Today marks 14 years since Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and human rights lawyer, Nadaraja Raviraj was assassinated in Colombo.
Mr Raviraj was shot in Colombo at close range by unidentified gunmen on a motorbike at around 8:30am on November 10 2006, as he got into his car after giving an interview. The MP died later in hospital. His bodyguard was also killed.
A police constable who gave evidence in court, alleged that Sri Lanka's current president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was serving as Defence Secretary at the time, had arranged a payment of Rs. 50 million for the assassination of Mr Raviraj. The police constable of the intelligence unit Liyanarachchige Abayaratne, giving evidence before Colombo Additional Magistrate told the court that Gotabaya had known about the murder and arranged a payment to the factions associated to the Karuna group.
A witness, Sampath Prithiviraj, in an inquiry into the assassination of Mr Raviraj alleged that Sri Lankan navy intelligence officials were involved. The witness said the officials associated with the navy intelligence office in Gangarama had planned the killing.
In 2016, following a month long trial, Sri Lanka's top court acquitted and released the five accused of assassinating Mr Raviraj. An all Sinhala jury aquitted three navy intelligence officials and two members of the Karuna paramilitary group accused of the murder.
The decision by the jury was based on reasoning that the five accused cannot be convicted solely on the fact that witnesses in the case identified them.
State witnesses gave considerable details on the murder plot – including details of who pulled the trigger and the subsequent escape plan.
Despite 14 years passing since his assassination, no one has been held accountable for the murder.
Statue of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj in Chavakachcheri
Mr Raviraj was widely respected and was conferred the highest civilian honour of the LTTE, the Maamanithar award, in 2006.
LTTE leader Vellupillai Pirapaharan's statement conferring the LTTE's highest civilian award: