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President directs IGP to investigate SSP Douglas Peiris' Affidavit on forged passports

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on March 5 directed the Inspector General of Police, Indra de Silva to investigate matters confessed to by Senior Superintendent of Police, Douglas Peiris in an Affidavit sworn by him on August 10, 2000.

The President's directive has been as a consequence of a Judgement delivered by Justices Udalagama and Sripavan on October 23, 2003 in the Court of Appeal Writ Application No. CA 1178/2003 filed by Mangala Samaraweera.

In the above Judgment, among other things, it had been held as follows - "It would appear that despite the discharge of the first respondent (Douglas Peiris) from the proceedings in MC Negombo Case No. B/2577/00 referred to above that the 3rd and the 5th respondents (Solicitor General C. R. de Silva P.C. and State Counsel Gihan Kulatunga) on 14th February 2003 decided to forward charges in respect of passport bearing No. L/1171129 which was used by the 1st respondent (Douglas Peiris) to leave Sri Lanka.

An indictment has been forwarded to the High Court of Colombo and the CID has been advised to file charges in the appropriate Magistrate's Court under the provisions of Immigrants and Emigrants Act., against the 1st respondent (Douglas Peiris) for being in possession of the said forged passport".

President Kumaratunga in her Letter had pointed out that as per the Judgment of the Court of Appeal, the CID had been advised by the Attorney General to file charges in the appropriate Magistrate's Court under the provisions of the Immigrants and Emgirants Act against Douglas Peiris for being in a possession of a forged Passport, and had also drawn attention to Section 45 (2) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, vis-a-vis, the offence of aiding and abetting in the commission of the aforesaid offence by Douglas Peiris of being in possession of a forged Passport, as per his admission in his own Affidavit. Attorney General K. C. Kamalasabayson P.C. had been the 2nd Respondent in the above Court of Appeal Writ Application.

President Kumaratunga in her letter to the IGP on March 5, had attached copies of the above Judgment of the Court of Appeal, a Letter addressed to the Attorney General K. C. Kamalasabayson P.C. by former DIG-CID Punya de Silva on a statement made by SSP Douglas Peiris to the CID on August 4, 5 and 6, 2000 and Affidavit dated August 10, 2000 of SSP Douglas Peiris.

It is in the above context that President Kumaratunga had directed the IGP to take warranted action, strictly enforcing the rule of Law. However, intriguingly, the very same day, the IGP has responded to President Kumaratunga stating that Douglas Peiris was charged in the Negombo Magistrate's Court under the Immigrants and Emigrants Act for being in possession of a forged Passport and that the case was withdrawn by the Attorney General, himself, and that hence, no inquiry could be commenced by the Police, without the directive from the Attorney General.

President Kumaratunga, who had been apprised of all relevant facts, replied the IGP by Letter dated March 8, 2004, pointing out that the above offence referred to, was not the offence of Douglas Peiris returning to Sri Lanka on a forged Passport, and that in respect of this 2nd forged Passport, MC Negombo Case No. B/2577/00, which had been instituted had been withdrawn on the advice of the Attorney General on the premise that Douglas Peiris had been brought to Sri Lanka by the CID.

President Kumaratunga had clarified to the IGP that her directive given on March 5, 2004 was to proceed to investigate and file charges in respect of the 1st forged Passport bearing No. L/1171129, which had been used by Douglas Peiris to leave Sri Lanka and had been provided to him by certain persons, as had been disclosed by him in his Affidavit of August 10, 2000.

President Kumaratunga had further pointed out that the Attorney General had admitted having advised to withdraw the case in respect of the 2nd Passport on which Douglas Peiris had been brought back to Sri Lanka by the CID, and at the same time had informed the Court of Appeal that he had decided to forward charges and had already advised the CID to file charges under the provisions of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act against Douglas Peiris for being in possession of the 1st forged Passport, which had been used by him to leave Sri Lanka.

In addition, President Kumaratunga had drawn attention of the IGP to the offence of aiding and abetting Douglas Peiris in the commission of such offence in terms of Section 45 (2) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act by those persons referred to by Douglas Peiris in his Affidavit, President Kumaratunga has directed the IGP to take action immediately and proceed with the investigations into this matter, strictly enforcing the rule of law.

