The Sunday Leader

JVP Breathes Fire On Govt Demanding Justice

  • Looking at legal action on the Matale mass grave
  • We will not stop until justice is served – Anura

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

K. M. Wijerathna, A. G. Sunil Ranaweera, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka and K. D. Gunarathna

The JVP has vowed to continue to demand justice for the comrades killed en masse in Matale during the insurgency in the 1988-1989 period.

Following the discovery of the mass grave in the Matale Hospital premises and the announcement made by court that the skeletal remains belonged to the period of 1986 and 1990, the JVP says that it is now clear that the remains unearthed from the mass grave are of persons killed during the insurgency in the late 1980s.

The party has also expressed a lack of faith in the proposed Presidential Commission to inquire into the Matale mass grave.
According to the JVP, it is yet another tactic to buy time to caste aside the matter.

The question posed to the government is why a Presidential Commission is needed to probe the mass grave when the Judicial Medical Officer of Matale Dr. Ajitha Jayasena and Prof. Raj Somadeva of the Post Graduate Institute of Archeology have already informed court the time period of the mass grave and the fact that the skeletal remains unearthed had been subjected to torture.

The judicial medical report has stated that the skeletal remains had been subjected to torture while some skulls and body parts have been cut away by a saw like instrument and electric wires used to electrocute persons as forms of torture have also been found among the skeletal remains.

Evidence sufficient

Attorney H. M. Sarath Wijeratne who is handling the matter of the Matale mass grave on behalf of the party said that the evidence presented was sufficient to prove to the country that murders have been committed.

He observed that the court, through the Judicial Medical Officer, has determined that the skeletal remains belonged to 88 – 89 period and according to criminal law that matter cannot be pushed under a carpet and legal action can be taken whatever period it belongs to.
“The police now have an opportunity to fulfill justice,” Wijeratne said.

Several persons who had lost their loved ones during the 1988-1989 insurgency in the Matale area spoke to the media at the JVP headquarters on Wednesday (10).

K. M. Wijeratne said that the Army killed his second brother when he was in hiding.

“When my youngest brother was in the vegetable plot with his friend the Army took them away at 2.00 a.m. They were detained at Vijaya College for about one and a half weeks. He disappeared later,” he said.
He added that even his brothers’ bodies were not found.

“It was my eldest brother who was taken in next. Army personnel in civilian clothes took him away from home. He was detained atThavalamkoiya camp and to date we do not have any information of what happened to him,” Wijeratne said, adding that he suspected that his brothers might have been buried at the Matale mass grave.

K. D. Gunaratne also said that he too believed the remains of his brother might have been buried in the grave at the Matale Hospital.
He said that his elder brother K. D. Ilangaratne had gone to the Matale town on November 13th 1989 when an unidentified group abducted him.

“We still don’t know his whereabouts. I suspect that my brother’s skeleton could be in this mass grave,” he observed.
Speaking about his lost cousin, Sunil Ranaweera said that his cousin lived in a house at in Rattota in November 1989.

JVP’s firm stand

“An Army group had arrested the youths in the area during this period and my cousin was also taken in. They were detained at Vijaya College in Matale,” he said.
According to Ranaweera, his cousin was tortured by the Army and was hospitalized.
“We later heard that he was murdered. I do not have even a photograph to show,” he said adding that the murderers should be brought to book.

During the 1988-1989 period, Gajaba Regiment had a camp at Vijaya College while a torture chamber was operated at the nearby Matale rest house.

JVP politburo member and parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that justice must be meted out to the comrades killed during the 1088-1989 period.

“The JVP will not allow this matter to be swept under the carpet like the rest. We will not stop until justice is served,” he said.
He called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to show his sincerity to the cause of bringing justice to the youths killed during the late 1980s.

“The President who was an opposition MP at the time championed as a human rights activist by taking the case to Geneva. He can now show whether he was genuine in his actions or whether it was a double game played to gain power,” Dissanayake charged.

The JVP is also exploring the possibility of initiating legal action to bring the persons responsible for the Matale mass grave to book.
“We want to see if we should file a fresh case or join the ongoing case and make representations,” Dissanayake observed.
He explained that the murderers and those responsible for the murders are disturbed and are showing such signs through their recent statements.

“The statement made by the UNP about the mass grave and the recent statement made by the director general of the MCNS Lakshman Hulugalle also show that some people are disturbed by this incident,” Dissanayake said.

“It is not only the UNP, but, surprisingly the government is also disturbed by the mass grave,” he added.

All these, he said created a reasonable doubt whether there would be an attempt by the higher offices in the government to cover up the issue of the mass murder in Matale without taking appropriate action.
“There is a need for an independent judicial process to address the mass grave issue or else priority should be given to it even in the existing court system,” Dissanayake said.

IGP Reported Of Suspicious Activities At The Mass Grave

JVP Leader Somawansa Amerasinghe on Wednesday (10) night had written a letter to the IGP regarding a covert Army operation at the Matale mass grave.

Amerasinghe has noted that the JVP Matale District organizer had informed him of a suspicious Army activity at the mass gravesite on the 10th night.
The JVP leader has stated in his letter it is in response to the telephone conversation he had with the IGP at 10.28 p.m. on the 10th.

The JVP Matale District organizer had informed Amerasinghe that a group of persons dressed in fatigues had arrived in a Bolero vehicle at about 9.00 p.m. and had carried out some suspicious activity.

