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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Secret Behind Gota’s Sudden US Visit & the Arrest of Ram

Gotabaya Rajapaksa left for America several weeks ago. It was to be known that Mahinda had told his close associates that he had gone to America to visit his mother-in-law and inquire into her state of health.

It was reported that the Tamils For Obama organization had requested that he be taken into custody because of accusations of war crimes against him. However, there is no mention of Gotabaya’s visit to America or that a request was made for him to be taken into custody on the website of Tamils For Obama. Once, Gotabaya said that if he goes to America LTTE friendly organizations will file legal action against him, and that rather than being in prison in America it would be better to remain in Sri Lanka.

It is a matter that raises curiosity why Gotabaya who said such a thing went to America. Another matter that generates far more curiosity is why the LTTE friendly people have not taken him to Courts while he remains in America. In about 2009, the organization named Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), had submitted a charge sheet under accusations of war crimes to the American Attorney General’s Department against Gotabaya who was an American citizen and Fonseka who was a holder of an American Green Card. At the same time the Sunday Times newspaper of 14 December 2015 reported that America had rejected the visa application submitted by Sarath Fonseka in order to go to America.

A spokesman of Fonseka’s Party had said that granting of the visa to Fonseka was rejected based on accusations of war crimes. If Fonseka’s visa had been rejected on the grounds of war crimes against him, it is questionable how Gotabaya was granted permission to go to America. At the same time the LTTE friendly organization TAG which had handed over charge sheets against him, have not even issued a statement about Gotabaya’s visit to America. Certain people say that, because Gotabaya is an American citizen, he was summoned to America for questioning on accusations regarding money laundering. Whether it is true or false cannot be confirmed.

Strict silence
Gotabaya was extremely silent during the past. He followed a policy of strict silence regarding the discovery of the human suicide bomber kit at Chavakachcheri. Now, LTTE Leader ‘Colonel’ Ram had close ties with Gotabaya while he was still Defence Secretary even after the war ended, and other rehabilitated LTTE leaders are being arrested. They were taken into custody regarding the discovery of the suicide bomber kit. Various statements were made in connection with ‘Colonel’ Ram during the tenure of Gotabaya as Defence Secretary. Once, Karuna Amman said that Ram had secretly fled from the country. Below is a news item on his statement:

“A Tamil minister said that the most senior Tamil Tiger leader to survive the military onslaught has left Sri Lanka. Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, widely known as ‘Colonel’ Karuna, told BBC Sandeshaya that Daya Mohan has ‘escaped to Malaysia.’ The minister had earlier said that members of the Tamil Tigers had been trying to surrender or flee following the defeat of the rebel group in May of 2009. He told BBC Sandeshaya that Daya Mohan and ‘Colonel’ Ram, who had lived in the Ampara jungles in the island’s East, had escaped, but did not give details as to his source of information.”

However, security forces said that Colonel Ram was taken into custody and later released. At the Presidential Election held in 2010, the then Opposition Leader Ranil said that Mahinda and his government had released three LTTE leaders including ‘Colonel’ Ram in order to harm Fonseka and other leaders who are supporting him. Given below is a news item related to the statement made by Ranil:

“Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the government of releasing from custody three key LTTE activists under a secret deal reached between Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) and Mahinda Rajapaksa. Claiming that LTTE self-styled ‘Colonel’ Ram was amongst those freed from detention, he expressed concern that this terrorist could be used to cause harm to key members supporting General (Retd.) Fonseka or may be to the candidate himself. The government has also released two other LTTE members, Sellagiri and Giridaran, Wickremesinghe asserted in an interview with The Sunday Island last week.

Sellagiri was being held for the killing of a naval officer, and Giridaran was under detention for the attempted assassination of the President at the Deyata Kirula exhibition, he noted. He said the government which refused to free innocent IDPs in the Wanni is now releasing people against whom there is evidence. We believe this is part of the deal between KP and the President.”

Never in custody

The then Army Spokesman rejecting this statement made by Ranil said that ‘Colonel’ Ram was never in custody. This is the report that appeared in the Daily Mirror newspaper of 16.01.2010 in this connection:

“The military says ‘Colonel’ Ram, a leading figure of the LTTE, was never taken into custody and refuted claims made by General Sarath Fonseka’s camp that the Tiger official had been released on a detention order. A statement released by General Sarath Fonseka’s office claims that ‘Colonel’ Ram was released from military custody and that he could give leadership to dormant LTTE cadres resulting in the disruption, not only of the election process but also, to civilian property and cause loss of innocent lives. The statement goes on to urge that relevant authorities take ‘necessary steps in this regard’. However, speaking to Daily Mirror Online, Military Spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara stated that ‘Colonel’ Ram was never captured in the first place and is believed to be in hiding in the East.”

However, now it has been revealed that Ram had been in custody and released later. At a function of Muslim media personnel held recently, Ranil said that, two or three Intelligence Sector officers who are close to the Rajapaksa’s have a need to breathe life back into the LTTE. It is well known that ‘Colonel Ram’ is someone who works together with the Army Intelligence Sector. While all this is going on, Gotabaya’s sudden trip to America remains a mystery.

– Ceylon Today


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