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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Weliveriya Incident: Four High Ranking Army Officials relieved of their duties with immediate effect

Colombo, 30 August, (Asiantribune.com):

Consequent to Weliveriya incident that took place on 1 August, where Army was called in to assist police to disperse violent mobs, the Commander of the Army Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayaka has ordered to relieve four senior officers of the Sri Lanka Army from their duties with immediate effect.

The Brigadier who was in charge of the area and three Lieutenant Colonels who were his subordinate sector commanders. They will be attached to respective Regimental Centres until further notice.

Meanwhile the Director Legal, who is the Chief Prosecutor of the Army, examines the report of the Court of Inquiry further and will order a Summary of Evidence against any person who has violated the Military Law as a preliminary step of prosecuting such person through a Court Marshal.

The Commander of the Army has also declared that the Army's assistance to the Police at Weliveriya has been only after a clear request made by the police and is well within the legal framework and is also in line with the provisions of the Public Security Ordnance.

The Commander of the Army has also ordered all concerned to extend maximum possible cooperation, being a disciplined force, to carry out ongoing investigations by the Crime Detection Bureau as well as Hon Magistrate Court of Gampaha. He has further directed to take action against military personnel according to the Army Act after the final outcome of the ongoing judicial process.

A board of senior officers has been appointed to study the findings of the court of inquiry as well as other relevant reports/details and make recommendations as to how similar situations, particularly with regards to Army's involvement, could be averted in the future.

Given below the full text of the Press Communique on Weliweriya Incident released by the Sri Lanka Army:

Quote: Consequent to the Weliweriya incident, the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake had appointed a 5 man Court of Inquiry on 02.08.2013.

The said Court of Inquiry headed by Major General Jagath Dias submitted its report to the Commander of the Army on 21.08.2013.

The Commander of the Army, after a thorough study on the facts submitted by the Court of Inquiry, has referred the Inquiry Report to the Director Legal, Brigadier Ranjith Rajapathirana who is also the Chief Prosecutor of the Army. Once the Court of Inquiry report has been examined, a Summary of Evidence will be ordered against any person if there is sufficient evidence as to violation of military law with the view to Court Martial him.

To facilitate the inquiry process, the Brigade Commander who was in charge of Weliweriya area and 3 Sector Commanders have been relieved from their present posts and they will be attached to their Regimental HQs until further notice.

From the evidence led before the Court of Inquiry it has been revealed that the Army was deployed in Weliweriya area at the request of the Police and this was justifiable considering the security situation in the area. Further, in terms of S.12 of the Public Security Ordnance (Part III) the Army is empowered to take appropriate action in a riot situation.

The Police investigations on the 3 deaths occurred during the incident are handled by Crime Detection Bureau (CDB) and Magistrate, Court Gampaha is conducting the magistratial inquiry.

The Army, as a disciplined force, will assist the Police and the Court in every possible way and will take further action as per the final outcome of the ongoing judicial process.

Over and above the Commander of the Army has appointed a board of officers to examine the findings of the Court of Inquiry and other relevant details and to submit a report to avert situations of this nature in the future. End Quote

- Asian Tribune -

Lt. General Daya Ratnayaka
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