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A short note about the former Senior Superintendent of the police Shani Abeysekera

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A short note about the former Senior Superintendent of the police

Shani Abeysekera

“…Shani Abeysekera is investigate whatever he wants.

Non-governmental organizations in this country do not question about

it. Those who fought the war, the navy commander, the intelligence

department, are going to put me in jail. Not only that, how can those

guys say my name? Officials and non-governmental organizations who

insisted, they do not question them.

On November 24, 2019, Miltary Nandasena Gotabaya went before a group

of Buddhist clergies and expressed the above views against the former

director Shani Abeysekara who was investigating Gotabaya’s crimes.

At that time Senior Superintendent of Police Shani Abeysekera was the

director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). He was

investigating the murder of Wasim Thajudeen, the abduction and

disappearance of 11 students in Colombo and suburbs with the

expectation of extortion, the disappearance of journalist Prageeth

Eknaligoda, the murder of businessman Shyam by DIG Vas Gunawardena and

a number of controversial crimes happened in Sri Lanka during military

Nandasena Gotabaya was the defense secretary.

Shani Abeysekera had arranged to record the statements from Military

Nandasena, Deshbandu Tennakoon in charge of Western Province and a

group of VIP’s attached with military Gotabaya and about his crimes.

Shani Abeysekera was removed from the post of Director of the Criminal

Investigation Department and appointed as Personal Assistant to the

DIG of Galle within 48 hours of military Gotabaya Nandasena who won

the presidential election held in November 2019 being sworn in as the


Following that Shani Abeysekera was suspended from work and even after

three years of his suspension, no charge sheet was levelled against

him. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal then ordered the authorities

to pay Shani Abeysekera’s due wages.

Shani Abeysekera was arrested on July 31, 2020, a few days before the

August 2020 general election, and he was arrested by the Colombo

Crimes Division under the supervision of Senior DIG Deshabandu


Shani Abeysekera contracted Kovid while he was incarcerated on

suspicion and had a cardiac arrest but he was not given proper

treatment in the prison. After that, he underwent a heart surgery and

following the heart surgery, he was taken back to prison without being

allowed to receive in house treatment under medical supervision.

Following all these hindrances it was revealed that it was the need of

the state authorities to put Shani Abeysekara’s life at risk. The

Association of Young Journalists who paid attention to this organized

a public petition to provide security to Shani Abeysekera in prison.

During that time, President Military Nandasena appointed a anti

political revenge commission chaired by retired judge Upali Abeyrathne

and the commission recommended the release of the criminals arrested

under the supervision of Shani Abeysekera and prosecution before the

courts after  2015.

The Gampaha High Court judge refused to grant bail to Shani

Abeysekera, who had been imprisoned on suspicion for more than 10

months. His wife filed a revised petition to the Court of Appeal to

grant bail. The Court of Appeal, which considered the petition,

ordered that all the charges brought against Shani Abeysekera are

fabricated and false, and that he should be released on bail.

According to the court order, Shani Abeysekera was granted bail.

Shani Abeysekera retired from the police in June 2021 and payment of

his pension was suspended without any investigation. After the

retirement of Shani Abeysekera, on 31st June 2021, Senior DIG

Deshbandu published a hateful post against Shani Abeysekera through

his Facebook account.

Shani Abeysekera joined the Sri Lanka Police as a Sub Inspector on

10/02/1986. According to the special request of the then Deputy

Inspector General of Criminal Investigation Department, he has served

in various positions in the elite security section of the Police

Special Task Force of the Presidential Security Division during his 34

years of service in the police service before being appointed to that

department. After the 2019 presidential election, he was appointed as

the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department and was

transferred as Personal Assistant to the DIG of Galle on 21/11/2019.

During his more than 34 years of service, Shani Abeysekera was

actively involved in investigating a number of high-profile cases,

including the attempted assassination of former President Chandrika

Bandaranaike in 1999.

The LTTE attack on Katunayake International Airport in 2001, the

killing of Yvonne Johnson in Royal Park in 2005, the abduction and

disappearance of 11 youths by Naval Intelligence in 2008-2009 under

the guidance of navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, the double murder

of Angulana in 2009, the kidnapping of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda

in 2010 are some of them. Furthermore, Shani Abeysekera was awarded a

certificate of appreciation by the Secretary of the International

Police in appreciation of the investigation into the Easter Sunday

bombing. He was the chief prosecution witness in over 100 cases,

including over 20 murder cases.

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