A leaked copy of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on political victimization reveals that it has been used to exonerate, white-wash and acquit without charge perpetrators of the most heinous crimes committed in Sri Lanka in the recent past and in many cases reward murderers, abductors, and money launderers with compensation by the state.
The report, first leaked on social media and thoroughly perused by Colombo Telegraph revealed that the Commission unanimously decided that the charges and indictments against every accused in so-called emblematic cases highlighted by the UN, including the murder and abduction of journalists, should be dismissed, the indictments in currently active trials quashed and the complainants acquitted and released.
These cases include the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, abduction, extortion and murder of 11 Tamil men allegedly by the Sri Lanka Navy, Welikada Prison massacres, the assassination of Tamil MP Joseph Pararajasinham, the assaults on journalists Upali Tennekoon and Keith Noyahr among many others.
Going a step further, the Commission has also recommended tough legal action against “respondents” in the complaints – including police officers, former commanders of the military, members of parliament, former ministers and deputy ministers and prosecutors attached to the Attorney General’s Department. The list of respondents recommended for prosecution also includes former Foreign Secretaries Prasad Kariyawasam and Ravinatha Aryasinha for their roles in the Jaliya Wickremasuriya investigation and president’s counsel J.C. Weliamuna and Upul Jayasuriya for their roles investigating the Navy 11 abduction and extortion racket and the Avant Garde weapons smuggling fiasco respectively.
The Commission has also recommended “compensation” for complainants facing trial for murder, kidnapping and extortion in Sri Lankan High Courts, that includes, inter alia, back pay, promotions, foreign workshops and “popular” school or university enrollment for their children.
The report reveals that the Commission has decided to acquit complainants from the highest-ranking military officers accused of conspiring to murder in the High Court, to sergeants and sailors who ran kidnapping and extortion rackets or abducted and assaulted renowned journalists.
Bar none, every suspect and accused in cases linked to atrocities committed when the Rajapaksa regime was last in power, have been exonerated through “evidence” led before the Commission, but largely based on hearsay and statements by the complainants themselves or witnesses on their behalf.
While investigators and prosecutors were summoned to appear before the Commission, these testimonies have not made an impact on any of the decisions and indeed, do not even get a mention in the report.
The Commission was chaired by the disgraced Supreme Court Judge (rtd) Upali Abeyratne and comprising retired Court of Appeal Judge Chandrasiri Jayathilake and pro-Rajapksa former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandra Fernando. The Abeyratne Commission has also acted to exonerate and recommend the acquittal of several Rajapaksa family members and close associates including Rajapaksa cousins Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Udayanga Weeratunge and the gun-runner former army major Nissanka Senadhipathi who owns and operates the controversial Avant Garde Maritime Security firm accused of smuggling Sri Lanka Government issue weapons on the high seas.
Wickramasuriya was facing charges of criminal misappropriation to the tune of USD 300,000 when he was serving as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US when his first cousin Mahinda Rajapaksa held office as President. Sri Lanka’s own investigation into the same charges was originally led by former Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda, now a Justice on the Supreme Court. Ironically, the Commission has recommended charges against Wickramasuriya be dropped in the Sri Lankan courts, and the Sri Lankan Government work to restore his immunity as a diplomat through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a lifting of the travel ban imposed on the disgraced former diplomat.
Ironically Wickramasuriya was indicted by a Grand Jury in Washington DC over the same controversial financial misappropriation in 2019. The Rajapaksa cousin was indicted in five counts including money laundering, wire transfer fraud and visa fraud. For years Wickamasuriya was a fugitive from justice in Sri Lanka and the United States. The other Rajapaksa cousin, Weeratunga was also a fugitive from justice for several years and the subject of an Interpol Red Notice before being captured and extradited from the United Arab Emirates following a lengthy extradition trial last year.
Alarmingly, the exoneration of perpetrators accused of grave human rights violations by the politically tainted Commission comes at a time when Sri Lanka faces mounting international pressure over its human rights record. Even as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet calls for justice to be served against perpetrators internationally, including at the International Criminal Court, the Presidential Commission on Political Victimisation provides the best evidence for the absolute necessity for international jurisdiction to take effect against those who violate human rights with impunity in Sri Lanka, human rights activists said.
