Salawa: CID teams yet to enter actual blast site
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) teams now probing last
week’s devastating fire at the Salawa Army base munitions stockpile
have, so far, only been given limited and controlled access into
sections of the base. According to top CID sources, some areas have not
been made secure for the investigations to commence in the blast site.
“We have only been able to access areas within 200m from the actual
blast site within the camp. The Army is yet to give clearance for us to
access the armoury. The CID team and the Government Analyst have been
told that we would be getting access on Monday,” a top official of the
CID told the Sunday Observer.
The CID team which has been at the disaster site from Sunday evening
has recorded 35 statements from residents and Army personnel. However,
they are yet to visit the actual blast site, he said.
According to Army officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity,
the ammunition stocks did not have proper storing facilities even at the
height of the conflict and they were stored in semi permanent
The artillery rounds which were imported to the country at the height
of the war before 2009 were even stored in the gymnasium of the Panagoda
Army Cantonment and later shifted to Salawa and other ammunition dumps
as the gymnasium in Panagoda had to be cleared to be used for Army
sports activities after the war’s end.
Commenting on the reports that the Army had not given permission for
the CID teams to enter the blast site, Security Forces Commander (West)
Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe said the CID teams investigating the
incident were there on the site for the past three days.
“The CID teams investigating the incident are very much inside the
camp site. Anyone visiting Salawa area can see how they are conducting
investigations at the site,” Major General Ranasinghe said.
He said as a legitimate government institution, the Sri Lanka Army
cannot prevent another government investigating team conducting
“These are diabolical lies spread by vested interests to create
problems. The Army Commander made his stance clear on the investigations
and the Army has given access to the site for investigations,” he said.