LET US PROTECT OUR WAR HEREOS FROM POLITICALLY MOTIVATED HARASSMENT AND SHOW TRIALS
Posted on January 10th, 2016

Ranjith Soysa International Coordinator Global Sri Lankan Forum

05 January 2016
It is a well-known fact that five Sri Lankan Military Intelligence (DMI) officers and soldiers have been taken into custody over the alleged ‘disappearance’ of media personality Prageeth Ekneligoda in January 2010.  Three of them have been held captive since 24 April 2015 and the others from a subsequent date.

It is ironic that these servicemen who dedicated their lives to defeating LTTE terrorism are been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and are being subjected to harassment by a CID team led by SSP S Abeysekera It is reported that the CID officers have even approached the wives and other family members of the detained officers and soldiers to apply further psychological pressure with the objective of exacting ‘confessions’ that would satisfy their political masters.

The main objective of the detention and mental torture of the Military Intelligence personnel seems to be an attempt to force them to sign ‘confessions’ that the former defence secretary Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse ordered the abduction and elimination of Ekneligoda.  This harassment is compounded by these personnel not being paid their salaries since they were taken into custody.  One soldier has reportedly succumbed to this pressure and has been released since.  A media commentator has aptly said that the CID officers are acting like the LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman.

With reports emerging that Ekneligoda himself was not a mere journalist but a political activist who had contacts with undercover LTTE operatives, it is imperative that the Police carries out an unbiased investigation rather than a political witch hunt.   The DMI personnel must also be paid their wages and entitlements unless otherwise justified by the decision of a court of law.

The case of the DMI operatives is also being used to satisfy those who wish to see a weakened Sri Lankan state and an ineffective defence force.  In a paper presented to the US Institute of Peace (USIP) on the 1st of December 2015, the Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam boasts that ‘Four members of the Sri Lankan military, two Lieutenant Colonels and a Sergeant and a Corporal, were taken into custody for alleged abduction, unlawful detention and murder of Prageeth Ekneligoda after a painstaking investigation.  The legal proceedings against them are underway’.  This statement by the Ambassador suggests that these servicemen and others like them could be subjected to ‘show trails’ and denied natural justice.

The handling of the current investigation strongly parallels the infamous Athurugiriya Millennium City betrayal of 2001 when a small group of politically backed police officers exposed a top-secret undercover military operation and triggered the deaths of a large number of Sri Lankan security personnel including Tamil and Muslim operatives who were systematically picked off by the LTTE.  It is no coincidence that many of the present crop of political leaders were also in power during the Millennium City episode.

The incumbent government which came into power promising ‘Yahapalanaya’ (good governance), rule-of-law and democracy based on the Latimer House principles have made a complete mockery of their promises by the long-term detention and harassment of service personnel.  This act not only breaches the fundamental tenets of good governance and democracy but also endangers national security by demoralising members of all branches of the Armed Forces.

All Sri Lankans would remember the long period during which they lived in fear in the face of Tamil Tiger terrorism.  At that time, the odds were stacked in favour of the LTTE which had its own network of informants, undercover terrorists and suicide bombers.  The operational wings of the armed forces and Police were heavily dependent on the critical information furnished by the dedicated members of their intelligence wings who took great personal risks in the cause of the nation.

We therefore request the people of Sri Lanka and its professional, trade union and other non-government organisations as well as politicians to voice their opinion through the media and agitate in public to stop this vengeful and unlawful harassment of the defence force personnel who were honoured in the not too distant past as the heroes who protected the Nation from the separatist terror of the LTTE.

ALL OF US OWE A HUGE DEBT OF GRATITUDE TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.  SO LET US STAND TOGTHER TO DEFEND THE DEFENDERS OF THE NATION FROM SELF SEEKING, VINDICTIVE POLITICIANS AND THEIR HAND-PICKED OFFICIALS WHO ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THE COUNTRY’S HARD-WON PECACE AND LONG-TERM SECURITY TO PACIFY ANTI-NATIONAL FORCES.

