When a Joint Opposition MP had asked Rajapaksa about Karannagoda being named as a suspect in the abduction and disappearance of 11 persons and his impending arrest, he had said, “Karannagoda is an innocent fellow. If they arrest him the government would be finished and the tri forces would go against the government. If they do just that we will stand to benefit.”
With regard to the abduction of 11 persons including six international school students who were allegedly held at a secret Naval camp in Trincomalee, the initial complaint was lodged by Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda against his closest officer Nilantha Sampath Munasinghe alias Navy Sampath.
President in difficult spot!
The CID last week vehemently tried to arrest Admiral Karannagoda.
However, Karannagoda had filed a FR petition to court stating that the CID was trying to arrest him based on forged documents and sought an interim order to prevent his arrest. As such his arrest was stalled. However, Karannagoda is now in hiding.
But, the police is preparing to file charges in the High Court against Karannagoda and 12 Navy intelligence officers very soon. The current Law and Order Minister is President Maithripala Sirisena and the police comes under him.
On February 20th three former commanders had appealed to the President to refrain from arresting military personnel in a manner that tarnishes their pride as for a military person his pride and honour is of far greater importance than his own life.
The appeal was made by former Army Commander General Daya Ratnayake, former Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunatillake and former Navy Commander Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe.
A special media briefing was held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institution when it was said that Karannagoda was to be arrested.
President Sirisena’s stand: ‘No war hero hunt’
However, during his address to the Sri Lankan community in New York during the UN General Assembly 70th sessions, President Sirisena assured that he would protect every military person from the soldier to the commanders who had fought for the liberation of the country. He said that every privilege would be given to them without fail.
During the cordial meeting the President said those who had committed crimes, which had no connection to the war would be investigated, but this was in no way a hunt for war heroes.
He said it was an expectation of the people when they appointed him as the President in 2015 that he would punish those who had committed such atrocities. He said taking the strictest action against those who had committed such atrocities which had nothing to do with fighting the war, was in fact a way of honouring the true war heroes.
He noted that the true war heroes would receive international acceptance only through such correctional measures.