The daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge has today urged the National Police Commission to remove the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department.
Writing to the Chairman and Members of the National Police Commission, Ahimsa Wickrematunga said: “I request that the NPC urgently take steps to remove SSP Alwis from any role at the CID and to ensure that the CID arrests Alwis and produces him before court.”
We publish below the letter in full:
The Chairman and Members of The National Police Commission (NPC),
BMICH Premises, Block 09,
Appeal against the appointment of criminal suspect Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) A.R.P.J. Alwis as Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police
My father, Lasantha Wickrematunge, was murdered in Attidiya on 8th January 2009. His murder is being investigated by the CID. In October 2019, the CID reported to the Mount Lavinia Magistrates Court that in 2010, the then Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), SSP A.R. Prasanna J. Alwis, had suppressed evidence and shielded suspects in order to screen my father’s murderers from punishment. Such crimes are each punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The CID were ordered by then Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickremaratne to arrest Alwis and produce him before the magistrate. After the presidential election, the Acting IGP suddenly changed his mind. SSP Alwis was never arrested or produced. Instead, on 21st May 2020, the NPC approved the government’s request to appoint SSP Alwis as the new CID Director. Months after ordering his arrest as a murder suspect, Mr. Wickremaratne tricked the commission into putting SSP Alwis in charge of the CID.
The commission may be unaware that Mr. Wickremaratne is now illegally purporting to act as IGP since the retirement of Mr. Pujith Jayasundera on 15th March 2020. Per Article 41C of the Constitution, no one can act as IGP for more than fourteen days without the sanction of the Constitutional Council.
I request that the NPC urgently take steps to remove SSP Alwis from any role at the CID and to ensure that the CID arrests Alwis and produces him before court. I also urge the Commission to seek an explanation from Mr. Wickremaratne over his role in aiding SSP Alwis to evade arrest and become head of the CID, and on the legal basis by which he is purporting to act in the office of IGP without the approval of the Constitutional Council. The independent police commission should not be remembered for rubber stamping the appointment of a murder suspect to the head Sri Lanka’s apex detective agency.
cc. Chairman, Constitutional Council
cc. Secretary-General, Constitutional Council
cc. Secretary, National Police Commission
cc. Attorney General