President, govt. lock horns over questioning of military personnel
Posted on September 16th, 2018

Close on the heels of President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement that military personnel should not be kept in police custody for prolonged periods, the government has queried if  interrogating the Chief of Defence Staff Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, in connection with alleged protection granted to “Navy Sampath”, could be construed as harassment of war heroes.

President Sirisena, on Thursday summoned a Special Cabinet Meeting, in the absence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was in Vietnam attending an economic conference, to tell the Ministers that speedy legal action should be instituted against suspect military personnel, without them being subjected to lengthy periods of detention. Delays, he had pointed out could lead to political implications.


However Director General of Information Sudarshana Gunawardane queried yesterday,if questioning the Chief of Defence Staff in connection with a criminal case, could be construed as harassing war heroes.

He denied some media reports that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had planned to arrest Wijegunaratne. Mudiyanselage Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi was arrested by the CID on August 13, 2018 in connection with the abduction, torture, extortion and murder of 11 persons in 2008 and 2009.

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