By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Sri Lankan government has asked the Australian government to furnish details of the leader of rebel JVP faction, Premakumar Gunaratnam’s arrival in Sri Lanka. It made this request when Australian High Commissioner in Colombo, Robyn Mudie, took up the issue of his disappearance with the government over the weekend. She called Gunaratnam an Australian citizen.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told Mudie that since she had declared the missing person an Australian national, she should prove that he had arrived in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa emphasised that as far as records pertaining to arrivals at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) were concerned, no Australian national carrying a passport bearing the name, Premakumar Gunaratnam, had ever come to Sri Lanka.HC Mudie has claimed that Australian authorities had received a complaint from the missing person’s wife that her husband had gone missing in Sri Lanka.
Mudie held top positions in Geneva, at the Australian Permanent Mission to the UN, New York and Hanoi before succeeding Ms. Kathy Klugman in Colombo.
The police said they were waiting till the Australian High Commission provided relevant data, including the date the Australian of Sri Lankan origin arrived at the BIA and the number of his Australian passport.
The Defence Secretary has reminded HC Mudie that the Australian High Commission had ignored a previous request from the GoSL to help establish the whereabouts of Gunaratnam, following unsubstantiated media reports of his arrival in the country.
The police questioned Gunaratnam’s wife as she was leaving the BIA in a bid to track down Gunaratnam. Both his wife and mother denied any knowledge of his whereabouts.
The rebel JVP faction on Saturday accused the government of taking its leader Gunaratnam into custody, along with another senior cadre, Dimuthu Attygalle, in the run-up to the launch of a new political outfit on April 9.
Udul Premaratne of the dissident group told The Island that both Gunaratnam and Attygalle were missing and were believed to have been arrested by security authorities.