13 August, 2020

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

A leaked report from the Attorney General’s Department on the case against Avant Garde Maritime Services, confirms the Colombo Telegraph report which exposed the Attorney General’s recommendations on the possible arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Gotabaya

Gotabaya

According the report AG did recommend that the former Secretary to Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa and four others would be arrested for committing offences pertaining to the Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to Sri Lanka (Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Fire Arms Ordinance), Possession of Fire Arms and Ammunition Without Valid Licenses (Under the Fire Arms Ordinance and Explosives Ordinance) and aonspiracy, aiding and abetting to commit the above offences.

As Colombo Telegraph exclusively reported on March 09, 2015 it was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who prevented the arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The Attorney General’s Department consulted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe over the recommendation that Gotabaya be taken into custody together with four others for alleged violation of the Firearms Ordinance and other laws. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has said that the former Defence Secretary should not be taken into custody.

We publish below the report in full:

CR1/58/2015

Hon. Attorney General
Case against Avant Garde Maritime Services and others pertaining to the – Floating Armory

Offences committed

1.Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to Sri Lanka ( Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Fire Arms Ordinance)

2 Possession of Fire Arms and ammunition without valid licenses. (Under the Fire Arms Ordinance and Explosives Act)

3. Conspiracy, aiding and abetting to commit the above offences.

Suspects

(1) Nissanka Senadhipathy – Chairman Avant Guarde Maritime Services

(2) Manjulakumara Yapa – Director Avant Guarde Maritime Services,

(3) Gotabhaya Rajapakse – Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(4) Mrs . D.M.S. Jayaratne Addl. Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(5) Major General Palitha Fernando (Rtd.) – Director Chairman Raknalanka Military Liaisons Officer

An investigation by the CID is ongoing in relation to the authority given to the Rakna Lanka Company and Avant Guarde Maritime Services to supply weapons and other related services to the merchant ships and fishing trawlers using weapons belonging to the state and others.

This report pertains to the case of the Floating Armory run by the and Avant Guarde Maritime Services.

A consignment of military weapons and ammunitions was found without lawful authority in the possession of Avant Garde Mritime Services in a ship by the name of ‘Mahanuwara’ docked at Galle harbor. At the time of the commencement of the investigations ship had contained more than 3000 guns (including AK 47 rifles and other military weapons) and ammunition amounting to more than 7 hundred thousand rounds. The ship is leased out to Avant Guarde Meritime services by its lawful owners ‘Lanka Shipping’ and the said firearms and ammunitions were found in the exclusive possession, custody and control of the Avant Garde Mritime Services. At the moment, on our instructions the CID and the Government Analyst’s department are in the process of taking a stock and carrying out necessary tests of the said firearms.

A summary of a proposal (dated 18th August) submitted by the chairman of the Avant Guarde Maritime Services, to position a Floating Armory in OPL Galle had been submitted by Ms Jayaratne for the authorization to the then Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapakse . Secretary has authorized the said proposal by placing his signature on the same, which is annexed herewith marked X1.

By her letter dated 18th September 2012 Ms. Jayaratne Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Defence had granted approval for M/S Avant Garde Mritime Services to deploy a Floating Armory off Sri Lanka in the International Waters. (Annexure X2). This happens to be the only authority that has been granted to Avant Guarde Maritime Services to hold the possession of the said numbers of weapons and ammunitions.

However contrary to the authority given by X1, Ms Jayaratne herself had subsequently issued a further letter to the Commander of Navy directing him to grant permission to the vessel Mahanuwara belonging to Avant Guarde Maritime Services to exit / enter the port of Galle with weapons on board whenever such requirements are requested. (Annexure X2)

CID investigations have revealed that the ship (or the vessel) in question had been doing all her operations completely being docked at the Galle harbour and had never carried out any of its business transactions being deployed in the international waters, as per the authority granted.

