Upul Jayasuriya; a unwavering defender of the independence of Judiciary [Photo: Sunday Times]
Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe making a special statement in the parliament said that the explanation given by the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic on moter bycle and thre weeler that followed Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka was unacceptable. “Commissioner may say that they had stopped issuing such numbers but we can find large number of vehicles bearing numbers that could produce figure 13 when the figures were added together. It seems that the commissioner had given wrong information.
Full text of Wickremesinghe’s statement:
A complaint has been made in Cinnamon Gardens Police Station that two suspicious characters with full face helmets on a motorcycle had followed Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on his way from Hulftsdorp.
The Motorcyclist had followed Jayasuriya from Hulftsdorp to Galadari Hotel where he had remained for about half an hour and during which period these motorcyclists had remained outside the Hotel. Notwithstanding that this was a high security area in front of the Presidential Secretariat.
Thereafter Jayasuriya had proceeded to an Office at Sir Earnest de Silva Mawatha, Colombo 7 and had been followed by the same motorcyclists who remained there for two to three hours.
The motorcyclists had also been seen talking to two persons in a three wheeler.
The number of the motorcycle was WP UB 4072 and that of the threewheeler was 207 – 5314.
Two motorcyclists had also been observing Jayasuriya’s residence both on the 15th of July 2014 and the 17th of July, 2014 and a complaint had been made in this regard to the Talangama Police Station.
The authorities however failed to trace any details regarding these suspicious persons or even their vehicles.
Apparently no details are available in the data base of the Department of Motor Traffic in respect of either the motorcycle or the three-wheeler.
Surprisingly however the details of the vehicles bearing the numbers immediately preceding and immediately following the numbers of these vehicles are available. No explanation has been given for the gap in the numbering.
In the meantime the Attorney-General himself has written to the Inspector General of Police regarding this incident. I wish to ask the Prime Minister what is the present status of the investigations into this incident and what is the reason for the gap in the numbering of vehicles?”
Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that statements had been recorded by Talangama police with regard to complaints made by Jayasuriya and investigations were in progress. Police teams have been instructed to visit the resident of Jayasuriya at No 61/11, Fifth Lane, Pahala Wela Road, Pelawatte twice a day and night. The Commissioner of Motor Traffic had said that two number plates of the trishaw and motorcycle added together each of them produced the figure ‘13’ which is considered as an unlucky number and the Department of Motor Traffic had stopped issuing such numbers.
Wickremesinghe said that explanation given by the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic was unacceptable. “Commissioner may say that they had stopped issuing such numbers but we can find large number of vehicles bearing numbers that could produce figure 13 when the figures were added together. It seems that the commissioner had given wrong information.
Leader of the Opposition requested presiding member Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody to bring this issue of Commissioner of Motor Traffic giving wrong information to the notice of the Speaker.