ASSASSINATION OF KUMAR PONNAMBALAM
(TCHR report 2002)
Presidential guard organised murder of Kumar Ponnambalam
November 11, 2001 - According to the “Sunday Leader” published in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a former member of Sri Lanka's Presidential Security Division found shot dead on 02 November was involved in orchestrating the assassination of human rights defender, Kumar Ponnambalam. The paper also named the assassin as a former Police constable.
The ”Sunday Leader” further stated that Baddegana Sanjeewa, found dead in his car on Pagoda road, with six gunshot wounds on November 2, was the architect of the murder of Mr. Ponnambalam, a human rights lawyer and leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress. Mr. Ponnambalam was an outspoken critic of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and in the aftermath of his death, his family accused her of ordering the killing.
"On January 4, 2000, Kumar Ponnambalam was shot dead at Ramakrishna Road, Wellawatte. Moratu Saman and a former police constable named Sunil Ranasinghe carried out the killing on the instructions of Baddegana Sanjeewa", the Sri Lankan broadsheet stated, quoting police sources.
Sanjeewa's career had included being a bodyguard for senior military personnel as well as being a member of Kumaratunga's elite presidential guard.
"Following Kumaratunga's win, Sanjeewa befriended Nihal Karunaratne. The only favour he sought for services rendered during Kumaratunga's election campaign was to be enlisted in the Sri Lanka Police Force. His request was granted and Sanjeewa was accepted as a Reserve Police Constable and assigned to the PSD", the broadsheet stated.
The paper suggested that Sanjeewa was one of Kumaratunga's trusted guards and a close confidante. "Despite his criminal record, President Chandrika Kumaratunga trusted Baddegana Sanjeewa implicitly and was comfortable in having him provide her body protection - confident of his loyalty to her, she felt reasonably safe under his purview," the weekly stated.
The broadsheet also accused the former PSD bodyguard of having links to organised crime rackets. "Backed by political masters, Sanjeewa became a ready and willing tool in a circle of systematic crime", the Sunday Leader said.
The paper alleged that there had been a cover up, protecting Sanjeewa from further investigation. "Even at this stage, the police made every effort to refrain from making public Baddegana Sanjeewa's name as being involved in this murder. Sanjeewa in fact shared a close friendship with SSP Bandula Wickremasinghe, so much so - that on one occasion, when a gang threw hand bombs at a club at Delkanda on September 29, 1999 the cops had captured the getaway car. The vehicle belonged to a friend of Baddegana Sanjeewa's and he personally visited the CDB headquarters on this occasion making a request that the car, be released", the paper stated.
Chandrika's 'bloody' secrets in the house of conspiracy
By The Insider
Among the dozens of political murders that have punctuated Kumaratunga's presidency, the most foul was arguably that of Kumar Ponnambalam, leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress.
A distinguished lawyer by profession, Ponnambalam was an outspoken champion of the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka - often invoking the ire of Sinhala nationalists for his extreme views.
Tragically, early on the morning of January 5, 2000, Ponnambalam was lured out of his house by a young man called Shantha, who had befriended him of late. His bullet-riddled body was discovered less than an hour later in Wellawatte, still at the wheel of his Mercedes.
Among the first to condole with his family was Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who had known Ponnambalam well. She expressed shock and grief. She lied.
The 'show' begins
But that is not all, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has known for the past fourteen months. She knew who pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Ponnambalam. She knew who hired the assassin. She knew who masterminded the foul plot. The president has been privy to this information for more than a year now, and she has chosen to sweep it under the carpet.
Whether she did so in order to hide from the public the shameful fact that she hails from a family of murderers, or in order to blackmail the perpetrator, we are yet to find out.
Consider the evidence we provide below and decide for yourself whether Chandrika Kumaratunga is innocent or guilty. Then decide, as parliament soon must, whether she is a fit and proper person to hold the office of President of your motherland.
The damning evidence we publish below has to also be viewed from the backdrop of Kumaratunga's own utterances of crimes allegedly committed by various persons, whom she identifies only when she can no longer use such offences perceived or otherwise to blackmail the doer.
Into this pot of intrigue, throw in S. B. Dissanayake's own allegations that it was Kumaratunga herself who plotted the murder of newspaper editors and the burning of the presses of The Sunday Leader and Ravaya.
