SRI LANKA: Innocent man extra-judicially killed by Warakapola Police
Posted on August 2nd, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about the extra-judicial killing of Mr. Rajamuni Devage Gunadasa age???of second milepost, Rale Kanda, Alawwa, Warakapola in the Kegalle District of Warakapola Police Division. On 26 June 2017, while walking on the Kandy-Colombo main road, he was shot by Police Officers attached to the Warakapola Police Station in Warakapola Town. Later, Police handed over the dead body to the Warakapola Base Hospital. No investigation has yet been carried out into his death. The Police claim Gunadasa escaped thus preventing his arrest.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information about Mr. Rajamuni Devage Gunadasa of second milepost, Rale Kanda, Alawwa, Warakapola in the Kegalle District.

On 26 June 2017, Gunadasa was walking in Warakapola Town along the Kandy-Colombo main road. While he was passing the town, suddenly a police vehicle belonging to the Warakapola Police Station approached him. He was arbitrarily shot by an Officer at close range. Before the arrest he was not noticed to have stopped walking. Gunadasa was seriously injured and later succumbed to these injuries. He was transported to the Warakapola Base Hospital for treatment by the Police.

Later the Police issued a media communiqué saying that the Police fired on a person who was escaping from being arrested. Police were attempting to arrest a person engaged in a theft. Explaining the reason for the shooting, the Police stated that the deceased tried to attack them with a hand grenade. In retaliation the Police opened fire on him at extremely close range.

No details were produced on the complaint that the Police received about the theft. No property had been stolen by the victim. Neither the supposed hand grenade nor any other weapon belonging to the victim was submitted in evidence as used against the Police.

Gunadasa’s relatives maintain that he was extra-judicially killed by the Police. This is another example of a gravely faulty Policing System in Sri Lanka. It murders innocent suspects under the guise of crime prevention.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has reported numerous cases of arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and extrajudicial killings of citizens at the hands of the Sri Lankan Police. Under international and local law, these are illegal actions. They have been taking place daily at police stations all over Sri Lanka. It is common knowledge that the Police use torture as an instrument to terrorize innocent people, harass the general public and instill fear. Presently, the Police are implementing a policy of ‘elimination with extreme persuasion’ or in plain language–murdering suspected criminals. They arrest and kill people without their ever being produced in a Court of Law.

Needless to say, there is a lack of protection for those lawyers willing to take up cases against abusive Police Officers and State Authorities. This means that the law continues to be employed as a tool by the authorities to control the populationz. By undermining society’s respect for the Law and allowing impunity to go on unabated, a long-term, psychological and financial burden is placed on the shoulders of victims, their families and the general population.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the Authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Kindly request an immediate investigation into allegations of extra-judicial killings by the Police. Prosecution of those proven to be responsible under Criminal Law is imperative. The officers involved should also be subject to an internal investigation for breach of Police Departmental Orders. The AHRC will write a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions in this regard.

To support this case, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: Innocent man extra-judicially killed by Warakapola Police

Name of Victim: Mr. Rajamuni Devage Gunadasa of second milepost, Rale Kanda, Alawwa, Warakapola in the Kegalle District

Alleged perpetrators: Officers attached to the Warakapola Police Station
Date of incident: 26 June 2017
Place of incident: Warakapola Police Division

According to the information I have received, Mr. Rajamuni Devage Gunadasa of second milepost, Rale Kanda, Alawwa, Warakapola in the Kegalle District.

On 26 June 2017, Gunadasa was walking in Warakapola Town along the Kandy-Colombo main road. While he was passing the town, suddenly a police vehicle belonging to the Warakapola Police Station approached him. He was arbitrarily shot by an Officer at close range. Before the arrest he was not noticed to have stopped walking. Gunadasa was seriously injured and later succumbed to these injuries. He was transported to the Warakapola Base Hospital for treatment by the Police.

Later the Police issued a media communiqué saying that the Police fired on a person who was escaping from being arrested. Police were attempting to arrest a person engaged in a theft. Explaining the reason for the shooting, the Police stated that the deceased tried to attack them with a hand grenade. In retaliation the Police opened fire on him at extremely close range.

No details were produced on the complaint that the Police received about the theft. No property had been stolen by the victim. Neither the supposed hand grenade nor any other weapon belonging to the victim was submitted in evidence as used against the Police.

Gunadasa’s relatives maintain that he was extra-judicially killed by the Police. This is another example of a gravely faulty Policing System in Sri Lanka. It murders innocent suspects under the guise of crime prevention.

I therefore request your intervention to ensure that an immediate investigation is undertaken into the death of Gunadasa. The officers involved must also be subjected to an internal investigation for breach of Departmental Orders.

Yours Sincerely,
———————

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

  1. Mr. Pujith Jayasundara
    Inspector General of Police
    New Secretariat
    Colombo 1
    SRI LANKA
    Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
    E-mail: [email protected]
  2. Mr. Jayantha Jayasooriya PC
    Attorney General
    Attorney General’s Department
    Colombo 12
    SRI LANKA
    Fax: +94 11 2 436421
    E-mail: [email protected]
  3. Mr. N. Ariyadasa Cooray
    Secretary
    National Police Commission
    3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers
    109 Galle Road
    Colombo 03
    SRI LANKA
    Tel: +94 11 2 395310
    Fax: +94 11 2 395867
    E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
  4. Secretary
    Human Rights Commission
    No. 36, Kynsey Road
    Colombo 8
    SRI LANKA
    Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806
    Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470
    E-mail: [email protected]

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission ([email protected])

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