1 June, 2020

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Presidential Pardon For Sunil Ratnayake: Another Perspective

By C.A. Chandraprema

C.A. Chandraprema

Local and international NGO quarters are up in arms over the presidential pardon extended to a former soldier Sunil Ratnayake who had been convicted and sentenced to death over an incident in the year 2000 where eight Tamil persons including a five year old child had been killed in Mirusuvil in Jaffna. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement that the release of this individual was an affront to the victims who lost their lives in that incident. The Al Jazeera report on this matter explained that Sunil Ratnayake had been sentenced to death for ‘slitting the throats’ of Tamil civilians including four children. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, and the International Commission of Jurists had also condemned the release of this convict. Furthermore, 22 foreign funded NGOs in Sri Lanka including the Centre for Policy Alternatives had issued a statement saying among other things, that the President has given his blessing to a ‘cold-blooded killer’.

Many of those who have condemned the release of this convict had also pointed out that his conviction by a High Court Trial at Bar had been unanimously upheld by a five member bench of the Supreme Court. The statements issued in relation to this presidential pardon would lead one to think that it has been proven in court that the convict in question had personally killed or participated in the killing of the eight victims. That is what one normally expects when talking about a murder conviction. The judgment however does not state anywhere that there was any evidence to show that Sunil Ratnayake had personally killed any of the victims. The facts of this case which emerge from the Supreme Court judgment are as follows: In April 2000 the LTTE had overrun Elephant Pass and the army had had to reposition their defence lines. Due to shells falling in the vicinity, the villagers of Mirusuvil had to abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.

However, they visited their abandoned properties once in a while to clean the places and to collect whatever produce that they could make use of. On the 18th December 2000, an army unit was deployed in the Mirusuvil area. On the 19th December, 2000, a group of villagers – Raviwarman, Thaivakulasingham, Wilvarasa Pradeepan, Wilvarasa Sinniah, Nadesu Jayachandran, K.Gnanachandran, G.Shanthan, Wilvarasa Prasad and Maheshwaran had come to Mirusuvil to visit their respective houses. By 4.00 in the afternoon, they were getting ready to go back when they were stopped and questioned by some soldiers. Raviwarman who had lost his left arm in a shell explosion when he was a child could speak some Sinhala had explained the reason for their presence in the area. The soldiers had then assaulted the villagers who were with him. Maheshwaran stated that he had been blindfolded with his sarong and assaulted and he had lost consciousness. After a while, however, he had regained his senses. At that point, two military men had carried him and tossed him over a fence. In the process his blindfold had got entangled with the barbed wire of the fence and had come off.

He had then been taken to a location where there was a cesspit. According to Maheshwaran he had noticed patches of blood on the cesspit slab and also sensed some movements emanating from inside the cesspit. Fearing that the others who came with him had been harmed and that he too would face the same fate, he had pushed the two soldiers who approached to blindfold him again and had run for his life through the thicket clad only in his underwear. He had spent the night at a house of one of his aunts, about a quarter of a mile away. The following morning, on his way home, he had met his father who had come out looking for him and both of them had returned to their temporary residence at Karaweddi. They had then complained about the incident to the EPDP office in the area. Maheshwaran had subsequently been admitted to hospital.

On the 22nd December he had left the hospital and had come home. On the following day he had been visited by military personnel who had questioned him about the incident. On the same day Maheshwaran accompanied by his parents, members of the EPDP, the Gramasevaka of the area along with the Military Police officers had visited the location of the cesspit. What they found inside the pit were parts of the carcass of a goat and a reptile.

Investigating the incident

Major Sydney de Soyza was in charge of the military police in the Jaffna region, and he too had been with the group visiting scene of the incident. On making inquiries he had come to know that about 20 soldiers of an Army Special Operations Unit were occupying a building in the vicinity. The Chief Officer of that Unit Sergeant Ranasinghe accompanied by several other soldiers had approached the location of the cesspit and witness Maheshwaran had suddenly shouted saying that two of the soldiers who came with Sergeant Ranasinghe were the soldiers who had restrained and assaulted him. The soldiers identified by Maheshwaran were Lance Corporal Sunil Rathnayake and Private Mahinda Kumarasinghe. The two army men had become restless and had shown signs of fear. Major de Soyza had then directed Major Premalal to question the two soldiers. The duo had been very restless, so much so that Major Premalal had to tell them that there was no reason for them to be so disturbed. Major Soyza had thereupon placed under arrest five soldiers inclusive of Lance Corporal Ratnayake and Private Kumarasinghe.

Based on a statement made by Lance Corporal Ratnayake, Major Sydney de Soyza along with a team of Military Police officers had visited the area again and Lance Corporal Rathnayake had pointed out a location which had loose soil covered with small branches. Then steps had been taken to inform the Police. The police had arrived at the scene headed by the SSP Kankesanthurai followed by the Magistrate who ordered the police to dig the area. The bodies of the eight victims had been recovered. Steps thereafter had been taken to have identification parades held where a number of military personnel who were suspected of committing the crime, were produced (13 in all). Five of them had been identified by Maheshwaran.