In her report on Sri Lank to the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva wchich will take place in February and March this year, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made note of the Presidential Commission on Political Vicitimization, saying the Commissioner had “undermined police investigations and court proceedings related to several high profile human rights and corruption cases.”
“While the criminal justice system in Sri Lanka has long been the subject of interference, the current Government has proactively obstructed or sought to stop ongoing investigations and criminal trials to prevent accountability for past crimes,” the report states. The High Commissioner also warned that the Government may have worked to destroy evidence in these cases.
Colombo Telegraph will make the leaked report public to its readers and continue to peruse the 2000 page findings of Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential Commission that has served as an instrument to help him to help his friends and family to escape justice in Sri Lanka. The report contains three volumes and is available here. Detailed summaries of the Commission findings particularly pertaining to high profile suspects and criminals will be published on this website in the coming days.
Based on our findings, the following persons accused of high crimes in Sri Lankan courts, have been exonerated by the Presidential Commission on Political Victimization and recommended for acquittal and released by the justice system. Compensation to the accused has been ordered in most cases.
Emblematic Case: Abduction of 11 Tamil youth by officers of the Sri Lanka Navy
Accused: Wasantha Karannagoda, Admiral of the Fleet, former Navy Commander
Status: Indicted in the Permanent High Court at Bar, Colombo for abduction, torture, extortion and conspiracy to murder 11 persons in 2008-2009
Emblematic Case: Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda abduction
Accused: Shammi Kumararatne, Lieutenant Colonel, Military Intelligence 13 others
Status: Indicted in Permanent High Court at Bar on charges of abduction, conspiracy to murder and the Homagama High Court for the same.
Emblematic Case: Assassination of the Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge
Suspect: Premananda Udalagama, Sergeant Major Retired, Sri Lanka Army (Intelligence)
Status: Facing charges in the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court for his role in abducting Wickrematunge’s driver and involvement in the Tripoli Platoon which the CID found had been contracted to carry out the journalist’s murder in January 2009. Arrested and released on bail.
Emblematic Case: The abduction and torture of Journalist Keith Noyahr
Suspects: Amal Karunasekera, Major General and former Director, Directorate of Military Intelligence
Lt. Col. Prabath Bulathwatte, Lieutenant Colonel (promoted by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa) and former Commanding Officer, Tripoli Platoon, Military Intelligence unit07 other military officials
Status: Facing charges at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court for abduction, conspiracy to kidnap and torture of The Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr, who was severely beaten at a Military Intelligence safe house in Dompe, Gampaha in May 2008. Arrested and all suspects released on bail, some continue active military service.
Emblematic Case: Assassination TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham
Suspects: Sivanesanthurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, former LTTE commander, current SLPP MP
Status: Accused of murdering MP Joseph Pararajasingham in a Batticaloa church on 25 December 2005. Charges against Pillaiyan in this murder case have already been dropped in the Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court and the Batticaloa High Court by the Attorney General before the Commission released its findings. (By Nimal Ratnaweera)
Simon / January 28, 2021
The WORST scenario of this “Street Drama” staged by a “Kangaroo Court” (established under the seal of the President) “THREE” Commissioners is, on receipt of the “Report”, the “President” Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapakse has in a mighty hurry submitted a “Cabinet Paper”, condensing the “2000 page report” to “Three Pages” including “Two Schedules” in which “79” “Accused” who are “Recommended” to be “Acqited” (Nidoskota Nidhas) and another list of the “Complainants” to be “Prosecuted”. This “Cabinet Paper” was shown to Media at the Media Briefing held by Tilvin Silva of JVP. So it is not a secret anymore. I would request CT get a copy of it and publish it along with the next report on this subject. I have already, through several of my comments on this page given a glimpse into the “Draconian and Dictatorial” style of Governance of this Government of “GR” and had drawn the attention of the International Community to proceed with immediate steps to “ISOLATE” this “Militarized Government” and stop the imminent threat posed on Democratic countries of the world by nipping it in the bud. Not only UNHRC but also the General Council and the Security Council of the UNO must take a “CLOSE LOOK” at what is happening to the “Judicial System” of Sri Lanka and proceed to STOP this “MOCKERY”.
leelagemalli / January 28, 2021
Pattapal horu mislead the nation again.
