26 June, 2019

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General Involved In January 8th Coup Attempt To Be Sent To New York As UN Military Attache

By Taniya Raymond

In Colombo newsrooms there is a don’t ask don’t tell policy on the coup attempt on January 8th. Colombo Telegraph and several newspapers reported on it back then in 2015, but now nobody wants to talk about it. We almost live in denial that it happened. Well, it did. It happened. There’s clear evidence as reported by several newspapers and (most high ranking state officials with access to this information) that troops were moved into camps in Panagoda and and a compound in Mattakkuliya to attempt a military coup. Forget the media, our Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera himself, in a press conference, stated that there was a military coup attempt that night.sumedha-perera

Maj. General Sumedha Perera

It was hard to believe then, that the democracy we have lived in was soon to be pulled from under our feet and we were going to be in history books with Thailand, Myanmar and dozens of African nations for being victim to a military coup. But today, what is hard to believe is that we don’t talk about it. And nobody responsible for it was/ nor is being prosecuted. How can something so big simply slip our mind? I won’t lie, for a journalist, someone who’s supposed to be responsible for keeping up with this kind of crucial information, it had slipped my mind too. It didn’t occur to me until I received a news with a familiar name on it. The news was about the new nominee for the post of military attache’ to the UN mission in New York, a post once held by Channel 4 documentary star Shavendra Silva. The name of the new nominee read Maj. General Sumedha Perera. This name sounded so familiar. I immediately had a flashback of the names of those involved in last year’s military coup attempt. But I was in denial; it wasn’t possible that the government would do such a thing. They wouldn’t betray us so openly. I went back to our folder on the Jan 8th events and looked through it very carefully. This was the same Sumedha Perera who led the Gajaba troop to Colombo for the coup.

When Gotabaya Rajapaksa was an officer in the Sri Lankan Army his regiment was the Gajaba regiment. When he became the Secretary of Defence, he took Gajaba under his wing, and built a strong personal army of loyalists from the regiment. For those who don’t recall the details for the coup attempt, here’s the gist in a few words: the coup attempt on the night of the January 8th 2015 election was organized by Gotabaya loyalists. On the night of the presidential election Gajaba battalions of several thousand troops were dispersed to colombo from Gajaba Regiment Saliyapura camp in Anuradhapura. The commander of the Gajaba regiment Major General A K S Perera curated the dispersal of these troops.

Last year, C. A. Chandraprema, political columnist, wrote “Gota’s War” eulogising Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s contribution to the crushing of the northern insurgency, indirectly rubbishing claims that Sarath Fonseka, as Army Commander, was the principal architect of the military victory. The book was written and published before the discovery of the mass graves at Matale. In the book, in Chapter 28 titled ‘The Second JVP Insurrection’, the author makes an unintended revelation. He writes at page 173: “On 1 May 1989, with Colonel Wimalaratne being promoted to the rank of Brigadier, Gota was made the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment…With this promotion, he was posted to Matale as the district coordinating officer tasked with bringing the JVP under control. The first Gajaba Battalion, which had been in Trincomalee for nearly one and a half years, was brought down to Matale. Lieutenants Shavendra Silva, Jagath Dias and Sumedha Perera were among his company commanders in Matale…(p 177) Gota remained the security coordinating officer of Matale until the end of the second JVP insurrection. In January 1990, he applied for three months leave and went to the USA to see his family.”

In the early 2000s when Sumedha Perera was a Major he was dismissed from the Sri Lanka Army and sent on compulsory leave for allegations on forging documents to possess the Obeysekera mansion in Rajagiriya. But after Gotabaya assumed duties as Secretary of Defence he cleared his fellow Gajaba officer of his legal ramifications and took him back into the Army. Perera went on to be one of Gota’s right hand men. Despite having a track record of having committed a severe crime of property theft and being dismissed from the Army ( a disciplinary action that most military officers can never recover from) Perera went on to be promoted to General and have an outstanding military career that no officer with his kind of past could afford to. We all know that this wasn’t a story about Gota’s forgiveness and faith in humanity and second chances. Gota always expected his loyalist to payback his favors.

During the Rajapaksa regime corruption spanned through all sectors: the state sector, the foreign service and the private sector. Today it is no different. Last week the government nominated Major General Sumedha Perera to a high ranking diplomatic post as the military attache` to the Sri Lankan United Nations Mission in New York. Why is our Government providing Diplomatic Immunity to its traitors? The provision of diplomatic immunity to those under investigation, those with allegations of war crimes was a technique used by the Rajapakses. (eg. Shavendra Silva) This is opens up an interesting revelation. Why is there such a heavy influence under this government to protect Rajapaksa loyalists? Are the Rajapaksas still making the calls? Or is the Maithri-Ranil government trying find loopholes in the system to shove the coup attempt investigation under the carpet? Either way, there is a massive injustice taking place here to the 6 million citizens who voted to change these ways.

