25 July, 2024


Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Commissions, An “Open Sesame”

By W. Vishnu Gupta

W. Vishnu Gupta

The revelation made by Dispatcher of Channel 4, a British public broadcast Television Channel recently on 2018 Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka is not only intriguing but it has added credence to the alleged involvement of Rajapaksa family, security establishment and a well-known former terrorist leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan aka Pillayan. The Channel 4 story is not new because many defence establishment personnel including Sarath Fonseka and those who continue the campaign to dislocate Rajapaksas’ grip on power to control state institutions including judiciary and defense/security have implicated the named suspects in different forums. The difference between Easter Sunday speculations and Channel 4 Dispatchers documentary is that this British Public TV Broadcast has managed to produce a real McCoy that every Sri Lankan was expecting. The real McCoy happens to be a whistleblower who is in exile named Hanzeer Azad Maulana, apparently, he has spent 20 years working within the Rajapaksas’ inner circle including Pillayan. According to Maulana, contrary to  the innocent image portrayed by hugging babies, addressing gullible innocent villagers as “Ammey, Thaththey” and frequenting Buddhist temples, Rajapaksas have acted as authoritarians and alleged to be the mastermind behind the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge and beneficiary of the Easter Sunday Massacre, his confession further confirms how authoritarian politicians wield power, the lengths they will go to when power is challenged and how they will plot in the aftermath of any political defeat. Most probably this whistleblower was referring to Rajapaksas losing presidency in 2014 and loosing the general election in 2015. They will plot and plot until getting power back to rule, for them, the end justifies the means, typical approach of Machiavellians. For Machiavelli, murder, corruption, conspiracy, war, deception, grand larceny, and hedonistic lifestyles are necessary among other traits or prerequisites to be a MP, Cabinet Minister, Prime Minister, President or King.

Interestingly, Channel 4 documentary has reminded the audience of the unforgiving murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge.

“chilling murder in 2009 of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, the government’s most prominent critic, who predicted his own demise and left behind an editorial to be published after his death: “Murder,” he wrote, “has become the primary tool whereby the state seeks to control the organs of liberty” Such violent retribution was, the Dispatches contributors say, believed to be carried out by a clandestine death squad called the Tripoli Platoon.” 

Rajapaksas have many questions to be answered, their evasive responses and public statements made in hurriedly organised minor political rallies in Hambantota district, which is the bastion of Rajapaksas have failed to quell the curiosity of voters this time. If the questions are not answered convincingly, there will not be any place for the accused to hide, already it is alleged by the social media that a prominent family member has applied for police clearance certificate needed to emigrate to some country. 

However, because of the Channel 4’ s star whistleblower, Azad Maulana’s story, the present government led by unelected President Ranil Wickramasinghe and 134 SLPP MP’s sworn to sustain Rajapaksas’ indirect grip on power to rule have got into an unexpected political conundrum. Particularly, Ranil Wickremesinghe is stuck between a rock and a hard place, He and Rajapaksas must answer the following simple questions to free the state security establishment from allegations made by the Channel 4 expose. 

– Who is Hanzeer Azad Maulana?

– Did Maulana work as an aide and translator to Rajapaksas?

– Did Rajapaksas ever meet Maulana, or was he present in any meetings?

– What is Tripoli Platoon?

– Did Suresh Sallay ever meet Maulana?

– What is the reason for demoting Suresh Sallay and sent to Sri Lankan Embassy in Malaysia?

– Why and when was Sallay in India?

– Did Rajapaksas maintain any direct or indirect link with NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) ?

– What is the role played by Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan aka Pillayan?

Suresh Sallay has denied his involvement claiming that he was in Malaysia at the time of supposed 2018 meeting with NTJ, yet it remains to be verified through a proper and credible investigation. Apparently, Gotabaya Rajapaksa also has not responded to request made by Channel 4 to comment on allegations made by Maulana.  

Commissions, the open sesame

It is well known that Sri Lankan governments are well known for appointing commissions to investigate every alleged criminal activity committed by politicos and the state institutions headed by their cronies. As such, there have been many Presidential Commissions and Parliamentary Select Committees appointed by GOSL, all these toothless pseudo investigation bodies have never produced any alleged criminal in a court of law, citing limitations placed in their mandate. However, they have been very comfortable in spending lavishly billions of taxpayers’ money shamelessly. These Presidential Commissions and Parliamentary SCs appear to be clever ruses employed by Presidents and the Parliament of Sri Lanka to protect criminals and to camouflage the involvement of high-ranking politicians in the country. They lack credibility; Presidential Commission is the “Open Sesame” to set high profiled criminals free in Sri Lanka and so is the Parliamentary Select Committees. Ranil Wickramasinghe’s appointment of three-member committee to investigate Channel 4 story is no different, it is a nonstarter in finding the truth behind the 2019 Easter Sunday Massacre. 