The Attorney General indicted the five persons so identified on 19 Counts. Count 1 was committing an offence punishable under Section 140 of the Penal Code as a member of an unlawful assembly with the common object of causing intimidation to Raviwarman. Counts 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 were committing the murders of Raviwarman, Thaivakulasingham, Wilvarasa Pradeepan, Wilvarasa Sinniah, Nadesu Jayachandran, K.Gnanachandran, G.Shanthan and Wilvarasa Prasad, an offence punishable under Section 296 of the Penal Code read with Section 146 of the Penal Code. Section 296 of the Penal Code states that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death. Section 140 states that members of an unlawful assembly shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with a fine, or with both and Section 146 of the Penal Code states that if an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly is guilty of that offence.

Count 10 was causing hurt to Maheshwaran, an offence punishable under Section 314 of the Penal Code read with Section 146 of the Penal Code. Section 314 of the Penal Code states that whoever voluntarily causes hurt shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. Counts11 to 18 are again counts of murder in respect of the persons referred to in Counts 2 to 9, however the basis of liability under the said Counts is Common Intention articulated in Section 32 of the Penal Code and Count 19 again is the corresponding charge of causing hurt, referred to in Count 10, based on Common Intention.

What Section 32 of the Penal Code states is that when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone. The High Court Trial-at-Bar acquitted the 2nd,3rd, 4th and 5th Accused, but convicted the 1st Accused Lance Corporal Sunil Ratnayake on all counts referred to above. On appeal, the Supreme Court unanimously set aside the conviction of Lance Corporal Sunil Ratnayake on Counts 1 to 10. What remained were Counts 11 to 19 which are based on the vicarious liability of common intention under Section 32 of the Penal Code. The SC also made the following observations:

· The entire prosecution case hinges on Maheshwaran’s testimony.

· This is a case where the court has to decide, mainly on circumstantial evidence.

· The acquittal of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Accused by the High Court Trial at Bar was due to the failure on the part of the prosecution to establish the identities of those Accused to the degree of proof required by law.

· However, the spontaneous identification of Lance Corporal Sunil Ratnayake by witness Maheshwaran at the scene of the crime (as recounted above) remains unassailed.

Section 32 of the Penal Code

On the basis of the above, the SC held that Lance Corporal Ratnayake is not only liable for the acts committed by him, but also for the acts committed by others who were with him as well by virtue of Section 32 of the Penal Code. When the deceased were seen last, they were detained by Ratnayake and the other Army personnel who were present. It was on that basis that the SC upheld the conviction of Lance Corporal Sunil Ratnayake on Counts 11 to 18 and on Count 19 of causing hurt to Maheshwaran. Thus it can be seen that Ratnayake was not convicted due to evidence indicating that he had personally killed the eight victims but on the basis of vicarious liability for the whole incident under Section 32 of the Penal Code. The principal witness Maheswaran accused Lance Corporal Ratnayake of assault but did not say that he had seen Ratnayake killing anybody or even holding a weapon which may have been used to kill the people concerned. Because the conviction has been affirmed on the basis of Section 32 of the Penal Code, there is a borderline element in this case.

Certain international and national parties whose interests are only too well known, have rushed to condemn the release of Sunil Ratnayake. However when President Maithripala Sirisena released an LTTE suicide cadre who had been convicted of complicity in a plot to kill him, that was welcomed as reconciliation. It is a well-known fact that the general idea prevalent among these interested parties is that members of the armed forces should be jailed and members of the LTTE released. The former for ‘accountability’ and the latter for ‘reconciliation’! This works out to be a neat arrangement whereby the local and international backers of the LTTE are able to punish those responsible for their defeat. The double standards applied to the release of convicted LTTE cadres on the one hand and convicted armed forces personnel on the other, is going to preclude the chances of success of any homegrown method of clearing up certain residual issues still remaining after the war.

On page 9 of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s presidential election manifesto, it was stated that steps would be taken to either indict or release those who had been arrested on terrorism charges and had spent a long time in remand. This is obviously a reference to the small number of hardcore LTTE cadres still in custody. The government rehabilitated and released over 11,000 LTTE cadres who had surrendered with their weapons. If the government applied the vicarious liability provision in Section 32 of the Penal Code to these cadres, the likelihood is that many of them would be convicts by now. But the government chose not to prosecute the vast majority of LTTE fighters even though quite a number of them would be responsible for atrocities far in excess of the Mirusuvil incident. If the President is to ever actually implement what was said on page 9 of his manifesto in relation to the LTTE cadres still in remand, the pardoning of individuals like Sunil Ratnayake is an absolute sine qua non. It should be borne in mind that at the time the government defeated the LTTE, the latter had been officially designated as the deadliest terrorists in the world outranking even Al Qaeda.

