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Last updated: 25 March, 2012 - Published 14:08 GMT
 
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Minister Mervyn in 'cover up of VVIP'
 
Poddala Jayantha in the hospital after the assault (file photo)
Mr Jayantha says he does not rule out Minister Mervyn Silva's involvement in the attack
The senior journalist union leader who was forced to flee Sri Lanka after being brutally attacked has accused a controversial minister of making public statements in order to protect the real perpetrators.

Poddala Jayantha was abducted by an unidentified group on 1 June 2009 taken to a hideout, brutally assaulted and left on the street with a broken leg, the next morning.

He was forced to leave the country having received death threats due to his refusal to speak up against threats and intimidation even after the attack.

After the US-sponsored resolution was passed in Geneva, Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva has said that he is the one who forced Mr Jayantha to leave Sri Lanka.

Investigation suspended

“I'm the one who chased Poddala Jayantha out of this country. I am telling you about this incident today. He went because of me," Mervyn Silva said.

 I firmly believe that the person who ordered the abduction and the brutal assault on me was a senior defence official
 
Poddala Jayantha

But the former president of Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), says that the minister is working on "a contract" to get the real perpetrator released from the crime.

"I firmly believe that the person who ordered the abduction and the brutal assault on me was a senior defence official," he told BBC Sandeshaya from the United States.

Noting that Minister Mervyn Silva made similar statements few times, he says he was not surprised of the attempt given that the minister's past behaviour.

"I believe that I will be able to bring the real perpetrator who ordered to abduct and torture me when democracy and rule of law is re-established in Sri Lanka," added Poddala Jayantha.

Speaking to the BBC Sinhala service earlier, Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana said that people do make statements that implicate themselves in a crime in order to 'save someone else who committed a crime'.

The judicial investigation into the abduction and torture of Poddala has been suspended due to lack of evidence.

"Now the police have a good opportunity to re-open the case with the new evidence provided by Minister Silva," addedd Mr Jayantha.

He did not rule out the involvement of Minister Silva in the attack. However, he said he believes the order came from a top defence official.

 
 
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