22 February, 2019

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They Have Even Forgotten Our Names: Upali Tennakoon Says 10 Years After Brutal Attack That Still Remains Unresolved

Although 10 years have elapsed after the attack on former Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon, the perpetrators of the assaults are yet to be brought to justice.

Tennakoon was assaulted by an armed gang two weeks after the brutal murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Tennakoon was attacked a few months after the Rivira newspaper was acquired by two close associates of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, namely Nilanka Rajapaksha and Prasanna Wickramasuriya

Wickramasuriya is the brother of former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickremasuriya and a cousin of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Just days after the assassination of Wickrematunge, Tennakoon and his wife came under attack in Gampaha in January 2009. The culprits came on motorbikes and followed a similar attack style which was carried out to attack Wickrematunge, although the attack on Tennakoon was not meant to be fatal.

Although the paper was partly owned by his cousin, Rajapaksa did not conduct a proper investigation into the assault on Tennakoon. The CID began an investigation into the incident in 2015, when the Rajapaksa family fell out of power.

The CID arrested several suspects in connection with the incident. During the identification parade in 2017, Tennakoon and his wife identified the person who attacked them.

He was Premananda Udalagama, who is already in remand custody in connection to Wickrematunge’s assassination has been ordered to be further remanded till August 29.

Udalagama, a Sergeant-Major, was also identified by Dias, driver of Wickrematunge as the man who abducted him. In July, the CID arrested Udalagama claiming that he was involved in Wickrematunge’s murder.

This strongly suggested that the murder of Wickrematunga and the assault on Tennakoon was carried out by the same group. The CID has already informed the court that the abduction of Keith Noyahr was also carried out by the same group that assaulted Tennakoon. The death squad operated from the Tripoli Army camp in Maradana.

Despite pro-longed investigations, there is still no finality on the matter. The suspects have been released on bail and victims are highly frustrated over the delayed justice.

“I highly doubt that justice will ever be served to me. The President speaks in public about the intererts of the suspects of these heinous crimes. Only the CID, or perhaps God, know about the progress of the investigations. At one point, we were asked to submit applications seeking compensation. I too submitted an application thinking the authorities would ‘drop the ball’ if I did not respond to their requests. But, I did not expect any money from a government that did not have a genuine political will to prosecute those who were responsible for brutal attacks on journalists,” Tennakoon said in a Facebook post, this morning.

“The attacks turned our lives upside-down. Only a handful of people were concerned about our well-being. Most politicians have even forgotten our names,” Tennakoon added.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    29

    If Sri lanka is to move forward, CID has to question these Traitors and expose the truth with respect to why did they do so during peak period of the War.

    • 27
      0

      “CID has to question these Traitors and expose the truth with respect to why did they do so during peak period of the War.”

      These traitors were questioning why the “patriots” were doing MIG deals and robbing the poor nations meagre funds that were meant for the war-effort ……… and denying the soldiers even shells/bullets for their artillery/guns.

      For people like ye these are like the Einstein-Heisenberg Gap………. you’ll never get it ! :))

      Now let me throw the ultimate insult ……… you are a quintessential Sri Lankan!

      Look what we have to deal with ……… just because we were so lucky to be born in the shithole.

      • 5
        16

        Nimal,
        “… and denying the soldiers even shells/bullets for their artillery/guns.”
        ——————
        You must be out of your mind to say this. This is the situation prevailed before Mahinda Rajapakse became the President and Gotabhaya became the Defence Secretary. Rajapakses provided everything the Armed forces wanted and boosted the moral. There was a time that it was difficult to recruit to Armed Forces but situation changed after Mahinda Rajapakse became the President. People do not care whether there was a deal or not with MIGs. What is important to them is MIG fighters made a significant contribution to defeat LTTE terrorist and bring peace to all communities. I mean ALL communities!

        • 3
          0

          Eagle Eye,
          Was what you say, the cause of 70,000 deserters from the armed forces – the highest rate in any country?
          Most appeared to have taken their guns home, which are still in use – in crimes.

        • 3
          0

          Eagle Eye,

          “Rajapakses provided everything the Armed forces wanted and boosted the moral.”

          Please listen to Sarath Fonseka about how the price of shells went up 10-fold under (the same way the price of MIGs went up :)) ) Gotabaya’s procumbent board (or whatever it was called) ……. and when stocks were running low Fonseka had to get them on loan using his army connections in Pakistan. And how Fonseka personally had to go and speak to DB Jayasundera to get funds for some other urgent requirements. Any day, I will believe Fonseka over any of the shameless habitual liars, the Rajapakses. When has a Rajapakse ever told the truth? :))

          “People do not care whether there was a deal or not with MIGs.”

