Champika wanted Gotabaya and Senadhipathi charged
By Faadhila Thassim
Former Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka, following a meeting held during the tenure of former United National Front-led Government, urged that action be taken against incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Chairman of Avant Garde, Nissanka Senadhipathi, in relation to the Avant Garde case, said former Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath (PC).
He told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), appointed to probe Political Victimisation during the tenure of the previous Government, that Ranawaka also questioned him on why Senadhipathi had been granted his passport although he had been indicted.
He added that the said meeting was held under the patronage of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe together with former politicians and other officials and the proceedings of certain cases, including that of Avant Garde, were questioned.
Gamlath added that Deputy Solicitor General Wasantha Navaratne Bandara, during the meeting, had listed out the names of six suspects, including that of Rajapaksa and Senadhipathi and requested that action to be taken against them but he (Gamlath) opposed it, stating that the nature of the case was not one in which action could be taken.
He added that due to controversial opinions given by him and Bandara, Wickremesinghe stated that this issue should be addressed to former Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, following which on 17 June 2015, Jayasuriya wrote to the IGP stating that there was no possibility of filing charges.
‘’Questioning a public official in the presence of politicians and other officials in connection to case proceedings is unethical,’’ he added, stating that he is not obliged to give away information at such meetings.
Attorney-at-Law Chanaka de Silva, appearing for Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, said that considering the controversies over the case coming within the mandate of the Commission and the fact that submissions on the previous statements made by Gamlath had not been received by his client, they were not willing to cross examine Gamlath yesterday (30) and requested for more time.
Former Director of the CID, Shani Abeysekera, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara and former MPs, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Ranawaka and Arjuna Ranatunga, who were made respondents to the complaint filed by Senadhipathi, at the PCoI, were not present yesterday to cross examine Gamlath.