4 December, 2020

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Finding Lasantha’s Killers: ‘Question Mahinda Rajapaksa First’ Says Lasantha’s Brother Lal

Casting doubts on the government’s pledge of delivering justice to the unresolved murders of several journalists, a fresh investigation into the assassination of Sunday Leader Founder/Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickramatunge has not yet begun despite a clear pointer being available on where to begin the probe.

Mahinda Wijedasa and LasanthaAs Colombo Telegeraph reported in 2013, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had on three occassions divulged the involvement of former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka in the killing to Lasantha’s brother- Lal Wickrematunge – a fact which was also conveyed to former Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay by the Colombo Telegraph Editor in London.

When Colombo Telegraph inquired, Lal said the first time Mahinda Rajapaksa referred to Fonseka’s hand in Lasantha’s killing was over the phone, after he had attended a felicitation at the Galadari Hotel upon declaring Fonseka’s intention to contest at the Presidential elections.

“This felicitation also honoured three lawyers who died during that time and the three pictures were on the podium. Gen. Fonseka garlanded Lasantha’s picture and bent down and clasped his hands together in reverence and this picture was carried in the print media. President Rajapaksa called me in office and said ‘Eya danagahala wendala paw samawa gaththa eka hondai’ ( its good that he got down on his knees and asked for forgiveness),” Lal said adding that the other two times this fact was stated was when he mentioned it to him personally.

Lal says its mysterious as to why President Rajapaksa who was also the Defence Minister during his tenure, did not take measures to enforce the law with regard to the information he claimed to have possessed.

“I mentioned this during the vigil held to mark Lasantha’s fifth death anniversary and it was covered by the BBC Sinhala. They had questioned Gen Fonseka on it but he had denied it, claiming it was the former President Rajapaksa who was responsible for Lasantha’s death,” Lal said.

But prior to this statement, when Lal questioned Gen.Fonseka on who he believes killed Lasantha, he had said that it was drug dealers who were masquerading as politicians.

“I am unable to speak on the truth and wherefores of this but since a fresh investigation has been promised by this government, these facts maybe a place to start,” Lal says.

“The obvious thing to get to the bottom of this investigation is to start by questioning and recording former President Mahinda Rajapaksas’s statement. And if the investigators summoned me, I’m prepared to place further information which would be of use to them.” Lal further said.

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  • 25
    4

    Take my word nothing will happen.

    No Action Talk Only.

    • 25
      3

      Hey guys, I am telling you it today – from the day one on, I never felt Rajapakshes are real. They always acted it as if they were the main actors of the film being self directed by them. They never thought a day would be reached where they have to prepare well. I sometimes could see it happening for example cuddling with country side rural folks though his thoughts and minds were miles away. The way he had been having it lavishly must no means be underestimable – from the mini budget they have Prez expenditure has been reduced upto 3.5 fold. How come ? And the taxes ranging to millions had not been paid by Rajapakse offspring#s companies; but all these ocurred while their father had been the minister of finance. When Bail the mutiple criminal held speeches I felt – he was not at all honest. All these prove me today – first glance give us all a summary about those personalities.

      • 3
        0

        This is spot on.

        Dr.Dewasiri expresses it clearly in the “Satana of 31Jan2015”.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnffS9kJ3TM

        Fish is bigger than the net. So it will not be easy to convict them.
        Now people ask president of Bribery commission to be sacked.. BUt the law prevailing does not allow to sack him easily.

        • 1
          0

          Things are moving in the right direction.Govt has too many
          priorities.All sufferings can not be stopped overnight.
          There are near 5.8 million who voted for corruption,Bribery
          nepotism,despotism,favouritism and so on.There are even
          ordinary people who shared the spoil with the regime at
          various intervals on election times.We are not talking about
          low profile crimes and criminals here are we?The talk is
          on high profile criminals and very sensitive which require
          lot of patience.Already warning shot fired against such
          future recurrence through the arrest of UNP MP Palitha.
          Another new development,Attanayake arrested.I think these
          are warning shots about what’s in store for the rest.

    • 15
      2

      RE: The assassination of Sunday Leader Founder/Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickramatunge

      “Take my word nothing will happen. No Action Talk Only.”

      A very likely outcome.

