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 Post subject: Notorious underworld character made Justice of the Peace
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:16 pm 
Notorious underworld character made Justice of the Peace
Mervyn ("I can do as I want") recommends kudu Lal for JP

by Namini Wijedasa
Sunday Island / 09 Oct, 2005

A notorious underworld character who is being investigated by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) for widespread drug peddling has been made a Justice of the Peace.

Lal Peiris aka Kudu Lal was sworn in before the Colombo Magistrate on Friday. His appointment was made by the Justice Ministry on nomination by Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva.

"Yes, I recommended him," said Silva, when asked about Kudu Lal’s new qualification. "You can write that. I am a servant of the people and I can do as I want. It’s my duty and my responsibility."

Silva said he had received police and a grama niladhari reports certifying that Kudu Lal was a good citizen. Asked which police and which grama niladhari had compiled those reports, Silva replied: "Why should I tell you that?"

He also claimed that there was nothing wrong with Kudu Lal’s appointment because he had never been convicted and there were no pending court cases against him.

PNB sources confirmed that there were no pending cases against Lal Peiris but said his name had figured widely in several high profile drug investigations. "He is undoubtedly a well known drug dealer although we don’t have sufficient evidence to fix him," a senior police officer said. "We have information and intelligence about his activities.

His closest associates are also underworld characters."

One of Kudu Lal’s best friends is Prince Column, who is currently in prison for murder.

Lal is also a money lender and recently opened a restaurant in London with his vast earnings. He and a Reserve Police Inspector of the police communications division were injured earlier this year when a grenade exploded inside the RSI’s private vehicle, which was parked outside Amaravati Restaurant in Kollupitiya. They were preparing to leave after dining together when the bomb went off. The RSI was later suspended from the police service and Peiris’ statement had also been recorded.

Justice Minister W. D. J Seneviratne said Lal’s application was not handled directly by him. "A separate unit in my ministry, headed by an assistant secretary, goes through all applications for the position of Justice of the Peace," he explained. "They examine the necessary documents and I sign the gazette after they approve the appointments. It is not practical for the minister to study each application."

Seneviratne said his ministry had insisted on police and grama niladhari reports for the appointment of JPs. "However, I can strip a person of his JP status if he is subsequently found unsuitable or does not conform to required standards," he asserted. will ask the relevant unit in my ministry to inquire into whether this person is suitable for the post."

"If their report confirms ineligibility, I will not hesitate to strip him of his JP status," he said.

Under the present system, parliamentarians and provincial council members can nominate persons for the position of JP. There has been no recent head count but it is estimated that there are now thousands of JPs in the country. Political sources confirmed that Mervyn Silva had recently taken away several application forms. It is not immediately clear who else he has recommended for the position of JP.

"It is not the first time that criminals or suspected criminals have been rewarded by politicians," commented former Senior DIG (Crimes) H. M G. B Kotakadeniya. "Politicians want criminals to gain recognition in society because then they can get their dirty work done."

 Post subject: Kudu Lal JP wanted by India on drugs charge
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:41 am 
Kudu Lal JP wanted by India on drugs charge

By Susitha R. Fernando
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The notorious drug trafficker Lal Peiris alias Kudu Lal who was recently sworn in as a Justice of the Peace is wanted by the Indian government in connection with a massive ten kilo drug bust, a Police Narcotics Bureau official said yesterday.

“The PNB was informed by the Indian police that Kudu Lal is the main suspect in a narcotics investigation”, he said. The officer said the airport authorities had been alerted in case Lal Peries attempted to leave the country.

Meanwhile Justice Minster, John Seneviratne has told Police Chief Chandra Fernando to hold a full inquiry and submit a report to him on Lal Peries after a controversy arose over his October 7 swearing-in before the Additional Colombo Magistrate Sujeewa Nissanka.

Reportedly Lal Peiris was accompanied for the swearing-in by Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva who is said to have recommended Lal Peries for the post of JP.

The noted underworld character residing at 190/2, Kirimetiyagara, Kadawatha was appointed as a JP by gazette notification of September 9.

A Justice Ministry official said the usual procedure for JP appointments was based on reports from the police and the Grama Sevaka and if a person so recommended was found unsuitable, then the Kadawatha OIC and the Grama Seva Niladhari who recommended Lal Peries should be held responsible.

The Justice Ministry in a statement last week said an opportunity was given to the people’s representatives to recommend suitable persons for appointment as JPs and such appointments were made on the recommendations of the police and the Grama Seva Niladhari.

“In this instance Lal Peiris has submitted an application, stating he has passed his A/L examination, is a businessman and the President of the Sinhala Buddhist Society and is holding office in many other societies”, the official said.

He said the application was recommended by deputy Labour Minster Mervyn Silva, the Kadawatha Grama Seva Niladhari had issued a certificate of residence and character stating the applicant’s character was very good.

The Kadawatha Police OIC had issued a clearance certificate stating there was no record of a criminal report against the applicant since 2000.

Last week the Justice Minster said the appointment of Lal Peiris would be revoked if it was proved he was involved in any misdeed and as such not suitable to be a JP.

Meanwhile the PNB officer said according to the fax message received from India, Lal Peiris was definitely not suitable to hold a JP’s post.

“Though he is in the PNB drug traffickers’ list, he could not be convicted due various reasons. One of which was due to some police officers being in the payroll of these culprits”, the senior PNB officer said.

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