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Did Gota order to kill Lasantha?

Fresh allegations on Lasantha Wickrematunge assassination surface from C4 film on SL Easter bombings

7 September 2023 08:01 am - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


UK’s controversial documentary maker Channel 4 Dispatches film circulating on the Easter bombings of Sri Lanka has surfaced with fresh allegations into the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, as it was allegedly performed on the direction of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Sri Lankan whistleblower Hanzeer Azad Maulana in his interview to the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on shocking revelations of the Easter attack in 2019, talks about the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was orchestrated.

Maulana, who claims himself to be the former Media Spokesperson of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) and its leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, makes the revelations after fleeing the country in 2022 over fears for his life.

At one point in the film Maulana describes how former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his tenure as the Secretary Defence in 2008 Mahinda Rajapaksa government allegedly orders to kill newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

According to Maulana, Gotabaya Rajapaksa once during a meeting with the former and his boss Pillayan allegedly asked to help him form a paramilitary death squad called the ‘Tripoli Platoon’.

“He (Gotabaya) allegedly told Pillayan to select his best team and put them to work together. So Pillayan selected his best men and formed the Tripoli Platoon. The group then selected people who were against the government. They then targeted such people and killed them,” Maulana alleged.

Maulana alleges in the film that Lasantha’s continuous criticism on the Rajapaksa regime and especially his exposing article on the infamous military jet MiG Deal left Gotabaya enraged. And had summoned him and Pillayan to a meeting where he had said that he allegedly wanted Lasantha dead.

“He said this ‘Balla’ (dog) is always playing with me. He said Lasantha should be killed. If you can do it immediately. As soon as possible,” Maulana alleges in his interview.

Also, giving evidence about the Lasantha’s assassination case in the film was exiled CID officer Nishantha Silva, who has sought political refuge in a foreign country. Nishantha Silva who had been entrusted with a fresh probe into Lasantha’s case soon after the Yahapalana Government came into power says in the film that his findings in the probe led him to the Tripoli Platoon.

Nishantha Silva says he found telephones belonging to five Tripoli Platoon members connected to the Lasantha’s killing and the telephone records with call site analysis matched with the location where Lasantha was killed.

“Gotabaya Rajapaksa allegedly had a direct involvement with the Tripoli Platoon according to my findings. And when I summoned him to the CID after naming him a suspect in the Lasantha killing, he was not too happy to hear about it,” Nishantha Silva alleged in the interview. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)

  Comments - 21

  • Mandayan Thursday, 07 September 2023 08:10 AM

    Everyone knows who ordered it and we don’t need C4 for that. No point in blaming others!

    Punchi Thursday, 07 September 2023 08:46 AM

    This is how we resolve our differences in our paradise by killing our adversaries, opponents etc be it personal, judicial, business, domestic etc. In the study of politics, conservatism is that some people are destined to rule over others because of upbringing, background etc. whereas we have allowed those with barbaric inclinations who proved their mantle in mass killings to become our rulers. Maybe because this type of behaviour is some respected than goodness in our society

    Terrence K Thursday, 07 September 2023 09:43 AM

    These revelations show that the previous Head of State was a "Wolf in Sheep Clothing"

    LASANTHA Thursday, 07 September 2023 10:07 AM


    L Jaya Thursday, 07 September 2023 10:15 AM

    Gota was the Defense Secy then, so it is hard to comprehend that Gota was unaware and no linkage to the murder. Therefore, could be YES.

    Lumbini Thursday, 07 September 2023 10:20 AM

    If he hasn't, he should challenge it.

    Sue Kirthisinghe Thursday, 07 September 2023 10:57 AM

    Why even bother to ask that question when everyone knows the truth but no one had the guts to confirm it. Now that it has been done, its up the Govt. to take action. A new investigation is needed with the evidence provided by the whistle blower. Enough coddling the Rajapakses, they are not Gods and they should be brought to book for all the crimes committed because the victims need justice.

    Marcian Christopher Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:21 AM

    The old adage "Truth will come out in the end." is now almost confirmed.

    God will punish them some day. Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:36 AM

    Not only Lasantha, how many other innocents like ruggerite Thajudeen and others, were bumped off ? Culprits roam free.

    Boru Na Atha ..... Atha .... Atha ....... (100% truth) Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:39 AM

    Yes this is 100% true. Mahinda gave the orders and Gota committed the crime using his ruthless brutal Army soldiers whom he paid in lakhs/person to protect after committing crimes.

    Be fair Thursday, 07 September 2023 12:40 PM

    Channel 4 for me is a no go, no credibility, no integrity.

    Gamini Wednesday, 15 November 2023 01:36 PM

    Agree 100% tabloid hacks disguised as doco makers

    Kumara Thursday, 07 September 2023 01:20 PM

    @Befair is utterly wrong. Sri Lanka must order an international probe into this killing machine, Tripoli Platoon.

    Nimal Thursday, 07 September 2023 01:57 PM

    God knows who. He saw it. He will repay in His own time. Let's be patient till then.

    sam Thursday, 07 September 2023 04:06 PM

    This is SL where those who should be in jail are free and those free should be inside.

    Kps Thursday, 07 September 2023 06:21 PM

    Gota’s Heart knows the truth nothing but the truth.

    Kps Thursday, 07 September 2023 06:23 PM

    Who is Lasantha? Remember how Gota answered the British journalist. There are so many unanswered questions remain such as Thajudeen, Eknaligoda.

    Sudda Friday, 08 September 2023 07:35 AM

    In a BBC hard talk interview, Gota said he didn’t know how Lasantha was. What a joke.

    Dakuneyaka Friday, 08 September 2023 11:09 AM

    Interesting to see this guy Nishantha Silva ( why is the Pulle part missing) when transfered to Negombo was re Transferred to CID by President My3pala Sirisena

    Uali Friday, 08 September 2023 11:54 AM

    This piece of information seems very close to the truth,investigating media can interview relevant people

    N V Jen Friday, 08 September 2023 01:14 PM

    High probability. Gota was aggravated by the exposure of MIG jets scandal. Why Ranil under Yahapalanaya has stifled the investigations? Why did he tell Ahimsa that he has more important things at hand (may be swindling under the bond scam!) than investigating Lasantha's murder. All these leaders are partners in crimes.

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