17 October, 2021

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That Fateful Night With DIG Anura Senanayake

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

When I heard the news of retired Senior DIG Anura Senanayake’s death, my memories took me back to a fateful night at the Dehiwala police station in May 2008.

On that night, journalist Keith Noyahr, the then Deputy Editor of the now defunct ‘The Nation’ newspaper, was abducted and brutally tortured by a “hit squad”.

When the abduction took place, at around 10 PM near the entrance of Noyahr’s Dehiwala residence, I was the only one in the editorial at ‘Rivira’ attending to some last-minute work. In fact, I had met Keith at the office, just hours earlier. I remember the call that came to the editorial office, with the message, “Keith has been kidnapped. No one knows details.”

I put the phone down and rushed to the Dehiwala police station in desperation to find out what happened to our colleague. Several other journalists who worked with us — Munza Mushtaq, Dharisha Bastians and Wasantha Siriwardena — also joined and we inquired of the police officers as what they knew about how our friend had gone “missing” at the doorstep to his own residence.

No officer was able to give us a convincing answer. Soon, we were joined by the former CEO of the Rivira newspaper group Krishantha Cooray and the former Editor of ‘The Nation’ newspaper Lalith Allahakkoon — with whom Noyahr had dinner nearly a half an hour before the abduction. We were asked frivolous questions by the police officers, such as whether we suspected anyone for the abduction or whether the journalist had any “personal enemies”. As the journalists kept pressing the police officers for answers, the atmosphere became heated and intense.

It was at this point that Senior DIG Anura Senanayake — one of the most influential police officers at the time — visited the Dehiwala police station. His behaviour was abrasive and arrogant. In the heat of the moment, an argument broke out between Cooray and Senanayake, after Senanayake asked if the missing journalist had “a girlfriend”, suggesting the abduction might have been due to an extramarital affair. Noyahr is a deeply religious man with an unwavering commitment to his wife and children.

In the end, an angry Senanayake asked whether we knew who abducted the journalist, to which Cooray responded curtly, pointing out he should ask the question from the President, the Defence Secretary and the Army Commander.

As there was no proactive response from the police, Cooray spoke to some of his friends in the telecommunications industry and attempted to locate Nohayr through his mobile phone via transmission towers. All of us who were gathered at the Dehiwala police station kept on sending him text messages, assuming his abductors would switch on his mobile phone at some point, and the messages would be delivered.

In the meantime, Cooray spoke to Karu Jayasuriya, a minister of the Rajapaksa government at the time, and requested him to intervene in securing the release of Noyahr. We later learned that Jayasuriya had spoken to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the issue and the President had then contacted Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Around 1 AM, we learned that Noyahr’s phone was located somewhere close to Malwana and Delgoda. Since we didn’t have much faith in the “police investigations” led by Anura Senanayake, we got into our own vehicles and set out in search of our friend. In Wasantha Siriwardena’s vehicle, Ishara Kodikara and I went to Delgoda, while the other journalists did the same. On the way, we talked to each other and informed each other of our whereabouts in order to stay safe. The government soon realised this abduction was becoming a serious issue as a result of this concerted effort by the journalistic fraternity.

Then we received a telephone call at around 4 AM saying that Noyahr had been severely beaten, tortured and brought to Dehiwala. We immediately turned around and rushed back to Colombo. When we arrived in Colombo, we were told he had been taken to the National Hospital. Noyahr was in such a state of shock he could not even speak.

My next interaction with Anura Senanayake was in the immediate aftermath of the brutal attack on Upali Tennakoon, another senior journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of the Rivira newspaper. I was personally involved in ensuring the safety of Tennakoon after the assault, as he is a relative, and he lived in our house right until he left the country after the incident. I remember Senanayake visiting our house to meet Tennakoon, where he made the false assumption that it was the same group that murdered Lasantha Wickrematunge that had attempted to kill Tennakoon, using the same weapons. He made it sound as if the same group of “goons” had tried to kill another journalist, in an attempt to hoodwink the investigators.

These two incidents happened long before the killing of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen in which Senanayake was implicated and prosecuted for concealing evidence.

Anura Senanayake’s life and death is a reminder that it is character and integrity that define the life of any professional and not the willingness to satisfy the wills of political masters at any cost. Insatiable desire for perks, privileges and ‘upward mobility’ at the expense of ethics and values leads one to commit unforgivable sins.

I wish his soul peace.

