Police explain arrests made under PTA

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On the arrest of Wasantha Mudalige, Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka and Galwewa Siridamma Thera in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979, the Police explain the following:

On 18.08.2022, Mudalige Wasantha Kumara of Ulpatha Niwasa, Dambana, Mahiyanganaya and Gunathilaka Siriwardanalage Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka of Mathupola, Pallama were arrested at New Chetty Street, Colombo by the Divisional Crimes Detective Bureau of Kelaniya Police Division, on the grounds that these On the arrest of Wasantha Mudalige, Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka and Galwewa Siridamma Thera in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979, the Police explain the following:

On 18.08.2022, Mudalige Wasantha Kumara of Ulpatha Niwasa, Dambana, Mahiyanganaya and Gunathilaka Siriwardanalage Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka of Mathupola, Pallama were arrested at New Chetty Street, Colombo by the Divisional Crimes Detective Bureau of Kelaniya Police Division, on the grounds that these suspects who while being the members of an unlawful assembly committing offences into which the investigations may be conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979, who were escaping by a motor bicycle.

On 18.08.2022 Ven. Galwewa Siridamma Thera of Kodikanda Aranya Senasanaya, Thunmodara, Hanwella, was arrested at Narahenpita by the Borella Police for being the suspect of a case bearing the number of Fort Magistrate’s courts B 22362/22 (being a member of the unlawful assembly formed on 09.06.2022 in front of the Police Headquarters) and of a case bearing the number of Fort Magistrate’s Court’s B 22236/22 (being a member of an unlawful assembly formed on 28.05.2022) and kept under custody of the Fort Police Station on the same day. Thereafter, this suspect was transferred to the custody of the Thalangama Police Station in connection with a case bearing number B 50948 in the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court.

Grounds warranted the investigations into these suspects to be conducted in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) No. 48 of 1979 (PTA) with the view of accomplishing the object of overthrowing the constitutionally elected government by resorting to the means of illegal force and continuing to further jeopardize the public peace by assassinating a Member of Parliament, who is a specified person in terms of the PTA, by assaulting police officers while inflicting injuries during committing criminal intimidation against those police officers which might have caused the death of those police officers who are specified persons in terms of the PTA, by damaging the private and public properties, by collecting weapons with the view of using them against security forces and police, by committing acts of violence or making among the general public the feelings of ill-will towards the Members of Parliament and the public officers through words either spoken or intended to be read, by conspiring, abetting and inciting the general public to commit such acts of violence on a particular highway, road, path or any other public place, these three suspects have acted in a manner which is more fully described below may warrant the investigations against them be conducted in terms of the PTA.

Mudalige Wasantha Kumara Mudalige

– To investigate whether Wasantha Kumara Mudalige has acted in a manner which caused the general public to be incited and endeavoured for the commission of acts of violence during the period starting from 09.05.2022 to date within Colombo and other vulnerable places in the Western Province and if such violent behaviour incited general public and ensued the assassination of Member of Parliament, Amarakeerthi Athukorala on 09.05.2022 which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Wasantha Kumara Mudalige, on the same transaction, has incited and provoked the gathered general public to forcibly enter into the private residence of then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and commit the offence of mischief by setting fire to the private residence while damaging the private and public properties with the ultimate view of overthrowing the lawfully elected government, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Wasantha Kumara Mudalige, on the same transaction, has been leading and directing the so gathered general public to assault thereby inflicting injuries to the police officers and armed force personnel who were deployed for ensuring the safety of the Parliament on 09.07.2022 and to rob the two official weapons from the possession of so deployed security personnel, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Wasantha Kumara Mudalige with the general public incited by him disobeyed and violated the lawful orders, mentioned below, issued by the Courts directing Wasantha Kumara Mudalige and the incited general public to make no movements as prescribed in such orders for the purpose of establishing the public order, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– By damaging public properties through the acts of violence committed after entering to the Fort Banku Mawatha and Fort Railway Station on 19.05.2022 where the court had issued orders requiring them not to enter into such places, the suspect has violated such order of the court. The case is being proceeded with under reference no. B 22091/22 before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court.

– By damaging public properties through the acts of violence committed near the Police Headquarters, Colombo on 24.05.2022 where the court had issued orders requiring them not to commit such acts of violence, the suspect has violated so issued court orders. The case is being proceeded with under reference No. B 22362/22 before the Colombo Magistrate’s court.

