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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 114

Let's demand respect to rule of law

[color=darkblue][b]The following is the translated extracts from the “Hanzard” coloumns 341 – 346: the official printed verbatim record of the Parliamentary proceedings of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka - clear proof of abuse of power and persecution of public officers who refuse to give into the demands of corrupt politico cheats[/b][/color]
9th October 2001
15.30 Hrs.
Mr. Edward Gunasekara:
“Hon. Deputy Speaker, the officers of the Customs Department, Prison Department, Police and officers of few other institutions who discharge their statutory duty correctly continue to receive death threats but the government has failed to find a solution to this issue…”
“Assassinations will not stop with the murder of Mr. Sujith Perera [Customs Officer]. I must state that this has an effect on other public officers who are continuing to receive threats…”
“Hon. Deputy Speaker, you are well aware that everything is politicised, honest officers are threatened with murder…”
“Over seven or eight months have passed since the assassination of Mr. Sujith Perera but death threats continue to be delivered in the same manner. After this incident we have heard many stories from the Customs front. Certain customs officials have left the country having found it impossible to live in this country because of the threats and intimidations…”
“One such officer who left the country has made a statement to the press on 30-09-2001. This officer has received threats because he conducted an inquiry into an unlawful importation of a motor vehicle. He has left the country together with his family having experienced what has happened to Mr. Sujith Perera…”
“Every day what we see in the print media is that politics is mixed up in frauds and murderous acts. With these developments the officials are frightened. There is no law and order to protect them. According to news, even the Attorney General takes sides…”
15.37 Hrs
Mr. Hemakumara Nanayakkara:
“Straightforward officers can no longer live in this country. Either they are killed or they are compelled to leave the country by the collective efforts of influential politicians and other powerful officials…”
“The officer who inquired into Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga’s car has left the country. He has inquired into an illegal importation of a motor vehicle by the wife of the former Cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga and he has imposed a fine of rupees five million.
For security reasons Mr. Nagananda Kodituwakku has left the country with his family. According to the order of the said inquiry the vehicle has been forfeited and it should have been surrendered to Customs. But they have refused to surrender the vehicle to Customs. The present Director General of Customs, the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Secretary to the President, Minister Reggie Ranatunga and other higher officials have backed Ranatunga…”

The Hon. Reggie Ranatunga: “I have nothing to do with this and it is not true. He demanded Rs.2.5 million to drop the case.”

Mr. Hemakumara Nanayakkara:
“Then why didn’t you make a complaint?”
“Hon. Deputy Speaker, Members of Mr. Reggie Ranatunga’s family attacked primary school students of Asoka Vidyalaya and the students were not even allowed to make a complaint to the Police. The Ranatungas are now trying to get rid of Customs Officers. Having committed an offence and found guilty, a penalty of Rupees five million has been imposed on them. But these people, having used their political authority and influence of other higher officers have refused to pay the fine imposed on them and also refused to surrender the vehicle…”
Hon Deputy Speaker, the Ministers and the Secretaries threaten Customs Officers and therefore they cannot perform their statutory duty. That is why straightforward officers committed to serving the people of this country like Nagananda Kodituwakku, have left the country together with his family. All this time we talked about justice and morality. But that is denied to us by Ministers of this calibre.

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