“This is international bullying. We will not be isolated. We have all SAARC [South Asia Association of Regional Co-operation] Country, Asian country. Britain, or Western countries, EU countries, can do whatever they want. We are not dependent on them. They think we get help. No, they are not giving us anything.”
, Alleged murder of journalist who exposed corruption in fighter jet deal: Lasantha Wickramatunge, a popular journalist in Sri Lanka, wrote an article in August 2007 titled The Anatomy of the MiG Deal, through which she portrayed Gotabaya and his cousin Udayanga Veertunga, an industrialist, during the purchase of Mikoyan MiGs made in Ukraine. exposed. -27 fighter aircraft for the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). In 2008, Gotabaya Rajapaksa responded to the allegations by filing a defamation suit against Lasantha for 2 billion rupees. In his defence, during an interview, Gotabaya stated that “such allegations had created adverse consequences for the war against the LTTE rebels on the battlefield.” In 2009, when Lasantha was on her way to collect evidence regarding corruption in the MiG-27 deal with Ukraine, she was killed by gunmen. Journalists in Sri Lanka accused Gotabaya of being the mastermind of Lasantha’s murder. A decade later, in 2019, Lasantha’s daughter Ahimsa Wickramatunge filed a lawsuit against Gotabaya in the United States, accusing him of plotting to murder her father. In his defence, Gotabaya said that the cases registered against him were a conspiracy, which was being planned. Talking about it, Gotabaya said during an interview by the United National Party (UNP).
“These lawsuits have been filed to delay the process and discourage me. I have handed over the matter to my lawyers [in Los Angeles] To take care and I am looking forward to see what needs to be done for our country. These are baseless allegations made by people outside our country to delay the process because I am a strong candidate. Let them attack, I’m all set.
The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on 27 February 2020 dismissed the cases against Gotabaya because after Sri Lanka became the 8th President, he was entitled to provisions made under the US Foreign Official Immunity Act; However, the court also said in its decision that non-violence can resume the court proceedings against Gotabaya anytime after he steps down as president. Talking about the court’s decision, Ahimsa said,
“This decision is a victory, and a message to Gotabaya Rajapaksa: His maneuvers to evade justice for his role in the murder of my father continue to fail. He will not enjoy immunity forever, and his presidency will only be delayed. Can’t stop accountability. We who lost everything because of our barbarism and bloodshed, we will never give up our fight for justice.”
, white van incident In 2008, Sri Lankan investigative agencies found a white van, which was used to kidnap a foreign journalist named Keith Noyahar, in the parking lot of the Sri Lankan army chief’s residence. Several sources claimed that the Major had a very close relationship with the then Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The sources also claimed that the same van was later used in the murder of Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga in 2009.
, Journalists threatened with dire consequences: Giving an interview to The Sunday Times, in 2008, Gotabaya expressed his anguish, openly threatening the newspaper’s journalists with dire consequences if he did not stop writing articles, including those about human rights during the Civil War. The Sri Lankan military was criticized for the violation. , Talking to reporters for The Sunday Times, Gotabaya said,
“Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say? If you don’t agree and you continue with what you’re doing, what’s about to happen to you will happen. I certainly don’t threaten your life.” I am not. It will happen from where it happens. Our services are appreciated by 99 percent of the people. They love the army commander (Lt. Gen. Fonseca) and the army. Those who love us do the same. What is needed. We can’t help it. Journalist: If newspapers and media are publishing lies, you can fix them. Those systems still exist in Sri Lanka. If you don’t fix them through the media If you can, then take action in the courts. Otherwise, if some wrong information is printed, then doing such things is not the answer.”
, Accused of giving diplomatic post to murder accused: In 2009, Gotabaya was also accused of giving a diplomatic post to Bandara Bulathwaite, the prime suspect of Lasantha Wickramatunga. According to multiple sources, Gotabaya had personally requested the Sri Lankan government to send him to Thailand as a Sri Lankan diplomat. Several sources also claimed that Gotabaya had deported Bandara to Thailand in a hurry, and that he had not attached Bandara’s resume to the letter of request sent to the Sri Lankan government.
