19 September, 2018

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Apology To Gotabaya By The Sunday Leader

By Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

The Sunday Leader, last week apologised to Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a series of articles written in the newspapers in 2006 on the purchase of MIG 27 aircraft for the Sri Lankan Air Force. The unqualified apology was carried in the Leader newspaper of 8.3.2015. At the outset Romesh de Silva PC with GG Arulpragasam appeared for the newspaper and Lasantha. Initially Gotabaya informed court that he would give evidence via video link from the Defence Ministry which was objected to by the respondents. The plaintiffs request was granted and on appeal it was turned down and reverted back to the original court. Both Romesh de Silva PC and Attorney at Law GG Arulpragasam appeared for the newspaper and Lasantha pro deo.

The case dragged on and in January 2009 Lasantha was brutally murdered. I would at this stage remind readers of the interview Gotabaya gave the BBC. When Bruce Morris of the BBC asked about the killing of Lasantha the then Defence Secretary went berserk. “ Who is Lasantha? He is just a tabloid journalist who criticised every leader”, he ranted. When Stephen Sakur of Hard Talk – BBC interviewed Gotabaya he went further.When asked why he demanded a colossal amount knowing that no one can pay that much by way of damages and if his intention was to shut down the newspaper, “ so be it” said Gotabaya.

At this stage both Romesh de Silva PC and Attorney GG Arulpragasam opted out of the case as they did not practise in the Mount Lavinia courts. A fresh set of lawyers were retained. On the first date of hearing Gotabaya came to Mt Lavinia court accompanied by the Tri Forces Commanders and the then IGP in addition to several government big wigs. I represented the newspaper by myself. The streets leading to the court house, roof tops and the court premises were swarming with armed personnel. No lawyer practsing in Mt Lavinia Court was allowed to bring their vehicles into the premises as was the practice. Security personnel dressed in suits carrying firearms sat around me. My lawyers withdrew from representing us whilst on their feet. Either they were intimidated or did not want to go against Gotabaya who by this time was riding a wave of popularity having won the war. I requested time to find lawyers. Efforts were made to approach Gotabaya to settle the case since Lasantha was killed but these were rebuffed.

I was fortunate to obtain the services of M A Sumanthiran with Viran Corea to represent us. On the first day they appeared we mustered another twenty plus lawyers to come to court which included the likes of Upul Jayasuriya, Srinath Perera and Ronald Perera. The appearence by these lawyers must have annoyed Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He reacted by carrying the pictures of the lawyers as the lead story in the official defence Ministry web site stating that traitors in black coats were appearing for the Sunday Leader. The local as well as the international Bar Associations objected strongly.

Eventually Gotabaya gave evidence before Judge Gunawardene. At one point in his evidence the Judge made an observation. He wished to visit the airport to have a look at the MIG aircraft. The next court date came by and we were surprised to find the case was now transferred to another court. Attorney Sumanthiran objected to this only to be informed that it was a routine transfer. His objection was recorded but over ruled.We lost the resultant appeal and Gotabaya concluded his evidence in chief. Attorney Sumanthiran began his cross examination meticulously. A great deal of back ground information was collected and was in the offing for future cross examination.

The next Presidential election came by and Mahinda won a second term retaining his brother as Secretary Defence. Further cross examination was not possible as the case kept getting postponed. Attorney M A Sumanthiran was nominated to parliament by this time by the TNA and he asked me if I wished to continue with him as our lawyer to which I replied in the affirmative.

Eventually I was forced to sell out majority shares of the newspaper which in itself is another story. Asanga Seneviratne who bought major shares was confident of settling the cases and went through with the purchase after conducting a due diligence.

What took place thereafter was another fiasco which is best taken up later. The case was heard a few times and postponements took place. At one point Gotabaya had agreed to settle the case with an unqualified apology provided Asanga paid him Rs 25 million which was to go to some Army facility. Seneviratne had not taken up the suggestion and subsequently the figure had been reduced to Rs 10 million. This too was turned down on the basis that he did not have that kind of money to pay on behalf of the Leader.

