OIC’s public apology, victory for all women – Chandrani Bandara
United National Party MP, Chandrani Bandara said yesterday that the public apology tendered by the former Bambalapitiya OIC, Upul Seneviratne, for abusing her during a motorcade protest in June 2008, against the high price of petrol, was a victory for all women.
She told a news conference in Colombo that in view of Seneviratne’s admission that he had done wrong and apology in the Supreme Court yesterday, she had decided to withdraw the case.
Relating the incident which had occurred on June 6,2008, Chandrani Bandara said that she and Rosy Senanayake were participating in a motorcade protest in Bambalapitiya, against the governments refusal to reduce petrol prices, in keeping with a Supreme Court order.
"We were in a procession of vehicles in Bambalapitiya and were tooting our car horn in protest. The then OIC of the Bambalapitiya Police ,Upul Seneviratne along with eight other armed policemen came upto our car, abused me in filth and asked us to move on. Subsequently, I filed a police complaint, followed by a court case."
Chandrani Bandara said that the judgment against Seneviratne was not a personal victory for her, but a triumph for all women.
Rosy Senanayake MP said that the day after Chandrani had been abused; it was disgraceful to see senior government figures garlanding Seneviratne, in front of the Bambalapitiya Police Station. "Among those present were the Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana and A.H.M. Azwer. It was shocking to see them endorse the abusive action of the OIC."
She said that despite Seneviratne carrying out a "government contract", no one was present to garland him, after he was reprimanded and asked to tender an apology, by Justice Shirani Thilakawardena, who presided over the case.
Incidents of this nature have once again highlighted the importance of implementing the 17th amendment to the constitution. If an independent Police Commission had been in existence, OIC Seneviratne could not have been pressurized to act in an uncivilized manner, she said.