18 September, 2019

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Ex-ASG Justifies Cover-Up Of 11 Disappeared Youth By Navy

In a bizarre turn of events, one of the highest ranking former legal officers and former Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) President’s Counsel Shavindra Fernando informed court yesterday (21) that he was not in a position to reveal details of the 11 disappeared youth by rogue elements of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), Colombo Telegraph learns.

Shavindra Fernando

When the case was called before Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, PC Fernando appeared after failing to give his statement to the Police Criminal Investigations Department on five consecutive occasions, and a team of counsels led by Nalinda Indatissa PC appearing for him informed that the ex-ASG would not divulge information on the matter, covered allegedly under ethics of confidentiality and attorney-client privilege provided for in Rule 31 to 38 Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-law) Rules of 1988. According to Fernando’s counsel although their client was supposedly agreeable to share information and had requested for instructions from Navy but the latter had denied permission, instructing him not to divulge any information whatsoever.

If found to be true this would be a major incident by Sri Lanka Navy to undermine the independence and the authority of the judiciary, legal experts opine.

Sources told Colombo Telegraph that following Fernando’s complicity in the matter, the Attorney General’s Department too had taken a position of not safeguarding the ex-ASG telling court that the Department would neither intercede not appear on behalf of Fernando PC.

The Magistrate had reportedly ordered that notice be issued to Navy in order to ascertain whether it had instructed Fernando PC not to divulge information and also instructed the CID to proceed under Section 255 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) enabling investigators to record a statement from the ex-ASG.

Earlier providing a statement to the CID, former Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Commander then Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda told the investigators that once he got to know of rogue elements in the Navy he at once informed Shavindra Fernando PC who was heading the legal division in the Navy to take immediate action. However it has now come to light that not only Fernando PC failed to take any action but deliberately tried to cover up and hinder evidence by intimidating witnesses, pressurizing the Police to favour some naval operatives and exerted duress (as prosecutor) in order for his name to be removed (as suspect).

Whilst Admiral Karannagoda was implicated in the case, President Maithripala Sirisena, who came to power vowing to resolve these cases last week promoted Karannagoda to the rank of ‘Admiral of the Fleet’, which was criticized by many.

In addition, the promotion comes hot on the heels of Attorney General admonishing inter alia the Acting IGP for not completing and the undue delay in the cases pertaining to the assassination of The Sunday Leader Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickrematunge, murder of ruggerite Waseem Thajudeen, abduction of The Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr and the shooting of 17 aid workers in Mutthur along with the disappearance of the 11 youth.

Last year, the senior-most serving military officer – incumbent Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijeguneratne’s was charged for his alleged links to the abductors of 11 youth along with Karannagoda also being charged for having knowledge of the crimes.

In February 2019, in a bizarre turn of events, CID informed Court that telephone records of certain accused in the case, accessed and available only to the private telephone operator in question has been inexplicably deleted for unknown reasons via high-profile intervention.

This is not the first time that evidence and / or witnesses had been tampered with in the case, as Lt. Commander Galagamage Laksiri who is a key state witness in case was assaulted by CDS’s security detail in front of none other than CDS himself on November 25, 2018. When Lt. Cdr. Laksiri later arrived at the Fort Police Station to record a statement, naval officers pressurized the Police not to record the same and when the Police visited the Navy Mess the next day, it was found out that CDS’ aides had tampered with vital CCTV footage.

Earlier Admiral Wijeguneratne was arrested on 28 November 2018 and remanded until the 5 December. Before his arrest, it was reported that the CID unearthed fresh evidence of how Admiral Wijeguneratne harboured and protected Navy Sampath from arrest.

Startling revelations point out that the suspect Navy Sampath who was attached to the Trincomalee Naval Base had resided in the Officers’ Quarters at the base after fleeing lawful custody with the backing of certain officials of Sri Lanka Navy with the concurrence of the incumbent CDS, the CID further informed the Court.

The Police had brought to the notice of the Court that Admiral Wijeguneratne had provided facilities, securities and instructions to the suspect in order avoid lawful arrest.

In addition, under auspices of the Admiral, a sum of rupees five hundred thousand had been handed over to the suspect by Rear Admiral Hettiarachchi from an account maintained by the Commander of Sri Lanka Navy, for the suspect to travel abroad.

During the 51-day illegal coup, one of the first moves of President Maithripala Sirisena was to order the transfer of the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Organised Crimes Unit of the (CID) – Inspector of Police Nishantha Silva to the Negombo Police Division who investigated this matter along with other high-profile cases such as Lasantha Wickeramatunge murder case and Keith Noyahr abduction case, bypassing the National Police Commission.