      However, must expose the criminals as much as possible.
      Accuse the likely criminals and see how they denend and see if some will spill the beans.
      The List…

      • 5
        1

        Why should we feel that nothing would be the outcome ? As you may know until not long ago, we thought defeating the most virulent leader of the nation will never be easy. But as a glass fell into pieces his political existence collapsed. It was the media blindly worked for the man made society believe all what they spread were the facts about the MR regime. But as we the CT readership are well aware of the facts had been kept away from the rural folks for MR s political surivvial. He had no idea about good governance though his populistic sinhala terms depited the other way aroudn to the nation. How many of his eleciton pledges had been fulfilled to the word – almost none, but while let suffering the nation through high taxes, he went on abusing the natonal treachery. Latter is becoming clear to the many today, but lot more are still caught by MR s populistic terms such as ” ape rata”, “conspiracy of international community”, “api apiwenuwen nagisitinna on”. but what he and the family had been doing was making fat his pockets – to a highly abusive manner as no leader did it before.

    • 1
      3

      [Edited out]

      • 0
        1

        RE: Justice for Lasantha’s Wickramayunga,

        Expose, Expose and Expose.. the Medamulana Maras and learn from History..

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/rajapaksa-princes-crimes-to-be-exposed-including-rape-of-young-girls/

        Watergate scandal

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watergate_scandal

        The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement. When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, the Nixon administration’s resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis.[1] The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such “dirty tricks” as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration, articles of impeachment,[2] and the resignation of Richard Nixon, the President of the United States, on August 9, 1974—the only resignation of a U.S. President to date. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty and incarcerated, many of whom were Nixon’s top administration officials.[3]

        The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. The FBI connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), the official organization of Nixon’s campaign.[4][5] In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the President’s staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations.[6][7] After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes to government investigators; he eventually complied. Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up the questionable goings-on that had taken place after the break-in.[5][8] Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974.[9][10] On September 8, 1974, his successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned him.

        The name “Watergate” and the suffix “-gate” have since become synonymous with political scandals in the United States[11] and in other English- and non-English-speaking nations as well.[12]

    • 17
      1

      I tend to agree. From the outset I’ve been saying that Gen. Fonseka was involved. The previous regime did not investigate because they were also implicated. Now, because of the ardent support Gen.Fonseka has given to Maithripala, progress on this unfortunate case is extremely unlikely. It appears nothing much has changed. A courageous, selfless, journalist and a wonderful human being has been unnecessarily wasted and nobody seem to care.

      • 8
        4

        If SF had been involved any form, MR/GR co would not have wasted a minute putting him under murder charge and most probably would have ended up in the death row by now. Them two of course tried to hang the charge on SF for political reasons, to make an impression and to divert flak away from themselves.But for God’s grace and protection, those efforts came to nothing.

        I reate as real professional soldier, an honorable one, an officer and gentleman. He was/is a stickler to rules and never hesitated dealing with slack and corrupt officers under him. I have no doubt that he would not have even dreamt of stooping down to the lowest level of murdering a fellow citizen for political or personal reasons.

        Even when he tried for Presidency he did it under fair democratic rules; unfortunately for him, he did not consider that in SLK politics is the dirtiest game played by corrupt politicians in whiter than white sil redda. He was not ready for all the dirty tricks up MR’s sleeves. If SF wanted power that badly and through any means, he would have mobilized the army against all corrupt politicians and have put them in prison, during the time he had all the powers of the Army Commander under him; but he did not do such a crass action in order to face the electorate through fair means.

        I really wished he took over the Government as a Military Chief and cleaned out our entire corrupt system for good.

    • 2
      0

      I endorse this statement. Killers of Lasantha are high powered politicians and military heads sitting both sides.

    • 3
      0

      Chronic lack of urgency displayed by the New Kids in Town is a sign of things to come. Intolerable!

      One has to understand top figures in these two utterly rotten parties SLFP & UNP are inter-connected and inter-dependent. Partners in crime. Going after criminals responsible for truly serious crimes with a vengeance, as expected by the people, will for sure backfire on top cronies & henchmen in both SLFP & UNP.

      Obviously nobody wants to arrest themselves & expose themselves prosecution. Think about it.

      Cheers!

