It has now been revealed that the missing Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) leader, Premkumar Gunaratnam, used an Australian passport (N 1016123) bearing the name, Noel Mudalige, to return to Sri Lanka last September.
Authoritative sources told The Island that the Australian High Commission had furnished the required details to the External Affairs Ministry yesterday following a discussion Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, had with Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the disappearance of Gunaratnam. Responding to a query, sources said that High Commissioner Mudie hadn’t referred to the disappearance of anyone by the name of Mudalige during the conversation, though now her government identified the missing person as an Australian national.
The Defence Ministry said that Mudalige had arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on September 4, 2011 after leaving Australia the previous day. The ministry said that the Immigration and Emigration had blacklisted the Australian as he had overstayed the visa.
This revelation was made in the wake of Gunaratnam being appointed as the top man in 18-member central Committee of the newly formed party, which is yet to secure recognition from the Election Secretariat.
The committee comprises, Senadeera Gunatilleke, Dimuthu Attygalle, G. Kularatne, Champika Sudasinghe, Shantha Wijesinghe, Pubudu Jagoda, Chameera Koswatte, Duminda Nagamuwa, Ravindra Mudalige, S. K. Subasinghe, Sunil Jayaratne, Sujith Kuruwita, Jude Silvapulle, Indrananda de Siilva, Samansiri Fernando, Indika Weerakoon and Jaminda Siriwardene.
A senior government official said that there was irrefutable evidence that the Australian authorities was aware of Gunaratnam’s identity as the HC Mudie identified the missing person as Noel Mudalige, an alias known to the Australian mission in Colombo.
The Australian HC has sought immediate access to Mudalige, whom the mission said , had been abducted from a house at No 29, Gemunu Mawatha, Kiribathgoda last Friday.
Asked whether the government had raised Gunaratnam’s issue with the Australian High Commission previously, sources said that the mission had ignored a request for help when the police were looking for Gunaratnam a few months ago. Gunaratnam’s wife and mother, too, had denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. His brother, Ranjitham, who was a senior leader of the JVP, was killed during the 1989 insurgency.
Gunaratnam’s mother and sister on Sunday alleged that the government was responsible for Gunaratnam’s disappearance. They demanded that the missing FSP leader be released immediately or dealt with according to the law.
by Shamindra Ferdinando