Shooting the messenger

Moreover, Sri Lankan politicians are well accustomed for shooting who ever brings any news challenging their political dreams. Namal Rajapaksa was the first to shoot the messenger, claiming that Channel 4 has a perennial grudge against Rajapaksa family, what a strange and pathetic premature conclusion. Most likely he was referring to the Channel 4 documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields aired in 2011. Soon after Namal’s tirade, Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a lengthy response on September 7th and termed allegations as “absurd”, and announced it is an attack on Rajapaksas. Unfortunately, Rajapaksas, have failed to understand that the veracity of the facts must be determined in a properly established and legally acceptable forum, because this is not about a case involving a clash between two families: Rajapaksas of Madamulana v. Channel 4, UK. However, this time Channel 4 Dispatcher has brought an equally devastating impact on current president and the previous regimes lead by two other presidents. It is up to all three of them, Ranil, Gota, and Maithri to agree to appoint an independent credible investigation body consists of international judges as demanded by the Catholic community and many civic organizations before it is too late and let the accused such as Suresh Sallay prove their innocence. Hiding behind commonly used bravado that appointment of international judges contravenes the constitution of the nation and impinge on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka is a hoax and has no acceptance among Sri Lankans any longer. The sovereignty of the nation has been raped many times by all national political leaders at their convenience to achieve the personal political objectives and none so far have made any sincere effort to protect sovereignty that belongs to the people. The current regime’s reluctance to appoint a credible investigating body further exacerbates the pain suffered by the Sri Lankan catholic community and above all it undermines every effort needed to free the people from the prevailing political culture built on alleged murder, corruption, conspiracy, war, deception, grand larceny, and hedonistic lifestyles of a club of selected politicos in the country. 

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Latest comments

  • 10

    (PART I)
    Thanks for the Exemplary Presentation!!!
    Fully agree that “Sovereignty of Nation”, SACRSANCT ELEMENT been Raped REAPETEDLY!!!??? NIL DISAGREEMENT, which is well documented/evidenced!!!???
    ‘PRESENT DAY Political CLOWNS and COMEDIANS’, unworthy/uneducated, haven’t, Right – talk about “stripping” Sovereignty By Independent International Investigation!!!??? Whilst, these claims remain contentious, the important point is to answer the QUERY, “IS SOVEREIGNTY REMAIN, IF SO HOW MUCH???”, Since Independence suffered ‘ATTRITION, SLOWLY, SUSTAINED CUNNINGLY!?
    These, SLFP and thereafter, SLPP did exactly that and were the primary contributor Rapists, not forgetting those on other side of DIVIDE!!!??? “Immigration Bill 1949/50”, thus making million Ceylonese, destitute and STATELESS!!! Achievement, DEPRIVE NM winning becoming Opposition Leader!? What Brilliant Mindset??? Least said about these dastardly acts, is Better!!!??? Diana Gamage is trying hard to achieve STATELESSNESS, but that vision seems very elusive, because Needs her vote in parliament – existential necessity for HE to continue in Office!!!???
    Project Discrimination and/or Marginalisation, started, in 1960’s by SLFP, abolishing ‘Right of Appeal’ to Privy Council (PC) – Final court of appeal (T1962 “Coup Suspects” appeal upheld by PC), thereafter, Senate (Second Chamber or House of Review of Parliament), ‘sheet anchor’ of SECURITY provided to Minorities in Constitution at the time of Independence!!??

  • 9

    (PART II)
    Thereafter, Plethora of acts of COMMISIONS AND REMMISSIONS, stripped SOULBURY CONSTITUTION, all safeguards to prevail & prevent ‘violation of rights of minorities and/or equality of Status’, ASSURED Justice, Jurisprudence and Democratic rights as Citizens of SL!!!
    Amidst all these changes. Majority were insular, Clapping, Cheering and Lighting ‘Firecrackers’ to ‘Recognise and Celebrate in GLEE’, Achievement of SB Political Leadership!?? Danger lurking in background blind to the possibility, of one day their own rights being deprived!!!???
    NOW – 2018 (Easter Sunday) IT ARRIVED as expected and to SURPRISE OF ALL, became the unique “WATERSHED”, experience, to raise concern and consternation!!! Patriotic and nationalistic acts became act of treachery and Treason against ‘Motherland’ or ‘Fatherland’ depends on your BIAS to “Germanic Heritage” or otherwise (being mindful of Erudite, Saintly calling ‘AVATAR’S OF ADOLF HITLER’ to “steer the country in the RIGHT PATH”!!!???
    Far too late and I’m afraid to state that its significantly late reaction by Majority, including Malcolm Ranjith, His Worship, Cardinal of Colombo and his catholic Flock, which includes number of Sinhalese – WHICH TO SAY LEAST VERY UNFORTUNATE, convinced beyond doubt WASN’T MM’S INTENTION!?

