The parents of 11 youths who were allegedly abducted by a group of navy officers staged a demonstration yesterday (29), in front of the Supreme Court (SC) seeking justice for their missing or deceased children.
Speaking to the media during the demonstration, a mother of an abducted youth said that they hoped that they would get a final verdict when the case is heard before the relevant High Court Trial-at-Bar. She also claimed that the Attorney General’s (AG) Department’s lack of attention towards this case has hampered justice being meted out for more than 15 years. She claimed that instead of supporting the victims, the AG’s Department supports the former Navy Commander, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda who was one of the accused in the case.
“Earlier, the AG’s Department filed indictments against navy officers who were allegedly connected to this incident. But later, the AG’s Department withdrew the indictment they filed against Karannagoda. We have all the evidence to prove who abducted our children. We even have the numbers of the vehicles in which they were taken away,” she claimed. She also said that the Government and the AG’s Department must therefore do them justice, and that a conclusion of this case should be seen by all parents whose children were abducted.
Those youths were allegedly abducted for ransom by a gang of navy officers, allegedly led by Hettiarachchi Mudiyanselage Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath. The children had allegedly been held at naval facilities in Colombo and Trincomalee between 2008 and 2009.
Of the 11 missing persons, five were allegedly taken into custody on 17 September 2008 by navy personnel, along with a black Tata Indica. Police have identified them as Rajiv Naganathan, Pradeep Vishvanathan, Mohammed Sajith, Thilakeswaram Ramalingam, and Jamaldeen Dilan.
Those involved in the operation were believed to have been accompanied by a navy informant named Mohammed Ali Anwar alias Hadjjiar of Karagampitiya, Dehiwela.
Subsequently, the 28-year-old informant, too, had allegedly disappeared and is listed among the 11 missing. The remaining five persons are Kasthuriarachchilage John Reid, Amalan Leon and his son Roshan Leon, Anthony Kasthuriarachchi, and Kanagaraja Jeganathan.