Somewhere down the line Asanga Seneviratne had discontinued the services of Attorney M A Sumanthiran by not continuing to give instructions. He changed the lawyers for reasons best known to him. Mahinda lost the ensuing Presidential elections to Maithripala Sirisena and with that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was no longer the all powerful Defence Secretary. With hundreds of complaints of bribery and other misdemeaners against politicians and officials of the previous government being filed I felt that Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be reticent to pursue with the case.

I was the most surprised when I heard through journalistic colleagues that the case in question had been settled in court by Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the record being signed by a Director appointed by Asanga Seneviratne on the basis of an unqualified apology. Did I read somewhere that someone had filed a complaint recently against the purchase of MIGs?

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Latest comments

  • 38
    45

    This whole MIG deal stinks to the sky. High time My3 govt opened this can and let the worms creep out for all to see. No need to be afraid now. White Vans and Grease Yakkas no more.

    • 41
      3

      from failed state to

      Sly Sloth that wicked siren state.!

      Coconut_Head of State Pick pockets lie like Mara from a different platform.

      • 16
        2

        Ali Baba Sabry, you are like a pit bull barking at tree!!

        So Baddaudin nicked (you have no local language but garbage) English education from Sinhala & Tamil for the pipsqueak Muslim and started the serial terror. Where bored Muslim wives spoke to Tamil women and then grunted – to be kicked out lock stock and barrel. You still buy and sell Alibaba- (not even fit to to smell Chinese English school teacher Ma of Ali Baba.) Just like the Muslim minister who tried to sell true cinnamon to China- they don’t eat but use it for paint from the days of Ajanta frescos.

        ◕The British don’t disclose information on any of its foreign contracts- period ask the French judge.

        ◕The Russians are as it a closed society and wont even discuss the sale of MIG or give the Indians the right to manufacture on the 50/50 funded stealth 5th generation superior to raptor or any American.

        ◕The French are bound by law to disclose the RajaPassa super plane deal if the government request- ) they informed EU that they were contracted to supply the Russians with command and control & docking systems when the embargo commenced.

        Pipsqueak you must know when to run- rather than play book cricket that you can never win.
        want more just ask for codswallop.

        。◕‿◕。

    • 34
      3

      money, money, money, and what money can make of life!!

      nothing matters to the man who says nothing matters- idle merchant down under.

      Laluuu wants to be the mother of all step fathers,
      to the cartoonist journalist killed maimed – commission kakos in the making.

      what a newsroom sunde your goo` mun_day fuzzy day lead on!! Sloth the Siren playing emotional phul dosi!!

      Guilty conscious pricks a Mile with the Money Money – did your bro have a drunk ball by the way, just like your `other`
      businessman strait talk jug head Faraz Shauketaly???

      COCONUT HEAD CUM PICKPOCKET laluuuuu ballooooooooo!!

      • 5
        12

        A certain minority of aggressive middle eastern jihadi pursuasion has been obviously leading the campaign against Gotabhaya and Mahinda Rajapakse government in general.

        They hate these two brothers for ending the Sinhala-Tamil war of 30 years because they ‘made hay’ during that period. Go to Wellawatta now and you see relatively few Tamils there these days, but taken over by Tamil speaking ‘others’. They also took over many businesses from hard-up Tamils and Sinhalese, becoming financially powerful. At the same time, their ‘leaders’ (Hakim, Mustafa, Bathiudeenet al) were resting on the Rajapakse body corporate. But they did not enjoy the end of the war.

        Therefore they voted as one to defeat Rajapakse.
        hatred is etched in their souls and is the force that motivates them.

        This type of human form is evil and the West needs to decisively tackle them.

        • 4
          2

          Slayer

          “They also took over many businesses from hard-up Tamils and Sinhalese, “

          How did the Tamil speaking other take over business from Tamils and Sinhalese. Were both stupid people counting the stars during the or handed over their businesses to other out of goodness of their heart?

          Remember when Muslims were ethnically cleansed from the North the Tamil speaking “proper” grabbed all their houses, businesses, cash, gold and other valuables.

          • 13
            1

            OLD SOLE they can keep chewing that dry piece of land even under the bridge,aren’t they the narcotics heroin mules??
            HAS BEEN TAKEN CARE OFF ON CT THREADS their lot with de facto only originals.to their advantage if necessary- pea nuts.

