Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s regime has demonstrated a pattern of rewarding murderers and providing those found guilty of the most serious crimes with presidential protection, former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale said in a statement condemning the release of murder convict on death row, Duminda Silva.
Athukorale said that while the pardon might have shocked those who trusted the Government, it comes as no surprise to those who knew their attitude towards “protecting” murderers.
“Duminda Silva’s death sentence was unanimously upheld by a bench of five Supreme Court Justices. Beginning with the pardon of child killer Sunil Ratnayake, this regime has demonstrated a pattern of rewarding murderers while punishing police officers who have the courage to investigate murders committed by powerful or politically connected people,” Athukorale noted in a hard-hitting statement.
She said that last week, in in granting bail to former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekara, the Court of Appeal found that the government fabricated false evidence and false statements and used draconian laws without a shred of evidence to punish independent professional police officers who refuse to bow to them.
“Today, those found guilty of the most serious crimes in our law enjoy presidential protection while the judges and police officers who brought them to justice have targets on their backs,” the former Justice Minister charged.
“If any harm were to befall them, this government will be held entirely responsible.”
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to pardon murderer Duminda Silva has been a long time coming. The Government has come in for swift condemnation from all quarters, domestically and internationally for undermining the rule of law with Silva’s release.
We welcome the early release of PTA prisoners, but the pardon of Duminda Silva, whose conviction the Supreme Court upheld in 2018, undermines rule of law. Accountability and equal access to justice are fundamental to the UN SDGs to which the GoSL has committed.
— Ambassador Teplitz (@USAmbSLM) June 24, 2021
Silva was convicted of murder by a High Court Trial at Bar and the conviction was upheld by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court.
Full Statement by SJB MP and former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale
The presidential pardon granted to convicted murderer Duminda Silva, may have shocked those who trusted this government, but it comes as no surprise to those of us who knew their attitude towards protecting murderers and punishing those who investigated them. Duminda Silva’s death sentence was unanimously upheld by a bench of five Supreme Court Justices. Beginning with the pardon of child killer Sunil Ratnayake, this regime has demonstrated a pattern of rewarding murderers while punishing police officers who have the courage to investigate murders committed by powerful or politically connected people.
Last week, in granting bail to former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekara, the Court of Appeal found that the government fabricated false evidence and false statements and used draconian laws without a shred of evidence to punish independent professional police officers who refuse to bow to them. That judgment gave people reason to hope that there are still independent, law abiding civil servants and members of the judiciary with a backbone who will not bow down to the executive or bend the criminal justice system and other state machinery to their whim and fancy.
Today, those found guilty of the most serious crimes in our law enjoy presidential protection while the judges and police officers who brought them to justice have targets on their backs. If any harm were to befall them, this government will be held entirely responsible. It is up to those remaining professional police officers and civil servants to remember that Sri Lanka is not a monarchy, to ignore coercion by the executive and to place the lives of these upstanding judges and police officers before whatever threats or inducements may be offered to them for looking the other way.
Ajay / June 25, 2021
Gota feels a special kinship to the murderous Mafiosos. That’s why he keeps invoking organized religion and family loyalties.
leelagemalli / July 1, 2021
To whom it may concern..
Please listen watch video below. That ballige putha Paddeniya invovles also in ORGANIC Manure issue… even if the bugger has not the least knowledge about the statistics and facts based on AGRICULTURE:
Dr Nananyakkara is believed to be a good and uncorrupted politicians to my best of knoweldge. I respect the guy nor matter he is SJB or UNP…. I always his competence. But we cant see it in the profiles of PADDENIYA the man who would live up on the ASUCHI of Rajapakhes. He shoudl better go to the areas where he could have the competencies…. I guess he should be a neuro surgeon or someone like that… but ABUSIVE Dilith Jayweeras s abusive channel invite to anyone one ….. to their programs.
