In a letter to the Inspector General of Police, 44 civil society activists and 14 organisations have demanded an independent investigation into the killing of suspects while in police custody.
The civil society organisations and activists are urging IGP Chandana Wickramaratne to convert the Sri Lanka Police Department to an institute that respects human rights.
Among the civil society activists signing the public petition were Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, senior journalist Victor Ivan, Attorney-at-law Dr Nimalka Fernando, Fr. Rohan Silva, Dharmasiri Lankapeli, Ruki Fernando and Upali Kolambage. This letter has also been signed by 14 civil society organisations including Sri Lanka Young Journalists’ Association and Young Lawyers’ Association.
H.L. Lasantha alias Tinkering Lasantha had been shot dead in Kalutara on the 26th of November morning while being taken to recover hidden weapons. The letter calls for the enforcement of the law against all police officers who are responsible for the killings, despite the information being provided about the killings of the suspects in police custody.
The letter stated that Attorney-at-law Sanjaya Ariyadasa had contacted the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) informing that he has instructions that his client had been apprehended by the officers of the Kalutara Divisional Criminal Investigation Bureau and that he has information that his client will be killed in custody by the police.
The letter further states is an insult to the law enforcement authorities since the incident took place at the time IGP and several other officials have been informed regarding the possibility of killing the suspect while in police custody.( Lakmal Sooriyagoda)