Law Student Goes Underground

By Raisa Wickrematunge

Law student Thushara Jayaratne fears for his life. In order to contact him, The Sunday Leader was required to create a special Skype account. Speaking from an undisclosed location, Jayaratne said that though he had asked numerous people for help, no one had assisted him.
Jayaratne’s story was splashed all over the newspapers and was taken up by the Asian Human Rights Commission. Jayaratne claimed that one of the law exam papers was leaked, and that preferential treatment was provided to fellow law student, President’s son, Namal Rajapaksa.
In January, the Sri Lanka Law College issued a statement that the allegations were untrue. The office of the Chief Justice confirmed that investigations into the incident had commenced on January 12.
However, Jayaratne insists that he is telling the truth.

Thushara’s Story

On December 3, Jayaratne was at the Law College, preparing to sit for a Commercial Law paper, which was an open book examination. He noticed that an air conditioned room was unlocked.
The exam was starting at 2 pm, so Jayaratne was at the canteen, having lunch and talking to a student from the Open University. At that point, Namal Rajapaksa was also there with security personnel who were dressed in plain clothes. Some of the group proceeded to discuss a difficult question. Later on, Jayaratne discovered that the question they had spoken of was part of the paper. What’s more, he claimed that Namal Rajapaksa had a computer with an internet connection on his desk, whereas the other students were not even allowed mobile phones in the examination hall.
He also claimed that Namal had taken the examination in the air conditioned room, separate from other candidates. Jayaratne added that there was space in the exam hall he sat in, though it was claimed there was none.
Incensed at what he saw as an injustice, Jayaratne went to the Law College Registrar to complain. There he ran into his first roadblock, when the Registrar refused to accept his complaint. Undaunted, Jayaratne went to the Keselwatte police, but there too he met with refusal. Next he went to the Police Headquarters. By this time, the media had got wind of the story, Jayaratne said. The complaint was duly recorded. A fellow student at the Law College telephoned Jayaratne to tell him that the police had questioned the Registrar and Principal.
However, Jayaratne decided to go to the Bribery and Corruption Commission on December 4. Here too, his requests to record a complaint were ignored. Before leaving he spoke to an official who told him to drop the complaint, “or what happened to Aristotle will happen to you, if you tell the truth.”
The warnings didn’t stop there. On December 6, Jayaratne received at least three calls from the Law College Registrar’s office. The caller told him to abandon the issue or leave the college. It was around this time the law student began receiving death threats. He was unable to sit his final two exams, afraid something would happen to him if he entered the College again.
Several times police attempted to take Jayaratne into custody, but he evaded them with the help of friends.
Jayaratne went to the Human Rights Commission on December 15 and filed a letter detailing the threats to his life. The letter was also addressed to IGP Mahinda Balasuriya and the Commissioner Ombudsman.
Finally on January 8, Jayaratne received a letter calling him to appear at the Law College for an inquiry into the incident. They warned him that if he did not attend, legal action would be filed against him. Though he was afraid for his safety Jayaratne went back to the College, accompanied by IUSF Convenor Udul Premaratne amongst others, to tell his story.
A report was later released to the media to the effect that Jayaratne’s testimony was based on hearsay.
Around a month passed. Then on March 3 the Human Rights Commission said they would be taking no further action on Jayaratne’s complaints as it fell outside their purview. The next day, Jayaratne was en route to a family member’s home when two men accosted him. Though they were in civilian clothing, they were very fit and appeared to be military personnel, Jayaratne said. They had asked him to come with them to record a statement. Jayaratne agreed, but asked that he be taken in an official police vehicle. The two refused.
Seeing a 120 route bus passing, the law student jumped onto it in an effort to escape. However, on looking behind him he saw that the two men had followed him onto the bus. He alighted in front of the Boralesgamuwa police station, and seeing no other option had gone with the two men. The two wanted to know who had been contacting Jayaratne. They noted down some details, finally releasing him around 11 pm. A three wheeler parked outside then transported him away.
The Human Rights Commission said the abduction also fell outside their purview, though Jayaratne in a letter said that police officers later took down a statement, supposedly in response to his complaint. However the officer refused to note down Jayaratne’s complaints against Namal Rajapaksa and the Law College Registrar.
On March 28, Jayaratne was assaulted by two people while sitting outside his home. This was followed by another visit by two people in civilian clothing on April 10. Jayaratne said he recognised one of them, who had also threatened him in March. The duo forced Jayaratne to sign two documents, written in English. As he was afraid for his life, Jayaratne complied. He is afraid the documents might have amounted to a withdrawal of his complaint about the Law College. He has already written to the Asian Human Rights Commission about the incident.

