1 October, 2020

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Avant Garde Floating Armoury Case: CID Fails To Find Evidence Of Any Misconduct

Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today terminated the proceedings of the Avant Garde case after the Criminal Investigations Department(CID) of police informed courts that it would not go ahead with the case under the instructions of the Attorney General.

Gota

Gota

The court has also lifted the order restricting the chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd Major Nissanka Senadhipathi from overseas travel.

Colombo Chief Magistrate issued the travel restriction order in January due to the ongoing investigations by the CID on Avant Garde’s floating armory maintained at the Galle Harbor.

According to Police sources the CID during their investigation had not uncovered any details that the Avant Garde had done anything illegal.

The CID had failed to find any evidence that Avant Garde had either sold arms to overseas terrorist groups and also had used the weapons for illegal purposes as alleged earlier.

When the case came into prominence , former Navy Commander Admiral (Retd) Somathilake Dissanayake had said that the floating armory was operated legally under the collective efforts of the defense sector of the Armory, the Sri Lankan Navy, Rakna Arakshaka Lanka (Pvt.) Limited, and Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd.

The use of the armory was authorized by the Ministry of Defence.

However, the case figured prominently in political circles with those in the present government accusing powerful figures in the former regime including former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa of illegal arms sale and other wrongdoings.

The former Defence Secretary was questioned by the CID over the issue and the court also had imposed a travel ban which had been later lifted.

Also the courts issued an order earlier giving permission to probe the bank accounts of several persons involved in Galle floating armory.

Meanwhile the cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had earlier claimed that the government was conducting investigations to either establish or dismiss suspicions of whether controversial Maritime Security services company Avant Garde has been supplying weapons to Nigerian terror group Boko Haram.

“We know that Avant Garde worked closely with the Nigerian Government and supplied them with arms. We are now examining the likelihood of Avant Garde having had dealings, including arms supplies, with Boko Haram” Dr. Senaratne had said earlier.

Meanwhile political circles today expressed surprise at the sudden decision to conclude the investigation.

A JVP parliamentarian reacting to the incident with a very obvious scoff said that the good governance has borne fruit.

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Exclusive: Ranil Prevents Gota Arrest

Exclusive: Attorney General’s Recommendations On Gota Arrest: Full Text

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Latest comments

  • 4
    5

    What ? No proof ?
    What nonsense
    They only need to ask some readers of CT. They seem to have all the knowledge, evidence and proof that is required.

    • 2
      3

      Very well said. Lol.. :)))

  • 2
    1

    This was ONE of the many allegations fronted by the CT, and then the Sri Lankan OMIs (Open-Mouthed Idiots NOT Christian clergy) joined in. They never bothered to ascertain from the Security Forces whether there was any basis for the allegation and a case could not be made in a Court of Law.
    Now they are running around like headless chicken.

  • 6
    2

    The reason is there is no evidence of misconduct, it was simply election propaganda

    • 4
      1

      And that’s putting it beautifully in a nutshell! So will be the case of the murder case used very dramatically a week before the election!

  • 5
    3

    Looks like the start of a series of ‘back-room deals’ between the old and the new for mutual protection. “Good Governance” — you ain’t seen anything yet!

  • 3
    0

    This is major flaw in the Justice system where the Attorney General can stop a case without the Magistrate being informed of the reasons or state of investigation. Shouldn’t the AG be required to place the reasons before the court. Just asking CID not to proceed and that is it?

  • 0
    0

    Todays Daily News

    ‘AG defends his position In view of the recent media reports on the steps taken by Attorney General Y.J.W. Wijayatilake, P.C. with regard to the Avant Garde case, as well as the investigation and prosecution of Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam alias Kumaran Padmanathan (KP), it has become necessary for the Attorney General’s Department to clarify its position on these two matters, so that the public is accurately informed of the facts, states the Attorney General in a statement. The statement added: “Where the Avant Garde case was concerned, the Attorney General acted on the evidence made available by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the observations submitted by the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka Navy and other government agencies it was decided that offences under the Firearms Ordinance, Explosives Act or Prevention of Terrorism Act are not disclosed. “The CID was given specific instructions by the Attorney General in June 2015 to provide to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, any evidence of corruption relating to the running of the Floating Armoury.

    The Attorney General has been informed that the Bribery Commission is investigating this matter. “The CID was further instructed to inform the Attorney General if they find new evidence disclosing a criminal offence. The media and the public would appreciate that the Attorney General does not act on hearsay or rumour. Prosecutions can be instituted only if there is sufficient and admissible evidence, which can be maintained before a court of law. To do otherwise would be grossly irresponsible.’

    AG seems to be depending on CID and CID says AG instructed. A closed loop where neither is taking any initiative to investigate the wider criminal implications of misuse of equipment belonging to the Armed Forces, International trading in arms without sanction of the Govt etc. What happened to the profits generated?

    AG is minus any legal acumen or skills. Chief Justice should launch a suo moto inquiry into all aspects of this case.

  • 1
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    There are several different bodies conducting investigations. The FCID, CID, The commission appointed to probe corruption etc. Each of these bodies goes into different aspects of corruption. The magisterial inquiry conducted by the CID was looking for criminal misconduct. It this inquiry and only this one that was stopped because there was no criminal misconduct found. However, Gota has also appeared before the commission appointed to probe corruption. DO not assume that he is going to get away Scott free. These articles are sometime deliberately deceptive with the facts.

  • 0
    0

    Democratic Party leader Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka on Monday night accused the Attorney General’s Department of acting in a way inimical to the interests of the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration.

