17 July, 2019

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Leaked Tapes By Mahinda Begs More Questions Than Answers

The leaked tape of a conversation between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Lasantha Wickrematunge was received by Colombo Telegraph four days ago. Whilst Colombo Telegraph was in the process of analysing the contents of the leak, many web sites carried the now infamous tape yesterday. Colombo Telegraph received this mail sent via a guerrilla email address to “Capture” the footage for publishing.mahinda_rajapaksa-tilak

There is no gainsaying that the voices belong to Mahinda and Lasantha, though it cannot be ruled out whether several conversations were pieced together. Not withstanding that the doctoring of the tape with a hissing noise in several places to cover the words “Commander”at best a poor attempt. This has been deliberately done to confuse the listener. The reference to Commander could be from the Army, Navy or Air Force. But a careful study makes it clear that the Commander in question is from the Navy.

It does not take a Sherlock Holmes to surmise that the leak came from Mahinda. Mahinda initiated the call and he taped it. Colombo Telegraph will give reasons for the leak coming eight years after the murder of the Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Those who followed the early days after Lasantha’s murder must recall the other inspired leak of Mahinda via Victor Ivan, Editor of Ravaya. Mahinda at the time had hinted that Lasantha was leaking UNP secrets to him. Probably to show that the murdered Editor was not to be trusted. The tapes were finally leaked. EIGHT YEARS later. Mahinda probably thinks it’s advantageous to him at this stage. The reader must ponder why it is advantageous to Mahinda at present. Read on….lasa

The conversation itself is edited prior to leaking as one can plainly hear. The important part of the conversation refers to some procurement by the military. It appears that the Navy Commander of that time Wasantha Karannagoda was the person who has been reluctant to talk to the Sunday Leader after the newspaper had referred to some tender in a previous issue. Lasantha also speaks of “him”( Navy Commander) perhaps thought that the article was a part of a conspiracy between Gen. Sarath Fonseka and the military to discredit the Navy Commander. Lasantha also refers to Siri Fernando, as the person behind the tender. Big Siri is the brother of Lalin Fernando, a former confidante of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

But listen carefully to the tape and it is clear that it was Mahinda who calls Lasantha. Someone gets Lasantha on the phone and passes on the instrument to Mahinda. But for a moment let us forget the gist of the conversation and ponder.

The conversation took place somewhere in May 2008. Mahinda says as per the tape, that he returned from Oxford the previous week. It was in May 2008 that Mahinda visited Oxford. So this conversation was a full seven months before Lasantha was murdered. During this period Gen Fonseka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Karannagoda and Mahinda were a close knit unit. Gen Fonseka became persona non grata only by end of May 2009, a full year after this conversation. Some sections of the conversation where references were made to the Navy Commander has deliberately been obliterated. But Gen. Fonseka’s name can be heard. The former President before disconnecting the phone invites the slain Editor to visit him.

Lasantha, during the conversation takes up the issue of corruption within Mahinda’s government and advices him to do something to minimize it. The late Editor states that he wrote about corruption even during the short lived Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government. He also says that there needs to be a coalition government between the UNP and SLFP, if the country is to prosper. Remember…. he said this in 2008 !!! Now let us analyze the whole scenario of this leaked tape.

It had to be Mahinda who taped this conversation. He said as much to Victor Ivan the Editor of Ravaya just days after Lasantha’s murder. The purpose, reported at the time, was to show that Lasantha was leaking UNP strategies to him. Why? To portray the late Editor to be someone who could not be trusted. To make people feel less of him and thereby treat his murder lightly. Some including fellow journalists did think so as a result. But not so the international media who kept this murder on the boil.

Why leak this at this time? Eight long years after the murder?
Does Mahinda or his close associates know something that the others do not to do so at this time?
Could Lasantha have recorded this conversation?
If so whose possession was it to be leaked now?
What is the advantage to Lasantha or the murder investigation in leaking this tape?
Who created the ghost email to forward this tape?
Why create a ghost email?

