Ranjith Madduma Bandara asks whether the “White van culture” of abductions and intimidation has returnedNovember 28, 2019
The Opposition is accusing the administration of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of failing to fulfil its main campaign pledge of providing national security as a woman staffer of an embassy has been kidnapped at gunpoint in Colombo.
United National Party MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara told reporters today Nov 28 that “it has been four days since this happened and still there have been no arrests. The country needs to know what has happened.”
Police are currently investigating the abduction of the woman who is a staffer at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo. Her abductors had questioned her about visa issues and attempted to obtain information from her phone, officials said.
The abduction has become an international issue with the Swiss government condemning it and calling for a full investigation.
The government has taken the position that no state agency is involved in the abduction.
The former Law and Order Minister also questioned whether the “White van culture” of abductions and intimidation had returned just ten days into the Presidency.
Speaking at a press conference held at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha in Pitakotte, he said that the government was hell-bent on destroying the Criminal Investigation Department. Former Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said that government “has removed the head of the CID who is an experienced investigator and replaced him with an officer who has been in VIP security.”
She also said that the CID which is more than a century old, had a stellar record, but this government is punishing its officers because they conducted investigations into the wrongdoings of the current government’s politicians during the Yahapalana period.
“They are discouraging the government service, as any officer could be punished this way,” Madduma Bandara added.
He said that releasing the names of 704 CID officers to the Department of Immigration has blown away the secrecy that these officers usually operate under.
“Many of these officers performed yeoman service during the war, risking their lives. When we were in power they accused us of harassing the Intelligence Officers, now they are punishing the CID,” Madduma Bandara said.
UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam who also spoke at the briefing said that these actions will discourage police officers from conducting proper investigations. “That is very dangerous as justice will not be served,” he said.