The Other Side Of The Coin

The Law College Principal confirmed to The Sunday Leader that an investigation had been held into Jayaratne’s claims. “He was even allowed to bring a lawyer and give a statement,” the Principal confirmed. It was found that his allegations were based on hearsay, he said. “He had absolutely no knowledge. They were unfounded allegations,” he said. He added that as the matter was settled he thought it unnecessary to further publicise the issue.
For his part, Jayaratne continues to insist on the truth of his accusations. “The statement that my complaints are based on hearsay is a lie,” he said.
However Police Spokesman Prishantha Jayakody told The Sunday Leader in January that Jayaratne’s evidence was almost exclusively based on what he had overheard at the canteen. “He has no direct evidence that the paper was leaked. It’s just a rumour,” he told The Sunday Leader at the time.
MP Namal Rajapaksa did not respond to phone calls and text messages requesting a comment. IGP Mahinda Balasuriya was also unable to speak to The Sunday Leader.  Although Jayaratne’s claims have been largely dismissed by the Law College and police as false, he continues to fear for his life. His finances have been disrupted and he has come up against enormous difficulties, he says. To date, he remains in hiding, having abandoned his former residence.

44 Comments for “Law Student Goes Underground”

  1. Mrs Sembakuttiarachchi

    He had better run off to a safe haven the Rajapaksa’s are after his blood. Poor kid after all his studying for his exam has to face this injustice. Well I will not be hiring Namal Rajapaksa to represent me. Good Luck! buddy what goes around comes around for the Rajapaksa family. When is this nasty clan going to be wiped out come on people get back your rights and freedom.

    • Prince Pons

      Well…you needn’t hire Namal for anything…but if Sri Lankans don’t wake up and realise what this so called Royal family is upto very soon you and your family could be ruled by this ‘Good for Nothing Prince”…..who will most probably be a lawyer by then – by hook or by crook.

    • Fernandopulle

      Father had only one guy doing the Law College work for him; the guy who got killed by tigers. But the son has the whole ministry helping him at the exam. Let’s hope he’s got enough brains to copy the stuff down without error and get 100% marks because the citizens who are even dumber will be voting for this useless bag of water.

      Do you know why this country will never come out of this cesspool in our generation? It is because, a majority of the people among us have done dirty work for the politicians and know that they will all be going to jail, if the someone who respects the law comes to power. So, they’d rather vote for the corrupt bunch. YEAH!!! KEEP DREAMING FOR THAT ASSCHARYA OF ASIA.

    • Susith

      Looks like you are a criminal. Better hire a very experienced lawyer. This kid may by hiding in the Leader press!! That is the best place. must have failed the exam.

  2. Mahadenamutta

    What can you expect from a govt. and a president and the governing party who said that the minister who tied a worker to a tree ‘is not guilty’ and was play acting..

    The simple message to the country is that, law or natural justice can not touch the elite and simply they get away with anything even it is done in broad day light !!

    We heard that AG withdrew criminal charges from politiciens which the current Chief Justice and the previous chief justice says it is wrong!!!

    Even the highest guardians of the law simply bow down to the criminal politiciens and no wonder most criminals become politiciens as they know they can not be touched !!!!

    Above story simply confirms this
    - Law college registrar- Refused
    -Keselwatta police- refused
    -Bribary and corruption commission- ignored

    Well, well, well, what can you expect from a country where a person who ties a man to a tree, talks filth, has gangs rampaging streets, has criminals as secretaries etc etc is given a minister in Public Relations !!!! This is the calibre of the judgement and standards lanka is being ruled with !!!!

  3. This shows the future oif Sri Lanka. Thanks to our voters

  4. Ane Anichan

    Do not worry “Law Students”, whole world know that “Person” is having a “Low Degree”. Srilankans are not hundred percent “Fools”.

    • Fernandopulle

      @Ane Anichan: Srilankans are not hundred percent “Fools”.

      But 60% are fools and anything above 50% is what it takes to drag the country down the drain.

  5. LIMA

    WHY ALL THESE TO THIS INNOCENT JAYARATNE , WHY NOT THE REGISTRAR OR THE PRINCIPAL TELL THE TRUTH , IF NOT WHY THE REGISTRAR OR PRINCIPAL RESIGN AND GO ON PUBLIC TV TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SPECIAL TREATMENT TO NAMAL FOR SITTING THE EXAM , WHAT IS THE USE OF BEING EDUCATED IF THEIR OWN EDUCATION GIVEN TO THEM BY THE LEARNED , WITHOUT TELLING THE TRUTH , IF NAMAL CAN SIT THE EXAM WITH HIGHEST FACILITY WHAT IS THE SITU OF THE THOSE BRIGHT STUDENTS WHO FIND IT DIFFICULT TO HAVE AT LEAST ONE SQ MEAL A DAY BUT THRIVING IN THE STUDIES , WHERE OUR INLECTUALS GONE , WHY THE IGP PLAY DOUBLE GAME , WHAT IS THE USE OF WEARING THE UNIFORM , WHY , WHY , WHY

    • kudu

      LMAO what can I say

    • Sirimanna

      @LIMA: Where the hell have you been living all this time? This is Sri Lanka we’re talking about.

