17 November, 2018

Blog

Exclusive: Photographic Evidence Of SL Government Whitevanning, Child Soldier Recruitments and Deshamanya Iniyapaarathi

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

In November 2005, in recognition of her service to the country and the world, then-President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga conferred on Radhika Coomaraswamy the title of “Deshamanya” a prestigious national honour. She is the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. In this capacity, she serves as a moral voice and independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of boys and girls affected by Armed Conflict.

In November 2011, President Mahinda Rajapaksa conferred the national title “Deshamanya” to a man call Iniyapaarathi alias Pushpa Kumara. An official working at the office of Inayapaarathi located in Ampara when contacted by The Sunday Leader, confirmed that the titled of Deshamanya had indeed been conferred on him at a ceremony held in Thirukovil on November 18.

Who is this Inayapaarathi?

Who is this Inayapaarathi? He is a man who has been accused of war crimes by the United Nations for forced arms training to children! Furthermore he is a man who is accused by the public for playing a key role in the abductions and disappearances of several people in Poththuvil, Akkaraippattu, Thirukkovil and Vinaayakapuram in the Ampara district of the Eastern Province. Iniyapaarathi is a lead operative of the paramilitary group led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Karuna who currently holds a Deputy Minister’s post in the Rajapaksa government. Iniyapaarathi is at present the Ampara District Coordinator for President Rajapaksa.

According to past news reports about ninety percent of affected families that gave evidence before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) at its sittings in Ampara on March 26, 2011 alleged that Iniyapaarathi was responsible for the abductions and disappearances of their husbands, wives and children.

Outside the TMVP office in Tirukkovil – White van with newspaper in place of number plate and Jeevendran and Inayapaarathi – Picture taken from inside our van through the windscreen – Picture by Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Iniyapaarathi is also accused of intimidating voters, issuing death threats and of election fraud during the last presidential election, parliamentary election and during the recently held local government elections. The Kalmunai court had sentenced Iniyapaarathi to a ten year suspended jail term, when he was found guilty in some criminal cases.

White Van Abductions and Inayapaarathi

I had an opportunity to meet this man call Inayapaarathi on June 19, 2007 at his office in Thirukkovil. While representing the Free Media Movement and the Sri Lanka Press Institute, I was accompanied by the Director International Press Institute David Dadge, Sukumar Muralidharan from the International Frederation of Journalists, Athula Vithanage from the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association and Javid Munavar from the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum. We went there to resolve the issues between the government backed paramilitary TMVP and the Ampara journalists. We had received a number of complaints that year from Ampara journalists regarding the threats they received from the TMVP. We met Amapara TMVP leader and the President’s Ampara district coordinator Inyapaarathi  and his deputy Jeevendran at their office.

I saw a number of children with guns inside the office on my way to the washroom. Then Athula Vithange and myself secretly planned to photograph them. We saw a white van with a covered number plate. But when we examined it we realised there was no number plate and a piece of newspaper had been pasted on  the place where the number plate should have been. I managed to take a photograph of the white van and the present “Deshamanya” Inayapaarathi, and a photograph with two children and their guns. This is the first time that those pictures are being published. Though I had been asked over the years by several news agencies to sell the photographs to them, I resisted because I thought it would jeopardise the lives of the Ampara journalists.

TMVP Tirukkovil van has no number plate Photo by Athula Vithanage

This photograph of a van without a number plate is clear evidence of paramilitary white van abductions. There were hundreds of complaints about “Whitevanning”. Still not a single case has been resolved.

Child Recruitments and Inayapaarathi

Under the sub-title “Sri Lanka’s missing children” UNICEF says; “Reports suggest 64 percent of those who have disappeared were recruited by the Tamil Tigers.” After the report was published a prominent child rights activist and an expert wrote to me; “How come only 64 percent was by LTTE? Was it government or the Tamil paramilitary forces? I doubt any government abductions? Why does the UNICEF leave such a big margin????” For me there was no doubt, of course government backed paramilitaries abducted children and used them in  fighting the LTTE.

