Meddling politicos before the era of call recordings
Posted on February 11th, 2020

By Janaka Perera

In the wake of the hullabaloo over MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s phone call recordings, a retired senior police officer recalls how a politician attempted with a phone call to obstruct the path of justice. 

It was at the height of the JVP’s second insurgency (1987-90) when a number of so-called bhikkhus were involved with the insurgents.  Former DIG Terry Amarasekera – then Senior SP – in charge of the Mount Lavinia Division.  He had instructed the then Headquarter Inspector Mount Lavinia Nimal Mahagamage to go with a team to arrest one of these robed rebels. The latter was arrested in Matara and locked up after being brought to Colombo by the HQI and party.

Apparently the monk had some connections with the ruling party despite being a fiery anti-government activist hailing from a province which was a hotbed of JVP activity.

Late in the night after the arrest, Tyronne Fernando, then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, rang SSP Amarasekera had ordered the suspect be released immediately.  When the SSP refused the Minister wanted the suspect to be bailed out. When that request too was refused Fernando had tried to have Amarasekera transferred to Jaffna.

When the latter conveyed this to the then Inspector-General of Police Cyril Herath, a legendary police chief, he prevented the transfer to Jaffna and instead got SSP Amarasekera transferred to Police Headquarters, Colombo.  When the SSP asked IGP Herath the reason for the sudden transfer the IGP, according to Amarasekera, had replied:

Gamini Lokuge and Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted you transferred. You can work here as Director Special Investigations Unit at Headquarters. You may come in the morning and go in the evening.

Later, Terry Amarasekera was promoted DIG and posted to the Uva Province. He kept a record having served in Uva for five years and three months before retirement.

Cyril Herath though he served as IGP only for three years he performed an exemplary service.

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