Sri Lanka’s former president claimed that a senior police official who fled the island to seek asylum in Switzerland, had conducted his investigations to please certain “NGOs affiliated to the LTTE”.
Former president Maithripala Sirisena made the claim about former CID inspector Nishantha Silva while testifying before the President Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.
Sirisena stated he received several complaints from Buddhist monks, military and intelligence officers complained of Silva’s Investigations.
“As the President, I had to decide whether I’m allowing IP Silva to carry out those investigations. Most of the people complained that the investigations led by him were biased” claimed Sirisena.
Sirisena was asked if he has instructed former IGP Pujith Jayasundar to transfer Silva at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting. He stated that Jayasundara had sent a letter to the National Police Commission stating that the decision to transfer was ‘in accordance with instructions received at the National Security Council’.
The former president said that information shouldn’t have been revealed, and “this was also one of the reasons for not inviting the IGP [Jayasundara] to NSC meetings” claiming, “it was a serious mistake done by a responsible senior officer.”
The PCoI also questioned Sirisena asking why he had reappointed IP Silva to the CID after transferring him to the Negombo Police division.
Sirisena responded saying, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, various other ministers and several NGOs had strongly objected to the transfer of IP Silva to Negombo Police division and Sirisena canceled Silva’s transfer due to those issues.
“Silva’s investigations were conducted at the behest of certain international organisations affiliated to the LTTE,” Sirisena added.
Silva’s work at the CID
Nishantha de Silva, head of the organized crimes investigation unit at the CID fled to Switzerland, reportedly fearing for his security after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election in November 2019.
Furthermore, in early 2019, an assassination plot led by the Sri Lankan navy against Silva was uncovered by the CID.
Silva had been credited with pushing through several high profile cases implicating military and state personnel, including the abduction of 11 youths, with 13 navy personnel arrested in connection with the case and senior navy officials pending investigation. He has also been investigating the death of a Tamil detainee in police custody, as well as the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.