The Sunday Leader

‘The AG Failed To Take Action Against The BBS’

President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Attorney at Law Upul Jayasuriya told The Sunday Leader that although the BASL on two occasions requested the AG to instruct the police to take action against the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, the AG did not act swiftly on the requests.
Jayasuriya accused the Attorney General of not taking any action against the Thero for his violent behaviour. “Had the AG acted swiftly on our requests, we wouldn’t have witnessed a bloodbath in Aluthgama,” he stressed.
Excerpts of the interview:

By Nirmala Kannangara

Q: After the violence in Aluthgama and Beruwala, the government has now announced a ban on public meetings and rallies which incite hatred amongst religions. Legally is it possible to ban public meetings?
A: Under Section 21 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the government can ban meetings that propagate hatred.

Those who violate this law are subjected to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment. However such a meeting was being held on Sunday June 15 which led to the unfortunate incidents.

This was a well-attended meeting and the BBS made a public speech with several inflammatory statements, to cause disharmony between Sinhalese and Muslims. All the statements he has made are in order form and every one has heard and seen them.

This is not the first time Gnanasara Thero has made such statements and he was once indicted in High Court for a similar statement.

First and foremost, why did the police allow him to hold such a meeting and what action have they taken against him? The BASL want to know where the rule of law of this country is! If there is rule of law then there is no point in appointing commissions.

It is also a well-known secret as to how a powerful government minister in the area summoned a meeting soon after the carnage to which this Thero too was invited along with the DIG Indran and DIG Nawaratne where the reported arrest of 13 suspects came in to question.

Q: What clauses in the law the police can use when imposing such bans?
A: Under the PTA. Unfortunately, the PTA has been used against political enemies, against whom it should not have been used.

Q: The police are still refusing to take direct action against the BBS Chief despite his involvement in violence in recent times. Does the law provide the police the authority to arrest Gnanasara Thero even at this point?
A: The police are not allowed to take action by the political authority. The police do not have a backbone to refuse illegal directives which are against the law. The police must understand that they have to protect the law. On two occasions we brought to the notice of the Attorney General about this Thero’s illegal behaviour. As the President of BASL, I sent the first letter on May 20 complaining that the BBS has taken law into their hands and has violated the law of the country.

Even this monk once stormed a ministry and the ministry secretary made a complaint to the police about that incident. As no action was taken against this monk, we urged the AG to give proper directives to the police to take action against this law breaker. If the AG took immediate action, this carnage would not have happened.

All these arsons and robberies have taken place in the presence of the STF. Obviously, no police officer, unless specifically instructed, will take action. One has to see who gave the orders to these police officers not to act then, and who is giving orders them now, not to take action against the culprits.

 Q: Can action be taken against the police for failing in their duty to prevent violence in Aluthgama?
A: Yes, under the Police Ordinance. When police officers failed to take action when offences were being committed in their presence, action can be taken against them with cowardice charges. Under this provision even the IGP is responsible for the police inaction.

Q: What legal action the BASL is now going to take against Gnanasara Thero for verbally abusing one of its members?
A: As far as BASL is concern, we will not fight with criminal elements. We only want to see he is brought before court. He is answerable to the court of law of the country.

Q: In the view of the BASL, has the government failed to protect law and order in the country? 
A: Certainly yes.

3 Comments for “‘The AG Failed To Take Action Against The BBS’”

  1. well wishe

    I would like to know the legality of cleaning the crime sites, before the judicila process complete. Then who is responsible for this,

  2. ed

    It is strange as per all explanations by the BASL of Sri Lanka the ONE and ONLY Association who is responsible to maintain the aspirations of the Local Civil persons. It is unbelievable to note why the AG has NOT acted even though the BAR Association had insisted the AG’s office on several occasions to take the leader of the BBS to custody IMMEDIATELY !!!!!!

  3. Colombo Athiest

    Attorney General was ordered. By the Defence Secretary and the President to not lay their hands on the Unofficial police force (BBS) appointed by the defence secretary.

    The next order was never to take any action against Rev. Gnanassara and he should be allowed to destroy and eliminate all minorities to protect Sinhala Budhism.

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