A miffed government wants Gamlath to quit

The government is pressurizing the Chairman of the National Authority for The Protection of Victims of Crimes and Witnesses Suhada Gamlath to step down from his post.

This follows an interview Gamlath gave to the Aruna newspaper in which he alleged that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and senior government Ministers urged him to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Avant Garde case when he was Solicitor General.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna denounced the government’s actions. “Gamlath was instructed to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa by these Ministers with the assurance that he would be protected. As an official with a backbone, he refused to do it. This is the reality of this country,” party Chairman Prof. G L Peiris said.

At a press conference held this afternoon, Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale said President Maithripala Sirisena should take action against Gamlath.

She told reporters that Gamlath has already informed the Secretary to the President that he would be stepping down.

“If he does not do so in the next few days we will take further action,” Athukorale said.

Athukorale has already written to the President about the matter.

The letter, which was sent today, brings to the Presidents attention the interview where he claims that he was pressured by the government to initiate legal proceedings.

Gamlath told the paper that he was approached by the then President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association (BASL), officials of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), as well as several Ministers of the government.

The government also says Gamlath is politically biased as he attended a recent “lawyer’s meetup” held with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa on August 31.

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This participation is considered unethical as he is currently chairman of the authority. 

Athukorale told reporters she has no issue with Gamlath’s political convictions, but faulted him for making a statement such as this to the Media when he was in charge of the safety of witnesses.

Athukorale in her letter raises serious concerns about assertions made by the former SG  which she says have resulted in “seriously damaging the reputation of the authority while reducing the faith the people have in the country’s justice system.”   

Gamlath is a Presidential appointee and has to be removed by Sirisena.

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