Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando today filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court seeking an order preventing CID from arresting him regarding a complaint made by Major General Suresh Salley.

The petitioner has named Chief Inspector Lalitha Dissanayake, ASP Rohan Premaratne, DIG W. Thilakartne, IGP ChandanaWickramaratne, Director of State Intelligence Service Major General Suresh Salley, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner is also seeking a declaration that there is an imminent infringement of the fundamental rights guaranteed to him under Articles 12 (1), 13 (1) and 14(1) (a) of the Constitution.

This petition had been filed through Attorneys-At-Law, Namal Karunaratne and UdaraMuhandiramge of Premier Legal Consultants.

Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando states after the bomb explosions at St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, St.Sebastian’s Church, Katuwapitya, Shangri-La Hotel Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel Colombo, Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo and the Zion Church in Batticoloa on 21.04.2019 (Easter Sunday) that claimed the lives of 269 persons both local and foreign, including several children and caused injuries to 596 persons, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the 6th Respondent, along with several other Catholic Priests, including the Petitioner took a keen interest that those responsible for the said bomb explosions be brought before the law and do justice to the victims.

Fr Fernando states owing to the keen interest that he took in the above effort to bring justice to the victims and the kith and kin of the victims of the bomb blast, he eventually became the spokesperson of the Catholic Church concerning the aforesaid bomb blast.

The Petitioner states during a webinar (via Zoom technology) organized by “Global Forum for Justice for Victims of Easter Sunday” on 23.10.202, he questioned the failure on the part of the Police and the Intelligence Service that operated in Kattankudy to bring the members of the extremist group called Thoweed Jamathoperating in that area who were, preaching extremism, committing atrocities against the Sufi Muslims and committing crimes. Fr. Fernando said he did not refer to the then Brigadier Suresh Salley in particular, who was attached to the Directorate of Military Intelligence.

The Petitioner states that sequel to the said webinar, the Petitioner on 27.10.2021 received a notice issued by the CID, informing he has defamed the said Suresh Salley during the said webinar and requiring the Petitioner to present himself before the CID on 28.10.2021 at 10 am to question him.

The Petitioner states he thereafter learned from various news broadcasts on 27.10.2021 that the CID has already reported facts to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.

The applicant to the petition Father. Fernando said Major General Suresh Salley made a written complaint on the 25th of October 2021 alleging his statement has caused prejudice to the National Security, and committed offences under Sections 120, 128, 484 and 485 of the Penal Code and Section 3(1) and 3(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act No.56 of 2007 and advocated national, racial and religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence.


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