Sri Lanka: Spy Chief Testifies Amidst Life-Threatening Situation

In a high-stakes courtroom showdown, Major General Suresh Saleh confronts an internet statement by defendant Father Cyril Gamini, demanding 50 million rupees in compensation for the damage it caused.

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District court of Colombo [ File Photo]

Today, Major General Suresh Sallay, the head of the State Intelligence Service, appeared before the Colombo District Court (September 4) to testify. He made a striking revelation that, while the court was already dealing with a case related to the heinous Easter Sunday terror attack, Father Cyril Gamini, the defendant, had severely tarnished his reputation through a statement he disseminated on the internet.

The proceedings unfolded under the jurisdiction of Colombo Chief District Judge Sandun Withana, with Father Cyril Gamini, the defendant, also present in the courtroom.

Suresh Sallay, in his complaint, is seeking compensation amounting to 50 million rupees for the grave insult inflicted upon him due to a statement made by Father Cyril Gamini during a discussion held on ‘Zoom’ on October 23, 2021, organized by the International Justice Forum for the victims of the Easter Sunday terror attack.

During his testimony, in response to questions posed by prosecutor Pahan Weerasinghe, Suresh Sallay disclosed that he is a devoted father of two children and has dedicated 36 years of his life in service to the nation through the army.

The witness emphasized that this statement made by the accused posed serious threats to him and his children. It transpired at a time when the court was actively addressing the Easter Sunday terror attack case, and such a statement had the potential to distort public perception.

“I am the father of two children. I have served in the Army for 36 years. Three of my four brothers have committed themselves to the defense forces, sacrificing their limbs for our nation. The statement made by the accused ignited a significant controversy, both within our borders and on the global stage. This ordeal subjected me to immense personal pressure. It is crucial to note that the accused uttered these words during a court trial, which only exacerbated the situation, distorting the truth in society’s eyes. Regrettably, my children were not spared from the repercussions; they faced threats due to this statement, and as a result, one of them had to withdraw from school,” testified Suresh Sallay.

Suresh Sallay underscored that this statement not only posed a grave threat to his children but also compelled him to make the difficult decision of withdrawing one of them from school. The statement had a profound and adverse impact on his personal life.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing to January 25, when the legal team representing the defendant, Father Cyril Gamini, will cross-examine the witness, Suresh Sallay.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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