A key witness in the controversial RADA case yesterday told the Colombo High Court that they were asked to move out of the Mavil Aru area by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa since they were negotiating with Emil Kanthan, the LTTEer.
Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Western Provincial Councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said he and a group including Ven.Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Akmeemana Dayaratne Thera who reached the Mavil Aru area to open the Mavil Aru anicut sluice gate from the clutches of LTTE were told to move out of the area by the then President and Defence Secretary.
Warnasinghe, the first witness in the case revealed these facts when the case filed against former MP Tiran Alles and three others in connection with a Rs.200 million fraud that had allegedly taken place at the RADA in 2006 was taken up for trial yesterday.
“At that time, JHU leader Champika Ranawaka had been summoned to Temple Trees by former President Rajapaksa.Ranawaka was asked to call back the group led by Rathana Thera to Colombo from Mavil Aru area,” Warnasinghe said. He told Court that Minister Champika Ranawaka had been informed by former President that they were negotiating the Mavil Aru issue with a LTTE leader called Emil Kanthan.
‘We were ordered to leave the Mavil Aru area by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.We were summoned to the Kallaru army camp and asked to leave the area,” Warnasinghe told court. Warnasinghe said Rs.200 million had been given to the LTTE through Emil Kanthan on the pretext of constructing houses in the Northern and Eastern provinces. ‘It is a grave crime. Public Funds had been given to terrorists who subsequently utilised them to attack us. Cabinet approval has not been obtained for this so called housing project. Tiran Alles functioned as the head of this RADA organization,’ the witness further added.
The witness said he made a complaint with Police Headquarters representing the Anti-Corruption Front in this regard.
Witness Nishantha Warnasinghe was testifying before Colombo High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi and evidence was led by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris. The first witness will be cross-examined on August 2. The Attorney General had filed indictments against four accused-former Chairman of RADA Tiran Alles, former North and Eastern Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of RADA Saliya Wickramasuriya and Dr. Jayantha Dias Samarasinghe in connection with controversial RADA fraud. The High Court had allowed the Attorney General to proceed controversial RADA case in absentia of former North and Eastern Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan, the second accused in the case.
The Attorney General had listed several witnesses including former Tresury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Provincial Councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe and several others as witnesses in the case. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris with State Counsel Udara Karunatilleke appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty with Hafeel Farisz appeared for first accused Tiran Alles. President’s Counsel Shanaka Ranasinghe appeared for Emil Kanthan. President’s Counsel Anil Silva appeared for third accused.