    The new administration couldn’t turn a blind eye to what was going on since the January revolution, Fonseka said, in response to a query on a live political programme on Hiru TV.

    Item in the Island states

    Fonseka discussed the stand taken up by the Attorney General as regards Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s complaint to the CID on an alleged coup on the night of the presidential poll, Avant Garde controversy as well as the probe on LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP.’

    The former army commander asserted that the Attorney General’s Department had failed in its responsibilities and taken contradictory positions on matters of national interest. Fonseka was of the opinion that investigations into above mentioned cases could have been brought to a successful conclusion if they had been properly conducted.

  • 0
    1

    A coalition of civil society movements including trade unions and the Puravesi Balaya yesterday lashed out at the Attorney General for taking arbitrary decision to conclude the cases filed against LTTE chief arms procurer, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP and the floating armoury of Avante Garde Security Services Limited.

    According to Puravesi Balaya Convenor Saman Ratnapriya, the AG has taken an arbitrary decision to conclude these cases even after a Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) has recommended him by a report to proceed with the cases. Ratnapriya said that a copy of the report was sent by the DSG to the Attorney General asking him to proceed with these cases was with him.

    Rathnapriya urged the President to appoint a committee comprising suitable persons to look into the decisions of the Attorney General regarding these cases.

    “There is no legal provision to take forward these cases due to the position taken by the AG,” he said.

    He said that it has been reported that KP has committed a number of crimes for decades, including assisting the LTTE to carry out terrorist activities.

    Under his assistance many bombs were exploded killing thousands of innocent unarmed persons.

    He was also a fund raiser for the LTTE which is a banned terrorist organisation and supplied arms to the terrorist outfit, among other crimes. Besides, he has been accused by India in connection with assassinating former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

    However, according to the Attorney General there is no legal provision to take further legal action.

    “There is no legal sanction to maintain private armories in the country, but the Avant Garde company had two armories, one on a ship and the other in a store at the BMICH. This is clearly a violation of the country’s civil law,” Rathnapriya said.

    He said that the FCID has forwarded 20 files to the Attorney General for further action but the Attorney General’s Department has done nothing as yet on these 20 cases.

    Therefore, the conduct of the Attorney General’s Department should be inquired into by a high power commission. It is must in order to create equality in society.

    The people of this country never expected such a situation when they elected this government to power to strengthen good governance and democracy.
    – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/ag-under-fire-over-kp-avant-garde#sthash.5giBGD3K.dpuf

  • 0
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    Avant Garde Floating Armoury Case: CID Fails To Find Evidence Of Any Misconduct

    Then shall I buy a ship and load with armory a float it without proper permission of Ministry Approval or through Parliament! It will not be Tolerated.

    1. There is and will be Tolerance and Immunity for Gotta & co, because Sinhala Buddhism created and allowed to grow in stature, so that the ultimate war would drag as much as possible civilians, and can be encountered during the war without any repercussions, Gotta & co have to be paid back to their service, in sustaining the Sinhala Buddhism policy irrespective political parties, and therefore a state affair!
    2. Attorney General who was summoned to “Allary Maligava” on the pretext of a COUP on the early hours 9th January 2015, was well advised of policies of sustaining Sinhala Buddhism as a state, by relevant people
    3. Sinhala Buddhism would always preserve Murderers, Robbers for future use,
    and Attorney General is integral part of it!

  • 0
    0

    CORRECTION PLEASE

    Avant Garde Floating Armoury Case: CID Fails To Find Evidence Of Any Misconduct

    #1. & #3. Should be read as follows
    1.There is and will be Tolerance and Immunity for Gotta & co, because Sinhala Buddhism created LTTE and allowed to grow in stature, so that the ultimate war would drag as much as possible civilians, and can be encountered during the war without any repercussions, Gotta & co have to be paid back to their service, in sustaining the Sinhala Buddhism policy irrespective political parties, and therefore a state affair!
    3. Sinhala Buddhism being a state affair would always preserve Murderers, Robbers for future use, as they did allow LTTE grow in stature and Attorney General is integral part of it!

  • 0
    0

    Further adding to my earlier comment,

    Avant Garde Floating Armoury Case: CID Fails To Find Evidence Of Any Misconduct – A part of State Extremism?
    Then shall I buy a ship and load with armory a float it without proper permission of Ministry Approval or through Parliament! It will not be Tolerated. Did the authorities, at lest take steps to address the discrepancies, or allowed free use of arms and untapped foreign currencies?

    1.There is and will be Tolerance and Immunity for Gotta & co, because Sinhala Buddhism created LTTE and allowed to grow in stature, so that the ultimate war would drag as much as possible civilians, and can be encountered during the war without any repercussions, Gotta & co have to be paid back to their service, in sustaining the Sinhala Buddhism policy irrespective political parties, and therefore a state affair!
    2. Attorney General who was summoned to “Allarya Gaha Manthirya” on the pretext of a COUP on the early hours 9th January 2015, was well advised of policies of sustaining Sinhala Buddhism as a state affair, by relevant people, including Ranil Wickremesinghe​ that any member of trio-forces cannot be held responsible on the actions of quest for Sinhala Buddhism
    3. Sinhala Buddhism being a state affair would always preserve Murderers, Robbers for future use, as they did allow LTTE grow in stature and Attorney General is integral part of it!
    As long as this kind of manipulated state extremism, of licensing every illegal act of Armed Forces – mounts to the lawlessness, and robbery, murder & rape would be in increase – Yahapalanaya mask for ostentatious democracy to democratically institute state extremism!

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