– By damaging the main gate of the Ministry of Education through committing acts of violence on 10.06.2022 where the court had been violated.

– By breaking into the official residence of the President and damaging the public properties on 09.07.2022, this suspect has violated the orders issued by the court. The case is being preceded under reference no. B 22516/22 before Fort Magistrate’s court.

– By entering forcibly into the Presidential Secretariat on 09.07.2022 and damaging its public properties, this suspect has violated the orders issued by the court. The case is being proceeded under reference No. B 22517/22 before the Fort Magistrate’s Court.

Gunathilaka Siriwardanalage Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka

– To investigate whether Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka has acted in a manner which caused the general public to be incited and endeavoured for the commission of acts of violence during the period starting from 09.05.2022 to date within Colombo and other vulnerable places in the Western Province and such violent behaviour of so incited general public ensued the assassination of the Member of Parliament, Amarakeerthi Athukorala on 09.05.2022 which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka, on the same transaction, has incited and provoked so gathered general public to forcibly enter into the private residence of the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and commit the offence of mischief by setting fire to the private residence while damaging the private and public properties with the ultimate view of overthrowing the lawfully elected government, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka, on the same transaction, has been leading and directing the so gathered general public to assault and thereby inflicting injuries to the police officers and armed force personnel who were deployed for ensuring the safety of the Parliament on 09.07.2022 and to rob the two official weapons from the possession of so deployed security personnel, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka, on the same transaction, by words either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, caused or intended to cause the commission of acts of violence or feelings of ill-will by himself or by the general public incited by himself with the view of overthrowing the lawfully elected government which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To identify other persons and gather evidence against them who joined Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka to commit such terrorist acts and engage in illegal activities and to reveal further acts of terrorism. Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka with the general public incited by him may commit any act of violent to overthrow the lawfully elected government.

Galwewa Siridamma Thera

– To investigate whether Galwewa Siridamma Thero has acted in a manner which caused the general public to be incited and endeavoured for the commission of acts of violent during the period starting from 09.05.2022 to date within Colombo and other vulnerable places in the Western Province and such violent behaviour of so incited general public ensued the assassination of the Member of Parliament, Amarakeerthi Athukorala on 09.05.2022 which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Galwewa Siridamma Thera, on the same transaction, has incited and provoked so gathered general public to forcibly enter into the private residence of the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and commit the offence of mischief by setting fire to the private residence while damaging the private and public properties with the ultimate view of overthrowing the lawfully elected government, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Galwewa Siridamma Thera on the same transaction, has been leading and directing the so gathered general public to assault thereby inflicting injuries to the police officers and armed force personnel who were deployed for ensuring the safety of the Parliament on 09.07.2022 and to rob the two official weapons from the possession of so deployed security personnel, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

– To investigate whether Galwewa Siridamma Thera with the general public incited by him disobeyed and violated the lawful orders issued by the Courts directing Wasantha Mudalige and the incited general public to make no movements as prescribed in such orders for the purpose of establishing the public order, which may be investigated in terms of the PTA.

Accordingly, against Wasantha Kumara Mudalige and Hashan Jeewantha Gunathilaka, the Senior Superintendent of Police of Kelaniya Division directed these suspects to be detained at the Peliyagoda Police Station, for a period of 72 hours with the view of conducting further investigation in terms of the Section 6(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979.

And also, since it has been raised the necessity of conducting a full-scale investigation into these two suspects detention orders for a period of 90 days had been obtained.

As well, against Galwewa Siridamma Thera, the Senior Superintendent of Police of Nugegoda Division directed him to be detained at Thalangama Police Station, for a period of 72 hours with the view of conducting further investigation in terms of the Section 6(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979.

And also, since it has been raised by the ongoing investigation against this suspect the necessity of conducting a full-scale investigation, and the detention order for a period of 90 days against this suspect had been obtained.

The Criminal Investigation Department, as directed by the Inspector General of Police has undertaken further investigations to proceed under the provisions of the prevention of terrorism (Temporary provisions) (amendment) act no 12 of 2022 and currently all three suspects are held at Tangalle old prison complex.

In addition to above mentioned justification for the investigations which are being conducted by the Sri Lanka Police referring to the PTA, it can be highlighted the relevancy of the definition made by the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 1566 of October 2004 to these investigations. This definition elaborates that the terrorists’ acts are ‘criminal acts including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act’.