The Sunday Leader

Key Information Surfaces In Dassanayake Probe

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya

Former Navy Spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake

Key information has surfaced in relation to the investigations over former Navy Spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake and his role in the abduction of 11 youth.

Police Media Spokesman Ajith Gunasekara said that Dassanayake is believed to be connected to the abduction and disappearance of the 11 youth.

A mother of one of the disappeared youth dismissed allegations that the youth were linked to the LTTE. She had said that she is willing to withdraw a case she had filed over the disappearance if it is proven that these youths were in any way connected to the LTTE. The case filed in 2009 is still continuing. Expressing hope that the government will ensure that justice is served and those responsible for the abduction and disappearance of their children will be brought to book, the parents of these children urge the government to ensure a fair investigation.

Dassanayake was seen as a bright student who was selected to the Peradeniya Medical Faculty but due to the JVP riots, he joined the Navy instead in 1987 and was first in his batch. Being a pioneer in the small craft operations concept he was the commanding officer of the Mulaitivu Naval ring during the final battle. He also received commendations from then President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga. He has also received around 10 letters of commendation from four Navy Commanders and had been the recipient of four Ranawickrema medals and one Ranashoora medal.

According to police records, the abduction of the 11 youth is said to have taken place on September 17, 2008. The main suspect in the case is Sampath Munasinghe, who is out on bail. He was the Chief Security Officer of former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda.

The five youth were abducted from a house in Dehiwela. They were identified as Rajiv Naganathan, Pradeep Wishwanathan, Tillakeshwaram Ramalingam, Mohomed Thilan and Mohomed Saajith. On the instructions of the main suspect, the youth were picked up on information received that they were engaged in theft of money using fake credit cards in around Colombo together with another who was engaged in funding the LTTE, according to Court records.

The abducted youth had been taken to the Naval Headquarters on Chaithya Road in Colombo. Thereafter they were held at the Sri Lanka Navy Parakrama Institute from 2008 August to March 2009 and from April 2009 to June that year at the Navy Dock Yard and within the Navy Marine Science Institute. These youth had disappeared thereafter.

The Navy had conducted an investigation into this incident and the main suspect and during that investigation had come across five other National Identity cards bringing the total missing number to 11.

It was however, former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda who initially lodged a complaint with the CID regarding the main suspect, his personal security officer. This complaint was made on May 28, 2009. As the Navy Commander, Wasantha Karannagoda made the complaint to the CID. At the time of the complaint, Munasinghe had fled the Navy but was later apprehended by the CID. Having detained him for a whole year and having extensively questioned him, the CID eventually reported to Court on March 30, 2011 that the suspect is in fact connected to these disappearances.

However, Court proceedings took a totally different turn when counter allegations are filed stating that the arrest was part of personal vengeance by former Navy Commander Karannagoda against him together with D.K.P. Dassanayake. It was after that allegation that charges were levelled against Dassanayake. According to the Court ‘B’ report, there are three charges levelled against him. One accusation claims that he was aware of the abductions of two of the victims, but he had not taken any action regarding this matter. The other is that Dassanayake was the Commanding Officer of two of the suspects taken into custody over this incident. The third allegation is levelled by the main suspect. He told Court that these abductions and disappearances were carried out under the direction of the former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and D.K.P. Dassanayake.

Dassanayake meanwhile, had given an explanation to Court through an affidavit regarding these allegations. According to that affidavit, he had included proof that during that time period that he is accused of such an involvement with this abduction, he was in fact out of the country. At that time he was said to be following a special course in Korea. Citing the former Navy Commander’s and the other two accused persons testimony, Dassanayake also proved that at no point was he the commanding officer of these two accused. Furthermore, on October 5, 2016, former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha  Karannagoda, giving  lengthy evidence before the CID, had argued in point form and refuted all allegations against Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake and himself. Hence, it is evident that this case is being pursued based on statements made by Karannagoda.

Dassanayake who was remanded recently, was later transferred to the Navy hospital.

2 Comments for “Key Information Surfaces In Dassanayake Probe”

  1. Lima


  2. P.Sooriaperuma

    The facts are similar to the case of ‘Thajudeen ‘, the rugby player. The dastardly crimes were committed against innocent civilians by powerful and high ranking security officers, with the knowledge of their superiors. No one has yet raised or answered the salient question as to why the Navy officers usurped the functions of the special police unit appointed to investigate offences relating to terrorism. What right have they to keep ‘suspects’ in long detentions in various navy camps? How can the commanders feign ignorance about the people detained in their own camps? My reasonable suspicion is that all these officers acted in collusion and shared the ill gotten ransom monies. I bet that no officer would be found guilty of any of the heinous crimes they are charged with. If any one disagrees with me, please cast your mind back to the Bindunuwera case and Welikade massacres.

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