Add to this scenario, Kumaratunga's Tissamaharama doctrine where she egged people on to murder stating there was no harm in murdering a murderer. Then consider the subsequent attempt on S. B. Dissanayake's life by PSD officers in Maturata.
Now, pause a while and read below the report on Kumar Ponnambalam's murder given to President Kumaratunga by then CDB Chief Bandula 'Show' Wickramasinghe at her own request after the top cop briefed her on the case. A report she did nothing on. Then consider whether Kumaratunga is fit to be the president of this country.
The Sunday Leader is in possession of the letter dated September 7, 2000, addressed to President Kumaratunga by Bandula 'Show' Wickramasinghe, Senior Superintendent of Police and (then) Director of the Colombo Crime Detective Bureau, in addition to other damning evidence, which will be forwarded to the relevant authorities, including the Hague. Here is what the Senior Superintendent wrote to his president:
Report of Senior Superintendent of Police to President Kumaratunga
Senior Superintendent of Police,
Director, Colombo Detective Bureau.
No. 50, Gregory's Road, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.
September 7, 2000
Re: Report on Mr. Mahen Ratwatte and Mr. Lohan Ratwatte
Herewith I annex a report on the above subjects, as requested by Your Excellency
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga,
Her Excellency the President,
The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
On July 28, 2000 a case of house breaking and theft was reported, the stolen goods were valued at Rs. 1.3 million. The Colombo Detective Bureau sleuths arrested the main suspect Mohammed Thahir and he confessed that he had given a brand new 'Hoover' vacuum cleaner valued at Rs. 20,000 to one Sudath Ranasinghe RPC 12559 attached to the Sri lanka Police Reserve Head Quarters. RFC Ranasinghe was arrested and he too confessed that the stolen vacuum cleaner was given as a gift to Mahen Ratwatte who is employed at George Steuarts. Mahen Ratwatte who is the son of the Honourable Minister of Power and Energy and Deputy Minister of Defence Anurudha Ratwatte. On the statement made by RPC Ranasinghe the vacuum cleaner was recovered from the house of Mahen Ratwatte at Link Homes housing scheme at Madiwela.
On May 21, 2000 the officer in charge of CDB, IP Nuwan Vedasinghe received a call from RPC Ranasinghe and he had stated that the president of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Kumar Ponnambalam (Attorney-at-law) was murdered by his henchmen, namely underworld activists Moratuwa Saman and Sujeewa, on the instigation of Mahen Ratwatte. Few weeks prior to the assassination of Ponnambalam, Mahen Ratwatte had told Moratuwa Saman and RPC Ranasinghe in Sinhalese ayi yakko sinhala minissu marannay, puluwannam ara Kumar Ponnambalam jathi wadi wagay thadi demelek marapanko. As per the instigations of Mahen Ratwatte, RPC Ranasinghe master planned the assassination and got friendly with Kumar Ponnambalam, posing as one 'Shantha.'
On January 5, 2000 'Shantha' personally went to the house of Kumar Ponnambalam's around 8.30 in the morning and lured him promising ............. As arranged, Moratuwa Saman and Sujeewa waited for the arrival of Ponnambalam, and the both of them fired five rounds from their pistol. Ponnambalam succumbed to his gunshot injuries. After the assassination, the RPC immediately informed Mahen Ratwatte about the killing.
On May 21, 2000 RPC Ranasinghe contacted OIC CDB, from telephone number 08-223993 which is at the guesthouse belonging to the Petroleum Corporation at No. 15, Dumindu Mawatha, Watapoluwa, Kandy. I too contacted RPC Ranasinghe on the above telephone number and he informed me that the most wanted underworld criminal Dhammika Perera is present at the above guesthouse. RPC Ranasinghe promised to surrender to the CDB, and informed me and the OIC CDB to make him a crown witness. But however, he was prevented from surrendering by Mahen Ratwatte. I contacted Mahen Ratwatte and spoke to him requesting from him to surrender RPC Ranasinghe, but Mahen Ratwatte prevented his appearance and told me 'why are you worried, all the top people know about the assassination.' Though several requests were made to Mahen Ratwatte by me and my OIC IP Nuwan Vedasinghe, RPC Ranasinghe surrendered to the Mount Lavinia courts.
