Header Ads

 New website available at www.slguardian.org

Extrajudicial killing; impunity; rule of law

(September 21, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Garusinhage Priyantha (45) of Nelu-Yaya Kithulkote at Thanamalvila in Monaragala District was extrajudicially killed by officers attached to the Special Task Force (STF). Priyantha was arrested by the police officers at the 'Morning Side Estate' in Sooriyawewa and was brought to their station and detained. According to the STF officers he was brought to a house at a chena cultivation in the Deiyandara area in Sooriywewa on the night of 3 July 2011 where he was shot dead by the police officers. The states policy of combating crime by killing suspects has encouraged the police officers to kill innocents with impunity. The fact that no proper investigation has been carried out yet is a denial of justice to the victim and his family. The case illustrates the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in the country.

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to the information that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) received Mr. Garusinhage Priyantha (45) of Nelu-Yaya Kithulkote at Thanamalvila in Monaragala District was extrajudicially killed by the police officers attached to the Special Task Force (STF).

Priyantha was arrested on 3 July 2011 by the police officers attached to the STF at the 'Morning Side Estate' in Sooriyawewa and was brought to their station and detained. On the evening of the same day he was brought to a house at a chena cultivation in the Deiyandara area in Sooriywewa where he was shot dead.

Later the police announced that while Priyantha was in police custody he had divulged to his interrogators that he had a cache of arms, including a T81 assault rifle, hidden inside a house at a chena cultivation in the Deiyandara area in Sooriywewa. Then while showing the weapons Priyantha was killed during a confrontation with the STF when they entered the house.

The Sri Lankan police have adopted a systematic practice of extrajudicially killing its citizens in the name of crime prevention. The innocent, even after arrest by the police, especially by the Special Task Force (STF) have been killed while in police custody. In a recent incident the police claimed that one suspect drowned while trying to escape their custody. They offered no explanation when it was pointed out to them that the 'suspect' had been a navy specialist and an expert swimmer.

The prevention of crime is a one of the sacred and paramount duties of the any civilized state. According to the Constitution of the country the law enforcement authorities are bound to protect the right to life of the people and their constitutionally enshrined rights. Sri Lanka, while running the country with a democratic framework is bound to support the judiciary and impose the rule of law and protect the civil liberties of the people. The killing of civilians by police officers has become a peremptory norm in the country.

Any incident in which a person is killed by a policeman should be investigated promptly, efficiently and without delay. However, in this instance the state has not shown any interest in investigating the killing and bringing the responsible police officers before the court. For many years now there has been no command responsibility in the Sri Lankan police and it is the supervisory officers that should be held primarily responsible for the killings perpetrated by the officers under their command.

Tell a Friend

No comments

Powered by Blogger.