5,400 Swords Unaccounted For
By Kamal Weeraratne
The Court of Appeal yesterday (18), ordered Defence Secretary Major General (retired) Kamal Gunaratne and IGP Chandana Wickramaratne, to inform the Court, on 5 March, on the progress of inquiries into the import of 6,000 swords, on the sidelines of the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks.
The Court gave this order after having perused a petition filed to this effect by the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.
The Bench comprised Justices (President) Arjuna Obeysekara and Mayadunne Corea.
President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardene making submissions on behalf of the Cardinal stated that to date less than 600 swords, out of the aforesaid stock had been located by the Police.
He told the Court, the swords and knives had been brought to the country in the lead up to the 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday carnage which claimed nearly 300 lives.
Jayawardene informed the Bench, it was imperative that Police locate the whereabouts of the remaining 5,400 swords, as the stock could be hidden with the sinister motive of carrying out a similar dastardly attack in the future.
Having considered the submissions made by Jayawardene, the Bench issued notice to the respondents, including Defence Secretary Guneratne and IGP Wickramaratne, to appear in Court on the said date, to appraise Court with regard to the progress of investigations to locate the missing weapons.
The other respondents named in the petition include the head of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), the head of the National Intelligence Service (NIC), Director General of Sri Lanka Customs, the DIG in charge of the CID and its Director.