The real perpetrators who killed innocent people in Rathupaswala on August 01 in 2013 are still roaming in the society freely. The military officer who ordered troops that attacked civilians, Brigadier Deshapriya Gunawardhana was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) along with three other suspects. Through his lawyers Brigadier Gunawardhana has told the Gampaha Magistrate courts that he merely executed an order came from above.
It is obvious that such an order can only be made to a brigadier either by the then Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa or Army Chief Daya Rathnayake.
CID scared of Gotabaya?
The explanation given by the Brigadier leaves a strong legal assumption on the involvement of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Daya Rathanyake in these killings with a strong possibility of holding them responsible. With enough evidence to prove it is highly questionable why they are still not being arrested by the CID. In such a backdrop Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksha told the Parliament that as long as he serves in the ministerial position he will not allow anyone to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa or Mahinda Rajapaksa. In addition to this assurance, President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the Police not to arrest any war hero without his consent. Brigadeir Gunawardhana was arrested while the President was on a tour in Australia but he has not resisted the arrest.
Anura Senanayake being smart
Brigadier Gunawardhana has told his lawyers that this operation got messed up because of DIGAnura Senanayake. “He is only a talk show. He has not made any Police note on the given orders. IF he ever mentioned that Rathupaswala has situation that need military support in controlling it we all would be released. Now I have to take the whole brunt,” he has said.
As of now, media who are in support of Brigadier Gunawardhana is continuing to state that whatever that happened in Rathupaswala he should be treated with clemency for his dedication during the war in rescuing the southern parts of Nandikadal. And the same media continue to state that he has not ordered to shoot civilians at Rathupaswala. But in contrary, the Attorney General’s Department has received a video footage showing Brigadier Gunawardhana shouting the order to shoot protesting people.
According to sources from the Attorney General’s Department there is ample evidence to prosecute the brigadier and the other soldiers under section 294 (murder) of the Penal Code.
When he was remanded on the 31, brigadier Gunawardhana has commented addressing everyone present at the scene saying “now my arrest will bring so much credit to the Yahapalana Government. Won’t it?”
Brigadier Gunawardhana was further remanded till May 31, 2017.