The Kandy Human Rights Commission Office was sealed yesterday (30) following a conflict between the Commissioner and Chairperson of the Kandy District Human Rights Commission regarding the appointment of the Kandy Regional Officer. The Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of the Kandy District, according to sources, took the official cab assigned to the branch office to the main headquarters on the same night.
The Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission claimed that the appointment of Wiranjan Dayas Sumanasekara as the Kandy Regional Officer, replacing Kumudini Withanage, violates the Human Rights Commission Act.
Withanage had served as the regional officer for nearly eight years before being transferred to the Colombo headquarters.
The conflict escalated when Kumudini Withanage refused to accept Wiranjan Sumanasekara’s assignment as the new regional officer. In response, the Secretary of the commission sent a letter to Withanage, considering her refusal as leaving the service and failing to report to the Colombo office. Withanage, however, reported the matter to the Court of Appeal and continued to hold the post, challenging the transfer.
On May 30, a group, including the Secretary of the Human Rights Commission arrived at the Kandy office while Kumudini Withanage was refusing to leave the post. A disturbance during the ensuing discussion prompted the Secretary and the group to report the incident to the Kandy police and seal the office. They also took away the official cab.
Kumudini Withanage reported that a group, including the Secretary of the Commission, sealed the office and took the official cab without informing her while she was working as the Kandy District Coordinating Officer. In response to these events, she lodged a complaint with the Kandy Police today (31).
The situation remains unresolved as legal proceedings are ongoing, and both parties involved in the conflict are expected to present their cases in court.