Sun, 21 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Did Police Department act irresponsibly when guarding Shani ?

10 January 2023 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

 

  • It is an offence not to comply with any directive imposed by the NAPVCW
  • Questions have been raised as to why NAPVCW Chairman Suhada K. Gamlath PC is allegedly not reporting Tennakoon to the SC
  •  Abeysekara and his family were out of Colombo from December 15 to 18.when the semi-automatic weapon of the PC, who was on duty at his Colombo residence, had gone off accidentally
  • When a weapon goes off accidentally, that officer must immediately ensure that the said weapon will not go off again

Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (Western Province) Deshabandu Tennakoon’s alleged failure to implement the orders given by the IGP and the National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crimes and Witnesses (NAPVCW) to provide security for the former Director CID, SSP Shani Abeysekara is to be challenged in courts under Section 14(2) of the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act No: 4 of 2015.


It is an offence not to comply with any directive imposed by the NAPVCW and the person who fails to carry out such directives would be guilty of the offence of contempt of the Authority. Such contempt shall be punishable by the Supreme Court (SC) when such determination is reported accompanied by a certificate signed by the Authority Chairman.


Although the law says so questions have been raised as to why NAPVCW Chairman Suhada K. Gamlath PC is allegedly not reporting Tennakoon to the SC. 


On December 18, the semi-automatic weapon of the junior recruit police constable, who was on guard at Abeysekara’s Colombo residence, had gone off accidentally; causing severe damage to Abeysekara’s vehicle. At this time Abeysekara and his family were out of Colombo, but their vehicle was parked a few feet in front of the police shed.


When such an incident occurs the area police- which is the Borella Police- have to follow a mandatory procedure. It is learnt that they have failed to follow this procedure. Since this occurred during Abeysekera’s absence he was not aware of this incident, but had come to know about it two days later; on December 20.


It is reported that the Borella Police not only failed to inform Abeysekara about the accidental firing and the damage that was caused to his vehicle, but also had not visited the scene until Abeysekara inquired into what action the police had taken in this regard.

 

Although the IGP initially directed Tennakoon to provide the necessary protection and report the progress in compliance of the direction and that the given directive was clear and unequivocal and required no further examination and analysis, thereafter the former failed to instruct Tennakoon to heed his order
- NAPVCW sources


It is after this incident that it came to light as to how Senior DIG (SDIG) Western Province Deshabandu Tennakoon had allegedly disregarded the orders given by the IGP and the Director General B.K.S. Ravindra and Director SSP W.V. Ginige of the NAPVCW to provide continuous protection to Abeysekara as per Section 21 of the NAPVCW Act.


Abeysekara became a victim of several anonymous threats within the Police Department for his exceptional service to Sri Lanka Police. Whilst in service, he carried out inquiries into a large number of politically sensitive cases; involving former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his immediate family members.


When the CA (Writ) Application (No: 424/2022) filed by SSP Abeysekara, against the NAPVCW and the Police Department for their failure to provide necessary security to him and his family was taken up in 2022, NAPVCW gave an undertaking, that well-trained police officers with automatic weapons would be deployed to provide security to the petitioner and his family.


Although such a promise was made this newspaper is in possession of documents that show how SDIG Tennakoon refused to carry out directives given by the IGP and NAPVCW’s to provide security to Abeysekara.
Following Tennakoon’s above decision, the IGP too hasn’t taken any action against Tennakoon nor given any orders to ensure Abeysekara is given the necessary security detail.


“Tennakoon with vested interest has intentionally and deliberately failed to comply with the directions given, acting in contempt of the NAPVCW. 

 

This shows Abeysekara and his family are exposed to severe threats, especially for the sole reason of his exceptional service towards the Police Department,” a Senior Police Officer from Police Head Quarters told the Daily Mirror on conditions of anonymity


The failure to comply with the requirement imposed by the Witness Protection Authority is an offence and such a person shall be guilty of an offence of contempt of the Authority and such contempt shall be punishable by the SC if the Authority Chairman informs the SC accompanied by a certificate to such effect. Up to now, though the Authority gave directives to Tennakoon to provide security to the former CID Director, Chairman Suhada Gamlath PC failed to report Tennakoon to the SC and also how the SDIG ignored to carry out the directives an officer attached to the NAPVCW told on condition of anonymity.