            WHAT ARE MUSLIMS TRYING TO BUY FOR A TAPENCE THE FREEDOM TO TAKE OVER LANGUAGE AS IF IT’S ALLA GIVEN GIFT-
            LANGUAGE IS CULTURE OF ASIA NOT PUT ON ARABIC PARA_DESHI NO??
            One has to see them in that light too to be fair to them- don’t sell others mums like your bengali_deshi (para/ paera maggots) brotherhood, we can do better than you modelling- gabbar singh!!

        • 0
          1

          Why are you so scared about naming names ? Why couldnt you mention the stink of the BBS that Gota and Mahinda nurtured. Why dont you and your community help the “HARD UP” people to stand on your own feet rather than see them sell their businesses to the Muslims ? Thanks so very much for giving the Muslims so much credit for having defeated MR and company into the dustbin of history along with the racist terrorists it once nurtured and nourished.

    • 12
      5

      I thought Apology should be me other way around – since Gota’s involvement in the murder of Lasantha is alleged by Mervin Silva as we got it.

      And several other charges against Gotabaya is also being investigated right at the moment. GOvt clearly states that they would not allow Sharks to escape from being caught by the newly set mechanisms – after amds being passed in the days to come.

    • 14
      3

      Ali Baba – Now there is a way of getting the ill gotten monies back
      to the country, there is no need to charge the corrupted individuals in the courts on any deals.If the ownerships are not proved,the money comes back to the treasury as per, no lesser person than the finance minister, himself confirms it. At least now the people know where their
      money is kept and names of those, who stacked them ,will be published soon.

  • 12
    41

    Mr Wckramatunga
    You are still audacious enough to defend the lies your brother propagated to discredit our security forces. It is now proven beyond any doubt that your brother was conniving with underground Sinhala LTTE movement. This movement, aided and abetted by western countries, spearheaded by resurgent christian/evagelical extremists ( as against majority of christians who love this country) did its utmost to weaken the resolve of the government and security forces at the height of the war.

    • 18
      6

      Are you related by any chance to a self acclaimed intellectual who was a Marxist once.now who is quoting mahinda.first thing is who really killed lasantha.if no one killed him did he kill himself by hiring some goons.

      • 20
        1

        Ask Ranil Wickramasinghe the PM. He charged the then army commander in parliament for this crime.

    • 22
      0

      gigurawa wijethilleke

      Ravana’s brother Kumbakarna slept all his life except when he was having his meal once in six months.

      By any chance you a descendant of Kumabakarna.

      By the way Kumabakarna knew his brother was wrong however out of loyalty he fought for his brother, according to myth.

    • 3
      1

      To Gigaruwa. I think you should see a Neuro Surgeon because your brains dont work. You must have been Hypnotised by MR>

  • 4
    6

    Did you get your asylem yet?
    Settlement negotiations are confidential are they not?
    Contempt of court anyone?

    If Mr Wickramathunga is sure of the content of the Articles originally published, why not publish it here?

    • 14
      1

      “”tiations are confidential are they not?””
      Contempt of court anyone?””

      Aney aye anne yakko Para_Ne_Coat!

      Dump them all in the hole and stop on it with Abrams not vihares.

      Hyenas spotted in that Sobita & fonny Goota

      all Big Bad Sloths.

  • 12
    2

    Lal Wickrematunge

    RE: Apology To Gotabaya By The Sunday Leader

    “I was the most surprised when I heard through journalistic colleagues that the case in question had been settled in court by Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the record being signed by a Director appointed by Asanga Seneviratne on the basis of an unqualified apology. Did I read somewhere that someone had filed a complaint recently against the purchase of MIGs?”

    Yes. Pursue, it is not over yet. There are may Crooks, Robbers, and Criminals, CRCs, from the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime at large.

    Give it to JVP, and hire Mr. M A Sumanthiran with Viran Corea to get to the bottom of this.

  • 19
    6

    Baya-Gota must be shitting in his pants these days !

    He is already receiving what he deserves !!

