21 September, 2019

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Rape Suspect Of A 15 Year-Old Girl Released Without Proper Investigation

Despite the family members of sexually abused 15-year-old girl filing a complaint with the Maskeliya Police Station, the case has not been properly investigated. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) the alleged suspect, who comes from a wealthy family, was simply released. He had appeared before a Magistrate without considering medical reports from two hospitals where the victim was treated. The victim’s family says that because they are very poor, the police have not given them proper attention in their quest for justice. This case clearly illustrates the collapse of the rule of law in the country, says the AHRC.

IGP Pujith Jayasundara

CASE NARRTIVE:

According to information received, Ms. X (not her real name), is a 15 year old girl of XXX Watte, Maskeliya, in Nuwara Eliya District. She is a student in year 11, who is preparing to sit for the GCE O/L exam in 2017 at XXX Tamil School, Maskeliya in Nuwara Eliya District. Ms. X was living with her mother who is employed at the Poultry farm in Norton Bridge. Ms. X has sisters. They are deprived. The mother is the breadwinner of the family and is chronically ill herself.

On 25th February 2017 Ms. X went to the forest close to the roadside to collect some firewood. As she was returning, a person named XXX (55), and living in the same village, dragged her to the back of the shop where he was working. The owner and other customers were not present at the time of the incident. She was afraid, started screaming for help, but no one heard her cries. Though she struggled to run away from the shop, she was not able to do so.

Then the suspect took Ms. X to the kitchen of the grocery shop. She was forced to lie on a bench. Her clothes were removed and she was sexually abused. With difficulty, she was able to escape to her house. She immediately told everything to her mother who was too sick to go to the police to file a report on the same day. When Ms. X went to school on the 3rd March 2017, she told friends what had happened to her. They reported this to the teachers and to the principal who reported the incident to the Maskeliya Police Station. Police officers came to the school and took Ms. X and her mother. Following their recorded statements, the police arrested the suspect.

Ms. X was admitted to the Maskeliya Government Hospital. On XXX March 2017 she was transferred to the Nuwara- Eliya General Hospital and admitted to Ward XXX, being discharged on XXX March.

Later, the victim’s family learned that the police had produced the suspect before the Hatton Magistrate. According to the mother, even before her daughter was released from the hospital, the suspect XXX was released by the Hatton Magistrate. The victim stated that the police did not properly investigate her case. All the evidence pertaining to the crime was not properly, timely and scientifically collected and recorded. The police did not pick up the medical reports from the two hospitals. As a result, the Hatton Magistrate was not provided with sufficient evidence for his enquiries into the case.

The victim’s mother states that the suspect is rich and has given a good deal of money to the police. Nor have the police produced any authentic evidence to support her daughter’s case. So, the suspect was released on bail. She said that she is very poor and illiterate and did not understand the procedural steps of the legal system. The case has been postponed to 3 May 2017.

The victim and her family members stated that the police have not properly investigated the crime. Rather, they have acted to protect the suspect of this heinous crime, using the country’s criminal law system.

They are demanding justice. They are asking for a prompt, effective, impartial, and independent investigation into the crime.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

AHRC has urged readers to write to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Request an immediate inquiry into the allegations of not investigating the crime of sexual abuse by the police. Demand prosecution of those proven to be responsible under our criminal law system. All officers involved should be subject to internal investigations for breach of Police Departmental Orders.

The AHRC will also write a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and the Chairman of the UN Child Rights Committee in this regard.

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Pujith Jayasundara
Inspector General of Police
New Secretariat
Colombo 1
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
E-mail: igp@police.lk

2. Mr. Jayantha Jayasooriya PC
Attorney General
Attorney General’s Department
Colombo 12
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 436421
E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

3. Secretary
National Police Commission
3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers
109 Galle Road
Colombo 03
SRI LANKA
Tel: +94 11 2 395310
Fax: +94 11 2 395867
E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk

4. Secretary
Human Rights Commission
No. 36, Kynsey Road
Colombo 8
SRI LANKA
Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806
Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470
E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

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Latest comments

  • 42
    0

    According to this report: “… Hatton Magistrate was not provided with sufficient evidence…..”. What is the Magistrate’s role in a case like this? Shouldn’t he (the Magistrate) call for relevant records, such as the complaint, the Police Investigation records; the whereabouts of the victim, if any Medical Reports have been obtained etc. before the accused is discharged? If the Magistrate did not act responsibly in the discharge of his duties, he must be reported to the Judicial Service Commission. That is where and how Civil Societies must work. Hopefully, at least media reporting will bring some relief to the innocent victim.

