Army’s womanizer as Judge Advocate General

The existence of a country’s army depends on good discipline. An army has no place where there is no discipline. The lower ranks adhere to discipline only if top officials responsible for maintaining discipline adhere to discipline themselves.

Since Lt. Gen. Krishantha Silva succeeded Gen. Daya Ratnayake, who retired, as commander of the Army, several hilarious decisions have been taken to make the SLA law abiding and disciplined.

The most hilarious of them all is the appointment of Brig. R.P. Rajapathirana adjutant general Judge Advocate General , the topmost legal position in the Army, although an inquiry is still underway against him after his removal by Gen. Ratnayake, over allegations of repeated sexual harassment of a female legal officer under him as director of the legal directorate.

When the female officer in question had gone to the director’s office on 09.05.2014 on official duty, the Brig. had tried to sexually harass her. She had severely scolded and attacked him and escaped.

Angered by her scolding and attacking him, the Brig. had subjected her to mental distress and insult during her duties. She had tried to complain to the military police, but the commandant of the military police had refused to accept her complaint, and told the Brig. about her attempted complaint.

The harassment continued, with the Brig. publicly insulting and leveling baseless allegations against her at a meeting of all legal officers on 10.06.2014. He also insulted the Army commander there by saying, “If I am a bastard, the commander is a double bastard.”

Several female colleagues of the victim asked Col. Jayasinghe, who was the then Colonel to take a decision against her being continually insulted, but he had made no response. Instead, he had told her that she could be transferred any place she requested and asked her not to pursue any action against the Brig.

Unable to stand the harassment, injustice and insults, she complained to the then Army commander, as soon as he returned from an overseas visit.

The Brig. in question had sexually harassed several other female legal officers too. He had threatened one Capt. Nanayakkara that she would be transferred to Kilinochchi, and then sexually abused her by saying she would not be transferred. He had also sexually abused Capt. Vaijayanthi, attached to the Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana at the time, when she had been present at the Army headquarters for a lecture delivered by the then Army commander.

The harassed female legal officers do know that they cannot get any redress and knowing the futility, refrain from complaining.

However, the Army commander, even belatedly, appointed a preliminary court of inquiry to investigate the female officer’s complaint and removed the Brig. from his position and transferred him to Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana.

Soon after Lt. Gen. Krishantha Silva took over as the commander, one step he took was to appoint, in breach of all military regulations and traditions, his best crony and his regimental colleague, the Brig. as adjutant general Judge Advocate General, the topmost legal position in the Army, despite the ongoing investigation against him.

Also, he abused his powers by intimidating the witnesses, the legal officers, and made them give evidence the way he wanted, at the court. However, Lt. Col. Wijedasa, the most senior legal officer at the legal directorate at the time, did not give in to the intimidation, and gave evidence at the court, and also complained in writing to the president, the defence ministry and the Army commander, regarding the fraud, corruption and irregularities committed by the Brig. What the Army commander and the Brig. did was to send him on retirement even before he reached 55 years of age.

The president and the defence ministry had ordered the Army commander to investigate the allegations, but what the commander had done was, without conducting any investigation, to give a promotion to the Brig. and to send the complainant, the Lt. Col. home.

Also, the commander is laying the foundation for the expulsion of female legal officers, Lt. Col. Ferdinands and Maj. Mendis, who had not heeded his intimidation and gave correct evidence before the court fearlessly, by subjecting the two to various harassment and insult.

Brig. Rajapathirana had abused in filth and tried to attack Brig. Weerasinghe, a retired legal officer, who had been before the court to give evidence.

Chairman of the court Maj.Gen. Udawatte has taken steps to complete recording evidence and to handover his report to the commander, and the most hilarious decision of them all is that the commander has entrusted the task of preparing the final decision regarding the matter, to the accused, Brig. Rajapathirana, adjutant general Judge Advocate General of the Army.

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