By Colombo Telegraph –
The brother of state terror victim urged any national or international organisation to help identify his brother’s remains by DNA profiling the victims skeletal remains found in Matale.
Bandula Idamegama the brother of late Ananda Idamegama, then the leader of the inter-university students’ federation told the Colombo Telegraph; “He was a final year engineering student in the mid 80s when he was expelled from the Peradeniya University by the Udalagama Commission for his student activism as an idealistic youth. He was then the leader of the inter-university students’ federation and it was also rumoured that he had been a member of the JVP‘s then Central Committee.”
“Incidentally, Kumar Gunaratnam‘s brother Ranjitam Gunaratnam was a contemporary of my brother and he too was killed. Both Shantha Bandara and my brother had entered their respective universities, from Science College, Matale.” He said.
“As for my brother, my information is that the plain-clothed security personnel had picked him up at the Dambulla Pola, based on information extracted from the person he was to have met there, on that particular day. We know that they tortured and killed him. But our family expects accountability in this regard. My guess is that his remains too might be among those being unearthed now.”
“As Ananda’s brother I am keen to know the circumstances of his murder: who gave the order to disappear him and who carried it out, when and where. Was his corpse burned or just dumped in a mass grave? Our dearest wish now is to get Anandan’s remains back so we can give him a decent burial,” he said further.
Magistrate Chathurika de Silva told a court in the central town of Matale last Wednesday that tests carried out by archaeological and judicial medical officers show the skeletal remains found inside the premises of a government hospital dated back to between 1987 and 1990. During that period thousands of men and women suspected of having ties to the rebels disappeared after being arrested by security forces.
Bandula Idamegama said; “Ever since political independence was given to us by the British colonial rulers virtually on a platter, Lanka has been dabbling in Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist politics. The taxpayer-maintained state apparatus, including the police and the armed forces too are still being utilized by the majority Sinhalese Buddhists for the said purpose, a la former communist countries led by the former USSR which, incidentally, is 15 independent republics today. Having said that, I reiterate that we – my mother, three sisters and I – do expect accountability and justice for my brother, Ananda Idamegama’s enforced disappearance. This we expect a citizens of our country – who did what to him and when and where?”
“Last year, C A Chandraprema, the political writer, wrote ‘Gota’s War’ eulogising Gotabaya Rajapakse’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. But that book was written and published before the discovery of the mass graves at Matale. In that book, in the twenty-eighth chapter titled ‘The Second JVP Insurrection’, the author makes an unintended revelation. He writes on 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.”