It was 11,000+ terrorists with such a reputation that the government rehabilitated and released. It is doubtful whether the government of any other country would have done that. Unlike its predecessor, the present government cannot follow a stated policy of jailing armed forces personnel while freeing terrorists. If the LTTE cadres still in remand are to be released, that has to be preceded by the release of convicted or remanded armed forces personnel quite irrespective of whether they happen to be borderline cases like that of Sunil Ratnayake or not. During yahapalana rule we saw the spectacle of ex-LTTE terrorists enjoying their amnesty in peace while armed forces personnel, sometimes long after retirement were being hounded with arrests, investigations and court cases. When former LTTE cadres are released, nobody asks for a breakdown of the crimes and atrocities they are known to, or suspected of having been involved in. Yet everyone knows that these are dastardly terrorists who managed to outdo even Al Qaeda and come out at number one in world rankings.

Everyone also knows what their common intent was in terms of Section 32 of the Penal Code. They are nevertheless rehabilitated and released in the name of restoring normalcy to the country. The word ‘impunity’ is used by the interested parties mentioned above, only in relation to the armed forces of Sri Lanka or those who were terrorists earlier, but had later defected to the side of the government. That term is never used in relation to the LTTE. In fact they welcome immunity granted to the LTTE, as measures aimed at promoting reconciliation. Amnesty is defined in the Encyclopedia Britannica as a sovereign act of oblivion or forgetfulness for past acts and is said to have been derived from the Greek word amnesia. The rehabilitation and release of over 11,000 ex-LTTE cadres is for all practical purposes an amnesty granted to them. If amnesties are being granted, it goes without saying that individuals on both sides of the conflict should benefit from them if there is to be any fairness in the process.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    3

    It is not known whether the 11,000 + released were all LTTEers or civilians as well, taken into custody by the army. During those days all Tamils were considered LTTE members.
    Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction during the war.

    • 0
      1

      Well if civilians wanted to surrender as LTTE’ers then the Govt can’t help but rehab them. Either they surrendered or the civilians pointed them out.

  • 16
    3

    C.A. Chandraprema knows better than Human Rights Watch, Transparency International, Amnesty International, Center for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, International Commission of Jurists, the UNHCR and all other NGOs and Civic Bodies. He also knows better than the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. So take him seriously and dismiss all the rest!

    • 5
      0

      Dear Stan,
      .
      PART ONE
      .
      I thought this a clever and very well-written article when I first read it
      , and I was surprised when there didn’t seem to be any responses.
      .
      Now I find plenty and of the right type. Stan, I approved your comment with a thumbs up because I’ve been trained to read intelligently. That doesn’t mean that I’m particularly intelligent! Advanced reading has got to be taught – and I’m fortunate that I was taught.
      .
      Therefore I could see that all that you have written is dripping with sarcasm. The danger in employing satire of any sort is that the average reader doesn’t spot it, and imagines that you’re serious. The example that I usually quote is this:
      .
      https://www.owleyes.org/text/modest-proposal
      .
      When I went there I was actually asked if I was a teacher, accessing that particular blog, and not something more straightforward, of the sort I have already given.
      .
      Perhaps you could start with the Wikipedia entry. This is such a well-known example that there is plenty of assistance to the spotting of irony.
      Similarly, there are plenty of copies of the text. You may find this format a bit difficult, but I’ve given it to show just how much printing has changed in 300 years.
      .
      https://books.google.lk/books?id=t1MJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA1&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
      .
      Swift was actually beaten up by some Dubliners who imagined that he was seriously suggesting that year old toddlers should be cooked and eaten.

      • 3
        1

        Sinhala man, a Tamil arrested for terrorism is guilty unless otherwise proved and the onus of proving his innocence lies solely on him, whereas when a security force person is arrested for crime against Tamils, he is innocent unless otherwise proved guilty and the onus of proving guilt lies on the prosecuting team of the state. This is a glaring discrepancy in the administration of justice, and to equate Tamils who were discharged for lack of evidence with a Sinhalese convicted after a fair trial is not correct.

        • 4
          1

          Sinhala man, I wish to bring to your notice about another murderer being pardoned in a quiet manner. It is one Rajapakse who was convicted for rape and murder of Krishanthi Kumaraswami. It is also to be noted that her mother and uncle who went to the Chemmani army camp in search of their child were also murdered by the army. It is well known that the architect of Chemmani mass grave was Janaka Perera who went unpunished, but subsequently killed by LTTE. It is obvious to anyone that there are several accomplices to the rape and murder of Krishanthi, but only one was convicted. This is the same pattern where a scapegoat is found and the rest are allowed to go free. This is why majority of Sinhalese people do not want an international inquiry on war crimes of security forces.

