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Kiriella warns government to prepare to face more charges at UNHRC



by Saman Indrajith

The main opposition SJB warned the government to get ready to face more charges at the next UNHRC sessions in Geneva of not doing justice to the Easter Sunday victims.

Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella, speaking during the committee stage of the budget, said on Thursday that the government has to face eight major human rights allegations against it in Geneva. The newest of these would be the allegation of not doing justice to the Easter Sunday victims.

Kiriella said Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and the Catholic Church have already declared their willingness to go before the UNHRC over the government’s deliberate delay in taking actions against those who have been identified as responsible for security failures in the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Easter Sunday carnage.

“This charge too would be added to the list of charges against this country,” Kiriella said.

Other charges the government would face include militarizing civil administration, erosion of judicial independence, dismantling the independent commissions, political pressure to prevent dispensing of criminal justice, interfering with freedom of religious practice, intimidation on civil society activists and curtailing media freedom.

“These are the main charges against the country at the UNHRC. It is clear that the government has chosen to delay delivering justice to the Easter Sunday victims and it is also certain that this charge too would be made against us at the next UNHRC sessions,” Kiriella said.

He said that the government should name former SIS head Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena as an accused of the case on the Easter Sunday terror attacks. SDIG Jayawardena, who had allegedly failed to prevent the terror attacks and is now a state witness in the case, should be indicted as an accused and prosecuted.

“The court has the power to name him an accused. Actually, he should be the main suspect. He received the information about the impending terror attacks more than ten days in advance. He has said he did not pass that information to the President, who was the Defence Minister.

“Suppose we accept his version, then he has committed an offence under provisions of the Penal Code. But today he has been set free. When Nilantha Jayawardena was asked to surrender his phone to the investigators he deleted all information that had been stored in it.

“Such deletion shows that there was something to be hidden. It amounts to suppression of evidence. That offence would have alone been sufficient to name him a suspect,” Kiriella said.

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