The Mount Lavinia District judge was told today (October 31, 2014) in defamation case number 6036/08, known as the MIG Case, filed against Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence (and brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa), that the new management of Leader Publications now wants to retain fresh counsel to defend the company. This development comes, after Rajapaksa was subjected to rigorous cross-examination for several days, by a team of lawyers headed by senior counsel M. A. Sumanthiran, on behalf of the Sunday Leader. The cross-examination is still not over. Colombo Telegraph has previously reported that journalists were prevented from observing and reporting on these court proceedings, by the military.
The management change is as a result of a change of ownership in the Sunday Leader newspaper’s publisher, Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd. The company is now bought over by interests represented by controversial businessman, Asanga Seneviratne who is widely believed to be close to the Rajapaksa regime.
Some time ago, the counsel who appeared for the Sunday Leader against Rajapaksa to defend allegations of defamation were described as ‘traitors in black coats’ by the Defence Ministry website. This caused the Bar Association and others to protest and strongly condemn the attempt to interfere with the right of all to legal representation and due process. The item was removed from the site, thereafter.
The court gave instructing attorney A. Ranagala who told court of the management decision, time to organize new counsel according to the wishes of the new management of Leader Publications.
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.
Media Not Allowed To Cover Sumanthiran Cross-Examining Gotabaya
Press Barred Again From Covering Gotabaya’s Cross Examination In Court
EW Golding / October 31, 2014
What lengths this lousy government and rotten Defence Secretary will go to in order to cover up their crimes! Phew!
Ben Hurling / October 31, 2014
A blatant attempt to manipulate yet another Judicial outcome by a Rajapassa. Anybody surprised?
The rotten logic behind takeover of Leader Publications by a Rajapassa acolyte called Asanga Seneviratne is now clear.
What’s next takeover of Colombo Telegraph by Tilanga Sumathipala?
Verdict of this case is now a forgone conclusion. Gota will be given a clean bill.
PS: I salute attorney-at-law Sumanthiran’s courage & professionalism. Sri Lanka needs more men & women of his caliber. To stand against the kind of abuse of power, we are now witnessing in our country.
burning_Issue / October 31, 2014
“A blatant attempt to manipulate yet another Judicial outcome by a Rajapassa. Anybody surprised?”
What is astonishing is that, your constant showing of incredulity of the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the MR Regime. If they are unscrupulous enough to interfere with the judiciary and intimidate even to abduct and kill people, it is totally credulous that they most likely had committed crimes against humanity during May 2009!
You must admit that there is only one salvation for Sri Lanka, that is the UN headed investigation!
Dr.Rajasingham Narendran / October 31, 2014
Sumanthiran deserves it! How can he dare to cross examine our ‘ Almighty’ ? How dare we question our Karma?
Jazzy / October 31, 2014
Sumanthiran beware the white van awaits!!!
Sylvia Haik / October 31, 2014
The Rajapaksas can ride roughshod over the hapless Sri Lankans but thankfully there is a hand of justice teetering over Gotabaya’s head, namely the UN Investigation Team, that will get him sooner or later. Slobadan Milosovic, President of Serbia though so too, but he too ended up in jail with his corrupt Generals.
Been Hurling / October 31, 2014
Yep. They would white van him.
However, unfortunately for the practioners of White Vaning, MP Sumanthiran’s profile is pretty strong. Both in and outside of SL.
That’s the only reason why he is secure for the time being.
Rajash / October 31, 2014
The case is filed against the Sunday Leader, and they are withdrawing Sumanthiran because he is doing a good job defending them?
hey hey what is the logic? they might as well pay up why put up a boru fight?
burt / November 1, 2014
The Leader wanted to defend it integrity for real but then it was bought out by some who put financial gain above integrity. Its sad but that’s what Sri Lanka has turned into.
anonymous / October 31, 2014
Well done Sumanthiran. You have proven your capabilities and courage.