    • 3
      1

      PART TWO

      Chandraprema must now respond to commenters like Rajan Hoole who know the facts at least as well as Chandraprema does. I don’t. When Ratnayake’s release was announced I had actually to ask a clear-headed ninety-year-old Jaffna man where Mirusuvil is. I call him often and we discuss current developments as rationally as possible. It’s symbiotic. He’s in Mirihana with no Internet access, and I’m ignorant of many things that he knows.
      .
      My intention is to respond to Spring Koha since he has referred to the Bindunuwewa massacre. The fact that I’m only four miles away (by road) doesn’t really help, but I have some personal experience to talk about.
      .
      By the way, is it not true that many of us who condemn the pardon are not doing so because we ourselves thirst for Sunil Ratnayake’s blood. Rajan Hoole is a vegan for all that he’s 6 feet 2 inches tall. He checks a packet of biscuits for the ingredients, and finally accepts only ginger nuts, since all else contains milk and he will not exploit any other living being for him to exist. In this, he is similar to Nagananda Kodituwakku and ninety-two-year-old internet-literate Professor of Sanskrit, Mahinda Palihawadena.

      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) aka “Sinhala_Man”

      • 2
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        Sinhala man, I have written a lengthy riposte below., and I thank Colombo telegraph for giving us space to speak out the truth to counteract such false propaganda. This article by Chandraprema appeared in Island newspaper and they will never allow Tamils to air their views against such racist agenda.

        • 1
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          Another article on this subject appears in Island today which has the same skewed logic written by racist bigoted idiotic Neville Ladduwahetty (Name suggests that his ancestors were Laddu merchants from Tamil Nadu).

    • 1
      0

      Stan

      Thanks.
      I take your point.
      If that is the case where would you place Duminda Silva, Weerawansa, Kanjipani Imran, Makandure Madush, .Gota, Shavendra, Kamal, ………………… ?

  • 9
    0

    Even if we assume that the presidential pardon was justified, why was the proper procedure not followed?

  • 3
    16

    We Dravidians thank president Kothapaya for pardoning Sunil. Don’t judge the entire Tamil community from the conduct of a few. Most Dravidians support the decision but they fear for their lives to say it in public.

    • 3
      3

      You mean the Chingkalla Dravidians? Especially the 50% who are descended from the slave low caste/untouchables, from South India, who were imported into the island during the Portuguese/Dutch era to do menial service work, like fishing , tree climbing and all sorts of other menial work or the work as slave labour in the southern spice estates. I am glad to see that you are acknowledging the Dravidian ancestry of the Chingkallams

  • 3
    7

    Anyone heard of corporal. Bradley manning? Now known as Chelsea manning. Who was an American army officer who released footage of Americans killing 13 unarmed Iraqi civilians crossing a street, including a father and son. Manning was charged with treason and spent most last 10 years in prison. The guys who killed the Iraqi were never charged . Manning gave the footage to julian Assange who also has been denied due legal process over 10 years. Where are all these international organizations on manning and Assange? One law for the white man and another for the third world. This is an internal matter for the sovereign state of Lanka. Until these organizations start persecuting crininal Americans. British and Israeli subjects they cannot be taken seriously.

  • 13
    3

    A murderer, racist and Rajapakse stooge has come out with this rubbish in defense of a dastardly action taken by the president, abusing his privilege to pardon a convicted criminal. The undeniable fact is that a group of army personnel committed this murder. This cannot be the work of one person. Therefore several other criminals had been allowed to go free. Was there not a single person in the army group who did not approve it and did not have the conscience to condemn this brutal murder, to come out as crown witness and state the truth of what happened. For his information, there are several criminal cases where the murderer has been convicted by only a sole witness. Therefore his argument that no decision should have been made depending on this sole witness. Furthermore, there are several criminal cases where the murderer has been convicted only on circumstantial evidence. Therefore his argument that no decision should have been made on circumstantial evidence alone., does not hold water. This type of outpouring will be accepted only by a bigoted set of sycophants and not by civilized society. If he is honest, he must ask for a retrial under international judges, where all army personnel in the camp be put on the dock. (CONTD)

    • 12
      3

      Bringing LTTE into this picture is a deliberate attempt to cover up the crime committed by army personnel as well as the president. There is different law when a suspected LTTE person was arrested. He is arrested and held in custody for a long time without being produced in court during which period he has no access to a lawyer, subjected to torture and under duress statements are written by the police and forced to sign. In cases where a person is arrested on terrorism charges, the onus of proving innocence lies solely on the suspect, where as in cases including those committed by security forces, onus of proving guilty lies solely on the prosecution. None of them are kept in custody without producing in court for long, denied access to a lawyer, subjected to torture or to make forced confessions. When there is such glaring discrimination in the course of justice between LTTE suspects and security forces suspects. I worked as medico-legal officer in the war zone and thus a medical witness to murders of Tamil civilians committed by security forces. Most of the murders never reached the courts and a few which came up for trial, cases were transferred to Colombo citing security reason to be tried before Sinhala judges, witnesses are threatened made to travel to Colombo suffering financial and accommodation problems, and despite incriminating evidence of first degree murder, Judges without any sense of shame made them either justifiable homicide or collateral damage and let the culprits off. When such blatant miscarriage of justice took place on behalf of Sinhala security forces, several Tamils who committed minor offences or no offence at all are languishing prison for more than 15 years without being brought to courts, which is a blot on Sri Lanka judicial system. (CONTD)

