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Fresh CID probe underway based on Karannagoda report

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Gen. Shavendra Silva and Admiral Karannagoda

2022 uprising

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Public Security Minister Tiran Alles, on Monday (28), said the CID had launched a fresh probe into the violence that erupted on 09 May, 2022. The Court of Appeal allowed a group of politicians to withdraw a case filed against the then Commander of the Army, Gen. Shavendra Silva, IGP C.D. Wickremaratne and several others for their alleged failure to preempt countrywide violence. Petitioners on 23 May, 2023, withdrew a writ petition filed in this regard.

Minister Alles said that the court had permitted the withdrawal of the case after he declared readiness to investigate the incidents in response to a query made by Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, PC. The AG has inquired whether the police could undertake an investigation as recommended by Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda’s report on lapses on the part of the military, police and intelligence services in the run-up to the 09 May, 2022, violence and subsequent incidents.

Minister Alles said so when The Island asked for the status of the investigation at a regular media briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) where the SLPP National List MP dealt with a spate of issues, including the fate of the IGP now on his second extension. Wickremaratne received his second three-month extension on 09 July even though the Constitutional Council is yet to officially announce, through the Secretary General of Parliament, its stand on the extension granted to the Police Chief.

According to him, a copy of Admiral Karannagoda’s report was received from Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the President, and the investigation was underway. The Minister refrained from commenting on the exact status of the investigation.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has pointed the finger at breakaway JVP faction, the Front line Socialist Party (FSP) for violence whereas the SLPP has accused both the FSP and the JVP for the violent incidents. Both parties have strongly denied the allegations.

President’s Counsel Faisz Mustapha appearing for General Shavendra Silva, the Chief of Defence Staff, objected to the withdrawal of the application on the basis of assurances given by Minister Alles and AG Rajaratnam to have the incidents investigated in line with the Karannagoda report, which was filed in the Court of Appeal on 24 February, 2023. President’s Counsel Uditha Igalahewa did so on behalf of Admiral Karannagoda when a writ petition, filed by 22 government parliamentarians, representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), was called.

The committee headed by the former Navy Commander and comprising Marshal of Air Force Roshan Goonetilleke and one-time Army Commander General Daya Ratnayake was appointed by the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Responding to a query on the possibility of another extension to IGP Wickremaratne, a smiling Minister said that it was a matter between the President and the Constitutional Council.

Well informed sources said that the Attorney General had been consulted by the CC as regards the second extension granted by President Wickremesinghe, and the government’s chief lawyer more or less approved it. However, the Parliament was yet to make an official statement in this regard.

NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the government had to probe external interventions here that forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa out of office.

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