They had supplied arms and ammunition to the merchant ships to get protection against sea pirates, a transaction previously handled by the Sri Lankan navy. The whole process seems to have been done with the ulterior motive of handing over a massively profitable business previously done by the Sri Lankan Navy to the private company by the name of Avant Garde Mritime Servises without, adhering to any transparent tender or other procedures. The CID investigations have revealed that the Avant Garde Maritime Services earns a daily income of nearly Rs.15 million from this business transaction.

Investigations have further revealed that in the process of the above operation following Offenses have been committed

1. Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to Sri Lanka
2. Possession of Fire Arms and ammunition without valid licenses.
3. Conspiracy, aiding and abetting to commit the above offences.

Unlawful importation of firearms into Sri Lanka under the Firearms Ordinance.

According to Sec 3 of the Firearms Ordinance the importation and possession of guns in Sri Lanka “shall take place only in accordance with licenses and permits provided for by the Fire Arms Ordinance.

According to Sec 9 thereof,the importation of guns into Sri Lanka is prohibited except (a) through any approved port of entry in Sri Lanka or by passengers arriving at any approved port of entry.

In terms of Sec. 9(2) any person importing a gun into Sri Lanka otherwise than in accordance with this section shall be guilty of an offence.

No license or a permit has been issued to the Avant Guarde Maritime Services under the Firearms Ordinance to import gums. When the service was handed over to the Avant Guarde Maritime Services from the Sri Lanka navy only 800 odd guns had been handed over. Presently there are more than 3000 military fire arms in their possession.

A prima facie case is established under the above provisions of the firearms ordinance against,

(1) Nissanka Senadhipathy – Chairman Avant Guarde Maritime Services and

(2) Manjulakumara Yapa – Director Avant Guarde Maritime Services,

for importation of firearms without a licence to Sri Lanka and a prima facie case is established against

(1) Gotabhaya Rajapakse – Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(2) Mrs . D.M.S. Jayaratne Addl. Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(3) Major General Palitha Fernando (Rtd.) – Director Chairman Raknalanka Military Liaisons Officer,

for conspiracy and aiding abetting the above mention accused to commit the said offence.

Offence of importation of firearms under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

Moreover, the preamble to the Prevention of Terrorism Act states, that it is also an “act to make the prevention of unlawful activities of any individual group of individuals within Sri Lanka or outside Sri Lanka”.

According to Section (1) E, of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, “Any person who without lawful authority imports any firearms or ammunition shall be guilty of an offence”.

According to Section 3 (b) thereof any person who abets, conspires, attempts, the commission of an offence; liable to imprisonment for a period not less than five years not exceeding 20 years.

The offence of unlawful importation of Fire Arms by the Avant Guarde Maritime Services, falls into the ambit of the said offence of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Possession of unlicensed weapons in violation of the Firearms Ordinance

According to Section 22 (1) of the Firearms Ordinance, “No person shall have in his custody, or possess or use, any gun, unless he shall hold a licence therefor in accordance with this Ordinance”.

Section 23(1) thereof states that “Every person desiring to obtain a gun licence shall, within ten days of his having obtained possession of the gun in respect of which the licence is desired, make application, either personally or in writing, in the form L in Schedule A, to the licensing authority, specifying-

(a) his name and address ;

(b) The number and description of the gun for which the licence is desired ; and shall, if required, produce such gun before the licensing authority for inspection”.

The Avant Guarde Maritime Services had not complied with the above provision.

No license or permit has been issued to the Avant Guarde Maritime Services under the Firearms Ordinance to possess guns that was found in their custody. Accordingly a prima facie case is established under the above provisions against,

(1) Nissanka Senadhipathy – Chairman Avant Guarde Maritime Services and

(2) Manjulakumara Yapa – Director Avant Guarde Maritime Services,

for possession of firearms without a licence and a prima facie case is established against

(1) Gotabhaya Rajapakse – Secretary, Ministry of Defence

(2) Mrs . D.M.S. Jayaratne Addl. Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(3) Major General Palitha Fernando (Rtd.) – Director Chairman Raknalanka Military Liaisons Officer

For conspiracy and aiding abetting the above mention accused to commit the said offence.

