2010: Prageeth Missing Due to ‘Chemical Weapon Probe’

by BBC Sinhala, Colombo, January 28, 2011

The main reason for the disappearance of a journalist is an investigation he carried out on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Sri Lanka           forces,

Prageeth Ekneligoda
Prageeth Ekneligoda is missing since 24 January, 2010

says his wife.

Sandhya Ekneligoda, the wife of the disappeared political columnist and cartoonist Prageeth, says his husband went missing after he published a piece on his investigation and informed diplomats over the issue.

“In 2008, Prageeth wrote and informed the diplomats about the Sri Lankan government’s usage of chemical weapons against the people in the north,” she told the BBC.

The Sri Lanka government has always denied using chemical weapons in its war against the Tamil Tigers.

“And he actively supported then opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka’s campaign,” Mrs Ekneligoda added.

 I welcome you, to a country, where thousands of women and children weep silent tears for a nation of innocent civilians who have been killed or disappeared on account of their ethnicity. Welcome to Sri Lanka
Sandhya Ekneligoda’s letter to international writers

Before the disappearance a year ago on 24 January 2010, he was abducted by a group came on a white van in August 2009 but was released a day later.

His wife has travelled to Galle on Friday, together with their eldest son Sanjaya,16, to appeal to international writers and authors in finding her husband.

“I think he was abducted by people who did not like the truth,” Sanjaya Eknaligoda told the BBC.

Distributing leaflets among the participants of Galle Literary Festival (GLF) on Friday Mrs Ekneligoda has requested the help of world renowned writers to exert pressure on Sri Lanka government.

Galle Festival

“I welcome you on behalf of the wives and children, of journalists in Sri Lanka, who have been abducted, killed or forced to flee the country as a result of their work,” the leaflet distributed by Mrs Ekneligoda among the Festival delegates said.

Sandhya Ekneligoda with sons (photo: file photo)
‘I think he was abducted by people who did not like the truth,’ says Sanjaya Eknaligoda, 16 (L)

 

She could only distribute the letter though she expected to address the forum, Mrs Ekneligoda told BBC Sandeshaya, but she was grateful that she was allowed to enter the Festival.

“I welcome you, to a country, where thousands of women and children weep silent tears for a nation of innocent civilians who have been killed or disappeared on account of their ethnicity. Welcome to Sri Lanka.”

Mrs Ekneligoda expressed her gratitude to award winning authors Arundathi Roy, Noam Chomsky and others and the campaign groups Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalist for Democracy (JDS) for calling for a boycott of the Festival at a time journalists and activists facing constant threats.

But the Festival organisers, Sri Lanka government and some human rights campaigners have criticised the call for boycott.

Other articles/videos on use of chemical weapons on Tamils at end of war:

Salem-News, Oregon, USA, March 16, 2014 quoting India’s NewsX channel: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march162014/sri-lanka-chemicals.php

Tamil Guardian, London, quoting India’s NewsX channel: http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/video-sri-lankan-soldier-describing-use-chemical-weapons-indias-news-x?articleid=10268

 

2009: Sri Lankan Government uses Chemical Weapons in Vanni

by War Without Witness, April 8, 2009

WWWReport_SriLankaUseChemicalBombs_08thApril2009

For Immediate Release | 08th April 2009

Sri Lankan Government uses Chemical Weapons in Vanni (Northern part of Sri Lanka) Warfront Initial results of Independent investigations conducted by “War Without Witness” confirms that Sri Lankan Government uses Chemical Weapons in Vanni (Northern Part of Sri Lanka) war front both on civilians and its enemy combatants. Two victims were examined by a qualified independent doctor in Vanni ‘Safe Zone’ on 05th April and the initial results have been peer-reviewed by an experienced doctor in United Kingdom. Since the Government of Sri Lanka has banned access for all the Independent monitors, Humanitarian Workers including UN and the media, the combat zone is being isolated from the out side world, War Without Witness regrets that a comprehensive forensic/chemical analysis report could not be produced at this point of time.