President Kumaratunga had further pointed out that DIG-CID Lionel Gunathilake and Director-CID Sisira Mendis had also been respondents to the above Writ Application filed by Mangala Samaraweera. In the light of the IGP's response to the President that he had no directives from the Attorney General, it would appear that the Attorney General and the Solicitor General has mislead the Court of Appeal that the CID had already been directed to file charges in the appropriate Magistrate's Court as had been disclosed in the Judgment of the Court of Appeal of October 23, 2003.

The Case in respect of the 2nd forged Passport on which Douglas Peiris was brought back to Sri Lanka by the CID, had been filed on the advice of the Attorney General in the Magistrate's Court of Negombo bearing Case No. B/2577/00, wherein a report from the Examiner of Questioned Documents had also been obtained to confirm the handwriting of Douglas Peiris on his Disembarkation Card and other related Documents. Upon K. N. Choksy P.C., having appeared in this MC Negombo Case No. B/2577/00 and making submissions on September 5, 2000, the Attorney General had withdrawn this Case.

Legal circles question, as to whether the CID had a right to violate the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, when no citizen could violate such law? And also, why the CID could not have obtained a genuine Passport from the Sri Lanka High Commission in Madras in the name of Douglas Peiris to have brought him back? Legal circles also question, as to whether not Officers of the forces and police have been prosecuted for breaking the law in torturing and murdering victims in custody? Hence, how the law enforcement authorities could be permitted to break the provisions of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, legal circles question.

SSP Douglas Peiris in his Affidavit of August 10, 2000 has sworn as follows in respect of the 1st and 2nd forged Passports, in paragraphs 3 and 9 thereof, respectively.

"3. On or about 6th of June 1996, after having had discussions with Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, I was instructed to go abroad for an about 3 years on a forged passport prepared in the name of T. V. K. Wimalasena. This trip was arranged by one Gamini Abeyratne on the instructions of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.

9. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe who had received the news of my intending return to Sri Lanka had summoned my son to the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and had informed him that arrangements are being made to send me for a job in Dubai. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe after having had discussions with my son had caused the preparation of a forged passport in the name of Don Victor Amarasinghe through Bodhi Ranasinghe, Milinda Moragoda and the UNP Organizer of Colombo Central Mahroof and caused the delivery of the said passport to me in Madras through one Hameed. I received instructions from Mr. Hameed to proceed to Dubai to obtain a job from Don Davood Ibrahim of Bombay who is a present resident in Dubai."

Former DIG-CID Punya de Silva in his Letter dated August 15, 2000 forwarded to the Attorney General K. C. Kamalasabayson P.C. had stated as follows:

"Mr. Douglas Peiris SSP was questioned by the CID in detail on 4th, 5th and 6th of August 2000 concerning his involvements in crimes committed during 1989/90 specially the murder of R. Liyanage of Kelaniya. He revealed facts inter-alia the murder of the undermentioned committed by a group led by one Thadi Priyantha under the direction of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe during the period 1989/90.

i. Mr. Daya Lankapura, Attorney-at-Law, Hulftsdorp.

ii. Mr. Kanchana Abeypala, Attorney-at-Law, Hulftsdorp.

iii. Mr. Nissanka, Attorney-at-Law, Gampaha.

iv. Mr. Perera an official of Tyre Corporation Kelaniya.

v. Mr. Dharmadasa Kumarapelli - SLFP supporter from Meegahawatte"

SSP Douglas Peiris in his Affidavit of August 10, 2000 at paragraph 15 had sworn as follows:

"15. I am also aware that the gang led by Thadi Priyantha, as instructed by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, killed the following persons:

(i) Person by the name of Perera who served at the Kelaniya Tyre Corporation

(ii) Lawyer of Hulftsdorp, Mr. Daya Lankapura.

(iii) Lawyer of Hulftsdorp, Mr. Kanchana Abeypala.

(iv) Lawyer of Gampaha, Mr. Nissanka".

A sworn translation of Douglas Peiris Affidavit dated August 10, 2000, which had been given in Sinhala, is published in full.

The IGP by his letter of March 9, 2004 had informed President Kumaratunga that he had directed DIG-CID Lionel Gunathilake and Director-CID SSP Sisira Mendis to proceed with this investigations with immediate effect.

 

The Affidavit Sworn Translation

I, Panawala Vidanelage Joseph Douglas Peiris, a permanent resident of Manning Town Flats, Nawala, now in remand custody on an Order made by the Magistrate of Gampaha, being a Roman Catholic, do hereby make oath and declare as follows:

1. I am the deponent above-named.

2. On 1st January 1987, I served as the Headquarters Inspector of Police of Peliyagoda Police. Having subsequently gained a promotion as an Assistant Superintendent of Police as per the Departmental Scheme of Promotions, I was later on a special promotion appointed as a Superintendent of Police with effect from 1.2.1990. It was Nalin Delgoda, who served as the Superintendent of Police in charge of Kelaniya Division from 20th February 1989. Mr. Merril Gooneratne functioned as the Deputy Inspector General of Police.

3. On or about 6th of June 1996, after having had discussions with Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, I was instructed to go abroad for an about 3 years on a forged passport prepared in the name of T. V. K. Wimalasena. This trip was arranged by one Gamini Abeyratne on the instructions of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.

4. Having on 22.7.1996 travelled secretly in a boat, I arrived at Thuththukudi on 24.7.1996. Later on I went to Switzerland via Bangkok. Mr. Gamini Abeyratne accompanied me on that trip.

5. Thereafter, having stayed in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France, on 8.6.1997 I arrived in Madras, India. Subsequently, on the instructions of the General Secretary of the UNP, Mr. Gamini Athukorale, I went to Bangkok. Mr. Gamini Athukorale gave me 4,000 American Dollars through one Neil of Peliyagoda. I was given instructions to make this journey using the said money. Mr. Athukorale made arrangements on several occasions for me to receive money.

6. When I was in Bangkok, I received information that discussions have been had to have me killed by Police Inspector Sudath Chandrasiri, the Security Officer of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe. No sooner I received this information I returned to India.

7. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to me over the telephone prior to the Presidential Elections that were to be held in December 1999 and promised that he would come to power and get all my problems solved. I did not get an opportunity to speak to Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe after the Presidential Elections.

8. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, having come to know that Mr. Sirisena Cooray was endeavouring to find me a job through a friend of his in India, had got disturbed and gave me instructions by telephone through Mr. Gamini Athukorale that I should not have any connections with Mr. Sirisena Cooray. As such I realised that harm would be caused by my life. Further, after having realised that Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe was deceiving me, I made arrangements in February 2000, to return to Sri Lanka.

9. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe who had received the news of my intending return to Sri Lanka had summoned my son to the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and had informed him that arrangements are being made to send me for a job in Dubai.

Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe after having had discussions with my son had caused the preparation of a forged passport in the name of Don Victor Amarasinghe through Bodhi Ranasinghe, Milinda Moragoda and the UNP Organizer of Colombo Central Mahroof and caused the delivery of the said passport to me in Madras through one Hameed. I received instructions from Mr. Hameed to proceed to Dubai to obtain a job from Don Davood Ibrahim of Bombay who is at present a resident in Dubai.

10. I felt a strong suspicion about Don Davood Ibrahim since he was a leader of the underworld and due to such suspicion, I decided to return to Sri Lanka. Particularly, I felt suspicious that there was an ongoing conspiracy with or without the knowledge of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe to have me confined or killed through Davood.

On 3.8.2000, I arrived at the Katunayake Airport on flight No. UL 124 from Madras. I arrived so making use of the forged passport prepared in the name of Don Victor Amarasinghe by Bodhi Ranasinghe and Mahroof and sent to me through one Hameed. On my arrival at the airport, the Officers of the Criminal Investigations Department took me into custody.

11. It was on the instructions of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe's Security Officer, Police Inspector Gunasekera that I met Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe in January 1987. At that time I held the post of Headquarters Inspector of Peliyagoda Police Station.

