The Sunday Leader

Still ‘Queen Of Deceit’?

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

Chandrika Kumaratunga

More than 10 years since the Town Hall bomb explosion during the 1999 presidential election campaign, which injured former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the investigation remains as yet inconclusive. The case is still being heard in the High Court, which is currently in the process of considering the confessions made by the accused in custody.

The court ruled last week that the confession made by the second accused (an LTTE suspect) in the case of the attempted assassination of Kumaratunga was a voluntary one, thereby indicating that the Tamil Tigers were responsible for the assassination attempt.

It was reported that when the inquiry was taken up before High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa, the three accused — Velayudhan Vardharaja (alias Udayan), Satyawel Ilangeswaran (alias Sasi), Chandra Iyar Ragupathy Sharma and Wasanthi Ragupathi Sharma (alias Soma Skanda Kurukkal Wasanthi) — were produced in court.

The judge had reportedly ruled that the confession made by Ilangeswaran to ASP Arlis of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) regarding the bomb blast caused by LTTE suicide cadre Malar (alias Manimekala) at the Colombo Town Hall was a voluntary one.

The inquiry was held to ascertain whether the confessions made by the suspects to the TID were voluntary. Earlier, the court had ruled that the confessions made to the TID by the third and fourth accused were voluntary.

The second accused, however, had said that he had signed a document prepared in Sinhalese without understanding its contents and made the statement through fear. This corroborates a theory put forward by the Editor-in-Chief of the Ravaya news paper, Victor Ivan, who in 2006 wrote that Kumaratunga in fact planned the assassination attempt on her life in order to swing a sympathy vote in the 1999 presidential election.

The Town Hall blast took place on December 18, 1999 during the final presidential election rally attended by Kumaratunga. The attack killed 26 persons and seriously injured 96 persons, including Kumaratunga.
Ivan reiterated his allegations to The Sunday Leader last week.

“This incident happened in 1999,” he said. “Still, final investigations are going on. Why is that? We live in 2010. All these guys have been in custody for the last 10 years.  How could an investigation into an alleged attempt on a President’s life have taken this long and is as yet not concluded?  I have serious doubts on this incident which I have articulated in my book. And I have yet to be contradicted.”

In Ivan’s explosive book, titled The Queen Of Deceit (Chaura Rajini) Ivan devoted an entire chapter to this incident. Ivan wrote:

“Although I have not carried out a detailed investigation into the Town Hall bomb blast, the information that I have gathered makes me believe that this was a move made by the President’s mafia to gain public sympathy for her.”

In the chapter, Ivan details his reasons for doubting the whole Town Hall bomb blast. Interestingly, Ivan mentions the name of Ragupathy Sharma, one of the three men accused in the Kumaratunga assassination attempt.

According to Ivan, Ragupathy was incarcerated in the Boossa prison for providing shelter to the alleged suicide cadre. A jailor at the prison told Ivan that it seemed that Ragupathy had provided the bomber, as his clients had promised him a large sum of money.

“The plan, he had been told, was to arrest the woman along with an empty explosives belt at the meeting,” Ivan writes. “His clients had also said that the woman would be released soon after and that the purpose of the exercise was to obtain public sympathy for the President at the presidential election.”

The Town Hall bomb blast was one of the two explosions that took place during a political rally on December 19, 1999. The first explosion was at a UNP rally in Ja-Ela at 8:50 p.m. and the second at Town Hall at the UPFA rally at 9:20 p.m. The Ja-Ela bomb killed 16 persons, including Major General Lucky Algama.

Ivan explains in his book that, according to the magistrate’s report, the security forces were aware of the threat to the President’s life at the rally. The evidence given by PSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Police Nihal Sarath Perera at the magisterial inquiry is also reproduced in the chapter. According to the evidence, maximum precautions were taken and everyone other than the VIPs who entered the Town Hall premises was body searched.

Ivan maintains that if the public who entered the premises was body searched, the suicide bomber had to enter the premises through the VIP gate. Whether she entered through this gate with or without explosives  is uncertain. Also, Ivan writes, Inspector of Police Linton Ratnayake – not a senior police officer – handled the investigation on behalf of the prosecution.

Ivan has cast doubts over the investigation by stating that scrappy evidence was presented to indicate that an investigation was being conducted.

On January 6, 2000, the prosecution had informed court that the mother and sister of the LTTE suicide bomber had identified her body. It was claimed that the suicide bomber was Manikkam Leela, a resident of Thalamkudamunmune, Batticaloa. However, the results of the DNA test conducted at the Glasgow University following a magisterial request had shown that the suicide bomber could not have been related to the two women.

In another instance, a man named Abdul Gayum was presented before the magistrate claiming he wished to confess to having assisted in the transportation of the explosives used in the attack.
However, during interrogation it had been revealed that the person had been asked to make a false confession on the assurance that he would not be prosecuted for another crime for which he had been arrested.