It is a well known fact that the investigations into Lasantha’s murder was suppressed by the Police and the TID under the Rajapaksa government. Four people have died or been killed to cover up for this murder. Jesudasan, Jayamanna, and two young tamil youth from Vavuniya. Lasantha’s note book lying on the passenger seat taken over by the Police immediately after from the murder scene had gone missing but recently it was reported the CID had through camera footage (taken by crime scene photographers) tracked down some vehicle numbers which led to valuable evidence to uncover the killings of the two young tamil youth from Vavuniya. Murdered simply to point the finger of suspicion towards the LTTE. Not many knew that the late Editor was left handed and could write easily whilst driving. The TID too reported to Courts that the LTTE were the prime suspects. After the change in government no less than a former IGP has been questioned about the missing note book.

With the fall of the Rajapaksa government and with the suppressed cases being handed over to fresh teams within the CID, NIB, new evidence has been thrown up. Thajudeen‘s case, Ekneligoda‘s case have now been classified as murders. A former DIG from the police, extremely close to the former Secretary Gotabaya and another senior officer have been remanded consequently. These officers were arrested after the fall of the Rajapaksa government. Thajudeen’s was classified as an accident and Ekneligoda as missing, during the Rajapaksa Presidency. NOW THEY ARE MURDERS.

One suspects that there must be headway similarly into the investigation into Lasantha Wickrematunge’s murder. Prosecutors have informed court that there is definite evidence to show that Military Intelligence was behind Lasantha’s murder. Though evidence to the contrary has not been found it is moot to say that those who rode motor bikes to kill Lasantha did so on orders of someone high up. They did not know Lasantha. The late Editor was a high profile figure and his murder was going to result in a political fall out. To whom? Isn’t it obvious? In fact elementary. So whoever who gave orders to kill would have had knowledge of or the assurance that the political fall out could be managed. Who could guarantee that? If not, who would take that risk?

It is in this back drop one has to look at the leaked tapes. Was the tape leaked to show that former President and Lasantha were friends? Why do such after eight years? The discussions in the leaked tapes do not reveal any secrets. In fact Lasantha speaks of an article that had been published and someone not wishing to talk to a Sunday Leader journalist to give his version. The rest is advice to the former President to curb corruption. Any journalist worth his salt will speak to any source, be it a President, Rapist or Terrorist. That is not the sole privilege of people within a government.

The only conclusion is that the former President or his acolytes leaked this to show that there was a friendship between Mahinda and Lasantha. Obviously there appears to have been such a friendship. That was seven months before Lasantha was killed. Mahinda and Gen Fonseka too were friends up to May 2009. But that did not stop Gen Fonseka being arrested after a few months, by Mahinda. The timing shows that the Mahinda camp knows something is brewing and needs an aside such as this. If this was done to show that Lasantha was Mahinda’s friend and therefore he would not harm him, it failed miserably. Recall how Lasantha was repeatedly assaulted, hauled to Court, harassed and threatened ? Where was his powerful friend then?

Is there some new evidence into Lasantha’s murder that has prompted Mahinda band wagon to react in this way? We will know sooner than later.

We publish below the “Capture” tape in full:

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Latest comments

  • 37
    7

    What is the use of rehashing this old drama. We know very well that no one will ever be prosecuted for this and all the other murders. We have a president who hailed the election of the outright scoundrel Trump because he would not have to investigate any of the atrocities committed during the war if Trump became president of the USA. This same president abused the poor investigating officers of the FCID and then had the chief suspect in this case released on bail. If the intelligence officer is not held responsible for committing the act of murder the accomplices and the conspirers will not be even questioned. We also have a PM who either cant say boo to a sheep or is suffering from some mental problem. He has no intention of firing anyone within the government sector who blatantly undermines his own government. From the central bank to the prison to the judiciary no one is held accountable.

