Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) Deshabandu Tennakoon is likely to meet a difficult time due to his failure of acting in compliance with an Authority order to provide protection to former Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Senior Superintendent of Police Shani Abeysekara, whose career profile is affiliated with a number of sensitive, controversial and highly classified investigations in the country being subjugated to many death threats, LNW learned.
Given the nature of Abeysekara’s involvement in these investigations not knowledge to the public, the ex CID Chief has been receiving death threats by a number of parties throughout the course of time and an intelligence report had also been issued corroborating these events. Accordingly, Abeysekara had been provided special security and a vehicle since the tenure of N.K. Ilangakoon as the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
However, with Abeysekara’s transfer on November 20, 2019 from the CID as per an order issued by Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his coming as the Head of State in the same year, he lost the security he had previously been provided. Despite Rajapaksa being sworn in as the President of Sri Lanka by November 20, not even a Cabinet was appointed then to handle such affairs, making Abeysekara’s transfer the first-ever order issued by the ex President. Abeysekara also lodged a lawsuit against this transfer, calling it unlawful.
Meanwhile, threats were posed against Abeysekara on two occasions; one a telephone call threatening to murder his children and another a publicly posed verbal assault, one of which the person who posed it deliberately assisted the media to cover the scene, during the ex CID Chief’s attendance to a hearing at the Gampaha Court.
In the backdrop, Mr. Abeysekara had lodged a complaint to the ‘Authority for the Protection of Witnesses and Victims’ and informed about the threats posed against him. The Authority that investigated the complaint had ordered the Police to provide adequate security to the ex CID Chief thereafter.
Following the order, current IGP C.D. Wickramarathne had informed Tennakoon, who is the SDIG in charge of the Western Province, in writing that adequate security be provided to Abeysekara via the relevant Police Division given that his residence is located in Borella.
However, Tennakoon responded saying that the Subject Minister’s Secretary was consulted requesting advice in this regard and security, therefore, cannot be provided to Abeysekara until due course.
To date, ex CID Chief Shani Abeysekara, whose life, among other persons such as his family members, may be in danger, has not been provided protection by the Police, correspondents told LNW.
Provisions of the ‘Act for the Protection of Witnesses and Victims’ guarantee that the Attorney General can declare a prison sentence of 02 – 07 years after filing a lawsuit before a High Court for failing to implement an order issued by the ‘Authority for the Protection of Witnesses and Victims.’
Mr. Abeysekara, accordingly, is now working to filing a complaint with the said Authority regarding the Police’s failure comply with the order, correspondents further revealed.