Ever since he lied to journalists at the last Cabinet Press Briefing he attended on the 16th of August 2017, Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara has now refrained from attending eight consecutive weekly Press Briefings.
During his last appearance Police Spokesman Gunasekara denied all accusations made against IGP Pujith Jayasundara‘s widely publicized video footage seen by millions in the country and also globally of his assault of a fellow police staffer and lift operator. He then went on to lie to journalists present that no official complaint had been made against IGP Jayasundara even up until the morning of that particular Press Briefing.
However sources close to ASP Gunasekara said, it was IGP Jaysundara who had advised him to duck the weekly Cabinet Press Briefings.
In an incident that had taken place earlier on 11 April 2017, IGP Pujith Jayasundara had assaulted a fellow police staffer and lift operator by the name of Abeykoon Mudiyansalage Samarakone Banda. It is reported that the IGP had been incensed that the said lift operator had not attended a meditation program he had made compulsory for all staff in the morning.
In the same video, which went viral on social media, IGP Jayasundara was also caught threatening to rape a fellow police staff receptionist. Incidentally this particular video which went viral on many social and news media platforms on the 14th of August 2017, was two days prior to Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasena’s last appearance at a Cabinet Press Briefing.
However on the 26th of August 2017, social media published the official letter of complaint that the victim Abeykoon Mudiyansalage Samarakone Banda had made to the Speaker of Parliament.
His Letter dated the 7th of June 2017, further proved that Police Spokesman Gunasekara had lied earlier and misled the media.
In the published news article on social media it confirmed that the victim Abeykoon Mudiyansalage Samarakone Banda had on the day of the incident first complained to his DIG Ravi Seneviratne in charge of the CID. As no inquiry was conducted into his complaint he was compelled to officially write to the Speaker of Parliament with a copy sent to the Police Commission.
Sources close to the Speaker’s Office told Colombo Telegraph that the official complaint made by Abeykoon Mudiyansalage Samarakone Banda was authentic.
Meanwhile with several questions yet to be asked regarding the IGP Pujith Jayasundara’s assault charge, journalists of many media institutions have been left perplexed, as to the sudden disappearance and non-attendance of Police Spokesman Gunasekara at the weekly Cabinet Press Briefings.
The Cabinet Press Briefings are traditionally attended every Wednesday by Government Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne, other Cabinet Ministers and Spokesmen representing the Military, Army and Police.
Meanwhile whilst the IGP Pujith Jayasundara’s video captured assault of a fellow police staff member has gone unpunished, it has set a bad precedent for other ranking police officers below him to follow suit.
During the past few weeks police brutality against the public of Sri Lanka has seen a sudden rise.
Several cases besides being reported have also been captured on video proving that those police officers who are supposed to maintain law and order, are the very offenders who now go on to break the law.
The bashing of protesting SAITM youth with iron bars on the 10th of October 2017, the excessive police force used against a peaceful public protest at Hambantota Town on 6th of October 2017 and the video footage capture of Superintendent of Police I.T. Daluwatte slapping Journalist Susantha Bandara Karunarathna across his left ear and the extra-judicial attempt to kill Jayalath Pedige Udaya Samantha Sooriyakumara by police officers when he was walking along with his mother in Veyangoda on the 15th of August 2017, are a few incidents of police brutality reported recently. (By Manishka Unantenne)