What happened to SRILANKEN law and order system ?
Dentist was slapped on his ears and he himself made it clear he was treated like a criminal before this DHAMMIKA Bandara. No police nothing seem to work on this case. Why ?
Good Sense / January 28, 2021
If there is a leaked copy of the report available with CT usually it will provide the readers with a downloadable copy for us to see it with our own eyes. Going by the article alone, it is clear that one crowd will say one thing and another will say the opposite. UK, the country that gave us the legacy of system of governance, has no written constitution and it does not sport judicial decisions depending on the political party in power. Even if the then British Governor in Colombo was virtually a dictator, the judges delivered verdicts regardless of it as in the Bracegirdle case. I have said before, that Sri Lanka shows all signs of a failed state and is on its way in becoming a hermit state as well.
Native Vedda / January 29, 2021
Had you read the article carefully you would have found the link:
The report contains three volumes and is available here.
Here is the link to other report:
Promotion reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka
Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Good Sense / January 29, 2021
Thanks for pointing at my oversight and giving the full details of the link. Now I see that the links inked in orange missed my eye being used to the standard blue color. Once again thanks.
Native Vedda / January 29, 2021
You are welcome.
No offence meant.
GATAM / January 28, 2021
All crooks aligned to Gota getting away.
No war criminals though.
Native Vedda / January 29, 2021
Do you know expected price of a dose of COVID19 vaccine?
Now Lalith is responsible for the allocation of vaccines to the public how is he going to prioritise distribution.
Is this charitable activity at par with Sil Redda distribution?
Every politician who has nothing better to do or say are finding it difficult to remain quite.
upali1942 / January 28, 2021
Naduth Hamuduruwange Baduth Hamuduruwange.
Thiha / January 28, 2021
This is a mendacious commission set up by a malevolent scoundrel who bombed his way to power. Words fail to to describe what they have done. May a thousand curses reign down on the utter stupid racist buffoons who brought this scourge upon this land. May all of you rot while you live Amen.
sitrep24 / January 28, 2021
Hahahahaha where are the 69 lakh moda sinhala buddhists who shouted “one country, one law” ??
The 69 lakh sackless hypocrite “majority” only gave this rabid dog the vote because of their deep seeded anger and hate towards minorities. And now, the country is in pieces (whatever is left and is yet to be sold to other countries by the beggar boys), the sinhala buddhist extremists are on their way to getting crippling sanctions (which is desperately needed to teach these extremist sinhala buddhists a lesson), the economy is in complete ruins, minority rights have been violated, aggression by land grabbing terrorist armed forces has led to resentment towards the sackless racist majority, murderers and drug dealers and gun runners have been released AND COMPENSATED !
If there was any hope for this land, now all that is lost.
MyView / January 29, 2021
………….”where are the 69 lakh moda sinhala buddhists who shouted “one country, one law” ??………………..
The entire 69 lakh were not only MSBs but comprised many of other faiths like Catholics, Muslims and ethnicities like the Up Country Tamils. Let us be fair in apportioning blame.
………….”gave this rabid dog the vote because of their deep seeded anger and hate towards minorities”……………………
Again here ascribing one reason is not quite fair. There were also those who voted because of what they can get like the plantation sector (wages) and some who felt a genuine fear of the way security was handled ( even though may be orchestrated by U NO WHO) and may even be by the corruption (Bond Scam) and ineffectiveness of the former govt. to tackle virtually anything including bringing looters to book, as promised by their two heads of govt. working in tandem at cross purposes. In the Presidential election, Ranil was pulling SP’s leg behind the scenes.
So ascribing one reason or targeting one section is not quite being fair.
MyView / January 29, 2021
For this catastrophe, the buck stops at Ranil’s feet, none other.
Thiru / January 28, 2021
When criminals accused of crimes against humanity, and other heinous crimes with evidence are ruling the country,
what else would you expect?
They need more criminals to surround them so that they feel secure with such company.
None of them dare be disloyal to the criminals at the helm for their own security depends on those at the top.
leelagemalli / January 28, 2021
With harder UN resolutions in making, SRILANKEN b***s sons in power will hurt minority people either in Kandy or anywhere else to collect the materials to argue in UNHRC sessions.
This time, as experts make it clear will be more difficult to come self-made arguments saving the bums of Rajapkashes.
