HRCSL starts independent probes on Rambukkana shooting and violence on May 9, 10

HRCSL starts independent probes on Rambukkana shooting and violence on May 9, 10

June 28, 2022   10:36 pm

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) says it has commenced an independent inquiry on the police shooting incident at Rambukkana on 19th April and an independent inquiry on the alleged violations of the Rule of Law on 9th and 10th May 2022.

Island-wide public protests continued to occur owing to fuel, Gas, and essential food shortage in the country since April 2022. 

On 19th April a group of protestors gathered near a Fuel station in Rambukkana in the Kegalle District and continued to protest for 2 days, 18th and 19th April 2022. During the protest, the police had used firearms to disperse the crowd resulting in one death and injuries to several protestors.

The team of officials of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) visited the site at which the chain of events took place on the 20th itself and conducted the initial site inspection and primary inquiry. 

On 24th April 2022, the Minister of Public Security had requested the HRCSL to conduct an independent inquiry into the shooting incident. Pursuant to the request and power under the HRCSL Act no 21 of 1996 section 14, HRCSL appointed a multidisciplinary Panel of experts with the mandate to conduct an independent investigation. 

The Panel of experts consisted of Former Retired High Court Judge K.H Sumathipala, Former Retired High Court Judge. Sudath N. Gopallawa, Former Retired Government Analyst Dr. W.D.S Gunathilake, Senior Attorney–At–Law Mr. Prasantha Lal De Alwis PC, Senior Attorney–At–Law Mr. Amal Randeniya, Consultant Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Channa Perera, Engineer Mr. S. Suriyaarachchi (University of Moratuwa), and Technical Officer Mr. A.M.S Nilan (University of Moratuwa). 

The experts have had several sessions so far and are expected to submit their report after concluding its further proceedings, the commission said.

Meanwhile the HRCSL said it has also started an independent inquiry on the alleged violations of the rule of law on 9th and 10th May 2022.

On 9th May 2022, after a discussion at The Temple trees (the official residence of the Prime Minister), a group of people attacked two peaceful protests in front of the Temple Trees and Galle Face (in front of the Presidential Secretariat). 

Later violence spread all over the country and the properties of politicians and others were targeted and set on fire. The same day a group of prisoners were assaulted by an unidentified group. 

The HRCSL said it believed that the 9th and 10th of May violations led the country to lawlessness and alleged violation of the rule of law. 

Therefore, the HRCSL decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to investigate and report to the HRCSL as to whether the law enforcement authorities provided adequate protection to the people, the damaged houses and in an extension of the efforts taken to uphold the rule of law on 9th and 10th of May 2022 are adequate and in line with the existing legal framework.

Accordingly, the HRCSL appointed a Special Rapporteur for this task, and he has started his mission and is expected to submit his report after concluding its further proceedings, the statement said.

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