31st May 1998
Air Com. Vijith Tennekoon threatened Corporal 30 times to make false claims against Dr.Rajitha Senaratne
By Dilrukshi HandunnettiColombo High Court Judge Mahanama Tilekeratne who acquitted Dr. Senaratne of supplying the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) with an outdated stock of 30 bottles of Cold Mould, a liquid substance used for making dental moulds, pronounced that the case indeed was a fabricated one founded upon uncorraborated evidence which destroyed the very foundation of a criminal action.
In proving this, the evidence of Corporal Bandaranaike, a witness considered decisive by both parties, has been clearly cited.
Testifying Bandaranaike, a Dental Assistant of the SLAF has stated that he had been threatened about thirty times by Air Commodore Vijith Tennekoon (the Chief Provost Marshal) to make false claims.
Around 10.30 pm on May 13, 1996 he had been reportedly threatened by the Chief Provost Marshal Tennakoon inside his office.
Bandaranaike has been reportedly threatened to make the said false claim and, warned of dire consequences to him and his entire family unless this was done.
Intense threatening has been done before May 15, 1996, and he has been once threatened that this would be repeated at the China Bay Camp.
Bandaranaike testifying has said that he made a statement to Air Commodore Vijith Tennekoon on May 14, 1996 at 20 30 hours, admitting that his statement contained fabrications and facts both.
He has admitted there that re3LABELling the bottles was in fact a falsehood. Thereafter he has made a statement to the CID a certified copy of which he furnished Air Commodore Tennekoon .
In the aftermath of a successful legal tussle, UNP's Rajitha Senaratne is poised to expose reeking corruption and massive land deals by government politicians.
Dr. Senaratne who celebrated his 48th birthday last Friday, told The Sunday Times that the UNP will complain to the Permanent Commission on Bribery and Corruption on a weekly basis, and the PA's corrupt performance should pale the massive corruption in neighboring countries to insignificance.
The MP said that in the aftermath of his acquittal, he would raise the many derogatory references made against him with Speaker K.B. Ratnayake for breach of parliamentary privilege, and also file action for violation of fundamental rights and for malicious prosecution.
The jubilant MP said that he took a lot of flak during his tempestuous political career in addition to the humiliation he was often subjected to by PA members leveling false charges against him. We will fight it through, and we will go public with the PA's corrupt deals. Most of us are being vilified and humiliated and let people be the judges said.
I am willing to take them all to task, and file action for their efforts to defame and injure my reputation. Along with the other cases, a defamation suit will be filed against the media Minister of Posts, Telecom Mangala Samaraweera for the many derogatory references using state media subsequent to my acquittal," he said.
He added that his lawyers have already sent a letter of demand to the Independent Television Networks(ITN) demanding Rs.50 million for each of its defamatory news casts regarding an alleged illegal purchase of a house by his wife Sujatha.
The existence of an 'illegal outfit' within the AirForce has been questioned, by Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, counsel watching the interests of journalist Iqbal Athas who was harassed by a group of Air Force personnel in January this year
Mr Warnakulasuriya raised the question when the case in which two Air Force officers have been charged with harassing Mr. Athas was taken up for hearing before the Gangodawila Magistrate, N. V. Karunatillake on Wednesday.
The CID had been told by the Air Force officials that no movement register, or details about the issue of weapons to this particular outfit was maintained as they did not come under the normal supervision of the Air Force.
The CID had questioned Wing Commander Vijith Tennakoon and Flight Lt. Erick Weerasinghe in connection with the case.
Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, counsel for Mr. Athas told court if no proper records were maintained the Air Force should be able to disclose under whose supervision the Air Force officials involved in the incident had operated.
Mr. Warnakulasuriya pointed out that although there were about 50 Air Force personnel linked to the incident so far only two suspects Flt. Lt. Rukman Herath and Squadron Leader Sujeewa Kannangara had been arrested.
He told court that no action had been taken to produce the rest of the suspects before court.
The Magistrate ordered that action should be taken to carry out further investigations and submit a report to court when the case is taken up for hearing on June 10.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner Basit Ali Haqqani has met Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar regarding the recent nuclear tests in the sub confident.
Mr. Haqqani declined to comment on Thursday meeting except to say “ I am satisfied with Sri Lanka’s position over nuclear explosions carried out by India and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Mr.Kadirgamar who was on a visit to China had discussions on several matters with Chinese leaders Among the topics discussed were the recent nuclear tests conducted by India and the question of security in the South Asia region.
The Chinese leaders strongly rejected India’s allegation that China posed a nuclear threat to India. They conveyed to Mr. Kadirgamar their deep resentment that such an allegation had been made. They emphasised that ever since China developed nuclear weapons it had unilaterally undertaken not to be the first to use nuclear weapons or to threaten to use such weapons against a non-nuclear weapon state, according to a Foreign Ministry release.
The Chinese leaders had observed that in recent years China and India had considerably improved their bilateral relations and the two countries were making significant progress towards the resolution of their border dispute.
It was therefore, difficult for China to understand why at this promising stage in the improvement of their bilateral relations the government of India should have decided to describe China as its main enemy.
First the Kollupitiya Road was closed barring access to roads near Temple Trees, the presidential residence. Now comes a ‘curfew’ clamped on the residents around Temple Trees. They cannot drive about after 6 p.m.
Roads in the vicinity of the presidential residence will be kept open only from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. And if you come in a vehicle after 6 p.m. you will be stopped and will have to walk home. No vehicles are allowed in after 6 p.m.
Residents of the area who are inconvenienced by this clamp down have protested. This ‘curfew’ will mean that there will be no entertainment, night-outs and above all, no extra work, said a resident of the area.
A doctor also a resident of the quarantined area said, that the curfew was unfair. “We cannot drive after 7 p.m. How can I attend on a patient needing emergency treatment and how can children come home after late classes or attending functions?” he asked.
Adding to their list of difficulties is the requirement to renew their entry passes every month. They ask that they be issued a permanent pass after strict scrutiny. Residents want the roads kept open till 9 p.m.
“While the security personnel of the VVIP and the police visit friends and relatives and entertain people, which is quite normal, while we have to lead an abnormal life confined to our homes,” a resident said.
By Kumaradasa Wagistaa
Eleven PA backed municipal councillors kept away from the monthly general meeting of Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) on Wednesday. Opposition leader K.Geneshalingam and seven PA members attended.
This move has been taken by them as a protest for not removing the chief whip opposition . Decisions arrived at the group meetings are flouted by certain councillors at council meetings.
Indiscipline has crept in while opposition leader has no control over some councillors” a dissident councillor said.
In sympathy with their boycott two Independent Councillors (non PA) also did not attend the meeting. The dissident councillors were seen in the members room while the meeting was going on.
Five soldiers and a Muslim priest were killed in separate incidents in the Maduruoya and Kathankudy areas Police said yesterday.
The Moulavi S.M. Farook, 41 was shot dead at his residence while he was having dinner on Friday night.
Two persons on a push cycle had come to his residence around 8.30 p.m., and told him to come out. They shot him at pointblank range killing him on the spot, police said.
Police said they believed that a Muslim group was responsible for the shooting, but the reason was not clear.
The five soldiers were killed when they were ambushed by LTTE rebels in the Awaranthalwa area of Maduruoya while they were on their way to provide protection to farmers yesterday morning.
Two soldiers were reported missing after the incident.
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