 

Ranjith Soysa

International Coordinator

+61 3-97957143

[email protected]

  • Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (Victoria, Australia)
  • Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (NSW, Australia)
  • Western Australia Society for Peace, Unity and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka (WA, Australia)
  • Sri Lanka United National Association (SLUNA) of Canada
  • Sinhala Association (United Kingdom)
  • Lanka Friendship Forum (Middle East)
  • Sri Lanka Europe Friendship Association (Switzerland)
  • Sinhala Cultural Association of Australia (ACT, Australia)
  • Viru Daru Diriya Fund (Victoria, Australia)
  • Sri Lankans Against Terrorism (NSW, Australia)
  • Veera Parakramabahu Foundation (NSW, Australia)

13 Responses to “LET US PROTECT OUR WAR HEREOS FROM POLITICALLY MOTIVATED HARASSMENT AND SHOW TRIALS”

  1. Siri Says:

    Excellent article Ranjith. This disgraceful situation has occurred every time the UNP has come to power. Our Sri Lankans are very selfish and a self seeking community who have no loyalty towards the Gallant Soldiers who saved the Nation. They voted for a pay increase or some other personal gain, not for the overall betterment of the country. Unfortunately our war Heroes have to bear the brunt of a vengeful government. The people are forgetting that the armed forces fought not for the SLFP or Mahinda Rajapaksa, but for the sake of the whole country.

  2. Sarath W Says:

    Thank you Ranjith for your informative article. We need more people like you, Shenani, Asoka, Mahindapala etc. etc.., especially in Sri Lanka to educate the voters how evil and traitorous our current leaders are. Our gallant armed forces were the protectors of all of us and the nation during nearly thirty years of fear and uncertainty. To betray them in this manner is criminal and the present leaders must be punished for it severely.

  3. Christie Says:

    “The incumbent government which came into power promising ‘Yahapalanaya’ (good governance), rule-of-law and democracy based on the Latimer House principles have made a complete mockery of their promises by the long-term detention and harassment of service personnel. ”

    Indian Empire managed to divide the Sinhala vote. Bodu Bala Sena did a great job in alienating the Sinhala Muslims and Christians and they continue to do so.

    The new president and parliament is a job of the Indian Empire. Those who live in the West should tell their friend about it.

  4. Jag Says:

    Great stuff Ranjith. It is time that all our professionals both in and out of Sri Lanka take a stand against this unruly treacherous politicians and their puppet government with ”yaha paalana” label. It is time that all of us apply pressure using every possible means and bring down this puppet rule.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Yes, let us Defend all the unfairly accused Armed Forces personnel.

    Mr Ekneligoda was spotted in France, was he not, well after he ‘disappeared’ ?

  6. helaya Says:

    Lets organize a fund raising campaign. Ranjith if you can set up a account in Australia and find someone in SL to help these families. Thanks Ranjith. Stupid Gramasevaka and Ponil destroying the country. I hope someone will find Eknaligodaya in France.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Good.

    We have to save SUNIL RATHNAYAKA as a matter of PRIORITY.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Can’t the govt., (as the employer of the soldiers), be taken to Courts for wrongful imprisonment of the soldiers, without adequate proof, of having committed the ‘crime’ ?

    All the people who have been wrongfully accused of various crimes and even thrown into prison, should get together and have one big Court case against the present govt. for wrongful imprisonment/trials/public humiliation, loss of funds,
    etc. ?
    Avante Garde should join in.

    Is this a viable option ? Comments welcome.

  9. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Fran Diaz, no judge will rule against this government! Why it is because he will loose his job and bar association will expel him. Then the only option he has will be to migrate to Australia.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    L’Puthra,

    Then what we have in Lanka is Fascism, isn’t it ?

  11. Wetta Says:

    Fran and Lankaputhra,

    I guess there should be at least one patriotic and law abiding judge in Sri Lanka who will not care a dime about political consequences and will not give a damn about the BAR association of SL, but will only work for the “LAW” . When one by one the judges were taken away from their job:
    1. we will find the ones who will not bow his/her head to political pressure (good for the future SL),
    2 . Government also will have to explain why they sack judges one after the other (they cannot afford to keep it happening).

    Can we try this out?

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    NO politician will save war heroes. War heroes have to save themselves.

    This is the sad reality. We have a bunch of UNGRATEFUL politicians. NO POINT appealing to them.

    IF My3 is removed (by divine intervention), Karu J (A FORMER ARMY SOLDIER) will be acting president. Then an election will be called. GR can win it easily.

    When Karu J becomes acting president, THILANGA SUMATHIPALA will be the SPEAKER. He can take care of the parliament in a more neutral way. That also helps us during the election campaign.

    This should be the plan.

    I like to hear if any OTHER PLAN (not a wish list) is available. I think there is NO other plan.

    My3 promised he will be president ONLY for 1 year. Now 1 year is over. Get lost.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    MY3 has already stated that he will stay his full term.

    Lankans may have to work toward the so called New Constitution which is unnecessary.

    What Lanka needs to do is to delete the illegal 13-A (imposed under Duress and therefore illegal) and activate the 6-A (a hitherto useless piece of legislation, never activated).

    Also see to it that the Vadukoddai Resolution (1976) is officially revoked.

    A number of other details can be added on as Amendments to the existing Constitution.

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