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Life sentence in genocidal Sri Lanka

30/May/2019

 

Anuradhapura’ Special High Court’ of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka has served three jail terms, 25 years each, to be followed one after the other for the first three indictments and a life sentence for the remaining 29 charges to a Tamil-speaking Muslim political prisoner on Tuesday last week. The accused, 49-year-old Abdul Hameed Umar Hattaaph, was the second accused in the case regarding the assassination of a notorious Sinhala military commander, Major General (retd) Janaka Perera in October 2008. Umar Hattaaph had pleaded not guilty. He has been languishing in SL prisons for the past ten years. There was no lawyer prepared to defend him. Umar Hattaap is a father of three and hails from Neariya-ku’lam, Maangku’lam, Vavuniyaa. 

Tamil prisoners in Anuradhapura said Umar Hattaaph had no proper defence and the current situation prevailing in the island was favourable to the Sinhala judicial system to punish the Tamil-speaking Muslim political prisoner with such rigorous back-to-back sentences along with a life sentence. 

The Sinhala Judge, Khema Swarnadhipathi, has also ordered that all property of the ‘suspect’ to be confiscated. She found the defenceless Muslim political prisoner as being guilty of 31 indictments of the 48 charges that had been filed against him. 

Sinhala lawyers Nimal Marasinghe, Sajeewa Gunaratna, Chandani Hatangala, and Ariyarana Wickramaarachch were defending the accused. 

In the past, almost all the lawyers approached by the accused had said it was a difficult case. Even the few who were prepared to represent Umar Hattaaph demanded millions of rupees, according to his wife. 

The following extract is from an open letter issued by his wife, Segu Mohaideen Noorjan, in 2006. 

 

The late Maj Gen Janaka Perera played a significant role in Jaffna and in Ma’nal-aa’ru (Weli Oya), which was Sinhalicised. 

When Janaka Perera was serving the SLA in Jaffna, hundreds of Tamil youth were subjected to enforced disappearances. 

The Tamil villages Ma’n-ki’ndi-malai and Neluk-ku’lam were renamed as Janapuara by him when he was in command of Ma’nal-aa’ru. 

After the fall of Elephant Pass Base (EPS), Janaka Perera was appointed Overall Operations Commander (OOC) when Major Sarath Fonseka was the Security Forces Commander in Jaffna.

Janaka Perera retired from the military after being sidelined from becoming the Commander of the SLA and appointed as the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, first in Australia, and then in Indonesia, following his retirement. 

Colombo was forced to withdraw his controversial posting to SL High Commission in Canada, following diplomatic pressure on Colombo on his poor record on Human Rights during his career. 

Janaka Perera was Opposition Leader of the United National Party in the North Central Province when he was assassinated in October 2008. 

“I will make Rajarata, a territory with resources in abundance after winning the North Central Provincial Council election like Dutugemunu captured Anuradhapura and developed it,” Janaka Perera had claimed in July 2008