Sri Lanka’s ex-police, military top brass risk arrest over Lasantha murder

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Police Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has hinted of high-profile arrests as the authorities close in on the assassins of anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

The latest arrest of a military intelligence officer last week has led the authorities to piece together the individuals involved in ordering the January 8, 2009 assassination as well as the well orchestrated cover up of the murder.

The IGP, speaking at a school at Ibbagamuwa, declared he would demonstrate the new found independence of the police by solving some high profiles cases that have dragged on for years without any suspects being brought to justice.

Jayasundara did not name names, but top police sources said the Lasantha Wickrematunge assassination was a top priority for the police and at least one former Inspector general faced arrest for his role.

Two former heads of the police and military intelligence units are also likely to be arrested shortly and both have already been questioned, according to the sources who declined to be named.

A retired deputy inspector general of police who initially carried out investigations is also facing arrest, but is likely to turn a state witness by disclosing the role of his then superiors.

A former minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, Mervyn Silva, had publicly accused the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of killing Wickrematunge, a charge he has denied.

Wickrematunge had told colleagues as well as many others that he planned to take “Gota to the cleaners” over an allegedly corrupt deal in purchasing four MIG jet fighters for the airforce.

The so-called MIG deal is currently being investigated by the FCID and Lasantha was killed a few days before he was due to disclose details of the transaction at the Mount Lavinia courts.
(COLOMBO, July 18, 2016)

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