      PS: How on earth is it otherwise possible Duminda Silva is still not taken in for questioning. Let alone arrested. Hope Wele Suda will not be shot soon while trying to escape Police custody.

  • 33
    3

    I am under the opinion that Gen SF is not involved in this episode. If it so MR would have used that against him and made sure he remained behind bars with a solid case. Amount of power and with Cheep Justice in his side MR could have done enough damage to Gen SF he would not have the opportunity to return to active politics at all.

    MR seems to have lied about this in order to protect the real culprits. At that time MR was never expecting not to be ruling Sri Lanka. Situation though has changed now. This would put MR in to deep end of this saga. He will be called to give evidence and support his claims. There was also a report which says MR received a call soon after the incident where he has asked the caller “was he hit on the head? ”

    Besides, President MS and PM RW would would not have backed Gen SF if they were aware he was involved in the case. All things points towards the MR and Clan. Testing time for the former 1st family. Slowly but surely these things will be investigated along with 1,000’s of other cases of corruption.

    • 19
      1

      Or it could be that MaRa did not go after Fonseca fearfull of the boomerang coming back to MaRa. Fonseca can finger MaRa and Gota as the ultimate shot caller.

      • 7
        1

        possible !

      • 4
        0

        Palm squirrel

        Then why did mahinda go all out to bribe army intelligence officer with diplomatic posting abroad etc in order to get him to say that fonseka was involved.Fortunately for fonseka that chap refused and even in police custody with all kinds of trumped up charges against him,he stood firm and refused to testify that fonseka was the killer.So your theory that mahinda did not try to fix fonseka with the lasantha murder because he too will be implicated is a fallacy.You should read well about what happened earlier.

      • 4
        4

        Exactly. Before we dismiss Gen. Fonseka as an angel, not all the charges against him came from the Rajapakse regime. His sexual molestation accusations came from his high ranking subordinates. His abuse of power had been legendary from his exploitation of the vulnerable village girls joining the Army to the embezzlement he engineered with his son-in-law Danuna Tilakaratne on the Army Procurements under his control.

    • 18
      0

      The day the murderers of LW will be convicted is not miles away.
      Wait and see how all these will develop in the days to come.

  • 21
    1

    Hope Singhalese will not make the same mistake they did, not investigated and punished those who killed innocent JVP youngsters. Have to teach a lesson to stop this kind of killings in the future.

    • 0
      0

      What about the innocents killed by JVP. It was also a rein of terror where we had to close shops, couldnt go to work and there was JVP curfews. Those murdered by JVP has to be buried according to the orders of the JVP,

      I like the present JVP particularly the honesty and integrity that they portray. But I do not know whether they will be what they were or whether they will change for the good. Any comments on my thoughts

      • 1
        0

        This I believe need to be investigated by tracing that Mathalegraves. There the investigators will get more of untold stories. You cant accuse only JVPers for those kililngs because to that time Premadasa s underground forces were also in action. That is comparable to a war actually. I know how many of my mates went dissapearing since then. How many of my batchas went missing in that era. We left Peradeniya premises leaving all our belongings but focusing on our escape.

        As you do, many JVP representatives are becoming real voices of the people compared to those of other parties. They even talka bout democracy rather than very alert to their maxistic views. Perhaps a small portion of them may still be irrepariably radical with those views though.
        Why cant you feel that most of them today in party politics are as moderates. Please just focus how many of JVPrs were in the parliament in previous govt – and how they argued brining all the arguments against then rulers ? Those 2 were very powerful than all others from several parties including UNP. They had been brinigng all powerful argumetns against drug dealings or any other abuses as no other did. I respect those moderate JVPers than any other Law makers in today s politics in srilanka. I have never supported lanken party politics, but today, i think moderates of each parties are far better than any of their seniors.

  • 13
    0

    The murder of Lasantha is a shame on the nation. If the present believes in the rule of law and order, it should bring to book the murderer or else it will be only spin and talk only.

  • 14
    3

    Rajapaksas are actually cowards and fools, they are not intelligent or strong enough to face any challenge diplomatically. The best example is the war against Tamils. They didn’t obey any compulsory international law to carry out the missions, but bombing unconditionally all over the Northern sky. When the western started tightening their neck they were just hiding behind racist Sinhalese. They didn’t have any backbone to face UN or the western shamelessly. They are not intelligent enough to handle Mr. Lasantha, SO THEY SIMPLY KILLED HIM. Put them behind the bars, Mahinda Rajapaksa will accept the truth that HE IS THE KILLER HIMSELF.