      • 9
        1

        This Rajapakse lackey commends the government for releasing several LTTE cadres after rehabilitation. It is usual practice when a war ends, prisoners who have not committed any war crime are released. Therefore what the government did was nothing extraordinary. In contrast several of those who surrendered were executed, which fact this biased writer is withholding. Please remember out of the LTTE cadres released, several are working with the government as spies and to create chaos such as sword wielders. To say that if Tamils held in custody for over 15 years without being charged for minor crime or for no crime at all are to be released then Sinhala security personnel who were convicted for crime should also be released amounts to mockery of justice. Unfortunately for a racist like the writer, LTTE members who had committed crimes have either been killed in combat or killed after surrendering. In contrast all Sinhala personnel who committed crimes against Tamil civilians are walking free. In law these is no case when an accused dies, and therefore for all practical purposes, there is no further war crimes charges on LTTE. His grouse that the word impunity is used only against security forces and not against LTTE is unfounded. There was never immunity granted to LTTE, in fact innocent Tamils were also collectively punished for the sole reason of being Tamils. In other countries like Bosnia only those who committed crimes on both sides were convicted, and not the entire outfit of Muslim terrorists. You can label LTTE as terrorists, for the crimes committed, but the worst terrorists are the agents of government in security forces and goon squads. This travesty of justice makes an excellent case for demanding that those Sinhala convicts be made to serve sentence in an international prison.

  • 14
    1

    Your arguments are valid if the President can concurrently release all the LTTE Men & women (none of them were ever charged or accused for a crime of this nature) , who are indefinitely kept in various prisons in Srilanka. Otherwise, you are not seriously interested in reconciliation, and trying to defend what is not defensible.

  • 14
    1

    You bloody racist. Can you see the difference between the soldiers and LTTE.
    If you in etigate the LTTE cadres they would have killed soldiers not civilians except in very few cases like Anuradhpura shootouts.
    Here is a guy whose was identified by his own millitary police to have involved in the killing of innocent civilians.
    Chandraperuma you are a disgrace to.Sinhala Buddhist sameway the President and Sergent is.

  • 8
    1

    This Rajapakse lackey commends the government for releasing several LTTE cadres after rehabilitation. It is usual practice when a war ends, prisoners who have not committed any war crime are released. Therefore what the government did was nothing extraordinary. In contrast several of those who surrendered were executed, which fact this biased writer is withholding. Please remember out of the LTTE cadres released, several are working with the government as spies and to create chaos such as sword wielders. To say that if Tamils held in custody for over 15 years without being charged for minor crime or for no crime at all are to be released then Sinhala security personnel who were convicted for crime should also be released amounts to mockery of justice. Unfortunately for a racist like the writer, LTTE members who had committed crimes have either been killed in combat or killed after surrendering. In contrast all Sinhala personnel who committed crimes against Tamil civilians are walking free. In law these is no case when an accused dies, and therefore for all practical purposes, there is no further war crimes charges on LTTE. His grouse that the word impunity is used only against security forces and not against LTTE is unfounded. There was never immunity granted to LTTE, in fact innocent Tamils were also collectively punished for the sole reason of being Tamils. In other countries like Bosnia only those who committed crimes on both sides were convicted, and not the entire outfit of Muslim terrorists. You can label LTTE as terrorists, for the crimes committed, but the worst terrorists are the agents of government in security forces and goon squads. This travesty of justice makes an excellent case for demanding that those Sinhala convicts be made to serve sentence in an international prison.

  • 5
    1

    CAC tried the very same spin when he attempted -in a long winded letter to The Island – to contemptuously dissect the SC verdict on Duminda’s appeal – Just before he (CAC) was appointed as our envoy in Geneva. Not sure if he made finally it.
    .
    It would have been useful to readers if CAC also told us whether the following was adhered to and if not why:

    Article 34 of the constitution empowers the President to grant pardons to any offenders, the same article adds the caveat that “where any offender shall have been condemned to suffer death by the sentence of any court, the President shall cause a report to be made to him by the Judge who tried the case and shall forward such report to the Attorney-General with instructions that after the Attorney-General has advised thereon, the report shall be sent together with the Attorney-General’s advice to the Minister in charge of the subject of Justice, who shall forward the report with his recommendation to the President”.

    TISL has already written to the Presidential Secretariat to make the following documents public –
    Report of the Trial Judge
    Advice of the Attorney General
    Recommendation of the Justice Minister

    Hope they receive a response.
    BTW Sirisena needed to do this too when he released Jayamaha!