    • 20
      1

      It is not the Police who have bungled according to the report here.

      If they have produced the suspect before a magistrate and with a “B Report”, then it is the prerogative of the Magistrate, what further action is taken.

      An investigation by the Judicial Commission could shed some light.

    • 30
      1

      Women’s groups and NGOs in Sri Lanka should step in and help this girl and her family so should UNICEF and other UN agencies.

    • 20
      0

      Sri Lanka’s corrupt and incompetent judiciary at its best. These guys cannot handle a simple rape case where there is no pressure from media, politicians or international community but they say they can competent enough to deal with war crimes with all the attention from every corner.

      GL was Prof. of Law now we see the results. :)

    • 0
      2

      magistrate must be building a new house.

  • 17
    0

    CT – You have got the most appropriate pose of a lady to suit the complaint !! Congratulations.

    • 15
      0

      Funny, but utterly male chauvinist.

      I am no legal expert. But I there are legal means by which the offender could be rearrested based on a private complain on behalf of the victim.
      Even better if mass protests of the kind launched in other parts of the country against child molestation are organized. Those have worked on several occasions.

  • 15
    1

    No point in writing to any of the persons/bodies listed above.
    Am sure they read Colombo Telegraph, or, would have heard of this post, and if they are true to their conscience, duties and functions, they should commence investigations.
    The Minister of Justice should make inquiries via the Judicial Services Commission.

    But, I don’t think anything will happen.
    In Sri Lanka, “justice” is for the affluent – monetarily/politically – and not for the poor citizen.

    P.S There have been many posts like this earlier by the AHRC, and there have been no reports of action taken on/about them

    • 8
      0

      I suggest that AHRC for once catalouges all the Rape Cases they have ardently Reported on and the
      results as at date, for the benefit of the SL reading public and of course the Ministers in charge of this subject..

      • 2
        0

        punchinilame
        What will you do with the catalogue/dossier on SL rape cases?

    • 4
      0

      P.S
      In the old days, there was an officer in each ministry designated to bring to the notice of the Minister, reports/news in media about the functions of the ministry.
      This duty should now be delegated to an officer(s) fluent in all three languages.

  • 16
    1

    Our IGP would have released the suspect on the basis of just a telephone call.He is a super efficient guy you know!Please call him if you are ever in trouble or wish to put some one in trouble.Afterl all he is the only IGP who by his own admission got his job after paying Pooja at the Gangaramaya temple by making offerings at 3:00 AM daily!!!

  • 1
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 10
    1

    Now this incident has come to the attention of IGP would be very interesting to see his reaction to this matter and further policing of police matters in his charge.

  • 7
    2

    Wait for 2 more years….

  • 9
    4

    What do you expect from a nation that uses rape as a foreign policy to subjugate the Tamil nation?

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 9
    0

    I hope and pray that this girl gets justice and not just that the psychological scars will heal too

    I hope all those fellows who shout and close roads due to various demos from anti SAITM to JO jokers should instead look at issues like these that is curse on our land

  • 14
    0

    Lawyers please appear free on behalf of this poor girl. Let her live in peace.

  • 10
    0

    This is crime against humanity. You cannot get justice in Sri Lanka even after 1000 years pass. Look at the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka said few days back at Royal College in Colombo to a reporter. The reporter asked “what is your future ambition” The Prime minister answer was “stay in Power”. Instead of doing best possible things to the country and to the people. The dumb answer he gave is stay in power. If the prime minister, the leader of the pack is like this and where do you get justice in Sri Lanka. If there is a GOD I pray that girl must get justice.

  • 8
    1

    Where is the guy, the publicity-seeking, loquacious Minister Mano Ganesan. Do you hear me Sir?

  • 1
    2

    AHRC,

    “According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) the alleged suspect, who comes from a wealthy family, was simply released. He had appeared before a Magistrate without considering medical reports from two hospitals where the victim was treated.”

    Why should the suspect have considered the medical reports before a Magistrate? There were no reports anyway.

    “The owner and other customers were not present at the time of the incident.”