  • 7
    1

    What Aney! I thought Kudu Vermin from Kelaniya was the one who shot Lasantha.

    • 3
      1

      Beeta Auntie,
      Kelaniya Vermin is more or less like a garandiya – when looking at what all Rajapakshes have looted it… even former first lady is alleged to have involved in gold racket. ginank nethiwa dumak nahane – no fire no smoke.

  • 13
    1

    I think MR, Gotha & SF are involved in murder of Lasantha better
    give pardon to SF & make him Crown witness get facts and charge Gotha
    the man who master minded this ugly murder

    • 1
      1

      U may exclude SF from it. This we will see it soon.
      All the prima facie docu are already available to prove them it was a deal of Rajapakshe siblings.

  • 13
    1

    It was more likely Gota was the man behind the Lasantha’s killing, whilst MR just turned a blind eye to all the criminal going on around him, including the ‘white van’ episodes. We all know who called the shots at the time. Gota is known to behave irrationally under pressure, and in this case, when he was about to get exposed on the MIG deals through Lasantha’s investigative journalism, he was silenced for ever. In all probability, Gota may be the only beneficiary to benefit from Lasantha’s killing. Gen. Fonseka may have had a hand by providing men and resources but he was just following orders coming from the top.

    Take for instance another of those dastardly killings crafted by Gota the depressed killer. The shooting to kill of Bharatha Lakshman (MR’s good friend), and then scooting Duminda to a Singapore Hospital under a false and concocted skull injury supposedly caused by a retaliatory strike, are all Gota’s scheming and plotting to serve his maniacal own self interests.

    We know as was reported in the media at the time, how he (Gota) personally visited the hospital that had admitted Duminda and he stayed up all night in the hospital, on the pretext of ensuring security cordoning and protective coverage. He actually prevented any media coverage and also blocked visitors getting anywhere close to take pictures and get to the bottom to reveal the truth of the extent of injuries, except what was released by the government media.

    On Duminda’s return to the island after a ‘full recovery’, (hair fully grown with no sign of any kind of head injury) made his first visit straight to meet MR and thank him for picking up the tab on his ‘rest and rehabilitation’ in a prestigious Singapore hospital, all at Tax-payers expense. A real scam that needs to be fully investigated. May be Gota and Duminda need to be reminded, people are not fools and will never get fooled, except it will be they themselves who will finally get fooled, when they end up in jail for a calculated cold blooded murder.

    • 7
      1

      Marwan,

      You are right. Duminda never had any injury resulting from a gun shot. This fact can be established even today examining the head of Duminda for any scalpel marks of surgery.

      I love to see Gota attending Courts now where he earlier intimidated even the Judge to tolerate his antics, making abusive gestures from the dock. Let us now see how he will escape the allegations which he would have buried as Sec Def. Gota as Chairman of Lanka Logistics and Rakna Security how he has embezzled funds and authority to intimidate any who dissented will be exposed now.

    • 3
      4

      Marvan seems to have more imagination than Mangalam’s Web Rag…..

      • 2
        1

        In the land when MaRa and GoRa ruled, the fictional writers thrived there was no need of hard imagination for Murders since Murders were done in plain sight and claimed proudly.

    • 2
      0

      You know Marvan, what wonders me EVEN TODAY not any journalist was able to QUESTION Duminda on his return from his so called treatment period (nearly two years) ? Sirasa is praised today by most of the ruling politicians- as had been the only sender to have been somewhat neutral, but I question why not even SIRASA had guts to bring the issue before the people ?

      And those medical professionals went on TV screens to acknolwedge those medical source data is beyond all the compliance that medico are bound when they start practising – I mean the approbation of those medical profesisonals that brought all unethical and impossible source data before the public – though knowing the truth about them should be totally the opposite.

