The Sunday Leader

Mannar Bishop Grilled On Disappearances

By Raisa Wickrematunge

Mannar Bishop Rev. Rayappu Joseph has been questioned by the police on his statement to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) regarding disappearances.
The Bishop was among several people, including government officials, who had given statements to the LLRC during its public sittings. Bishop Joseph said that police officers had visited his office in Mannar last Tuesday after seeking a prior appointment.
They had sought clarification on to how he had arrived at the figure of disappeared people, which he had placed at around 146,000 in a submission to the LLRC.
When asked the reasons for their visit, the officers had said it was possible their superiors were concerned as to whether the Bishop had been provided these figures through external organizations such as INGOs.
However, Bishop Joseph said he had arrived at the number by examining reports by various Government Agents, particularly those of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.
He had also drawn information from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The Bishop of Anuradhapura Norbert Andradi had also been present when the meeting took place, he added.  The LLRC meanwhile said that there was no witness protection for people who came forward to give statements during the Commission hearings.
A Commission member who wished to remain anonymous said that anyone who came forward to give a statement could have asked for their names to be omitted from the documents. “On a rare occasion the witness could have requested protection from the Commission which in turn would have consulted with the Attorney General and decided on appropriate action,” the Commission member said.
When The Sunday Leader contacted Inspector General of Police, N. K. Illangkoon, he stated that he was unaware that the Bishop of Mannar had been questioned by the police and asked the newspaper to contact the police spokesman regarding this.
The police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana confirmed that officers from the Criminal Investigations Department had indeed visited the Bishop and questioned him.

22 Comments for “Mannar Bishop Grilled On Disappearances”

  1. Lal.Fernando

    How things work in Sri Lanka is , do not let the left hand knows what right hand does.This is a joke and proof of intimidation when truth is spoken.

  2. kudu

    illangakoon da

  3. raj

    Hilary Clinton like to see the light through LLRC commission while witnesses are being intimediated or interrogated.

  4. Nalitha

    This Bishop LTTE Supporter to be arrest and need to make investigation.

  5. Roger

    So If the IGP is not aware about his juniors movements specially in questioning of the Bishop whats the point of being in office. He should step down as IGP

  6. aj


  7. vintage voter


  8. Lanka peiriis

    Bishop Rayappu does this figure of 145000 include all the Tamil asylum seekers in the western countries who went abroad illegally!!!!! Does he have records of the names as most of them have taken bogus identities!!!!

  9. balaraman

    witnesses should be encouraged to give statements to llrc without fear.these type of questioning will muffle winesses.

  10. pj

    Bankrupt politics of Rajapakses.

  11. N K Ratnam

    This is “witness protection” Sri Lankan style. Protect the witness from speaking out the truth. Bishop Rayappu Joseph has given a detailed account of how he arrived at the figure of 146,679 quoting the governments own statistics comparing the numbers in October 2008 and May 2009.

    The Defence ministry is now engaged in cooking the figures and they are about to publish their own statistics shortly. This visit by the CID is a pre-emptive move to silence the Bishop when this report comes out. This report will “prove”that only 7000 died in the war and that they were all LTTE cadres.

    One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out how there were only 7,000 deaths when there are 80,000 widows and 25,000 orphans. There had to be at least 105,000 adult deaths for us to have been left with these numbers of living war victims. Add to this the number of children who died in the war.

    This is the entire problem facing Sri Lanka today. The Tamil people who lost their kith and kin are living their losses. The Sinhala leaderships are intimidating the Tamils to say that they did not lose their kith and kin. Intimidating the Bishop is part of this attempt to suppress the truth. There is an unofficial military edict by which the Tamil people are threatened with death if they conduct temple poojas or annual rites for their dead in May. “Aandu Thivasham” by Hindus and the annual remembrance service by Christians are long traditions which all Tamil people perform in memory of their departed loved ones.