Harbouring of under world criminal Dhammika Perera of Rajagiriya
Besides the information provided by RPC Ranasinghe, my private informants have brought to my notice that Ranasinghe had been harboured by Lohan Ratwatte and Mahen Ratwatte and at present Dhammika is being kept at his mothers home on top of a hill close to Mahiyawwa cemetery, Kandy. It is also common knowledge amongst Kandy residents that Dhammika Perera travels along with Lohan Ratwatte in a tinted four-wheel drive vehicle.
My private informants have also brought to my notice that during the Wayamba elections, Lohan and Mahen Ratwatte had been transporting Dhammika Perera in their Pajero vehicle for their protection.
Dhammika Perera is one of the most wanted under world criminals, wanted for 17 murders:
Senior Superintendent of Police, Director, Colombo Detective Bureau.
Astounding. This is an official report from the Director of the CDB to the president of Sri Lanka. He tells her succinctly (a) that Anurudha Ratwatte's son Mahen commissioned two underworld thugs, Sudath Ranasinghe and Moratuwa Saman, to murder Kumar Ponnambalam.
That a third assassin, one Sujeewa, also joined in the killing. That Mahen Ratwatte was harbouring Ranasinghe until he surrendered, in connection with another offence. That Mahen Ratwatte had the audacity to tell the Director of the CDB, 'Why are you worried? All the top people know about the assassination.' That in addition to everything else, the Ratwatte family is harbouring and consorting with yet another criminal, Dhammika Perera, who is wanted in connection with no less than 17 other murders!
Chandrika knew of these facts as long ago as September 2000, but chose to do nothing.
Bandula 'Show' Wickramasinghe came to know Chandrika Kumaratunga intimately in the aftermath of the infamous Mahanama Tillekeratne case. His wrongful arrest of that High Court judge drew a strong rebuke from the Appeal Court, and Wickramasinghe was ordered personally to pay damages of Rs 200,000. In August 2000, Kumaratunga sent for him, no doubt troubled by a rare pang of remorse, and offered to make good the Rs 200,000. This money was gratefully accepted by Wickramasinghe. At their meeting, Kumaratunga was informed of the investigations into the Ponnambalam killing, on being asked by the president who was anxious to know what the police knew. She was surprised to learn that the police knew the whole story and had all the details.
At their meeting, Kumaratunga also discussed the issue of Baddegana Sanjeeva, a notorious murderer who served as an elite member of the Presidential Security Division under its infamous head, Nihal Karunaratne.
Time to kill the eds
Karunaratne himself is on record as having, in the euphoric aftermath of the December 1999 presidential election, nonchalantly mentioned to Free Media Movement convenor and Reuters' correspondent in Sri Lanka, Waruna Karunatilake that the editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunga, was number one on the PSD's hit list, followed by the editor of the Ravaya newspaper, Victor Ivan. This fact has been widely published and remains uncontradicted by both Kumaratunga and Karunaratne.
Be that as it may, at their meeting at Temple Trees, Kumaratunga asked 'Show' Wickramasinghe what he knew of Sanjeeva's doings. Assuming that the president was ignorant of the facts, the CDB Director went on to catalogue a list of assassinations the hired killer had undertaken in support of Kumaratunga's own administration, including that of Satana Editor, Rohana Kumar. Wringing her hands in mock dismay, the president cried in Sinhala words to the effect, "Aiyo! Now I will have to send him also abroad!" Her despair however, was faked.
The CDB head, knowing that further procrastination was futile, prepared the report immediately and personally delivered it under 'Secret' cover to the president's private secretary, Sarath Gonagala. The report was typed by one Dulip Samarasekera and SSP Wickramasinghe went with IP Vedasinghe to hand over the report. It was just what she needed. The Sunday Leader is also in possession of documentary evidence that Wickramasinghe's report was in fact handed over to Kumaratunga.
And for the past 14 months, Kumaratunga has known who killed Ponnambalam and chosen to keep the incriminating evidence in her pocket. Why? Because murder no longer horrifies her. It has become commonplace in her administration. In the run up to the December 5, general election, a team of assassins from Kumaratunga's own Presidential Security Division attempted to murder the defected former minister, S. B. Dissanayake. They failed, and several of the assailants were arrested. Not one word of condemnation from our worthy President. No call for an inquiry. Instead, she was to personally call the Maturata Police and call for the handing over of the assassins to PSD Chief Karunaratne.
