The daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge has accused Sri Lanka’s criminal investigation department (CID) of offences under the Bribery Act, for attempting to aid MiG-deal suspect Udyanga Weeratunga to evade justice, according to a complaint filed with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption last week.
Ahimsa Wickrematunge whose father was murdered in January 2009 after his newspaper – The Sunday Leader – published a series of explosive exposes about the same corruption scandal involving the procurement of MiG-27 aircraft in 2006 complained to the Bribery Commission that she believed the CID and its new Director SSP Thilakaratne could be charged with intent to confer a wrongful and unlawful benefit, favour or advantage on Weeratunga who was successfully extradited to Sri Lanka from the UAE this month.
Lasantha Wickrematunge’s daughter has often linked her father’s killing to his reporting on the MiG deal which also implicated then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the corruption scandal.
“I firmly believe that my father’s murder stemmed from his efforts to investigate the crimes with which Mr. Weeratunga is charged. The CID has revealed, since 2015, that at least three additional people were killed in an attempt to cover up my father’s murder,” Ahimsa Wickrematunge charged in her complaint.
“The MiG corruption scandal has already claimed too many lives,” Wickrematunge’s complaint to the Bribery Commission said. “I believe that those responsible must be brought to justice and the matter must be laid to rest, once and for all.”
The daughter of the slain journalist said that: “An immediate, thorough and impartial investigation by CIABOC may be the only way to prevent the present CID leadership from releasing Mr. Weeratunga and his coconspirators of responsibility for their crimes,” urging the Bribery Commission to launch an investigation into the conduct of top officials at the agency.”
FCID investigations over a period of five years have revealed that Weeratunga, who is first cousin to both President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, masterminded the corrupt aircraft deal, while serving as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Ukraine. However when Weeratunga was produced in court as a suspect, the CID failed to submit a document certifying that the President’s first cousin had committed offences under the Public Property Act, to the value of over Rs 25,000. The lackadaisical attitude of the CID was seen as a blatant attempt to assist Weeratunga to get bail. Key officials in charge of the investigation at the FCID and the CID were also transferred out of the departments as soon as the Government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was officially informed that Weeratunga’s extradition process was complete and he could finally be returned to Sri Lanka to face justice.
The CID’s extremely strange behavior was remarked upon at length by Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake who is supervising the MiG investigation and whose court issued the first warrant for Weeratunga’s arrest in 2016.
Wickrematunge’s complaint called on the Bribery Commission to “peruse the case record of B 639/2015, call for records from the CID pertaining to the extradition of Weeratunga and the transfer of Francis, and interview individuals familiar with the facts such as Hon. Ranga Dissanayake, DSG Thusith Mudalige and CI Nihal Francis.
According to Wickrematunge’s complaint, if the Bribery Commission conducted this investigation, “sufficient evidence would emerge to charge and convict CID officers including Mr. Thilakaratne, with intent to confer a wrongful and unlawful benefit, favour or advantage on Udayanga Weeratunga, of:
1. Doing and forbearing several acts which they were empowered to do by virtue of their office as a public servant, to wit – (a) the irregular request to the AIGP that CI Nihal Francis be removed from the CID, and (b) the failure to properly produce Weeratunga before the Magistrates Court and seek his remand in terms of the Offences Against Public Property Act;
2. Using information coming to their knowledge by virtue of their office as a public servant, to wit – (a) knowledge that the government of the UAE were prepared to extradite Mr. Weeratunga to Sri Lanka; and (b) knowledge that a large body of evidence existed against Weeratunga for having committed grave financial crimes against the State.”
The body of evidence discovered should be more than adequate to seek the conviction of the relevant police officers for the offence of corruption, in terms of Section 70 of the Bribery Act, Wickrematunge said, urging the Bribery Commission to open an investigation into the matter in the public interest.
