Thursday May 23, 2013
Who Killed Lassantha??Salem-News.com
As the UNCHR meeting nears - the heat is intensifying against Sri Lanka.
(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka ) - Dear Mr. Wickramatunge and Mr. Kurukulasuriya, I refer to the letter written by Mr. Wickramatunge and delivered to Ms. Navi Pillai, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, through Mr. Kurukulasuriya in London. Since we will be circulating this letter to the general public I am adding the link to the article published in the Colombo Telegraph, hereunder, for reference purposes.
According to the above letter, President Rajapaksa has told Mr. Lal Wickramatunge, not once but three times, that it was Gen. Sarath Fonseka who was behind the murder of late Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunge! A few hours after the article was published two retired officers from Sri Lanka Police, currently living in Europe called me to reveal some startling facts about the murder of Lasantha Wickranatunge , and what the government did and did not do to resolve this murder.
In fairness to the chair of the president of Sri Lanka, I gave the presidential secretariat time to dispute Mr. Lal Wickramatunge’s claim. 72 hours have lapsed and there is no clarification so far from the President’s office and perhaps just as he accused Gen. Fonseka and his campaign team of an armed uprising after the presidential elections in 2010, I am compelled to believe, that he had indeed told Mr. Wickramatunge this story about Gen. Fonseka.
I am thankful to those two retired officers for calling me and giving me the opportunity to reveal the facts behind the assassination of Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunge and at least this account will establish that the government clearly persecuted Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunge. I sincerely hope that the senior officials of the CID at that time would now come forward and tell the world how unusual it was for the murder investigation of Lasantha Wickramatunge to be carried out by the TID instead of the CID! Below is the account of the events surrounding Lasantha Wickramatunge’s murder as related to me by the two ex police officers, who were not aware of each other’s calls to me, yet they corroborated each other’s accounts.
a) During early morning hours of December 21, 2007, a group of people carried out an arson attack on the Leader printing press. No suspects were ever found but some strange events took place during the subsequent months. Superintendent of Police Edison Gunathillaka who was in charge of the investigation was promoted to the rank of DIG over many other senior SSP’s and within the same year was made a Senior DIG. The senior police officers believe that he was rewarded by the government for protecting the perpetrators!
b) In 2008, after a critical coverage of the president of Sri Lanka appeared in the Sunday Leader newspaper, the president of Sri Lanka called Lasantha Wickramatunge and shouted at him using obscene words unbecoming for a leader of a nation. The president threatened Lasantha that he would be killed if the coverage did not change. A recording of this conversation exists.
c) In 2008 Gotabhaya Rajapaksa filed a defamation lawsuit against the Leader newspaper for a series of articles reporting improper arms deals by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. When these articles appeared Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has asked the CID to take Lasantha Wickramatunge into custody. The veteran CID officer Mr. Sisira Mendis who was the director of the CID and DIG Asoka Wijetillake both knew that there was no provision for them to detain Mr. Wickramatunge and they officially sort a directive from the Solicitor General, Mr. C.R. de Silva who informed them that it should not be done. When this was conveyed to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa he had been very angry and stated “Well, I have people who are prepared to do this.” Fearing that the government might kidnap and kill Lasantha Wickramatunge, the CID decided to take him into custody and one of the officers who respected media freedom informed Lasantha when he would be arrested and to be prepared for it. Lasantha Wickramatunge gathered a large group of journalists and was awaiting the arrival of the police but after being informed of this development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa recalled the police party already on the way to Lasantha’s place.
d) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa realizing that the information leaked out of the CID, transferred almost all the officers of the CID, including the Director Sisira Mendis. He was subsequently brought back to the CID on the insistence of the IGP.
e) Lasantha was assassinated on January 08, 2009 and a few weeks before his murder a funeral wreath was delivered to him with a note which said “If you write, you will be killed.”
f) The most strange event took place at this stage. The investigation of Lasantha’s assassination was handed over to the TID (Terrorist Investigation Division) without summoning the CID, which was the standard practice. The TID had no experience in investigations of this nature and they remained passive for almost 6 months, according to the CID, killing evidence and leads that may have helped them to solve the crime. (It was the CID under Sisira Mendis who tracked down the terrorists who took part in the airport attack. A tiny clue found on two pieces of paper was cleverly put together by the CID to find a telephone number that finally directed the detectives to the culprits.)
Overlooking all these achievements of the CID, the investigation was handed over to an alien department. Finally, if the government had proof of General’s involvement in this assassination, they would have definitely used that evidence to lock him away forever, without concocting stories about white flags, armed uprisings or doing politics while in uniform. The question is – why are these allegations leveled now? The couple of months ahead are really critical for Sri Lanka. UNHRC is preparing to grill us again. IMF has refused to lend us any more money to support our budget.
Last night the European Union confirmed that they will support the resolution against Sri Lanka. This resolution originated in the United States and we did not muster proper diplomatic efforts to nip things at the bud. It is rather unfortunate that mission here, perhaps the most important capital in the world, is manned by a person to whom ignorance is a bliss! It looks like the Commonwealth summit will not be held in Sri Lanka although government sponsored media is trying to portray a divine outlook of our country and the family presiding over her populace. We all know that Duminda Silva will return to Sri Lanka soon and will be pardoned. Mervin Silva will never be punished for committing murder. Our Executive systematically controls every organ of governance, especially the Judiciary, reminding us of Nazi Germany under Hitler.
Do they want to detain General Sarath Fonseka again and start an international media circus? It certainly does remind me of the burning of the Reichtag and Giorgi Dimitriov.
Sanath de Silva
CC: Ms. Navi Pillai – United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner
Special thanks to Noel Vethanayagam
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