President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to be briefed regarding an allegation pertaining to personnel attached to the State intelligence services engaging in illegal surveillance including through the use of satellites, of communications taking place among members of the general public.
This follows a letter previously sent by Secretary – Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Wasantha Deshapriya on May 12 this year informing the Presidential Secretariat and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to investigate a complaint made by a member of the public with regard to alleged illegal wiretapping and electronic surveillance.
The complainant A.P. Nalin Jayawardena on August 18 made a presentation with regard to the said allegations to the TRC of which President’s Secretary Austin Fernando is the Chairman of and Senior Additional Secretary to the President M. Kingsly Fernando is the Director General (Acting) of.
According to Personal Assistant to the Senior Additional Secretary to the President Gaya Adikari, the matter has been brought to the attention of Austin Fernando who had in turn directed Fernando to have the said aforementioned presentation be conducted.
Jayawardena whose complaint against the State intelligence services in which he alleges of the aforementioned offences, in addition alleges that the said intelligence personnel were also involved in blackmailing women including undergraduates for the purpose of luring them or soliciting them for sexual trysts. According to Jayawardena, Colpetty Police had previously refused to record a complaint by him with regard to a Government Minister’s Secretary’s failure in relation to acting on Jayawardena’s concern.
He had then lodged the complaint at the Kelaniya Police only to allegedly have been informed that the matter could not be acted upon. Jayawardena had subsequently informed of the matter to Inspector General of Police (IGP), Pujith Jayasundara in a letter dated 2017 February 02.
“This is a malpractice that has been going on for years. I possess highly classified information about this. My professional career as a former online trader at the Colombo Stock Exchange and later as a businessman have been adversely affected by those engaging in such,” he said.
“There is a personal component too. Deshapriya has written to the Presidential Secretariat and Secretary – Ministry of Law and Order, Jagath Wijeweera in this regard and the said letter has also been copied to the IGP,” Jayawardena added. Deshapriya said that they had requested a submission from Jayawardena with certain details containing credible evidence prior to writing to the relevant authorities regarding the “serious matter”.
“We received a letter in this regard previously. Jayawardena subsequently made a detailed presentation to us. We are unable to take action as it is the Commission that is assigned to look into such matters as the monitoring and regulatory body. The Commission does not come under the Ministry’s purview. As promised by me to Jayawardena I have directed the matter to M. Kingsly Fernando, and informed him about this. It is the Commission that has to take action,” Deshapriya explained.