Full text of Ahimsa Wickrematunge’s complaint to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption can be read here
L.D. / February 29, 2020
I really value this young lady’s untiring effort to bring her father’s killers to justice. My heart goes out for her. Though we cannot expect any justice from this regime, as regime is the culprit, I have a strong hope the culprits will get the Natural Justice sooner or later. My dear Ahimsa, we pray for that justice every single day by using the power of truth.
Bunjappu / March 1, 2020
These are just ELECTION tactics to mislead the very same sentiments again. But the huge money grabs done over the decades by this BP Udayanga Weerathunge would not come to surface. They will surely bring the man back to power by appointing him as next high commissioner to a country as had been case with Jaliya Wikramasooriya, who is now under FDA investigation.
Who have they been fooling this way ? Patta pal horas become weerayas, with the educated being marginalized out of real politics. This country and nation would never end up being a real good country.
NAK / March 2, 2020
If what Ahimsa claims is true the regime that was governing the country since 2015 should have brought the killers to justice or at least should have initiated proceedings against the killers.
The reason that was not done is obviously the actual killers were with in ‘Jahapalana’ government and Ahimsa is not ‘Baba’ enough to understand that and she is also only playing polics with her fathers death.
K.A. Sumanasekera / February 29, 2020
Ms Ahimsa will be able to afford a top PC to front up to the Colombo Fort Magistarte this time, with the sort of money Ms Ahimsa paid in Los Angles last time.
I know Ali Sabry the Gun PC wouldn’t be available even for US rates..
Wonder whether the other Gun PC Abraham will volunteer?..
Anyway , can’t understand why Ms Ahimsa is going for Bribery Charges, when the CID bosses specially the Yahapalana ones have interrogated so many ex Rajapakasas Regime officers .
And have so many Dossiers to pin Conspiracy to Kidnap at least, although the Yahapalana PM in the last regime has on record in the Hansard , alleging that the same Ponseka the former Army Boss as the killer ,who was promoted by Dr Rani’s mate as a Field Marshall ( Rtd ) after the Yahapalanaya kicked in..
Justin Case / March 1, 2020
Gun PC Ali Sabry’s rates pale into insignificance when compared with Gun PC Romesh de Baldsing Silva, who is known to charge 35 million smackers for an appearance, yes Sir, 35mio !!!
Clearly this brave lady has no crime to hide big enough to warrant that kind of dosh, but perhaps some other scoundrels do.
Wonder whether the gravy from the MiG, the Air Bus and gun running deals such as Avant Garde will be copious enough to cover the costs of all the future appearances when the going gets hot for your hero, Horikada Sumane, but then there’re a few more miles to go before that happens, and a few more fields full of militarised hurdles to conquer; but conquered they will be, as my elders are telling me.
K.A. Sumanasekera / March 1, 2020
Just in Case, I am blown away , Mate..
Uncle Romesh collects 35 Million Bux for an appearance..Insane..
That is more than three Triple Bypasses at Nawaloaka Private Hospital..
I don’t know about the NGOs in Colombo, but Prez Nandasena, I don’t think could afford even Ali Sabry, even if Ali charged only one tenth of it.
May be I should go to Google to see who are paying that sort of Dosh to this Dude .Romesh de Baldsing .
It must be the top end of the town UNP people who have amassed those several hundred Billions from Bond Trading ..
I am sure Ms Ahimsa would have to depend on Probono work from those other Gun Lawyers who have devoted themselves to look after our Inhabitants and mould them into Singaporeans..
Simon De Silva / February 29, 2020
it is a feeling of a daughter whose father was murdered down on broad day light. If I would have been the victimized party, I would have ended up being a person who would suicide to the manner nothern terrorists became This victimized young lady so as that Thajudeen family is helpless in every means. But they are also srilankens. Why a law works in favour of Rajapakshe and these citizens are forgotten in the same time. None of them would be served with justice, because srilanken systems are caught by Rajapakshes through their tactics. We the srilankens regardless of our ethnic backgrounds should be very ashamed to let these buggers be our leaders. tHE murder was misterious so was that of Jamal Khashoggi, the Journalist who got killed in Saudi Embassay in Turkey two years ago.
