Filing a writ petition in Court of Appeal, 22 government Parliamentarians representing SLPP and several others have sought an order directing the authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation in order to ascertain as to whether former Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, IGP Chandana Wickremaratne or any other respondents have willfully disobeyed the orders given by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to take action to prevent the damages to property and people following the attack on Galle Face protesters on May 9.
Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, Prasanna Ranatunga and 37 SLPP activists including 20 parliamentarians whose properties were damaged or destroyed following the mob attacks filed this petition naming former Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, Defence Secretary Kamal Gunarathne, Senior DIG Deshabandu Thennakoon, Army Commander Lieutenant General H.L.V.M. Liyanage and several others as respondents. The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed the petition for support on January 16. This petition is to be supported by President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena.
The petitioners reiterated the importance of conducting a comprehensive investigation in order to ascertain whether there was a politically motivated plan or other agenda to undermine the state.
The petitioners stated that former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the capacity of Minister of Defence had appointed a ‘Board of Inquiry’ consisting of three highly decorated former commanders of tri forces, under the Chairmanship of the Admiral of Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda, to ascertain lapses, if any, by the armed forces and State Intelligence Service, during the recent incidents of violence.
The petitioners said the conduct of former Army Commander General Shavendra Silva during the time period material to the instant application is highly questionable and that he has on several occasions disregarded direct and repeated instructions given to him by the former President, and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence to protect the private property of the petitioners as well as other Citizen and also the public property of the State.
The petitioners stated that the Board of Inquiry has found that the conduct of General Shavendra Silva on 31-03-2022 and 09-05-2022 are highly suspicious and questionable.
They further alleged that General Shavendra Silva had disregarded repeated instructions from then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Secretary of Defence to take action to prevent the damages to property and people being harmed near Beira Lake at Navam Mawatha in the afternoon and to clear the mob along the Galle road in front of the Temple Trees in spite of having over 4,500 including five Battalions from the elite Air Mobile Brigade, Special Forces and Commandos stationed in different locations within Colombo city limits.
They alleged Sri Lanka Police, and the armed forces, turned a blind eye, and did not take any action to prevent the ongoing violence and protect life and property of the citizens of Sri Lanka, despite the fact that the President had even declared a state of emergency and had issued Emergency Regulations.