          Now, would you say the same thing about the “bond scam?” Let’s have your logic.

          “bring peace to all communities.”

          The whites-vans may have an argument with you about that! ………… unfailingly, in third-world societies ………… independence, redemption, peace, ……….. means ………… taking over the abusing/oppression of one’s own people from some “outsider.”

          “You must be out of your mind to say this.”

          Please read what you have written again and decide who is out of his mind! :))

          I’m not surprised! This is what majority of the Lankans do …….. they deceive themselves. ………. but be glad ……. there is a movement afoot to usher Lanka into the post-gullible-age ………. we’ll see results in another 2500 years of our glorious civilization.

          quintessential Sri Lankans! :))

          • 0
            3

            Nimal,
            You are again out of your mind to compare MIG deal (if there was any) with ‘Bond Scam’. Buying MIGs happened while a war was going on. ‘Bond Scam’ happened under ‘Yahapalana’ Government that gave pledges to eradicate corruption.
            Have you heard what went on with Fonseka and his SIL?

        • 4
          0

          Eagle Blind Eye


          ” bring peace to all communities. I mean ALL communities!”

          Whoever read your typing don’t think so.
          You missed more important point about war preparation, Hindians lent about $2 billion through their export guarantee schemes over a 3 year period.
          What was your contribution to the war effort?

        • 3
          0

          We the right thinking ones would be happy, if BP Rajakashes would have been skinned today than tomorrow.
          :
          The highest punishment should work on them.
          :
          Then the day arises, where we all srilankens could work for a sustainable soluton for our long standing ethnic problems.
          :
          You the kind of DRIED pumpkins are in and our of parliament Eagle Eye BP.
          :
          Our fury would not settle its dust until Rajapakshes get free. They deserves to be behind bar for their rest of lives. Basta

      • 0
        0

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    • 15
      0

      Lasantha was murdered on broad day light – that is just nothing for lanken press. Almost much is revealed, but SIRISENA blocks almost every investigation.
      .
      Keith Noyahr was brutally assaulted, – tha is just nothing for lanken press, Almost much is revealed, but SIRISENA blocks almost every investigation.

      Sirsa TV channel was attacked by former Minister Mervin Silva under the command of Rajapakshe govt – TODAY SIRASA DOES NOT EVEN REMEMBER IF THEY WERE ATTACKED BY RAJAPAKSHES:
      .
      Ekanligoda was abducted and went missing, they the family of two teenager kid are in tears yet today. -Almost much is revealed, but SIRISENA blocks almost every investigation.
      .
      Thadjudeen MUERDER was buried under the carpert calling it was an accident, but this govt found it to be an another MURDER of ultra brutal nature, with the mediation of RAJAPAKSHE sons and his wife alleged GOLD business woman, but press is no more interested in them, than the bond bank scam to have been occured during 2015-2017.
      Almost much is revealed, but SIRISENA blocks almost every investigation.
      :
      Bond BANK scam to have occured lossing over 990 billions RPS is no INTERESTED to LANKEN press.Almost much is revealed, but SIRISENA blocks almost every investigation.
      .
      Even if LANKEN Press is being criticised, black media s actions remain as before. Black media and Rajpakshe goons work together to paint the picture in favour of them. May well be some of the media men are on their top lists to be gunned down next day, if THEY would stand against Rajapakshes
      :
      This wonder land SRILANKA – filled with EXTREMISTS and all high criminals.

      Only way out would be to ask ALL MIGHTY GODS to take this man et away by applying divine forces.

  • 18
    0

    Upali Tennekoon knows this just as well as most people; that when there is political involvement in a matter, invisible forces work to ensure that nothing ever happens – sometimes not even a sham trial. The judiciary is also an unwitting partner. Cases get ‘postponed’ forever. Judges are helpless. There are thousands of ‘outstanding’ cases – justice delayed, is justice denied is an apt watchword. People are helpless, and just seem to have to put up with charade.

    Our political leaders are so thick skinned, and deaf to the complaints of the people.

  • 19
    0

    Do not rely on politicians especially from Sri Lanka. They are only keen taking revenge on their rivals while accumulating their wealth by plundering State’s resources. Now unqualified politicians are in the platform who wants to mislead people.

