By Stanley Samarasinghe
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sarath Jayamanne told the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday that he had evidence to prove that Prageeth Ekneligoda was abducted by intelligence officers of the military. He said he would take full responsibility for what he had said.
Jayamanne revealed this before Bench comprising Chief Justice Sripavan and Justices Sisira Abrew and Upali Abeyratne, when providing answers to the petition filed by the two intelligence officers now in custody.
The petitions had been filed by W.G. N. Upasena and Lance Corporal Rupasena. The petitioners had alleged, in their petition, that they have no connection with the Ekneligoda episode and they had been held in custody without any reason for nearly a year, whereby their fundamental rights had been violated.
When President’s Counsel Manoharan de Silva, who appeared on behalf of the petitioners, made the submissions, the Additional Solicitor General explained to Court thus: “The Police of Sri Lanka could not find a single clue regarding the abduction of Ekneligoda, committed six years ago. It is only after the change of the regime that it became possible.
“What a crime it is when it is comitted by the intelligence division, which should instead be there to gather information to provide security to this country. “Morali Sumedhiran had met Ekneligoda. He had an identity card given by the LTTE. There was also a book with him with phone numbers, which indicated that he surrendered to the forces after the war. In that book there were phone numbers of very important persons in this country.
“Ekneligoda owned a land at Habarana. Along with Morali, and another individual, by the name of Nathan had gone in a three-wheeler to that land to meet Ekneligoda. It is the petitioner who drove the three-wheeler and on that occasion they have had discussions regarding the politicos, when Pradeep had severely castigated the politicos. There is recorded evidence of these, and those were recorded by the two visitors to the land.
“After that incident, Morali had said that his brother Nathan was coming to Colombo and had requested Ekneligoda to help him. These two individuals who went to the Rajagiriya office of Ekneligoda, after talking with Ekneligoda for a short while left the office along with Ekneligoda. When they came out there was another group outside. They blindfolded Ekneligoda and took him with them in a vehicle. He was taken to the Girithale Army camp. There, Pradeep was shown photos of many VIPs in the country and questioned.
“At that time Pradeep was in charge of the election campaign of Sarath Fonseka who was a presidential candidate. Evidence has surfaced that the cause of the abduction was a cartoon drawn by Pradeep,” the Additional Solicitor General said.
Sarath Jayamanne along with Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris appeared on behalf of the Attroney General.
Manoharan De Silva, PC, appeared on behalf of the petitioners.
Lawyers Sulakshana Senanayake, Hewamanne , Upul Kumaraperuma and senior lawyer J.C. Weliamuna instructed by Sanjeewa Kaluarachi appeared on behalf of Sandya Ekneligoda.