Importation and Possession of unlicensed ammunition, violating the Explosives Ordinance

According to Section 8(1) of the Explosive Ordinance

No person, other than a licensee or permittee who is authorized by his licence or permit to do so, shall import any explosive.

In terms of section 9(2) No person shall except under the authority of licence import, possess or use any explosives for any purpose….

No license or permit has been issued to the Avant Guarde Maritime Services under the Explosives Ordinance to possess ammuntion that was found in their possession . Accordingly a prima facie case is established under the above offeces against,

(1) Nissanka Senadhipathy – Chairman Avant Guarde Maritime Services and

(2) Manjulakumara Yapa – Director Avant Guarde Maritime Services,

for exportation and possession of explosives without a licence to and a prima facie case is established against

(1) Gotabhaya Rajapakse – Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(2) Mrs . D.M.S. Jayaratne Addl. Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(3) Major General Palitha Fernando (Rtd.) – Director Chairman Raknalanka Military Liaisons Officer

for conspiracy and aiding abetting the above mention accused to commit the said offence.

It is further recommended to launch an investigation into the assets of the above mentioned suspects under the ‘Money Laundering Act’

Section 3. (1) of the ‘Money Laundering Act’ is to the effect that any person, who (a) engages directly or indirectly in any transaction in relation to any property which is derived or realised, directly or indirectly, from any unlawful activity, shall be guilty of the offence of money laundering.

The act defines “unlawful activity” as meaning any act which constitutes an offence under — (b) any law or regulation for the time being in force relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism; (d) the Firearms Ordinance (Chapter 182), the Explosives or the Offensive Weapons Act, No. 18 of 1966.

Recommendations

I am of the view that a strong prima facie case has been established against the said five suspects, and that they should be indicted under the above discussed provisions of law.

If you agree with my recommendation, as the first step I recommend, that the CID be directed to arrest and produce before the magistrate the five suspects namely,

(1) Nissanka Senadhipathy – Chairman Avant Guarde Maritime Services and

(2) Manjulakumara Yapa – Director Avant Guarde Maritime Services,

(3) Gotabhaya Rajapakse – Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(4) Mrs . D.M.S. Jayaratne Addl. Secretary , Ministry of Defence

(5) Major General Palitha Fernando (Rtd.) – Director Chairman Raknalanka Military Liaisons Officer’

for the committing the offences of ,

1.Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to Sri Lanka 9( Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Fire Arms Ordinance)

2 Possession of Fire Arms and ammunition without valid licenses. (Under the Fire Arms Ordinance and Explosives Ordinance)

3. Conspiracy, aiding and abetting to commit the above offences.

It is further recommended to seek an order to cease all the illegal business operations of the Avant Guarde Maritime Services relating to the floating armory forthwith, and hand over the weapons and ammunitions stored therein, and in their possession to the Sri Lankan navy directing them to continue with the business of supplying arms and ammunitions to the merchant vessels.

Wasantha Navaratne Bandara
ASG

Related posts;

Exclusive: Ranil Prevents Gota Arrest

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Latest comments

  • 17
    4

    Most of the sensitive information at AG Dept is passed onto MR clan by the son of Nihal Jayasinghe. Jayasinghe is MR’s right hand man.

    Jayasinghe is behind all the judicial decisions given in favour of MR. To show his gratitude, MR sent him as High Commissioner to London which became a astonishing disaster for Sri Lanka.

  • 20
    2

    Why hurry folks. Your emotions can be understood, but diplomacy that is more needed at this hour which, most of you are very well aware of. Thugs, hooligans and thiefs know when time is not in their favor, they always plot scandals by spreading reumours and create utter chaos and unrest among unsuspecting public in the country to protect their interests by hiring criminals, anti social elements using the illegal money already robed and looted of our country which is in the reserve to the extent of SIX BILLION USA $, which is very well known to RW and may be waiting for the correct time. Not to make blunders as in the past.
    Most success stories of the great nations and achievers are the outcome of doing things in correct time, correct place and with correct coalition, which is evident by the world historical events such as the defeat of Great warrior Napoleon Bonaparte, General Nelson etc. Also the good historian RW is quite aware of these truths more than anyone else. SRILANKANS ARE NOT ANYMORE UNFORTUNTE VICTIMS TO GET TRPPED BY UNHOLY ELEMENTS. BE SURE OF THIS AND WAIT FOR THE DAY FOR THE GOOD NEWS OF DESTRUCTION OF THE MARAS IN A BUNDLE.
    Gowdilya.

  • 6
    3

    What is Ranil the [Edited out] doing? He is either corrupt in his thinking wanting to take political advantage at different times OR he is inefficient in his work!
    You want transparency, access to media and social networks! In this day and age don’t ever think everyone is naive, blind, dumb or deaf other than you who feels to be the smartest guy! I hope you don’t feel like the post turtle! http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_turtle

  • 5
    12

    He He He Tamils can sit and watch the circus ……………..

    Soon RW will say to UN we can’t prosecute Muderpakse & Dogabaya…….

    Cheers…..

    • 2
      11

      You bloody fool Cholan. There will be rioting if GR is imprisoned maybe even a military coup. GR will never be jailed. You buggers will be crying in the end..as usual.

      • 12
        1

        Taraki

        “GR will never be jailed. “

        Many believed SadDamed, Muammar Gaddafi, Thiruvengadam Vellupillai Prabaharan, Rohana Wijeyweera …………….. Nicolae Ceaușescu wouldn’t surrender.

      • 1
        1

        Defeating the Tigers is not an excuse to rob the poor tax payers money.GR should be arrested and if found guilty of corruption he should be sent to jail for all his misdeeds.

  • 0
    3

    1.Unauthorized Importation of Fire Arms to Sri Lanka ( Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Fire Arms Ordinance)

    But he would argue he was fighting the very terrorism

  • 7
    2

    Arrest Ranil, he supports God..A. May b this is part of the deal Ranil made with MR on the 8th jan

  • 5
    0

    Is this a red herring? Surely, there are other more serious crimes committed by the clan.

  • 3
    0

    Present government is playing with the fire.Rajapaksa’s are no gentlemen at all.Delaying in taking legal actions against those culprits may cost heavily to all. MR and his clans are well aware that they would have no escape unless get power back and may not care to do any immoral act to achieve their objectives.MS or RW is no match to Rajapaksas and if the things goes in such a way,the victory on 8th may reverse and many would have to scarify their lives due to unwise decision of rulers.

  • 5
    0

    If the A.G. has recommended to take them to custody no one should stop it and anyone trying to do so should be exposed and people should not vote for that person

  • 4
    7

    RW is one sleepy inefficient Politician. It showed in the Elections. The very reason UNP could not put his name up for nominations. The faster he leaves the political arena the better it will be.

  • 8
    0

    Why delaying now 100 day over. not a single corrupted person punished.

  • 2
    1

    Ranil is playing a political game. Let us hope that he is correct – that Ansar is right.

  • 6
    3

    Rules are there to be broken. Avant Garde may have broken rules but it did not hurt the country.
    Arjuma Mahendran broke the rule and it hurt the Country $ 338m but he has reported for work entering through the back door.

    Avant Garde matter went to the AG, Arjuna Mahendran’s matter went some unknown UNP Lawyers?
    Where is that Alsation former President of BASL who had the loudest bark?

    POT SHOT – Anura Kumar has pittu in his mouth. JVP is dead.

    • 2
      1

      Hey good comment – I was about to ask the same Q

    • 2
      1

      One more thing – Loud barking former BASL boss was appointed as a Chairman of somewhere – Yahapalanaya rewarded him for his licking work and you will not hear him anymore

  • 4
    0

    thondamannar

    “Anura Kumar has pittu in his mouth. JVP is dead.”

    Pittu in his mouth is better than sitting on the brain.

