Rajapaksa Family and SLPP Top Leaders “Livid” At Gotabaya For Letting a “Controversial Personality” Accompany him to the US and Take Part in all Engagements With Him Despite Warnings by Family Members Not to do so.
The first tweet, surprising enough, came from a power centre within the government. It said that Ahimsa, the daughter of slain editor Lasantha Wickremetunge had filed civil action in a Los Angeles Court against Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Opposition presidential hopeful and former Defence Secretary.
Lasantha’s brother Lal Wickremetunga, Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Australia, told the Sunday Times on the telephone from Sydney, “The family had waited for five years under the Rajapaksa government and another five years under the present one. They did not get justice. Therefore, they have gone before a US court.” The remarks were an about-turn from what he said just two weeks earlier.
Denying moves to file a case against his brother’s killing, he then told the Sunday Times (Café Spectator March 31): “Those reports are completely untrue. I have no plans to file any action in US courts. I am awaiting the outcome of what the Sri Lanka courts would do once those responsible are indicted.” Now he admits action indeed has been filed in US courts, albeit by “the family”. According to other well-informed sources, he played a key role in the ongoing exercise co-ordinating matters.
The brutal killing of Lasantha, Editor of the now defunct Sunday Leader, and one-time politician of sorts, took place on January 8, 2009. Since then, for the past ten years, investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), have been mired in deep mystery and controversy. One of the main reasons is the pressure on those probing from different arms of the state, some of them very powerful. Talks on the probe had even extended to five-star hotels. Efforts are being made now to file indictments on some, after the national New Year. This again is on those widely described as being on the outer fringe or, as they say, where the buck has stopped. Thus, a case listing the accused, if as claimed including Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has not yet surfaced in courts. How then is he being allegedly accused of murder? The Sunday Times has learnt that substantial material involving his alleged involvement has been culled from reports filed by the CID in the Magistrate’s Courts in Colombo. Though these court reports are considered public documents, both the CID and the court staff, have been consistently protective and have not released them. This has come as a veil of secrecy not only in this case but many high-profile cases.
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