State Minister Chamal Rajapaksa claims that the director of Police Media Division, Jaliya Senaratna conducts media shows just like politicians and statements made regarding Riyadh Bathiudeen are also such a media show.
He said this while responding to a question raised by SJB MP Chaminda Wijeysiri in Parliament regarding the contradictory statements made by the Police Spokesman after arresting Riyadh Bathiudeen and when releasing him.
“The statement by the Police Spokesperson was not appropriate. He should have delivered it as a Police Official after an investigation. He is just showing off to the media just like the politicians. It’s a problem here. We are investigating this as well,” the minister said.
Minister Chamal Rajapaksa has stated that he will look into the statement made by Police Media spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne at the time of arrest and release of Riyadh Bathiudeen, the brother of former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.
He also stated as follows,
“There’s absolutely no deal with the government. This has been in accordance with the normal police procedures. Ten people were arrested and some of them have already been released due to lack of evidence in connection with the incident. There are some who act on instructions of the Attorney General. There have been instances where the suspects were released too. Some cases are being heard.
“Now this person was arrested on 4th April 2020, on the basis of seven calls made in 2019, with Insaf Ahmed, the bomber who carried the Cinnamon Grand bombing on 21st April 2019. After that, he was detained and questioned for three days on the request of a Police Superintendent in accordance with Section 06-01 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act N0. 48 of 79. After the expiry of the three day period, detention orders have been obtained twice for a period of six months, following the Section 09-01 of the same Act which states that detention orders can be obtained every three months up to 18 months.
“It has not been revealed, during investigations, whether the suspect had assisted the bomb blast or the terrorist activities carried out so far. Therefore, necessary documents to cancel his detention have been prepared and referred to the Ministry of Defense on 28th September 2020. After that he has been produced to the judicial medical officer and released. A separate unit has been established to investigate this. They have made about 17 phone calls in total and all of them are through the telephones of the ministry. It has not been revealed that he was directly involved in this terrorist act and the last phone call had been made before three months before the attack and that was too for a business matter. That is why steps have been taken to release him as there is no direct evidence in connection to this. It should be noted that releasing doesn’t mean anyone is guilt-free. The police are carrying out further investigations. There is a possibility to arrest more people in the future.
“When a complaint is received or certain information and rumours are heard in other ways, the procedure is to give a final conclusion after arresting the subjects, questioning and investigating the relevant matters. Sometimes some are released without any trial after being remanded for three-four months. Some are arrested and released if there is no charge against them. That’s how things are. Only the complainant is happy with that. All the others are subjected to a great injustice. Not only them, but their families also are affected by these. The police say they are directly involved in this but there are other activities related to business. But in this case, it can be detained up to 18 months by extending at the end of each three months. Then what are their rights? You can do so only if you are okay with that. But a new Deputy IGP has been appointed for the release. Re-investigations are in process just for this. There should be justice for everyone.
“Has anyone been arrested and detained for months by FCID, in your time? No. The only thing the subjects received was insult and mental anguish. Incidents like this happen. But he could have been released on bail if he had filed a FR for human rights. Nobody should be treated unfairly like this. It is true that some cannot be believed. There are cases in the Courts where the pestle is the final culprit. Or how you use your words can win the cases. When the witness says ‘Goyam Gaha’ after coming to the witness cage, the lawyer argues that how one can find cover behind a small plant like ‘Goyam Gaha.’ But we do not let anyone run away from their charges. Our decision is the same as yours. This is a big mistake. But the thing is as soon as something happens many starts to express different opinions. If you have evidence to prove your opinion, please stand up. If you have any special information or evidence, please come forward. It can be investigated right away. The release means release only, not that he is guilt free. The court case is still proceeding. There is no problem with arresting again if there is new evidence.”
Attempts made to contact the director of Police Media Division, Jaliya Senaratne, failed on several occasions. Journalists say that although they find it easy to contact former police spokespersons, it is difficult to contact Mr. Jaliya Senaratne.