We perfectly know no country also in developed world have achieved their targets by introducing – organic manure instead of inorganic fertilizers. …. best practicable way is to use both… but not exceeding the levels….. in srilanka Rajapakshes ballige puthas had let any business men to import even banned agro chemicals over the last 2 decades.
Champa / June 25, 2021
Gotabhaya has released is buddy Dumind Silva along with 16 hardcore LTTE terrorists.
This combination is not good.
Duminda Silva has operated a secret murder ring some time ago and the Rajapaksas has cut a deal with the LTTE diaspora. And I heard that some hardcore criminals in Boosa have made an unusual request to observe Sil today. Who knows, after the Sil pavarana ceremony, there could be an arrangement for duplicates to take their places.
What is Gotabhaya upto?
I think Gotabhaya is planning to revive LTTE to instil fear in the Sinhalese people. He tried the same in 2019 with Muslim terrorists but failed as the Rajapaksas couldn’t provoke Sinhalese to attack Muslims in the aftermath of the Easter attack.
We are in a danger zone. There will be a sudden escalation of crimes and minor terrorist activities and by the time the next election is due, there will be a reign of terror.
The Rajapaksas are not only unpopular, they are now utterly hated. Gotabhaya will do anything and everything to stay in power. I feel that the Rajapaksas will make another attempt to destroy Buddhism. If the Tripitaka Bill is passed, it is the beginning of the end of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
What can we do? Let’s “wake up Rawana”.
Ashan / June 25, 2021
We are getting more and more like a version of Zimbabwe, where a strong man was in power, and his administration was full of cronies, felons, corrupt officials, including judges, military, police, and family members. How many more murderers will this disgusting man be releasing? He is not only setting the wrong example for the country, but he is also signaling that criminals can commit crimes, and they will be pardoned and released into society, at his will. We have a bunch of crooks, liars, and murderers surrounding this regime and it seem we are seeing the gradual eroding of our laws and the constitution, by the Rajapaksa’s, who once again are acting like dictators in this country.
No wonder the UN, Human Rights agencies, and others keep condemning us. We are a pariah nation.
Noel / June 25, 2021
Happy to hear Shani released but not happy about Duminda being released, says much about the people in power.
Rajash / June 25, 2021
A murderer rewarding another murderer…..
Good Sense / June 25, 2021
The focus of this article is a pardoning of a convict depicted as an affront to the rule of law. To be fair, there is a clear distinction of the two. It is the unfettered discretion of the head of state, not the head of government, to pardon a convict in various forms, such as a reduction in sentence, further reduction of sentence and even a full pardon, deeming that the conviction has never taken place. It is the full pardon that can conflict with the implementation of the rule of law and is a rarity. On the contrary if it is established that a mockery was committed in the name of the rule of law in convicting a person then a full pardon is given. On the advice of the then Prime Minister JR Jayawardene, President Gopallawa accorded a full pardon to all persons convicted by the Criminal Justice Commissions on grounds that such Commissions were not a part of the usual “Courts System”. The reduction of sentence, say from commuting a death sentence to a life imprisonment and further reduction of sentence, including a release on an amnesty are no full pardons.
Good Sense / June 25, 2021
There are controversial circumstances in pardoning, the famous one is that of a person convicted of raping a damsel. He was given a full pardon enabling to be a Justice of Peace and it is alleged that he was a part of the prison mob that killed prisoners on an ethnic basis in the black July of 1983. It is well known that he caused the admission of children to well-known schools for money. The ground for that pardon is a mystery because in the name of Executive Presidency a political party man can be the President of the country and undesirable affiliations can creep into the process of pardoning. From 1948 till the abolition of the Senate, the justice minister was a Senator, to prevent bad advice reaching the Governor General, particularly on pardoning of convicts. Since then, controversial pardons took place involving reduction of sentences, some unusual, where the death sentence is commuted to life imprisonment and thereafter releasing on a general amnesty on account of the International Women’s Day. One notable case was a person was pardoned even before the case was heard thereby there was no conviction. Decency should prevail in pardoning convicts.
