Pics from C’bo Telegraph and Kate Geraghty
According to an ABC news report on air this Tuesday morning Gunaratnam walked into a police station and surrendered. But it turns out that he had entered Sri Lanka as Noel Mudalige and had overstayed his visa as well (facts the Australian media beat-up seems to be unaware of). As an aside it should be noted that he was probably a member of the JVP with his brother in the late 1980s. Since they are Tamils from the hill-country who are proficient in Sinhala and since his brother was a leader of the JVP at Peradeniya University the circumstantial evidence suggests that they were among those responsible for the killings of planters (e. g. Rowlands) and others in the hill-country – till the government death squads succeeded in eliminating their threat (in the process knocking off some innocent youth)…………….The unfolding events are presented in chronological order. Web Editor. Also see http://www.colombotelegraph.com/?s=Gunaratnam&x=14&y=5 AND
1. Sri Lanka government denies knowledge of missing Australian ….Richard Lindell reported this story on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 06:11:00
Listen to MP3 of this story ( minutes)…….Alternate WMA version | MP3 download
ELEANOR HALL: The government of Sri Lanka says there is no evidence that the Australian citizen Premakumar Gunaratnam was kidnapped in Sri Lanka or even that he is in the country.
But sources have told AM that documents which prove that the Australian is in Sri Lanka have been handed to the Australian High Commission in Colombo, as Richard Lindell reports.
RICHARD LINDELL: Premakumar Gunaratnam expected to be elected leader of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party. But he along with his colleague Dimithu Attygalle disappeared on April 6th ahead of yesterday’s party launch and conference.
Waruna Rajapakse is a member of the Frontline Socialist Party…WARUNA RAJAPAKSE: In the government internal sources, internal sources mean you know there are some MPs in the government and the ministers, they have confirmed yesterday they were in the custody of the special paramilitary unit.
RICHARD LINDELL: Sri Lanka’s representative in Canberra, Thisara Samarasinghe, denies the claim.
THISARA SAMARASINGHE: As far as Sri Lankan government is concerned there have been no such abduction in Sri Lanka today or yesterday or day before. And we have not got specific evidence to say an Australian citizen of this name has entered Sri Lanka as for the records we have been able to scrutinise at the moment.
RICHARD LINDELL: But AM has learnt of evidence that could prove he is in Sri Lanka.
Frontline Socialist Party member Waruna Rajapakse says he handed the Australian’s passport to the Australian High Commission in Colombo yesterday. He says the passport under the name of Noel Mudalige clearly shows that he entered the country on September 4th and has not left. A leaked government report says he’s a militant with numerous aliases and passports. But Champa Somaratna says her husband has only one passport and changed his name when he became an Australian citizen.
CHAMPA SOMARATNA: He changed his name because it is a very easy, short name to use while he is in Australia because he got a very long name so he was looking for something simple.
RICHARD LINDELL: Champa Somaratna confirms his passport was given to the Australian High Commission in Colombo. But the Department of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.
The Australian citizen is one of more than 30 political activists who’ve disappeared since October last year.
Human rights lawyer JC WELIAMUNA: We also know as a matter of fact that the police is extremely efficient in busting crimes here. But they have never investigated into and successfully a single abduction of this nature. So that means in my view it is reasonable to assume and infer that the government is involved in this type of abductions directly.
RICHARD LINDELL: A charge echoed by Amnesty International. And last month the UN passed a resolution calling on the government to fully investigate allegations of war crimes and forced disappearances during the three decade civil war.
This is Richard Lindell for AM.
2, Family Fears Father among The ‘Disappeared’ in Sri Lanka … Ben Doherty & Dylan Welsh in SMH,
The men came an hour before dawn on Saturday, carrying guns but wearing no uniforms, to tell the neighbours of Premakumar Gunaratnam to keep quiet. They encircled the leftist’s house in Colombo and cut the power, before storming it and taking him away. Mr Gunaratnam, a socialist politician with a long history in Sri Lanka who moved to Australia in 2006 under the skilled migration program, has not been seen since.
