An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday May 11th, 2021
Politics

Sri Lanka former speaker gravely concerned about political victimisation bill

ECONOMYNEXT – Passing the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s controversial Commission on Political Victimisation as an act in parliament will essentially decide the fate of the government’s political opponents extra-judicially, former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said.

The whole country will suffer as a result both locally and internationally, Jayasuruya said in a tweet this afternoon.

The parliament’s order book for tomorrow (21) reportedly lists a motion for a number of high profile indictments and judgements to be withdrawn based on findings of the commission. The appointment of the three-member commission by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been questioned by opposition lawmakers who allege that the government is going to use its recommendations to punish the complainants and the investigating officers in the cases that are to be withdrawn.

The former speaker had previously said the commission’s report might undermine the judiciary.

“As a veteran politician, [Prime Minister Mahinda] Rajapaksa must be diligent,” he’d added.

The commission was appointed by the president on January 20, 2020, to “iInvestigate and inquire into and obtain information in relation to alleged political victimisations of public officers, employees of public corporations, and members of the armed Forces and the police service” who were holding various positions from January 08, 2015 to November 16, 2019, the Yahapalana years.

The commission, chaired by Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyratne, was also tasked with “inquiring into political victimisation and associated background took place in the wake of investigations conducted by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Special Investigation Unit of the Police” during the Siriena-Wickremesinghe years.

In January this year, the cabinet of ministers reportedly approved a 34-page memorandum to legally withdraw multiple pending cases based on the recommendations of the commission.

According to a report in The Sunday Times this week, the cases listed in the cabinet memorandum include those against Navy Commander, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) architect Basil Rajapaksa, Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Ministers Udaya Gammanpila and Nalaka Godahewa, former MP Duminda Silva, Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, former Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and formoer Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga. (Colombo/Apr20/2021)

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