When I was on duty as the Headquarters Inspector of Peliyagoda Police Station, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe told me that if I performed my duties in the manner I was told by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, I would have no problems, whatsoever.

12. After having got a house belonging to the Fertilizer Corporation at the Batalanda Housing Complex during the period of terror in 1989/90, it was for security reasons that I went into residence there. Whilst Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe was residing in a tourist bungalow at the said housing complex, he was holding discussions with Senior Police Officers and also with me.

13. Two persons named Dharmasiri and Thadi Priyantha were introduced to me by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe himself, as Members of the Independent Students' Union of the Colombo University and he gave me special instructions not to interfere with all their work and activities, in any manner whatsoever.

Further, he also gave me instructions not to get involved in any disputes with them when carrying on duties in the Gampaha District. Instructions were also given not to take any action in any manner against their operations in the Gampaha District.

14. I was personally aware that Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe had given Thadi Priyantha and Dharmasiri, houses, vehicles and money and that one of those houses was situated behind the Mahara Rest House and that it belonged to the Assistant Deputy Divisional Government Agent, Mahara.

15. I am also aware that the gang led by Thadi Priyantha, as instructed by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, killed the following persons:

(i) Person by the name of Perera who served at the Kelaniya Tyre Corporation.

(ii) Lawyer of Hulftsdorp, Mr. Daya Lankapura.

(iii) Lawyer of Hulftsdorp, Mr. Kanchana Abeypala.

(iv) Lawyer of Gampaha, Mr. Nissanka.

16. I was aware that the group led by Army Lieutenant Nissanka and Senanayake, who were close to Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, carried out operations in civvies within the Gampaha District as instructed by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe. Lieutenant Senanayake is now not among the living. I am unable to give a description of the special operations carried out by the said group.

However, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe personally knew of the operations carried out by this group. Furthermore, Merril Gooneratne, who was the then Deputy Inspector General of Police and Senior Police Superintendent, Nalin Delgoda also personally knew about all the operations carried out by this group on the instructions of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe.

17. I personally knew that Lawyer Mr. Liyanarachchi who was detained at Thangalla Police Station was transferred on an Order made by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe to be detained at Sapugaskanda Police Station. No sooner Lawyer Mr. Liyanarachchi died whilst in detention at Sapugaskanda Police Station, I informed Mr. Ranil Wickremsinghe.

What he told me then was, not to be afraid about it and that he would duly do what is needful about the problems that may consequently arise. Thereafter, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe held a special discussion about the death of Mr. Liyanarachchi at the Office of Zerni Wijesooriya, Director of the Police Secret Information Division.

The then Inspector General of Police Mr. Ernest Perera, and the Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Criminal Investigations Department, Mr. Frank de Silva, including me, also participated at this discussion. The facts pertaining to the instructions given by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe concerning the death of Mr. Liyanarachchi could be disclosed. The office of Mr. Zerni Wijesooriya was situated adjoining the Ward Place residence of the then President J. R. Jayewardene.

18. When I was at Madras in India, I came to know that Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe had met D.M.K. Leader M. Karunanidhi, M.D.M.K. Leader V. Gopalaswamy, alias Vaiko, and P.M.K. Leader Dr. S. Ramadas, who were Leaders of political parties registered in Madras, giving support to the LTTE and have had discussions with them.

On August 4th, 5th and 6th 2000, I made a lengthy statement containing the forgoing facts before the Officers of the Criminal Investigations Department, and also I came to know that the Criminal Investigations Department has given charge of the said statements to the Magistrate's Court of Gampaha. I'm personally aware that serious death threats are being made to all my family members and I state that I am in constant fear.

I, having been produced in Court on 7.8.2000, on a Special Application made by my Lawyers the Court gave an Order to detain me under strict security.

A Special Application is being made by me to Her Honour the Magistrate to place this Affidavit on record in safe custody, in the Case in which I was produced.

Since severe threats are being levelled on my life and the lives of the members of my family, I entrust a copy of this Affidavit to my son for the purpose of obtaining all requisite security measures from the government.

I further state that I am swearing this Affidavit voluntarily.

Sgd/......

Deponent

Before Me

Rexy G. Piyadasa

Attorney-at-Law, Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths.

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