His wife, Champa Somaratna, a GP in Sydney, believes he has been abducted by security forces as part of a crackdown on political dissent by the conservative government of the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lankan authorities have denied the charge and said they have no proof that Mr Gunaratnam has even entered the country.
Mr Gunaratnam, 46, is a well-known figure in Sri Lanka and was a long-time member of the country’s main leftist party, the JVP. He recently announced his intention to form a new party. His brother, Ranjitham, had been a student activist and a senior JVP figure until his alleged detention, torture and killing by the government in 1989.
When asked why her husband had been abducted by Mr Rajapaksa’s government, Dr Somaratna said: “In Sri Lanka there is no proper opposition. All the opposition [parties] are suppressed by the government.” She said he had been staying at a house in north-west Colombo. Friends had gone to the house when he failed to attend an early morning meeting on Saturday but found it ransacked.
Dr Somaratna reported his disappearance to the Foreign Affairs Department and, in an unusual step, the Australian high commissioner, Robyn Mudie, immediately requested a meeting with the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary and brother to the President, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka alleges Mr Gunaratnam is a militant radical who has led attacks on army bases. A leaked state intelligence document circulating in Sri Lanka says he has at least four aliases and passports under false names.“He was at one time a high-ranking subversive activist involved in many crimes, including the attack on the Pallekele army camp in 1987, and escaped from the Magazine Prison [in 1988], where he was detained under the Terrorism Prevention Act,” the document says. It alleges Mr Gunaratnam fled the country in 2006, having provided forged documents to the Australian embassy.
The veracity of the government’s document and its claims could not be confirmed last night. Groundviews, an agency monitoring Sri Lankan politics, said local media had reported 56 such disappearances in the past six months.
3. Australia knew Gunaratnam used bogus name, Noel Mudalige, to enter Sri Lanka … Shamindra Ferdinando in Island, 10 April 2012
It has now been revealed that the missing Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) leader, Premkumar Gunaratnam, used an Australian passport (N 1016123) bearing the name, Noel Mudalige, to return to Sri Lanka last September.
Authoritative sources told The Island that the Australian High Commission had furnished the required details to the External Affairs Ministry yesterday following a discussion Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, had with Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the disappearance of Gunaratnam. Responding to a query, sources said that High Commissioner Mudie hadn’t referred to the disappearance of anyone by the name of Mudalige during the conversation, though now her government identified the missing person as an Australian national.
The Defence Ministry said that Mudalige had arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on September 4, 2011 after leaving Australia the previous day. The Ministry said that the Immigration and Emigration had blacklisted the Australian as he had overstayed the visa.This revelation was made in the wake of Gunaratnam being appointed as the top man in 18-member central Committee of the newly formed party, which is yet to secure recognition from the Election Secretariat.
The committee comprises, Senadeera Gunatilleke, Dimuthu Attygalle, G. Kularatne, Champika Sudasinghe, Shantha Wijesinghe, Pubudu Jagoda, Chameera Koswatte, Duminda Nagamuwa, Ravindra Mudalige, S. K. Subasinghe, Sunil Jayaratne, Sujith Kuruwita, Jude Silvapulle, Indrananda de Siilva, Samansiri Fernando, Indika Weerakoon and Jaminda Siriwardene.
A senior government official said that there was irrefutable evidence that the Australian authorities was aware of Gunaratnam’s identity as the HC identified the missing person as Noel Mudalige, an alias known to the Australian mission in Colombo. The Australian HC has sought immediate access to Mudalige, whom the mission said, had been abducted from a house at No 29, Gemunu Mawatha, Kiribathgoda last Friday.
