Another web journo grilled by CID

  • Questioned on links to arrested web journalist
  • Doctor who shared ‘dying like flies’ post questioned

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

Social media journalist Thushara Wanniarachchi was summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday (17) to record a statement in connection with her alleged links to LankaeNews journalist and former Air Force Intelligence Officer Keerthi Ratnayake, who was recently arrested for making claims about a purported attack on an international institution in Colombo.

Earlier, according to Wanniarachchi’s Facebook account, it was revealed that four police officers from the CID had come to search her house on 16 August.

“These officers searched my house and took away old laptops and phones including iPhones, and pen drives for investigation,” she said.

She claimed that the police officers had indicated that she was in possession of a computer and telephone belonging to Ratnayake.

Wanniarachchi has since uploaded a few pictures to her Facebook, showing police officers pulling out her clothes from where they were stored and leaving them in disarray.

Meanwhile, Attorney-at-Law Upul Kumarapperuma has written a letter to Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Saliya Pieris PC yesterday, claiming that the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD), which took Ratnayake into custody, has a plan to take him to his home in Kandy and that there is a likelihood of a threat to his life en route.

Upon receipt of the said letter from Kumarapperuma, Pieris has written to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne, requesting to secure Ratnayake’s life. Pieris has also formally informed the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) about this request.

Elsewhere, two CID officers have questioned Dr. Najith Indika, who is attached to the Avissawella Base Hospital, and had previously penned a note on his Facebook account about the condition of the Covid-19 ward of the hospital where he works, saying that “people are dying like flies”.

“I wrote an article about the current state of Covid-19 and put it up on Facebook because I had no other choice but to feel the pain I was feeling at that time,” Dr. Indika mentioned in his Facebook account.

According to his Facebook post, the CID officers had questioned his mental state and had stated that “the relevant Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) told us to take a look at the doctor who wrote this and see if he was under stress”.

Speaking to The Morning, Dr. Indika said that he is unable to comment on the incident, adding, however, that he will not stop writing on Facebook since it is his personal choice.