An eye witness to the January 8, 2009 murder of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge
says attempts have been made to abduct him and he is unable to return to Sri Lanka.
Mr. K Mudalige claims he witnessed part of the elaborate process that finally took Lasantha Wickrematunge’s life and for that he is now in grave danger.
Mr. Mudalige who currently resides in the United Kingdom claims he has been unable to come back to his motherland as attempts had already been made to abduct him in a white van when he was holidaying in Sri Lanka recently.
Speaking to Lanka Standard from somewhere in the United Kingdom Mr. Mudalige said that he was compelled to leave the country after receiving several threats as the murderers had identified him as an eye witness to this gruesome killing.
Vehicle parked near murder scene
“Since the murderers saw my vehicle parked where the murder took place they came for me the same evening and since then they did not allow me to live a peaceful life. As a result I had to leave the country with my family,” Mudalige said.
Mudalige also said that in May this year he had travelled to Sri Lanka on holiday but that he was then abducted in a white van. White vans have become a symbol of untold dread in Sri Lanka as they prowl around Colombo and its suburbs abducting people thought to be an inconvenience to the government.
“This happened on May 17 near the Malabe Junior School. It was around 1pm and I was with a friend of mine. Three people came in a white van and wanted me to get into it claiming to be from the Mirihana Police as they wanted to record a statement from me to which my friend opposed vehemently. Later they threatened my friend with death and took me forcibly,” said Mudalige.
Mudalige further described as to how he was able to escape from the abductors after he was tortured repeatedly.
“When I was abducted I was hand cuffed and blindfolded. Later I was tortured and was questioned about the murder that took place in 2009. They asked me whether I have spilled the beans about the murder and then took me to another place. On our way the van got stuck in mud and the abductors get down to push the van. Since it was a good opportunity for me to escape I opened the door and ran away. All their attempts to chase me were not successful. They also fired towards me. With the greatest difficulty I escaped and came to Peliyagoda the following morning,” claimed Mudalige.
Mr. Mudalige’s brother and the friend have lodged complaints at the Thalangama police station and with the Human Rights Commission.
“Surprisingly none of these two institutions wanted to proceed with the matter and I have my suspicions that I was abducted by a group connected to this government. I request the authorities concern to take immediate action to hold an impartial inquiry and bring the culprits to book immediately,” Mudalige said.