A peculiar feature that emerged through the study of the problems relating to
the policing system in Sri Lanka is that the government sources, through various
commissions, have identified the same problems which have been substantiated by
That the system has become dysfunctional is a common finding. About the
manifestation of such dysfunctionalism there is no controversy. That a radical
change is needed is also commonly acknowledged. However, in terms of any
initiatives for change the issue of policing is not considered a priority by the
government and even independent sources appear reluctant to make any determined
effort in this direction. There also seems to be an underlying fear that any
significant attempt to deal with the dysfunctional nature of the system may have
adverse consequences on the country's political system and social life as a
Such reform seems to be regarded as too formidable a task that no one is
really willing to venture into. Besides this, there is also apparently an
underlying fear that initiatives to change the habits that have entered into the
system and the incumbents of the system may cause such retaliation that the
political leadership does not feel competent to deal with. It is not the factual
elements regarding the failed political system of Sri Lanka that creates
controversy, but as to whether these problems can, or should be addressed. The
suggestion made in this paper is that it is this overall problem of how to deal
with these issues that needs attention, rather than diagnosis of the various
aspects of the ailments that affect policing in Sri Lanka.
Attempts to reform policing have been initiated in Sri Lanka more than once.
Still the situation remains critical. The hypothesis taken in this article is
that reform of dysfunctional policing system requires a discourse of more
fundamental issues such as the nature of the political system within which
policing has to take place.
This article speaks of policing only in areas outside the conflict zone of
Sri Lanka in the north and the east. In many parts of the north and east large
areas are outside the writ of the Sri Lankan police service. In some parts
rebels claim to have their own police and judiciary. Such rebels include not
only the LTTE but also some armed groups that are opposed to the LTTE. This work
does not address the policing issues relating to these areas. It deals with
those areas of the country within which the police system still operates under
the ordinary law and legal procedures.
on the policing system
The Asian Human Rights Commission has closely studied the issues relating to
policing in Sri Lanka for over ten years now. Some of the publications based on
these studies are: Article 2, Vol. 1, No. 4, Article 2, Vol. 3 No.
1, a book entitled An X ray of the Sri Lankan policing system &
torture of the poor, and several reports submitted as shadow reports to UN
agencies. Much of the material produced is available on the internet.
There is no significant police reform initiative taking place in Sri Lanka at
the moment. Previously there had been some commissions appointed by former
governments which produced reports analyzing the problems facing the policing
system and which made many recommendations for change. Given the drastic nature
of the political and social changes that have taken place in the country, the
contents of these reports may seem somewhat obsolete by now. However, for the
purpose of record as well as to provide some reference to the historical roots
of the present day policing system some mention of these reports may be
A historical perspective
The first of these reports is known as the Soertsz Commission Report which
derived its name from the chairperson of the Commission, Justice Francis J.
Soertsz and this report was submitted in December 1946. The title of the report
was 'Sri Lanka police service – suggestions for improving its efficiency and
effectiveness.' This was published as a sessional paper and covers such topics
as the composition of the force; the conditions of the service and selection of
officers for promotion and transfer; procedure for investigations of complaints
made by the public against the police; the powers and duties of the police,
especially in relation to preliminary investigations of offenses, the arrest and
custody of the accused and suspected persons; the institutions of prosecutions
in court and the expeditious conduct thereof; amendment of the police ordinance
and of other existing legislation for giving effect to the recommendations of
the commission and a final chapter entitled 'miscellaneous' which covered such
topics as Port Police, public prosecutor, criminal investigations department and
Another commission report was published by the government publication bureau
in October 1970 and this was named the Basnayake Commission. This commission's
mandate was to cover the following issues: The nature and the scope of the
functions of the Police Force, and the measures that should be taken to secure
the maximum efficiency of the Police Force for the purpose of maintaining law
and order, and to secure a greater measure of Public co-operation and
confidence; the measures that should be taken to reorganize the Police Force,
having regard to Ceylon's status as a independent country; the structure and
composition of the Police Force, the methods of recruitment and training of
personnel for the Police Force, the terms and conditions of service (other than
basic rates of pay) and the selection of officers for promotion and transfer;
the procedure that should be adopted for the investigation of complaints made by
the public against members of the Police Force, especially in relation to –
(i) the preliminary investigation of offences,
(ii) the apprehension and
custody of accused or suspected persons, and
(iii) the institution of
prosecutions in the Courts and the expeditious conduct thereof ; the adequacy of
the security and safeguards provided hitherto to members of the Police against
risk to life and bodily injury involved in the performance of their duties, and
the adequacy of the compensation hitherto payable where injuries were sustained,
or where death resulted from any injury sustained, in the course of their
duties; any amendments to the Police Ordinance and to other existing legislation
which may be necessary for giving effect to our recommendations on the matters
aforesaid or for securing the objects and purposes of such recommendations; and
any other matter connected with, or incidental to the matters specified above in
respect of which we may receive representations; and to make such
recommendations as we may consider necessary as a result of our inquiries in
respect of the aforesaid matters.