There is a leaked US Embassy cable in the WikiLeaks database which clearly shows that the US knew about this and even President Rajapaksa and his brother Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was aware of this fact. The confidential cable says, “In his meetings with the President and with Defense Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa, Ambassador emphasized that our military-to-military relations would benefit greatly if we could solve the problem of child soldiers serving with the paramilitaries. The Defense Secretary said that releasing the child soldiers was part of the process of disarming all the paramilitaries, which had now begun.” This cable was dated May 26, 2009 and it was related to Ambassador Robert O. Blake’s farewell meetings. So, why is UNICEF hiding this truth and only blaming the LTTE for child recruitment? Have they became a government propaganda mechanism too? The Island reported that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told Liam Fox last July, “What Prabhakaran couldn’t have achieved with 100

TMVP child soldiers – Athula Vithanage pretends to take notes – our diver and TMVP carder and our van Photo by Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

rounds of heavy artillery he realized by using a brain-washed child suicide cadre. Had the international community brought enough pressure on the LTTE by taking punitive action against its overseas network, which raised funds for procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment, the LTTE would have been forced to scale down child recruitment, those shedding crocodile tears for their personal and political gain should throw their weight behind the UNICEF effort to track down missing children.”
“Defence Ministry and External Affairs Ministry sources told The Island that those demanding an international probe into accountability issues in Sri Lanka could not ignore the child combatants’ issue” The Island further reported.
So investigate both sides and not just the LTTE!

Deshamanya and Inayapaarathi

Deshamanya (Pride of the Nation) is the second highest Sri Lankan national honour (after the Sri Lankabhimanaya) awarded by the Government of  Sri Lanka as a civil honour for distinguished service. It is conventionally used as a title  or prefix to the awardee’s name. Military personnel might also be eligible for services of a non-military nature. Purely civilian decorations are relatively few; general purpose orders with a civilian division are more common. So far the awardees were really honourable citizens such as  Geoffery Bawa – Architect, W. D. Amaradeva – Music Director, Vernon Mendis – Diplomat, Nissanaka Wijeyeratne  – Politician, James Peter Obeyesekera III – Politician, Bradman  Weerakoon – Civil Servant, Neville Kanakeratne  – Diplomat, Mohammed Abdul Bakeer Markar – Politician, Dereen Young Wickremasinghe, H.L. de Silva – Diplomat, Mrs. Siva Obeysekera  – Politician, V. Manicavasagar – Supreme Court Justice, Prof. Nandadasa  Kodagoda, R. K. W Gunasekara – Lawyer, Ranjith Abesooriya – Lawyer , Chithrasena – Dancer,  Charitha Prasanna de Silva – Business Sector and Radhika Coomaraswamy – Academic, Human Rights Activist, UN diplomat. Sadly under the Rajapaksas now it is for people like Inayapaarathi – Human Rights Violator – White Van Abductor – Child abductor.

uvindu@journalist.com

Deshamanya Inayapaarathi

TMVP child soldiers – Athula Vithanage pretendes taking notes, our diver and TMVP carder and our van – photo by Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Outside the TMVP office in Tirukkovil – White van with newspaper in place of number plate and Jeevendran and Inayapaarathi – Picture taken from inside our van through the windscreen – Picture by Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

From Left – Inayapaarathi, Jeevendran, an armed crader,Sukumar Muralidharan,David Dadge and Uvindu Kurukulasuriya – photo by Athula Vithanage

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 1
    0

    Well done! one of the best exposure I red along this year. well done! well done!

  • 0
    0

    yes, Good job, keep it up.

  • 1
    0

    true journalism Uvindu!

    by which of course you may have become the ‘enemy of the Rajapakse state’
    it is so pathetic that a Buddhist state conferred “Deshamaanya’ to a known war criminal
    it is such strange change of paradigms in Lanka.
    former enemies of the state and people are Deshamaanyas while those who critique the process of criminally militarising the state become the ‘Deshadrohi’

    why have the Sinhala intellectuals and the Maha Sangha surrendered to a so deeply apathy?

    • 0
      0

      Ha…ha..ha…Dr.The Yarn Jayathileke would call this a ‘paradigm shift’…’double speak’ is a alive and well in Sri Rajapakistan. 2005 to 2011 and continuing is the sequel to George Orwells book, ‘1984’…and unlike ‘1984’ we have 4 BIG BROTHERS and hundreds of assorted sons, nephews, nieces and family members living it up on our tax money…

    • 0
      0

      Can they rename the titles to godfather,mafiosa, mass murderer, clown etc???

  • 1
    0

    Congratulations Uvindu for an excellent piece of investigative journalism. Hypocrisy is part and parcel of our ethos.Your work shows tha all is not lost despite the 18th Amendment which has established a dictatorial regime. Let it not become also a despotic regime

  • 0
    0

    Don’t be surprised if in the near future, people like Duminda Silva and Dr.Mervin Silva are conferred with this title. Ours is an upside down country…so anything is possible.

  • 0
    0

    Uvindu,

    Please note the Mallika studio in Kandy with number 2224065 has taken that photo. They may shed some light on this matter.

    • 0
      0

      What a shameful rewarding for this nation..! I’m so disappointed to read this article.. May Sri Lanka prosper..!

    • 0
      0

      True. Now all these guys are publishing rubbish so they will be apprehended and then claim the Government tortured them. Next step like Fredrika Jansz leave the country and get political asylum in a country that gives dole.
      Don’t go to India or Pakistan.. they cannot even look after their own beggars. Uvinda take my advice. The Governments in western Europe have got wise to the stories because this shows that you were in touch with them during the LTTE times. Removing a number plate for your pictures is not hard. Even Mangala Samaraweera and Ranil can use screw drivers! Then get screwed by their drivers.

      • 0
        0

        Peter Casie Chetty, but for sure Uvindu or Fredrica will never sing in Paris like you! :) :) :) I have been reading your comments and got to know u too a journalsit, so can u say why did u lefts the country and what did u do in France and now in UK?? it is fare question I think this website will publish this!

      • 0
        0

        Peter, I met one of your friend and show me some pics that you are singing in Paris Underground for money. where is your journalism? are you writing? for winch publication?

  • 0
    0

    Uvindu, He has his own NGOs. One of them is PEEDO
    How he got his doctorate was question asked by one of his victim of torture and kidnap!

    Iniapaarathi will be soon Dr Dada Idi aparaathi

    It is a timely article. He is in Paris it seems.
    But no Embassy is aware of his application. At least no application in his name.
    He seemed to have come through Switzerland.
    No definite lead yet!

    • 0
      0

      It was rumored that Karuna was in Geneva, a few weeks ago and some Sinhala refugees were making a
      bee-line to meet him surrupticiously?

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy

  • 0
    0

    Uvindu, Nice write up on deshamanya. You should have asked those living real deshamanyas to return their awards to the GOSL due to the disrespect caused to them by awarding it to I’bharathi. If I remember right it was UNICEF who reported about TMVP child recrutimnets earlier.

    • 0
      0

      They will not, because there spouses and chiuldren love these cosmetics, even if the receipients wish to do so. I know almost all of them but do not expect them to be that generous!

  • 0
    0

    Good article via Wikileaks. But you haven’t got the full story on Child Recruitment.Jo Becker of HRW was embedded with Karuna and that famous photograph of so called child soldiers was taken by her (HRW) photographer Julia Kumari Drapkin. Email Jo Becker and ask her the question what she was doing and seen with the Karuna-Pillaiyan camp in April 2004. You guys only get part of the story from the US Embasssy, who really do not know theie ass from their elbows and they indeed twist and turn the stories to their political doctrine…
    political doctrine… Child soldier is a hypocritical issue by the West and see article 77 of the Geneva Convention which is the LAW in 2004-2007. Others were never ratified. US and UK are the biggest violators where they start recruiting at 13-14 at High Schools via their military cadet program called JROTC. Kids and single parents, illegal aliens are promised the moon to join the army and the marines, and once they sign they are USG property shipped to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Soon it will be Iran.

  • 0
    0

    Hooray!!! Deshamanya for thugs, hooligans and terrorists. Deshadrohi for philanthropists, civic conscious and law abiding citizens. Is it Banana Republic or Wonderland, me thinks.

  • 0
    0

    Next in line for “Deshmanya” title will be, Douglas Devananda,Karuna,K.P,Duminda,
    Mervyn Silva, Hathurusinghe,Shavendra Silva,Palitha Kohonna and ofcourse our “Offense” Secretary Nandasena Gota, and many other real ‘patriots’.

  • 0
    0

    Congratulations Uvindu.
    As a matter of interest, has there been any attempt at refutation
    or “explaantion” by the government?

    • 0
      0

      Three Cheers for Uvindu Kurukulasuriya – rare investigative jounalism.

      • 0
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy

  • 0
    0

    it would have been nice if mr.uvindu published this in 2007 i have a doubt whether uvindu ever criticized ltte for child soldier recruitment.also French ambassador for human rights Francois Zimeray seems to be a sl govt agent as he has said that said that Sri Lanka had made real progress in reintroducing former child soldiers into regular society,( the AFP reported).also we cant expect a 100% justice for those children but
    the struggle for that should not stop in that sense this is a good article

  • 0
    0

    Count the murderers in the parliament count the kidnappers in the parliament, count the rapist in the parliament, count the thugs in the parliament. Sri Lanka needs a massive rehabilitation program to bring back it’s population to civilization.this is the sad reflection of a country. The people chose the government. These are people’s awards. Blame the people. It is strange why LTTE was blamed this time. This is what Prabaharan wanted to turn Sri Lanka into a hell. He got the done very easily cheaply and skillfully. Should be laughing somewhere. This the general behavior of the country. No point in taking isolated incidents and publishing them when it suits us. Visit the prison and see how many innocents are held, visit any graveyard and see how many we’re murdered. They even distorted cemeteries and celebrated this. Can you think any country this happened. Even Pol Pot and Idi Amin did do that. See where the problem is?

  • 0
    0

    Comrade Uvindu,

    Congratulation for your great journalistic skills.

    Siva

  • 0
    0

    WE OUGHT TO BE SO PROUD OF THE FEW BRAVE JOURNALIST AMONG A ROTTEN LOT WHO WOULD DO WHAT IS ETHICAL WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR !
    MAY THEY LIVE LONG TO PROTECT THEIR MOTHERLAND FROM THOSE CARDBOARD PATRIOTS WHO ARE FLEECING THE COUNTRY AND THEIR PEOPLE.

  • 0
    0

    The Sinhala people have voted alleged criminals to power and they joined hands with Tamil terrorists and Tamils who are selfish for their own benefits.
    Rajapakse has got the support of the worst corrupt regime in the world India under Italian Sonia maino and other undemocratic regimes such as China and Russia and opportunists.
    Not only the Sinhala leaders but also the majority of the Sinhala are fooled by these leaders. UNP and SLFP both have failed to delivery a viable solution to the Sri Lankans to live in peace, harmony and prosperity.

    • 0
      0

      WAR crimes by Ltte

      1983 – Kent and dollar palm in Muttur, east of Sri Lanka , Ltte killed unarmed sinhalese 793 together and did ethnic clense

      200,000 unarmed innocent sinhala people were killed by LTTE from 1956- 2008

      • 0
        0

        So Mahasona! There was LTTE in 1956! You are an idiot! Read the LLRC Report!!!!

      • 0
        0

        Mahasona,
        Karuna was deputy leader of LTTE, and he was repnsible for killing
        unarmed Sinhalese Policemen-700 of them.
        Why the is he given Cabinet post by Mahinda?

  • 0
    0

    I am very proud about real parathy about your artical, i wish give some information about that dog,
    During the election some body instead of him sat G.C.E O/L FOR HIM, GOT GOOD RESULT.
    with A HELP OF A principal .another person , under him name wrote G,C.EA/L got good result
    Presently i heard that He is following /Studying Law. Is there any private Law college.bALL IN YOUR HAND Find it bring to the light.
    All are true, But he studied up to grade 4/5
    i will give some information waittttt,

  • 0
    0

    case document

  • 0
    0

    I hope no one would say this is doctored too by you.. I really feel ashamed this beautiful country is infested with such bad elements. bring out all the truth. must put end to all these coz those so called bad elements are still in the society.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.