The Sunday Leader

Disappeared Kugan And Lalith Still Missing Civil Administration Or Military Rule?

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan

A protest march is to be organized from Colombo to Jaffna this month to demand the authorities to inquire and release details about the two missing JVP dissidents, Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan.
Lalith Kumar and Kugan went missing on December 9, while preparing to launch the Movement for People’s Struggle formed by the JVP dissidents in Jaffna. The protest march is organized by We Are Sri Lankans (WASL) and is to include a leaflet distribution campaign along the A9 road from Kilinochchi to Jaffna.
Executive Committee Member of WASL Udul Premaratne said the protest march would be held with the participation of human rights activists and thousands of people demanding an explanation from the government on the disappearance and to protest against military rule.
He told The Sunday Leader that the events that have taken place in the North following the end of the war in 2009 have clearly indicated that civil administration has not been established in the area.
“There have been many abductions and murders that have taken place in the North amidst the massive presence of security forces,” he said adding that these incidents could take place only with the connivance of the military.
He called on the government to respond by saying if the Mahinda Rajapaksa government or the military controlled the North.
“If the government controlled the North, then it needs to inquire into the disappearances of the two members and tell the people the truth, if not, the government needs to admit to the people that it is a military rule that is controlling the North,” Premaratne noted.
According to Premaratne, Lalith Kumar was detained by the Army on several occasions previously and had been asked not to engage in any political activities.
“Lalith Kumar’s disappearance has taken place after the warnings had been issued,” he said.
He further noted that there were contradictions in the statements made by the police with regard to the disappearances.
Meanwhile, JVP dissident and parliamentarian Ajith Kumara has written to IGP N. K. Illangakoon to look into the investigation on the disappearance of Lalith Kumar and Kugan and reveal the true information regarding the abduction.
MP Ajith Kumara in his letter has stated that the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and all the embassies in Sri Lanka have been informed of the incident. “We would like to inform you that we are compelled to inform these institutions and agencies again regarding the covering up of the information by the police over the abduction on the 9th and the slow process of investigation over the issue,” the letter states.
“The family members of the abductees and I have made three complaints to Jaffna, Acchuveli and Kosgama Police Stations, regarding the above incident. It is with regret we inform you that all the three police stations state that there is no evidence regarding this incident. It is sad to understand that the police investigations are still in the preliminary stages, despite 17 days being passed since the abduction,” Ajith Kumara notes.
In the letter, the MP has also noted several details uncovered by them when independently inquiring into the matter.
Following is part of the text from the letter to the IGP:
“It is sad to understand that the police investigations are still in the preliminary stages, despite 17 days being passed since the abduction. However, we have been able to get the following details revealed.
The abduction mentioned above has occurred on 09.12.2011 around 6.00 p.m. in Nirweli in Jaffna
Two motorbikes and a white van had been used for the abduction. One of the motorbikes had stopped the motorbike of our comrades and those who came by the van had forcibly taken them inside the van and fled.
The motorbike of our comrade was left there and Mr. Shanmugavadiwel, the Grama Niladhari of Nirweli had been informed about this by the residents nearby. Later the Grama Niladhari and people of the area have informed this to the Police Station Kopai. The police visited the place and had taken the motorbike away.
These are the information we have gathered and there is a mismatch between these and the statements of your police officers.
Officers of Achchuveli police station say that they found the motorbikes on the 14th, even though the above revelations prove that it happened on the same day, the 09th.
Even on this fact they have two different stories. Wife of Kugan who went to Achchuveli Police Station on the 15th was told that the motorbike was taken in to Urumbirai Police Station after finding it near Sivan Kovil Urumbirai. However, Mr. Udul Premaratne, Attorney-at-law, who went to Achchuveli Police Station on the 22nd of December was told that it was found by Kopai police station on the 14th and brought in to Achchuveli Police Station.
Making statements with different and inconsistent details, by the Police is a serious issue to be taken into consideration.”

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