The report of a further commission was published in 1995 which is generally
known as the Justice D.G. Jayalath Commission Report, the mandate of which was
to examine and report on the following matters: The structure and composition of
the Police Force; the methods of recruitment and training of personnel for the
Police Force; the selection of officers for promotions and transfer; the nature
and scope of functions of the Police Force and the measures that should be taken
to secure the maximum efficiency of the Police Force for the purpose of maintain
law and order; the measure that should be adopted to encourage better relation
with the general public; the establishment of a Permanent Police Commission to
administer recruitment, promotions and disciplinary control in the Police
Service; any other amendments to the Police Ordinance and to other existing
legislation which may be necessary for giving effect to the recommendations on
the matters aforesaid or for securing the objects and purpose of such
Some general observations on the previous
Already in 1946 a serious crisis in the policing system was perceived and by
1970 much graver problems had surfaced. Then by 1995 a completely new set of
problems had arisen due to larger politicization of the system and the
introduction of paramilitary elements as policing units such as the Special
Taskforce. None of the recommendations of the above commissions were put into
The 17th Amendment to the
Constitution- October 2001
Perhaps the 17th Amendment was the most significant attempt made so far to
recognize the serious problems in the Sri Lankan policing system together with
several other public institutions. The central problem that this amendment tried
to address was the politicization of the public services. This amendment
provided for the appointment of a Constitutional Council who would have the
obligation to appoint the commissioners for several commissions including the
National Police Commission (NPC). The NPC had the powers of appointment,
promotion, transfer and disciplinary control of all police officers except for
the Inspector General of Police. It also had the duty to establish a public
complaints procedure. The first commission came to be appointed in November 2002
and by the end of the term of the first batch of commissioners the
Constitutional Council had ceased to exist so that it was not possible to
appoint the new commissioners. Ever since, there have been no appointments to
the commission, by the procedure prescribed by the Constitution. In 2006 the
Executive President made appointments to the commission bypassing the provisions
of the constitution. As the NPC derived its authority form the constitution
itself, the appointment of its members bypassing the constitution has raised
questions about its legitimacy.
Identification of areas needing
At the moment there are no reform programmes being undertaking by the police.
However, there are many areas that have been identified by some senior police
officers, international experts, as well as the public as major areas that need
to be addressed in any serious attempt at reform. These are, the elimination of
criminal elements from within the policing system; to reestablish command
responsibility within the police hierarchy; the establishment of a credible
system of criminal investigations; the elimination of torture as the most
commonly used method of criminal investigation; the training of police in the
more sophisticated methodologies of investigations including forensic training;
measures to ensure police attendance in courts and compliance with court orders;
the establishment of a proper system of disciplinary control within the police
and the establishment of a credible public complaints procedure.
The elimination of criminal elements from within the policing
The Inspector General of Police himself recently identified the criminal
elements within the police together with soldiers and deserters as being among
the culprits for some of the very grave crimes in the country such as
abductions, disappearances and murder which increased sharply at the end of 2006
and continuing into 2007.
COLOMBO, - Sri Lanka's police admitted Tuesday that its own security
personnel have been involved in kidnappings for ransom and vowed to crack down
on mounting abductions and killings of civilians. Police Inspector General
Victor Perera said a "large number" of police officers and troops had been
arrested on charges of abduction and extortion.
The former Inspector General of Police who retired in 2006 also pointed out
the criminal elements within the policing system.
…….While the IGP, referring to the Auditor General's latest report on the
Police Department, is quoted as saying:
"...that corrupt officers were liable to be blacklisted, taking into account
the corruption and fraud cases pending against them."
In the same article he went on to say:
"One of the shocking revelations highlighted in the AG's report was where
certain senior officers had swindled thousands of rupees in the police cash
reward scheme. Cash rewards of Rs. 1,500 were regularly paid to individuals or
groups of police officers for outstanding service in the field but reportedly,
the audit report highlighted occasions where the figures were altered to read
And the IGP went on to remark that:
"...the audit report on individual police stations were so serious that if
action was to be taken, then most officers would be liable to be sacked."