  • 9
    1

    CA Chandraperuma,

    Do you know how many times former President Sirisena told that Rajapaksa Family (Gota included and main accused) was never investigated or sentance to death in Srilanka courts. Do you know that koruna Amman who was an LTTE deputy leader who attacked Daladaha maligawa, Central Bank and killed over 600 Sinhala policeman was released by Gotabaya & Mahinda without rehabilitation or any charge for those killings. The former LTTE international armed smuggler arrested in Malaysia and brought to Srilanka and freed without rehabilitation and without any charges? Are they not LTTE in your eyes or Gotabaya’s eyes or Srilankan judiciary? The 11000 you released after rehabilitation are not LTTE members. According to your government They were forced to help the LTTE for doing non military work such as digging bunkers, giving food, helping to treat or support injured civilians etc. They are still under military observation. Don’t fool Sinhala masses or any other normal citizens. It is not a secret Mahinda family is involved in the murder of Lasantha and many other journalists, human right activists, parliamentarians and killing of thousands of innocent civilians. You don’t need to justify the release of a murderer by a murder accused President.

  • 13
    0

    Oi, Gon-Thadiya you buffoon, have you heard the phrase “it’s better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool than to open your metaphorical mouth and remove all doubt”?

    In what universe do you feel the President has the moral right to up-end a well constructed judicial case, a thorough prosecution at a fair trial despite all the odds, a verdict of guilty which was appealed and upheld unanimously by a 5-member bench of the apex court of the land?

    By the way, what are you doing in your motherland? Did you get kicked out from Geneva?

  • 14
    1

    It appears that the author’s intention here is to convince readers that his judgment of Sunil Ratnayake’s (lack of) guilt is superior to that of the five judge bench of the supreme court of Sri Lanka.. That’s great for the cause of justice..! If only other authors too passed judgement on a forum like this and all would be hunky dory from then on…wow..!

    • 2
      0

      He should be arrested for contempt of court. Can any Tamil make fair comments on the crooked judgement made against innocent Tamils.

  • 9
    1

    Who had officially designated LTTE,as the deadliest terrorists in the world outranking even Al Qaeda?
    Was it Sri Lanka , if so when?

    11,000 terrorists? Who had determined them as terrorist? Was it by any Sri Lankan court?
    Who had granted then an amnesty?

    According to the election manifesto, it was stated that steps would be taken to either indict or release, it does not speak of a general amnesty

    M r Chandraprema Are you a spokesman for Gotabaya?

  • 10
    1

    Convoluted logic at it’s best!

  • 10
    2

    In Sri Lanka it is very rarely that a crime committed by agents of the State is properly investigated and the truth revealed in adequate detail. Our long experience tells us that the tendency is to cover up and an honest investigator is bound to face enormous risks and harassment. We know this for example from the Lasantha Wickrematunge case and that of abductions for ransom in which senior naval officers were implicated.
    When a heinous crime comes to light, it is natural that civic minded persons want to see justice done. Unfortunately, the writer starts on a wrong note by a skeptical reference to persons and institutions that have called for justice and questioned the exoneration of the accused. His chief point is that the accused was convicted on circumstantial evidence.
    The main problem is that the prosecutor is confronted with an impossible task – of trying to reconstruct a blow-by-blow account of the incident and that is usually very difficult.
    The State and apologists for the security forces harp on relatively inconsequential details that investigators may have got wrong, even when the overall picture of the crime is beyond doubt, to make excuses for inaction. A great deal was revealed about an STF group’s killing of the five students in Trincomalee in January 2006. The case is now virtually closed.

    What would make the task of the prosecution clearer is to insist on command responsibility. It is opposed with good reason by those in power. There is no other way forward if Lanka is not to be mired in shame and impunity.

    • 0
      1

      Trinco 5 case is also very similar to this. Circumstantial evidence with the only evidence linking the army to it being that an army check point was located close to the site of the crime. LTTE was a master of deception and commuted many a crime to implicate the forces. It hasn’t ended even now. The supposed disappearance of hundreds of LTTE cadres after surrender on conclusion of the war. Any intelligent person would firstly question the reason why the army would want to “ murder a few hundred surrendered” at the same time they rehabilitated and released thousands of LTTE’ers. What would a logical reason be for this supposed act? Only conclusion I can come to is that ist to implicate and demonise the SL tri forces. Nobody will ever know the truth. Prosecuting and convicting soldiers to look good to the world is Yahapalana thinking.