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Latest comments

  • 24
    8

    “Anura Senanayake’s life and death is a reminder that it is character and integrity that define the life of any professional and not the willingness to satisfy the wills of political masters at any cost.”
    I accept the essay without condition. But I have no faith in Anura’s death (rather murder). I could not accept Suriyachari’s death or Mathusa’s death. Pillaiyan was about to fished in prison. So he ordered hone food. Nobody can write a star’s chart for Shani. Tamilini, Pulasthini all are in the government staged dramas. Pulasthini (Sara) was put in the Vehicle New King Administration organized to SainthaMaruthu. Somebody gave out a pre-constructed list as death people inside the bombed house. Rapist Army took away Pulasthini hoping people going to think that she died inside the house. They never expected foreign intelligence coming there and DNA testing taking place. Now they have turned the table on India for giving warning of the attack. They are framing a case that India kidnapped Pulsating after bombing, so the bombing I organized was by India, through Pulasthini.
    Remember, Justice Sriskandarajah’s family said he died by natural cause and denied admission to BASL members to funeral. But BASL president Upul Jayasuriya said he died because he upheld CJ Shiranee’s dismissal was unconstitutional.
    Now journalist may not go after Anura, who is already death but go after his death. Why did he die?

    • 32
      4

      Dear Rasika,
      thanks very much for this analysis.
      .
      Srilanken judges wait until any alleged criminals be dead so that they can leave the verdicts in favour of Rajapakshes. We perfectly know how DIG worked with Gotabaya-Mara in the murders of Wasim Thadjudeen – the Rugby player. He was killed and being planted on the front passenger side of the vehicle, MaRa et al repatedly added that Ruby player was believed to have driven that vehicle with a 160 or more speed in that brutal night. Remember ? Srilanken judges would never go against Rajakashes criminals for some reasons, so the victimized family is fully lost as of today.
      As of now, in that murder, the JMO who verified it to be a death through an accident is now dead.
      Then this DIG Anura Senanayaka was held in remand by GG govt for such a long time. But POLONNARUWE DONKEY aka former president SORYSENA stood against the interogation with MARA’s murderous wife, Shiranthi Rajapakshe aka alleged GOLD BUSINESS woman.
      .
      As of today, Thadjudeens family is set of the torments of tantalus serving the justice for that murder case. If any bastard sons of MARA would have been killed instead, things would have been twisted for the revenge, for sure. They can get on with punnakku eating majority in this country even if they are the most known high criminals to the very same nation.

  • 32
    3

    When will they ever learn !
    The least he could have done was to leave a written confession before he died.

    • 10
      2

      PakisB,
      .
      So long sinhala genetics is in his, nothing like would ever be possible.
      :
      My anger is people to have decided high criminals be back and let ruin where they were stopped by 2015.
      .
      Today, Nandasena the teenage politician has proved, his capabilities can only be in extrajudicial killings, if one with some sanity would please focus only high crimes reported alone in POST war period.

  • 17
    3

    The writer says: ” I wish his soul peace”. Even without wishing that “SOUL” must be enjoying “PEACE” for being able to “EVAPORATE”,( get “Released”) from that “Body” of “Brutality”, “Wickedness”, “Immorality” and “Cusadness”. Can anyone imagine how much that “SOUL” would have been suffering being forced into that “Kind” of a “Physical Existence”? I am certain that “Soul” would have struggled with all its manifestations to correct the course within that “Biological” entity, but some other “Manifestations” that the writer has explained “Briefly” within the purview of his experience would have “Overtaken” that “Struggle” (of the Soul) and “FAILED”. That “Failure” was temporary, because, the “END” (that befell on him) was an “EYE-OPENER” not only to the deceased but also to “ALL” others who think no end of themselves and “BEHAVE” and “ACT” to “CHALLENGE” the callings of the “Soul”. Thank you “SOUL” for showing the “Reality” (manifestation in the end) and may “YOU” be able to SHOW HIM THE WAY towards a “WHOLESOME LIFE”.

    • 2
      0

      My dear Simon,

      to the very same manner, our eyes will see it soon how Mafia Boss will go down soon. He cant even move comfortably from a to b as I notice him on the screen whereever he is going to be. MaRa will have to face the karmic retribution going beyond to the manner to any other like minded brutal leaders.
      :
      I dont go after religions but I believe if any good can come on them to the manenr any high crimes committed deliberately could do the same.
      :
      Let s hope at least in a few years now, ANIMALS dominated our race would learn it. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
      :
      God bless goodies in SL

  • 35
    3

    Let us not forget the role he played in the terrible death of young Wasir Thajudeen. We know who he covered for, who he protected, and who he will lie for. He belongs in Hell, and should pay for his sins there, if there is an afterlife. One less evil person on our streets. He put many good families through pain and suffering, and does not deserve any peace.

