closes in on Somawansa
as polling drew to a close on Friday, April 2, the case against
leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Somawansa
Amarasinghe and his having violated immigration and emigration
laws in the country snowballed into an issue before court.
Arachchige Dharmasiri of Imbulgoda, went before Colombo's Chief
Magistrate, Kusala Weerawardena, last Wednesday March 31, seeking
notice on the Inspector General of Police to commence
investigations into the case involving Somawansa Amarasinghe and
his violation of immigration laws.
Weerawardena questioned Dharmasiri's interest in filing this case.
The latter's position was that when a crime is committed, any
law-abiding citizen who has knowledge of a crime being committed
has the right to go before court and seek justice.
that basis Dharmasiri sought redress from Weerawardena to have
notice issued only for the purpose of a police investigation.
his application to court, Dharmasiri revealed that Somawansa
Amarasinghe previously left Sri Lanka using a false passport,
which effectively amounts to a non-bailable offence.
has further stated that there is reason to believe a repetition of
this offence may be committed once more by the JVP chief,
following media reports that he was preparing to secretly leave
is evidence to prove that Somawansa Amarasinghe alias Frank in
1998 secured a forged passport under the name Dissanayake
Mudiyansalage Nimal Bandara, which it is alleged, he used to flee
Amarasinghe has, in statements made by him to the electronic
media, justified his reasons for having fled Sri Lanka in the
early 1990s under a false name.
meanwhile instructed the plaintiff to first make a complaint to
the IGP and in the event the police investigation does not begin,
to then petition court again.
further states that his court action is also subject to a judicial
pronouncement in the High Court bearing case no. 5101/92.In this
case, the late Justice F. N. D. Jayasuriya sentenced one Matarage
don Ariyadasa having found him guilty for aiding and abetting
leaders of the JVP to stash large quantities of gold and jewellery
that had been stolen by the organisation between 1987 to 1989.
was handed down a jail sentence of two years suspended for a
period of 10 years. In his statement of confession made to
Inspector Deepthi of the then Criminal Detective Bureau, under the
supervision of then SP Lionel Goonetilleke, presently DIG CID,
Ariyadasa says that soon after the break in and armed robbery of
the People's Bank Wellawate in 1989, JVP leaders brought a massive
haul of gold to him for safe keeping.
details the role played by Saman Piyasiri Fernando alias Keerthi
Wijeyabahu and Somawansa Amarasinghe alias Frank. Ariyadasa has
said how they brought in gold, jewellery, and how the loot was
buried in his backyard.
He further confesses how some of the jewellery was
subsequently taken by Somawansa Amarasinghe and brought back with
instructions not to release any of those items to anybody.
Ariyadasa reiterates, these strict instructions were issued by
Somawansa Amarasinghe, an active participant in this crime.
Dharmasiri requested court permission for police to also
investigate into the role played by Somawansa Amarasinghe in
committing this crime.
statement in addition reveals a few other names involved in this
crime. Among those are Lionel Bopage, Buddadhasa Withana-ratchchi,
Lalith Wijeyratne, Saman Piyasiri Fernando and Shantha Bandara
to the pronouncement made at the Colombo Magistrate's Court as
indicated by the Chief Magistrate on Thursday April 1, a set of
documents along with attachments were handed over to the IGP
requesting for an investigation to commence.
the alliance cannot last
formed a partnership with the People's Alliance, the JVP led
by Somawansa Amarasinghe has made no secret of its acute
dislike of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is also
leader of the PA.
played a role in the assassination of Kumaratunga's husband
Vijaya - (a fact admitted by Kumaratunga herself when she
wrote a letter from London to the Island newspaper which
appeared on April 30, 1989 where she states, "In
addition, I have been constantly issued with death warrants
by the JVP, since they murdered Vijaya 14 months
ago")Somawansa Amarasinghe holds no regard or respect
for the incumbent President.
recently as November 2000, in a press interview, Amarasinghe
maintained that Chandrika Kumaratunga is in a weak mental
condition following an assassination attempt on her life in
This is what he says; "It is absolutely clear
that Chandrika tried to pass the Constitution Bill at a time
when her government was in the deathbed, with the aim of
saving her own life and to stay in power. We know that since
her injuries from the Town Hall bomb blast she gravely fears
for her life. The most important and right thing to do now
is to leave the Presidency and go home. When, one is in fear
for his or her life she or he is in no way in a right mental
state to govern a country in the capacity of the responsible
position as President. A person with shaken mental state is
but in no way suitable, also dangerous to lead a country
hands on. By trying to bring forward the most important
document of the country which has a grave impact on the
future of the people at the last hours of its rule of power
proves the point."
adds further; "We have to stress here that we will
reject a model of loose federal states even with an
assurance from the LTTE to abandon its armed struggle and
Eelam. The point we are making here is that Chandrika's
shaken, weak mentality of saving her own life and staying in
power disregards the entire nation and the country."
Amarasinghe's derogatory opinion of Kumaratunga is suitably
reciprocated by the President herself, who has done little
to hide her dislike of Amarasinghe and the JVP. In an
interview with David Frost of the BBC, on October 28, 2001,
Kumaratunga in response to a question posed by Frost asking
how her husband Vijaya was killed says, "And they were
killing in competition with each other - the government was
killing off its democratic opponents, the others were
killing off anybody who they thought stood in their way,
that was called the JVP and one part of the government used
JVP insurrectionists and their killers to murder off many
young political leaders and activists from democratic
parties like the one to which I belong and my husband, he
was a leader of our party and he was, we were fighting for
the rights of the Tamil minority and the other minorities
living in the country."