  • 11
    4

    This despicable massacre was committed about 20th December 2000. After 15 years, the courts reached a decision, and convicted one of the suspects. Mr Chandraprema has us given what amounts to an ex-judicial version of events. His impressive investigative talents have made a case out to justify the Presidential pardon. However, he makes no attempt to use his abilities help us find the real culprits so that justice can be meted out for what has been yet another barbaric episode in those dark days.
    Consider another massacre that took place about the 24th October 2000 – the Bindunuwewa massacre. The Bindunuwewa prison held a group of young Tamil men, detained under governed orders, and guarded by police and army. A mob consisting of local men, with some from outside, attacked the prison under the cover of nightfall. The police and army refused to intervene – a clear case of dereliction of duty. 26 young Tamil men were massacred that night. By 2005, the accused had been charged in court, convicted, and subsequently released by the Supreme Court. Another barbaric episode with no resulting justice. However, even today, many of the culprits of that night walk about Bandarawela and Diyatalawa feted as ‘local heroes’.
    I suppose Mr Chandraprema will have both these cases (and many other similar) filed under ‘what-to-do-these-things-happen-in war’ drawer at the bottom of his bulging filing cabinet.
    The point is that we have had plenty of time to investigate every crime committed during those long years of misery – by who ever committed them. The culprits should be named and justice meted out.
    Clearly, as always, Sri Lankan governments of whatever persuasion has shown no stomach to search for the truth.

    • 11
      1

      Spring

      Sri Lanka is the only Contry where ther is No RULE OF LAW and the President is above the Law and that is why Gotha has been isolated ( Gotha F 20) by the World and you are lot are paying a terrible price Economically.

    • 8
      1

      Spring Koha

      Good to hear from rare sane voices like yours.
      Has Chandraperuma being an self righteous investigative journalist had the time and inclination to investigate the destruction of Jaffna Library in 1981. It is said some of the rare books and palm leaf manuscripts lotted from the library been hoarded somewhere in Kurunegala area.
      Will he care to find the arsonists and the books rather than wasting his time recycling lies?

      How did this island ended up with too many racist liar in the media?

      Do you think his children buy all his stories?

  • 15
    1

    Chandraprema does indeed have credentials to offer “another” perspective on the unconscionable pardon of Sunil Ratnayake. Because in his “another” life he was “Thadi Priyantha,” a key member of the People’s Revolutionary Red Army (PRRA). This was the most lethal of the several right wing death squads clandestinely run by the military to eliminate those who were perceived as ‘obstacles” in totally wiping out the JVP during its 88/89 insurrection. Chandraprema was arrested in 2000 in connection with the 1989 assasinations of two human rights lawyers – Charita Lankapura and Kanchana Abhayapala, but escaped punishment due to a concocted legal technicality. Since then his “interests are only too well known.” He has been a covert intelligence operative of Gota’s Deep State while masquerading as a journo. But the quality of his output – mostly hackwork and hagiography to ingratiate himself with the hawks and the hamuduruwos – has only exposed the whole pumpkin on his plate. Anyway what is shame to a crafty schemer? He’s getting the reward for his dirty job: he’s going to Geneva.

    • 4
      0

      Thanks, Ajay.
      .
      I did not know all this.
      .
      As Justin Case has said it would have been better for Chandraperuma to have kept his trap shut than to prove to us all that, ultimately, he is a fool.
      .
      I say “ultimately” because on the face of it he had written what seemed an intelligent and well-substantiated article. That is what I have acknowledged in my two-part comment above. I’ve also said that even as I read it last night I knew that this is an article that has to be countered by those who hope desperately that the country can honestly face upto the mistakes made in the past.
      .
      Dr Gnana Sankaralingam has also raised many valid points. Now it is up to “Thadi Priyantha” to respond to comments which arise from his own article.

  • 8
    1

    C.A. Chandraprema

    Presidential Pardon For Sunil Ratnayake: Another Perspective

    The man who wrote Gota’s B***s, now spin another yarn Gota’s Bull S**t a tall tale of a war criminal and why his release is justifiable. When one look at his latest yarn Sunil Ratnayake looks like a saint compared to Chandraprema.

    How long the media and media men are planning to treat the readership a bunch of idiots.

    You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. – Jacques Abbadie

    On the other hand Chandraprema should be worrying about the safety of his family as a psychopath is let loose on the streets simply because he killed only innocent Tamils.

  • 9
    1

    This is the person who tried to Credit Gota with the War Victory, which Gota denied when questioned by that Indian Journalist.

    • 1
      0

      Gamini

      Ex SSP Douglas Peiris also made startling allegations in his affidavit:

      “I am also aware that the gang led by Thadi Priyantha, as instructed by Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, killed the following persons: (i) Person by the name of Perera who served at the Kelaniya Tyre Corporation. (ii) Lawyer of Hulftsdorp, Mr. Daya Lankapura. (iii) Lawyer of Hulftsdorp, Mr. Kanchana Abeypala. (iv) Lawyer of Gampaha, Mr. Nissanka. I was aware that the group led by Army Lieutenant Nissanka and Senanayake, who were close to Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, carried out operations in civvies within the Gampaha District as instructed by Mr.
      Ranil Wickremesinghe..”.

      https://itjpsl.com/assets/press/chandraprema-dossier-final-docx.pdf#english

      Gamini
      Please let us have your observation/comment

  • 9
    1

    Shame on you ,Sinhalese racist and apologist . lying to the hilt to support Sinhalese Buddhist Fascism and state sponsored Sinhalese terrorism and racism on the island’s Tamil speakers.

