- Says probe could ensure no undue influence on judgement
- Wants President, PM, Defence Ministry to conduct probe
- Praises President for steps taken since appointment
- By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara has called for an investigation to ensure there was no undue influence on the Duminda Silva judgement, with the issue being taken up following the arrest of United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake on 3 January.
SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara
Before Ramanayake was taken into custody, Police searched his premises and found recordings of telephone conversations with members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) and the Bribery Commission. Sparking controversy and bringing the Duminda Silva case back into the spotlight were supposed recorded conversations between Ramanayake and former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekara, which were made public on Monday at a Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) press briefing. SLFP members, including Jayasekara, are now calling for an investigation on the phone conversations between the two, and Jayasekara said, “These tapes indicate that the judges were unduly influenced while deciding on the case.”
“We would like to ask the President, Prime Minister, and the Defence Ministry to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter,” he said, adding that legal action should be taken against any judges, politicians, and Police officers involved in any wrongdoings. He emphasised that this would not be for political revenge but to simply follow the due process.
According to Jayasekara, the Judicial Service Commission must first launch an investigation into the matter. When asked by a reported if the Chief Justice, who is the head of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court, should investigate the matter, Jayasekara said that would not be right as there were allegations against the former Chief Justice as well. “The Judicial Service Commission or a Special Commission appointed by the President must investigate the matter and present a report on it,” he said, adding that this report can be discussed in Parliament with the Constitutional Council taking a decision on the matter.
Responding to questions on a resentencing for Duminda Silva, who received the death penalty over the murder of former Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, Jayasekara said the Supreme Court decision is final, making this a tricky situation.
He added that the recordings have created mistrust of the Judiciary and officials entrusted with enforcing the law among the people, and blamed this mistrust on the previous Government. Mentioning dialogue from the recordings, Jayasekara further commented, “We can now prove with evidence that the judgements on individuals like Duminda Silva were being influenced.”
The remarks were made at SLFP’s first press conference of the year, which was held yesterday. At the press briefing, the Parliamentarian also thanked all SLFP members whose efforts ensured President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory at the 2019 Presidential Elections.
“If the country had to go forth without Gotabaya Rajapaksa becoming the President of the country, we would have faced a number of issues, especially regarding national security, the risk of the economy crashing, the risk of selling national assets,” Jayasekara said.