Attacks on BUDDHSIT temples or statues on road side would be well be planned/inevitable by RAJAPAKSHE criminals supporting above actions. We know that Sarath WEERASEKARA was the man behind those KANDY riots two years ago, now the man being the minister, he focuses would work much better.
Next days, nothing but srilankens will be forced to watch how Wimal Buruwanse, Gonthadipila get back to usual misleading propaganda – topics will definitely be „ foreign invasion“, „european invasion“, UNHRC actions in favour of LTTE diaspora and and usual stuff.
Director of RAJAPAKSHE condom support, aka Wimal Buruwanse/Gonthadipila will wake up because a commission appointed by Nandasena caused them to be exonerated from the cases filed against them.
Pinguththara Community led by Nightingle bird/Muruththettuwa Cheewarnakiya will do lot more protest in favour of supporting RAJAPAKSHE covering the brutal poltics of current day criminals.
Judiciary and its biased behaviour will be mitigated by „ KALI AMMA PANIYA“, „Namal Kumara“ or th elike scapegoating tactics.
Captain Morgan / January 28, 2021
What can I say? Words fail me!
Native Vedda / January 29, 2021
“What can I say? Words fail me!”
How about miming?
Ashan / January 28, 2021
Looks like Trump learnt from the Rajapaksa’s. Nepotism, corruption, lies, attacking the media, insulting the media, kicking out the experts and professionals and appointing unqualified cronies, who will protect their crimes, and do their bidding, racist policies, pardoning the criminals, and turning the country into a family dictatorship.
Hope the people who voted for Nanda are happy with the situation in the country, and what they have turned this country into. It is becoming unrecognizable. They wanted a “strong man”, and they should have been careful what they wished for. Let’s face it, under the Rajapaksa family, we have become a family dictatorship with unresolved murders of journalists, political activists, and a young sportsman because an insecure Rajapaksa (privileged) son, did not like the way he spoke to the woman he desired. The International agencies, and human rights organizations, have all condemned these crimes, and demanded investigations, and accountability, but every call for justice has been blocked by the Rajapaksa’s, who cry victim of a major international plot to bring them down. Simply put, if they had nothing to hide, they would welcome any investigation that will exonerate them of their crimes.
The guilty are always afraid.
Fahim Knight / January 28, 2021
It is always the innocent who suffers the most and are vicctims of war in any county , not just Sri Lanka.
The past government Leaders of Yahapalana, could not establish an atom of proof for any of the alegations made.
So, as far as am concerned , the subject is closed and Yahapalana leaders have endorsed this.
I am not to be misunderstood as someone who justifies with human cruelty, But you can not have double standards.
UN has on their records, many powerful countries that have more allegations which they need to address to, to ignore all of them and intimidate a less powerful and small nation is total bias, and unethical bullying.
The people should take a lesson from Ruwanda , learn to forgive , let go ,
While the entire opposition,especially headed by Hon.S.Premadasa, must consider working with the government to usher lasting peace through reconciliation.
What we need is to make sure we can bring in a constitution that gaurantees the rights of every citizen, no matter who they are , to end separatism, end racial riots , end all forms of religous extremism and religous bigotry and have an.iron fist in monitoring these elliments , without it, there is no hope to move forward.
MyView / January 28, 2021
Is this a mockery of our Judiciary and Law Enforcement authorities, or the contempt to the very basic rules and concepts of jurisprudence – I wonder ?
Mallaiyuran / January 28, 2021
When 6.9M voted for the one, who was accused of War Crime, did anybody thought that they wanted him or his family convicted in any of cases and suffer in prison or hanged on a rope? They all wanted the Royal family free, get-well and rule them. The Tamil Modayas like Sampanthan Ayya, & Sumanthiran PC, who talk about “One Country”(Ekkeiya Rajya), are the one imbeciles. Didn’t a woman fall in love with Escobar and marry him and defended him at court? Do you think all women should select the best sages as their marriage partners? When it rains the potter’s wife is crying. When it didn’t rain, the farmer’s wife is crying. The Royals, who are good for 6.9 M Sinhala Buddhists, are not got for some minority Sinhalese, Tamil & Muslims. Why can’t they, leaving alone the Sinhala Buddhists in Sin-Ha-LE as & go into their own “Singapore” and rule it over according to their wish? Isn’t it that what you call as Nation State and Democracy?
