5 March, 2024


The Officer-in-Charge The Moratuwa Police Could Have Saved The Life Of The Chief Monk

By Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

On February 4 the chief monk of Sunandonanda of Egodauyana, Moratuwa was assassinated by a group of persons during the evening. According to reports, at 5:30 pm and again at 7:30 pm, the chief monk made complaints to the Moratuwa Police stating that he was facing an imminent threat to his life and sought the protection of the police. The complaint made at 7:30 pm was done in person at the Moratuwa Police Station. It was shortly after his return from the station that he was brutally assassinated. In fact, the chief monk made 16 complaints to the same police station, four complaints to Police headquarters and another four complaints to the Ministry of Defense.

Had there been any action relating to these complaints the life of this monk might have been saved.

However, police inaction into complaints does not come as any surprise in Sri Lanka. The Asian Human Rights Commission itself has many experiences of complaints being made, even to the Inspector General of Police himself, which have not led to any credible result. This includes the two most recent complaints made to the IGP regarding the complaint of a 43-year-old woman who was a rape victim against a chief monk at Kelaniya. During 2012 the AHRC made a total of 46 complaints regarding torture and ill-treatment of persons at various police stations around Sri Lanka. All these should have led to inquiries under the CAT Act, No. 22 of 1994 which prescribes 7 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000/= for acts of torture. At present no complaints relating to torture and ill-treatment are investigated.

What is worse is that in several cases, some of which involved murder, the Attorney General has filed papers with the magistrates withdrawing further inquiries into such complaints.

A request for protection following an imminent threat to life is one of the last pleas that a human being can make in an attempt to safeguard his life. When such a plea is made to the police it is a plea that is made to the state. It is from the state that the person is asking for protection at the final hours of his life. When the state does not respond even at that moment there is nothing such a person can do to preserve his life other than to resort to violence himself in self defense. If those who wish to harm him are better armed, as in the case of the chief monk, then he has no chance of that avenue of escape either.

It would be futile now, even to ask for action to be taken against the Officer-in-Charge of the Moratuwa Police Station for his neglect which caused the loss of a person’s life. Such a request for action against the police for the commissions and omissions which result in violations of other people’s rights no longer lead to any kind of reprisals from the higher ranking officers.

What this practically demonstrates is the nature of the transformation of the state that is happening in Sri Lanka. The most primary task for which the state was created was the purpose of the preservation of life by way of protection offered by the state. The very reason why people agree to obey the commands of the state is the offer that the state makes to them to protects their lives. In Sri Lanka things have come to such a state that the government does not even fulfill this basic task.

The loss of the chief monk’s life shortly after he requested help from the Moratuwa police is a grim reminder of the utter carelessness of the state authorities to fulfill their most fundamental obligations. Rizana Nafeek died in Saudi Arabia by way of beheading also after several years of failure by the state to make the most basic interventions on her behalf that the state owed to her. She died, charged for a murder which never happened and we in Sri Lanka were unable to defend her even in a situation such as that.

Perhaps the monk, when he went to ask for help from the police station was living in a dream world. That is perhaps what all of us are doing.

For further information please see the AHRC statement:

The Murder Of A Chief Monk And Execution-Style Killings Of Two Persons

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Latest comments

  • 0

    A UPFA politician killed a British tourist and raped his companion 2 years ago and is free to do the same today… The AG is corrupt and the SC has a corrupt and illegal head in the Debacle of Asia that is to host the CHOGM aka. Commonwealth of Clowns talk shop this year.

    Thank god Human Rights Watch has asked that silly Kamalesh Sharma to move his talk shop CHOGM which will boost the murderous Rajapassa regime elsewhere.
    Let the Lankan civilians press for regime change. The Commonwealth of Clowns should stop ego boosting the Rajapakse Dictatorship. Other Human Rights organization should join the call to boycott the Rajapassa Dictatorship in Lanka.

    • 0

      Don’t worry. Now Sri Lanka has become free for all the criminals so long as these political clowns are in Parliament.

  • 0

    Sri Lankan society has become so de-sensitized that there is no public outcry or debate about all these killings and rape going on around us. Colombo 7 ladies demonstrate aginst rape in India. BBS demonstrates aginst demolition of temples in Bangladesh. We dont see what is happening in our own country?

    Police is acting in an illegal manner and parliment approves additional 24 hrs detention of accused without legal process. Drug addicts and other criminals are arrested and then bumped off without fair trial and people praise the defence secretary for cleaning up the country. Meantime criminals and thugs attached to the govt have a field day. No action yet against Koparage Vermin.

  • 0

    Are we in our proper senses? The Government is doing it’s business unconcerned of what the “People” are talking and protesting. This is the time that we need the “Opposition” to be in full gear to cry for redress from oppresive measures taken by the Legislature and now the situation has become worse having acquired the Judiciary, the only institution that was available for the people.

    The above referred to “People” – who are they? They are at the moment comprised of the english educated, professionals who write to the web sites and cry out for redress. The question is: Is that what we need at this hour? Are the large majority of the voters spread throughout the country appraised of the situation? How many people are there to carry this “cry” to the Sinhala and Tamil speaking citizenary in the villages? Do this large voter base buy even a print media paper or can they afford to pay Rs. 30/- to 40/- for a publication even once a week?. This is where the Government is enjoying the “monopoly” and that is well fortified by its own electronic media, such as the radio.In that respect MR must be given the full credit for maintaining that “statu quo” in that large voter base.

