SL Minister implicated in bribe attempt to silence massacre witness

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 March 2008, 19:52 GMT]
The inquiry into the massacre of five Trincomalee students took a dramatic turn Thursday when an exiled medical practitioner father of one of the student victims, in a video conference before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI), revealed that a prominent Cabinet Minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa's government, after the massacre, had proposed to offer a house in Colombo to the family if they were willing to "forget the mistake that had taken place."

CoI video conference (Courtesy: Daily Mirror)
CoI video conference (Courtesy: Daily Mirror)
Kailasapillai Manoharan, a physician currently living in the United Kingdom, appearing as a witness from UK via video conference to Colombo, said the Sri Lankan minister proposed to give as gift a property in Colombo to his family. In turn, the Lankan minister wanted the family to stop pursuing their son's case, Dr Manoharan said.

The video conference was held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in front of the Presidential Commission of Investigations (CoI) headed by retired judge Nissanka Udalagama Thursday.

On 02 January, 2006, five high school students who had gone to spend the evening near Dutch Bay sea beach were shot dead in execution style allegedly by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force personnel at the roundabout junction in front of the beach. The killers exploded hand grenades in the vicinity and planted a grenade in the pocket of one of the victims. The police told media that the 'deaths' were caused when a hand grenade in the possession of the youths exploded.

Thangathurai Sivanantha, Logithasan Rohanth, Shanmugarajah Sajeenthiran, Manoharan Rajeehar and Yogarajah Hemachandran, died in the massacre.

Yogarajah Kodeeswaran, a brother of Dutch-bay victim Yogarajah Hemachandran, was killed in another massacre, five months later, on 05 August, 2006, when 17 Humanitarian workers of the French NGO, Action Fiam, were allegedly executed by the Sri Lanka Army in Moothoor.

No one in Sri Lanka agreed to appear as a witness against the Sri Lankan forces and the establishment due to the lack of a witness protection programme, as documented by various Human Rights watchdogs.

The families of the five victims have all left Sri Lanka to foreign destinations.

Trinco funerals
Funeral home of slain student Manoharan Rajeehar

Related Articles:
05.08.06   Sri Lanka Army massacres 15 NGO workers
05.01.06   Funeral procession of slain Tamil students

External Links:
HRW: Sri Lanka: Protect Witnesses in Trincomalee Killings


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