Buddhist1 / January 28, 2021
Well know practice of SL Govt to appoint commission after commission to investigate the same issues until the Govt supporting stooges are free has been followed in this as well. Unfortunately this may be a good report for the Sinhala Buddhist Deshapremies, SLPP, Vyathmaga, Yuthukama and the Buddhist Monks but its not going to do anything at the UNHR Council.
If we investigate the Chair of this recent commission we will find the true colours of that person.
chiv / January 28, 2021
Hello there in Lanka these accused individuals are called as WAR HEROES , hence the appointments. Did anyone see the reply , from our appointed war General in charge of foreign ministry , who not only leaked classified information to the media, followed by classic Lankan reply “No one need to teach democracy to us ” ( yes indeed, we are well aware of democrazy)
Ajay / January 28, 2021
Nandasena’s Political Victimisation Commission is emblematic of the post-factual, post-truth politics, practised by the Rajapaksas to subvert democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Upali Abeyratne, Chandrasiri Jayathilake and Chandra Fernando have meticulously carried out the orders of a man, himself implicated in many of the emblematic cases, to politically victimize who were doing their duty to bring criminals before justice.
Ajay / January 28, 2021
Nandasena’s Political Victimisation Commission is emblematic of the post-factual, post-truth politics, practised by the Rajapaksas to subvert democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Upali Abeyratne, Chandrasiri Jayathilake and Chandra Fernando have meticulously carried out the orders of a man, himself implicated in many of the emblematic cases, to politically victimize officials who were doing their duty to bring criminals to justice.
Rumble 2021 / January 28, 2021
Be it a Kangaroo court or the UN /Hague “proper” court it would be great start to conduct proceedings in Jaffna for the “Ratha Pottu Mafia FP/TULF/TN killing fields a Tamil crime Against Tamils and Sri Lanka 1970-1977-1981” will help all else to take place in Sri Lanka.
One has to have a time line and a chronology/time line and how we conducted “causes and effects ” of this vicious crime cycle that was unleashed on the Sri Lankans by the “thugs” who formed democratic parties and enjoyed democracies whilst they delivered extra judicial killings…to this day they walk the Parliament with amp party names??
Is it a fact others only learn this from the above mafia as they also now know they can getaway too?:
chiv / January 29, 2021
How it works in Lanka. Initially RW appointed sham commission’s to not to do anything against Rajapaksas. MS outright refused any action against war heroes. Now Its Rajapaksas turn to appoint commissions to exonerate war heroes and pardon and release who were already found guilty and sentenced, including murderers.
Mallaiyuran / January 29, 2021
“One country, One Rule ” is only on Muslims’ bodies burials. Even on revising the MMDA, it is only Riyal rule, not one rule.
Jack / January 29, 2021
69 lacks of people elected a person accused of misappropriation of money and wanted all political criminals exonerated. he is doing his duty expected by 69 lacks of intelligent voters. Thank you Sir
MyView / January 29, 2021
…”all political criminals exonerated.”……
I am holding my breath to see who are those released on Independence Day. Bets open for one Dummy horse at odds of 1 to 1.
Simon / January 30, 2021
Dear Readers: In my comment, I referred to a “Cabinet Paper” that the President has submitted to the Cabinet. The “PLANED” purpose is to get the Cabinet approval to establish a “Special Presidential Commission” to examine the “Recommendation” of this “Three Persons Commission”. That “Special Presidential Commission” will be appointed from among the Judges of the Higher Courts presently functioning. If that “Special Presidential Commission” approves the “Recommendations”, it will be submitted to the Parliament. With the “2/3rd” majority GR “PLANS” to impose “Punishments” on the “Complainants” and that would include “Withdrawal of Civil Rights”. That procedure is in the Special Presidential Commission Act of 1978, under which “JRJ” withdrawal of Civic Rights of Mrs. Sirimawo Bandaranaike was withdrawn. The “Complainants” include mostly the members of the Opposition. Do you all see the “PLANNED” move? This is what NEEDS the attention and scrutiny of the International Community, because the “LOCAL” slaves will never see through this “MOVE”.