In the aftermath of the assassination of the High Court judge, Ambepitiya, J,
by a drug lord, there was much public criticism about high ranking police
officers being linked with drug dealers and underworld figures. However,
perhaps it was the assassination of Inspector of Police (IP) Douglas Nimal and
his wife that brought the most acute criticism against the police connivance
with drug dealers. IP Douglas Nimal who was investigating several drug related
crimes was arrested on false charges and later released by the Attorney General.
He complained that some persons, including high ranking police officers, had
implicated him in order to obstruct his investigations. He was murdered shortly
after his release while traveling to pursue his complaints.
Dealing with the internal situation of the serious involvement of police
officers in crime should be one of the primary aims of any police reform. A
reform that leaves out this aspect is very likely to receive very little public
attention, support or credibility. Perhaps the example of Hong Kong where a
similar situation was successfully addressed through an agency outside the
policing system itself, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
should be seriously studied.
To reestablish command responsibility within the police
The loss of command responsibility has been discussed from many points of
view. One common point of reference is the politicization of the police by which
is meant the politicians playing a direct role in the command responsibilities
of the organisation. The debate on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution
mentioned above was entirely on this theme. Political influence over the police
is perceived to have extended to all aspects of the administration and often it
is alleged that it also influences criminal investigations. The influence on the
administration is on the selection of persons by way of recruitment as well as
promotions purely on the basis of connections to individual politicians or a
This also often affects transfers where one of the common fears is people
being transferred to far away places or conflict zones as punishments for
non-compliance with the demands of political elements.
The interference into investigations is that either due to direct
interference or indirect forms of influence statements are not recorded or
investigations are not proceeded with. There are instances when in the midst of
sensitive investigations the investigating officers are transferred from their
positions. Over a period of time many officers also learn "to read what will be
approved and not approved by their political masters." This behaviour can be so
ingrained that they will avoid some investigations altogether, for example into
cases such as extrajudicial killings, abductions, disappearances and the like.
Due to political interference often subordinate officers can become even more
powerful that their superior officers. On the other hand when subordinate
officers perceived that their superior officers behave in a manner to unduly
cooperate with politicians the moral authority that such officers have is also
lost. The instances are many when politicians deliberately undermine the high
ranking officers in a way to get them to toe the line.
Under the Department Orders the specific duties of supervision are assigned
to superior officers. An officer in charge at a police station has very specific
duties regarding all the officers linked to a police station. An Assistant
Superintendent of Police has duties to attend all police stations regularly at
short intervals to read all the books maintained at the station as well as to be
personally present at the crime scene in the event of investigations into
serious crimes, were some of the requirements prescribed in the Departmental
Orders. In recent times there is a widespread complaint that this supervision
often does not take place.
One of the factors that undermines the command structure of the police was
the involvement of the police in gross human rights abuses during the periods
when emergency laws and anti terrorism laws prevailed. In the post independence
period, in the early decades such situations were few and sometimes the officers
who engaged in such acts were disciplined. However, when various insurgencies
broke in police officers together with military officers were used to eliminate
insurgents which meant that they were allowed to abduct persons, keep people in
illegal detention, to torture them and even to kill them and dispose of their
bodies. The generally estimated number of such killings at the hands of the
police and the military in 1971 when a minor rebellion lead by a small group of
persons was crushed ferociously by the Sri Lankan government is around ten
thousand. No official inquiries have been held into this event. In the second
phase of a rebellion by the same group, the JVP between 1987 and 1991 an
official figure of around thirty thousand persons disappeared mostly in the
south. Commissions were appointed to inquire into the periods in which
disappearances were described as abductions followed by assassinations and the
disposal of the bodies. These were also done by the police and the military
personnel aided by paramilitary groups.
From the point of view of maintaining command this meant a tremendous
lowering of standards and the loss of internal guidelines for the maintenance of
hierarchical relationships and codes of conduct. These periods have also
destroyed the morale of the law enforcement agency.
The establishment of a credible system of criminal
One of the most commonly expressed criticisms regarding policing in Sri Lanka
by persons from within the system itself, by local and internal critics
including some UN agencies is that in recent years the Sri Lankan police have
not resolved any of the major crimes that have taken place in the country.
These crimes includes massacres such as the extrajudicial killings of the 17
aide workers in Muttur; killings by the military as well as insurgent groups
(LTTE and other armed groups opposed to the LTTE); killings of journalists and
other activists including human rights activists; large scale abductions and
disappearances throughout the country including in the capital Colombo.
