SL Attorney General continues to protect genocidaire commander

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 22:49 GMT]
A Deputy Solicitor General representing the SL Attorney Department was urging the High Court in Jaffna on Wednesday to suspend the investigation on the writ of habeas corpus, which was seeking a high-ranking commander of the occupying SL Army to produce Tamil youth who were detained 22 years ago in Jaffna during the regime of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Former SL Commander and present minister, Sarath Fonseka, has been protecting Major General Duminda Keppettiwalana, who commanded the Sinhala soldiers of the military camp at Naavatkuzhi in 1996.

Fonseka was also defending Keppettiwalana earlier when he was a commander in Jaffna.

Maj. Gen. Duminda Keppetiwalana
Maj. Gen. Duminda Keppetiwalana
Keppetiwalana was a captain when the crime took place. It is widely believed that the military unit under him was responsible for massacres, forced disappearances, torture and rapes in Jaffna when he commanded the group as a captain in 1996.

Already at that time, Capt. Keppetiwalana became a close confidante of the then Brigadier Sarath Fonseka (now a General), who played a crucial role in the battle to capture Jaffna from the control of the LTTE in 1995.

Fonseka maintained close rapport with Keppetwalana, who rose to the rank of Lt. Col. following his brutal acts in Jaffna.

A habeas corpus case, lodged on behalf of 9 families of more than 25 enforced disappeared from Naavatkuzhi, was taken up by the courts in Chaavakachcheari in 2002.

However, Sarath Fonseka, who by then had become commander of Jaffna with the rank of major general, managed to transfer the case away from Jaffna to Anuradhapura influencing the courts in Colombo.

The Tamil judges taking strict measures against him were also demoted and transferred away from Jaffna.

On Wednesday, Chethiya Goonesekere, the deputy solicitor general, was urging the Court to dismiss the case on the basis that it has gone several years since the alleged incident of forced disappearance at the hands of Keppetiwalana.

Goonesekere was giving four additional reasons in his request to dismiss the case. He was arguing that the documents presented in the case were forged documents.

Judge Annalingam Premashankar, who was earlier transferred away due to his strong position on the case when he served as the Judge at the SL Court in Chaavakachcheari, is going to look into the case as he has been appointed as the Judge of the High Court in Jaffna starting from 26th May.

Judge Manikkavasakar Ilancheliyan who heard the case has not accepted the argument of dismissing the case on the basis of the number of years that have elapsed since the time of the crime. He was citing a precedent-setting case on the issue and set forth a new date for the next hearing. The case would be taken up again on 11 July.


Chronology:

 

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