    • 17
      32

      Lasantha was secretly passing UNP information to MR. Probably UNP has hand in his killing too. Don’t rule that out.

      • 16
        12

        Fathima Pukasudu,

        no efforts can be successeful even if anyone would work on that to hang it to UNP – with all the bits being surfaced sofar, Rajaakshe will have to face it – latest by the end of current regime – that can be one of the real reasons not tohave finalized the investigations sofar.

      • 17
        6

        You seem to have more information about Lasantha than others. Probably we shouldn’t rule out your involvement in his death

        • 7
          2

          AJ did you read the article ?

      • 2
        1

        Read CT’s articles on Lasantha.

    • 9
      2

      If noone would be prosecuted for all high crimes, it is high time put the pressure on lanken govt asking these men to be convicted.

      Even if the investigations are held on a snail pace – nothing is achieved to this date – except that Baratha Murder case -sending Duminda silva HIru sibling to jail but allowing the convicted criminal to abuse the prison with face book, free food, false hospital stay etc being granted -not yet the man was seen in jumper… but war won army commander was displayed for the relaliation – and to kill him raw… all have boomerang, but we cant yet see any other convictions reached in terms of Thadjudeen murder and other murders. Torments of tantalus the case for the victimized families.

    • 11
      0

      My problems of the day is – even if an another innocient man commited suicide claiming to be the gunner to have shot LW causing the death – but nothing like reported came to light – why a former army intelligence officer to choose that leaving his sons and wife that way ? It was also reported the person strangulated killing himself in Gamapaha district had paid a visit to Army camp just 2-3 days prior to the death incident.
      And who may have forced him to go for a suicide protecting one already in remand – as noted in the left behind chit (his hand writting or others was also not clear yet).
      Why the investigators keep all these away from public who stay torn in this regard for such a long time.
      One would not even imagine the way the victimized fmailies go thorugh with the loss and not serving the due justice in the post death period.
      Anyways, what is achieved by so called investigations sofar.
      I wish I could listen to what Lal Wickramthunga – the brother of LW, has to say today ….. why all these men stay mum ?
      If I had been one of them, I would have gone LIKE that heroine -Barathas daughter UNTIL the moment the investigators come up with the CONVICTION.
      Now we are keeping in darker than ever had been. Why ?

    • 9
      0

      SRILANKA IS TREMOURED BY MARALATHONIES (MOURNINGS THAT ARE FILLED WITH HIGHER DECIBELs) OF ALL THOSE VICTIMIZED FAMLIEIS:

      WHEN WOULD THEY BE SERVED WITH AWAITING DUE JUSTICE ?

      HOW MANY MORE DAYS, WKS, MONTHS, YEARS to be counted for CONVICTION ANNOUNCEMENTs ?

    • 8
      0

      Not many would add their thoughts to this – since they consider MR as Dracula.
      Alone reading his name seem scaring them.
      Just 21 comments sofar for a murder case that tremoured entired society.

  • 15
    1

    Anyone wit decent cyber tracking skills can figure out from where this email originated unless they used extreme cyber security messures which I doubt is the case..

    CT, spend some money and do the tracking..

    • 1
      0

      Josh you are brilliant than CID officers who doing the investigations .Surely I believe person who uploaded must be closely linked to the murderers .By up loading in this juncture it shows this murder was carefully planned this was attempt derail investigations.It is known theory & fact among in Criminologist & Detectives & most murderers visit the crime scene or take unusual interest or help investigative agency to nab the murderers to get rid of their guilty mindset.

      Sadly CID blocked by politicians it appears.Lately during MR regime like wise many other government agencies CID was filled by Medamulana loyalist most competent officers transferred out or cornered or their loyalty was bought by bribing them.For example I would show & example if you go to website of Law Order Ministry under vision & misson until recently appeared work according to Mahinda Chintanaya.I have many unpleasant experience CID was used victimized me.One incident former S/DIG (now in remand)held meeting lower ranking Police officers in Public stadium where I used exercised & pointed me them asked me harass in publicly .To my utter dismay CID officer in supervision rank was waiting in white shorts in the front gate Shame.Sadly Yahapalanaya is in deep slumber no wonder countrys in utter chaos !

