Highly placed sources said that the management of the Clique Nightclub, located on Union Place, Colombo 2, has not only issued gag orders on the staff against speaking to anyone other than the police, but steps have already been taken to cover up the incident. As a result, one of the victims, who was beaten by the gang has told the police that he is unable to identify anyone of the culprits.
Daham Sirisena | File photo
The Management of Clique has meanwhile used the club’s venue manager to make a statement denying the involvement of the VVIPs son in the incident.
In a video statement on YouTube, venue manager of Clique, Christopher Kern said, “yes, there was an incident between 2.00 am to 2.30 am, where some guests tried to enter the club, but there was a delay in allowing them entry as it was busy inside the club, but later everyone was allowed to go in. While leaving the club premises, three security officers of the club came under attack, which resulted in several glasses being damaged.”
Kern went on to say, “there has been some media reporting that a VVIP’s son was involved in the incident, I can confirm that there was no son of any VVIP’s at the time of the incident, as I was also on duty at the time of the incident.”
However, another source pointed out that as the night club is situated on the sixth floor of the building, there was no possibility for Kern to have been present on the ground floor during the time of the attack. “Usually, only the security staff of the club are at the entrance of the club, not the venue manager. So it’s impossible for him to have been present at the scene of the incident, because the gang attacked everyone on site with bats,” he said.
In just 48 hours since the incident took place, the case has already suffered a setback with the 34 year old injured guard who was admitted to the Accident Service soon after being attacked claiming that he is unable to identify the culprits who attacked him.
However, the CCTV footage shows that the incident took place under good lighting conditions, and therefore it is impossible for the victims to not have seen at least one of the attackers. None of the attackers had disguised their faces during the attack.
Among the culprits who were behind the attack, was a close relative of the Sirisena’s, who had accompanied Daham to the nightclub.
The diagnosis card at the Accident Service stated that the 34 year old victim was assaulted by a group of ‘unknown people’ who had assaulted his hands, abdomen and head. The victim was vomiting since the attack and during admission to the Accident Service on Saturday and he was also bleeding from his mouth.
The undercover operation to protect Daham Sirisena is similar to an incident which took place in 2007 involving notorious Malaka Silva, the son of former Minister Mervyn Silva, who assaulted Chaminda Senasinghe, an accountant because Silva was provoked after seeing Senasinghe with his ex-girlfriend Claudia Kreussler. The Silvas used every venue possible to intimidate and influence the judiciary and the police to subvert the course of justice and safeguard Malaka Silva.
In another incident back in 1997, in a drunken brawl Joel Pera, a Papua New Guinean rugby player of Havelocks Club was shot dead outside Carlton Club in Kollupitiya. Lohan Ratwatte and his bodyguards was seen getting into their car and driving away. No one apart from Ratwatte’s party was known to have had a weapon. The investigation had been placed under SSP Bandula Wickremasinghe, then Director of CID. The case was handed over to the CID as a matter of urgent interest. The Police took no interest in apprehending Ratwatte who was apparently ‘unavailable,’ to even record a statement. But witnesses who implicated him were threatened and ill-treated. The case was botched up. In a letter to the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Pera’s wife Vanessa nee Selvaratnam, accused the CID team led by Director SSP Wickremasinghe of throwing out good evidence by various manoeuvres and putting on trial a dummy. The latter was a security man, an employee of a state corporation under the then Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte. The CID was also very quick to go public and pronounce that the minister’s son was not involved, even before preliminary investigations were completed, and although there was no irrefutable alibi for him.
Soon after the killing incident, the Ravaya newspaper carried a headline story implicating Lohan Ratwatte, following its own investigation. Quoting a witness, the article in Sinhala said that Pera was shot by the minister’s son (Wedi tribbe amathi putha).
Even though it has been over 48 hours since the incident, Daham Sirisena is yet to issue a statement denying his involvement in the attack at the Clique Night Club. (By Munza Mushtaq)