Sri Lanka is a criminal state. This story proves it. But we have to change this situation somehow. We have to fight continously…
The person who is responsible for this murder is fugitive and is still at large even after 21 years.
The case still pending in the Kalutara High Court under case number HC570/13 could be the longest criminal case in the world and still not come to an end. It’s been 21 years and case is still under investigation.
What is the truth behind the torture case of Lasantha Jagath Kumara? The victim was brutally murdered while he was in Payagala police custody, and Walpolagedara Prasanna Wickramaratne is the main accused in this case who was the officer in charge of the Payyagala Police Crime Division at that time.
Lasantha Jagath Kumara’s sister; Amitha Priyanthi
On June 12, 2000, Lasantha was arrested by a Payagala police claiming that he was a deserter. Although it is true that Lasantha Jagath Kumara is a Army soldier, the Paiyagala Police did not hand him over to the Army. Though he should be handed over to the army, it did not happen.
The Payagala Police Chief has taken steps to detain Lasantha stating that he was involved in a number of petty crimes in the Payagala area. The police produced Lasantha, before the Kalutara Magistrate’s Court on June 17, five days later since he got arrest, had charged files against him alleging that the suspect was guilty of several minor offenses.
By that time, Lasantha had been brutally beaten and punished by the police. According to his sister Amitha Priyanthi, even when he was produced in court, one of his arms was cracked and was sticking through the skin; but the police misled the judiciary by providing false medical report to the court.
W.R. Piyasoma was the medical officer who wrote this false report which stated that there were only 5 minor scratches on Lasantha’s body. But even then Lasantha’s internal organs may have been damaged. Piyasoma, who wrote the fake report, was suspended from the Medical Council for three years.
Lasantha was brought to the Colombo Magazine Prison on June 18 due a court order. On 20.6.2000 he died at the Remand Prison. The forensic pathologist who examined the death said there were 22 internal injuries that resulted to his death. Now, can you imagine the cruel behavior of the Paiyagala police?
Although the main accused in the case, Walpolagedara Prasanna Wickramaratne was arrested in connection with the incident, but had released on bail soon (within 4 days). He has been missing since bail. The officer’s wife has complained to the police that her husband is missing. But Ms. Amitha Priyanthi, who has been in court for more than 20 years seeking justice for her brother, says this man is living secretly by hiding somewhere in Sri Lanka and under the auspices of the police.
” Harshana Nanayakkara, a lawyer representing the government, did not say anything in this regard. If the same rule is occupying to every citizen, how could this person be given a special opportunity? It seems like everyone has helped him to escaped from judiciary. Recently I heard that this person has appealed several times to get back his job. So, if he did that, the police should know that the person is alive. The intelligence officers say that he has appealed to the police headquarters. So, if the person still lives somewhere in Sri Lanka, why not arrest him?” Amitha Priyanthi’s question is fair.
“There were four cases in all, three cases pending at the moment, one fundamental rights case on Supreme Court, one criminal case and two district court cases. In addition, an investigation was launched against the Medical Council, and an investigation was conducted by the Police Department into a breach of order. It is not clear to us what happened to them. However, only the OIC of the Crimes Division who was suspected as the relevant accused was suspended.”
” During the tenure of Ranjith Abeysuriya Police Commission was literally activated and not like today. Fair action was taken on public complaints. Finally, I would like to point out that due to the weakness of the law enforcement agencies and their links with the criminals, justice will not be served in this country. We lost our younger brother. His son is now a young man. What can we tell him? Our family and my brother’s family were devastated. However, the accused in this case is still at large. When will we get justice” ? It must be said that all these cases and the struggle for justice are the result of Amita Priyanthi’s unwavering commitment and courage.
This book not only consists the tragic story of Lasantha Jagath Kumara who passed away after being tortured by the Payagala police but also the story of determined lady who has been working for 21 years for justice to her own brother.
“21 Years Without Justice” is the book written by herself, which launch today, is remarkable as her long journey for justice.
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