    • 0
      0

      Ayathuray Rajasingam,

      “They are only keen taking revenge on their rivals while accumulating their wealth by plundering State’s resources”

      Thank God, Prabakaran was MR’s enemy!!!

  • 3
    13

    Ministry of LAW and order, ‘Judiciary, BASL are all screwed up places. these people tried to make hay out of that mayhem.They do not talk that.

  • 8
    3

    (From AFP): “Sri Lanka’s police seized a haul of high explosives stashed near a wildlife sanctuary following the arrest of four men from a newly formed radical Muslim group, officials said Friday.”
    This is just from today’s AFP.
    Of course, what do we expect from the Police or Judiciary? To do wonders! They have to stop running after old robbers in order to catch new robbers, rapists, underworld thugs, and radical religious fundamentalists like the above.
    Not only this journalist but many from the past namely, Richard de Soyza, Premakeerthi de Alwis, and over 60,000 young men and women in the late 80s have been forgotten by everyone. We all know that Rohana Wijeweera was thrown to the incinerator at Borella cemetery alive! Does any JVP MP talk about him?
    In SL, RaniW’s name has been changed to Anura Kumara Wickremasinghe and Anura Kumara’s name to Ranil Kumar Dissanayake by local villagers.

  • 6
    0

    Await natural justice. The perpetrators and those who gave orders are living among us.My be seated next to you in a bus hospital or pass you speedily in a motorcade.Retribution will come sooner than later in this life. They who know this and their kith and kin cannot be getting good sleep.

  • 5
    0

    This has become a joke.Allowing Udalagama on bail is the worst mistake.Everyone will be now be afraid and intimidated by him including the victims.There should have been a trial and he should have been on death row by now with pottu naufer and others.One day they all should be executed.

  • 5
    3

    JD, SOB, you lick both sides – front and rear – of these murderers and looters who destroyed the moral fabric of the nation, and you too taking a big part in that by going to shop for them. Until scoundrels like you and your dirty and blood thirty paymasters’ live, there wouldn’t be any salvation for that country and it’s inhabitants .

  • 4
    0

    lawyers like arabs live on dates
    miscreants are on bail but not in jail
    the river of justice flows ever so slowly in sri lanka

  • 6
    0

    Except when war is declared, forces should be subjected to civilian laws, if society is to recover from such abuses of power.

  • 6
    0

    I HAVE GIVEN EVIDENCE ON THIS TO CID.

    • 5
      0

      Thank you: But even prima facie evidence in terms of Thadujeen killing, was buried under the carpet.
      :
      How would it have been , IF NAMAL BABY OR ANY OF THE OTHER BASTARD SONS would have been hurt or gunned down by any usual kind of annonymous killers ?.
      .
      My blood boils whenever I just think that NOHTING seems to work to put these high criminals in jails. Not just for couple of years but rest of the life they should all be jailed. Then only we can think of reconciliation in this country.

  • 12
    2

    It ‘s time, Ranil W hands over the PM post to next eligible UNP politician so that their chances in the next Elections are improved.
    Ranil W has no interest in getting the criminal cases against Rajapaksa clan solved.
    People are getting FRUSTRATED with the way GoSL being run currently. Our future generations are being taught bribery/thuggery/ drug pedalling will bring in enough MONEY to live luxuriously and above Law!
    It’s not only Tennekoon waiting for the criminals to be caught and brought forward to face justice, there are so many others are waiting.

  • 2
    1

    Everyone knows very well who the master is these poor fellows only carried out the orders of the monster this rowdy’s SL citizenship should strip and let him to be in the USA.
    If he succeeds as prez definitely US Army boots will be here he follows Irag soldier Sadam Hussaian,
    As we all knows he had death squad with white van without number plate

  • 2
    0

    Warped Shinhala minds have the great knack to stand justice with the feet sticking up.

  • 2
    0

    Ten years ago the culture of impunity was at its peak. Journalist Lasantha was assassinated. Probably to impress that “Journalists on both sides be aware”, the former Rivira journalist Upali Tennakoon was brutally assaulted. (The Rivira newspaper was acquired by two close associates of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, namely Nilanka Rajapaksha and Prasanna Wickramasuriya – where did the money come from?)
    There are signs of the culture of impunity being bridled but has the corruption abated at all?. Nepotism has not!
    .
    We, layLankans, have not forgotten Upali Tennakoon.

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