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November 22, 2017 [GMT]
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CID claims Britisher provided vital info, identified phone seized by navy
[Monday 2017-07-17 18:00]

Police headquarters yesterday claimed that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), probing the alleged involvement of a group of navy officers in eleven wartime disappearances, had recorded the statement of British national Mike Horgan, who allegedly witnessed one of the abductions. Police spokesman and attorney-at-law SP Ruwan Gunasekera said Horgan had been here to arrange for a victim, identified as Soosai, from Mannar to join a football team in the UK.

Police headquarters yesterday claimed that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), probing the alleged involvement of a group of navy officers in eleven wartime disappearances, had recorded the statement of British national Mike Horgan, who allegedly witnessed one of the abductions. Police spokesman and attorney-at-law SP Ruwan Gunasekera said Horgan had been here to arrange for a victim, identified as Soosai, from Mannar to join a football team in the UK.

  

Addressing a hurriedly arranged media conference at the Information Department, SP Gunasekera said the navy had abducted the footballer’s father. The police spokesman described the Britisher as the person in charge of a local football team in Britain. The group of missing persons Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese. SP Gunasekera said that they hadn’t been involved in terrorism and were also cleared by the military. SP Gunasekera said investigations had got underway after police headquarters received a written complaint from the then navy chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda on May 28, 2009, soon after the successful conclusion of the war. The CID launched an inquiry on June 10, 2009.

Gunasekera said the CID had recorded the foreigner’s statement in respect of the abduction as well as seizure of his hand phone allegedly by the navy. At the onset of the briefing the police spokesman said police had decided to brief the media in the wake Commodore DKP Dassanayake’s arrest in connection with the disappearances. The Joint Opposition flayed the government over the arrest in the wake of UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson. It said last Friday a senior officer had been arrested in connection with the disappearance of over 11 persons. Emmerson said the arrest had been made close on the heels of Army Chief Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake’s public assurance that those members of armed forces who had committed crimes would be brought to justice.

The police spokesman said Admiral Karannagoda had complained to police headquarters against his chief security officer Lt. Commander Sampath Munasinghe on May 28, 2009 following the recovery of four national identity cards, one passport bearing the name of one of those whose national identity cards were found, one mobile phone, promissory notes worth over one million rupees and approximately 450 rounds of ammunition from Munasinghe’s cabin. The police official said that Admiral Karannagoda wanted to have Munasinghe investigated as regards his possible involvement with terrorists primarily due to him being in possession of ammunition not issued to him by the navy. Gunasekera said the Britisher had identified the hand phone recovered from Munasinghe as the one seized from him. The official said that the Britisher had provided vital evidence and investigators were in the process of examining available data.

The lawyer said that the four national identity cards that had been found were issued to the missing footballer, his father and two other residents of Kotahena and Trincomalee. Following Admiral Karannagoda’s complaint, the CID had received information from the navy that led to the arrest of Lt. Commander Hettiarachchi. Subsequent investigations revealed that those who had been responsible for four abductions were accountable for seven more disappearances in Kotahena, Grandpass, Maradana and Dematagoda and Dehiwela in 2008.

SP Gunasekera said that the abductions had been carried out to obtain ransom. Asked by The Island whether the victims’ were wealthy for them to be especially targeted, the SP said they had money. Claiming that investigators had gathered vital information regarding the use of hand phones by missing persons during secret detention at Chaitya road, Colombo and Trincomalee, Gunasekera said that the abductors used a vehicle seized from a missing person. They had changed the chassis number and used it as a navy vehicle, the police officer said. According to SP Gunasekera the detained persons used hand phones belonging to some navy personnel based at places where they were held. "Obviously, some navy personnel resented what was happening," the police spokesman said. The official said that some family members of the detained persons had even ‘reloaded’ phones belonging to navy officers as their loved ones used them.