  • 26
    4

    Further, Ranil wants to become a super minister with impunity. What kind of leaders do we have. They are all criminals themselves. How can they prosecute? MR still thinks that people can be fooled.

  • 9
    0

    I listen to the voice message, they were once very close pals. How come they become enemies. Has MR taken Lasantha that for a ride.

  • 7
    0

    Lasantha is the witness of his muder. He has said before he die who would kill him. He wrote the eulogy for his death. If the person was who pointed as going to murder him had an older friendship that is completely invalid.

    This is not a pickpocketing in the bus. Because nobody murder another one if they are completely unknown. Murder takes place for some known reason between the murderer and the victim, many times between friends, Business partners, relatives, husbands and wives….. This murder could have been because the existed knowledge of the corruption. Lansantha, by advising about corruption, has openly shown that he is aware of the corruption taking place. In contents of the edited part of the conversation of the tape, Lasantha might have been warned that his knowledge is going to be his Yama. That may be the reason Lasantha had knowledge of murder.

    If all 20 millions want to be well informed like Lasantha murder would not have taken place. One Lasantha and millions of modayas and acolytes made it is easy to get rid of the known one and make the knowledge not existed.

    What siad written, there is no need for any defense because UNP Yahapalanaya will not investigate any of the important cases. They even allowed to visit into prison and silence Pillaiyan. Now Pilliayan going to deny in the court that he never said anything like that.

    • 3
      4

      You’re talking nonsense. The eulogy was written by his second wife, who admitted as such some months later

      • 1
        0

        When she was accepting it she was in Lankawe or in some other countries?

        I know a lot of LTTEs confessing too!

  • 10
    3

    Looks this was about the time the murder plot was hatched having realized that Lasantha had gathered the full information regarding a massive corruption the family had involved. Mahinda initiated the call and recorded it, probably to test the water and see how far Lasantha was agitated and committed to disclose the information he was privy to. Both men keeping cool throughout the conversation seems to indicate that Lasantha didn’t directly figure point at family, but tacitly indicating corrupt practices would not go down well with him, suggesting at least if a minor case dealt with properly and punished, then others will fear of prosecution, as a result corruption would be deterred. Although not direct, but Lasantha seemed tying to explain that he would let go the past corruptions regardless of how massive they were, if Mahinda takes some actions to curb it. Mahinda however showed no interest on the subject, instead was trying to talk him out of the subject cracking some jokes. Perhaps Lasantha, one of the intelligent journalists the country has produced, would have felt then that the President initiating a pone call was doing a sounding on him.

    Releasing the tape now, I guess the family believes it was good enough to make public to gain some political mileage, maybe not in this forum yet, common folks might buy. He knows well his folks’ liking. If Mahinda believes in a minute fraction of Bhuddha’s teachings, he knew he was a coward and mean-spirited person. Killing someone who believed him a friend, and made him continue to believe so by making calls at nights is worst kind of breach of trust. He cannot and should not find piece within.

    Having done all these murders, he believed him facing the same kind of treatment Gadhafi received from his people, and this was the reason he called Ranil for his aids in the wee hours of 09th Jan 2015. No leader in the history of SL ever called the opposition leader to visit temple tree on the election night. And, some deals to safeguard him and the family from all these crimes were done in those difficult minutes. Ranil is not Mahinda, knowing what he did with Mahen, he will not renege, for him friendship is mutual, not to be taken advantage of for cruel purposes.

    Sad, those two Tamils used for muddy the case even get their names referred here. They also do equally have the rights to live in this planet as much as Mahinda does, but for criminals, that was the last things come to terms with.