  • 2
    0

    “They had supplied arms and ammunition to the merchant ships to get protection against sea pirates, a transaction previously handled by the Sri Lankan navy. The whole process seems to have been done with the ulterior motive of handing over a massively profitable business previously done by the Sri Lankan Navy to the private company by the name of Avant Garde Maritime Services without, adhering to any transparent tender or other procedures.”

    How can the above piece of writing be true – Anywhere in the world Navy do not engage in these kind of business – which is usually handle by Private companies through their representative Agents in that particular country –

    For example – If shipping line needs Pirate protection when their ships are sailing via Pirate infested seas – Shipping line request guards from a company engage in this business and that company provide Armed Guards with weapons from their storages (sometimes located offshore) – it is the shipping line which is responsible for providing necessary clearance and other travel expenses and safety gear for these guards – when the ship reached the destination port and inward cleared, the Navy officer board the ship and take over the Arms from the Guards and sign them off from the ship and Guards are flown back to their base – until the ship is outward cleared the Weapons remains in the custody of Navy and when the guards returns for the return journey of the ship Navy handover the weapons back to them inside the ship – the entire process is handled either by Agents of the shipping line or by Agents appointed by company which provides guards – This is actually very legal operation and I have not heard a Navy of a country engaging in these kind of business – Of course it is a lucrative business and I have heard lot of shipping lines prefer SL Army trained guards as they suppose to be courages no nonsense ones –

  • 2
    0

    A fifth charge should be added before he is arrested.That is what is the financial cost to the country when a previously navy owned business starts to be run by a private company presumably using assets that are owned by the government.did they pay for the assets ao lease them?What was the financial cost to the country due to the transfer of the business from the navy to Avant garde and the income lost to the navy.

    No point in hauling a guy up on these charges when the people may be more interested in the financial aspects.Of course national security matters also must be looked at and a further charge of endangering the security of the country brought about because who knows this may have been a plan to have weapons in the hands of people other than the armed forces,to be ready for a coup etc.

    So these things must be properly explained to the people by framing charges that they can understand to be serious and not a witch hunt.

    Why aren’t the charges of financial misappropriation and endangering national security being made by the attorney general.Is he a mole?

  • 1
    2

    This rascal Ranil should be arrested inediately for aiding and abetting a crime.
    So long as this rascal is the Prime Minister, none of the Rajapakses will be arrested mor imprisoned. There is a sinister motive here. President Sirisena you should look into the matter and take necessary action. First fire the rascal otherwise your head will fall one day. Ranil is playing a dangerous game, do not trust him. He will be the cause of your downfall. You were elected to clean up the mess and this rascal is in your way. The sooner you get rid of him the better.

  • 0
    2

    Ranil is the most inefficient scheming Politian in S/L. If he is honest,he should have contested the recent presidential elections as the leader of Conservative party, intead he became the P/M through the
    back door. MR as former president behaved in this disgusting way because of the weak opposition leadership, of course MR looked after Ranil well and now Ranil is returning the favours by preventing legal actions against MR clan. If our present Presint is clever he should use his authority to control Ranil and people of S/L must use their voting power to get rid of Ranil A.S.A.P. for the betterment of S/L’

  • 1
    2

    Ranil is the most inefficient scheming Politian in S/L. If he is honest,he should have contested the recent presidential elections as the leader of Conservative party, intead he became the P/M through the
    back door. MR as former president behaved in this disgusting way because of the weak opposition leadership, of course MR looked after Ranil well and now Ranil is returning the favours by preventing legal actions against MR clan. If our present Presint is clever he should use his authority to control Ranil and people of S/L must use their voting power to get rid of Ranil A.S.A.P. for the betterment of S/L’
    L.P

  • 1
    1

    Ranil has no business to interfere in the decisions given by the AG if there is Yahapalanaya. Gota has done something wrong . He should be indicted along with the other offenders. Let the law tke its own course

  • 0
    2

    Ranil has no business to interfere in the decisions given by the AG if there is Yahapalanaya. Gota has done something wrong . He should be indicted along with the other offenders. Let the law take its own course

  • 4
    1

    If ordinary Appuhamy is caught
    with a Galkatas in Galenbindunuwewa,
    he is produced before Courts and
    remanded. There is NO bail for
    those who possess weapons without
    a licence.