  • 8
    1

    Nice try, Chandraprema. The Government released the captives, not out of kindness but for lack of evidence to prosecute them in a court of Law.

  • 11
    12

    All yamapalana fringe dwellers’ unjustified, unpatriotic attacks are soundly rebutted!
    /
    Thank you Mr Chandrprema. You area real treasure for the country’s independence.

  • 1
    12

    Agree totally with your view. Can’t have punitive justice for the forces and restorative justice for the LTTE.

    If we are to prosecute those for LTTE atrocities or responsibilities, most Tamil and Muslim politicians would also stand to be charged.

    • 2
      0

      If justice was meted out fairly since independence, all Sinhala politicians bar a few would have ended behind bars for crimes against Tamils.

  • 2
    11

    I agree with the writer, amnesty should be given to everyone.
    Let’s pardon all the convicted murderers languishing in prisons.
    Everyone needs a 2nd chance.

  • 9
    1

    Chabdraprema

    Youn dont look loke a human being so it is no point engaging with non human. You have the same credentials as Gotha who is on DEATH ROW and him Pardoning anither War Criminal on DEATH ROW was not surprising.

  • 9
    1

    CAC, can you find a defence for Duminda Aiya too, so that he can be soon released to keep company with you. Have you ever thought, what if those victims were your own family members ??? Beware of The Virus, because it dose not go by any of your logic.

    • 2
      8

      chiv,

      Duminda is not a soldier. Soldiers like Doctors and Nurses these days were your saviors during war time. You are alive and writing in this forum today is because of soldiers.

      If not for us, the JVP fellas from the South and the LTTE from the North and Muslims from the East would have devoured you by now.

      Soldiers deserve special treatment. In SL, I have noticed that Doctors get special permits to import vehicles. Same soldiers also deserve perks. Government subsidized land plots from Cinnamon Gardens or Ward Place would be nice.

      • 0
        0

        Shamal Perera It appears that you want a cheap vehicle. Why not purchase a three wheeler or better a bullock cart.You can be the bull

  • 4
    0

    I am still waiting to read the next book, This world famous writer, C A Chandraprema is going to write.
    THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF KARUNA AMMAN,( KARUNA’S WAR).
    Because he already written a Bogus puskolapoth called “Gotta’s War.” to personalize The 2009 war of LTTE and Srilanka’s Armed forces.
    Any How , Whoever done any crime or killing, Gotta, Sunil, Fonseka or any F king,
    Their conscience knows ad cannot hides to their ❤️.
    One day they have to pay for their SINS
    Anyway we all are SHINGALA BUDDHISTS.
    NOT BUDDHIST SINHALESE.
    That’s is THE DIFFERENCE.

  • 1
    0

    Now he is defending Sunil Rathnayake because he is a “war hero” and his conviction by the courts is based on circumstantial evidence. Thank god he did not argue that those 8 Tamil civilians, including a 5-year-old, were not killed by the soldiers but simply committed mass suicide
    Chandraprema is unnecessarily dragging the LTTE to justify the killings. LTTE did commit murders, but those are not terrorist acts but war crimes. That is why UNHRC Resolution 30/1 demanded that both the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE must be tried by a hybrid court to investigate into human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
    The 58th Division under the commandment of Shavendra Silva killed hundreds of LTTE cadres after they surrendered, including those surrendered with white-flag, on May 18 at Vadduvaakal. There are hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw the surrendees carried away in CTB buses but never sighted thereafter. What does Chandraprema have to say about this foul murder?
    Sunil Rathnayake who killed innocent Tamil civilians is NO hero. The real heroes are those who fought the LTTE and died in battle, but Rathnayake is a coward and his act despicably shameful. 2/2

  • 1
    0

    C.A. Chandraprema is the devil’s advocate. He forgets the fact that he himself led death squads during JVP insurgency. The ambassador-designate to Geneva was named as a member of a state-sponsored death squad that operated in the late 80s and detained in 2000 in connection with the alleged murder of two human rights lawyers.
    He was later released after the Attorney General decided there were no legal grounds to proceed. Details of Chandraprema’s activities in the much-feared People’s Revolutionary Red Army (PRRA) were revealed by JDS in a report jointly published with the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) of JVP. (http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/politics-a-current-affairs/927-sri-lanka-police-mislead-parliament-to-whitewash-criminal-record-of-geneva-envoy). That speaks volumes about his criminal past.
    It was more shameful when Chandraprema defended his paymasters that ‘legally’ the Rajapaksa family owed no dues to the SLRDC. He wrote a lengthy article defending Gotabaya in The Island the flagship of Sinhala – Buddhist racism! 1/2

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