  • 35
    4

    “”The case dragged on and in January 2009 Lasantha was brutally murdered. “

    Lals (゜゜)~ Tadpole, Goo molle “Babooshka” so it was after all a Johnny Walker drunken brawl.

    Our Mutual Friend!! but in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller,

    “money, money, money, and what money can make of life”, but is also about human values.

    COCONUT HEAD PICKPOCKET – MONEY MONEY IS YOUR BUNNY TUMMY.-
    CONTROL FREAK PARRIPU! PREEK PREEK PREEEK PREEK!!!

    “Don’t Give Up” WHAT ABOUT THE POOR CARTOONIST, JOURNALIST, YOU SET PRECEDENCE TO ANY INQUIRY – DEN HAUGE IS YOUR PLACE AND LET JON SNOW CHANEL 4 THINK OF HOMESTEAD HEATH.

    ENGLAND NOT THIEVES DOWN UNDER!!!

    in this proud land we grew up strong
    we were wanted all along
    I was taught to fight, taught to win
    I never thought I could fail

    no fight left or so it seems
    I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
    I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name
    but no one wants you when you lose

    don’t give up
    ‘cos you have friends
    don’t give up
    you’re not beaten yet
    don’t give up
    I know you can make it good

  • 29
    3

    “If you would be a real seeker of truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.”
    — Rene Descartes

    Butt Syndrome professor Bigot Gooo mole head. Rats live on no evil star

    BIGOT= Bad Insecure Gun On Tam`ills`

    ☻/
    /▌
    / \ Hate always Boomerangs DJ you are in Hell.

  • 8
    4

    So, Gota is guilty of massive corruption, but has escaped due to circumstances.

  • 19
    3

    The case should be reopened and all evidence probed including the settlement with an unconditional apology. This time around Gota has to behave as a common citizen and not that finger wagging power who intimidated even Courts and Judges. The SOB should be put in his place and convicted if found guilty. This MF Gota thought he will never fall from grace. Serves the bastard right. He should be lynched in public view as a deterrent.

  • 3
    36

    Glad governing of Sri Lanka is seen from a broader perspective. Too often were journalists and media out of context, and used their skills from the Western perspective. They forgot, or didn’t realize, or didn’t care that Sri Lanka entailed a customary approach.

    For example, the previous regime’s wheelings and dealings were about bringing up Sri Lanka into a globalized capitalistic society albeit in the absence of Western capitalistic structures of established capitalistic regulators and taxation. Also was the need to preserve heritage and therefore the need to also uphold the socialistic structure. Then there was the ever existing threat of terrorism emerging again, and also the calls for secession.

    Maybe, they could have gone more gradually with their “Miracle of Asia” theme, but the lagging behind would have killed the initiative.

    Glad that the new Gosl has greater awareness.

    • 2
      23

      ~ I mean : Glad that the new Gosl has greater awareness of the media, and the need to acknowledge the reconcile with the previous Gosl’s accomplishments.

    • 14
      2

      Rumbona:
      Have you had a nervous breakdown to admit that the previous President and his family were not perfect and might have been the biggest thieves and murderers that this country has ever experienced?
      Gonthabaya should be subjected to some of the cruelty he inflicted on those his death squads disappeared!

      • 9
        0

        it’s time you sangam folk exposed this fallacy of Portuguese origin by full name yet buddhist (all former servitude/slaves like west indies who killed the arawak)
        they begged for food at church once eaten they scorned and now with so many multiplied with incest breed – they talk of poop law as the greatest law of any land.
        time to give them the diego garcian style – but expose expose.
        no one in europe has respect for the portugese.
        Spanish are still the commanders with marriages because the women are real lionesses- catherine did not divorce Henry 8 so she is still loved by anglo saxons- same with hillary.
        get that book( 70’s everyone added De in the middle a fashion they sadi??) what these names mean so that Ramuuu the coconut head gets off her g strings her mum is in the middle east.
        Come on villagers you have to pay for the murdres you carried out in the land of the innocent.

