Sri Lankaâ€™s war general faces investigation over embassy murder
ECONOMYNEXT – Retired army major general Kamal Gunaratne is under investigation over the murder of an employee at the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil , foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera announced in parliament.
While Gunaratne was deputy ambassador, a Sri Lankan government employee Nimal Rupasinghe was murdered, the minister said.
“Now it is clear there had been a big murder at our embassy. A person who worked there, Nimal Rupasinghe, a government employee was killed when he (Gunaratne) was deputy ambassador….,” the minister told parliament on Friday. “An investigation is now going on.”
He said two others involved in the murder had been given promotions and sent to the United States from Brazil.
He did not give a motive for the killing, but the victim’s family has lodged a complaint with the authorities that he was forced to do menial jobs at the embassy.
Rupasinghe was hit on the head and killed as he tried to get a transfer back to Colombo as he could not bear cruel and degrading treatment, the family has said.
Retired major general Gunaratne was rewarded with a diplomatic posting after his role in the final phase of the war against the Tamil Tigers who were crushed by May 2009.
More recently, a complaint was lodged against Gunaratne for threatening a GCE O/L level student accused of bullying his nephew. Gunaratne initially denied intimidating the young student of D. S. Senanayake college, but later settled the case.
Gunaratne also authored a book, “Road to Nandikadal” in which he sets out his point of view of Sri Lanka’s war against Tamil separatists. Minister Samaraweera said the book was a catalogue of atrocities of the Sri Lankan military and was the evidence Tiger sympathisers abroad have been waiting for.
"Please read the book," the minister said. “He speaks about how houses were burnt and how he took pleasure watching it.”
Minister Samaraweera said the former administration had turned Sri Lankan missions abroad into safe havens for criminals who carried out murder of journalists and other human rights abuses.
He said he discovered that a key suspect in the Lasantha Wickrematunga assassination had been given a job in the Sri Lankan embassy in Berlin.
Another death squad leader had been nominated as a second secretary to the Sri Lankan embassy in Thailand. (COLOMBO, May 5, 2017 – updated)