Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala
Two persons responsible for egging the Gampaha Conference of National People’s Power are currently under arrest. While inquiring into the matter based on the revelations made by the two, it has come to light that behind all this there’s an individual or a group responsible for the entire attack. This is a criminal offence. This has fulfilled all the fundamental principles of criminal law. This is an attack planned by an organized group. What are the measures the IGP has taken so far? At least the Police has not even taken a valid statement. Sri Lanka Police should find the chain of evidence pertinent to this attack. The Police has the ability to reach each and every coupling in this chain. The Police can inquire into the telephone calls and watch CCTV footage. However, it seems no attempt has been made to use such resources.
Two letters have been produced by Prasanna Ranatunga addressing the President and IGP requesting an immediate inquiry into the matter concerned. It’s like the thief running all over the place asking to catch the thief and that was what I thought. However, we have a question as to why so much delay in recording a statement when a cabinet minister has requested an inquiry from the President. Photographs of pertinent persons of this attack have been released. One who joined the attack is Mahagedara Vijayaarachchige Ranmal Asitha Kumara Wijerathna (prior name – Gabriel Rathmal Asitha Kumara) Second person is Ananda Bandara from Gampola. One person can be seen in photographs related to Avant Garde Company. This organized group has direct connections with the Avant Garde Company. The chairman of the Avant Garde company is one of the closest friends of the President.
Today, Minister Ramesh Pathiwara says that this was planned to embarrass the Government. What we say is that a group from the personal security institute of the closest friend of the President is the one behind this attack. Therefore, we say that the Government has direct involvement in this attack. The President should conduct an inquiry into this matter. We have the right to expression as enforced by the Constitution. This is an attempt made out of sheer jealousy over the increasing public attraction towards National People’s Power. Suspects are in custody. The Police can continue the inquiry. We can remember the Ambepitiya murder. The gun was fired by another person. Ultimately Potta Naufer is the one who was sentenced to death as he was guilty of abetting the crime. Therefore, the actual respondents of this egg-throwing incident are not those who came with 5000 Rupees. The true respondent of this is the one who abetted this attack. The President should intervene in this matter. If the true respondent is not revealed, there’s no doubt that the Government has a hand on this. And, we stay alert on the inquiry.
The egg is just the beginning. Anything can happen after this. This group including the President should take the responsibility for everything – Attorney-at-Law Upul Kumarapperuma
This incident is not an ordinary egg attack. It isn’t merely a common attack on an opponent with egg and tomato. There is a serious situation behind this. Those arrested people have testified that this was directed by Prasanna Ranathunga. At the same time, the preliminary investigations have revealed that one person involved in the incident is related to Avant Garde. What is this Avant Garde company? It’s a mercenary force that maintains the rental weapons of the three-armed forces and the police in this country. This company has all sorts of weapons like T56, AK47, T81 machine guns, sub-machine guns which are similar to what our Sri Lankan forces possess. This is a paramilitary force as well. There were many criticisms towards this paramilitary force. Therefore, its businesses were handed over to the Naval force. This company has all the retired Major Generals, Navy Commanders and soldiers, a well-trained army. Then what is the danger about it? If this incident was not caught, what could have happened next.
This is not an ordinary security firm. A paramilitary force with weapons. This should have equal or more discipline than the army. The army is responsible to the government. Who is responsible for this paramilitary force? The chairman himself of this institution has made several allegations to NPP leader Mr Anura Dissanayake, JVP. The challenges have been made. The insulting statements have been made. Who is responsible for a paramilitary force led by such a person? The Ministry of Defense issues the license to such paramilitary companies to carry weapons. Even though it is a security firm, the Ministry of Defense issues the permit. If the people of Avant Garde are attacking a party convention, are they doing the work of the licensed company? The Sri Lankan people, media and the Ministry of Defense should seriously think about this.
Nissanka Senadhipathi was the messenger for releasing Ranjan Ramanayake. MP Geetha Kumarasinghe also asks Senadhipathi to take messages to the President. It shows the relationship between Nissanka Senadhipathi and the President. If so, the President must conduct an inquiry about this. The serious issue here is whether the bombs will come next. Ordinary people remember the recent incidents in the past. If these things are done to political parties, what will happen to ordinary people? Therefore, the police should carry out a proper investigation. Need to take telephone call details. Need to investigate the CCTV footage. Need to find out about the people who dealt with these suspects. The police have the ability to investigate these. That’s the way the real culprit can be identified. There are plenty of examples of crime investigations.
The fact that the police are asleep without even taking a statement means that the police is under influence. The Inspector-General of Police and other police officers should remember that they are paid by the public money. The police should also remember that governments will not stay forever. If not, they should remember that they may have to roam around the courts. The egg is just the beginning. Beyond this, anything could happen. These groups should be responsible for everything that happen after this. No matter how close Avant Garde Mudalali is to the president, there should be an impartial investigation.
The government maintains a paramilitary force to carry out its dirty work – Attorney-at-Law Charitha Galhena
There is no trust in the police, that justice will be granted. The use of thugs in Sri Lankan politics has existed throughout history. With the creation of the executive presidency, the underworld was used. It happened from J.R. time. Army officers were used. Artists, scholars, civil society activists and journalists have been attacked by thugs if you can remember. Today a different situation has arisen. A paramilitary force has been created to carry out all kinds of dirty work that politicians want without the use of the police or the army and without getting dirty hands. This is a dangerous situation. This is also a threat to national security.
Can a Tamil man or a Muslim man maintain a paramilitary force without modern arms, and even without statistics on weapons? If such a business is started, what kind of objection will take place if such a license is given when a Rajapaksa is not in power? In an army, if a soldier is given a weapon, he is responsible for the bullet used in that weapon. Even, there is a number for the weapon of a relevant soldier. A situation has arisen today where a paramilitary force is being maintained by giving arms to a group of undisciplined people who are not responsible to the country. It’s scary. It could be started with an egg. We can be the target. But where does this stop?
In the past, thugs were maintained by MPs and ministers. Ministers and MPs maintained the thugs to carry out the thuggish activities wanted by the President and the Prime Minister. Today that situation has changed and several businessmen around the President are carrying out this work. The opportunity has arisen for several businessmen to rule the country by giving the President a huge power and 2/3 majority in Parliament. One of the businessmen maintains a paramilitary force. This is a threat to the very existence of democracy in the country. A threat to the people’s right to hold an alternative opinion. Therefore, this incident should be investigated not because of an attack on the National People’s Power but because of an attack on the people. Also, the public has a right to know about these people.