We voted on the 8th of January hoping for change. The Maithri- Ranil anti-corruption election campaign promised us justice, prosecution of the corrupt and un-doing of the government’s pre -existing systems of injustice. But our government keeps letting us down.

Here we are almost 2 years later, with only a couple of constitutional amendments to brag about; nothing much else. Our incomes, our quality of life, and corruption of the state hasn’t changed much.

Everyday there are new stories of corruption that come into our newsrooms. Most of the time they get scrapped because of the political connections of our editors. They often get phone calls from politicians, military and state officials to keep things smooth; to not talk about how their children used state perks to smuggle their blacklisted friends abroad, about the costs of certain government delegations, about corruption scandals in the military. But isn’t that our job as journalists to talk about it? To give citizens their rightful access to information? Citizens who have access to online sources may have some access to news that is often censored out of print and electronic media but what about the rest? A coup didn’t happen on the 8th of January; democracy was sustained. But is it still a democracy if citizens can’t exercise their right to information?

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Latest comments

  • 11
    1

    Gota must be having a hearty laugh!

    • 9
      0

      Well the UN and United States Govt can refuse a visa to him!

      • 1
        0

        Dude – Well FM Mangala, who cried foul on 08th Jan/2015, will
        stand guarantee and visa will be given.

    • 10
      0

      JVP should lodge a protest against this appointment – this guy needs to be charged for murder of JVP youth!

    • 10
      9

      ohh please the USA embassy would have been the first to raise the issue of the so called coup. a story of fiction, just like a online news site so called that said GOTA left on a sea plane with gold and cash to the Maldives, and MR kids fled to china.. remember that true story…. hmmm wonder where we saw this fiction just like the coup story.

      • 0
        0

        Good one. People have short memories and ‘journalists’ (minions of political activists) play on that.

    • 1
      0

      Plato – That too, to USA where all their wealth is.

  • 8
    1

    Well, nowadays elections are all about choosing the less evil… less stupid.. and the least corrupt… so this was not a pure surprise for us…
    but by the way something else caught my eye “Everyday there are new stories of corruption that come into our newsrooms. Most of the time they get scrapped because of the political connections of our editors. They often get phone calls from politicians, military and state officials to keep things smooth; to not talk about how their children used state perks to smuggle their blacklisted friends abroad, about the costs of certain government delegations, about corruption scandals in the military. But isn’t that our job as journalists to talk about it? “

  • 3
    0

    Lol

  • 9
    1

    For solace of the writer I should mention thanks to the Australian Federal Police a fraud that took place during the last regime has come to light.

    • 0
      0

      You mean Gota’s/Namal’s people smuggling racket ?

  • 11
    1

    For Ranil, he must be a Royalist!

  • 9
    4

    Get the filth who paid millions to the tigers to stop vote for Ranil before the courts and finish these vermin pretending to be Buddhist.

  • 8
    1

    that is why we will always be third world.we can’t expect to send third world quality politicians into parliament and expect a miracle baby coming out.

  • 16
    0

    Hey Taniya;

    You have said;

    “We voted on the 8th of January hoping for change. The Maithri- Ranil anti-corruption election campaign promised us justice, prosecution of the corrupt and un-doing of the government’s pre -existing systems of injustice. But our government keeps letting us down.”

    No my dear, we have voted to replace one gang of deplorable with another gang of deplorable. There is no choice in Sri Lankan politics as long as we are cursed with the existing parliamentary election system. Ranil and MR love it and Maithri is a prisoner of his associate and political follies. No wonder they rejoiced the death of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero.

    Only thieves, mafia bosses, rapists, murderers, child molesters, drug peddlers, psychopaths, sex traders and ethanol merchants are allowed to represent the people in the parliament.

    The Media perverts have been promoting one gang or the other since 1953 and have participated in the dirty deeds of the politician including adding legitimacy for the activities of Yamapalakayas in the seat of power in Colombo.

  • 2
    0

    This is a “second” for Sri Lanka –
    A dismissed army officer reinstated, promoted and now given a top post abroad.

    The “first” was the army general who was arrested because he dared to contest the presidency, jailed by army court martial (pronounced to be equal to ‘any other court’ by the Supreme Court), served his sentence, reinstated later and even promoted to be the very first Field Marshal, and now, even made a minister.
    He recently attended an army seminar wearing full uniform, on ‘Soft Power’.

    • 2
      1

      Justice:

      Overseas living Tamils are pissed off.

