The Bar Association has called upon relevant authorities including the IGP and the Attorney General to conduct an immediate inquiry into the alleged incident of a group of police personnel attached to the Peliyagoda police station assaulting a final year student of the Law College.
“In this respect, it is the considered position of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka that all officers on duty at the Special Crimes Unit of the Peliyagoda Police on the night of 25th February should be subjected to identification immediately,” said a BASL release signed by its President Kalinga Indatissa PC and Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya.
Full text of the BASL media statement: It was brought to the attention of the BASL this morning that Migara Gunaratne, a Final Year Law student had been brutally assaulted by several officers attached to the Special Crimes Unit of the Peliyagoda Police on the night of the 25th of February when he attempted to carry a parcel of food to his brother’s client who was being detained by the Police.
The BASL condemns this brutal attack on Migara Gunaratne.
This incident cannot be taken in isolation as on a previous occasion his brother Mr. Charitha Gunaratne who is an Attorney-at-Law was obstructed by the Police in carrying out his professional services.
Since of late, incidents of this nature by the Police have escalated.
It is the position of the BASL that there is no room and there must be zero tolerance for Police brutality whether it is against a member of the profession or any other person. Persons cannot be treated like this which is a violation of the very Law the Police is expected to protect.
The BASL has called upon the relevant authorities including the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General to conduct an immediate inquiry and disciplinary action to be taken against the said officers and also importantly, for legal action be taken against all such officers by initiating respective Criminal Prosecutions. In this respect, it is the considered position of the BASL that all officers on duty at the Special Crimes Unit of the Peliyagoda Police on the night of 25th February should be subjected to identification immediately.
The BASL will be closely monitoring this matter and the steps that are taken to ensure that the Rule of Law and Due Process is upheld.”
Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’
By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam
The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.
Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.
A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.
The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.
According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.
The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.
DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.
PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners
By Norman Palihawadane
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.
Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.
The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”
Thilo Hoffman remembered
A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.
Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.
The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.
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