    • 30
      2

      “He belongs in Hell, and should pay for his sins there, if there is an afterlife. One less evil person on our streets. He put many good families through pain and suffering, and does not deserve any peace.”
      Hmmm I don’t know, Ashan.
      Rasika says, “Insatiable desire for perks, privileges and ‘upward mobility’ at the expense of ethics and values leads one to commit unforgivable sins” The world is indeed full of these people, and Sri Lanka has more than its fair share. Its leaders are among the most corrupt in the world, so we are the best at least at this shameful and dark art.
      But WHY indeed do people stoop so low, and HOW can they enjoy the rewards from their misdeeds? I ask this of the people holding the highest office in the land: What makes you steal, deal, harm, maim and kill? Your offspring may gloat in the perks they derive from all of this, but how can they look their kids in the eye and say, “ this is all from the proceeds of criminal misdeeds of my parents”?
      I do not hold a candle to the west, but at least the majority of the people there are capable of differentiating right from wrong, and of holding their leaders to account for misdeeds, both past and present.

      • 4
        0

        Easton,

        Don’t forget that Trump was elected, and was almost elected a second time. The West might have once seemed much better than the 3rd world countries, but today, the Republican party is full of lies and dishonesty. There are no easy answers, but a return to a simpler living can also make the compulsion to lie, cheat and murder go away.

      • 2
        0

        To add to Agnos’s description of the Republican Party, may I mention a recent article in Counterpunch. It is available at: https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/01/20/the-nazification-of-the-republican-party/

    • 21
      1

      Ashan: This “HE” who covered others has “PAID”. Fair enough. The question remains, what happens to those whom “HE” covered. Aren’t very many of those who got “COVERED” still in “HIGH SEATS”. You mentioned the case of Thajudeen. This “HE” is the second person to pay the price. The “FIRST” was the “Judicial Medical Official, Mr Samarasekera, who “Reported,” that Thajudeen died of an “Accident”. This man was the person who “Distorted” evidence. The “First” and “Second” have paid the “Penalty”. It looks, that “Law Of Nature” – KARMA follows a certain order.

    • 5
      15

      Ashan,
      When Sinhalayo heard that megalomaniac Velupillai Prabhakaran who massacred Sinhalayo for three decades is dead, they too had similar thoughts.

      “One less evil person on our streets. He put many good families through pain and suffering, and does not deserve any peace.”

      • 9
        2

        Eagle,
        “(Prabhakar)….massacred Sinhalayo for three decades is dead, they too had similar thoughts.
        I ca also remember that these same Sinhalayo lit crackers when VP bumped off Premadasa. Can’t you remember?

  • 25
    3

    In the end he suffered and died. Sometimes that alone is punishment. Cos no amount of wealth one has ill gotten doing dirty deeds for for their masters. Death will never be peaceful. These souls wander the earth trying to find peace but will eventually rot.

  • 33
    2

    Thanks, Rasika Jayakody, for writing honestly.
    .
    Some people who were abducted, disappeared, murdered, . . . I did know personally; but we read, and so we know of these others.
    .
    It’s time we began talking plainly.

    • 0
      3

      pannini you white peoples slave

      here is someone writing plainly.

      https://island.lk/a-german-analysts-view-on-the-eelam-war-in-sri-lanka/

      • 4
        2

        a14455 / March 1, 2021

        Actually it should be other way around. You are ones who are being slaved by WHITE people. Mr SM lives in a rural part of SRILANKA. He has been having a modest life.
        :
        Please you go to kindergarten before going to attack my GURU Sinhala man !

        God bless srilanka !

  • 9
    0

    Will Rajapaksa secrets be buried with him?

    That is the question.

  • 9
    0

    Nice to recall the past. Anura was an accomplice to crimes committed.

  • 9
    0

    Simon says “………….The “First” and “Second” have paid the “Penalty”. It looks, that “Law Of Nature” – KARMA follows a certain order”. Ranil and Sirisena too should be at the end of the line for safeguarding the Chain.

    • 3
      0

      Eratne: Why at the “end of the line”? I agree because they must “SEE” for themselves what is in stock for them. That is the greatest “Punishment one can see and suffer in “Silence” but not all the time. All those who held and hold the high seat of power must know that “KARMA” is a “Silent” but “Definitive” come back.