    The numbers of widows and the orphans are the living proof for the extent of the carnage. The government has been understating the numbers during the war (February 2009 Udaya Nananayakkara said there were only 70,000 civilians when there were more than 400,000) and still continues with these lies. It continues to deny the truth to the Sinhala people. The Tamils are infuriated by these lies. The fact that the Sinhala people are believing these lies makes the Tamil people feel that they will never get justice from a Sinhala dominated system of government.

    If there is to be true reconciliation between the people in the island the Sinhala people need to acknowledge the carnage inflicted on the innocent Tamil people in the name of war on terror. Those innocent civilians were at the mercy of the Sri Lankan government at the last stages of the war. It could have saved their lives but did not. The Sinhala people cannot continue to justify killing those innocent people because it was a means to an end; the elimination of the LTTE.

    • N K Ratnam

      Dear SL is there a problem with facts on my comments? Why is it still awaiting moderation?

  12. nadarajah rajendra

    No one can speek the truth in Sri Lanka, how can the TNA say the truth regarding the Tamil Eelam? If they say The Tamils want Tamil Eelam, whats going to happen for them. Gota has already booked the white van for whom speak out about the true wishes of the Tamil people in Eelam. The IC must protect the Tamils(like Bishop) who speak out.
    The Tamils need a protection Mechanisim in Sri Lanka supervised (or under) by the UN or Nato.
    Nadarajah Rajendra

  13. Our government get annoyed when people talk the truth. There is no doubt a large amount of people were killed during the final stage of the war. It is impossible to put the exact figure. Only God knows the true figure. One day Mahinda Rajapakse and his defence team will give the proper account to God. That time is not very far. I have my own doubt the victims will ever receive judgement. We live in a world where only criminals and murders are the only winners.

  14. Ajantha Jayasinghe

    This is the biggest tiger now in Sri Lanka

  15. gamarala

    Many who wished to give evidence before the LLRC were prevented, and even chased away and sufficient time was not made available for such evidence to be recorded.
    None was aware of being able to give evidence anonymously, or of being able to obtain ‘protection’.

  16. Wijith Rohan Fernando (Senior Lecturer)

    Bishop Rayappu May God strengthen you to be the prophetic vioce for the vioceless people of the victims of the war

  17. lion

    This Bishop who pretends to be a man of God is really a criminal who had no qualms about the abduction of children by the LTTE. He worked hand in glove with the LTTE and should be thoroughly investigated.

  18. Roy

    LLRC means Legged Lion Reverse Commission

  19. Peter Casie Chetty

    Appropriare word… grilled. He should have been gassed as well. Make it 6million and one!

  20. Peter

    This bloody IGP doesn’t seem to know anything that happens in the Police force. He first denied knowing about the ‘white van’ issue at Kolonnawa, then about the STF treasure hunting episode and now this. Is Illangakone actually the IGP or is someone impersonating him? (if you ask Illangakone this he may say I don’t know). Is Ajith Rohana the IGP????
    N.K. Illangakone, what do you think you will be remembered for when you retire? Can even your family be proud of you for being a no nonsense cop upholding the law irrespective of the pressure inflicted? or is it another “I don’t know”?? My father too was a Policeman and I am proud of him because he refused point blank to do wrong when the son of a former President asked him to putting his job on the line and actually kicked the brother of a former Prime Minister who ran out of the Police station, for sitting “on” his desk and using his phone without asking the permission from anyone in the Police station while he was in his quarters behind the station; next day he was transferred out but he kept his job and his dignity.

  21. dagobert

    This is what happens when one does not respect the teaching of his Master for whom he took an oath to serve instead directed his obedience to the sun Goat.

    Since Rome has vested powers in Bishops to to engage in matters independently, Bishops worldover are running amok with association with money lauders, terrorists, kasippu dealers, paedeophilies, … you name it they are involves with every Vice. AND
    Preach to us, blessed are those poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

    Handover your problems to God & he”ll take care.

    Rayappu kidnapped the statue of the Mother of his Master & was unable to tell the Barber or velu to handover their problems to his Master who would take care of them.

    Rayappu must be skinned for betraying & misleading catholics. S.J.Emmanuel must go on the Pol Ula.

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