The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is presently deliberating on whether or not to continue with further inquiry into the death of a youth at a party in Embilipitiya recently following clashes with the Police and whether or not to release the report pertaining to the matter.
Media Spokesman of the HRCSL, Attorney-at-Law Saliya Peiris said that the Commission normally as a practice did not in parallel give out a report when a fundamental rights case was filed before the Supreme Court, as it was the Supreme Court which possessed the fundamental rights jurisdiction.
“A good part of the inquiry has been conducted. We are yet to decide. We will probably decide this week,” he added.
Meanwhile, Attorney-at-Law Udul Premaratne criticized the Commission’s position and stance regarding the matter, noting that not only was human rights more broader than fundamental rights, which extended solely to a few basic rights like the right to life (not recognized by provisions in the laws of Sri Lanka but through case law stemming from judicial precedent), arguing also that if all matters could be solved through courts, there was then no reason to institute commissions.
“The HRCSL halting the inquiry just because there is a fundamental rights petition filed before the Supreme Court is wrong. Even the National Police Commission give similar answers sometimes. The inquest report into the said death states that the death occurred due to injuries including cuts and internal bleeding. Only the cause of death is given. Now there is talk of the former Assistant Superintendent of Police of Embilipitiya, D.W.C. Dharmaratne being given bail. Just because the inquest only gives out the cause of death, does not mean that Dharmaratne did not push Sumith Prasanna Jayawardena. The latter is proven only in Court through evidence like closed-circuit television camera footage and eyewitness testimony. It is also reported in the media that a case is going to be filed against the aggrieved party and the lawyers who are representing the aggrieved party, on the grounds of false evidence. This is intimidation of eyewitnesses,” he explained.