There is ample evidence now to prove that Kumaratunga was an accessory (after the crime, at least) to the murder of Kumar Ponnambalam. In any event, there is no doubt that following her conversation with Wickramasinghe and receipt of his report, she knew who killed Kumar Ponnambalam and of the complicity of her cousin, Mahen Ratwatte.
Section 21(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure is crystal clear on this subject: "Every person aware of the commission or the intention of any other person to commit any offence punishable under the following sections of the Penal Code, namely. 296 [murder and], 297 [culpable homicide]. shall in the absence of reasonable excuse-the burden of proving which shall lie upon the person so aware-forthwith give information to the nearest Magistrate's Court or to the officer in charge of the nearest police station." Kumaratunga manifestly failed to do this.
What is more, Section 199 of the Penal Code states, "Whoever knowing, or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed, intentionally omits to give any information which he is legally bound to give, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both." Section 209 of the Penal Code goes further: "Whenever an offence has been committed, whoever harbours, conceals, assists, or maintains a person whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the offender, with the intention of screening him from legal punishment, shall, if the offence is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine."
On the wrong side
What is more, Kumar Ponnambalam's cellular phone was found following information given by Ranasinghe from a marsh behind the BMICH and it was formally identified by Ponnambalam's son Gajendra who is today a MP. What is more, records of numerous telephone conversations between the assassins and the Ratwatte brothers are on file. (excerpts “The Sunday Leader” 23 December 2001)
Kumaratunga cornered in Ponnambalam murder
Evidence that President Chandrika Kumaratunga knew the identities of the murderers of All Ceylon Tamil Congress Leader Kumar Ponnambalam for the past several months mounted last week when an inspector of police, Nuwan Vedasinghe, swore on oath that he helped type the damning report that informed the president of the background of the killings as far back as September 2000.
By The Insider
Although Ponnambalam, despite several attempts, was never elected to office in any capacity, he continued to be a thorn in the flesh for the Kumaratunga establishment, the outspoken enfant terrible of the Tamil cause. The provocative outspokenness of this advocate of the Tamil cause however, was clearly too much for Kumaratunga."
Why it was her cousin, Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Mahen, who organised Ponnambalam's murder is a mystery. The ACTC leader could not possibly have wronged Ratwatte Junior. No doubt Ponnambalam's numerous provocative and belittling utterances critical of Kumaratunga served to irk the president. And even as Kumaratunga is known glibly to use her license to kill, as her Tissamaharama Doctrine exemplifies, it would surely be testing the public's credulity to think it possible that mere banter by Ponnambalam could have caused her to wish him dead. Or would it?
Just days prior to his murder, Kumaratunga no less was on national television launching a blistering attack on Ponnambalam by innuendo. Days before that verbal attack, Ponnambalam himself wrote an article, launching a scathing attack on the president. The president's television address was on January 2, 2000. Kumar was murdered three days later, on January 5.
An official report from the Director of the CDB to the President of Sri Lanka dated September 7, 2000 informs Her Excellency succinctly that Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Mahen commissioned two underworld thugs, a reserve Police constable Sudath Ranasinghe and Moratu Saman, to murder Kumar Ponnambalam. A third assassin, one Sujeewa, also joined in the killing. It went on to say that Mahen Ratwatte was harbouring Ranasinghe until he surrendered, in connection with another offence; that when questioned, Mahen Ratwatte had the audacity to tell the Director of the CDB, 'Why are you worried? All the top people know about the assassination'; and that in addition to everything else, the Ratwatte family is harbouring and consorting with yet another criminal, Dhammika Perera, who is wanted in connection with no less than 17 other murders!
As for the Murder of Rohana Kumara, and the two abortive attempts on the life of the editor of The Sunday Leader, the police and Kumaratunga have been aware at least since September 2000 that they were committed by the notorious underworld criminal, Baddegana Sanjeeva, whom Kumaratunga knowingly retained in her Security Division and upon whose murder she sent a wreath of flowers condoling his demise.
In fact, SSP Wickramasinghe in his affidavit reveals, upon the president being told of Baddegana Sanjeeva's involvement in Rohana Kumara's murder, she had allegedly said Sanjeeva must be sent abroad.
