LNW earlier disclosed that the shooting at a public protest in Rambukkana area on April 19 was carried out under the orders of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in charge of the Kegalle Division K.B. Keerthiratne.
SSP Keerthiratne is a close relative of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Chief Security Officer Neville Wanniarachchi. Keerthiratne was enrolled as a sub inspector via the Police Sub Service and was attached to the Police Service later to be promoted to the post of SSP under the influence of Neville Wanniarachchi’s kinship.
SSP Keerthiratne is a well known ‘drunk’ who is not ashamed of staying in the line of duty in his drunken state. He is also known to be a character who tries to score upon every chance he gets and this behaviour of his has also led to the events at Rambukkana, to score by ordering the shooting, sources said.
However, sources also claimed that President Rajapaksa is very unhappy over the Rambukkana shooting and even prior to this incident had instructed the Security Chiefs at last week’s Security Council meeting not to retaliate even if protesters of anti-government pickets attacked the Police.
It is an undeniable fact that President Rajapaksa, despite all criticisms levelled against him, had never ordered to shoot down or suppress a single peaceful protest over the last two years of his term in Office. The President also reminded that international cooperation was the number one priority for the country at this moment and urged all security personnel not to take any repressive measures risking the international support.
Sources added that the President is of the opinion that this shooting in such a backdrop is not acceptable at all. International pressure is already being exerted as many foreign ambassadors have called President Rajapaksa and condemned the terror at Rambukkana over the last two days.
Chances are high that Keerthiratne will be brought to justice over this most barbaric event happened two days ago, but the SSP, under his usual dosage, is still reported to be boasting about what happened, saying ‘Even if Minister Dilum doesn’t save me, Neville will save me for sure. The man is my relative. I came this far because of him,’ LNW learned.
Should Keerthiratne continue to avoid the severity of his actions, needless to say that the Prime Minister’s Chief Security Officer Wanniarachchi too will be in big trouble!