      Sorry to pee on your parade, but the religious leaders have been feeding you a big lie. The kind of stuff you’re talking about does not happen in the real world. (in fact, the religious leaders will give blessings to the politicians to go about in their corrupt ways but not those like Jayaratne who’s trying to change things for the better)

      Oh Yeah! try to change this into the utopia that you’re talking about and you’ll be running with the poor Jayaratne fellow before long.

  6. anura keppetipola

    qualifications should be earned on ability. we need the truth.

  7. sanju`

    Surely Namal Rajapakse MUST respond to the allegations. Not responding is tantamount to accepting jayaratna’s accusations….

    • Mahadenamutta

      This is so easy. In an exam all students sit in one hall. So, you can ask all other law students if the ‘Low student’ sat with them in the common hall.

      If , not why not?

      What right does any one have to get special privilages ?

      Is it because this ‘Law student’ does not know any thing about Law – but is trying to buy his degree vis google/ internet etc ?

      I simply will not be surprised at the end this ‘Law student’ will get first class honours….. what can’t money and power can’t do these days!!

      After all Attony General too has withdrawn 2 cases against political criminals against all norms !!!!!!

      • Nadagama

        The silence of Namal, the fact that he uses his gangs to intimidate proves that he is guilty.

        If a person accuses of wrong things he could be taken to court to prove allegations. The fact the Namal is not doing it simply confirms that the first born is the equal culprit, law less, as rest of the Raja clan !

  8. No Political Party Srilankan

    Please do not make a big noice Namal Rajapaksa after his “Graduation” from Srilanka Law College, with “Low Degree”, can only appear in” Hambantota Court” for his clients for killing them (Buffalows) for Meat . What is the difference between “Buffalow Soldier” and “Buffalow Lawyer”?

  9. Randi

    The mere fact that the privileged son was able to sit in air conditioned comfort, in a room by himself, with access to a computer, unlike the other students alone was a corrupt and suspicious situation. This family has no shame, and to rig elections, and cheat on exams, is part of the whole corrupt picture. Namal is the heir apparent, and obviously they are trying their best to bestow on him qualifications and promotions fast, and at the end he will be yet another inexperienced politician, who will mess this country up even further. It is a shame that this young man has to hide and is treated like a criminal, for telling the truth. Shame on our officials for covering up too.

    • The Law College president has been shown to be a lackey of the Royal Family. Such shameless lawyers are the SCUM of sri lakan legal fraternity.
      The Bar Association must investigate this matter, as it pertains to training and examinations for law students.

  10. P.A.Samaraweera

    Why only Jayaratne is complaining? There are hundreds of other students in the college and they are silent. If there is any truth in his statement the whole college students should protest. After all they are law students and most of them are from well connected families. Jayaratne, got caught to a cooked up story.
    P.A.Samaraweera

  11. trinco

    This is how Prabahran took the Tamils for ride; now the Sinhalese have got the Sinhala-version of Prabaharan as their Sun God. Good luck mates !

  12. mandy

    Hello Jayaratne, You told the truth. You are a great, brave man.

  13. Lion

    You are very correct Randi.

  14. LJay

    What a pathetic situation, where is law and order, I read this story in Dec, according to my memory CJ said (as the custodian of Sri Lanka Law ) he will conduct an impartial inquiry, why he is silent know. The best thing for Jayaratne is to seen asylum in another country.

  15. Sirimal Ippalawalana

    Jeyaraj Fernandopulle organised others to write Mahinda Rajapakse’s law exam papers so Mahinda Rajapakse passed out as a lawyer. Similarly the son, Namal is going to be a lawyer by using methods of hook or crook. Amen to Sri Lanka

  16. marcus fernando

    you can hear worst in due course.

  17. dilantha

    Son Follows the footsteps of father who get PP to write for his test paper at law collage

  18. Aru

    This rugger player obviously has brawn and not brains. Anybody esle would be hauled up for cribbing, but not this one. Like his father’s friend he is also buying and not reading for the degree. What a shame. Sorry politicians have no shame.

  19. Bruz

    What ever it is, it looks like Namal is the right heir apparent to succeed H.E the
    Presidente with no doubt. Namal has all the required qualities of a leader in waiting.
    May god bless or save Sri Lanka.

