Former defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa arranged payment of Rs 50 million for the assassination of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Nadarajah Raviraj alleged a police constable giving evidence in court.
The police constable of the intelligence unit Liyanarachchige Abayaratne, giving evidence before Colombo Additional Magistrate told the court that the former defence secretary had known about the murder and arranged a payment to the break of faction of Karuna faction.
The police constable added that he had been in communication with the Karuna faction, and was aware of the faction’s meetings with Sri Lanka’s navy to conspire to assassinate the Tamil MP, reports Colombo Page.
Mr Raviraj was assassinated in Colombo in November 2006, at a time when the capital was heavily fortified by Sri Lanka's military. The government was accused of being behind the attacks by the TNA, diaspora organisations and the UNP. The US led international criticism of the government and urged it to conduct an investigation.
Then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered an inquiry and two suspects, Nalaka Mathagaweera and Aruna Shantha Ediriweera, were arrested in 2007. Mr Rajapaksa requested assistance from Britain’s Scotland Yard, who sent a team to work with the Criminal Investigation Department, who looked at evidence. Nothing came of the inquiry.