SRI LANKA: Innocent man fired on by Police in broad daylight in Negombo
Posted on October 19th, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about the attempt to extra-judicially kill Mr. Ranhotigedara Vajira Kumara (41), at the Negombo Police Division in Gampaha District. At 5:30 p.m. 12 August 2017, Vajira was driving to his business with friends on Colombo-Puttalam Road towards Chilaw. Without warning, a group of Police Officers attached to the Special Task Force (STF) fired on his vehicle. Vajira was injured and later admitted to the National Hospital of Colombo for treatment. Relatives of the victim state that STF Officers attempted to murder their relative without any justifiable reason. The Police later issued a media communique acknowledging the shooting but justifying it stating that they were on their way to arrest suspects in a case of theft. Relatives stated that the Police are reluctant to investigate cases where its own Officers have been seriously involved in committing crimes against the public.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information about Mr. Ranhotigedara Vajira Kumara (41), Rajapakshapura, Seeduwa, in the Gampaha District.

At 5:30 p.m. on 12 August 2017, Vajira was traveling to Chilaw in a hired vehicle with his friends to attend to his business affairs. The vehicle was driven by one of his friends. As they were passing the Negombo Town on the Colombo-Puttalm main road, he observed a Police jeep with ‘STF’ Special Task Force on it. The jeep overtook his vehicle, stopping in front of it without following necessary road traffic signals.

The Police jeep did not signal Vajira’s vehicle to stop or ask the driver to follow any orders. Other uniformed Police Officers did not give hand signals to follow their orders either. They did not verbally request anything. Suddenly Officers opened fire on Vajira’s vehicle. All in the vehicle were shocked and implored them to stop firing. BUT, the Police did not stop. Vajira could feel in his body that he was shot. Police Officers brought him to the Negambo General Hospital where he was admitted for emergency treatment of gunshot wounds.

The Doctors examined the victim, immediately transferring him to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) in Colombo for further specialized investigations. The Doctors found that bullets penetrated deep inside Vajie’s skull severely damaging his nervous system. Considering the severity of his injuries, Doctors quickly referred him for special treatment in the Neurology Unit of the NHSL. Later Vajira underwent several surgeries while being treated as an inpatient in this hospital.

The relatives state that, neither Vajira nor any of his friends in the vehicle were engaged in any violent or criminal activity. They were not a public nuisance to pedestrians or other vehicles on the road. They did not cause any trouble to the Officers on duty at that time. No driver, passenger or neighbor in the vicinity made any verbal, telephone or written complaint against him. In such a situation, suddenly firing at them without warning is not lawful.

Furthermore, the relatives stated that the STF Officers were not conducting official duties of ‘peace officers’ according to the Criminal Procedure Code, No: 15 of 1979. It is the regular Police Officers who conduct investigations, make arrests and produce suspects in the Courts. In this case, STF Officers simply fired into civilians travelling in a peaceful manner. The question is WHY. This conduct has caused severe distress, anxiety and FEAR among the civilian population.

Later, the Police issued the following statement. A team of Police Officers, attached to the STF were following orders from their commanding officer to arrest several people wanted on suspicion of thievery. The STF received information that they were moving around in the Negombo area. They followed the vehicle, fired into it and made arrests. However, the police communique never justified the manner in which the STF officers behaved beyond the limits of the Law. The Media Statement further stated that they found several weapons, ammunition and mobile phones in the vehicle the victim was driving. Relatives totally denied these allegations. They said that none of the above mentioned equipment was in the vehicle while it was moving. It was introduced later by the Police to frame Vajira and justify their illegal actions.

Both victim and his family members firmly believe that the Police senselessly fired on their relative. They are guilty of attempted murder under Criminal Law. Police have acknowledged and accepted the firing and assume responsibility for it. They have not yet arrested the responsible Police Officers who engaged in the indiscriminate shooting. They have not yet made any successful attempt to investigate the crime.

The relatives referred to the following points in the Criminal Procedure Code of Sri Lanka. It is the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Negobo Headquarters Police Station, who is responsible for investigating, arresting suspects, reporting the facts and producing suspects in the Magistrate’s Courts. The OIC has failed to fulfill these duties under the Law.

THE VICTIM HAS BEEN DENIED JUSTICE.

Vajira’s family maintains 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.

