21 February 2017
It happened long ago in May 2008. Keith Noyahr, Associate Editor of the Nation newspaper, was abducted from his home in a residential suburb of Colombo. He was brutally assaulted and kept in a store house in Dompe. His hands and feet were tied and then strung on to a pole.
The crime he committed was to write an article titled ‘An army is not its commander’s private fiefdom’ which was critical of Fonseka, who was the then Army Commander.
Desperate CEO and Chief Editor of Nation newspaper, Krishantha Cooray, contacted Karu Jayasuriya for help. Jayasuriya was Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs from 2007 to 2008. He is currently the (20th) Speaker of the Parliament. According to the grapevine, Jayasuria called Mahinda Rajapaksa and in few hours Noyahr was released. Noyahr later left the country for good.
After nine long years, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has arrested on Saturday, an army major and two soldiers in connection with the abduction of Noyahr. Their names have not been released yet. With newly imported equipment, the CID managed to trace that the abductors made a call, just after abduction, to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the then Defence Secretary and brother of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, before coming to power, pledged to bring the culprits behind the assaults, abductions and murders to books.
But after coming to power, President Sirisena has been critical of the arresting of military personnel and as a result they were released. Army Intelligence Officer Premananda Udalagama was released on bail on the intervention of Srisena. Udalagama was involved in the high profile murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of the Sunday Leader. Those involved in the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda were also released.
For now, it appears that both the President and the Prime Minister have not yet intervened in the arrest of army personnel.
Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Public Administration, Local Government And Democratic Governance, released a statement on 30th July 2015, stating that Ministers and parliamentarians in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government brought in container loads of drugs into Sri Lanka. He also said that Sri Lanka Mohamed Mubarak Mohamed, the Head of the international drug dealer network, was a close friend of the Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The picture above shows Mohamed Mubarak Mohamed Mujaid with Gotabaya.
Sri Lanka: Army Major and two soldiers were arrested over abduction of and assault on journalist.
21 February 2017