        • 1
          13

          Oh Jezzz……Javi-sweety,
          Guess you are the product of 5,000 years of the Hindu caste system in Tamil-form. You’ve exhausted the poop, incest, African-slaves concepts, and are now onto the Portuguese. Whites must be amused at these hard-working brainy people desperately trying to convince the world of their worthiness (you could have done it in Sri Lanka). Yes, we are ALL aware of the Jaffna-Tamil inferiority complex. You’ve finished with Sri Lanka, and are now whispering into the ears of the Whites. But while the Tamils are mired down with mad racist-notions up their heads, the rest of the world is progressing in enlightened and evolved form of Non-Racism.

          So Javi honey-bunch, we must truly pray for you. Believe in the Lord Jesus and ye shall be saved. Do not worry too much about people looking down at you being Tamil or something. Or better – become Tamil-Buddhist, and all delusion will be eradicated.
          Every once in a while you would find a Sinhala or two turning up their nose at your Dravidian genes, but if you are modern and progressive, and saved by the Blood of Christ, or your Samsara is washed by the purity of good thoughts through Buddhistic meditation, then you will surely be born again, irrespective of the color of your skin.

          • 0
            0

            pyjama g string under wraps branded!!
            broad looking for a tam`ill` man abroad.
            this is neither tam`ill nor sihala was trp.
            try sadhi.com yakoo

            I am happy with español Pati Patni Aur Woh!!
            (Hindi: पति पत्नी और वह, English: The Husband, Wife And Mistress)

      • 0
        13

        I said that the previous Gosl accomplished a lot and the new Gosl are in great realization of their accomplishments.

  • 3
    2

    The whole case looks big sham. It was very surprising to see Leader newspaper giving an apology.It looks a home and home match now. It is high time the present government examined the entire transaction of the purchase of MIG planes in 2006.

    One can visualise how much power was misused, e.g. Gotabaya going to courts with police and other service Chiefs on a personal defamation case filed by him and the nuisance caused to other lawyers who had functions in the relevant court.

  • 3
    1

    Gota gives up stolen baby elephants and suddenly gives up the MIG deal with Leader…And all this happens when he is no longer bloated with power,once he realized he is just a ordinary man.

    • 3
      1

      He is worse off than a ordinary man ! Can he walk around in Colombo with anyone protecting him ? I am sure Baya-Gota must afraid of his own shadow.

  • 2
    0

    A little bit of what the country was like under the Rajapakse regime. I am looking forward to reading the counter arguments by Dayan and Malinda.

  • 2
    6

    Unlike other Rajapakses, I don’t think gota is at fault for any of these.

    What ever he did only in the interests of the country.

    • 2
      1

      Now we get it. Gota is your paymaster !

  • 1
    1

    Remind me again what the appointed PM said in Parliament about who killed Lasantha? [Edited out] Also please ask Ranil W who he named as the main man behind Lasantha’s brutal assassination. Wheels withing wheels is it not?

  • 2
    2

    ” Did I read somewhere that someone had filed a complaint recently against the purchase of MIGs?”

    good.they should look into this case.definitely there is corruption,otherwise gota would not have dragged the case for so long.transcripts of sumanthiran’s cross examination should be given to the bribery commission.The answers to the corruption will be in them.I believe that nobody from outside was allowed to be in the courtroom while the cross examination was taking place.that itself is proof of guilt.

    Is this the same sumanthiran whose effigy was recently burnt by some tamils?I ‘am sure they would have taken on gota much better than him.

  • 1
    0

    Asanga is the king deal maker.

    Nothing will happen.

  • 3
    3

    Why this paper made an apology, if they didn’t lie? We should look at the reality, not just the mud slinging going against Rajapakses.

    • 3
      1

      The current owner of the paper is a Rajapakse henchman – get the picture !

  • 3
    1

    Should the Public need to know the fraud in the purchase of the MIG aircraft,just take GOTA in a white van and conduct the Cross-Examination.He will spill the Beans.This will save so much Time and Money!

  • 4
    2

    Is it not the best time to investigate Gota if he has done wrong, Why should the paper apologize now?

    It is a fact that Lasantha is a wheeler dealer who had political ambitions and used his pen to attack people he did not like. Obviously that is no reason for someone to kill him like dog on the street.

    Whoever did that must be found and punished. That day will prove we have justice in Sri Lanka

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