Kalmunai killings: More questions than answers

By Pushpakumara Jayarathna

Deadly attacks on outstation businessmen in the East appear to be continuing with the latest incident being the killing of three Mawathagama traders in Kalmunai on Thursday. The incident took another fatal turn, when a senior police officer in Kalmunai shot himself.

The suicide reportedly followed after the officer was being blamed by his superiors for failing to prevent the latest murders. The three youths Asanka Namal Buddhika (21), G Wasantha Premakumara (24) and Suresh Indika Kumara Jayasinghe (23) from the village of Boralankada in Mawathagama were mattress businessmen and had gone to Kalmunai hoping to do some profitable trade, but they were shot dead in Kalmunai inspite of the presence of STF personnel. The assailants escaped and no arrests have been made.

“How were our children killed in broad daylight when the STF was present in the area? How did the assailants get away without being arrested?” These are the questions being asked by the victims family members.

Boralankada village on the main Kandy-Kurunegala highway is well known for coir industry. It is the lifeline of about 70 families here. The three youth had left on Wednesday to Kalmunai in a lorry belonging to Suresh’s father. Suresh’s father and Wasantha’s father are brothers.

“My son was happy about the new lorry I had bought and the three of them would travel all around the country selling matresses. This was the first time they travelled to Kalmunai. We never expected this to happen,” Suresh’s father G Jayasena (55) said.

Wasantha’s wife is struggling to come to terms with her husband’s horrible death. She consoles herself with the thought that Wasantha would have thought of her and their child during his dying moments.

Namal’s 19-year-old wife, Sriyakumari, has been left alone to fend for herself and two children. Namal’s 43-year-old father, Wijitha, hopes that the government would intervene to help the family financially. He too is baffled by his son’s shooting in spite of the heavy presence of STF personnel.

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