Colombo Telegraph reported that Director CID Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne informed the National Police Commission revealed that President Sirisena ordered the transfer of Silva after Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, a suspect in the Navy abductions case, fabricated false allegations against the CID officer at a security council meeting. The move to transfer the CID finally proved to be futile as the National Police commission made a swift intervention and inquired from the IGP about the circumstances leading to the transfer of Nishantha Silva. Upon the Police Commission’s inquiry, IGP Pujith Jayasundara issued a backdated letter and withdrew the transfer of Silva. (By Sandeepa Perera)

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Latest comments

  • 28
    2

    We shout out and say Srilanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country. In the same breath say that retribution will come sooner than later as Buddha preached. Like the way the cart follows the bullocks the misdeeds will follow the perpetrators. Then they will say that we are not Sinhala Buddhists.

    • 6
      1

      Upali!
      The problem is being a ‘SINHALA’ Buddhist. If you are a Buddhist from Thailand it may be different.

  • 4
    27

    I think, people do not trust CID and they think it is highly infested with foreign moles. This is part of the game to adulterate all the law enforcement related agencies and Judiciary. Most probably, even the former AG was silent, he knew about foreign hyenas salivating for something. Anyway, Brigadiers of the Hybrid war a re complaining about AG, ASG all look their projects did not work. Probably went through the same route the National candidate project moved. CT should publish the name list of these eleven youth disappeared and any other related information. Probably eleven black tigers disappeared and soldiers of the hybrid war are lost.

    • 16
      1

      JD,
      You only trust American citizen Gotapaya.

  • 16
    1

    Lt. Commander Galagamage Laksiri who is a key state witness in case was assaulted by CDS’s security detail in front of none other than CDS himself on November 25, 2018.

    Didn’t they full the gun at him inside the Navy Mess? I remember reading something like that and he ran to save him.

  • 3
    16

    What are they trying to do ?. To destroy morale of the people involved ? It is not LTTE who is behind. some one else is looking for something. divide and control is very important. Paw da another project. Smaller countries of Asia have the same problem.

  • 25
    0

    I am dumbstruck by the stark dysfunctional-ism displayed by the courts, AG’s Dept for so many years now in obtaining vital information from the Navy. We hear the same feeble story always, nothing has changed. The navy continues to withhold evidence and nobody can do fxxxall about this. From the President’s sweetheart-like stance towards the CDS and (the now) ‘Admiral of the Fleet’ it is obvious he is playing a devious hand in all of this skulduggery. And this has nothing to do with his hatred of Ranil&Co.

  • 24
    0

    I don’t know how this pathetic man sleeps at night.

    • 4
      1

      Ajay!
      Shavidra Fernando is a lawyer by profession. His professional duty is to defend the worst criminals and put the innocents into trouble by hook or by crook. He is doing just that. Quite a number of lawyers are criminal minded. I understand that some murderers are in the habit of consulting Criminal lawyers prior to committing a murder for the ‘Modus Operandi’ so that they can escape the clutches of law.

  • 25
    0

    My, my, my god. Where is this leading to! For this Ex ASG to say or think that it is justifiable to cover up murder of the innocent young lives. It tyranny at its best and it will get worse. How anyone can lives the conscience of wasting innocent lives. How many fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters are weeping with heavy heart either not knowing fate of the missing or no justice for the ex-judiciary killings. The island is cursed by these heavy hearts.

    • 15
      2

      Jay
      “My,my,my god.Where is this leading to!”.
      It is leads to the Middle Path teachings of the “Sinhala Buddha”.

  • 19
    2

    Imagine the situation if a GOAT becomes the President if it is such that the law can be twisted even now. Case for Foreign Judges and condemnation of whole system in SL.

  • 6
    31

    Why there are no investigations against TNA politicians and Christian clergy who openly supported LTTE terrorists who committed all sorts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. There are plenty of evidences to put these guys behind bars.

    • 10
      0

      Ok, so you at least acknowledge the crimes committed by the navy personnel as well..well done!

    • 4
      1

      @JD mutt, Rajapaksa employed ex-LTTE assassins and murderers in his cabinet and they are freely roaming the streets of Colombo. Why don’t you catch them and execute them first. Secondly who are these Christian clergy you always seem to talk about? Name a few? Also you dumb arse, this article about the government Navy abducting poor children and killing them, where in this article they spoke about the LTTE? I would love to open that empty skull of yours and put a brain in there.

