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Kurunegala Surgeon Dr. Mohamed Shafi to File Defamation Cases Claiming Damages Against Several Individuals Including Athuraliya Rathana Thera, Prof.Channa Jayasumana,DIG Kithsiri Jayalath, K’Gala Mayor Thushara Vitharana and the Editor and Two Journalists of a Sinhala Newspaper.

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By

Aanya Wipulasena

The Kurunegala Medical doctor at the centre of controversy, Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi and his legal team is set to file civil damages and defamation cases against several individuals this week including MP Athuraliye Ratana Thera, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, DIG Kithsiri Jayalath and two journalists and the editor of a Sinhala daily that ignited a witch-hunt against him.

Dr. Shafi, Senior House Officer (SHO) at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital will file the cases at Kurunegala and Colombo District courts.

On Monday Dr. Shafi complained to Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) C. D. Wickramaratne regarding the conduct of MP Ratana Thera who accused him of ‘mass murder’ during protest rallies.

Another complaint was lodged against Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Vitharana who told a Sinhala newspaper that Dr. Shafi aborted healthy pregnancies.

The complaint against Prof. Channa Jayasumana of the faculty of Medicine at the University of Rajarata states his controversial Facebook post led to mass threatening by social media users and put Dr. Sahfi’s family in imminent threat.

A separate complaint was made to the IGP against the editor and two journalists of a Sinhala newspaper that stirred the controversy through a series of newspaper articles including a separate one that accused a doctor of the SHO of giving sanitary napkins laced with poison to her classmates.

In his complaint that was made to the IGP, Chief Justice and the Bar Association against Attorney-at-Law Indrasiri Senarathna, Dr. Shafi states the lawyer acted against the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

A separate complaint was also made against Attorney-at-Law Chanaka Abeywickrama with regard to his social media posts that accused Dr. Shafi though CID failed to uncover evidence to prove any of the allegations made against him.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer a source close to the case said the conduct of the above-stated individuals breached Dr. Shafi’s right to fair trial and violated the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act, while a Fundamental Rights petition was filed by Dr.Imara Shafi on behalf of her husband Dr. Shafi on June 25. Dr. Shafi will also lodge complaints at the Human Rights Commission of SriLanka against these individuals this week.

Meanwhile, the National Police Commission (NPC) is set to take a decision regarding the transfer of Kurunegala DIG Kithsiri Jayalath, who was accused of fabricating evidence to frame Dr. Shafi and arrest him, early next week, NPC Secretary Nishantha Weerasinghe told the Sunday Observer.

The NPC earlier decided to transfer DIG Jayalath to Trincomalee on the order of IGP Wickramaratne after a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) request. However, the transfer was temporarily suspended by the NPC. An investigation into DIG’s conduct in Dr. Shafi case by the CID is currently underway.

Through its former probe, the CID found that DIG Jayalath has falsified charges against Dr. Shafi. NPC Chairman took this decision after consulting all members of the commission, Secretary Weerasinghe said. “We have to see if this transfer is justifiable. For that the NPC has looked into the charges made against the DIG,” he added.

On May 25, Dr. Seigu Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi, Senior House Officer at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on charges of amassing large quantities of undeclared assets. Later police led by both DIG Jayalath and SP Dissanayake called women to lodge complaints against Dr. Shafi on grounds of performing illegal sterilizations on them.

This transpired after a Sinhala daily accused a doctor in Kurunegala of illegally sterilizing ‘Sinhala’ mothers, and soon Prof. Channa Jayasumana of the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Rajarata, took to Facebook to give that doctor a name and a face- Dr.Shafi.

Courtesy:Sunday Observer

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