Sri Lanka to probe high-profile assassinations

COLOMBO (TIP): Sri Lanka’s new government on January 20 said it will reopen probes into unresolved high-profile assassinations, including that of two Tamil lawmakers, which took pace during the decade-long rule of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Spokesman and minister Rajitha Senaratne said the newly-elected government of President Maithripala Sirisena will open up the murders cases which took pace during the regime of his controversial predecessor.

These include the murders of Nadaraja Raviraj, a Tamil MP from Jaffna, Joseph Pararajasingham, another Tamil MP from the eastern province, Lasantha Wickrematunga, the editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, a former Rajapaksa minister.

“We know who did them, we have all the information,” Senaratne said.

Raviraja and Pararajasingham were popular Tamil MPs from the main Tamil party, TNA. They were killed during the height of Rajapaksa’s military campaign which ended the LTTE’s separatist campaign in 2009.

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Wickrematunga, the editor of the pro-opposition Sunday Leader was murdered after he ran a series of anti-Rajapaksa articles.

The investigations on all these were stalled or abandoned without credible conclusions.

The Sri Lankan military finally crushed the LTTE militants in May 2009, ending the 30-year civil war fought for an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils. The UN says between 80,000 to 100,000 people were killed in the brutal conflict.

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