CID’s Nelsonian eye
Posted on February 19th, 2017

Editorial The Island

The CID has woken up like Rip Van Winkle. It has arrested three military intelligence personnel including a major over the abduction of the then Associate Editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, way back in May 2008. The suspects have been remanded. We have been urging the CID, all these years, to seek the assistance of Noyahr, who fled to Australia with his family following his abduction, to nab those responsible for harming journalists because he is the only scribe to have suffered at the hands of his abductors for hours and returned alive.

The CID action, albeit belated, is welcome. But, there is much more to be done. Above all, the government must refrain from playing politics with this vital issue. It has mastered the art of keeping suspects behind bars indefinitely until they crack and agree to collaborate with it to frame its rivals as is public knowledge.

Noyahr’s adductors obviously had nothing personal against him; they only carried out someone else’s order. The task before the CID, which has, thankfully, risen from a politically induced slumber, is to find out who ordered the abduction at issue. A major attached to the Directorate of Military Intelligence is not equal to the task of carrying out a high-profile abduction on his own without orders from his superiors; he is as helpless as an unarmed reserve constable facing a mob of government goons. It may be recalled that in September 2012 the then powerful minister Mervyn Silva’s son, Malaka, assaulted a military intelligence officer of the rank of major at a Colombo nightclub. The hapless officer took it all lying down and his assailants even stripped him of his service revolver.

A few weeks after Noyahr’s abduction, the then Chief Opposition Whip (UNP), Joseph Michael Perera, making a special statement in Parliament on attacks on journalists and media institutions, claimed that they were carried out by a ‘special team’ controlled by the then Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka himself. He called upon the Rajapaksa government to arrest the offenders immediately. The UNP, currently ensconced in power, is in a position to arrest all those involved in the aforesaid unit. Will the CID continue to turn its Nelsonian eye on Perera’s statement for political reasons?

Were the three military personnel, currently being held on remand, over Noyahr’s abduction, members of Fonseka’s special unit? The UNP owes the public an answer.

Now that the CID has arrested some of the suspected abductors of Noyahr, it must record a statement from former Chief Opposition Whip Perera on his ‘revelation’ in Parliament. If there is any legal barrier for police to question a former MP on what he has said in Parliament, it is incumbent upon Perera or the UNP to make a suo motu statement on that very serious allegation against Fonseka and the army. He would not have made such an allegation without irrefutable evidence to substantiate it. He must either reveal the information in his possession or admit that he misled Parliament and the public at the behest of his party.

In January 2009, Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was assassinated and an attempt made on the life of Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon. But, about ten months later, the UNP embarked on a campaign to elevate General Fonseka, it had flayed for harming journalists, to the position of the Commander in Chief or, in other words, it threw in its lot with him in the 2010 presidential race, but in vain. Even some of Noyahr’s Nation colleagues and bosses had no qualms about backing Fonseka to the hilt as the UNP-led Opposition’s presidential candidate! The UNP, after recapturing power in 2015, went so far as to promote General Fonseka to the rank of Field Marshall, appoint him, following his defeat at the last general election, to Parliament via the National List and make him a Cabinet Minister.

A thorough, impartial investigation into the abduction and torture of Noyahr is called for. That is the only way the government, in a politico-economic mire of its own making, can give the lie to the claim being made in some quarters that it is trying to use probes into attacks on journalists to preclude some of those responsible for defeating terrorism from entering the next presidential fray. But, anyone who expects the government to refrain from manipulating investigations is being as optimistic as those who believe that eating croton and jak leaves is a solution to a food crisis or the bond thieves will be brought to justice.

3 Responses to “CID’s Nelsonian eye”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    He was threatened for using the word DEBACLE by DEBACLE MARSHAL.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    LORENZO !! Just a NAM Conference Joke:-

    During the NAM Conference, many VIPs were invited for a Dinner at Intercontinental, including Mr. Toni Marshal who had a Motor Garage, a stones throw away from the Mosque at the end of Yatinuwara Veediya, Kandy.
    Field Marshal Tito was walking in the Hotel reception area, when he inadvertently hit Mr. Marshal who fell to the ground. Marshal Tito quickly raised him up, said sorry, and introduced himself as Field Marshal Tito. Mr. Marshal, stretched his hand and said, Hello, Iam Garage Marshal Tony. Tito then said, what Marshal are you, once again,? and Mr. Marshal repeated, Iam Garage Marshal Tony. Tito, with his hand on his forehead, ***THOUGHT, That Marshal must be a higher designation**.

  3. aloy Says:

    I think this is nothing but a ‘Ranawiru Dadayama’ perhaps on the instructions of Batalanda who has a habit of eliminating army intelligence. In this case it happened to be the case of Keith Noyar. I do not know about this Lansi fellow. But usually these Colombians are anti-Sinhalese. Lasantha too was writing against the government that was fighting a terrible war under which the Sinhalas suffered.
    These traitors harassing the ranawiruwos should be taught a lesson asap.

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