Asked whether the government had raised Gunaratnam’s issue with the Australian High Commission previously, sources said that the mission had ignored a request for help when the police were looking for Gunaratnam a few months ago. Gunaratnam’s wife and mother, too, had denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. His brother, Ranjitham, who was a senior leader of the JVP, was killed during the 1989 insurgency.
Gunaratnam’s mother and sister on Sunday alleged that the government was responsible for Gunaratnam’s disappearance. They demanded that the missing FSP leader be released immediately or dealt with according to the law.
4. Disappearance of JVP leader, Gunarathnam Alive – Gota Admitted Short While Ago
JVP dissident group leader Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar Mahaththaya alias Noel Mudalige surrounded to Sri Lakan police Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told Independent Television Network (ITN)short while ago. Gunarathnam will be charged for many cases. But he did not say anything about Dimuthu Atigala. According to our sources, after the live talk-show while having an informal chat with INT producers Gotabhaya told “ Gunaratnam was at one time a high-ranking subversive activist involved in many crimes, including the attack on the Pallekele army camp in 1987, and escaped from the Magazine Prison in 1988, where he was detained under the Terrorism Prevention Act” ……..
5. Government Perspective via Island … 11 April 2012, title imposed by Web Editor
“Abductors grilled me on party’s future plans” – FSP Leader
by Shamindra Ferdinando
Leader of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), Australian national, Premakumar Gunaratnam who had been living in Australia under the false name, Noel Mudalige, was yesterday deported to Australia with the concurrence of the Australian High Commission in Colombo. He had walked into the Colombo Crime Division Headquarters at Dematagoda on Tuesday night, claiming that his abuductors had released him near that place. His party said on Sunday, he had been abducted from a house in Kiribathgoda. Representatives of the Australian High Commission accompanied Mudalige to the Bandaranaike International Airport after the police recorded a comprehensive statement from the Australian passport holder in the presence of Australian diplomats. He told the police that his abductors had extensively questioned him on his party’s future plans.
The deportation took place after the Australian High Commission had revealed that the missing FSP leader Gunaratnam, used an Australian passport (N 1016123) bearing the name, Noel Mudalige, to return to Sri Lanka last September.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday alleged that the FSP had made a deliberate attempt to embarrass the government as part of a malicious attempt to discredit it.
Responding to The Island, a few hours after Mudalige left for Australia via Malaysia, Prof. Peiris said that it was unfortunate that whenever a person had withdrawn from society for personal reasons, or gone underground deliberately to cause embarrassment to the government, an accusing finger was pointed at the administration.
The External Affairs Ministry yesterday wrote to Colombo-based embassies detailing the circumstances under which Mudalige had walked into the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) at 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Ms. Dimuthu Attygalle had been released several hours later. Strongly denying government involvement in the double abductions, Prof. Peiris said: “The objective of the operation is clearly to target the country in international fora on the flimsiest of evidence. This has happened on many occasions and now seems to reflect a recurring pattern.”
In a brief missive sent to embassies, the External Affairs Ministry alleged that Gunaratnam (original name) had changed his name at least three times. Gunaratnam had married as Wanninayake Mudiyanselage Daskon, according to his marriage certificate. He had obtained a Sri Lankan passport under the name Rathanayake Mudiyanselage Dayalal and then another passport from Australia under a different name, which he produced on Sept. 4, 2011 at the BIA.
Commenting on the circumstances, in which the missing duo re-appeared, Prof. Peiris pointed out that according to a complaint received by the police, Mudalige had been abducted at 4.00 a.m. on Saturday (7), though a complaint was lodged at 4. 10 p.m after a lapse of 12 hours. Strangely, the alleged abduction of Attygalle, allegedly carried out at 8.00 p.m. on Friday (6) hadn’t been reported at 3.35 p.m the same, just 30 minutes before Mudalige’s disappearance was brought to the notice of law enforcement authorities, Prof. Peiris said.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told The Island that Mudalige would never have walked into the CCD headquarters if he had been really abducted and interrogated by some government agents at a secret detention facility. He urged those who had accused the government of abducting the duo to ask the deported Australian citizen to explain his decision to seek refuge at a police station. Had he rushed to his colleagues or waited till the following day to seek protection at the Australian High Commission, people would have taken him seriously, Rajapaksa said.
