Defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa speaking on the alleged abduction of Kumar Gunarathnam said that the Australian High Commission did not furnish him with any information regarding Gunarathnam when he requested for them a few months ago.
“When the JVP split there were a lot of stories being circulated about the group, there were stories to the effect that they were joining hands with the rehabilitated LTTE cadres, that they were ready for an armed struggle and various other stories. So obviously as the defense establishment of the country we were on alert. At that time I requested the Australian High Commission to give me all the details of this man in writing, because he is a citizen of that country. I wanted to know the date of arrival, his passport number, what name he uses among other details but the never got back to me with the details until two days ago” he said.
Participating in ‘Doramadalawa’ programme of the state owned ITN, Mr. Rajapaksa also said that the Australian High Commission upon request after the alleged abduction gave him details of a man named Noel Mudalige. “They wanted to know of a man by the name of Noel Mudalige who has disappeared, they gave me his passport number. In that letter they sent me the High commission had said that this man had arrived on the 3rd of September. Now all these details were given only after this incident” he said.
Rajapskha went on to state that the most shocking side of this story is the fact that there were two different people who were missing. “The general public in Sri Lanka was told that it was a man named Kumaran Gunarathnam who was abducted whereas the Australian High Commission said that it was a man named Noel Mudalige. The fact that they figured out that this was one and the same person is a problem to us. So if in fact this was Noel Gunarathnam we could never ever find Kumar Gunarathnam he will always be missing. I have informed a lot of embassies about a situation of this kind including the Canadian and Australian embassies that LTTE’rs would use a different name and get citizenship of another country. At the same time the previous name that he used in Sri Lanka would fall into the missing category obviously. Now a lot of people talk about accountability how can we be accountable in a situation like this?” he asked.
He also said that organizations talking about Human Rights should look into matters of this nature. “Without criticizing the government always, matters such as this that should be looked into by these organizations. How could we be accountable when there are people like this? How many people who claim to be missing must be in Canada and Australia under different names?. This incident is the best example to prove this point. Is this what good governance is that we are being preached about? The Australian government knew very well that this man is using a different identity and has taken citizenship in Australia; they knew very well that he came to this country under this false name and was to be a leader of a political party of this country. Is this what they call good governance?”