Current Attorney General Dappula De Livera is proving to be one of the most corrupt and political appointments to the high office made in the recent past slavishly doing the bidding of President Maithripala Sirisena at every turn Colombo Telegraph can reveal.
Legal observers are shocked at how willing AG De Livera has been to ingratiate himself to Sirisena and his corrupt political ploys.
In a latest twist the Attorney General has his decision to order criminal investigations in to certain police officers for security lapses ahead of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks. Colombo Telegraph learns that Dapula De Livera has decided neither State Intelligence Service Director Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardane or STF Commander Latheef should face disciplinary action or criminal investigation. The decision has been arrived at by the scrupulous AG on the basis of the final report of the three man committee appointed by Sirisena himself to look into the 21 April terror blasts that killed 250.
Colombo Telegraph has previously revealed how SIS Director Nilantha Jayawardane who is well known to be President Sirisena’s pet has escaped the axe for the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks while former defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara were made scapegoats. This is despite the fact that it was the SIS that received the original Indian Intelligence about the impending attacks. Colombo Telegraph has also revealed that Jayawardane briefed Sirisena about the warnings on at least three occasions including on the morning of the 21st of April.
It is a well-known fact that President Sirsiena’s main opposition to the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating failings that led to the Easter terror attacks is based on his fear that SIS Director Nilantha Jayawardane would also be summoned to give testimony at the committee. During that testimony Jayawardane would have been forced to admit that he had informed Sirisena about the attacks before Easter Sunday. To lie in testimony to a committee of parliament is as good as lying under oath in a court of law and would amount to perjury according to legal experts.
Dapula De Livera was appointed Attorney General after the Constitutional Council approved his nomination by the President on 7th May only two weeks after the shocking terrorist attacks in Colombo Negombo and Batticaloa. In less than two months he has proved to be worse even than his predecessor who shamelessly defended Sirisena in two cases – the 6 vs 5 years term and the dissolution of parliament case – that caused humiliation for the president making arguments in court that were anti-constitutional. Yet legal observers said that never had Jayantha Jayasuriya who has since been appointed Chief Justice stooped so low. Since he was appointed in May AG De Livera has performed the following tasks for President Sirisena:
(1) The day after Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara gave testimony on 5th June before the PSC that was deeply damaging to the President, Sirisena made angry calls far and wide blasting politicians and officials and even Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya for publicly humiliating him. He also gave AG Dapula De Livera orders to immediately move on the Central Bank Bond Scam case in order to embarrass and humiliate Ranil Wickramesinghe and the UNP Government. An Eager Dapula moved heaven and earth to do this bidding. On 6th June the AG issued a media release announcing that 10 suspects in the bond investigation would be indicted and the Chief Justice had been requested to transfer the case to the special high court for trials to take place daily.
(2) On 3rd June Sirisena ordered his Secretary to write to the AG demanding an opinion on the PSC looking into the easter attacks at a time when cases had been filed in court. The same day De Livera delivered. He wrote back to the President’s Secretary, Udaya Seneviratne that the PSC sittings could adversely impact the cases and also the investigations into the attacks itself. Sirisena then sent a letter to Speaker Jayasuriya by his own signature referring to De Livera’s letter which he himself had requested.
(3) Now just two weeks after he ordered the police to investigate Nilantha Jaywardane who heads the SIS Dapula De Livera has changed his position again. Colombo Telegraph learns that President Sirisena was extremely angry with the AG for having included the SIS director’s name in the last list. Dapula De Livera duly complied with instructions from his boss.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Dapula De Livera is eagerly doing Sirisena’s bidding in the hope that he will be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court before the President leaves office in a few months.
Legal circles argue that Dapula De Livera’s political servility extends beyond Sirisena to the Rajapaksa family as well. De Livera is actively sidelined officials at the Attorney General’s Department who are actively involved in prosecuting cases involving the former Rajapaksa regime. De Livera who is very active about the Bond case has managed to get his officers to file a motion to get the Courts to stop overseas leave for Geoffrey Aloysius who is the head of Perpetual group. However AGs officials do not even murmur when other indicted persons are granted months of medical leave – such as Gotabaya Rajapaks.
It is not clear why the highly dubious Attorney General is also trying to serve the Rajapaksas and whether that is also an attempt to curry favour with Sirisena who has one foot in that camp. But close associates who have watched his career say he might be trying to buy insurance with the next government that comes to power in Sri Lanka.
Senior lawyers told Colombo Telegraph that it was shocking that not since Mohan Pieris’ controversial term as AG has an Attorney General acted in such a blatantly political way. It is worse because the 19th amendment has given the office of Attorney General a lot more independence than before. “Even Yuwanajaya Wijethillake who was unremarkable in many ways had his moment of standing up to a President like Mahinda Rajapaksa who was much more powerful than Sirisena,” the lawyer said.