, Accused of obtaining fake diplomatic passport for former LTTE commander: In 2009, Vinayagamurthy Muraleedharan was caught and questioned by British authorities in London. He was arrested in Britain during the Sri Lankan Civil War on charges of obtaining forged diplomatic passports and human rights violations. Vinayagamurthy, also known as Colonel Karuna, was an LTTE commander who left the rebel organization in 2004 and founded his own pro-Sri Lanka faction called the Karuna faction, which led the government to victory over the LTTE in 2009. helped. British officials questioned Vinayagamurthy as to how he obtained the fake passport, claiming he was helped by the then Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry claimed the allegations were “false and baseless”.
, Allegations of human rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka: In early 2009 a report was published by Sri Lankan journalists, which claimed that the Sri Lankan military was actively bombing hospitals that were located in war zones in Sri Lanka. Gotabaya responded to the reports and made a controversial remark stating that any location or area that did not fall within government-designated safe zones was a legitimate target for the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and that they reserved the right to bomb the area. kept. as desired. He further said that the army bombed only those places where people who sympathized and cooperated with the LTTE lived. Gotabaya further claimed that the government could not guarantee the safety of citizens stranded outside designated safe zones as the government had already asked citizens to make their way on safe lines, a direction the citizens failed to follow. Talking about it, Gotabaya said,
“The government calls on all citizens to enter the demarcated ‘security zone’ as soon as possible. It is not clear how the thousands caught in the fighting can escape. Insurgents prevent people from leaving the area. We have demarcated A security zone within the LTTE area and all civilians have been asked to go into it. We have not had any civilian casualties for the last two years. There was no place for civilians to go after the Sri Lankan army surged. We have covered the entire area. Provided medical facilities and evacuated Puthukkudiyiruppu where LTTE leaders are hiding. So how can we save the hospitals? We have stopped firing in the area.”
In 2013, WikiLeaks claimed that former Sri Lankan army commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseca had told them that during the war against the LTTE, then Defense Secretary Gotabaya had ordered the Sri Lankan army to shoot those who tried to surrender. Tried it and they were associated with it. LTTE. When the report was published by WikiLeaks, an enraged Gotabaya threatened Sarath Fonseca with execution. During an interview, Gotabaya said,
“He can’t do that. He was the commander! That’s treason. If he does, we’ll hang him. I’m telling you!… How can he betray the country like this? He’s a liar, a liar, is a liar.”
In the same year, The Sunday Guardian claimed that Prasad Samarasinghe, a retired Sri Lankan army chief general, had passed several sensitive documents to the United States of America (USA) through his embassy in Colombo. The article further claimed that the documents handed over to the US included the names of those who were kidnapped and murdered because they were not on the side of the Rajapaksa family. Later, in 2013, a United Nations official named Navanetham Pillay visited Sri Lanka. In his statement to the United Nations (UN), he criticized the Sri Lankan government for the abductions in Sri Lanka. Gotabaya was denied entry to the United States in 2015, due to allegations of human rights violations in Sri Lanka. In 2016, Gotabaya claimed that while he was on a trip to the US, he was confronted by two US-based Tamil groups. They further claimed that the groups demanded Gotabaya’s immediate arrest and trial by law for his alleged role in human rights violations during the Sri Lankan Civil War. In 2016, the Sri Lankan State Intelligence Agency (SIA) accused Gotabaya of plotting and planning the assassination of a former Sri Lankan parliamentarian and lawyer named Nadraja Raviraj. The SIA also accused Gotabaya of paying Rs 50 million to Col Karuna, a former LTTE commander, for the murder of Raviraj. In 2017, the Sri Lankan CID filed a report in a Sri Lankan court stating that Gotabaya Rajapaksa, assisted by the Sri Lankan military, led a death squad that was tasked with kidnapping and killing journalists who were critical. Rajapaksa family in Sri Lanka.
, Smuggling of arms and ammunition for mercenaries in Sri Lanka: In 2015, a merchant navy ship named MV Avant-Garde was seized by Sri Lankan authorities off the Sri Lankan coast. The officers found 816 automatic rifles of various types and 2,02,674 ammunition on board, which were to be given to mercenaries operating within Sri Lanka. The shipping company is also believed to have had close ties with the Rajapaksa family. In the same year, Gotabaya was accused of smuggling these weapons from abroad to support his mercenaries working in Sri Lanka. In 2015, a Sri Lankan court also barred Gotabaya from leaving the country; However, the ban was lifted in 2016.