      • 4
        0

        jim softy dimwit

        Does Sumedha Perera look like a typical Aryan? When did his forefathers arrive on this island?

  • 7
    4

    Now where’s the evidence of the coup?..oh! you mean what avamngala Said!!

    • 2
      1

      Exactly. The real coup was the regime change that took place, This was been plotted for over two years according to. MS and his partner in crime. CBK. The other coup which this author so cofidently talks about is only speculation.

      Reply to. NAK.

      • 0
        0

        You have been brainwashed as no other.

        Unfortunatley, MR media units and their focus was fully met on that than anything else. Even today they do the job well.. Daily Mirror, Derana and Hiru do it even today…

        How foolish you and the gras easting volunteers should be.. what else you can give to the nation ?

        Take good care of you Saro, at least have your grey matter checked for your surivival.. that will only be a good step to forward.

  • 9
    4

    Tanya Raymond:

    General Involved In January 8th Coup Attempt To Be Sent To New York As UN Military Attache

    If he did not obey the superior how he should had been considered.

    Tanya, you are from which country ?

    Why you people come to fork finger in Sri lankan affairs. Can not find work in your country ?

  • 7
    3

    This is a serious matter that the government must take care for both its own security and to preserve the revolutionary changes that the 8th of January 2015 Presidential election and the General Eelection of the same year made possible.Gota during his reign of terror as personified by the WHite van culture to destroy professionalism in the areas that came under him,planting incompetent persons in high places whose only “competence” was blind loyalty to the Rajapaksa junta.

    Infact many institutions were ruined in this manner.So these nincompoops are now acting as sleeper cells waiting for the Gota’s command to pounce.Take for instant that Colonne guy, an open Gota acolyte who still continues to serve in the Defence Ministry in a important position.Then there is his sister in the Foreign Ministry who was openly working with the Rajapasas only to switch sides and pretend absolute loyalty to the yahapalanaya government.She is now well entrenched in the inner circles and it is common knowledge of how she is briefing the Rajapaksas continuously through her brother.She has become so important that she is said to be sure to go to Geneva as Ambassador though having just over 10 years of experience. The assaulted ambassador in Malasia and his loyalties is another case.There are many more such sleeper cells in many other important places,They will surely undermine the plans of the government while pledging absolute locality and the government will not know what hit it until it is too late, if no action is taken to weed these people out.

  • 3
    0

    This is what I read in an editorial elsewhere:”It looks as if we had to wait till the next change of government to have allegations of corruption against the members of the present administration probed and the culprits brought to justice. It is being claimed in some quarters that the government has launched a witch hunt against its opponents. One thing good about the action being taken against the JO is that its members will have their rivals currently savouring power probed if they come back to power. The FCID and the CID will be used for that purpose.People always stand to gain when thieves fall out because the latter tend to squeal on one another after breaking ranks.”
    That’s the only way left for the general public to punish the current lawbreakers!

  • 3
    3

    Cave Canem!We don’t need no more Fredricas!

  • 6
    3

    This article borders lunacy! Jeez …..

  • 1
    1

    Well… Once this man is out of the country and a new person appointed in his stead, maybe Gota will lose some control he now has over the Gajaba regiment… this government is shrewd…

  • 2
    1

    This Taniya Raymond woman should know her facts before doing articles of this nature. This officer was totally acquitted from the High Court case. It seems that somebody is feeding her with distorted stories for their own benefit to get rid of our highly decorated senior military officers.People who know this officer know him as a great field commander who has proved himself in the height of battle in many instances, being brave, loyal, dedicated, a very honest officer & a gentleman who has served his best for the Sri Lanka Army & our Motherland.
    This coup allegation is so serious.If so by now the government should have taken appropriate action against it.Our gallant highly professional army is not an army of a banana republic.

    • 4
      0

      Patriot

      “Our gallant highly professional army is not an army of a banana republic.”

      Exactly, its worse than that.

      When IPKF landed on this island, these gallant professional army was hiding behind VP’s bump.

  • 0
    0

    Gen Sumedha Perera is going to be a problem for the LTTE Diaspora in USA, because he is very articulate about presenting Sri Lanka’s case in USA. So the heartburn reaction on this forum is well understood.

  • 0
    0

    If he has been acquitted by Colombo High Court why all this noise.Its look like a part of the plan to ridicule and discredit our war heros who protected our country in the past.Maj Gen Shavendra,Jagath Dias and Sumedha gave their service to protect the Country . Is it a sin to supress the 1989 insurection and eradicating terriosm from our mother land? If this mud slinging continues no one from armed forces will come forward to protect our country in the future .
    If there was a coup why did not the Government looked in to it.Its a very serious matter to be left un addressed .
    It seems these are all fabricated stories to demoralize our War Heros .
    Its worth verifying facts before publishing articles of this nature.

