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CID says navy hierarchy knew of 2009 Colombo abductions

Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department yesterday said the navy hierarchy, including Navy Commander Jayantha Perera and Intelligence Division Director Ananda Guruge knew about the abductions that occurred in Colombo during 2008 - 2009. 

Nishantha Silva, the CID's OIC made these comments speaking to the Additional Magistrate Shehani Perara during a remand hearing. 

During 2008 to 2009 eleven predominantly Tamil youths were abducted in the Colombo area, held for ransom at Trincomalee and Colombo navy bases, before being murdered. 

The eleven youths have been named as Kasthuriarachchi John, Thyagarajah Jegan, Rajiv Naganathan, Soosaipillai Amalan, Soosaipillai Roshan, Kasthuriarachchi Anton, Prageeth Vishvanathan, Thilakeshwaran Ramalingam, Moahmed Dilan, Mohamed Saajid and Ali Anwar. 

Earlier this month Sri Lanka's former navy commander, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda visited the CID office in order to make his first statement over the abduction of eleven predominantly Tamil youths in 2008 - 2009. 

Karannagoda sits in between Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Karannagoda was last month named as the 14th suspect in the case and had his passport impounded. However, the country's Supreme Court had previously issued an interim order preventing his arrest, but ordering him to appear before the CID to provide a statement. 

Last year Sri Lanka's Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne was remanded in custody following a summons by the CID over his involvement in helping the main suspect, Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias 'Navy Sampath', evade arrest.

President Sirisena appears alongside wanted Admiral. October 2018

Wijegunaratne's own arrest came after weeks of evasion, during which time he made high profile appearances along side senior government figures. 

Prosecutors revealed at the time of his remanding, Wijegunaratne and associates reportedly attempted to abduct a key witness who had previously testified against him. Disruptions took place outside the court as men arriving on motorcycles, thought to be members of Wijegunaratne’s security personnel, proceeded to attack journalists.

Read more here: Sri Lanka’s top military officer held over disappearances of Tamils as journalists attacked outside court

Hettiarachchi was arrested in August 2018 over his involvement in the abduction of the eleven Tamil youth from 2008 to 2009, who were held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being almost certainly murdered.

The former Navy spokesperson and other naval personnel, including three naval officers, have been arrested over the murders so far. 

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