chiv / June 25, 2021
As expected a year of virtuous discipline low and odor series have come to an end. Time for Hirunika to go to U.S and file a case. Poson special for SB.
chiv / June 25, 2021
Someone should remind Gotha he has 3 or more years to go. Gotha is in super speed fulfilling promises made to SB 1 ) all criminal and corruption cases are closed. 2 ) Dumina , Sunil pardoned. Ranjan is inside prison. Many unwanted elements encountered and now we are virtuous
, lawful and disciplined nation. 3 ) PC handed over to China 4) Covid almost eradicated to single digits 5 ) Security ensured by military appointments 6 ) extremism is over now that Hizbullah and others are in prison 7) Easter cases closed.8) PC has brought prosperity with splendor. Billions of currency printed as well borrowed and we are now a rich nation. 9 ) Being part of China has elevated us to developed super power soon going to be number 1 GDP nation.
chiv / June 25, 2021
Please add this to above list. Achievement 10 ) Basil will soon return as a new avatar “minister of finance and economic development”. Initially SB wanted outsider Gotha to fix the broken system/nation. But soon all the old timers returned back and it’s business as usual. Now Gotha is the only outsider.
RohanaW / June 25, 2021
Gota Has Demonstrated Pattern Of Rewarding Murderers: Thalatha
Have you forgotten your Pattern during 2015-2019? You and your Party let all the criminals to avoid court proceedings? Those criminals are now running the country. So you all are responsible for what they are doing now.
leelagemalli / June 25, 2021
If Kudu dumiya Aka Duminda Silva deserves free from death penalty what about all those others with similar charges in prisons for ages?
Rajapakses returned to power not to serve the people but to get to free from their crime investigations and let their criminal s be free from prison s..
One country one law for Gota s henchmen..
. Let s all support JVP NPP in order to get all these me punished ! Then only we can see serving justice.
Raj-UK / June 25, 2021
What a joke but it was in the cards & a matter of time. It was a fight between two drug dealing thugs & one got bumped off, so I am not outraged, nevertheless, this is a blatant abuse of power & total disregard for law & justice. This act confirms the green light for cronies to commit even murder without impunity. Its the law of the jungle in SL but even predators in the jungle are more disciplined & only hunt when needed, not because they can.
The next to be released (not pardoned) due to ‘wrongful detention by fabricated evidence’ will be the hit man, Vaas Gunawardana, who will take over GR’s hit squad & the days will be numbered for honest cops like Shani. In fact, I won’t be surprised if Vaas Gunawardana will even be compensated for wrongful arrest. Are the citizens in SL still in deep slumber? Anyway, nothing much can be done about it, the genii is out of the bottle & its not going to be easy to put it back.
Goraka / June 25, 2021
Welcome to Sri Lanka – we are Buddhists. We are even compassionate to murderers. (except we don’t like people who does not wear masks – we jail them, they are bad, bad people)
CK / June 25, 2021
If there is No law & order, then ….
Whimpy Kid / June 27, 2021
What has Batalanda Ranil has to say about this?
Only brave women like Mrs Athukorala care about the country, and justice.
No leadership or political will on the part of Men in changing this pathetic situation in Sri lanka except
few genlemen like Mr Sumanthiran.
MyView / June 30, 2021
….Only brave women like Mrs Athukorala care about the country, and justice…….
But was she sleeping when mad sira pardoned Jude Jayamaha who murdered that Swedish girl by brutal means?
Yes there were bad decisions by Presidents but it had abated till mad sira did it recently.
Thiha / June 29, 2021
Has it not occured to anyone why Gotler released this vermin. Maybe he is infatuated with the guy. In other words Dumiya is Nande’s gal kolla you think? This is exacly what you would have said if RW was president and did this.