Former Navy Commander and Current Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne Who was scheduled to present himself at the Criminal Investigations Department(CID) Headquarters in Colombo on Monday Sep 10th 2018 morning at 10 am to record a statement has left the country on an earlier flight instead of appearing before Police as required.
Admiral Wijegunaratne had left for Doha on a Qatar Airways flight at 3.33am on Monday Sep 10th according to news reports.
The serving Chief of Defence staff is reportedly travelling to Mexico to attend the Mexico national day celebrations on Sep 16th 2018.
he CID said today that it would inform court that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) had failed appear to give his statement.
CDS Spokesman Ruwan Premaweera said Admiral Wijegunaratne left the country to attend the 208th Independence Commemoration Ceremony of United Mexican States, representing Sri Lanka on the invitation of Mexican Defence Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.
The CDS is scheduled to return on September 19.
The Spokesman said the CDS had informed the CID in writing about the visit and had requested for another date to appear before the CID.
There was much speculation that thre CDS was going to be arrested on Monday by the Police after his statement was recorded by the CID.He had been summoned to give a statement with regard to the abduction and murder of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009.
Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne on August 29 ordered the CID to take necessary action to arrest former Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne if there was sufficient evidence to prove that he had aided and abetted a Navy Officer, Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath, to evade court where the magisterial inquiry into the disappearance of 11 youths was underway.
‘Navy Sampath’, who was the main suspect to the incident, was arrested by the arrested CID on Lotus Road in Colombo with a fake identity card on August 13.
Had the CID arrested CDS Wijegunaratne on Sep 10th , he would have been the highest military officer to have been arrested for an alleged criminal offence in Sri Lanka.
Unconfirmed reports say that a Very Very Important Person in the Country had been using the “sword of authority” he wields to ensure that the ex -Navy chief left the country without keeping his appointment with the CID without being arrested and leaving the country under the pretext of attending Mexico national day one week ahead.