SRI LANKA: Thirty-three year old ex-soldier missing in Horowpathana
Posted on October 23rd, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear Friends,

Mr. Lalsiri Sampath Sugathapala (33) of Meehonda Wewa, Horowpathana was a resident of Horowpathana Police Division. He went missing on 14 April 2017. He was a regular soldier attached to the Sri Lanka Army. After resigning from the military he joined a company in Colombo. He was happy in his job. On 11 April he phoned home saying that he is coming home for the New Year Celebrations on 14 April. Since then he has been missing. Later, relatives lodged a complaint with the Horowpathana Police Station, requesting an investigation to possibly save Sampath’s life. Police confirmed that he left his office with official leave arrangements to return home. It was confirmed that on 14 April suspiciously his mobile number was not functioning. According to relatives, Police have not yet investigated the case. They demand a prompt, efficient, independent and full-scale investigation into their complaint, requesting the Authorities to take all possible measures to protect the life of Sampath, a victim.

Case Narrative:

Mr. Lalsiri Sampath Sugathapala (33) of Meehonda Wewa, Horowpathana was a resident of Anuradhapura District. He was unmarried and lived with his mother and sister at their house in the Horowpathana Police Division.

Sampath was a soldier attached to the Sri Lanka Army. He resigned from the military, joined the Privet Company in Colombo, starting his new job in January 2017. Sampath had frequent contact with his mother. He called on 11 April 2017 telling his mother that he would be coming home on 14 April for the New Year Celebration.

The relatives waited for several days but he never came home. Later they inquired about his whereabouts from his work place. The officers at the company confirmed that Sampath did not report back to work after going on home leave.

On 28 April 2017, Sampath’s mother filed a complaint with the Horowpathana Police Station. Police called the relatives and recorded further information about the missing Sampath. The relatives provided, his mobile telephone numbers, both residential address and the official address of his working place.

The Police informed the family that his mobile had been not functioning from 14 April 2017. They further certified the fact that he had properly taken leave from his office to return home and informed the residential house that was leaving for home.

However, when Police were questioned about what happened to Sampath after he left his residence in Colombo, the Police said that they are still investigating the case.

The victim’s family believes that this is a clear case of a person gone missing. They fear for Sampath’s life. It stems from stories they have seen on national TV on disappearances, killings and destruction of body parts. Relatives state that due to the apathetic and inefficient approach of the Horowpathana Police, Sampath’s whereabouts remain unknown. They urged the Police to initiate a prompt, efficient, full investigation into the case. All possible measures should be taken to look for and safeguard Sampath’s life and his well-being. He is a victim.

Suggested Action:

Please send letters to the Authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Request an immediate Police investigation into allegations of not quickly and properly investigating this missing person’s case. Those proven to be responsible under the Law should be prosecuted. Please recommend the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) open a special investigation into the malpractice of Police Officers abusing power.

To support this case, please click here:

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: Thirty-three year ex- soldier missing in Horowpathana
Name of Victim: Mr. Lalsiri Sampath Sugathapala (33) of Meehonda Wewa, Horowpathana was a resident of Anuradhapura District
Alleged perpetrators:

1) unknown individuals or group of people
2) Officers attached to the Horowpathana Police Station.

Date of incident: 14 April 2017
Place of incident: Horowpathana Police Division

According to the information I have received Mr. Lalsiri Sampath Sugathapala (33) of Meehonda Wewa, Horowpathana was a resident of Anuradhapura District. He was unmarried and lived with his mother and sister at their house in the Horowpathana Police Division.

Sampath was a soldier attached to the Sri Lanka Army. He resigned from the military, joined the Privet Company in Colombo, starting his new job in January 2017. Sampath had frequent contact with his mother. He called on 11 April 2017 telling his mother that he would be coming home on 14 April for the New Year Celebration.

The relatives waited for several days but he never came home. Later they inquired about his whereabouts from his work place. The officers at the company confirmed that Sampath did not report back to work after going on home leave.

On 28 April 2017, Sampath’s mother filed a complaint with the Horowpathana Police Station. Police called the relatives and recorded further information about the missing Sampath. The relatives provided, his mobile telephone numbers, both residential address and the official address of his working place.

The Police informed the family that his mobile had been not functioning from 14 April 2017. They further certified the fact that he had properly taken leave from his office to return home and informed the residential house that was leaving for home.

However, when Police were questioned about what happened to Sampath after he left his residence in Colombo, the Police said that they are still investigating the case.

The victim’s family believes that this is a clear case of a person gone missing. They fear for Sampath’s life. It stems from stories they have seen on national TV on disappearances, killings and destruction of body parts. Relatives state that due to the apathetic and inefficient approach of the Horowpathana Police, Sampath’s whereabouts remain unknown. They urged the Police to initiate a prompt, efficient, full investigation into the case. All possible measures should be taken to look for and safeguard Sampath’s life and his well-being. He is a victim.

I request the intervention of your good offices. Ensure that the Authorities listed below open an immediate investigation into alleged violations of the fundamental rights of the victim by Officers of the Sri Lanka Police Department. The Officers involved should face an internal investigation for breach of Police 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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One Response to “SRI LANKA: Thirty-three year old ex-soldier missing in Horowpathana”

  1. Senerath Says:

    This is how our soldiers are being treated. It was the same since so called ‘war victory’, victory for politicians, dangedia for soldiers and the country.

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