  • 12
    0

    i am surprised to know that Anura Senanayake was a good singer his Kurulla song was popular. Now that bird has flown away from this world. A talented person like him wasted his activity by associating with a bunch of power-hungry politicians. In Tamil we sat Addiyaal that means hired hitman We see such police officers in Tamil cinmena There is a proverb in Tamil which says what is in the herat is reflected in the face, he accumulated many Karma.s If he is Buddhist what will be his next birth Guess. a puppy in Gotabayls house

  • 4
    0

    Can any one of the Pundits writing comments in CT tell a man what life would mean to him when the guardians of the law and order conspire together with a most notorious criminal gang to kidnap and subsequently taking illegal possession of the valuable property of his? The District Court, High Court and the Supreme Court rubber stamped and blessed the treasonable counterclaim made up of forgeries with names of well known criminals sticking out like a sore thumb making it a double whammy by loosing the rest, after investing a fortune in time and money praying for justice. The long hand of the law is chopped off by the Mafia. The Officials are stiff scared to go against them.

  • 0
    0

    The hallmark of this author’s narrative is “character and integrity that define the life of any professional and not the willingness to satisfy……”, where it the party receiving satisfaction is the powers that may be. That is what brings about independence and not independence guaranteed by constitutions, laws and the so called brand of “Independent Commissions”. The author may recount this admirable principle upon the passing away one of our beings but this is true at all times 24/7. That is what runs certain countries even without a written constitution. May be bold enough to ask the world at large to compare the performances of UK, Israel and New Zealand, having no written constitutions and that of Sri Lanka with all the fantastic provisions in a written constitution what the result is like? The answer to the question “why is it so?” is the aforesaid principle outlined by this author.

  • 2
    0

    The hallmark of this author’s narrative is “character and integrity that define the life of any professional and not the willingness to satisfy……”, where it the party receiving satisfaction is the powers that may be. That is what brings about independence and not independence guaranteed by constitutions, laws and the so called brand of “Independent Commissions”. The author may recount this admirable principle upon the passing away one of our beings but this is true at all times 24/7. That is what runs certain countries even without a written constitution. May be bold enough to ask the world at large to compare the performances of UK, Israel and New Zealand, having no written constitutions and that of Sri Lanka with all the fantastic provisions in a written constitution what the result is like? The answer to the question “why is it so?” is the aforesaid principle outlined by this author. This principle is what we all should cherish.

  • 10
    0

    “Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can’t get away screwing people over your whole life. What goes around comes around. That’s how it works. Sooner or later the universe will serve the revenge that you deserve.”

    • 2
      0

      Diyanii ,

      Is that the Karma you are talking about is some kind of Bald Head vulture. It is shy of criminals until they are alive, but always coming after they are dead and their criminal soul is gone!

  • 8
    0

    The big shark still free and untouchable,even though these officers committed crimes but they carried of the orders of the masters.
    Even the case of drugs,they catch peddlers but don’t follow up and catch the lords and stops the flow sadly,

  • 11
    0

    Wish to thank – Mr Rasika Jayakodi for doing your duty as a reporter – for a better tomorrow for future genarations in Sri Lanka.

    The TRUTH – will set us free

  • 3
    20

    NOW he is dead and paid from full with all his suffering.
    ===
    Let go guys

    Now we need urgently a semi Military rule for next 25 years .
    No need elections waste of Money.
    And now the Military has proven they can wipeoup all the crimes.
    So Hope our beloved his Excellency
    Will quickly bring in a constitution.
    And end all the crooked businesses

  • 5
    7

    The writer uses the death of this man to suggest this is payback for some actions he allegedly did. Now that is plain stupid. When the author or any of us pass away by his own theory that will be payback?

    Laughable !!!!

    • 3
      0

      a14455 / February 28, 2021- you the kind of backlickers of that family is on a decline today…. wait and see, how it would work for the show down of STUPID rajapapkashes… coming colour is no good to them at all.

      Experts and srilanken political anaylst predict that Mahinda Rajapakshe would face it even going beyond to the level of ANURA senarayaka.
      :
      Already now, it seems almost everyhting is appeared to be SWOLLEN in MR’s body. His will be the next karmic retribution on the top of the list. If SRILANKEN judiciary is easily tamed by BELIATHTHA rascals, we can only rely on DEVINE forces.
      And people s verdict, with every 2nd within those 6.9 millions have turned back as of today. They would be more than happy Nandasena, Persy, and other criminals in that family would be raw buried in a same pit for all the high crimes they deliberately committed to this nation.

  • 1
    0

    Todays news. Decapitated body inside a suitcase was found in Dam Street and the suspect, a SI who dumped was later found (alleged) dead hanging.

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