Army Court to hear tree-felling case
The Sri Lanka Military Police, probing into the alleged felling of a
few trees at Bogamuwayaya in the Maha Oya Wildlife Reserve, for
construction purposes by soldiers led by a Lieutenant, have detained all
the suspects to open military custody, immediately after they were
released on bail by the Dehiattakandiya Magistrate on Thursday.
Meanwhile, on the direction of the Commander of the Army Lt. Gen. Daya
Ratnayake, steps were taken to remove the Commanding Officer of the unit
at Borawewa, Welikanda from his post for failure in his duties to
convene a Court of Inquiry (C of I) into the incident.
Initial inquiries by the Military Police at Giritale confirmed that
the suspects were engaged in the act for the express purpose of
constructing a soldiers' billet and a dining hall inside the camp, but
had failed to follow Army procedures for collection of such material.
Dehiattakandiya Court had earlier released the officer and 10
soldiers, on cash bail of Rs. 20,000 and surety bail of Rs.100,000 each
and fixed the next hearing for March 4. The vehicle has been released on
one million rupees surety bail at the same time on Thursday.
If the Army personnel were to be found guilty by the C of I, which
will be convened by the Army Directorate of Legal Services, strict
disciplinary action will be taken, in keeping with provisions in the
Army Act, in line with the Commander's 'Zero tolerance' policy on Army