It’s eight years since Lasantha was murdered. Recorded conversations between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Lasantha Wickrematunge have been released to the media via websites. That is understandable if one puts his thinking hat on. The persons releasing them do not want to be identified. It also means such is released for public consumption and not for legal reasons. Public consumption without legal scrutiny means the released tapes will only have one purpose. Tilt public opinion.
The first leaked tape was initially sent to Colombo Telegraph. As is normal with Colombo Telegraph standard procedure we did an analysis for our readers without simply reproducing it. For reasons best known to the whistleblowers the subsequent leak was not sent to us. Nevertheless since it is in the public domain we shall discuss it.
There are basically two sides to the story of Lasantha’s murder. That of Lasantha and the other of Lasantha’s murderers. Now consider. Who would gain from releasing these conversations and who would have taped them? Both Lasantha and Mahinda could have taped. So let us consider both possibilities. If Lasantha did and given the gist of the conversations, what is to be gained by releasing them now? Who would have had access to his tapes, eight years after his death?
His cell phone was taken after the murder by a thief and later recovered by the Police and handed over to Court. It is yet in the custody of the Court. Of course it would have been possible possible to transfer the recorded conversations from a phone to another device by Lasantha. Let us assume that was done by Lasantha. In whose custody was it after his death and why release it now. The secret and also the raison d’etre, is in the gist of the conversation. There is nothing to be gained for Lasantha in the conversation thus released. If he was accused of whispering UNP secrets to Mahinda as was reported immediately after his murder by pro Mahinda groups, there was no sign of that. If at all the conversations reflected Lasantha advising Mahinda on corruption within his government and also the harassment of journalists.
It is also apparent from the second recorded release that it was the infamous doctor of dubious repute who had been the go between. Pretending to be snow white, he seems to have been the facilitator between the two. It’s almost akin to him giving steroid to an athlete prior to taking part in Olympics knowing that he/she would be tested. But we digress. Such persons would fish in troubled waters and would even steal power from the National Grid.
Without any remorse !!!
Let us ponder. If Lasantha had nothing to gain from releasing these conversations, who would have been at an advantage? The answer is clear. What advantage would have accrued to Mahinda? There has been elaborate attempts to inform the public that Mahinda was a friend of Lasantha. True to an extent. He was. But that was before Lasantha exposed the Helping Hambantota deal. We have also read how he used filthy language on Lasantha over the phone many times and vowed to destroy him which Lasantha reported in his paper without a murmur of denial by Mahinda.
It is understood universally that mediamen do speak to politicians despite them having been admonished and vilified. Vice versa is always not true but Mahinda being the quintessential politician would have done so. We know that. So given the probabilities it appears as if Mahinda taped these conversations and released them via guerilla mail addresses. Why? We do not know. Perhaps he scents something which we do not. It will not be long though before it becomes apparent.
There is yet another distinct but remote possibility. Sections of the armed or security forces who carried out clandestine ops during Mahinda’s presidency including intercepting and recording conversations, could have recorded these conversations and/ or would have been tasked to hold them for future reference or had access to such. if so, why would they release them now and on whose instructions? To fix Mahinda or some within his fold for Lasantha’s murder or to show he had no reason to murder Lasantha. One of the two.