Amerasinghe has reminded the IGP that a judicial process was on going regarding the mass grave and has noted that the purpose of bringing the incident to the attention of the IGP is to ensure that the legal procedure could be carried out without any hindrance and for him to take necessary action.

 

7 Comments for “JVP Breathes Fire On Govt Demanding Justice”

  1. Mahes Silva

    Obviously this is a bad situation and reflects poorly on the country. But what does the JVP expect if they don’t have faith in Commission of Inquiry. Just because the JMO says these unfortunate people were tortured and very likely murdered do they expect some arrests and convictions willy nilly? The same way the JVP killed people across the country during that period simply because they thought those people didn’t support them. Of course some atrocities would have been committed by the military during this period same as the war with LTTE. These were undeclared wars that were perpetrated by terrorist no matter what the cause or who they purport to support or protect. In such wars bad things do happen. Yes there should be investigations so we can learn and ensure justice. What these folks want is street justice the same way they treated innocent people at that time. Why not ask for a Commission for those victims. Aren’t the JVP leaders somehow responsible for those acts?

  2. Roshan

    Haven’t JVP given up the right to ask for an “inquiry” when they shamelessly held hands with one of the “well known” torturers to “win” an election? This Kumara is speaking of “double games”, he should be reminded that it was them and this pathetic party that played double games and betrayed their fallen carders (read – innocent young people) when they bedded UNP…..I think they are disturbed that any others…they tried to “forget” nearly 50,000 of young lives and move on like nothing happened, and now..they have to DO SOMETHING!! …a typical catch 22 situation….
    Shameles Mxxxx Fxxxxrs !!

  3. Raju

    Where were you guys when you agreed to a common candidate. These were done during UNP time, and you should ask Ranil what happened without going to bed with them. Until this grave was accidentally discovered JVP never raised any voice about the incidents. They are a bunch of power hungry miserable people.

  4. Raja

    During each of the JVP’s brutal uprisings targeting law enforcement bodies like the police and affluent SriLankan citizens supporting the UNP or SLFP, there had been many killings by both the JVP and security forces. However, if one believes the stories that went around during these uprisings since early 1970s, many sinhalese teenage boys and girls had been abducted by armed forces (which at the time had large numbers of Tamils, Muslims & Burgers) from their homes and disposed of without a trial. So it is not only in Matale, but there could be similar mass graves even in other suburbs like Matara, Galle etc possibly in various cemeteries. However, for all these unfortunate happenings I would blame the JVP just like I would blame the LTTE and the Tamil Federal Party for any similar happenings in the North and East.

  5. Henry

    As soon as Government initiates an inquiry, Somawansa Amarasinghe will leave the country as he is a convicted villain. JVP killed 238 GS officers, 165 principals, and 28 teachers. In addition over 60,000 innocent people. In my own village JVP killed a Buddhist monk because he was known to have opposed a meeting in the Temple. These JVP goons should be treated like any other common criminals and now they know that only way they can come back to public sympathy is by pretending that they innocents. Not a single JVPr is a innocent. They were murderous inspired by rogue states like North Korea. We should keep reminding them that they were murderous, like the LTTE.

  6. During this period of TERROR BY JAVP AS WELL AS UNP GOVT, I was a Govt Servant working in that area and the agonies I suffered from JVP BRUTES WERE ENDLESS.One day when I was at home after work,two of my Junior Officers came hurriedly and exitedly in their motorbike and informed me that a man working in our Tele Exchange who was a JVP supprter/member,working under thse boys have telephoned and DEMANDED to SWITCH OFF THE ENTIRE TELEPHONE EXCHANGE AS THERE WAS A JVP PROCESSION THE FOLLOWING DAY.As a senior office Ihad to think veryfast for a quick solution and adviced the boys to DISCONNECT ONLY FEW LINES INCLUDING THE VERY LINE OF THAT WORKERand the matter was settled.Had we done as this JVP IDIOT SAID,ENTIRE TELECOM STAFF WOULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AS THE MINISTER OF TELECOM WAS ALUVIHARE WHO HAD NO BRAINS.
    Because of Ministers threats tous one day TWOOF US WHO WEER INCHARGE OF MATALE HAD TO COME FOR WORK IN A RAILWAY ENGINE FROM KATUGASTOTA WHICH RAN FOR A TEST UNDERGOING MUCH STRESS AND PAINS & THREATS FROM BOTH JVP AND THE HEADLESS UNP MINISTER.
    Sri Lankan Govt must ASK THESE ROUDY JVPers TO GO TO HELL AS THE KILLINGS WERE NOT DONE BY SLFP and furthermore THESE JVP IDIOTS SUPPORTED THE OPPOSOTION COMMON CANDIDATE SARARTH FONSEKA THE UNGREATFULL FOOL, JOINING WITH UNP,LTTE SUPPORTING TNA,WICKREMABAHU ETCETC.
    WE HAVE STILL NOT FORGOTTEN THE BLEAK TERROR PERIOD WE UNDERWENT THEN!!!

  7. No government security force has authority to torture and murder a suspect until the courts find him guilty. Any murder by security forces after capturing is a crime.
    These mass grave has to be investigated and the culprits should be punished according to Law.
    JVP did so many blundars and paid the price dearly. Now it’s the others turn.
    Yet Both GOVT and JVP should punlish the list of the dead .

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