By S.S. Selvanayagam
Court of Appeal Justice Deepali Wijesundera yesterday issued an interim order, valid until December 3, staying the Jaffna Magistrate Court’s summons on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa requesting him to attend Court on September 27.
Justice Achala Wengappuli recused himself from being a member of the Bench.
Court directed to issue notices on Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, former Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Atchuveli Police OIC and former IGP N.K. Ilangakone .
Mr. Rajapaksa was summoned to give evidence in the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court on June 21 in a Habeas Corpus inquiry into the disappearance of two human rights activists who went missing during his tenure as the Defence Secretary.
Human rights activists Lalith Kumar Veeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan went missing a day before World Human Rights Day, on December
Seven years ago, a writ of Habeas Corpus was filed in the Court of Appeal to demand their release if they were in the custody of the State.
According to their initial statements, Lalith Kumar and Murugananthan Kugan, travelling from Point Pedro on a motorbike, were stopped at Kaithady by a group, bundled into a white van and taken away. That was the last time they were seen.
Before they went missing Lalith Kumar who resided in the Avissawella and Murugananthan Kugan from Jaffna had been organizing an event to mark World Human Rights Day in Jaffna.
Lalith Kumar was a former non-academic staffer at the University of Jayawardenapura. He later joined the JVP to pursue full time politics.
After the war ended in 2009, he went to Jaffna as he was fluent in the Tamil language and joined the Jana Aragala Wiyaparaya (Movement for the People’s Struggle), a dissident faction of the JVP. Lalith Kumar had then met Kugan Murugananthan in Jaffna during his political activities.