By letter dated July 20, 2022, (Ref: D/ VWPD/OUT/2187/2022) by Director NAPVCW SSP W.V. Ginige to SSP Colombo South Division Sisira Peththatantri, it has been informed that he (Ginige) is in receipt of an intelligence report that says, Abeysekara is exposed to serious security threats and the Board of Management of the NAPVCW had directed OIC Borella through Colombo South Division to provide continuous protection to Abeysekara and his family as per Section 21 of their Act.


Following this, SDIG (Crime and Traffic) Kamal Silva by letter dated September 1, 2022 (Ref: S/DIG/ C/TR/OUT/4484/2022) wrote to the IGP, stating that it has been observed that Abeysekara and his family are exposed to threats and that the Colombo South Division has failed to carry out the directives given by the NAPVCW and further directed Colombo South Division through Senior DIG (Western Province) Tennakoon to provide the necessary protection to Abeysekara and his family. 


In response to the above, the IGP by letter dated September 9, 2022, (Ref: STAFF/03/IGP/OUT/LEG/2588/22), directed SDIG, Deshabandu Tennakoon, to provide Abeysekara and his family the necessary protection as directed by the NAPVCW and report the progress in compliance of the direction.  It has also stated that the directive was clear and unequivocal and required no further examination and analysis.


However, in responce, SDIG Tennakoon, on September 14, 2022, (Ref: S/DIG/WP/16625/2022) wrote to the IGP, stating that the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security had instructed him at a meeting that he (Ministry Secretary) will provide instructions in which manner the police officers should be allocated to provide security to Abeysekara and that he (Tennakoon) is awaiting instructions to implement the orders directed by the NAPVCW.
According to the NAPVCW sources, the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security S. Hettiarachchi has no official capacity at all to examine the security measures or re-examine an order made by the Authority that is vested with such statutory powers.

 

There isn’t enough space at Abeysekara’s house for these two PCs. We cannot keep them without giving them proper shelter. That is why they are stationed at the police station and whenever their service is required, they accompany Abeysekara,”
-Suhada Gamlath PC NAPVCW Chairman


Following these correspondences, SSP Ginige once again, on September 20, 2022, submitted a report to the Director General NAPVCW (Ref: D/ VWPD/ OUT/ 2816/ 2022) stating that SDIG Western Province and Colombo South Division have failed to carry out the direction given by the NAPVCW and during a physical inspection to Abeysekara’s residence on September 17, 2022, it has been noticed by their team, that the above directions of the NAPVCW have been violated and Abeysekara and his family have not been given the necessary protection and urged to give further directions to Tennakoon to provide security.


Interdicted 


Meanwhile, Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi by letter dated October 12, 2022, to the SDGI has stated that the intelligence service reports do not say that there are direct threats and had undermined the decision to give protection to Abeysekara.


“Although the IGP initially directed Tennakoon to provide the necessary protection and report the progress in compliance of the direction and that the given directive was clear and unequivocal and required no further examination and analysis, thereafter the former failed to instruct Tennakoon to heed his order. Hence the IGP, SDIG Tennakoon, Colombo South Division and OIC Borella have totally ignored, neglected and disregarded to comply with the directive imposed by the NAPVCW. They cannot ignore the obligatory duty imposed on them and they can be charged for contempt of court,” NAPVCW sources further said.


Be that as it may, following the accidental firing, the Borella OIC has confirmed that they have deployed a police constable- a junior recruit-to Abeysekara’s residence, but he wasn’t a well-trained officer.


“This shows Abeysekara and his family are exposed to severe threats, especially for the sole reason of his exceptional service towards the Police Department. The Police Department is allegedly aware that there is a severe threat to Abeysekara’s life, as long as SDIG (Western Province), Deshabandu Tennakoon is in charge of the Western Province,” a Senior Police Officer from Police Head Quarters told the Daily Mirror on conditions of anonymity.