      Even not forgetting that Prez lawyers that covered the Duminda’s story again and again. All these should without delayed be brought before the people.
      Last night I happend to watch video of the Prez speech to the nation through STATE TV sender – there he promised all those will be investigated…

  • 7
    0

    This is an outright case of murder and that RW heads as “Executive” PM,
    I have a feeling that MR will get off the hook. Do people remember a
    case of murder of ones first wife and how RW intervened (Source; World
    classtamils.com). May be thats all past. The 100 day-diary Govt. has
    to show something better than the 10 year M.Chintanaya, as the public is
    now emboldened.

  • 3
    0

    Investigation of any murder must necessarily begin with the body of the deceased and dissection of same with further tests to determine the time, manner and cause of death.
    Who did the post-mortem examination, and what were the findings?
    This vital ‘report’ is MISSING !!!!

  • 0
    0

    SIVA.

    Spot on! Agreed.

  • 3
    2

    Lasanta’s brother, I am sure is in the Victory Camp with the Elite PM Ranil.

    And Ranil,s new Paliyagoda Organizer Dr Mervyn has the name of Lasantha’s brother,s killer in his pink folder, which he was carrying under his arm while talking to the media scrum about his future plans.

    So why would Lasantha’s brother wants to get Rajapaksa quizzed?.

    Isn’t Mervyn with his PhD a credible witness ?.

    Or Lasantha’s brother wants UNP Ilangakoon to water board the ex President?..

    We know that that Police Spokesperson nowadays is willing to remand even Weerawansa’s wife, because a UNP supporter said she has two Passports.

    While the mass killer Vass’s missus go around accusing the first lady of selling 100 Tonnes of LTTE Gold.

    But Galleo Ravi dodges the Courts at his own whims and fancies.

  • 2
    1

    If Fonseka was involved in this horrible murder, and the Rajapaksa’s were not, they would have made sure they arrested him, and thrown him in jail, to get him out of the way. Obviously they must be implicated in this murder, and avoided any investigation, and giving Lasantha’s family closure. Most of the kidnappings, white van incidents, threats, and assaults, on journalists have not been solved. Who benefits by them being killed, or silencing them? There lies the answer. Whether it is a Rajapaksa, or Sarath Fonseka, the new government must try and investigate these incidents, and hold those responsible, accountable, and face a court of law.
    Time for our country to get back to law and order, and this is a good way to start.

  • 3
    1

    Bottom line is that MR had threatened Lasantha on the phone that MR was going to have Lasantha killed. What more evidence do we require. the Rajafuckshes have so much blood on their hands that getting Lasantha murdered is just another event like getting Mervyn Silva bringing a tart to the Medamulana home.

  • 2
    0

    “drug dealers who were masquerading as politicians”

  • 2
    1

    Isn’t it time we ask the circumstances under which Podiathula died in temple trees a few months ago after being summoned by MR?

    What was the cause of death?

  • 0
    0

    I do not believe that the real culprits will be caught. There are far too many people in the present government who are complicit as well. No matter how much noise is made nothing will come of it.

  • 0
    0

    The best person to question regarding Lasantha’s death is Mervyn Silva. This idiot seems to know everything. That is why he got a doctorate.

  • 1
    0

    Has anyone discovered what triggered Lasanhtha’s decision to write that last editorial? I have read it countless times, and every time I have the sense that something had just happened to conveyed to him that his days were numbered. In the part that he addressed to the then President, Lasantha points the finger at brother Gota. That is where I would place my bets. But what happened? Had Lasantha just visited the President (it sounded that way)? And during that visit, did Mahinda let something slip? I doubt that he said, “Gota is having you killed next week,” but he may have let it slip, inadvertently or not. I have a mental image of the Editor driving straight from Temple Trees to his office, then sitting down to write that unforgettable editorial. I repeat the question: What tipped him off?

  • 0
    0

    I remember one interview MR gave after Lasantha’s murder in which he said something like, “when people are unfairly accused of corruption, they get p*i*ssd off”. It indirectly meant that either Gota or Fonseka (but most probably Gota, as he was in charge of the procurement deals) were the killers. It also meant that MR knew who killed him and going bby another interview where he said that he was doing meditation or puja before buddha when Lasantha’s call came, he couldn’t save him. In typical MR style, he also said (or lied) that he shouted at his personal staff for not connecting the call.

    MR was a great actor, but in due course of time he let too many things slip through his own tongue. He is just the mirror image of Prabhakaran except that Prabhakaran was not good at lying through his teeth like this guy.

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