War Without Witness urgently urge silent partners of Sri Lankan Government’s war on innocent Tamil civilians including United States of America, India, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Norway, Australia and United Nations to immediately dispatch independent observers to the war zone and ensure the safety of civilians by way of an immediate ceasefire and independent inquiry into this war crime.

War Without Witness urgently urge independent organisations like Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), US Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, UKs Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) and all 186 OPCW Member States to immediately dispatch independent observers to the war zone and ensure the safety of civilians by way of an immediate ceasefire and independent inquiry into this war crime.

Extracts of Medical/Chemical Report Chemical Substances found on the wounds are, 1) Triethanolamine (C6H15NO3) 2) Phosgene (CCl2O)

Interview with those victims’ leads to the conclusion that these are type of Mustard Gas attack delivered via high explosive rocket launchers and aerial bombing. Some of the observations among the victims are ‘high vomiting’, ‘mustard-coloured blisters’, ‘closed throats’, ‘breathing difficulty’ and ‘extreme pain’.

Photographic Evidence of sample wounds

“War Without Witness” will continue to report on the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and if you have any evidences etc please email them to WitnessDesk@WarWithoutWitness.com Executive Director, War Without Witness


Other articles/videos on use of chemical weapons on Tamils at end of war, includes video of Sri Lankan soldier describing shells used:

Salem-News, Oregon, USA, March 16, 2014 quoting India’s NewsX channel: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march162014/sri-lanka-chemicals.php

Tamil Guardian, London, quoting India’s NewsX channel: http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/video-sri-lankan-soldier-describing-use-chemical-weapons-indias-news-x?articleid=10268

Mangala Says Major General’s Book is the Biggest Betrayal to ‘War Heroes’

Mangala Says Major General Kamal Gunaratne’s ‘Road To Nandikadal’ Is The Biggest Betrayal To ‘War Heroes’

by ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ March 18, 2017

Serious misconduct including incidents of violence carried out by the army has been highlighted in Major General Kamal Gunaratne’s ‘Road to Nandikadal’ book, said Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera recently.

Mangala Samaraweera

“This book basically confirms everything that the radical Tamil groups have been saying. We are going around telling the international community that there have been no war crimes, but this book gives information about how the army has been going around breaking houses, breaking legs and even killing,” Samaraweera said.

According to him, this book should not be titled ‘Road to Nandikadal’ instead it should be titled ‘Road to Geval Kadal and Handi Kadal.’

“This book is the Army’s biggest betrayal,” he said.

Citing reasons for his claim, Samaraweera reading out several excerpts from the book said that in one page Gunaratne said how the soldiers overcome with grief following the killing of their comrades, started stopping the busses on route to the counting centres and set fire to houses and destroying private property. In another excerpt, Gunaratne was quoted in his book as saying how witnessing a certain incident where angry soldiers behaved illegally by destroying private property in the Jaffna town to avenge the death of their comrade brought ‘him satisfaction.’

“Gunaratne himself is saying the soldiers have behaved illegally. Here, we are going around saying that our Army is disciplined, but this war hero says that our army is acting illegally,” Samaraweera said.

He also added that in one section of the book, Gunaratne had said that he had encountered the disgraceful conduct of some rotten elements within the rank. “So, he himself admits that the army’s conduct is disgraceful,” Samaraweera said.

“The only this that can happen by saying and writing such stuff is to help whatever remains of the Eelam to become more powerful,” he added.

Samaraweera also said that they have received substantial proof which shows that the country’s ex-Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his defence ministry was behind many of the killings and other forms of harassment and abuse during the previous government under Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“During Ekneligoda’s investigation, one of the suspects said that the meeting with Ekneligoda was on the secretary’s orders, and we all know the most powerful secretary during that time was Gotabaya Rajapaksa,” Samaraweera said.

He also lashed out at the Rajapaksa’s saying that even though the Rajapaksa’s portrait themselves as patriots; the truth is that the Rajapaksa’s themselves earned money from the war. The MiG deal was one such incident, according to Samaraweera.

Comments at: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mangala-says-major-general-kamal-gunaratnes-road-to-nandikadal-is-the-biggest-betrayal-to-war-heroes/