Colombo, May 5 – Former 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 told parliament today.
Gunaratne, who was sent to Brazil as deputy ambassador by then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, murdered an embassy employee Nimal Rupasinghe with the support of two other embassy staff members, the minister said.
“Those two were given a promotion and sent to the United States from Brazil,” the minister said.
He did not say what motivated Gunaratne to kill Rupasinghe, but the victim’s family has lodged a complaint with the foreign ministry that he was forced to wash clothes of Gunaratne and his wife.
Rupasinghe was hit on the head and killed as he tried to get a transfer back to Colombo as he could not bear Gunaratne’s 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, Gunaratne was summoned to the Cinnamon Gardens police for threatening a GCE O/L level student who was accused of bullying his nephew. Gunaratne initially denied intimidating the young boy 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 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.