25 September, 2018

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Press Barred Again From Covering Gotabaya’s Cross Examination In Court

Reinforcing that the font of all true power in the Rajapaksa regime lies with the powerful Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa police sealed off the Mount Lavinia District court to media personnel a short while ago when the senior official was due to take the stand for cross examination.

Gotabaya - Secretary MOD

Gotabaya – Secretary MOD

Secretary Rajapaksa filed a defamation suit against The Sunday Leader newspaper which exposed details regarding the controversial purchase of MiG 29 by the ministry of defence in 2007.

DIG Anura Senanayake who was present outside the court house prevented journalists from entering to cover the court proceedings, which are a matter of public record and refused to permit photojournalists and cameramen from filming the Defence Secretary’s entrance to the court house. Even reporters who offered to leave their cameras and other recording equipment outside were not permitted entry.

Similar scenes unfolded on May 28 this year when Gotabaya Rajapaksa entered the court to be questioned in the defamation case. In today’s proceedings the Defence Secretary is scheduled to be cross examined by the lawyer for the Sunday Leader, Attorney at Law M.A. Sumanthiran.

This is the only case in which accredited journalists and court reporters are being barred entry to cover public court proceedings.

The controversial MiG 27 deal was first revealed by Sunday Times Defence Correspondent and Senior Journalist Iqbal Athas in December 2006 and further exposed in The Sunday Leader then edited by murdered Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa filed legal action against The Sunday Leader newspaper to prevent further exposure of the corrupt deal. The investigative reports on the MiG deal proved to be one of the last reports on controversial defence purchases under Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s reign in Sri Lanka’s mainstream press.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    2

    This is the way this government operates. Seal off access, and then when some stupid sod decodes to spread some made-up horseshit in the absence of fact, claim “we have a free media, but see aney what they’re doing! all lies! aney ba megollo ekka” and start putting through more draconian anti-press regulations. The incident doesn’t get reported, AND the government gets more control over the information the ‘patriotic’ sheep have access to.

  • 3
    15

    I guess this is wise and sincere move by Gota.. He is avoiding the possibility of another journalist get killed… Good on you Gota ;-(

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 3
      0

      There are other ways of avoiding the death or killing of another journalist is to dismantle the kidnap gang or white van abductors or arrest and prosecute the killers at large.

  • 3
    21

    Rajapske family do not have to steal do they really? They have earned themselves something that is priceless. That is people’s goodwill. This is a goldmine that will keep rewarding them in monetary and other terms.

    Gota is not a saint. Although he is very unlikely a thief. If there were incriminating evidence it would have been leaked anyway during the court case.

    The standard that applies to everyone not guilty until proven innocent must apply here too surely.

    • 16
      2

      //The standard that applies to everyone not guilty until proven innocent must apply here too surely. /

      Huh… How many Tamils are in the jails with no charge, no case, but only misery for many many many years?

      Probably Tamils are not covered under the STANDARD?

      • 11
        2

        Rohan,
        I don’t believe this!. I just finished writing and the next thing I wanted to do was to reply about the ‘Standards’ Vibushana is on about. As soon as I posted my comment, guess what appeared on the screen?, this comment of yours with exactly the thoughts I had in mind.
        How many (citizens)have been released/convicted without a trial?
        There is no end to the list of incidents that I could think of.

        “everyone not guilty until proven innocent must apply here too surely”.
        What an idiotic comment this is. The whole world knows who the guilty parties are. So, Vibushan, don’t take Keheliya’s laudry job for Gota.

        • 3
          0

          That’s the way normal people would think. So, you and I thought the same, ‘anonymous’.

      • 2
        10

        Well, speaking of charges brought against Tamils, 3 charges of child abduction and other serious charges were brought against a senior LTTE woman cadre known as “Thamilini”. She obviously survived the onslaught.

        She was being defended in courts by a TNA fellow possibly Sumithrnathan. Although the lawyer was forced to drop the case by members of Tamil dispora because Thamilini did not “commit suicide” as she should have.

        So you know, sometimes is not anyones fault tamils languish in jails after commiting serious crimes including crdit card fraud etc.

        When things such as this nature happen its nonsensical these kinds of questions are being asked isn’t it?

        • 2
          0

          Some people never let facts interfere in their made-up good news stories.

          Thamilini was represented by Mr Vinayagamoorthy. He dropped out of the case, if my sources are right, Thamilini was going to take the offer by His Royal Highness Gotabhaya Rajapakse. She was going to be released, and the plan was to run as a candidate in the UPFA ticket. Although Mr. Vinayagamoorthy moved out of the case, the Thamilini was going through some sort of a legal process, a facility offered by the government for a selected few. KP, Karuna, Pillaiyan, Thamilini and a s host of others, well-known LTTE operatives were give a preferential treatment by the government. But, a number of ‘LTTE suspects’, who were picked from their houses and from the busses and such, have still been in prisons with no process whatsoever.