  • 17
    10

    Who else other than Gota … The number one psychopath criminal in srilanka

  • 3
    7

    The deductive process in this essay is akin to Arthur Conan Doyles work The Hound of the Baskervilles with the celebrated Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson!
    Now who is this Hound?
    The elder brother or younger brother?

  • 10
    0

    I have just one simple question – is the present govt serious at all to bring the murderers to account for their actions. The President poking his nose and the PM not serious, it all but looks like nothing much has changed.

    • 7
      0

      Knowing SL political tactics one might guess that this prolonged delay is to use the Case
      at the correct time when it will be advantages to MS/RW. We have to be patient as we
      did for 7+ yrs.

  • 10
    5

    It sounds like the recording was done by Lasantha. If you listen carefully you’d see that his voice has an echo which usually happens when the voice is near the microphone. Mahinda’s voice is definitely coming through the phone.

  • 3
    2

    It’s very strange that both do not at any stage address or refer to each other by name in a friendly manner though the long conversation is among two friends.

    • 1
      0

      It is commonly know that saying the name of the other person will immediately alert anyone listening. Right Watson?

  • 3
    6

    If this news item is credible, what a pathetic telephone conversation. It was between two CONDESCENDING individuals. Unfortunately, one person happens to be the President of Sri Lanka. (Might well as say the President of a banana republic) Other bugger is dead and happens to be an Editor and founder of a local News Bulletin. The conversation was nothing but a casual dialogue between two “Street Smart” fellows trying to score some gains over the other or outsmart each other. No mutual respect between them and unfortunately one fellow showed his own calibre, he even failed to uphold the dignity of the office he held as the first citizen of the country. The other scoundrel did not know any ethics of journalism at all. So the bottom line is throwing the memories of these two fellows into the garbage can of Sri Lankan history is the best option available to the people of our country .

  • 3
    0

    Rubbish! This is in all probability a scam. A crude scam, at that.

    In any case, it leads nowhere as far as getting at the truth.

    A glorious web of obfuscation, red herrings, dead-ends, lies, deceit and anything else you care to think of, has been woven.

    To paraphrase what that calypso lady said……

    Anybody could have done it. Everybody thought they knew who did it, but couldn’t name the person, and make the charge stick. In the end, Nobody was charged with the evil deed that Somebody definitely did on that pestilential 8th January morning.

  • 1
    0

    All suspicion. There is no verification of the voices via justiafiable methods.

    It is just saying It look like Lasantha talkin.

  • 2
    1

    Ha ha ha! Great discovery, no? The writer of this article is the accuser, judge and jury. Heard about Kangaroo Courts ??? Drowning guys clutching at straws, or what ?????????

  • 4
    2

    Forget Lasantha. Who killed the 23 other journalists killed during MRs time. Why weren’t they investigated. Where was GL and Gammanpila then.
    Where were the Journalists unions then.

  • 1
    0

    Leelawathie

    Your comment is the best and the truth.

  • 2
    0

    I have some deal of respect for both these persons, if they are whom CT says they are. Points to the Reporter for trying to ask the President to do something about corruption in his government. Looks like they were good friends. Cant say the same about the others mentioned in the conversation.

  • 2
    0

    MR knows that his part is to give enough leads to confuse and drag this investigation along until this Government falls due to their lack of direction and leadership. As for his own plan, Gota will be the next president and they can all be home and dry!
    First they had this Jayamanne man’s death and then this tape on a private conversation seven months before the murder.
    If MR thinks that this is convincing of a friendship that will rule out his involvement in the assassination, people only need to be reminded of the fate of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Sripathie Sooriyarachchi and lately Loku Athula just before January 2015 elections.

    • 3
      0

      Do you think that over 6.2 vote eligibles will vote him into power ? I mean Gota ? As I feel this should be a joke/dream of some.
      What a joke ?
      By today, even those were fed with all stupid views are becoming clear that Gota was not the person they were compelled to trust that way. It was the media mafia governed in the country under MR regime, painted the picture Gota to be the most intelligent PERSON, even if he spent exile for 15 years.
      Even 10 year olds would raise the question how come Gota be the person to be top fit with all the field happenings in the North, if he was physically away from the country ?