Despite Kumaratunga's denial, another police officer, Nuwan Vedasinghe, has now stated under oath that he helped type Bandula Wickramasinghe's report to the president dated September 7, 2000, and also that he and Wickramasinghe went jointly and handed it to Temple Trees. What is more, he has named a third person, a computer expert named Duleep Samarasinghe, who helped type the document. It is now Kumaratunga's word against that of three others, none of whom has an axe to grind in this affair. Furthermore, he corroborates SSP Wickramasinghe on the damning evidence contained in the September 7 report as well as Wickramasinghe's affidavit stating he himself as the officer investigating the murder passed on the information to the CDB Director. And the report of September 7 and the affidavits don't stand in isolation.
Apart from more evidence to follow, telephone records, computer records, diary entries, etc. will also show whether Wickramasinghe in fact prepared a report, visited Temple Trees, spoke with DIG T. V. Sumanasekera and Sarath Gonagala at the relevant time, just for starters.
While the constitution bestows immunity from legal action on the president, it does not give her immunity from investigation. The police must investigate the murders in which she has been implicated, albeit post facto, and the government must act on their findings. It simply will not do for Sri Lanka to have a president whose hands are stained with covering up murder at the best and plotting it at the worst.
Inspector of Police Jayantha Vedasinghe's affidavit
I Keerthi Nuwan Jayantha Vedasinghe, Inspector of Police, Police station Ampara, being a Buddhist do hereby solemnly sincerely and truly declare and state as follows :
1. I am a the affirmant above named.
2. I am an Inspector of Police and currently function as the Personal Assistant to the Senior Superintendent of Police Ampara Division.
3. I was appointed as the officer-in-charge of the Colombo Detective Bureau in 1994. I functioned as the officer-in-charge until November 2000.
4. My superior officer from November 1998, while I was OIC of the Colombo Detective Bureau was Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe.
5. In late August 2000, Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe my senior superintendent informed me that he was required to meet HE the President and was going to Temple Trees for that purpose.
6. I state that Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me that he could not meet HE the President that day and was required to meet her the next day at Temple Trees.
7. I state that after returning from Temple Trees on the second occasion Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me that he met HE the President and during the meeting had informed HE the President information regarding the activities of Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte's sons, the Kumar Ponnambalam murder and doings of Baddegana Sanjeewa. I state that Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me that after listening to him HE the President had required Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe to forward a report on the information that had been given by him regarding Minister Ratwatte's sons to HE the President.
8. I state that later Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me to find a responsible and reliable person to type the said report since HE the President had wanted the report prepared secretly and confidentially.
9. I state that thereafter I contacted Mr. Duleep Samarasinghe whom I knew was an expert in computers as well as a reliable and confidential person and asked him to come to the CDB Headquarters.
10. I state that Mr. Duleep Samarasinghe came to my office and both of us assisted Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe to prepare a report addressed to HE the President.
11. I state that I can identify the said report that was prepared by Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe, Mr. Duleep Samarasinghe and myself and annex to this Affidavit a copy of the said report, which has been signed in every page by me by way of authentication (Annexure A). I state that annexure A is a copy of the very same report referred to above.
12. I state that I accompanied Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe to Temple Trees to hand over the said report prepared by us. I state that after calling one Mr. Gonagala on Mr. Wickramasinghe's mobile phone, Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe went up to the gate of Temple Tress and handed over the report to a person. Thereafter, we returned to CDB Headquarters.
13. I state that matters stated by Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe in his report are on facts reported to him by me consequent to investigations conducted under my supervision. Further state that the informant was instructed by me to give all information to Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe. I knew that the informant had given all information to Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe over the telephone in this regard. (excerpts - The Sunday Leader 30 December 2001)
We suspect the PA government
Those who thought that the leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) Kumar Ponnambalam's legacy could be wiped out after his brutal assassination are in for a surprise. Kumar Ponnambalam may not be living to name his killers, but his son Gajendrakumar Gangaser Ponnambalam is here to bring the culprits who killed his father to book. Young and dynamic, Gajen, as he is known, has vowed to write to the Attorney General to intervene in this matter. Having contested the December 5 election, Gajen, 27, entered parliament. A criminal lawyer himself, Gajen says the report that was submitted to President Kumaratunga by the CDB Chief Bandula Wickramasinghe was politically motivated. He says his father's killing was a motivating factor for him to enter politics though he never wanted to do so. He is committed towards taking his father's policy forward.