    • 0
      0

      “If he has been acquitted by Colombo High Court why all this noise.”

      We all know how well our so called ” independent ” judiciary functioned under your Mafia Boss’es rule , don’t we ? remember CJ Shirani Bandaranayake , that saga itself is a good indicator to remind us how brutal Mara was .

      “Its look like a part of the plan to ridicule and discredit our war heros who protected our country in the past.Maj Gen Shavendra,Jagath Dias and Sumedha gave their service to protect the Country “”

      It’e very easy to cover-up every damn crime under the ” war hero” label , people know who really fought the war and who didn’t , the chaps you mentioned above were the guys who betrayed their Army commander and switched sides for their own personnel gains .

      “Is it a sin to supress the 1989 insurection and eradicating terriosm from our mother land? “

      No it’s not , but the manner in which both insurrection and terrorism were defeated is a big puzzle for the decent civilised world !

      “If this mud slinging continues no one from armed forces will come forward to protect our country in the future “

      Really ? then what you have got to say about jailing the war winning General ? what about summary dismissal of high ranking Army officers on the whims and fancies of Gota the Goon !

      “If there was a coup why did not the Government looked in to it.Its a very serious matter to be left un addressed .”

      A very good question indeed , why haven’t MR, Shiranthi and the Goon Gota been interrogated ? where is that 2005 presidential election bribery scandal case which involved prabakaran ? where are those Walkada , Rathpussalawa , katunanayake massacre cases ? where is LTTE Gold ? who actually profited from it ? answer lies there for your question, mate .

      “It seems these are all fabricated stories to demoralize our War Heros . Its worth verifying facts before publishing articles of this nature.”

      Here we go again , haven’t we over heard this Cock & Bull story ? your so called war heroes have been overrated and pampered far too much , in reality , the real war heroes are the ones who fought in the battle field and got injured :furthermore, all the top generals whom you have mentioned are Gota’s lackeys .

  • 0
    0

    Taniya Raymond

    ‘ A coup didn’t happen on the 8th of January; democracy was sustained. But is it still a democracy if citizens can’t exercise their right to information?’

    This is exactly the point .It is virtually impossible to prove intent purely by showing troop movements.Is there some recorded order or some written document,demonstrating a coup attempt? The answer is no.

    I am sure this is a figment of your fertile imagination or the desire to see a coup attempt by the Yahapalana Brothers! Because in your logic why will MR & co give up power without batting an eyelid…..That is the issue

  • 0
    0

    Taniya Raymond

    Welcome to the reality. You can not just write anything and getaway.

    The real Coup was hatched between Sirisena & CBK with their accomplices to topple the GOSL……….
    Why don’t you write about these real Coup plotters????????????

    Taniya Raymond thinking need to be embarmed by Barney or AF Ramonds

    • 1
      0

      “The real Coup was hatched between Sirisena & CBK with their accomplices to topple the GOSL………. Why don’t you write about these real Coup plotters???????????? “

      Having a reasonable fair and free election and then allowing people to practise their franchise to elect the most suitable person to the highest position in SL , which part is the coup ? Had MY3 or CBK bribed any of the LTTE terrorists to boycott the presidential election like your Mafia Boss did in 2005 ? Mafia boss must go to jail for that crime , he is the biggest terrorist that SL has ever produced ;furthermore, Mafia Boss had destroyed the fabrics of the decent SL society .

      • 0
        0

        Coming colour is no good to Mafia Boss in next days.

        Almost everything related to the Wasim becomes clearer day to another entire family will have to be convicted alone for that high crime.

  • 0
    0

    We seem to constantly forget that Sirisena and Wickremesinghe are also politicians and are therefore capable of being like the Rajapakses, or even worse! As much as it is hard to accept, two years after the ‘miraculous’ turn of events, shouldn’t we admit it this reality?
    Every single accusation, arrest and indictment has been stage managed to divert attention from a more pressing disaster. This does not obviously excuse the rampant corruption and theft during the last regime. The recent Entrust fraud is a case in point. The amounts are mind numbing!!! What did they do with this money?? This still does NOT excuse the current lot of thieves running the show.

  • 0
    0

    What malicious gossip. The man has written a reply stating this article is totally untrue. How do people sleep after sullying others without any basis ? Only in SL.

    • 0
      0

      “What malicious gossip. The man has written a reply stating this article is totally untrue. How do people sleep after sullying others without any basis ? Only in SL. “

      So , just replying is suffice to acquit him over these serious allegations , why don’t you ask him to sue the writer instead ? actually people wouldn’t be able to sleep without knowing the real truth behind these stories.

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