          LTTE supporters among the Tamil diaspora are not strong. Nobody listens to them anymore. Most of them have gone to their own comfortable lives. Nobody gives any regard to these guys. Oops, no no, I am wrong here. The Government and its cronies are still promoting them as ‘Tamil Diaspora’. They have been given prominence in the functions by the Sri Lankan high commissions. Even BBS top guys go around and meet them. Actually LTTE diaspora is supported and promoted by the Rajapaksa Samagama, NOT by the Tamils.

          • 2
            0

            Look here. I got my info from DBJ Jeyraj. Where did you get yours from?

            • 2
              0

              Go read the same guy, mate. He wouldn’t have said Thamilini was represented by Sumanthiran. He wouldn’t have mentioned exactly why Vinayagamoorthy dropped the case, at best, DBSJ would have speculated that it was due to the pressure of the LTTE supporters. DBSJ would have tried to white wash the reason for Thamilini’s release and would have pointed out it was a mere coincidence. But, if you look for any other people besides Thamilini, you would find none! A senior cadre was released just like that in Sri Lanka by the Rajapakse Samagama? Huh, you must be joking! LTTE let a number of people surrender (including Pulithevan and Nadesan). Those who could fight tried to fight, and the rest were allowed to save themselves (there is a long list, including Balakumar, Yogi, Karikalan, Elilan, Pathuman and so on).

              • 3
                0

                Oh poor Vibu…. scored an own goal again.

                :-)

      • 1
        3

        Fool, Tamils are stranded, not standard.

    • 15
      1

      NO ONE including CT have accused the defense sec (a public servant, paid for by us) of lying. If they had, CT will be/could be sued. Yes, he is innocent until proven guilty.

      What CT has highlighted is not his guilt or not.

      READ (and re-read this following statement):

      prevented journalists from entering to cover the court proceedings, which are a matter of public record and refused to permit photojournalists and cameramen from filming the Defence Secretary’s entrance to the court house.

      The press prevented from entering to see a PUBLIC SERVANT testifying on a case that possibly may have cost US (the tax payers) MILLIONS if not BILLIONS. It is a matter of public interest my dear boy….

      • 3
        7

        “cost US (the tax payers) MILLIONS if not BILLIONS”

        So Tamils on the dole courtesy of western governments have to pay Sri Lankan taxes? I was not aware of this :)

        • 8
          2

          Let’s stick to Gota’ fear of being reported, not where and if I pay taxes Fitzpatrick

    • 10
      0

      Yes, it’s because the Rajapakses have nothing to hide that they triggered a constitutional crisis kicking out the CJ.

    • 13
      1

      What ! Vibhushana are you ok? You are correct Rajapaksa did not have to steel . He did have a Mandela moment. I feel for the likes of you too. If you have no brain in your head, you plunder such moments. This is what your Rajapaksas did. Gota haya should not steel ,unfortunately for us he does. The more dangerous thing is, that his unimaginable power comes from his little pea brain not knowing,right from wrong.
      Wash away your day will also come.

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 14
    0

    The truth,(cosmic energy or call it Kamma) cannot be stopped by any means. It is a natural phenomena. There are many more deals to be unleashed in the future. This what these ‘Jarapassas’ are worried about.
    What really happened to the two ‘Kafir Fighters’ from Israel and the pilots?. The news went underground within a eek and why? I am a tax payer and would like to know just as Sumanthiran wants to know about the ‘Migs’. I think the whole of the Sri Lankan population should know.

  • 5
    2

    Anuea Kumara in Badalkumbura. Worth watching.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zXHHG8_m1ic

    Rajapakse and his family exposed.

    • 5
      3

      JVP rise,

      Thanks for the link. I was mesmerised by the sheer substance and brilliance in Anura Kumara Dissanake’ s speech.
      The simple colloquial Sinhala he speaks was music to my ears. It was an expose of MR and his government’s crimes against this country, from start to finish. It is an expose of the nepotism, corruption , extravagance , unaccountability , lawlessness and highhandedness of this government that has become unbearable with time.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 7
        0

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        This man who is leading the JVP has a lot to think about the party’s past behaviour.

        JVP so far has not attempted to review its ideology and its terrorist past.

        The party officially supported MR and the war and happy to be part of the No International Independent Investigation Chorus.

        De-merger of North East council was made possible by JHU and JVP collusion with Sarath de Silva who denied the Tamil lawyer’s the right to submit their side of the argument for merger. At that time JVP enjoyed being part of the Sinhala/Buddhist racist establishment.

        We were in the past elated by many political orations including Premadasa’s. When you think back their words meant nothing to the poor and the weak. Anura too no different to his predecessors.

        What is the point complaining about MR who consolidated his hold on the country with the support of JVP?

        • 3
          1

          Native Vedda,

          Thanks for your input. The JVP’s past was terrible and made what was bad due to JR and Premadasa misrule, worse. We are paying for what happened then now. The slide continues in an accelerated pace. However, there is always a possibility of change with a new generation taking over. It has to yet change its thinking on many issues. Everything in life is a process and is dictated by the times and circumstances.

          This does not negate in anyway what Anura Kumara has said. It is said in a manner that would be understood by the ordinary people. Such speeches should be made by everyone opposing the MR’s political front and its utter immorality. There is a report in Colombo Today that Harin Fernando is having not-so-secter talks with Harin Fernando.

          Dr.RN

          • 3
            0

            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

            I hear nothing new from JVP.

            Please refer to its new policy document “Our Vision, Policy Framework” on its website, published in February 2014.

            http://www.jvpsrilanka.com/en/images/e_books/our_vision/ourvision_english.pdf

            The same old gibberish is recycled as new vision. The policies envisaged in that document would take the country backward and transform it into another North Korea.

            Those authors must have been living so long in bunkers with VP they have lost all realities of the present world.

            Please do take time to read it and give us your thoughts on their vain attempt to hoodwink gullible voters.

            The country may end up with a nationwide “Bonfire of the Vanities”, as JVP sees it fit.

            JVP is essentially a Sinhala/Buddhist racist party.

            JVP wants China to rule this country while detesting India

            JVP believes China’s rising imperialism is far better than any other particularly the Indian variety.

            JVP is ready to condemn India and cannot bring itself to criticise China and its capitalist investment in this island.

            JVP has not surrendered its arms but wanted LTTE to disarm

            JVP has not abandon its racist and most anti worker lesson number 5 from its core ideology

            JVP has not apologised to people unreservedly for all those deaths and destruction

            JVP worked closely with JHU, SLFP, Sarath de Silva to de merge North East provincial council, Now it seems JVP has summoned up courage to criticise the former Chief Injustice.

            JVP never campaigned against war in fact it was for more war not less

            JVP is not serious about accountability nor about independent investigation into war crime. In fact it want to bury it as it see all investigations from outside are infringing sovereignty. However it failed to recognise one important flaw in its rationale that is with out the International support particularly from India, Sri Lanka would not have brought the war to end and survived war crime investigation.

            JVP opposed Provincial Council system of governance from the outset. The party has been fielding candidates since early 1990s winning few and enjoying trappings of marginal power within the Councils.

            JVP is the first one to criticise/blame India for everything from drought in this country to Israeli Palestinian conflict and all disasters happening around the world. However its leaders and cadres never had any qualm when they enjoyed Indian hospitality while they were hiding from Sri Lankan security forces.

            These are some of the observations made by my Elders.

            • 0
              0

              Just Vultures Prey= JVP = jathika thonduva=Jaffna tam`ill`.

      • 3
        0

        Yes Rajasingham Narendran you seem to be easily mesmerised !

        I remember how you were mesmerised by MR too only a few years ago :-)

        • 0
          2

          Dev,

          I yet continue to ‘LAUD’ what MR did for the IDP’s in the immediate aftermath of the war and what he has done to rebuild and build the infrastructure in the north and the east.

          Dr.RN

  • 14
    1

    Good people,

    Just to recap, this is NOT about ‘innocent until proven guilty’ this is about TRANSPARENCY. Justice must not only be done, it must be SEEN to be done.

    This Regime has a good track record of ‘close the doors and do the business’ so don’t hold your breath, good people.

  • 3
    0

    I am actually using this space to pass a message to Venkatraman who writes articles in srilanka-gurdian. Normally a ignore his articles but occationally read them. He normally write thing which he has no indepth knowledge. I really beg him not to write anything about srilankan tamil’s struggle because he does not know anything about them. He normally justify every thing MR does and the very funny thing is blaming TNA meeting with Modi, they are officially elected members not terrorists. We have all the rights to complain to india because we have complained to singhalese government for the last 60 years without any use but occationally get beating.

  • 7
    1

    This is one further instance where the Law and Order process is manipulated and interfered with to the advantage of the State or its
    main players. The process, by no means, can no longer be described as
    free and transparent. The UN, ICJ and other relevant agencies should take note of this grotesque and calculated assault on democracy to be held as evidence when the Rajapakses are eventually brought to face justice.

    Backlash

  • 2
    0

    For the Rajapaksa’s who are supposed to have fought and won a Propaganda War without witnesses, now resort to winning a Court Case without witnesses as well. O’ Tempora! O’ Mores!

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