SRI LANKA: Innocent man fired on by Police in broad daylight at Mawanella
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 attempt to kill Mr. Bodhipakshage Manjula Prabath Wijewardana a residence of Aranayaka in Kegalle. He was waiting on the road, in front of the Mayurapada Central College in Mawanella Town at 10:30 a.m. on 13 June 2017. Unexpectedly, the Police directly fired at him shooting him in the leg and causing him to fall down. Police transported the victim by police jeep to the Mawanella Base Hospital where he was admitted for emergency treatment. No investigation has yet been carried out regarding the attempt on his life. The Police claim they were in the process of arresting Manjula.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information about the case of Mr. Bodhipakshage Manjula Prabath Wijewardana of Nisansala, Arama, Aranayaka in the Kegalle District.

At 10:30 a.m. on 13 June 2017, Manjula was waiting on the main road, in front of the Mayurapada Central College in the Town of Mawanella. Without warning several police officers appeared in front of him, took aim and directly fired at him. Manjula’s left leg was hit and he fell to the ground. Later he was brought by police jeep and admitted to the Mawanella Base Hospital for emergency treatment.

Before the shooting, Manjula was not aware that the police officers were going to arrest him. He was not ordered by the police to obey their orders. Manjula did not know of any reasons why the Police would abruptly, without warning, directly shoot at him. He was not given any reason for his arrest or shown an arrest warrant. Police failed to produce any evidence that they tried to arrest him in a peaceful manner. Manjula respectfully states that he never tried to escape from being arrested by the Police.

A Police Communiqué was issued, stating that Manjula escaped being arrested by the Police. They never produced any independent evidence that there was a legally issued arrest warrant against him. No facts were submitted showing that Manjula tried to run away and prevent the officers from arresting him.

The family members of Manjula maintain that the Police attempted to extra-judicially kill their relative. This is another indication of the faulty Policing System in Sri Lanka. It extra-judicially kills 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 population. 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 society in general.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the Authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Kindly request an immediate investigation into allegations of an attempted extra-judicial killing 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 fired on by Police in broad daylight at Mawanella

Name of Victim: Mr. Bodhipakshage Manjula Prabath Wijewardana of Nisansala, Arama, Aranayaka in the Kegalle District
Alleged perpetrators: Officers attached to the Mawanella Police Station
Date of incident: 13 June 2017
Place of incident: Mawanella Police Division

According to the information I have received, AT 10:30 a.m. on 13 June 2017, Mr. Bodhipakshage Manjula Prabath Wijewardana was waiting on the main road, in front of the Mayurapada Central College in the Town of Mawanella. Without warning several police officers appeared in front of him, took aim and directly fired at him. Manjula’s left leg was hit and he fell to the ground. Later he was brought by police jeep and admitted to the Mawanella Base Hospital for emergency treatment.

Before the shooting, Manjula was not aware that the police officers were going to arrest him. He was not ordered by the police to obey their orders. Manjula did not know of any reasons why the Police would abruptly, without warning, directly shoot at him. He was not given any reason for his arrest or shown an arrest warrant. Police failed to produce any evidence that they tried to arrest him in a peaceful manner. Manjula respectfully states that he never tried to escape from being arrested by the Police.

A Police Communiqué was issued, stating that Manjula escaped being arrested by the Police. They never produced any independent evidence that there was a legally issued arrest warrant against him. No facts were submitted showing that Manjula tried to run away and prevent the officers from arresting him.

The family members of Manjula maintain that the Police attempted to extra-judicially kill their relative. This is another indication of the faulty Policing System in Sri Lanka. It extra-judicially kills innocent suspects under the guise of crime prevention.

I therefore request your intervention to ensure that an immediate investigation is undertaken into the attempted murder of Manjula, abruptly and directly fired upon by Police. 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. 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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