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Who is 'Hula'?

2013 Nov 12

The government should reveal the owner of the recently raided gambling den in Town Hall, as well the identity of ‘Hula’ who is said to be in charge of its defence, Member of the JVP Political Bureau, MP Vijitha Herath said.

MP Herath said thus while speaking at a media conference held at JVP head office at Pelawatta today (11th).
Recently, a gambling den carried out for years near Town Hall in Colombo was raided by the officers of Colombo Organized Crimes Division attached to the Sri Lanka Police Headquarters. The raid was carried out after obtaining a court order. During the raid several public figures were arrested and a large amount of money was seized. As soon as the raid was carried out an invisible force transferred 23 officers of the Colombo Organized Crimes Division who took part in the raid. They have been transferred to distant places such as Ampara, Batticaloa, Chilaw and Mannar.

At present the Colombo Organized Crimes Division has filed 13 cases at the High Court and 39 cases at Magistrates Courts. The transfers would hinder court procedures. It would be difficult for the officers to attend court from distance places. New officers would not be able to present maters effectively. Hence, the main intention of eh transfers is to stop future raids on gambling dens. Also, it is to sabotage court proceedings against criminals.  The intention behind this action could be to get the perpetrators released.

The police media spokesman says the officers were transferred due to a bribery incident that occurred at Piliyandala. He also says officers were transferred as they had been attached to the unit for a long period of time. However, there are also officers who had served the division only for six months. As such, the statement that they had served in the division for more than two years is not correct. Also, the bribery incident at Piliyandala is not relevant to the transfers.

On 22.01.2013 seven officers attached to Colombo Organized Crimes Division were temporarily transferred to Colombo Crimes Division. It was stated in a letter signed by DIG Jayantha Kulatileke. In an operation carried out at Piliyandala on 09.09.2013 several officers who were transferred were charged with accepting a bribe. They were punished. As such, the bribery incident took place while they were attached to the Crimes Division.  Colombo Organized Crimes Division is a separate institution. On 01.10.2013 DIG I.M. Karunaratna orders officers attached to the Crime Division to be transferred back to Colombo Organized Crimes Division. The two letters indicate they were two different incidents.

As a result of these interventions officers who maintain law and order are unable to carry out their duties. They are discouraged. This would affect the whole police force. They would hesitate to bust crime. A former police spokesman and DIG who raided a gambling den in Ratnapura area some time ago has left the country.  There was political pressure against him and he was unable to live in this country. Such political interventions are carried out continuously. The government should reveal to the country the forces and individuals behind such incidents.

The government should reveal to the country the ‘Hula’ in the defense sector that punishes honest police officers. It is such culprits that destroy this country. Also, the person who gave orders to carry out the gambling den should be exposed. The officers who have been transferred to distant places as a punishment for raiding the den should be reinstated in the Colombo Organized Crimes Division. By doing this the government should give a correct message to honest officers.

JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi too was present.

“The police is expected to maintain law and order in a country. The virtuousness of a country is decided by the maintenance of law and order in that country. However, the police in our country is influenced by politics at present. This is why an independent police commission was established to curtail such political influence on the police force.  As a result of the intervention of the JVP the 17th amendment was adopted in Parliament. The police commission and other commissions established through this amendment political intervention in state institutions was minimized. Especially, the political intervention in police department was curtailed. However, this police commission was active only for a short period. During this short period honest police officers were able to carry out their duties with dignity and without political intervention.

However, Mahinda Rajapaksa regime has dragged the country towards hooliganism. The country has been subjected to rowdyism deploying the underworld, state terrorism, gangs of thugs and illegal unofficial armed forces. Honest police officers who maintain law and order have been politically victimized. This has paved the way for fraud, corruption and stealing.

At present honest police officers carry out their duties under very stressful circumstances. They do not get uniforms, shoes or a proper place to sleep.

As a result of super luxury hotel projects in Colombo the police have lost their lands and buildings. They have lost their salary increments. Police officers had the opportunity of getting loan facilities from the savings association when they save for 5 years. Now this facility would be available only after 10 years.

They have no vehicles to go on duty or no money is paid for fuel. If police officers keep away from their duties due to these hazards they would have to face disciplinary action and punishment.  They have to maintain law and order under such stressful circumstances. Police officers, who carry out raids under such stressful conditions, instead of being encouraged with promotions, are punished by the government.

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