SRI LANKA: Panadura south police allegedly mishandle the case of assault of a couple


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-012-2008
ISSUES: Police violence,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the assault and mishandling of a case filed by a couple with the Panadura police in Sri Lanka on 16 September 2007. The couple identified one of the assailants as an employee of the Panadura police but no proper investigation has been conducted. The Panadura police allegedly did not record their complaint properly and indicated the wrong date and case number. Furthermore, an officer has threatened that he will fabricate a case against the couple.

CASE DETAILS: (based on the testimony from Manoj Kumara)

On the night of 16 September 2007, eight persons arrived at the residence of Manoj Kumara aboard a three-wheeler and assaulted Manoj and his wife Chandrika.

Manoj Kumara and his wife made a complaint about this incident on the same day to the Panadura south police identifying two of their assailants Upali and Ranki who were residents of Arukgoda village. They could identify other assailants if seen, but whose names they did not know.

According to the information received, the base for this incident was a disagreement between his wife Chandrika and Upali’s wife in relation to a money transaction.

After this incident Ulpali’s wife made a complaint to the Panadura police about Manoj Kumara and his wife, regarding a money transaction due to her from Manoj Kumara’s wife. Based on this complaint, the police called both parties for an inquiry and forced Manoj Kumara and his wife to agree to pay a sum of Rs. 1,000/= (USD 9) every month to Upali’s wife at the police station.

Manoj Kumara alleges that the police called him and his wife Chandrika for an inquiry based on the complaint lodged by Upali’s wife while ignoring the complaint which was lodged previously by him with regard to the assault.

At the inquiry Chandrika recognized a certain officer whom she alleges was amongst their assailants. Upon inquiry, Manoj Kumara came to know that this officer was the Home Guard Kulasiri in the service of the Panadura police.

Manoj Kumara informed the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Small Complaints Office about the home guard. The OIC then called and questioned Kulasiri stating: “Is it true these people say that you assault them? Now they are going to report you to higher up authority.” Home guard Kulasiri immediately denied this fact. The OIC then assured Manoj Kumara and his wife that it was not necessary to take the trouble to report the matter to higher authorities and that he would look into the matter since Kulasiri was a very junior officer.

Manoj Kumara had then asked the police what action had been taken upon the complaint lodged by them on the assault. The officer informed them that a case had been filed under no. 75282 and it has been referred to the Mediation Board. He also informed them that they would receive a letter from the Mediation Board and the case had been fixed on 16 January 2008.

On another occasion when they came to the Panadura Police station to pay the Rs. 1,000/= (USD 9) to Upali’s wife, the latter had asked them why they did not come to the Mediation Board. She also informed them that their letter had been returned stating that there was no such person residing at the given address.

Manoj Kumara seeing the letter sent by the Mediation Board in her hand had asked the OIC Small Complaints if it is possible to get a photocopy of the letter. But Upali’s wife did not agree to this. She told them to come to the Mediation Board on 15 December 2007. The victim then requested from the OIC a letter to go to the Mediation Board. The OIC had written the number of the case 72583 and the date on 15 December 2007 stating that they should go to the Mediation Board at Bandaragama at 9:00am.

On December 15, when Manoj Kumara went to the Mediation Board, Upali’s wife did not come. Manoj Kumara had showed the Mediation Board the letter obtained from the OIC Police Panadura. The Board then informed him that since the victim had not been present on the earlier date, a certificate of non settlement had been issued. Manoj Kumara stated that they did not receive the letter from the Mediation Board. The Board then stated that it could be that the other party got the letters through an office assistant and hence Manoj Kumara did not receive it.

Manoj Kumara then asked for letter to the police stating the present position. Upon this the Board wrote and gave him a case number recorded unsettled. He then went to the OIC Small Complaints and reported the matter but the OIC said that he was not the one who handling these matters but officer Palitha.

The Panadura police then filed a case and sent it to the Mediation Board.

Manoj Kumara says that the Panadura police are biased and acting in support of Upali and his wife who allegedly instigated the assault. He also says that Home Guard Kulasiri who was one of their assailants has got together with other persons known to them and is threatening them that he will fabricate a charge of bombs or drugs and send them to prison. He further mentions that upon the influence of Home Guard Kulasiri, the Panadura police are harassing and wasting their time by not properly recording their initial complaint, by indicating wrong dates and case numbers thus subjecting them to great inconveniences.

He has reported this incident by written complaint on 20 December 2007 to the Chairman of Human Rights Commission, Chairman of National Police Commission, Inspector General of Police Head Quarters, and Senior Superintendent of police in Panadura.

Please write letters to the relevant authorities to investigate the assault of a couple and mishandle of the case by the Panadura South police.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Dear __________,

SRI LANKA: Panadura south police allegedly mishandle the assault of a couple

Name of victim: Panagoda Don Manoj Kumara (39), 3 children
Name of alleged perpetrators: Home Guard Kulasiri and Panadura South police
Date of incident: 16 September 2007
Place of incident: Panadura South Police, Panadura Dist. Panadura Division, Western Province (South) Range

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the assault of a couple and the Panadura South police mishandle the case.

According to information received on the night of 16 September 2007, eight persons had come by a three-wheeler to Manoj Kumara’s house and assaulted Manoj Kumar and his wife Chandrika. Manoj Kumara and his wife made a complaint about this incident on the same day to the Panadura police identifying two of their assailants Upali and Ranki who were residents of Arukgoda village. They also stated that they could identify their other assailants if seen, but whose names they did not know. Manoj Kumara says the Panadura police did not record their complaint properly and did not write down what they said.

I have been informed that another of their assailants was later identified by the couple as Home Guard Kulasiri in the service of the Panadura police station.

I have been informed that due to the allegedly undue influence of home guard Kulasiri the Panadura police are partisan to the assailants and obstructing justice by not taking due interest  to pursue the complaint made by the couple regarding the assault sustained by them.

The couple alleges that the Panadura police did not take down their complaint properly and gave them wrong dates and references of the case numbers wasting their time and subjecting them to inconvenience and hardship.

I have been further informed that the home guard Kulasiri is now threatening the couple with fabricating a charge and sending them to prison.

I therefore urge that though investigation has been commenced in this case, a just and unbiased inquiry be made into the victim’s complaint.

Yours sincerely,



1. Mr. Victor Perera
Inspector General of Police 
New Secretariat 
Colombo 1
Fax: +94 11 2 440440/327877

2.  Mr. C.R. De Silva 
Attorney General 
Attorney General’s Department 
Colombo 12 
Fax: +94 11 2 436421

3. Secretary
National Police Commission
3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers,
109 Galle Road
Colombo 03
Tel: +94 11 2 395310 
Fax: +94 11 2 395867

4. Secretary
Human Rights Commission
No. 36, Kynsey Road 
Colombo 8 
Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806 
Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission ( 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : AHRC-UAC-012-2008
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Police violence,