Asked whether the Australian High Commission had been given immediate access to Mudalige after he reached the CCD headquarters, the Defence Secretary said that the police had recorded his statement in the presence of Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie. A senior police official, who had been present at the scene, told The Island that Mudalige could have made whatever allegation in the diplomat’s presence.
Gunaratnam/Mudalige, who had overstayed his visa by five months had said that he was held alone, whereas Attygalle claimed they were kept at the same facility, the official said. Gunaratnam/Mudalige claimed that he was blindfolded but he was treated well by his captors. Attygalle claimed that her hands and legs were both manacled.
The Defence Secretary emphasised that Australian authorities should conduct a thorough inquiry into the circumstances, in which Gunaratnam had received a new identity courtesy the Australian government. Now that Australia had acknowledged the issuance of a passport to Gunaratnam, a person of dubious background it would be interesting to see whether action would be taken against the Australian of Sri Lankan origin. The GoSL was ready to assist in the inquiry, he said, adding that the bottom line was that Premkumar Gunratnam no longer existed. Gunaratnam’s mother and wife had both denied having met him for years. In fact, Gunaratnam wife was on record as having said that she last met him in November 2006, the Defence Secretary said.
The Defence Secretary said that Gunaratnam securing a new identity was definitely not an isolated case. There could be thousands of Sri Lankans having new identities courtesy Western governments.
Missing passport: Many an eye brow has been raised over Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie having in her possession the Australian passport issued to Noel Mudalige, the leader of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), who walked into the Crime Detective Bureau (CDB) headquarters, at Dematagoda yesterday. Immigration and Emigration sources told The Island that when Mudalige declared that he didn’t have his passport with him the police had requested HC Mudie to issue him with an emergency travel document. But, when HC Mudie returned yesterday morning to accompany the Australian to the BIA, she produced the original passport of Mudalige.
6. Owner of safe house says unaware of Gunaratnam’s presence … by Norman Palihawardena, in Island, 12 April 2012
Adding a new twist to the Premakumar Gunaratnam saga, the owner of the house where the leader of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) and Australian national Premakumar Gunaratnam, alias Noel Mudalige, lived during his stay in Sri Lanka, has told police yesterday that he was unaware that Gunaratnam was staying in his house at Kiribathgoda. The Kiribathgoda Police said that the owner of the Kiribathgoda house, who was living in a house closer to Colombo, had told them that the house was looked after by a caretaker.
The caretaker, however, was a JVP dissident and had accommodated Gunaratnam in the house. The activist who provided safe lodging to the leader of the party had divulged to the Police that he knew that Gunaratnam was using two names and usually left the house early in the morning to return late at night.When the police inquired as to what kept him from revealing that the leader was using two different names, he had said it was due to party policies.
It is learnt that the same JVP dissident had lodged the complaint about his leader’s disappearance to the Kiribathgoda police when he found his leader missing on arriving at the house around 5.00 a.m. on Saturday to fetch the leader to discuss about the Party’s pocket meetings at 6 a.m.
2 responses to “Shrouds and Wheels within Wheels: Gunaratnam alias Mudalige disappears …. and APPEARS”
SLFP party supporters and elected members are now worried. Mysterious fall of Keheliya, Kollonnawa, Bharatha, Kalaniya party supporters, Sagara Jeevans cousin and so on..any body other than the family. Fools in SLFP cannot understand even that simple truth.
False passport or not why was he secretly abducted? Why not in daylight hours take him in for questioning at a prominent location such as Police HQ, Colombo?
His clandestine entry using a false passport, and possible subversive activity doesn’t justify a nocturnal abduction.
Be open and transparent. The world will think more of you.