Easter Sunday terror probe: Pujith says Salley promised to hand over Mawanella suspects
Suspended Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera told a presidential commission investigating the Easter Sunday attacks that former Western Province Governor Azath Salley assured him he would take steps to hand over two suspects involved in the Mawanella Buddha statue attacks.
Testifying before the commission headed by Court of Appeal judge Janak de Silva, Mr. Jayasundera said Mr Salley spoke to him on the phone regarding the vandalism that took place on December 23, 24 and 26 of 2018.
He claimed that Mr. Salley told him he had some information about the suspects and would turn them over to police with the help of a religious leader and the suspects’ family members.
But Mr. Salley failed to keep his word, he added
State Counsel Suharshi Herath led evidence.
He said Mr Salley was trying to be helpful and therefore he gave him the contact numbers of officers who were investigating the incidents.
Mr. Jaysundera said Mr. Salley did not try to influence him and as IGP he was not a person who could be influenced.
He said former Minister Kabir Hashim also had called him over the incident. He said it was not unusual for a politician to call police officers to discuss various matters. “As people’s representatives, they too have a responsibility. However they have no right to influence the police,” he said.
He said that at a subsequent meeting with former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and himself, Mr Salley brought up the issue of extremism being preached in the Eastern Province. Mr Fernando in response had said it was not a matter of concern as Muslims held regular sermons in the area.
With the commission’s permission, Mr. Salley was allowed to cross examine, Mr. Jayasundera on condition that he asked only questions related to the phone conversation. Mr Salley said that by cross-questioning Mr. Jaysunedera he wanted to prove that he did not influence the police and ask him whether he said that he would hand over the suspects.
Mr Jayasundera said if Mr Salley did not have information regarding the suspects he had no need to talk to him directly. He said Mr Salley gave him the impression that he would extend his help to surrender the suspects.
(Source: The Sunday Times – By Kasun Warakapitiya)
This is the first damn mistake. Who is Azad Sally? A police Officer? Is he doing Police work? Why Police allowed this? This gives ample time to the accused to run away.
” The fault lies, Dear Brutus ( My Dear Alahakoon ) not in our stars, but in ourselves _ that we underlings ”
So said Cassius in Shakespeare ‘s Julius Caesar.
The government at the time was very precariously placed with no majority of their own but hell bent on carrying on regardless. They were more worried about their numbers than anything else. Minorities had a field day. No officer of State could question them the minorities lest they would be accused of turning the apple cart and making things miserable for the BIG TWO.. They were playing the game of deaf and blind monkeys _”-I don’t hear- I don’t see ”
The naked Truth My Dear Amarakoon is everybody knew –including you and me –how the country was going down the precipice but our forlorn voice was left floating in the thin air. Pujitha and all other officers should be acquitted and instead the BIG TWO ……………… in public, broad daylight
thin gs miserale for the BIG TWO.
The police did not need any interference from Mr Salley to carry out their duties to arrest individuals who had engaged in criminal behaviour.
By intervening, and in fact preventing the arrest, Mr Salley may be held accountable for perverting the course of justice.
The destruction of Buddhist statues is a very serious offence in a country with 2600 years of Buddhism, and this should not have been dismissed, but addressed immediately.
We do not want a repeat of what has happened in neighbouring Asian countries such as Maldives, Afghanistan.
If the politicians are sincere about maintaining good racial relationships, they should have highlighted the significance of this incident and emphasised that it was totally unacceptable behaviour, rather than trivialise it.
This ka-ka nonsense from this once IGP of our nation tells how bad the corruption/incompetence cancer ran in the former Yalapalanya govt! Instead of arresting the culprits through police work (that he’s paid to do) this nincompoop goes after Muslim politicians to “hand over” culprits to him on a platter! No, the issue here is he was mortally scared of losing his job because if he had gone ahead without the approval of these Muslim politicians, who in turn were being a**-licked by Ponil and UNP for “Muslim votes” (one of their traditional minority voter bases, for which they will even sell their mother). Time to fess up Mr. IGP without talking in riddles!