  • 1
    2

    soon leaked tapes will show MONKEYnda RapePAKIsa and his family gang raping mutilated bodies of Tamil women….

  • 0
    1

    where is Basil now. Don’t you think he is the went out of the country mailed this.

    Come on guys. Pretty simple to understand.

    Drama directed by Mahinda and financed by Basil and edited by Gota

  • 2
    1

    This article, accompanying recording and the comments that follow are a clear indication of the confused, directionless, sad state Sri Lanka is in today. Unless honesty, integrity, tolerance and unity is brought back into our lives, the country as a whole is doomed to fail. It is only a matter of time.

  • 2
    1

    The following conversation points the finger towards the former army commander (Sarath Fonseka) for the murder of Lasantha Wikramathunga.

    Sarath Fonseka was angry with Mahinda Rajapaksha and Lasantha after his corrupt deals were exposed by the media.

    From the his own intelligence services, Fonseka would have information about the friendship between Mahinda and Lasantha and their secret meetings.

    Fonseka would have believed that Mahinda was the source for Lasantha´s exposures about his (Fonseka´s) corrupt dealings with Chinese companies.

    After the war was over in May, 2009, Fonseka had imported two ship loads of ammunition and other weapons from a Chinese company without following due procedures. This was the topic of this telephone conversation between Mahinda and Lasantha.

    Mahinda rejected this transaction and two ships loads of ammunition were returned to China.

    This was a huge blow to Fonseka. Then Fonseka planned ways to take revenge from both of his enemies. That is from Mahinda and Lasantha.

    During this time, Lasantha was murdered. Then UNP MP Joseph Michael Ferera said in the Parliament that a Fonseka´s secret team should be responsible for the assassination of Lasantha.

    Thereafter, showing the level of politics in Sri Lanka, Fonseka joined with treacherous UNP led by Ranil, TNA and JVP to take revenge from Mahinda.

    Fonseka even went to the US to give evidence to the US Homeland Security against Gotabhaya and Mahinda for the alleged white flag case.

    So, can anybody tell me who would have been behind the killing of Lasantha?

    “M: (audio hissing) Commander did something like this…. He did it through a different company…(deep audio hissing)

    L: Yes…that’s what we even said…

    M: (audio hissing) Yes… he had done underhand without informing anyone… we did not have a single clue until he comes and tell us…

    L: So the agent is Lalin’s brother? (audio hissing)…

    M: Maybe…who knows? He’s still not admitting that he brought them… he’s still covering it up…

    L: Well this is the thing…we also can’t write everything… don’t tell anyone…but several messages were sent yesterday through various people that there is a campaign by Sarath Fonseka and (audio hissing) to attack him… (both giggle)…. but there is no relevance to that… because this did not come from the army….

    M: Even when I asked him he didn’t tell me… (audio hissing) but army commander is saying he followed the procedures… that the purchase was done between two governments…(audio hissing) and that they can’t select companies here and there… and that he would be responsible at the end…”

    • 1
      1

      No SF but Rajaakashes directly mediated in the killing of Lasantha.

      You will have to accept it in the near future.

      Mahinda and Gotabaya are born murdererers. They have no whatsoever respect to anyone. They are but good actors. Mahinda acts much better than Gotabaya did.

      All these are facts. We none of us know the true colours of Mahinda Jarapakshe yet.

  • 1
    0

    If you listen carefully, the echo on the conversation comes from Lasantha’s side of the conversation. It is obvious that it was Lasantha who has taped the conversation as he is speaking from a speaker phone. Plus, Lasantha’s responses are very short while Mahinda Rajapaksa is going off on a tangent. Mahinda obviously has no clue he is being taped.

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