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 in Negombo

Name of Victim: Mr. Ranhotigedara Vajira Kumara (41), Rajapakshapura, Seeduwa, in the Gampaha District.
Alleged perpetrators:
1) Officers attached to the Special Task Force (STF)
2) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Negombo Headquarters Police Station
Date of incident: 12 August 2017
Place of incident: Negombo Police Division

I write with regard to information I have received, about the attempt to extra-judicially kill Mr. Ranhotigedara Vajira Kumara, 41 years old, from Rajapakshapura, Seeduwa, in the Gampaha District.

At 5:30 p.m. on 12 August 2017, Vajira was traveling to Chilaw in a hired vehicle with his friends to attend to his business affairs. The vehicle was driven by one of his friends. As they were passing the Negombo Town on the Colombo-Puttalm main road, he observed a Police jeep with ‘STF’ Special Task Force on it. The jeep overtook his vehicle, stopping in front of it without following necessary road traffic signals.

The Police jeep did not signal Vajira’s vehicle to stop or ask the driver to follow any orders. Other uniformed Police Officers did not give hand signals to follow their orders either. They did not verbally request anything. Suddenly Officers opened fire on Vajira’s vehicle. All in the vehicle were shocked and implored them to stop firing. BUT, the Police did not stop. Vajira could feel in his body that he was shot. Police Officers brought him to the Negambo General Hospital where he was admitted for emergency treatment of gunshot wounds.

The Doctors examined the victim, immediately transferring him to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) in Colombo for further specialized investigations. The Doctors found that bullets penetrated deep inside Vajie’s skull severely damaging his nervous system. Considering the severity of his injuries, Doctors quickly referred him for special treatment in the Neurology Unit of the NHSL. Later Vajira underwent several surgeries while being treated as an inpatient in this hospital.

The relatives state that, neither Vajira nor any of his friends in the vehicle were engaged in any violent or criminal activity. They were not a public nuisance to pedestrians or other vehicles on the road. They did not cause any trouble to the Officers on duty at that time. No driver, passenger or neighbor in the vicinity made any verbal, telephone or written complaint against him. In such a situation, suddenly firing at them without warning is not lawful.

Furthermore, the relatives stated that the STF Officers were not conducting official duties of ‘peace officers’ according to the Criminal Procedure Code, No: 15 of 1979. It is the regular Police Officers who conduct investigations, make arrests and produce suspects in the Courts. In this case, STF Officers simply fired into civilians travelling in a peaceful manner. The question is WHY. This conduct has caused severe distress, anxiety and FEAR among the civilian population.

Later, the Police issued the following statement. A team of Police Officers, attached to the STF were following orders from their commanding officer to arrest several people wanted on suspicion of thievery. The STF received information that they were moving around in the Negombo area. They followed the vehicle, fired into it and made arrests. However, the police communique never justified the manner in which the STF officers behaved beyond the limits of the Law. The Media Statement further stated that they found several weapons, ammunition and mobile phones in the vehicle the victim was driving. Relatives totally denied these allegations. They said that none of the above mentioned equipment was in the vehicle while it was moving. It was introduced later by the Police to frame Vajira and justify their illegal actions.

Both victim and his family members firmly believe that the Police senselessly fired on their relative. They are guilty of attempted murder under Criminal Law. Police have acknowledged and accepted the firing and assume responsibility for it. They have not yet arrested the responsible Police Officers who engaged in the indiscriminate shooting. They have not yet made any successful attempt to investigate the crime.

The relatives referred to the following points in the Criminal Procedure Code of Sri Lanka. It is the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Negobo Headquarters Police Station, who is responsible for investigating, arresting suspects, reporting the facts and producing suspects in the Magistrate’s Courts. The OIC has failed to fulfill these duties under the Law.

I therefore request your intervention to ensure that an immediate investigation is undertaken into the attempted murder of this victim. He was abruptly and directly fired upon by Police. The Officers involved must also be subject 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])

Visit our website with more features at www.humanrights.asia.

You can make a difference. Please support our work and make a donation here.

—————————–

Asian Human Rights Commission

G/F
52 Princess Margaret Road

Ho Man Tin, Kowloon

Hongkong S.A.R.

Tel: +(852) 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) 2698-6367

Web: www.humanrights.asia

twitter/youtube/facebook: humanrightsasia

One Response to “SRI LANKA: Innocent man fired on by Police in broad daylight in Negombo”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    Yet another incident of Ranil’s Gestapo police in action. There is no use of complaining to IGP as he is also a Thug. It is quite obvious the country is rapidly moving to a police state or a dictatorship. No action against police thuggery. No elections. Ranil’s friends who robbed the nation are protected. Leading opposition members are arrested. It is time to wake up patriots. It’s now or never.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress