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Ex-navy chief named in abduction and murder of 11 youths

Karannagoda sits in between Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

A former Sri Lankan navy chief, Wasantha Karannagoda, the 14th suspect named in the abduction and murder of 11 primarily Tamil youths between 2008 - 2009 had his passport impounded on Friday by Colombo Fort Magistrate. 

Retired Admiral Karannangoda has been accused of knowing of the killings but preventing justice.

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. 

The youths are believed to have been held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being murdered.

This week a navy sailor from the Kankesanthurai base was arrested for his involvement in the crimes. 

President Sirisena appears alongside wanted Admiral. October 2018

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.

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.