    In the case of Gotabaya Rajapaksa
    it is a different story. Damayanthi
    Jayaratne who would have been an
    accused in this case was allowed to
    escape to New Zealand. The man who’
    let her go, Defence Secretary Basnayake
    is still in office.

    Ranil Wickremesinghe has gone for lunches
    and dinners at Nissanka Senadipathi’s house
    accompanied by Tilak Marapana. What the SLFP
    MPs allege is correct. Ranil is controlling
    the investigations to protect Mahinda Rajapaksa
    and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He does not want anything
    done to them.

    The backdoor Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has
    let his own party and the people of this country
    down. If the voters elect him again, they are
    fools and cannot blame anyone else.

    Duminda Silva was let off because Sudath Chandrasekera
    Ranil’s private secretary is a close friend. So what
    do you expect? Yahapalanaya?

  • 4
    0

    Who says Ranil Wickremesinghe is not corrupt. If Mahinda
    Rajapaksa can be charged for bribery for giving Tissa
    Attanayake the Health portfolion, Ranil can also be
    charged for allowing Arjuna Mahendran, Central Bank
    Governor to plunder state money. Ranil’s hands are not
    that clean as people try to make out. They are as dirtier
    as the others who are now being investigate. Ask Malik
    Samarawickrema. He know is but will not tell it.

    • 0
      2

      This rascal Ranil should be arrested immediately for aiding and abetting a crime. So long as this rascal is the Prime Minister, none of the Rajapakses will be arrested or imprisoned.

      Ranil saved these Gangs on January 08 and still Ranil is resisting to arrest all these Goons who robbed the poor Sri Lankans money.

  • 1
    0

    Ranil Wickremesinghe’s biggest weakness is the fact that
    he is a very devious manipulator. The man works against
    himself and his party in the process. Little wonder, there
    is no public acceptance for him. He can do all the things
    after coming through the backdoor. He will never be an
    elected PM or for that matter a President.

  • 3
    3

    I cannot wait to see this criminal being arrested and tried for the murder of Lasantha and many others. This scoundrel should simply rot in hell.

    • 3
      0

      A SUPER HELL SHOULD BE CREATED FOR ALL THESE RAJAPAKSE GOONS WHO ROBBED THE SRI LANKAN TAX PAYERS. THESE CRIMMINALS ARE ROAMING THE COUNTRY PRAYING AT TEMPLES AND KOVILS WITH THE BLESSINGS OF RANIL.

  • 1
    1

    FAT TERRORIST dead…….BLAME Mahinda & Gotabaya Rajapaksas………….

  • 0
    1

    Weeping Tamil Diaspora Boys,

    ***FAT TERRORIST SUN GOAT is dead…BLAME Hon. Mahinda and GotaRajapaksas ***

    Also, learn to move on….[Edited out]…..

    .

    .
    Loitering here in Sinhala Names show you’re a[Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    So, Ct only had access to AG’s report; so, Ranil had the authority to order the AG and the crimes investigation department which is now directly under Ranil , and not the IGP.
    When Ranil ordered the arrest of tens of MPs and hundreds of government officials with out a pima fascia case and remanded them in custody at his will, you the mst traitorous media site of this country reveal your true colours- Ranil can dictate to AG and other law enforcement authorities who should be arrested and who should be not. The cat is finally out of the bag.
    You shameless purveyors of the propaganda of lies and utter lies.
    The day of r your eckoning not far away.

  • 0
    0

    IF this goes to courts Attorney General Should be sued.

  • 0
    0

    The supreme court has postponed further hearing of the complaint by Gotabaya about the legality of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division, till October 6th, thus also preventing his arrest until October 6th.
    One of the three judges appointed to hear the case has declined, on personal grounds.
    Why Such A Long Date?
    Justice delayed is justice denied – not only for Gota, but the citizens of Sri Lanka, whose wealth was squandered by the alleged illegal enterprises headed by Gota.

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