Ivan also states that on May 24, the prosecution had produced four suspects; Sinathambi Kadirgamar, Rudra Ignatius, John Basists Fernando and Perum Raja Sathyadran claiming that they had met with several LTTE leaders in Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa in order to conspire to kill the president. The court ordered the suspects to be remanded till the 30th. On the 30th the court had to order the release of the suspects on bail due to insufficient evidence for remand.

Ivan says he had access to a secret document where while detailing investigations into the Ja-Ela bombing, it cast serious doubts on both explosions.

DIG O.K. Hemachandra had sent the report to the IGP.

According to the report, a group within the army carried out the Ja-Ela bombing and a person called Kudu Mahinda had been involved in it. Kudu Mahinda was a double agent and video footage had revealed that several of his associates had attended the Town Hall meeting.

The three-member commission, which included DIGs Indra de Silva, Jayatissa Herath and R.K.L. Ratnayake appointed to inquire into the Town Hall bombing, had faulted the PSD. Meanwhile, Commanding Officer of the Katunayake Air Force Base, R.K.N. Ananda, who at the time was the country’s leading expert in explosives, had also spoken to Ivan.

Ivan states that Ananda was sent along with PSD Chief Nihal Karunaratne to Germany to see to the customising of the BMW vehicles used by her.

Soon after the Town Hall explosion, Ananda had met with Kumaratunga. According to Ananda, the then President had said, “Ananda if the vehicle had been one inch higher I would have been okay.”
In another instance, Kumaratunga has told then Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte, “don’t get involved in things that don’t concern you,” after hearing that Ratwatte had appointed a team to investigate the bomb blast.

30 Comments for “Still ‘Queen Of Deceit’?”

  1. Janarala

    This crafty woman never cease to amaze me

    • Why is this woman Kumaratunge, Queen of deceit, still being given a huge amount of staff, vehicles, office space and funds at tax payers expense? Limit these facilities to ex politicos for a period of two years only. This one eyed Jackson fell out with Mahinda because Mahinda did not give the primeminister ship to her brother Anura as requested by her. Her mother was deprived of Civic Rights by yet another former president. She now talks of corruption after her family sold their lands by stealth before the land reforms came in.

      • Ray

        Her Mother , Sirima Bandaranaike sent her daughter Chandrika to study in France in Sorbone University while preaching the SriLankans to study in swbasha that is only in Sinhalese. Her brother was sent to Oxford University.

      • True Blue

        Ado Ponnya, respect people

      • True Blue

        You call yourself a doctor?????
        Respect people, ponnya

        • paapandu

          True Blue, the real Ponnaya is YOU because you want to grab a womans saree potha and hide behind it.,forgetting the dirty tricks she played on the masses.Before calling others names learn to use your own name and reveal yourself. Are you one of those arsx lickers of the horakolla type. Shame on you.The Hon.Dr is absolutely correct. You cant hide facts we all know the tricks this rogue queen played. Now get lost.

      • Dear True Blue, I feel sorry for you to be such a small man to react in this abusive manner. I will not dignify nyour comment with a response. All the best to you dear, True Blue.

    • Charles

      I am no fan of CBK. She showed who she is to the people once again when she declared her support to SF. That is another matter.

      Likes of Victor Ivon and Sunanda Mahendra think of themselves as the king makers. They worked hard for Ranil at the 1999 Presidential Elections but failed to make him win. I still remember their faces on live telecast after the results.

      Being poor loosers, they had to think of excuses as why they failed. The story that CBK supporters could hire a suicide bomber is as far fetched as the more recent Computer Jilmart story by VI’s former friends in the JVP.

      VI is in the hands of INGO’s.

  2. mazin

    Dont forget how she protected her uncle, the mass murderer Anuruddha Ratwatte and got him free. This woman has been law maker, law breaker and law fiddler all in one shot. The foolish voters deserve a woman like her.

  3. pippinamala

    Why is Sri Lanka cursed with people such as this good-for-nothin woman

  4. modarala

    i am appalled by the comments people have left. first of all she lost an eye. why would someone do a thing like that. as credible journalist do the investigation, find the facts and then talk. not victor ivan have done that nor have you. lets have a better level of journalism culture in sri lanka without being a “mada paththare”

    • Humbug

      I belive most of the time Victor Ivan like the Sunday Leader reports facts. AT the time it was known that the Jaela blast was a govt. job. Most of the other jobs like Jeyaraj Fdopulle, Janaka Perera are also govt. doings. Chandrika lost her eye by accident – had her vehicle been a little higher even this would not have happened! Chandrika had too many faults – the repercussions we are facing today by her party and the current regime is the outcome of all her treacherous doings.

      • Ponna-Seka

        Are you trying to say LTTE was this democratic group who never killed people at will. The problem with the government when they were doing lamp poast murders they could not fathom what is coming. The LTTE was the killers from the begining with JVP. Do not try to hood wink people being a Mangala Samaraweera.

