lachs (52.5%) of the Sri lankan voters wanted Rajapakse family to rule this country without courts, without judges, without rule of law. A recent study found most of the cabinet under Rajapakse rule have criminal back ground such as murders, abductions, bribe and corruption. Unfortunately, this country no longer a buddhist country, it is a country of criminals.

      • 6
        1

        Ajith,
        Now you know why Sri Lanka is a real “Sinhala Bauda Country”.

  • 3
    2

    We had written here many times the Island will be hell when the Impunity King Ranil is retired. He, when checked personally, ordered the illegal matters found in the Temple Tree House on Jan, 9th, 2015 to be destroyed. He dismissed the 122 MPs filed Quo Warranto case in January, 2019 only to prevent a path opening to sue Old King and New King to go for (Un-) Constitutional coup. It may be only Ranil’s Lankawe didn’t take action on a failed coup organizers. Such a graceful Sinhala Buddhist is Ranil. He took care to destroy the case published in Daily News about China’s funding of presidential election, after even it had appeared on world famous, NYT. F word CID was formed only to save from billions of dollars of financial frauds of major political criminal of Chitanta Government & CB Burglars of Yahapalanaya. These guys warned the Royals about the monies visibly lying in foreign bank accounts to take care of them. Mangala brought Foreign Exchange Fraud Amnesty Act of 2017 to ensure Old King getting maximum opportunity to have the money smuggled back to Island, before they frozen by banks. When Ranil’s F word CID was in reign only Hezbollah smuggled in billions using BoC and transfers were done though CB. F word CID there to save the major financial political, crooks while punishing one or two criminals, Ranil privately hated (Like Duminda, Athanayake…).

  • 7
    0

    Most of the Sri Lankans knew what would happen if Gotabaya as President and Rajapakse backed SLPP win the elections. But still they voted because of the “Racist Propaganda” of Rajapakse family, SLPP, Vyathmaga and Yuthukama group supported by the “kudu media” Hiru and “fake news media” Derana. There is also the possibility with the delay of one day counting of the votes there could have been some monkey business that helped the Rajapakse win.

    To me, all those VIPs getting the backing of the Political Victimization inquiry and going free was a given, when Gota and SLPP won the elections. What is somewhat shocking to me is how the AG is still holding the post when his department filed those cases against the VIPs are being thrown out of court and further even the Judges who did not throw the cases against these crooks when they were filed are today giving the decision “nidos kota nidahas”. This clearly shows how corrupt the President, PM, the Govt., AG, Chief Justice and the entire Judiciary in SL has become with the change of Govt. Further its only the beginning we are going to witness more of this type or even worst than this like killing accused drug lord who was in police custody, prison killings and even those suspects in police stations being killed.

  • 5
    0

    Died of abdominal bleeding , when there are two bullet injuries (entrance/exit) on skull. Only in Lankawe. Desrve it.

  • 2
    0

    How Lankans were conditioned, to live in “Democrazy”, they soon will learn to live with their new found “low and order; virtueless and lawless nation”. They sure are fast learners.

  • 4
    0

    I don’t think there are any police officers who can write a cogent article today. Even if all of them get together they cannot produce an intelligent report or even a proper paper notice. That is how far we have fallen in standards.

    It is also clear that judges, lawyers and policemen are a cheap mimic of European particularly English culture and methods.In Sri Lankan society we do not have the imposing personality ,seriousness of mind and the overall skills that are needed for these professions.

    What we have are hungry desperate people pretending they are judges, lawyers and policemen so that they can feed their families. In reality we do not qualify to have these institutions.

    As they are not fit to hold these positions( judge, lawyer, policeman), the whole society suffers at their hands, but this society cannot produce anything better.

    • 2
      1

      D.S,
      “I don’t think there are any police officers who can write a cogent article today.”
      Leave alone policemen, who aren’t noted for intelligence nowadays, there are no judges who can give reasons for their judgements.
      It’s time the Privy Council was reinstated.

  • 2
    0

    Supreme court was in fire yesterday. I guess few days ago when GR complained of thousands of open cases pending in AG/judiciary accusing of inefficiency. People then didnt realize this is how govt had planned to close them in record time.(first prison riots now fire in SC). No more records , no more accused, no more witness and no more cases.

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