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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sri Lanka AG department drops TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham murder case & killers go scot free

The Attorney General’s Department (AG) has decided to drop the case against Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan in connection to the murder of former Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham reports Colombo media.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer Nishara Jayaratne has told Colombo Gazette that the AG’s Department has informed the Batticaloa High Court of its decision.

MP Pillayan, well known pro Rajapaksa politician who was imprisoned over the murder was granted bail in November 2020.

A brief on Joseph Pararajasingham:

Sri Lankan MP Joseph Pararajasingham was murdered in a cathedral during a Christmas service in 2005. He was a leading campaigner for the rights of the Tamil minority, and there are concerns his murder may have been carried out with the complicity of security and army personnel.

Sri Lankan MP and human rights campaigner Joseph Pararajasingham had just taken communion at a Midnight Mass service on Christmas Eve 2005 when he was shot dead.  He was 71.

His wife was critically injured but survived. Other members of the 300-strong congregation attending the cathedral service in the Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa were also injured.

It is thought likely that he was killed by a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers rebels, which some campaigners believe was working with the complicity of the Sri Lankan army – claims strongly denied by the government.

No one has been brought to justice. Two suspects were detained but were freed again because of lack of evidence. Despite the large congregation, there is a lack of eyewitness testimony, suggesting that many people who saw the killing are afraid to come forward.

Supporters of Joseph Pararajasingham allege the killers must have had inside information on his movements: they say only his personal security guard knew of his plans to attend the church service, and the couple had arrived back in the town only that day.

Critics also question how the killers were allowed to arrive and leave unhindered in a high-security zone.

A poet and former journalist, Joseph Pararajasingham was a leading campaigner for the rights of Tamils, a minority in Sinhala-dominated Sri Lanka. He was a member of the moderate Tamil National Alliance.

IPU

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