Petition against SDIG Tennekoon over GotaGoGama attack dismissed by courts

A writ petition filed by a lawyer against Senior DIG Western Province Deshabandu Tennekoon for his alleged failure to prevent attacks on peaceful protesters at Galle Face on 9 May 2022 was dismissed by the court yesterday. Accordingly, the petition was ordered to be dismissed with costs when the petition was taken up before the President of the Court of Appeal Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice M.A.R Marikkar yesterday. The order of dismissal was issued after the consideration of preliminary arguments presented by Romesh de Silva PC who appeared on behalf of Tennekoon.


The petitioner, identified as Ramalingam Ranjan who supported the ‘Aragalaya’ protest movement through his petition was seeking an order to be issued to the Attorney General to direct the Police to arrest Tennekoon as a suspect in the attack carried out on the Gota Go Gama protest site at the Galle Face Green last year, to record a statement from him and to present him before the courts. The petitioner at the time of filing claimed that the Fort Magistrate’s Court has also observed that sufficient facts are available to name the SDIG as a suspect in the attack carried out on the ‘Aragalaya’ protest movement on May 09 at Galle Face Green. The petition was filed in November last year by Ranjan through Niclo Associates citing the IGP, attorney general and others as respondents. He was represented by Maithree Gunaratne PC and Attorneys Ashan Nanayakkara and Iffath Sahabdeen.


Tennekoon, now the most senior Policeman in the Sri Lanka Police next to the current IGP C.D Wickramaratne is slated to take up the top post in three months' time. Tennekoon has found himself in many controversial situations in recent times, including the 9 May attack on Aragalaya protestors, the arrest of Aragalaya activist Anuruddha Bandara and the Easter Sunday attack. The Catholic Church has been highly critical of Tennekoon and has directly blamed him for not preventing the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 based on the report by the Presidential Commission which probed the attacks.