There is no escape for you, Gotabaya. It’s the ‘cart following the ox’. It’s no good changing the OX as long as the cart is carrying the same ‘Dung’. Time has come to change the cart and it will be done in a peaceful manner. Remember Never to shoot a POW. Sorry pal, end is getting closer & closer. Have you figured out where to go yet?. USA will love to have you back and have all your hard earned billions in their treasury but the question is, will they let you in?. It’s a different administration to the murderous ‘Bush, Cheney & Rumsweld isn’t it?.
Sylvia Haik / November 3, 2014
Gotabaya has Dual Citizenship and he would live a life of Riley in USA. Unfortunately for him, the people whose rights he has trampled upon have a better chance of seeking justice in USA than in Sri Lanka. His pilfered Rs.Billions cannot save him. Mahinda too has Dual Citizenship but they cannot escape the clutches of the UN and cannot hide in USA. Their only solace might be in Zimbabwe where like minded tyrants wanting to be Presidents forever, exists.
Amunewali / October 31, 2014
Lawyers should rally round against this lawless regime that repeatedly refuses to respect the rule of law and people like Sumanthiran should refuse to practice law in this lawless regime. They should demand the Commonwealth Secratariate to force the govt of Sri Lanka to honour its obligations under the Commonwealth charter to honour and respect the rule of law and good governance.
Saman / October 31, 2014
The question is for how long the jokers could keep on fooling the country and the world.
Piranha / October 31, 2014
If Sumanthiran subjected Gota to rigourous cross-examination then he appears to be the only person in the country brave enough to challenge Gota.
Anybody else survived after challenging Gota? None, to my knowledge!
Siva Sankaran Sarma / October 31, 2014
Imagine, if Suma’s balls had dropped and he showed some of this ‘bravery’ before Thalaivar had the close encounter with an axe, we may not have needed Gota to take care of things at all :D
Rajash / October 31, 2014
we know long ago that you have no balls left
Native Vedda / November 2, 2014
“we know long ago that you have no balls left”
Are you saying Wee Thamihz D:Siva Sankaran Sarma is a eunuch or Gota’s b**ls carrier or both?
a man who has been castrated, especially (in the past) one employed to guard the women’s living areas at an oriental court.
an ineffectual person.
burt / November 1, 2014
You cannot blame Suma when you had them in your mouth. Now you seem to have switched to Gota.
Siva Sankaran Sarma / November 1, 2014
Projecting your fetish for shrivelled old raisins again I see, purt :D
Mallaiyuran / November 1, 2014
Mennan you are a poor soul. Your Mennan logicis, if man is brave he should not hesitate to beat his wife. It is you brother prince after murdering JVP’s girls, including Premawathi Manamperi, quit the Army and ran to USA. Shape of real Cowardice. These cowardice gave cookie to child and shot him. If their stories are true why did not they go to OHCHR? Other than Karuna nobody was scared of Talaivar. Just because all have been working with Thalaivar.
Peace Lover / November 3, 2014
ouch ouch “Siva Sankaran ‘blacker’ Sarma ” is getting peeved here folk ;-)
Tamil from the north / October 31, 2014
@Piranha, great observation. I hope Suma lives on to harass this ex-petrol station cashier until he is brought to justice.
truth / October 31, 2014
We need more Sumanthirans from the Sinhala community!!
The day the majority of the Sinhalese admits that there had been injustice done to the minorities by the successive Sinhalese govt. since independence is the day to be celebrated and there would be some hope for justice, law and order and fair play in this wretched country.
The day they all get together irrespective language and religion and invite the UN headed investigation into the island is the day we can expect some hope. If they keep on saying that there was no discrimination, and there was no extra judicial killings, there was no civilian deaths in 2009, there was no unlawful arrests, deaths in detention of minorities, we are doomed. The killings, corruption, nepotism will continue!!
It is amusing to see when it comes to Tamil issues, they all sing in one voice “they deserve it” They will realise that ones the Tamils are finished their turn will be next!!!
gamini / October 31, 2014
In the eyes of the Corrupt Judiciary of Sri Lanka, Gota may be acquitted. But in the eyes of the Intelligent masses of the country, Gota is guilty beyond all doubt.
Upul / November 1, 2014
Just a side-bar comment…Why use only a white van and thereby create the impression there is a single source for the crime… Is that a sign of arrogance or stupidity? Danno danee!
Pot Shot / November 1, 2014
Why should he be taken out now ? Is the Leader fearing that Sumanthiran might actually win the case for them? Makes sense because Asanga is one of the many front men for Rajapakse’s money. The Leader and the Nation paper were both bought with Rajapakse approval and money.
j.thavarajah / November 1, 2014
This turn of events can take place only in this Land like no other.
When Mr,Sumanthiran had reached a point in his searching and Brilliant Cross-Examination of the Plaintiff alarm have rung.Using his political clout the Plaintiff instructs the Defendant to change Counsel!
At the next hearing new counsel will engage in a damage control exercise.In other words the cross-examination will cease and Evidence will be led.
THIS could be the only instance in recorded Legal History,where the Plaintiff becomes the Defendant and the Defendant turns Plaintiff in mid-stream!
It,should read as alarm bells.
Talking of alarm bells well did JOHN DONNE [The Poet] write Do not ask for whom the Bells toll;It tolls for Thee.
K.A Sumanasekera / November 1, 2014
TNA and its Vellala leaders tell the West that they have no freedom,
And they are a scared minority who get lifted by Whit Vans,
Their women get raped.
They don’t have land and they get “genocide” performed on them.
And here is the main mouth piece and the Anglican Faction Leader of the TNA doing Pro Bono work, to throw mud at the Defence Secretary of the Nation, under the pretence of cross examination.
And they are the ones who claim that the same Defence Sec is so powerful and the chief architect of the Tamil Oppression. and they are scared of him.
What a bunch of hypocrite are these TNA Vellalas?..
Tamil from the north / November 1, 2014
Hey Sumanasekeram, don’t you have anything with substance to write? Always you are with this Vellalah crap. Write something with substance or shut up. Why are you so upset Sumanthiran has a brain in his skull and your master Goat has nothing.
Lapatiya / November 1, 2014
You don’t have be surprised with this new Move.There is no real opposition now as Mahinda Rajapaksha controlling Main Opposition through Sajith Premadasa and break possible broad alliance. Thanks to Ranil’s greediness to power and many thanks to Keeli Maharaja and Tyran Allas for helping Ranil to take loosing path.
Now in this case Gota and Sunday Leader one party and Sumanthiran is one party.
Truth / November 1, 2014
“And here is the main mouth piece and the Anglican Faction Leader of the TNA doing Pro Bono work, to throw mud at the Defence Secretary of the Nation, under the pretence of cross examination”
“Anglican faction” – Discrimination explicitly visible! What is the necessity to say “Anglican faction”
“Throw mud at the Defence Secretary”- Is the Defense Secretary above everything!! If he has no guilt, he should face it and prove it instead of “getting” the counsel changed!!
I feel sorry for you. You are compelled to write something for the pittance you get from them. But, no amount of bleach will whiten them!!!
Wickramasiri / November 2, 2014
Leader Publications have no guts even to defend itself. They can now hire Gomin Dayasiri to whitewash every thing.
Peace Lover / November 3, 2014
or S L Gunasekera as well!
Karuppiah / November 5, 2014
I think this will turn out to be the most farcical case in the history of jurisprudence in Ceylon/Sri Lanka.
That is because the all powerful plaintiff who finds himself on a sticky wicket manages to prevail upon the defendant to allow him (the plaintiff) to choose the counsel for the defendant.
And he does this by resorting to the worst type of machinations.