Details of former Chief of Defense Staff Ravi Wijegunratne’s attempts to level false accusations against Inspector Nishantha Silva of the CID who handled investigations into several high profile cases, were revealed during a testimony made before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Inspector Nishantha Silva – the OIC of the gang robbery investigation unit of the CID, was leading investigations into several high profile cases including the assasination of Lasantha Wickrematunge, abduction and assault of journalists Keith Noyhar, Upali Tennakoon and Namal Perera as well as the abduction and murder of 11 youths from Colombo – a case in which the former CDS is directly implicated.
National Police Commission Secretary DM Samansiri Dissanayake narrating the events involved with the transfer of Inspector Nishantha said the sudden transfer orders were issued on November 18, 2019 , in the middle of the Constitutional Coup – to the Negombo division.
On November 19, 2019 the NPC had received an appeal against the transfer, which they had forwarded to the IGP who had taken measures to immediately cancel the transfer.
In the letter issued by former IGP Pujith Jayasundara cancelling the transfer order, had noted in no unclear terms that the transfer was issued in light of accusations levelled against Nishantha by then CDS Wijegunaratne, of maintaining links with the LTTE. The ex-CDS has made a mention of this grave accusation at the National Security Council as well as over the phone several times to the former IGP.
It remains puzzling as to why the former IGP took measures to transfer an official purely based on accusations levelled by the former CDS – particularly given he was a party that was being implicated via Silva’s investigations.
Moreover, in a letter issued by the then Chief of CID, Senior DIG DWRB Senevirathne to the IGP on the transfer, he has noted Wijegunaratne’s actions are tantamount to being charged with violation of Witness and Victim Protection Act pointing out the accusations made against Nishantha were completely untrue, baseless and an attempt to interfere with the investigation into his involvement in a high profile crime case.
The Senior DIG had also recommended that due action be taken against Wijegunawardena for attempting to interfere into an investigation.