Header Ads

Disabled soldier abducted and told to make false statement about General Fonseka

Diary of terror- Part 16- 25th February 2010

Sri Lanka Human Rights Watch

(February 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A former soldier, J. Asoka Kumara, gave an interview about his abduction and the incident that followed to Lanka E-News. This was published on the 23rd of April 2010. J. Asoka Kumara was a sergeant attached to the military and suffered serious head injuries during the war with the LTTE,as a result of which he has a metal plate inserted in his skull. During the presidential election he helped the former army general, Sarath Fonseka, who was an election candidate, and he worked in the office of the General during that time. Later Kumara worked at Fonseka’s district office for the election at Gampaha.

J. Asoka Kumara’s interview with Lanka E-News follows. The interview raises many questions about the type of society that Sri Lanka has rapidly become. This soldier is an innocent citizen living his own private life. He is the sort of person that any society would have had the highest sympathy and consideration for. As a soldier he has suffered a permanent head injury and carries the burden of that experience in his own skull by way of a metal plate and severe scarring due to bullet injuries inflicted by the enemy.

This permanently disabled soldier is being watched and followed by officers of the very same armed forces that he served. He is spied on and followed, not for any offense, but merely because he participated in an election and supported the very man who led the army that he fought for. He was waylaid on the road and abducted by persons who acted like police officers and abducted him. He is given something to drink by his abductors which sent him unconscious. When he awoke in some unknown place the person who spoke to him identified himself as a colonel. Thereafter, the people who dealt with him were persons that he identifies as higher ranking officers.

The purpose of the abduction and subsequent interrogation was to get him to make a false statement involving his former commander in criminal and some mean activities. The purpose of that exercise was to be able to show him over the television making such a statement against his former commander who has now become a politician. His former army is utilised in an attempt to discredit the former commander by way of a false statement.

All this happened with the use of expensive vehicles, officers moving here and there and inside what he thinks to be an expensive hotel.

All this is not a Bollywood movie. It is real life in the capital of Sri Lanka.

The soldier has identified himself and given the details of what happened to him in an interview which has been published. His photograph was also published. If the story is not true the government may deny it.

In any country where there is law, this would be a criminal activity of the highest proportions and as the persons involved in the act are alleged to be high military officers it would also be an offense under military law.

The Inspetor General of Police is under obligation to investigate the allged crime. The commander of the armed forces is obliged to investigate the alleged military offense. Both the top officers of the police and the military will be answerable to the law in the manner of the way in which they react to this incident. In a rule of law country the head of the state and the executive will be held responsible for the manner in which they deal with such a situation.

However, in Sri Lanka, in all likelihood nothing will happen. It is one more incident of the highest illegality and criminality that goes without being investigated or acted upon.

That is the nature of the terror that today prevails in the country. While the law is manipulated to punish political opponents others who commit crimes on behalf of the rulers are not held legally accountable in any way.

The Interview:

On the 11th February I went to the transport ministry to meet Minister Dalas when I was coming out of the ministry two people wearing police uniforms came and escorted me to a jeep and asked me to get in. I got in. I was taken for about 5 km to near an air force camp when the jeep stopped. At that point I was shown another van and told to get in. The people in the van were in civilian dress.

One person in the van was drinking from a bottle so I also asked for some water. I was given an unopened bottle. I drank one or two mouthfuls and that is all I remember. When I regained consciousness I was on a bed. When I tried to open the door of the room a person who had a cloth around his face came in. He told me “son don’t be afraid I am” then he gave me enough to eat and drink. He said he had to ask me some questions about general Fonseka. He wanted to take a statement from me saying that I was in charge of the General’s armoury. He said I will be provided with the arms to corroborate that and that after I am released they will protect me.

I was also asked to say that General Fonseka and the former parliamentarian [name 4.40] had an illicit affair with the actress during the period of the presidential election. I was also told to say that the General wanted me to allow him to have a sexual relationship with my wife in return for an adjustment my retirement pension.

When I refused to make such a statement to the media they gave me some documents and tried to force me to sign, I refused. They hit me on my head and hands.

I was then taken out of the room and introduced to some people in civilian dress. They took me to an area by the sea and told me that I was at Ambalangoda - the village of the General.

The people who questioned me did so with their faces covered with clothes. Before questioning me they asked whether I wanted to be questioned in Singhalese or English, I told them Singhalese. I was taken out of the room and questioned in a place that looked like a hall. While questioning me there were two people behind me taking down the statement.

The people who questioned me referred to each other as Commandant, Colonel, Air Marshall, Brigadier, ASP and such titles.

I asked them why they had taken me, they said when they question me I will find out the reason. I later learned that they abducted me to get to know about the protest regarding the bringing of war heroes to Colombo and to get information about General Fonseka.

In the room that I was kept there was a TV, a desk, a bed, a table, there were clothes and good kinds of drinks -it was a hotel near the sea, the room was on an upper floor. While being questioned I was taken out of the room. I saw rooms on both sides. Although I did not see any other people, I heard the voices of others shouting “do not hit me” several times.

I was then taken in a red vehicle which had numbers on it. They had land cruisers which may have a value of Rs. 5 million to 10 million, there were about 5 vehicles.

They told me that if you are needed we will not give you 48 hours, if we need we will not give you over 72 hours, we can send you to the other world.

The people who had their faces covered handed me to a group of civilians. Before I was released they took me to a place that looked like a 5 Star hotel and gave me something to eat. I have a feeling that this may have been the Galadara Hotel.

After taking me to Colombo, they said I can tell anybody I want. I can recognise the people in civilian clothes. Due to the assault on the side of my head and the subsequent operation that whole area is numb.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.