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Monday, December 11, 2023

Lasantha Murder Investigation Runs In To Obstaclas From Above

Image: A campaign in Colombo calling for justice for the murdered and abducted journalists.

Recent media reports  indicate that government higher ups have placed obstacles to slow down the investigation in to the killing of founding editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Quoting unnamed CID ( Criminal Investigation Division of the Police) sources  the Sunday Leader reports that  so far clearance has not been given to record the statements from a 12 intelligence officers it wants to question.

The relevant officials have been informed that the 12 intelligence officers need to be questioned to take the investigations forward, says the report.

Army Intelligence Officer, Premananda Udalagama  who was arrested in relation to the muder was released on a cash bail of Rs. 50,000 and three sureties of Rs. 500,000 each. Udalagama was however put back in remand as no one came forward to post the surety bond.

Recently critical media reports appeared when two other intelligence officers arrested over the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, were  released on bail. Some web sites called it Sirisenaization of Sri Lanka judiciary. President Maithripla Sirisena made a call for  bailing out e for the army intelligence officers arrested in connection to the two cases.

Meanwhile web site Lanka Truth which is an informal organ of the  close to the JVP,says that  investigations being carried out in connection with the murder of former Editor of ‘Sunday Leader’ Lasantha Wickremetunga would be hampered due to interference by various forces of the government on the CID.

Investigations carried out so far by the CID have revealed that 17 soldiers attached to Tripoli Army Camp had been involved in the murder and they had left for the murder from Tripoli Army camp in Colombo says the Lanka Truth report.

To identify those 17 officers  the CID has taken measures to get the list of names of 270 soldier s in Tripoli Army camp through a Court order.
The CID had planned to summon groups of 20 soldiers at a time and question them. Accordingly, the first group of 20 soldiers was summoned on 26th October and was questioned. The second group of soldiers was to be summoned on the 27th. However, on the 27th a higher official of the government interfering in the investigation ahs said soldiers should not be summoned in groups and questioned.
As a result it has been difficult to identify who the 17 soldiers who had left for the murder states internal sources of the CID. If the group of 17 is not identified Lasantha Wickremetunga murder investigation would not be able to continue say sources.

Former Editor of ‘Sunday Leader’ Lasantha Wickremetunga was murdered at Aththidiya in Dehiwela on 8th January, 2009 by a group of assailants that had arrived in two motorcycles. On 27th September, after 7 years, his body was exhumed for further investigations.


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