He further revealed how former IGP N.K. Illangakoon provided Abeysekara with security using the Special Task Force (STF) whilst on active service in 2016 based on a report issued by the State Intelligence Service (SIS); which service was removed immediately on December 21, 2019, once he was removed from the CID and transferred as the Personal Assistant to the DIG Galle range. 

 

If I did not give police guard, how can a weapon go off accidentally at his premises? All these are gossip. Let anyone conduct a proper investigation. I can prove that I have discharged the duties properly,
-Deshabandu Tennakoon SDIG (Western Province)


“Later on January 7, 2020, Abeysekara was interdicted and the same evening he received death threat from an unusual telephone number ‘501’. Complaints were lodged with the Human Rights Commission, the IGP and the NAPVCW. Later the NAPVCW informed Abeysekera, that the facts had been reported to the Magistrate Court and its order has been referred to the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), but to date, neither the NAPVCW nor the TRC has given the call details to the Court. It is understood that a powerful hand is behind this threatening call. Because of these threats, Abeysekara requested the court to direct the departments’ concern to provide security to him and his family which has been declined by the Police Department,” the police sources further said.    


Following the accidental firing, it came to light how the Borella Police failed to carry out an inquiry into how this had happened. “They have not followed the mandatory procedure that has to be followed police sources said.
Abeysekara and his family were out of Colombo from December 15 to 18.when the semi-automatic weapon of the PC, who was on duty at his Colombo residence, had gone off accidentally.


The procedure the police have to follow after such an accident hasn’t been followed.


According to police sources, the Police Department should be ashamed to act in such an irresponsible manner after the weapon went off accidentally.


 “When a weapon goes off accidentally, that officer immediately must ensure that the said weapon will not go off again. He then should remove the magazine and clear the chamber. Following this, he should cock the weapon three times and look inside the chamber to ensure that there is no live ammunition in the chamber. If anybody suffers injury he then should give immediate first aid to the victim. After this, the officer should inform the incident to his immediate superior. The higher officer should either visit the scene immediately or send some responsible officer to initiate an inquiry and report to the ASP. Then the ASP should visit the scene and must give directions to carry out an investigation. They should also inform the party whose property was damaged,” sources said.
The source further said that the weapon in question should either be handed over to the Central Armory or to the Government Analysis Department to check whether there was a mechanical error in the weapon. “Although it is mandatory to follow this procedure, the Borella Police have not followed any of these steps nor even visited the scene. Had they visited the scene, they would have taken the empty casing. This empty casing was picked up from the security cage only after Abeysekara had inquired from the PC on duty whether the Borella Police was able to find the empty casing,” sources added. 


When contacted to find out why they failed to visit the scene and conduct an immediate inquiry Acting OIC Borella Police said that the CID has taken over the inquiry and discontinued the call.


“Ample security is given to Abeysekara” - Deshabandu Tennakoon 


When contacted SDIG (Western Province) Deshabandu Tennakoon, to know why he failed to heed the orders given by the IGP and the NAPVCW, Tennakoon said that ample security is given to Abeysekara.
“If I did not give police guard, how can a weapon go off accidentally at his premises? All these are gossip. Let anyone conduct a proper investigation. I can prove that I have discharged the duties properly. Don’t try to sling mud at us,” Tennakoon said. NAPVCW Chairman Suhada Gamlath PC said that the police have provided adequate security to Abeysekara and his family as promised to the Court of Appeal.


“We have given two PCs to his residence,” he added. When told that only one PC has been deployed, Gamlath said two PCs are deployed to give security and travel with Abeysekara whenever he leaves his residence.
“There isn’t enough space at Abeysekara’s house for these two PCs. We cannot keep them without giving them proper shelter. That is why they are stationed at the police station and whenever their service is required, they accompany Abeysekara,” he added.


When inquired why the police cannot put up a larger shed at Abeysekara’s premises than a tiny shed and deploy the necessary police guard as the former Director CID is under threat, Gamlath said that neither Abeysekara nor his lawyers had informed him about the security lapses.


Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

  Comments - 0

Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka