Sri Lanka court remands Muslim doctor after monks protest

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary revoked a three-month detention order against a Muslim doctor incarcerated on a false charge of sterilising Buddhist women, but a court in Kurunegala remanded him after protests by Buddhist monks.

The bizarre turn of events at the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court came despite state attorney Thusith Mudalige acknowledging that there was no evidence to hold  Mohamed Shafi on allegations that he sterilized some 4,000 Sinhala Buddhist women against their wishes.

The Criminal Investigations Department in a 210-page report made it clear to the magistrate that investigations concluded that the allegations were false and that there had been police involved in a massive fabrication of evidence to frame Shafi.

Court was also told the director of the hospital Weerabandara, a dentist by profession had a key role in securing false evidence   along with two other doctors — anaesthetist Deepani Nandasena and surgeon Indika Senaratne.  Court records showed that both doctors had initially given false statements.

However, when the case was called up Thursday, Buddhist monks and lawyers representing them insisted that releasing Dr. Shafi could lead to violence in Kurunegala where the police chief, DIG Kithsiri Jayalath, has also been implicated by the CID in orchestrating false charges against Dr. Shafi.

The magistrate, despite the State saying it had no objections to bail, ordered that Shafi be remanded for another two weeks.

Dr. Shafi was arrested on May 24 over claims he had carried out the illegal sterilisations of thousands of Sinhalese women. Shafi was detained after the Divaina daily published unsourced allegations that he had sterilised 4,000 women from the Buddhist-majority population.

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Court was told that the report had been planted in the newspaper by DIG Jayalath.  (COLOMBO, July 11, 2019)