Following are excerpts of Gajen's interview with The Sunday Leader.
Q: The murder of your father is once again in the news following the publication of a report submitted by the then Director of Crime Detective Bureau Bandula Wickramasinghe to President Chandrika Kumaratunga as far back as September 2000 in which details of the assassination as well as those responsible for your father's killing have all been highlighted. What action do you intend taking on this report?
A: Personally I am considering writing to the honourable Attorney General (AG) through my family lawyers. That is a step that I am quite sure of taking in the near future. As far as taking it up at a political level, the party of course has not decided. Therefore, I cannot say whether we will take this matter at a political level or not. I am not sure about this. But I will certainly be writing to the AG and asking him to intervene in this matter.
Q: It was also reported that you had identified your father's cellular phone discovered by the police in a marshland behind the BMICH. Is it correct?
A: It is correct. But the circumstances that surround the identification of the phone are suspicious. Bandula Wickramasinghe called me and told me the police had recovered this phone and asked me whether it belonged to my father. I was asked to come to the CDB (Crime Detective Bureau) to identify a phone, which they had recovered, which was supposedly recovered on the instructions given by a suspect in this case. But my understanding is that the phone was recovered before the suspect was taken into police custody. I was told that the information was received from a suspect who had called the CDB and confessed.
Personally my problems with regard to the CDB's actions is that I feel it is terribly politically motivated. Even Bandula Wickramasinghe was asked to take over the investigations, I think the day after my father's killing, he made it very clear to us. He asked us whom we suspected and the family stated that we suspected the government. He made it very clear to us that the president appointed him and that he will prove through his investigations that neither the president nor the government had any involvement in the killing of my father.
In fact, my association with Bandula Wickramasinghe in my father's killing has clearly shown me that his involvement was purely political and he was merely a political instrument. This report that he had purportedly given to the president does not mention a word about government members. He is only talking of the instruments that these people used in killing my father. Now the three suspects and the son of a former minister who have been mentioned in the letter are only instruments. You see, they only carried out the act. The people behind it have not been exposed. So it is only half the story or I would say it is less than half. There is yet more to come and it will come.
Q: What action have you all taken prior to this development relating to Bandula Wickramasinghe's report to bring the murderers to book and subsequent to the report being given to the president, did the president communicate with either you or your mother on what action is being taken?
A: Definitely not with me or any of my family members. And to the best of my knowledge not even with any of the members of the ACTC. As to what steps we took prior to this development, naturally the sole member of the ACTC who was in parliament last year, Vinayagamoorthy made several speeches in parliament that also included my father's assassination. Vinayagamoorthy had specifically made comments regarding my father's assassination. He even stated in parliament that it was a cover up. Even we (the family) think it is a cover up. The initial blame was placed on the LTTE. But when the government found that the people were not going to believe this, the government put the blame on some other militant groups. When the government realised that even this would not work, they put the blame on some of the underworld gang members saying that these individuals had been annoyed because my father had taken a pro-LTTE stand. Even now, all these reports indicate that Bandula Wickramasinghe has been instrumental or has been party with the president in trying to keep the blame away from the government. This is a report to basically show that the government is not directly involved, as opposed to the true picture. So my personal feeling is that this is just a cover up. (excerpts, “The Sunday Leader” 30 December 2001)
ACTC wants debate on Kumar
The All Ceylon Tamil Congress will this week write to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting a parliamentary debate on the murder of former party leader Kumar Ponnambalam. Ponnambalam was murdered on January 5, 2000 and the family of the late Tamil Congress leader has accused the former Peoples Alliance government of masterminding the murder.
New evidence reveals that Mahen Ratwatte, son of former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte ordered the killing and that President Chandrika Kumaratunga was informed of the details in September 2000 by Crime Detective Bureau Chief, SSP Bandula Wickramasinghe but chose not to act on it.
Jaffna District MP, Gajan Ponnambalam, son of the former Tamil Congress leader confirmed to The Sunday Leader that his party would be requesting for the debate in parliament. "There are bigger people than Mahen Ratwatte involved and we want to get to the bottom of it," he said. (The Sunday Leader 13 January 2002)
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