By Colombo Telegraph –
Suspicions mount that remains of 154 people found in hospital grounds are from abductions carried out by security forces, the Guardian reports.
Magistrate Chathurika de Silva told a court in the central town of Matale on Wednesday that tests carried out by archaeological and judicial medical officers show the skeletal remains found inside the premises of a government hospital dated 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.
In Shanie column which is censored by the Island newspaper, Shanie wrote;
“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.” In view of these facts, it becomes all the more necessary for an independent probe to be conducted so that Rajapakse and/or anybody else are cleared of any war crimes in 1989. It may be ironic that the persons being accused of war crimes now are the same persons who were then in charge of Matale. An independent probe may reveal they are innocent, But a probe by a body unconnected with these persons is necessary to show this.”