The then Captain Dassanayake had been the officer in charge of two special teams headed by Lt. Commander Hettiarachchi and Lt. Commander Ranasinghe responsible for the disappearances, the police spokesman said. He said with the arrest of Commodore Dassanayake, now attached to the Office of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) the number of navy personnel taken in connection with disappearances had gone upto seven. Of them, Lt. Commander Munasinghe, who had been arrested at the beginning of the investigation was given bail.

Asked by The Island how one officer whose arrest led to other personnel being implicated in disappearances received bail, the Police spokesman said that it was not a problem. The spokesman emphasized that it did not mean Lt. Commander Munasinghe had been cleared and no longer under investigation. The police spokesman said that they had received altogether 28 complaints as regards disappearances though only eleven were being investigated at the moment.

When The Island sought an explanation regarding the inordinate delay in the CID making arrests in spite of receiving a complaint in May 2009, SP Gunasekera said that investigations were complicated and the progress slow. However, since the change of the government, the process had been accelerated and they were going ahead with investigations. Gunasekera said there could be further arrests. Responding to another query, Gunasekera said that some family members of the missing had met Captain Dassanayake at that time and the CID could prove its case.

  
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‘Tamils committed crimes only for political reasons, not for personal benefit’
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday requested the Justice Minister to schedule a special meeting with all the relevant officials to discuss the issue of those detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The Opposition Leader made this request in Parliament, while speaking at the Committee Stage debate of Budget 2018 when the Finance Heads of the Justice Ministry was taken up.



Next round of ETCA negotiations set for next month
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

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Sri Lankan prime minister to meet PM Modi this week
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

In the backdrop of India's interest in leasing out an airport in China-dominated Hambantota, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghewill be in New Delhi this week for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wickremasinghe arrives here on Tuesday and will speak at a key cybersecurity conference before meeting the Indian leadership. Sri Lanka has become an important partner for India both in the neighbourhood and in the Indian Ocean region. In addition, India is reportedly using Colombo's influence over Myanmar's Buddhist leadership to help defuse the Rohingya crisis.



Only 10 detained under PTA Govt Suspects held on serious terror charges
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

The Government yesterday (20) maintained that there are only 10 individuals currently detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) adding that all of them are suspects in serious cases of terrorism. The cases include the murder of Major General Janaka Perera, the suicide bomb attacks on former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the killing of seven persons in the Wilpattu Forest and the attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force Base, Deputy Minister of Justice Sarathi Dushmantha told Parliament.



US lawmakers raise concerns over China’s role in Hambantota
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

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Rs. 10,000 allowance for former MPs
[Tuesday 2017-11-21 18:00]

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Vigneswaran takes PC Minister to task
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

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PM gives his side of the story to treasury bond commission
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he clarified matters related to the treasury bond issue to the Presidential Commission investigating the alleged treasury bond scam. The Prime Minister appeared before the commission today and was questioned for over an hour. Several United National Party members and Ministers also attended the hearing.



BBS Chief in fiery row with scribe Alleged threat to slap Chandraprema
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

Secretary General of the Bodu Bala Sena, Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera yesterday (19) threatened to assault senior journalist attached to The Island C. A. Chandraprema at Medagoda, Narammala. The Thera had made this threat when Chandraprema had gone to pay his respects to the late mother of Professor Venerable Medagoda Abayatissa Thera, the Parivenadhipathi of the Sunethradevi Pirivena, Pepiliyana. "Are you Chandraprema? I will give you a thundering slap," the Thera said, Chandraprema alleged.



Previous regime took some detrimental decisions on national security- Ruwan
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

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[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

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GCE O/L exam from Dec.12 to 21
[Monday 2017-11-20 18:00]

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Jaffna violent incidents: 41 arrested
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

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Gintota incident: PM says stern action against miscreants
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

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Sri Lanka to bring back asylum seekers detained in Australian offshore detention centers
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa politicized the Army during his term as defence secretary – Fonseka
[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

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[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

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[Sunday 2017-11-19 18:00]

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[Saturday 2017-11-18 19:00]

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[Saturday 2017-11-18 19:00]

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