State controlled Daily News in a breaking story hints that it was then defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was behind the abduction and killing of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Meanwhile Sunday Leader reports that AG has blocked the questioning of then Army Commander on the issue.
Both new items follows:
A Sergeant Major and a Corporal arrested in connection with journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda’s disappearance have given statements to the CID linking a senior official of the previous administration to the incident.
They confessed to the Police that they got involved in the case as a Lieutenant Colonel attached to the intelligence wing – who is also in remand – dragged them into the incident saying it was an “order” given by the official.
Asked whether the former official would be questioned in connection with the investigations, a highly placed Police source said a statement alone was not enough to initiate action against a possible suspect.
“Scientific and other evidence should also substantiate such claims. When they tally, the Police can initiate action against an individual irrespective of their positions,” the sources added.
They said the official who played a pivotal role in the previous administration, maintained close links with some Buddhist monks who went on the rampage near the Homagama Magistrate’s Court early last week.
“One can suggest it is a well-orchestrated plan to disrupt the investigation and save those top-brass members of the previous regime from law enforcement authorities inquiring into the matter,” they explained.
Authoritative Police sources said the investigators had made some progress in determining the fate of the disappeared journalist, who was abducted two days before the Presidential election in January 2010.
“Earlier, there were speculations that the journalist had been killed and his body had been dumped to the sea off Trincomalee. So far, the investigators have not found evidence to support that claim. Probably, they will soon find solid evidence to determine the fate of the journalist, after his abduction. It will be a major breakthrough in the case,” they revealed.
The Army, two weeks ago said, it dispatched a special Military Police group to the Girithale camp to provide the reports requested by courts.
Army Spokesman Jayanath Jayaweera also said that some cupboards at the camp, which contained documents related to the investigations into the disappearance of journalist Eknaligoda, were locked and sealed by this group.
AG Blocks Legal Action Against Army Chief In Eknaligoda Case
The Attorney General’s office has instructed the CID to refrain from taking legal action against the Army Commander Lieutenant General A. W. J. C. De Silva on allegations of failing to assist in the investigations into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.
The CID had recently sought the advice of the AG with regard to initiating legal action against the Army Commander.
A senior officer of the CID told The Sunday Leader that an informal message had been sent to the CID to delay the legal action to be taken against the Army Commander.
However the CID officer said that the investigations with regard to the disappearance of Eknaligoda will be carried out despite the drawbacks, and added that they will seek the advice of the President in the future. Meanwhile, sources said that the issue had been taken up at the Security Council meeting and the majority view of the security heads had been that legal action against the army commander should be delayed.
Sources further stated that the security heads were of the view that if they failed to delay the legal action against the Commander, certain factions would capitalize on the situation and instigate the masses.
The President however had stated that the investigations on the disappearance of Eknaligoda will be carried out unhindered.
By Shalika Wimalasena / SL