There are also of allegations about large scale corruption.
The reasons attributed to the weakening of the capacity of the Sri Lankan
police to conduct credible investigations into crimes and gross violations of
human rights is the lack of protection for the investigating officers, which
arises from factors such as the politicization of the system as well as internal
divisions within the policing system itself which can create serious physical
risks for investigators; the increase of violence by terrorist elements and
military elements in which investigations are prevented by the physical force of
alleged terrorist and military; the increase of links between criminals and the
police (this was referred to earlier); the enormous increase of corruption
throughout the country including within the political establishment; the
breakdown of the judicial supervision of the investigating process and the lack
of higher demand for credible criminal investigations maintained by the
judiciary ; disruption of the system of command responsibility (this was also
commented upon earlier); the lack of forensic facilities and training ; the
development of nationalist sentiments which try to undermine the legal norms and
standards with regard to crime. Added to these problems is the abandonment of
the 17th Amendment by which even some limited interventions were made possible
by the National Police Commission to intervene in order to deal with some of the
problems mentioned above. The shocking impact of the absence of criminal
investigations was revealed by Mr. Michael Birnbaum QC, on behalf of the ICJ who
"...to dispel serious concerns about whether the justice system is now able
to carry out independent and credible investigations into who was responsible
for these killings and to mount effective prosecutions."
The elimination of torture as the most commonly used method of
"…Torture is often a short cut to getting information, and as a result it is
systematic and widespread… We are not talking about isolated cases of rogue
policemen: we are talking about the routine use of torture as a method of
investigation. It requires fundamental structural changes to the police force to
eradicate these practices."
"I had the privilege of addressing about 100 Inspectors on 'Investigations
techniques to minimize violation of human rights' at a police department
programme conducted by the United nations Development Programme (UNDP) in early
June this year. When I asked these officers their opinion of human rights,
especially the aspect of torture, their observations were that they had to
resort to the use of force to solve cases due to the following reasons:
• Sense of shame and loss of face if they fail to solve the case by
recovering the weapon of the offence or the fruits of the crime, where there
were several eyewitnesses testifying against the suspect.
• Lack of
resources – personnel/vehicles, equipment etc. to pursue
• The period of custody of 24 hours being
• Pressure from superiors to solve the cases, with the
implications that the consequences of non-compliance or failure to successfully
complete investigations within the time limit would result in unfavourable
reports to their personnel file or other strictures, which would adversely
affect their career prospects.
…..And when I asked them whether I was
incorrect in saying that in almost all the instances of torture in police
custody, the victims were the poor, the destitute and the defenceless, they
sheepishly admitted it was so."
Sri Lanka enacted a law incorporating the Convention against Torture and
Cruel and Inhuman Treatment Act (Act No. 22 of 1994). In terms of this act
torture or cruel and inhuman treatment is punishable with a mandatory sentence
of seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rs.
10,000/=. Over 50 cases have been filed and there are already two convictions.
However, due to the long delay in the filing of these cases followed by long
delays in the courts many victims come under severe pressure and many abandon
pursuit of their case. The delay in adjudication and the absence of a witness
protection programme defeats the purpose of Act No. 22 of 1994. Besides this the
other factors regarding the dysfunctional nature of the policing system negates
the possibilities of even positive legislation such as this act.
The training of police in the more sophisticated methodologies of
investigations including forensic training
While there are some attempts with the assistance given by organisations such
as SIDA there have been some improvements in the education of some officers on
forensic issues. However, there has not been any systematic attempt to replace
the earlier model of obtaining oral evidence through torture by the introduction
of new methodologies of investigation. The core of the problem is that within a
system that has become dysfunctional due to the reasons described above training
and even the introduction of new knowledge and technology is of little use.
Often there is talk about improved forensic education as the solution to the
crisis faced by the police force. However, this can be valid only when much more
serious problems which affect the entire organisation are addressed.
The significant role played by the Police Force in the administration of
criminal justice makes it an integral component of any strategy aimed at curbing
crime. Therefore it is important that the Police Force be geared to
perform at its maximum potential. The Police reforms proposed herein are
intended to achieve progressive changes in Policing practice and provide a
framework for improving standards, reliability, consistency and responsiveness
within the Police Force.
In this regard Senior DIG Chandra Fernando was invited by the Committee to
discuss and help identify the several problems, which appear to mitigate against
the capacity of the Police Force to provide an efficient service with regards to
the implementation of criminal justice.