Desperate Sinhalaya / February 29, 2020
What would u do if Ur father,brother or anyone in Ur family would have been murdered that way? If one of the bps of rajapakse family was killed, no Mahindra god father of high criminals would topple the nation by rabble-rousing saffron clad vandalist monks. Mahindra is very selfish bugger who don’t care about the increasing numbers of destitute in the country. The we the democrats could breath in properly would be the day bps rajapskshes are hung by their ball s for all the high crimes they deliberately perpetrated to very same nation but by palatable tone.
ROHAN JOHNPILLAI / February 29, 2020
ahimsa, daughter as long as the rajapuka’s rule the roost nothing will ever happen.?
I being a UNP supporter have been disappointed by the antics of Ranil.w the undisputed leader of the party.
he promised a lot and whilst being the PM played a bandu pandu with the classless lowlife rajapuk.’s
as long as this bankrupt clan the rajapuka’s rule the roost nothing will occur.
they will with absolute disdain drive the nail into the coffins to make this much suffering beleaguered once upon a time a nirvana to become the world’s biggest bankrupt hellhole.?
what this nation very very badly needs is another fearless Velupillai Prabhakaran to put this once beloved isle right.?
there were no crimes of any sort in Tamil Eelam during his tenure.
now it’s a criminals paradise.?
if velu annai was around he would with pleasure taken the entire rajapuka clan their criminal gang members to the funeral directors ask them to select their own caskets then give them the last supper with a meal of their choice, then lead them in procession right around the city once they select their choice of lampost they are tied onto it and whilst being alive in their senses a powerful bullet or two is shot into their ear of their own choice.
this is why Tamil Eelam was a crime-free society.?
no old white uncles/aunts around to pollute the atmosphere.
cheers, the one & only fighter to the oppressed.
NAK / March 2, 2020
Sad that Johnpulle couldn’t join his beloved boss VP.
It is true that during VP’d time there were crime in the north other than what VP’s licenced criminals
Good Sense / February 29, 2020
Still my thoughts are with the slain member of the fourth estate, Lasantha Wickramatunge. We as citizens have a right to know what exactly is the cause of death without any wavering, who is responsible for it and bring them to justice. I do understand the emotions of Ms. Ahimsa. I humbly suggest to her to concentrate on the vital few to nab the culprits of this ghastly murder as opposed to other incidental matters.
Buddhist / February 29, 2020
Before Lasantha’s Daughter took this action, Buddhist Monks, Mahanayakes, Cardinal, GMOA, Pohottuwa pachayo, BBS, Wijedasa Rajapakse, Weerawansa, Dilan, SB, Keheliya, Speaker, Gammanpilla and others ask for this action?
Spring Koha / March 1, 2020
Promises made. Promise kept. Come home boy. All will be forgiven. Secrets safe. Yes, they will shout, but dead men tell no tales. We will all live happily ever after. After all this is Sri Lanka, the Serendib of Legends where every good happens.,
shankar / March 1, 2020
will she suceed with gota as the president ,when she failed to do anything about her father’s murder when gota stooge sirisena was the president?Also did ranil even lift his little finger to help her?
K.A. Sumanasekera / March 2, 2020
Shanker, I thought Dr Ranil had a big finger to control all those Boys at Sriktha for that long . And to do the same still ,,,,
Plato. / March 1, 2020
Those involved in the MIG DEAL, and the Murder of Lasantha Wicrematunga have returned to Power and to Rule. The whole family; MaRa, GoRa, BaRa and their kith and kin.
All state agencies will meekly toe their line.notwithstanding the 19th Amendment.
Under these circumstances, is Justice possible,let alone probable?
Fortunately, Fort Magistrate is the Silver lining. We need to admire Ranga Dissanayake for not falling prey, and of-course Ahimsa for not giving up hope!