Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka yesterday decided to hear the case related to the slaying of former Tamil MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his security officer before a specially constituted Sinhala Jury on a daily basis commencing 21 November.
The accused Three Navy Officers who are believed to be working for the Mahinda Government forces in the case had previously requested the High Court to hear the case before a special Sinhala speaking Jury.
However, the Counsel appearing for the interests of the deceased Tamil MP Raviraj opposed that move. It is believed that Sinhala speaking Juries will be biased as the MP killed by the accused who had been working for the government forces is a Tamil.
MP was shot as he left his house in Colombo for work. One of his guards was also killed in the attack. Mr Raviraj represented the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) coalition from northern Jaffna district in parliament.
“It is government forces or forces aligned to the government, there can be no question,” TNA leader R Sampanthan told the Reuters news agency. “This is an attempt to stifle… and silence those who can justifiably espouse the Tamil cause.”
On previous day Mr Raviraj, a former mayor of Jaffna, had taken part in a protest against the army shelling of a camp for displaced people in the eastern Vakarai district that led to thousands of Tamils trying to flee from the camp.
Despite the objections raised by the Counsel for the deceased Tamil MP, High Court Judge Waidyathilaka, decided to hear the case before a specially constituted Sinhala speaking Jury.
The Judge also issued notices on all witnesses to be present in Court on that date.
The Attorney General has indicted six suspects in the High Court over the assassination of the former Tamil MP and his security guard and the case will be heard sans three suspects who have avoided the Court thus far.
Another TNA politician, Joseph Pararajasingham, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in Batticaloa, 300km (189 miles) east of the capital, Colombo, last December. The accused Pillayan was arrested by the forces recently and former President Mahinda visited him in the Prison to show his support to the accused.
31 Mar 2015 – … have been detained and are being questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the killing of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj …
Assassination of an activist Nadarajah Raviraj in Sri Lanka …. “Slain MPRAVIRAJ rememberence day”speech …
14 Nov 2006 – “The United States deplores the assassination on November 10 of Mr Nadarajah Raviraj, member of the Sri Lankan Parliament,” a US embassy …
30 Mar 2015 – Three members of Sri Lanka’s navy have been arrested over the killing of TNA MP