    To give a simple example: I asked a G.E.O. (A) Level student who is qualified to enter the university, what his opinion in regard to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Mind you he is aspiring to do “Political Science” for his degree. I felt ashamed to hear his answer. Simply to put it, he is asking me what that is and when was it done. This is the reality and what more can you expect from the younger generation leave alone the older folks.

    Also the above referred to “Opposition”: Is there a Opposition in Parliament? Who are they and what are they doing? Simply they talk of a “Regime Change” and the Leader of the Opposition is talking of establishing a new Government in 2014 and go on to challange to hold a “Referendom”. Still some others in the Oppoistion are holding rallys protesting “IMPERIALISM”. Simply put it: ARE THESE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TO BE ENTRUSTED WITH THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNING THE COUNTRY? Better NOT. Rather the people would prefer to have the BEST out of the WORST.

    This is the SITUATION that MR is capitalizing and he carrys on regardless. His biggest streangth is the weakest opposition.

  • 0

    Douglas speaks of the poor quality of the GCE (AL) student about to
    go for his Degree. There is a young lad/lawyer who used to get my thoughts and opinion of current political matters. Nice young chap; keen to learn. Not very good in speech making and writing but can be an average lawyer in the next 10-15 years with the right opportunities. Holy horrors! I saw his name in the list of President’s Counsel recently. He actually was assistant to an assistant to a successful lawyer. Then there was a tainted lawyer, practising in the South – who can talk well and I suppose write reasonably too. He has done his political rounds since 1980s and has been here, there and everywhere. Born sycophant. He too was made a PC – about 3 years ago.
    I have known average lawyers in Bombay/Chennai, London and Canada.
    The two men I mentioned compare poorly with these. I have known QCs
    Nadesan, Thiagalingam, Navaratnaraja, Neelan Tiruchelvam, GL Peiris, Lakshman Kadirgamar and a few others – who could have held their own in any country. That is the quality of our education today.


  • 0

    I speak with responsibility and personal experience, Few Police Stations – from IP, CI and ASP levels – have neither the time nor interest to pursue most critical cases unless ???? This is common knowledge now. If the complainant is a wealthy businessman – and that too from a minor community – then nothing moves until the palm-oil treatment takes effect. Even in cases where powerful political pressure comes in these officials know how to make this a paying opportunity. It is common knowledge police officers love to get transfers to Pettah, Kotahena, Kollupitiya in Colombo and those handling transfers at the HQ too know there is a premium here. So much for the honesty of our police system and what the public think of them.


  • 0

    I read in recent SInhal news papaer ( Lanka) that
    the cost of maintaining the Ministerial Capal( The MPS and the co-horts) is 5.39 Billion Rs. whereas the annual budgetary allocation for Agriculture is 5.29 Billion Rs.

    I am reading the diaries of Le0nard Woolf ( Hambanthota GA during British Rule). I can see the lean mean Administrative body that ran this country really did the smooth running of the Government not becoming a burden to the Country.

    What we need is the same.
    Instead of the President we shall call hime the Governor General and every 10yrs the Coutntry can vote for the right person.
    The individuals who would fit for the post should have impeccable track record of Professionalism( like ex Army Chief, Ex Chief Judge, Ex Governor of the Centrl Bank( for sure None of the current Holders of these positions will be suitable !!!!)).
    So the small country like ours hase been run very smoothly , just society with rule of law and very minimal burden to the general public in the past!!!( exactly 65yrs ago).

    Let us forget about westminister style democracy and the cocialist ( hypocracy again)!!!

    Let us get back to basics.

    The Governor Genral ( appointed by the Popular Vote of the Citizenry)
    Term of Governor 10yrs.
    The Government Civil Service will be more than enough to run the country.
    We can basically dust up the English (CSS – Ceylon Sivil Service Act)
    The three forces will maintain the Law and order.
    All three major languages be maintained in all media on equal basis.
    Anybody can live anywhere of the country with equal right.
    All the ills of current society and the demise of peace and harmony is due to the Vulgar Politics !!!! and the Political power corrupts.
    So let us put and end to it.
    Food for thought.
    Should I say ‘Thinking outside the Box!!!)


  • 0

    Our modayas gave a free reign to the ruling regime, now sow its seeds, a normal person cannot make a complaint in police, unless he is connected to the rogue regime.

  • 0

    Mr Gotabaya Rajapakse
    You know and we know that you have no qualifications to hold the post of a Secretary of a Ministry, to be in charge of the Urban Development or take the role of a government spokesman on foreign affairs except for that your big brother happens to be the President and trusts only family members to keep all his secrets.But having said that I must say that you have done a good job especially because big brother will not allow any outsider to do anything. Only a family member can spend public money like their own.Sir I have one question from you.Two men taken into custody by the Police ( State) ended up shot in Bandaragama.As the man in charge of the police what is your explanation ? Has the Sri lanka Police become a criminal force ?Are you leading an unlawful and murderous organization ? Pleasr answer me if you have the courage.

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