This discussion highlighted the need for a reform programme aimed at
improving the performance of the Police Force making it more flexible through
diversity and workforce modernization, increasing its capacity, providing better
conditions, training and development and investing in communications, IT,
forensics and best practice.
a) Lack of material resources: The lack of technological support and
equipment in the context of modern investigative techniques.
The Committee believes that the drive for better performance goes hand in
hand with the need to provide new resources, tools and technology to the
Police. However, the primitive nature of investigative techniques
presently used by the Police i.e. outdated fingerprinting technology and the
lack of rudimentary investigative equipment such as Polygraph machines (lie
detectors) in Sri Lanka, highlight the urgent need to invest in equipment
relating to IT and forensics.
Therein the Committee strongly recommends that scientific and technological
support for criminal investigations be significantly improved in order to
facilitate a meaningful effort in curbing crime.
Measures to ensure police attendance in courts and compliance
with court orders
One of the revealing factors about the nature of the policing system in Sri
Lanka is a finding by the same committee which submitted its final report in
April 2004 and identified the failure of the police to comply with court orders
to attend court as one of the major reasons for the delays in courts. The
committee made the following recommendation:
The Committee makes the following additional recommendations pertaining to
the Police in the context of advancing best practice:
a) Compulsory attendance: The Committee recognises the need to
administrative measures requiring Police Officers to attend Court on a
compulsory basis, in view of the frequency with which Police Officers obtain
leave and abstaining from Court sighting inappropriate grounds, which has been
observed to result in unnecessary disruption of Court proceedings in the recent
In this regard the Committee recommends that the Ministry of Justice advise
the Judicial Service Commission ("JSC") and the judges Institute to educate
Judicial Officers on the necessity to take prompt and appropriate action against
Police Officers who default on appearances on inappropriate grounds.
The recognition of this factor is significant in that it shows a breakdown of
the link between the courts and the police. Under the present circumstances it
is difficult for the magistrates to give the necessary orders to the police
relating to investigations and the matters relating to the basic rights of
citizens. This breakdown may be traced back to times of the beginning of the
insurgencies in 1971. Ever since the police have used the excuse of having to
attend to other duties such as the security functions or for providing security
for politicians as matters that need to be given higher consideration than
attendance in court. The police hierarchy has done very little to correct this
situation despite of a government appointed committee having recognized this as
one of the fundamental aspects affecting the administration of justice.
The establishment of a proper system of disciplinary control within
the police and the establishment of a credible public complaints
It is also admitted that the disciplinary process within the police is quite
primitive and the safeguards for complainants is very limited. The National
Police Commission has itself pointed out that despite of large numbers of
complaints received against police officers the number actions taken against
them are very few. The 17th Amendment to the Constitution itself recognized the
need for the establishment of a public complaint procedure. The article 155G
requires that such procedure should be established. In January 2007 by a
Gazzetted notification the National Police Commission announced such a
procedure. However, still the system of the conduct of investigations has not
The problem of police discipline is linked to the more fundamental problems
of a dysfunctional system and cannot be dealt with in isolation purely by
instructions to improve discipline.
The conditions needed for police reform
A question that has been raised by many persons during the course of the last
ten years of the Asian Human Rights Commission's study on Sri Lankan policing is
that whether a system such as the one existing in Sri Lanka can be reformed at
all. Such concerns are expressed by senior criminal lawyers, judges and other
intellectuals including some policemen themselves. When speaking privately most
policemen admit that there is something gravely wrong with the system and that
there is no serious discourse at all about putting this right.
All these conversations remind us of the great fall of Humpty Dumpty that not
all the king's men and all of the king's horses could not put Humpty Dumpty
Therefore discussions about police reform should concentrate more on the
factors that contribute to making systems dysfunctional rather than minor
aspects of reforms such as the introduction of forensic science and the like.
The need for a change discourse on police reforms
The type of crisis that the Sri Lankan policing system faces is a part of a
larger political and societal crisis. The salient question is as to what type of
policing the state as well as civil society wants to have. So long as the state
fears the development of an efficient policing system as a threat to the way the
state exists in the country at the moment the implicit answer to that question
is that the state has allowed the system to become dysfunctional. An efficient
policing system will threaten the existing pattern of misrule abuse of power and
As long as the state and society cannot arrive at an agreement to eliminate
these factors the talk of police reform will remain of little practical value.
The real problems are the issues of the nature of the state and the role that
the policing system has to play within such a system.