      • 4
        1

        @I meant to write the above comment as response to the other idiot Eagle (Blind) Eye.

  • 13
    1

    has the navy given a letter to this ape not to divulge the information.If no letter has been given then this arseface should be arrested and locked up because this is a criminal,not defence matter.

    If he has indeed been given a letter by the navy,then the gorilla who sent that letter should be arrested and charged regardless of whether he is a war ‘hero’ or a kidnapper for ransom.Show me a hero and i’ll write a tragedy.

    • 13
      1

      Say all you want and the top hierarchy will do, with impunity and complicity, what they must do without any regard for the law, order, justice and trampling the constitution. This is Sri Lanka the Sinhala Buddhist country, a country like no other, where the most unusual things happen. 60 percent of the people here have no conscience and have scant regard for life though the perpetrators are humans too.

  • 14
    0

    To day news, doctors island wide are on strike and health services is totally crippled. Lankans are looking elsewhere , when they have plenty of domestic terrorist within them. The whole country is under seige of criminal politicians, self serving SOB, religious bigots, BBS, GMOA/SLMC, corrupt AG department, criminal service personal, local mafias , fake medias and mostly funded by selfish, greedy business men. There is no place for a honest hard working person in Lanka. Amid, people here are busy , having lengthy discussions and heated debates on picking the “less evil” as next PM/President. This is what is Lanka is about. Joke of the day, SLPP today named the UNP candidate for election ????? Shows how F—- D they are??????

  • 8
    0

    Terrible lack of discipline and mutiny in the Navy. It is a disgrace.

    • 10
      0

      Not mutiny. All the top brass are hand in glove. It is the petty officers who are brave in coming forward as key witnesses. They are open to assault and intimidation.
      Disgusting. This is what we are in for in double dose if Gotler is President.

  • 10
    0

    Inquiring into the workings of the system of administration of justice in this country is like opening a can of worms. It is disgusting!

  • 8
    0

    I am sure the present AG is up to some mischief. All the cases he is now hurriedly trying to bring before the courts may end up as the case of Gamini Senarath. There were 23 allegations against him filed by the AG,s dept. itself. How surprising it was that they could not prove one single allegation which they themselves drafted. The same destiny will fall on the other cases too. Dappula is a man planning to get the next CJ post.

    • 8
      0

      “Dappula is a man planning to get the next CJ post.”

      he won’t need a wig

  • 8
    0

    On 21 August 2019, former Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) President’s Counsel (PC) Shavindra Fernando informed Colombo Fort Magistrates Court, through a bevy of PCs, that he was not in a position to reveal details of the 11 youths disappeared by elements of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN).
    That is continuing to justify the cover-up ln exhorted legal word combinations.
    .
    Shavindra Fernando is ideal political material. He must be headhunted.
    Gnanasara Thera is working on this!

  • 11
    0

    Sunny Sri Lanka:

    Law and order – Not fit for purpose

    Security – Not fit for purpose

    Armed Forces – Nobody’s business what they get up to

    Political leadership – Absolute disgrace (in it to loot)

    Judiciary – A sick joke (and every case gets postponed 15 times)

    This is Sri Lanka today – The true miracle of the east.

  • 4
    18

    It is common in every country to restrict information related to country’s defence. If anybody tries to reveal such confidential information, he should be punished for treachery.
    And, what disappearances?
    How many innocent civilians, police, army, navy, air force officers were abducted and perished by the LTTE?
    The entire LTTE outfit deserved to be disappeared.
    If anybody has forgotten, there were deadly child soldiers, barbaric suicide bombers, ruthless air tigers and sea tigers, brutal sword carriers and gun carriers in civilian clothing in the LTTE.
    Give me one good reason why should Navy spare anyone in the above category?

    • 9
      2

      Champa,
      You proved yourself as a murderer. There is no surprise about your comments. You represent Gotapaya and you say Lasntha deserved murdered.

      • 2
        2

        Ajith
        Idiocy at its best.
        I don’t represent your fictional mind.

    • 3
      0

      Huh? Hilarious!

    • 3
      4

      Chimpa the Rajapaksa whore, arrest Karuna and Pillayan and all others who supported them first. They are living in Colombo.

    • 2
      4

      Champa the arse hole licking goat- Yanne koheda Malle pol. Fu ck Mahawansa the b ook of lies that Champa worship

    • 2
      1

      This is not a matter of the country’s defense. This is crime, premeditated murder. LTTE were bad, they have been punished for their crimes. The armed forces are supposed to protect the people of this country not murder them for money. Your comment would be different if the victims were not Tamils. In fact not all 11 were Tamils.

