Senior Police Officer Accused Of Assault And Sexual Abuse

Senior Police Officer Accused Of Assault And Sexual Abuse
Getty Images, Human Rights Watch

Sarah Thanawala

Sri Lanka and Human Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence.

On 2 November 2021, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) of the Sabaragamuwa Province, Ranmal Kodithuwakku, was accused of torture and sexual assault of a driver (Daily Mirror, 2021). Previously, the driver/victim was publicly assaulted and beaten by the SDIG in Ratnapur, and the footage that clearly depicted the assault was circulated on the internet and social media (Tamil Guardian, 2021). In their letter to President Rajapaksa, the law firm representing the victim has detailed the violence against the driver (Tamil Guardian, 2021). According to the letter, after being assaulted in public, the victim was taken to the Kiriella police station where he was stripped naked, beaten up, and sexually assaulted by the SDIG Kodithuwakku and two other officers (Tamil Guardian, 2021). The victim was taken to Kiriella Rural Hospital, where his injuries were inspected (Daily Mirror, 2021). 

This incident represents the many cases of police brutality in Sri Lanka. Kodithuwakku has been transferred as the Senior DIG of the Medical Services and Welfare Division and an investigation is initiated by the Sri Lankan Police (Daily Mirror, 2021; Tamil Guardian, 2021). However, these measures are far from heeding to the urgency of holding the top cops of the country accountable.

Sources and further reading:

Daily Mirror (2021, November 2). Top Cop accused of torture, sexual abuse. https://www.dailymirror.lk/latest_news/Top-Cop-accused-of-torture-sexual-abuse/342-223863 

Tamil Guardian (2021, November 4). Striped naked, assaulted and beaten by senior police officer. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/striped-naked-assaulted-and-beaten-senior-sri-lankan-police-officer