Lasantha’s daughter questions credibility of NPC

Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, has questioned the credibility of the National Police Commission (NPC).

In a letter to the commission, Ahimsa Wickrematunge accused the commission and the Attorney General of approving the Government’s decision to put the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in the hands of an officer who tampered with a murder investigation.

Wickrematunge said that in a previous letter to the NPC she drew attention to the fact that it appointed Prasanna J. Alwis as CID Director despite the CID having previously caught him allegedly tampering with evidence in the investigation into her father’s murder.

“I asked the commission to investigate how this happened. You confirm in your letter that evidence with regard to the death of Lasantha Wickrematunge had been suppressed by SSP A.R.P.J. Alwis and that was reported to the Magistrate of Mt. Lavinia on 4 October 2019. You also state that extracts on destroying and suppression of evidence have been handed over to Hon. Attorney General under C.R.01 40/2020. This file was submitted to the Attorney General before Mr. Alwis was appointed to head the CID,” Wickrematunge said.

She says she cannot believe that the commission and Attorney General blessed the regime’s decision to put the CID in the hands of an officer who tampered with a murder investigation.

She notes throwing natural justice to the wind,  Alwis was once again allowed to oversee her father’s case and so the Commission must answer for appointing an accused criminal to head the CID.

“Never in the 140-year history of the CID had it ever been headed by an officer with even the slightest disciplinary blemish. That 140-year streak was broken when the NPC appointed a CID Director reported to court for suppressing evidence of Sri Lanka’s most emblematic unsolved murder, in which the state stands accused of killing a journalist for exposing corruption,” she said.

Ahimsa Wickrematunge says by turning a blind eye to the state’s effort to subvert these investigations, the NPC has jeopardised the credibility of the commission, the Police, the Attorney General’s Department and the entire Sri Lankan criminal justice system.

“The NPC well may go down in history as a complicit rubber stamp to an autocratic regime bent on covering up the atrocities of its leaders,” she said.

Ahimsa Wickrematunge called on the NPC to interdict and discipline Alwis, order a full audit of records of her father’s murder investigation and other CID cases including those involving Keith Noyahr and Upali Tennakoon, reveal how the commission was deceived into appointing an officer accused of hushing up a murder to run the CID and re-examine the credentials and disciplinary records of all 100+ officers who were brought into the CID since November 2019.

She notes in the letter that the commission is expected to serve the people and uphold the Constitution. (Colombo Gazette)