  20. dagobert

    Why not penalise the head of the Law College for providing air-condition comfort???

    If the matter is this serious, why don’t those who assisted Media Men to flee assist this kid??

    AHRC thriving on Leader info

  21. Wimal

    The son has learned from the father how to cheat!

  22. Illmoe

    Why can’t we have an independent judiciary…. If this government really care about it citizens and also want upheld democratic rights of the people why not implement independent commissions for judiciary, police and election… People have given this mob 2/3 of the majority in parliament…

  23. babu

    He is just a clever conman trying to get political asylum in West.

    All well planned

  24. Namal

    This is a an LTTE dirty trick to discredit our government. We just won a war and the last thing we require is bad name for the country and our war heros.

  25. Perera

    When will we can have the society that treated everybody equally infront of the law irrespective of status of citizens????? Without any shame AG is withdrawing charges against murderous politicians (eg: Chandana Kaththriarchchi) while treating otherwise to poor people.

  26. Dear readers pl remeber that every coin has two sides. Other than J’ratne no one fro law college suppots this or making complain. This J’ratne can be a strong JVP supporter who is willing to sacrifise for his party as in the past many JVP undergradts have not done their exams for years & years & had bben in the uni for long years just to distrupt the unis & for arranging picketings. So dear all think about that every coin has two sides.

  27. Carlo

    Hooray for Gon Lanka and all the gon puthas who voted for this government!!!

  28. dikkubura

    Man ! Man!Man!,Who should we all call for help.look at the mideast, people are trying to topple dictators, they are sacrificeing their lives for freedom,why oh why is this moron family shaming all the southerners by acting shamelessly,? isn’t their a God ! Oh God please help us who wants freedom and truth, how many people have to die in vain for the truth, premedasa killed enough and see what happened to him he blew to peices,how long do we have to wait to have the freedom and happiness to live in a country so peaceful,I sometimes want to sacrifice myself to get this family out of our country,how can he face us,this honest student who saw for his own eyes everything and has a very curious mind which a budding lawyer should have now has to hide for his LIFE? those &&^%^$#@#%^&&*$#@#$%% people who does this shameless deed should pay , Please Mr Fonseka look at this ,where is Ranil ?aren’t there any one who will come out , do we all have to be gaged,I only hope the UN will bring justice and drag the foul from his chair and put him in prison like how they did to Mubarack and his two sons,and also that #@$#%^% Gaddafi.we the people have to have a freedom, FREEDOM !! My tears are poring when I hear all this trouble ,we have suffered enough, during Sirimavo”s time we had to eat yams,remember I had to carry rice hidden in my stomach to feed my children,please people lets rise up.

  29. Miles

    Many thanks to the enlightened and emancipated voters of the resplendant isle of SRI LANKA

  30. JG

    So he’ll get through with honours, take his oaths in the presence of HE and their entourage and will be splashed in the news, but will be a “breifless lawyer” like his Father

  31. Mida

    He kiiled innocent Tamils and now the Human Rights report confirms this. This Jay guy better leave this third world country.

  32. Ian D.S

    Like Father Like Son, Honesty and Integrity are alien words to them. Time will inevitably uncover dishonesty and lies; history has no place for them.

  33. Mafaz

    Wow, I praise Thusara Jayaratne for his courage to step up. He could be considered the “Mohammed Bouazizi” (the spark of the Tunisian Revolution) of Sri Lanka if he does something unexpected… Well this is not the first attempt of the president’s son. Similar cubicle arrangements have been made in the past…! Check this: http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2009/12/50766_image_headline.html

  34. MM

    This looks like Jayaratne wants to claim asylum abroad. Yes it is very wrong if it did happen. And I can say with all certainty that Namal has been really struggling with this Law degree. He does not seem to have an atom of a brain and the father, after spending millions in sending him to UK and appointing a close family friend and lawyer who had absolutely no experience in the Foreign Ministry to a very senior position the SL High Commission in UK all to give Namal ‘ tuition for his law exam’ (during office hours) has now resorted to this.

    Leaving all this aside. Jayaratne should know better. He being a law student and a SL citizen should now know how these things go. What does he care what Namal is doing or not doing in the AC or non AC room. Its SL these things happen, its not the US or UK no matter how much we try to make it like that. There are no rights human or animal and its about time people stop fussing about what they never had. If he studied he should have done his best at the exam and kept his mouth shut. After all Namal will pass that has nothing to do with Jayaratne. I mean Namal can even pass without doing the actual exam if that is what the father wants, how will we ever know and why bang your head on brick walls? Do you exam. Mind you business that way all this and another useless, baseless story can be avoided by the Sunday Leader!

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