GR shifts blame for killings
Posted on March 21st, 2017

Courtesy The Island

The brother of Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapakse denied Tuesday involvement in war-era death squads, blaming the then army chief for an alleged secretive campaign of extrajudicial murders.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse has been accused of giving orders to a shadowy military outfit allegedly involved in murdering journalists and political dissidents during Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war.

In testimony filed to court on Monday, former army chief Sarath Fonseka said the death squad was run by military intelligence but took orders from Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a powerful defence secretary during his brother’s tenure.

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Gotabhaya Rajapakse said Fonseka — who led Sri Lanka’s armed forces between December 2005 and July 2009 — should answer for the excesses carried out by troops under his command.

“I deny any involvement with these killings,” Gotabhaya Rajapakse told AFP. “If he (Fonseka) knew there was a secret hit squad, what action did he take as army commander?”

Fonseka led Sri Lanka’s victorious final offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, but fell out of favour after unsuccessfully challenging  Mahinda Rajapakse for the presidency the following year.

The Criminal Investigations Department told the court the death squad was involved in a litany of abuses against the media during  Mahinda Rajapakse’s presidency, in which 17 journalists and media staff were killed.

Just hours after submitting its report, police arrested a sixth military officer for alleged involvement in the abduction and assault of an editor in 2008. Five others were arrested last month over the same case.

Police also allege the death squad was behind the 2009 murder of prominent newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, whose death sparked an international outcry.

Wickrematunga had accused Gotabhaya Rajapakse of taking kickbacks in arms purchases, including a deal to buy used MiG jet fighters, and was due to testify against him in court when he was killed.

Mahinda Rajapakse and several members of his family are under investigation for large-scale fraud and murder during his presidency, which ended in 2015.

All deny any wrongdoing and in turn accuse the new government of a political vendetta.

3 Responses to “GR shifts blame for killings”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    This is a master plan to put Gota behind the bars… Root of the plan is not in SL… it is smartly planned by the West..

    People still sleeping…. not knowing what is happening to their country…

    Sad situation

  2. Christie Says:

    India is after Gota and will do what ever is possible get him.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    We are with Gota. Our grateful thanks to Gota for seeing Lanka through the worst times in the war with the LTTE. Gota narrowly escaped being killed in a suicide attack by the LTTE.
    Our grateful thanks to Gen. Sarath Fonseka too for leading the Army to victory over the LTTE. He also suffered a LTTE suicide attack and was treated in Singapore, thanks to the prompt action of Gota & the MR govt.

    In a war, sometimes killing happens for the greater good of the citizens of the country. We have only to read about what happened in WWI&II.
    In a war, people die, some live on with endless mental and physical suffering.

    There are NO such events as a NICE war.
    If the citizens of a country want a peaceful life, then they must work toward that goal. It is a worthy and constant effort.

    Let us make sure that Lanka has no more wars.
    Let us make sure that Lanka is a peaceful country, safe for everyone.

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