  • 10
    2

    Its not about how LTTE a terrorist organization carried out its barbaric acts its about how a branch of the security apparatus should behave.

    • 2
      2

      Thisahami
      What type of behaviour do you propose for the security apparatus when terrorists are in full action? Do you think they should also hide in the jungle as civilians did in the North and East?

      • 2
        0

        Chimpa [edited out], this is about the Navy abducting kids and killing them for no reason except for money. You are a real Rajapaksa racist whore. You cry LTTE all the time, but didn’t your master employ ex-LTTE killers in his cabinet? Why do you always run away from this question? To date, you have not provided one intelligen answer to this question.

        • 0
          0

          Hay Tamil, get your fact straight before calling others names.
          While it is true that some rouge elements in the navy were involved in abductions and ransom demands which was promptly informed by the navy commander himself.
          The problem now is that this lunatic “Jahapalanaya” is trying to implicate other people in the case instead of trying the real perpetrators.
          Not only ex LTTE killers but ex JVP killers too have been in the parliament and in a democracy it is accepted once they shun violence.

  • 10
    1

    The President is promoting/approving all unfit evil doers and misfits in the armed forces, bar and bench.
    This ‘defines’ the ‘climate’ of existence by these rotten apples in society, public service and the armed forces.
    There is now no justice for ordinary citizens.
    The pending presidential election tends to compel candidates to ignore these evil doers in order to survive.
    Judiciary and law enforcement have become a sham

  • 1
    0

    THIS IS CLEAR CASE WHERE STATE IS INVOLVED IN FABRICATING CASES AGIST POLILTICAL OPPONENTS AND AS WELL TO PACIFY HUMANRIGHT VALLAHS(TRADERS). ANOTHER ASPECT IS SECURITY CHAPS IF THEY DID WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO PERFECTLY WITHOUT LEAVING EVIDENCE ITS A BAD JOB DONE

  • 2
    4

    It is good to know many higher officials are aware the difficult situation that Sri lanka is in and Politicians are part of that. It looks NGOs are going behind Intelligence officers and AGs now.

  • 4
    0

    There is no justice in Sri Lanka. But don’t worry people who commit offences and the people who protect them will never have peace. They will be convicted and will be answerable to a higher authority.

  • 5
    1

    Thanks are due to CT for the timely exposure of crooks in the Navy. A dysfunctional President promotes top Naval Officers and others accused of committing human rights violation and war crimes. This is what happens when you elect a mediocre to the exalted office. The country is riddled with bribery, corruption, improper favouritism at the very top. With the passing of the 19th Amendment, citizens expected cases pending in courts will move at a faster rate. There will be no political interference with the judicial system. But alas, the wheels of justice are moving at a snail’s pace.

  • 1
    1

    the situation in every country where they want something done is like this. ITis just divide every way and control. Influence the country. Education, Health, finance, monetary, culture, civilization are all destroyed.
    Anyway, there are patriotic Govt officials and even retired ones.

  • 0
    0

    IT is not enough ! Time to witness more of this putrid DICTATORIAL RULE BY A NEXUS OF WORLD’S WORST SET OF ROGUES.

    What can a few miniscule section wailing and whimpering , making comments of outcries for law, order and fair justice CAN MAKE ?

    HINDIANS and YANKEES will succeed in INSTALLING A LOCAL IDI AMIN LIKE GB AND MAKE THIS LAND OF HELL OF INDIAN OCEAN..

  • 2
    0

    As long as corrupt politicians are voted to power, impunity, cover ups,dysfunctional judiciary will continue. Send 226 home for good.

  • 2
    0

    Champa,
    You proved yourself as a murderer, Chimpa the Rajapaksa [Edited out]

    CT editors at their best.

  • 0
    0

    Its understood why FM SF was not given a position as Defense Secretary. The Maithri Mahinda 52 day coup. Certainly could not have been done overnight and would have planed far behind.
    Wonder whats happening with the Prez suicide attack where intelligence officer was arrested with info from Namal Kumara.
    When you analyze you can see who these military men being appointed. Does James Banda have the brains to appoint them?
    Certainly the Lotus & the SLFP will certainly join hand and contested with an agreement and plan a regime.
    The Easter Bomb is another ISIS Bomb Shell. Reports had being repeatedly informed from Indian Intelligence where as action had not been taken. Finally IGP had to take part of the blame where as he had been asked not to attend security meetings. Authorities would certainly would have known before hand and upto now no one is answerable.

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