It is respectfully submitted that mere discussions on the introduction of
forensic science or the improvement of training and the improvement of
discipline of the police will contribute little to the understanding of the
magnitude of the problem or the finding of solutions.
A regional and international discourse on the dysfunctional policing system,
the causes of such dysfunctionalism and the overall approached to deal with it
will contribute more to solving not only the problems of policing but also of
some of the basic problems of the rule of law and democracy. The experiment made
by Hong Kong with the Independent Commission against Corruption in 1974 is a
relevant experience in studying a more fundamental type of police reform that
while reforming the policing system also contributes to overcome some of the
basic problems affecting the political system within a country.
[Footnote: see the PDF file for footnote locations]
127 Please see: http://www.article2.org/mainfile.php/0104/
128 Please see: http://www.article2.org/mainfile.php/0301/
129 Published by the Asian Human Rights Commission, (September
2005), edited by Basil Fernando & Shyamali Puvimanasinghe
Please refer to the following web sites: www.ahrchk.net, www.alrc.net & http://www.article2.org/
131 The mission
statement of the NPC as shown in its website at www.npc.gov.lk
reads as follows: Our Mission: Transforming the Sri Lankan Police into a truly
modern elite force with emphasis on respect for rule of law, professionalism,
transparency, and responsiveness to public aspirations.
6, 2007 (AFP)
133 Daily Mirror – March 7, 2006
Ambepitiya was assassinated on November 21, 2005 and later an alleged drug lord
and some of his accomplices were convicted for the killing. While there were
several allegations against some senior police officers in the press during this
period no official inquiry was conducted into the matter.
135 For a
detailed statement on the collapse of command responsibility please see Chapter
15 of An X ray of the Sri Lankan policing system and torture of the poor
published by the Asian Human Rights Commission, (September 2005), edited by
Basil Fernando & Shyamali Puvimanasinghe.
136 The Human Rights
Commission of Sri Lanka has mentioned over 100 such abductions and
disappearances since September 2006.
137 The Sri Lankan judiciary has
not intervened in dealing with the failures of the criminal investigations in
the way the Indian Supreme Court has done in its judgement on the Best Bakery
case (Zahira Habibulla H Sheikh and Anr. PETITIONER, State of Gujarat and Ors.
RESPONDENT, CASE NO.: Appeal (crl.) 446-449 of 2004). The court in its
judgement found that "... the justice delivery system was being taken for a ride
and literally allowed to be abused, misused and mutilated by subterfuge." The
court blamed "the investigation ... [was] perfunctory and anything but
impartial, without any definite object of finding out the truth to book those
who were responsible for the crime. The public prosecutor appears to have acted
more as a defence counsel ... The Court is turn appeared to be a silent
spectator, mute to the manipulations and ... indifferent to [the] sacrilege
being committed to justice. The role of the State Government ... [suggests] that
there was no seriousness ... in assailing the trial court's judgment." The
Supreme Court stated "crimes are public wrongs [in which] ... it is not just the
accused who has must be fairly dealt with." Faced with "political patronage ...
muscle and money power," the Court has an obligation to get to the truth. The
hesitation of the witnesses was directly traceable to money, muscle and
politics. In this situation, courts had to take a "participatory role" and were
not mere "tape recorders." In ordering a re-trial, the Court was not punishing
the accused but giving truth a second chance…..
138 See the Absence of
forensic facilities by Dr. Clifford Perera, Department of Forensic Medicine,
Faculty of Medicine Galle, Sri Lanka at Chapter 16 of An X ray of the Sri Lankan
policing system and torture of the poor.
139 Please refer to the AHRC
statement at the following link: http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2007statements/950/
140 Dr. Radhika Coomaraswarmy, in an interview with Lorna McGregor
of REDRESS quoted in the ALRC alternative report to the second periodic report
of Sri Lanka to the Committee against Torture – September 2005
Please refer to Chapter 4 of An X ray of the Sri Lankan policing system and
torture of the poor.
142 Committee Appointed to Recommend Amendments to
the Practice and Procedure in Investigation and Courts. This committee was
appointed to submit a report to the government on the eradication of laws
delays. The committee consisted of the following: Mr. C.R. de Silva P.C.
(Chairman) Solicitor General, Mr. Ranji Abeysuriya P.C. Attorney-at-Law, Mr.
N.S. Rajapakse High Court Judge, Mr. M.N. Burhan Magistrate, Mr. Dappula de
Livera Senior State Counsel.