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Nov 10, 2016

Complaint seeks justice over killing of 27 Welikada inmates

Justice is yet to be done for the 27 inmates of Welikada prison who were killed during a riot four years ago, notes Kasun Pussewela, a journalist attached to ‘Irudina’ newspaper, in a complained lodged with the Human Rights Commission.

He calls for a speeding up of the investigation to find out who is behind these brutal killings.

His letter says,

Chairman,
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka,
Head Office ,
165, Kinsey Road, Borella,
Colombo 08.
 
Kasun Pussewela,
“Irudina”
Leader Publishing Group Of Companies (pvt) Ltd.,
No.24, Katukurunduwaththa  Road,
Rathmalana.
 
A plea to request justice on behalf of the murdered 27 prison inmates of Welikada prison
 
Four years complete to date into the killing of 27 inmates of Welikada prison and so far no justice is meted out with regard to this. There is evidence given by eye witnesses that they were listed and chosen to kill. Even though the media reports have disclosed that these killings were carried out violating all the existing human rights laws so far no justice is being done to their families.  Still the report made by the committee appointed by the good governance and the report made by the committee appointed by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksha government are not presented to the parliament nor been released to the media.

A three person committee was appointed by then the former Minister of Prisons Chandrasiri Gajadheera, and that committee headed by the retired high court judge Bandula Athapaththuge consisted Former DIG Gunasena Thenabaduand the then the legal advisor to the Ministry of Prisons ,Lalith Andrahennadi. This report which was not disclosed over a period of one and a half years was handed over to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksha  by the Minister in charge of the portfolio, chandrasiri Gajadheera in the year 2014. The report was not disclosed and an investigation was not carried out.
 
The government has still not been able to fulfill the promise to look into these killings which was one of the significant promises made by the good government before coming into power. The deputy Minister of Justice of the’ 100 day government’, Sujeewa Senasinghe , gave the promise to investigate about this when the parents of the killed and civil organizations held a protest demanding justice on the 17th of February, 2015. Therefore to investigate the matter, Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksha appointed a three-person committee headed by retired High court judge Wimal Nambuwasamge , that consisted retired senior DIG of police Ashoka Wijethilaka and retired Administration Officer, Attorney at Law S.K. Liyanage as members of the committee. A report has been handed over  by the relevant three persons committee after carrying out a broad investigation over a  period of five months , collecting evidence from eye witnesses of the incident and prison officers .The  new  investigation report was handed over to the Prime Minister by the minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksha At the Parliamentary Complex on the 9th of June 2015.Untill now no action has been taken to disclose or to look into the report.

These killings took place inside Welikada Prison on the 27th of No9vember 2012 and even though the security forces could not enter into the prison premises  to carry out search operations bearing any weapons, who is the officer responsible for giving orders in sending armed forces into the prison? what was the reason these inmates were  listed and selected to kill? Whose intention was that? These have not been disclosed yet. Only His Excellency and the Secretary of defense has the authority to grant such permissions. There are suspicions over the hiding so far by two presidents and two ministers, one of the most brutal killings taken place in the country.

We feel sad about the fact that an institution like you that promised to pass the Information act, and to safeguard justice and human rights and the government led by the president and the prime minister are still silent about these killings. As a journalist and also a civilian seeking justice I can provide recorded evidence and also eye witness evidence related to the killings that cannot be released to the media to a trustworthy institution. I hereby request on behalf of these voiceless inmates speed up the investigations to find out who is behind these brutal killings.

Yours Faithfully,
Kasun Pussewela,
Journalist,
News editor, Irudina News Paper.
09.11.2016.

Copies:
The President, Maithripala Sirisena

Prime minister, Ranil Wickrmasinghe

Leader of the Opposition, R. Sambandan

Minister of Justice and minister of Buddha Shasana, Wijedasa Rajapaksha

Hon. Prison reform, Resettlement, rehabilitation and Hindu affairs minister , D.M.Swaminathan

Hon. minister of Law and order and the Southern development, Sagala Rathnayaka

Chief opposition whip Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayaka

Deputy Minister of Social welfare and empowerment, Ranjan Ramanayaka

Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, KarunasenaHettiarachchi

Commissioner general of Prison, H.M.N.C. Dhanasinghe

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