The Nation Deputy Editor Noyahr was abducted and assaulted in late May 2008, an normal act by the Mahinda government which is accused of abducting and killing any one who opposes the Rajapaksha family members and its government through its famous white van culture. JO calls it as execution of military operations by Rajapapaksha government.
The island nation saw abductions and killings of high-profile journalists and rights defenders during the final months of the war that ended with the defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists in May 2009. The previous government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to probe the crimes despite international pressure. Rights groups have blamed the Rajapaksa government for several abductions, assaults and killings of high-profile journalists or editors who were critical of his government and the war against the Tamil Tigers and killing of more than 40,000 Tamil civilians in May 2009.
But now Mahinda and the Joint Opposition (JO) MP’s yesterday alleged that the recent arrest of former Army Chief of Staff and head of Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) Maj. Gen. Amal Karunasekera over his alleged involvement in the abduction and assault on The Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr was connected to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) agreement with the UNP to save its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe from the no-faith motion moved on April 4. Former President Mahinda and the JO MP’s are trying to use the racist card to cover up the loss of their defeat in the NCM against the PM Ranil.
Mahinda and the JO in parliament are worried that the government is taking up such cases in higher courts instead of settling them in Samatha Mandalayas (mediation boards) due to fear of the accused exposing the then government leaders who gave the orders to do so.
Five army officers, including a Major have been suspended by the Army for their alleged involvement in the abduction and assault of former deputy editor of The Nation Keith Noyahr in February 2017. Noyahr, a senior journalist was abducted in 2008 near his residence and was severely beaten but was released the next day. The incident happened just days after Noyahr wrote an article critical of Sarath Fonseka in his weekly military column published in The Nation. Fonseka now serves as senior minister in the present government. However, in a new twist, it appears that the blame is now being put on former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for being the person who orchestrated the incident. Soon after his abduction and subsequent release, Noyahr who sustained serious injuries, left the country with his family.
Asked whether the JO could justify calls for settling cases of abductions and assassinations at mediation boards the MP said the DMI officers holding senior ranks were being harassed by the current dispensation over their alleged involvement in the disappearance of media personality Prageeth Ekneligoda on the eve of January 26, 2010 presidential polls. Jayakody said that one of the officers had been in remand for over one year though he never was involved in Ekneligoda abduction. This was revealed only after the officer’s ailing father filed a fundamental rights petition.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who unseated Rajapaksa in an upset win in 2015, has promised to probe human rights abuses including war crimes. However, Sirisena’s administration has been sluggish in probing key allegations due to resistance by MP’s of his own party and some government officials.
20 Feb 2017 – “Five army officers, including a Major have been suspended by the Army for their alleged involvement in the abduction and assault of former deputy editor of The Nation Keith Noyahr.” You have arrested the fired, guns, thugs. Now go to the next step, the chain of command , as to who ordered the hired thugs …
20 Feb 2017 – A major breakthrough resulted over the weekend from the CID inquiries into attacks on journalists during the former regime, with a series of early morning arrests of five officers of the Directorate of Military Intelligence over the abduction, assault and torture of former Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr on 22 …
2 Mar 2017 – … the commencement of investigations by the CID. It was 2008; the defeat of the LTTE was obvious and the end of the war was near. While the North shattered under the explosions of artillery fire, the South was also feeling the heat. Keith Noyahr at the time was the Deputy Editor of The Nationnewspaper.
1 day ago – … arrested by the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over investigations into the abduction and assault on journalist Keith Noyahr. The Police said that Major General Karunasekara was accused of being involved in the 2008 abduction of the then Associate Editor of The Nation, KeithNoyahr.