  5. azdaktoday

    Madam, You inspired at one time, when our hearts and souls were full of hopes for a prosperous peaceful Sri Lanka.You betrayed all those who trusted you and now belongs the dustbin of the countries history. You completed the journey to the garbage dump by shaking hands that psycopath of a General, turning back to the oppressed in the country. We thank you in advance for keeping your damn mouth shut now

    • sivakolla

      Azdaktoday, you are wasting the term “Madam”on a scheming she-man like this.Even on a person like Ramzi her hairdresser or Mangala her underwear boy, the term will be better used. This woman should never have been born . She admits that her father always wanted a son and got her instead. What a father,what a daughter. Together, they took the country into the bowels of communal and economic despair.

      • terence jobba

        Why, you forgot the damage her Kussi Amma mother did after promising rice from the moon, gave manioc to the people after saying lanka becoming next Singapore. Today malay Street in slave island is the closest we can get to singapore.Hungry mothers queing 6 miles for bread, hundreds of dissatisfied village youth with bodies floating in kelani, while she lived like a royal and groomed her daughter to be next marauding queen who always drunk and danced to the song “Rajina Mamai” thinking it was composed specially for her.

  6. azdaktoday

    Madam, You inspired us at one time, when our hearts and souls were full of hopes for a prosperous peaceful Sri Lanka.You betrayed all those who trusted you and now belong to the dustbin of the country’s history. You completed the journey to the garbage dump by shaking hands with that psycopath of a General. We thank you in advance for keeping your damn mouth shut now

  7. Kandy Lamisi

    Dont all talk only. Vote for the present Governement and when you lose all your fredom then think of Boms and fighting again Use your Brains and just dont talk rubbish.

  8. Gundappa

    And to think that SF and Co., had to seek CBK’s support to further their presidential ambitions.

    What damage that the Bandaranaike dynasty has done to this country.

    SWRD- promised swabasha in 24 hours
    Madam- promised to bring rice from the moon
    CBK – had underworld characters as her best friends, and lest we forger, the famous
    Water’s edge case.

    We SLankans still cannot fathom these lie pedalling polticians.

    We deserve what we get

  9. [...] (SL) February 28th, 2010 | Category: Political, Security, Social [...]

  10. HERO

    She was the first one who initiated this filthy politics. She did whatever she wanted to take the power…She should be given capital punishment infront of all the citizens of Sri Lanka…

    • amude man

      Well said HERO, I second your motion. capital punishment in public or flogging in the street square like in Saudi. the best punishment for this arrogant woman

    • pillayan

      Mervin is around today because of this woman. He was only Anuras roomboy and she made him a power-unto-himself just like when she was ruling. Broke all the laws and rules.

      • True Blue

        Dont sling mud at people without facts. Has UNP done 1/3 of what Chandrika has dione

  11. jaya

    Thank forJVP which did send her home early by keeping to their word during that time when she was looking for the support of JVP to continue to be in power. But what has happened now is even worse.the re-capturing power By Rajapaksha brothers will do no harm than good for the country.

  12. jaya

    Thank sto JVP which did send her home early by keeping to their word during that time when she was looking for the support of JVP to continue to be in power. But what has happened now is even worse.the re-capturing power By Rajapaksha brothers will do harm than good for the country.

  13. True SLFP

    I hate ungreaful people. They have forgotten how mcuh the Bandranaikes has done for the country. The poor man got a chance because of the Bandranaikes.
    What good Chandrika has done will only be rembered when she is gone. But then it will be too late

    • eva peron

      Booo Hoooo…. Im already in tears. How ungrateful our lankans are.You know how much the Bs did for me, if not for my country? Now, my Nanda Ammas daughter is a carpark attendant at osu sala, my Baapas son is gatekeeper at the BMICH and right now, iam now counting uncle mervins share of the money from the bookie we jointly own at Pamankade. Please everybody, stop everything you are doing and shed a tear like me for the Bs. They have been such good patriots. So cry for them. before they are all gone from us. Boo Hoo……

  14. True Blue

    I hate ungreaful people. They have forgotten how mcuh the Bandranaikes has done for the country. The poor man got a chance because of the Bandranaikes.
    What good Chandrika has done will only be rembered when she is gone. But then it will be too late

  15. BOOBAMBA

    WE STILL FIGHTING EACH OTHER ON LTTE ISSUES. FALIURE OF SL POLICE TO FIND THE REAL LTTE BOMBER AND THE SUPPORTERS DOES NOT MEAN IT IS A CRAFTED ACT OF CBK. ANY POLICE FORCE IN ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD DO THIS SORT OF THINGS. (ARRESTING INNOCENTS AND CHARGE THEM FOR CRIMES THEY NEVER DID) ANY BODY CAN GIVE ANY AMOUNT OF CONSPIRACY THEARIES ON THESE POLICE MISHAPS BUT TRUTH IS STILL OUT THERE. I AM NOT A FAN OF CBK AT ALL. I WILL SUE HER IF I COULD FOR WASTING 10 YEARS OF OUR LIFE.
    PEOPLE IN SRI LANKA START TO SUE THE POLICE AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR ARRESTING INNOCENTS AND CLAIM LARGE SUM OF MONEY. THEN ONLY THEY WILL LOOK FOR REAL CRIMINALS.

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