The police (CID) report that alleges Gotabhaya maintained ‘death squads’ is only quoting Sarath Fonseka. It is not a conclusion drawn from a police investigation. It is hearsay! It is common practice hearsay is not evidence.
Posted on March 23rd, 2017

Dilrook Kannangara

The police (CID) report that alleges Gotabhaya maintained ‘death squads’ is only quoting Sarath Fonseka.

It is not a conclusion drawn from a police investigation. It is hearsay! It is common practice hearsay is not evidence.

Sarath Fonseka has been saying this for the past seven years for political reasons. Since he is now a minister of the government and Gotabhaya is out of power, Fonseka’s statements carry weight in extremely politicized police and investigation panels in Sri Lanka. Fonseka was imprisoned by former president Rajapaksa in 2010. Now Gotabhaya is at the receiving end.

A former Speaker of the parliament, Joseph Michael Perera (from the same political party of Fonseka) told the BBC news service that a ‘death squad’ operated by Sarath Fonseka (the then army commander) carried out killings of journalists. He seems to be deflecting his own guilt. The only death squads operated by government agencies was the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol unit that hunted down Tamil Tiger terrorists trying to bomb civilians. It operated under Sarath Fonseka and did yeoman service to protect civilians from ruthless Tamil suicide bombers and London-style terrorist attacks.

It becomes even more ridiculous when a police officer says they are in a better position to make arrests now as the new autopsy debunks the older autopsy (done soon after death) that Lasantha died of gunshot wounds. How can this influence arrests? Just because the victim died of stabbing does not prove anything! If he died of gunshot wounds, it is more believable that his killers were from armed forces or “a unit” that worked under the ministry of defence. They use guns. If he was stabbed to death, then potential suspects increase into millions. According to some reports, he was stabbed to his head by a cattle gun. Defence ministry officials are not known to use cattle guns!       

The investigation into the death of Lasantha is not objective. It is carried out with the end already in mind! And it is a political end. Gotabhaya’s surge in popularity is also driving his political opponents to target him. This has been a common practice in Sri Lanka.

Lasantha was not due to give evidence on a corrupt deal of Gotabhaya soon after his killing. There was no such investigation, court case or tribunal looking into alleged corrupt deals of Gotabhaya. The only court case was a defamation case filed by Gotabhaya against Lasantha for defaming him. This clearly proves Gotabhaya was not interested in silencing critics other than through the courts system. Many critics had already been silenced through the court system by then. For instance Sinha Rathnatunga of another prominent English newspaper was silenced through the court system in 1999 by the then President Kumaratunga. He received a suspended sentence for defaming the president. This avenue is available to all and this Gotabhaya was following the same process.

Killers of journalists including Lasantha must be found and brought to justice. However, that can be done only through an objective investigation. Manipulating investigations to achieve political ends lets the real killers free.

Scores of journalists have been killed since 1986. All their killers must be brought to justice. In another case in 1987, the present Prime Minister (then a minister and the nephew of the then president) allegedly ordered and supervised the killing of a human rights activist and journalist by the name Wijedasa Liyanarachchi as found by a special presidential commission of inquiry that investigated the matter in 1999. It also found the present prime minister maintaining torture chambers and ‘death squads’ in Batalanda housing scheme (about 15 kilometres north of Colombo) with the full patronage of the regime. Killed journalists and their families need justice, not political manipulation of investigations to victimize critics and opposition activists. What happens today is the continuation of the practice of silencing critics. Real killers preside over their harassment.

4 Responses to “The police (CID) report that alleges Gotabhaya maintained ‘death squads’ is only quoting Sarath Fonseka. It is not a conclusion drawn from a police investigation. It is hearsay! It is common practice hearsay is not evidence.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Parliament finds Lasantha’s killer!!

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlCNNuXkjOU”

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook is EXACTLY right,

    The allegation against Gothabhaya is based on hearsay, and is motivated by political considerations!

    Once again, Gonseka resorts to what got him in hot water in the first place, alleging that his superiors are guilty of crimes and ab solving himself.

    He did this before in the “white flag incident” that gave ammunition to the EELAMIST DIASPORA and the US under Hillary Clinton to level war crimes charges against Sri Lanka.

    That was RANK TREASON for which under a less compassionate President than MR, and in a different country like the USA; Gonseka would have been convicted of treason and shot by a firing squad!

    Gonseka got off easy, and joined the Yamapalanaya to get his reward to be appointed a Field Marshal and a Minister. Now, the IOUs are being called in, and he is being asked to EARN HIS REWARD, by again providing false testimony against the Rajapaksa family.

    According to Gota, Gonseka was the person in charge of the Army and, therefore,Gonseka is the man responsible for any crime, if any, that may have occurred.

    This will end BADLY for Gonseka when his Yamapalanaya friends-in-crime have no further need of him, and having forsaken his true friends who gave him every opportunity to excel, and the love of his own people through his treachery against his own Motherland.

    This is one of the saddest events for us Patriots, who cheered Gonseka while he was one of our loyal heroes, only to be inconsolably dissapointed by his treachery.

  3. Nihal Perera Says:

    Gonseka is the pitbull used by Ranil & Sira to discredit Rajapaksa brothers. They are so afraid that Mahinda and Gothabaya will make a political comeback, as both of them are gaining popularity with the Sinhala population.

    The present regime will go to any length to stop Mahinda and Gothabaya. This is no accident, it is a well-planned plot to discredit and stop the resurrection of Mahinda and Gothabaya.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Question:
    Did Lasantha Wickrematunge break the Law with his publications ?
    There were special Laws in place during the war with the LTTE.
    Was Lasantha PATRIOTIC in his writing ?
    Would the west have tolerated such writing as Lasantha did if any of the western countries were under threat of extreme terrorist activities for nearly 30 yrs ?

    ——-

    Gota did the right thing by taking Lasantha to Courts for libel.

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