    What other customers? Were there any customers? Was the victim not alone with the suspect?

    The sexual abuse allegedly occurred on 25th February 2017 and Ms. X went to school on the 3rd March 2017. Where was she until 03/03/2017?

    “The victim stated that the police did not properly investigate her case. All the evidence pertaining to the crime was not properly, timely and scientifically collected and recorded. The police did not pick up the medical reports from the two hospitals.”

    How does the victim know how the case should be investigated and how it was investigated?

    How can a magistrate, a prosecutor or the suspect himself consider medical reports that were not available? Who says that the results of the medical examinations were ready when the suspect was taken to court?

    “She said that she is very poor and illiterate and did not understand the procedural steps of the legal system.”

    At least the daughter knows how a case like this should be investigated.

    “Rather, they have acted to protect the suspect of this heinous crime, using the country’s criminal law system.”

    The police took the victim to a hospital to be examined by a JMO. They arrested the suspect. The magistrate released the suspect and the case continues.

    What should the police have done? Beat the suspect to get a confession?

    I feel very sorry for the victim. Why did her family not make a police complaint? The mother knew but did nothing not even told other family members? Other family members knew but did nothing? It was the principal who reported this case to the police not the family members or the victim.

    After a wait of several days there maybe was no evidence of sexual abuse?

    Can you please provide a follow up for the cases you brought to our attention earlier. Thank you.

  • 2
    0

    An important aspect of a civilized society is upholding justice. This in turn depends on impartial judges and EQUALLY on prosecution. Unfortunately it is easy to influence the prosecutors – often from the top.

    Remember Supreme Court Judge de Abrew nearly got away with rape? A regime change made the difference.

    Remember the SWRD B cabinet minister Henry Abeywickrema was jailed for raping a 13 year old? The Maskeliya Police prosecution team must revisit this.

    • 1
      0

      Societies at best uphold the law.
      Justice demands a society with social justice as its basis.

  • 1
    0

    I live in America and very alarmed that these ordeal can happen in Sri Lana Where the justice? In America, no one is above the law, including the President. People in high position should be held accountable

  • 0
    0

    The May 2015 gang rape and murder of A/L student Vidya Sivayoganathan of Pungudutheevu created quite a stir in North Lanka. Some interested parties called this anger as “terrorists regrouping”. Some big names were associated with this. So the case got into the “wait-till-all-is-forgotten” tray and never came out.

    Unless the Maskeliya Police are forced to get out of the “protect-the-influential-at-any-cost” mindset, justice will never be done.

  • 0
    0

    Journalists! it’s a Shame, non of the National media reported this incident, where are the politicians! especially the up-country Politian’s, shame-less creatures do something for these. They did nothing when a rape center was running for more than five years in Deraniyagala where innocent girls get raped.

  • 0
    0

    The role of the fourth estate is to highlight these types of irregularities on the part of the Police, but unfortunately in Sri Lanka only very few media outlets come forward to publicize these. Colombo Telegraph should be applauded for highlighting this incident. What usually happens in Sri Lanka is that after some time these stories are forgotten and justice is not done to the victims.

    In most western countries the media actively and readily highlight these incidents and as a result the culprits end up facing punishments.

    Even in India, the media is very active though the Indian government and the state governments are shy to take stern action when they report these type of incidents.

    Take the case that happened a couple of days ago in New Delhi, India, where a goon of a Member of Indian Parliament from the racist Shiv Shena Party assaulted a 60 year old Air India officer with his slipper 25 times for not providing him with a business class seat in a flight. This goon had the gumption of admitting it and blamed the Air India officer for the incident.

    This news has received lot of publicity in the electronic and print media in India. Indian Airlines Federation has gone to the extent of banning this goon from their flights. However, there is no police action yet and the goon’s party Shiva Shina is not expected to take any action. This goon has over 7 pending criminal charges against him but no action had been taken against him. On one occasion this goon MP had force fed a Muslim waiter at a time the waiter was fasting for Ramazan for the reason that he did not serve this goon MP with the food he ordered.

    There are goons too in the Sri Lankan Parliament but they are a shade better than this Indian goon MP.

  • 0
    0

    Seems like Estate Tamil vs Estate Tamil crime. Why is Thondaman silent? Terrible tragedy but what do you expect from Police be they Sinhala or Tamil officers? All corruptible with some booze and cash.

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