Oct 16, Colombo: President Maithripala Sirisena has granted Rs 1 million to the Police Sergeant Sanath Gunawardena who was suspended following the incident in Thebuwana, when the police officer met with the President at the Presidential Secretariat, today (16).
Police Sergeant Sanath Gunawardena was suspended following his 'unruly manner' over the releasing of a lorry allegedly transporting sand illegally by the Thebuwana OIC on October 3.
Considering the financial difficulties faced by him due to the temporarily suspension of his service as well as the assistance should be given for the education of his children, President Sirisena donated Rs. one million to the Police Sergeant Sanath Gunawardena, the Presidentís Media Division said.
On October 3, the police officer disgruntled by the release of the sand lorry seized by him for transporting sand allegedly without the necessary permits by the OIC of the Thebuwana Police, took up a T56 firearm and threatened to commit suicide.
According to the Police Sergeant Gunawardena, the lorry transporting sand had been taken into custody by the Sergeant on September 29 after it was found that its permit had expired the day before, and also the driver had no valid driving license.
However the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Thebuwana Police Station T. Arulananthan had released the lorry the following day, stating that the vehicle did have a valid permit to transport sand.
When he learned that the lorry had been released, Sergeant Gunawardena decided to take a drastic action and armed with a T56 and pacing up and down the Thebuwana town he threatened to kill himself if the lorry is not taken back into custody.
After hours of negotiations, Special Task Force (STF) arrived at the scene arrested Sergeant with no detrimental result and charged with attempt to commit murder.
However, the Mathugama Magistrate court decided to release him on bail on Tuesday (09) and the overjoyed residents of Thebuwana celebrated the release of the police officer.
Reportedly the police officer, who was working at the Oddusudan Police Station in 1990, was taken away by the LTTE as a prisoner of war and held by them, before being released in 1994 during the peace talks.