  • 11

    Mr. Gupta, Now you’re talking.

    • 1

      Or singing another tune?

  • 7

    You have referred to Pillaiyan Chndrakanthan as a ‘Terrorist Leader’ but what about Rajapakses?

    • 6

      The former, has been found guilty of Terrorist action by Court of law – Joseph P., ex-MP of SL Parliament already, convicted and served part of his sentence and released by Presidential Pardon, by an Incumbent of SL highest Office beholden in achieving his high office, helped by Chandrakanthan AKA Pillayan (hereafter referred as C–P) as his accomplice or “Partner-in-Crime” killing 260+ SL citizens and maiming another 250+ Sri Lankans on ‘Easter’ – 21/04/18, lately – last week – revealed by C4!!!???
      The balance of R. Bros., Inc. are YET to be ARRAIGNED before courts and in need of credible evidence to successful prosecution in Courts of Law!!!??? Which act is Tantamount to ‘AIDING AND ABETTING’, which is equally culpable as Murder and Mayhem – Probably, ‘C–P’ , believe would head to “Gallows” soon after the successful court Prosecution!!!???
      THWARTED AGAIN only by R. Bros., Inc. REGAINING “POLITICAL POWER” – adducing flimsy unsustainable “Security” reason, that SLPP are best to Govern SL, as in PE, 10/2019!!?? SL Voters – Not allow REPETITION of, under any circumstances – even if, Maligned claims are made by these scumbags, Sri Lanka would SINK TO BOTTOM of INDIAN OCEAN!!??

  • 8

    RW achieved his ambition of becoming President, the highest office in SL, without much effort. Another term in office would certainly be expected but could he take a chance, this time with the voters? Whether he wins the next election or not is immaterial, he has already been there & can now retire in comfort with ambitions achieved, even if it was with god’s help & not the voters. However, he can comeback to serve another term or retire gracefully if he has the guts to authorise a credible investigation,standing up for justice. However, the fact that the Min. of Defence issuing a statement ‘on behalf of the Govt.’ rebutting C4 allegations when the Govt. had actually promised C4 an impartial enquiry, indicates RW, as all powerful President, has not much clout because it begs the question, who is running the country? RW can retire with his head high, even if the voters reject him again, if he does the right thing by investigating the truth behind the bombings & unsolved murders, an end the lawlessness. I am sure the public will appreciate RW better that way, otherwise, he will be sent on retirement as a loser, a weak leader.

  • 7

    “However, he can comeback to serve another term or retire gracefully if he has the guts to authorise a credible investigation,standing up for justice.”
    RW has also a history of managing a torture camp called “Batalanda” during JVP insurgency or terrorism. The Easter Bombing was carried out when he was Prime Minister and Sirisena was President. Even he has failed to find the truth about Easter Bombing Master mind or Lasantha’s murderers or how Gota gave a illegal diplomat passport to Karuna to travel UK. Even The current Foregin Minister Ali Sabri who must know all truth behind the Easter Bombing because he was the private lawyer and advisor, Minister and trustworthy friend of Gota.So, It is a tough time for most of the Ranil-Rajapaksa group and I am sure he will take any chance for a credible investigation.

    • 1

      “RW has also a history of managing a torture camp called “Batalanda””
      Really? How come that nobody accused him of ‘managing’ it so far?
      You do not disappoint me with your surprising stories.
      There was a general manager of torture camps in the North some time ago.
      Wonder if you know him by name?

      • 5

        The Batalanda Detention Centre was an alleged detention centre in Butalanda which was used to torture and exterminate members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) during the JVP uprising of 1988–1989, who launched a second armed revolt against the then elected UNP (United National Party) government led by President Ranasinghe Premadasa.

        Unlike in the previous uprising, the JVP relied heavily on the use of assassinations of important religious and political figures, subversion, and terror attacks. The government responded just as brutally; the government has been accused of using detention camps in several locations, including Batalanda, to quell the JVP uprising. The camps were said to be run by anti-subversive units of the police who were tasked with destroying rebels.

        It is believed that nearly 5,000 to 10,000 JVP activists were brutally tortured and killed in the Batalanda camp alone.[6] Incumbent President and current leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe has been accused of being the political authority behind the alleged detention centre.

  • 6

    “I am sure he will take any chance for a credible investigation.”
    It should be
    I am sure he will not take any chance for a credible investigation.

  • 4


    There has never been credible investigation in Sri Lanka on every criminal activity linked to all political leaders including Central Bank Bond Scam. VG has said, ” Presidential Commission is the “Open Sesame” to set high profiled criminals free in Sri Lanka and so is the Parliamentary Select Committees.” That is why Mahendran having a good time in Singapore or wherever he is hiding. Likewise, Cabraal and Rajapaksa gang are having a jolly good time in Sri Lanka. Mr. Batalanda has mastered the trick.

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