Macabre and bold crimes this week ranging from a faceless body in a cemetery to a man tied up in a barrel with a angry cobra, a ruling party politician killed in a hail of bullets, a policeman stabbed to death and a body in a fertiliser bag had the authorities scrambling for answers. In [...]


Snakes and daggers in macabre crimes stun authorities

UPFA councillor brazenly murdered on open road

Macabre and bold crimes this week ranging from a faceless body in a cemetery to a man tied up in a barrel with a angry cobra, a ruling party politician killed in a hail of bullets, a policeman stabbed to death and a body in a fertiliser bag had the authorities scrambling for answers.

In the latest incidents, a father and son were attacked with swords on Thursday night during a party at Nagoda, and the son, aged 26, was killed.

In Maligawatte on the same day, unidentified men who arrived in a three-wheeler shot dead 28-year-old Mohamed Rifaz over a private dispute between friends. Rifaz had survived a stabbing last week.

Monday’s murder of UPFA Peliyagoda Urban Council member Shamila Sandaruwan was carried out in full public view on the Colombo-Kandy main road in Peliyagoda.

Twenty-three-year old Sandaruwan, known to be a close associate of Minister Mervyn Silva, won the last local council elections with 1,825 votes and was known to be backing the former chairman of the council during a recent power struggle.

Sandaruwan was facing a series of allegations including a case of demanding protection at the Peliyagoda fish market and a clash with the rival group in the Urban Council.

On Monday, he had attended a court case at the Magistrates Court in Mahara and was driving home when two people on a motorcycle, wearing full-face helmets, came up beside his red Mitsubishi Lancer.

According to police the bike had brushed against the car, forcing Sandaruwan, who was driving, to slow down. The motorcyclist was riding parallel to the car when the pillion rider, using a 9mm pistol, fired at close range.

Sandaruwan, hit by a hail of bullets, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a wall. His 19-year-old friend, Prabath Madhushanka, siting beside him in the front passenger seat, received two gunshots and is undergoing treatment at the Colombo National Hospital.
A woman riding a scooter alongside the car was injured when the veering car hit her.

Two police teams are probing the shooting.

“We are probing several possible motives. We are yet to determine whether political rivalry or his previous cases led to this killing,” a senior officer involved in the investigations told the Sunday Times.

Police inspect an unidentified body at Dodangoda. Pic Ratnasiri Premalal

On Tuesday night, police in Meegahatenna in the Kalutara district were called to the Kalupahana cemetery where a man had been found murdered, his face burnt beyond recognition.

Police believe that the man had been killed and afterwards set on fire at the cemetery.

Earlier in the day, a body in a fertiliser bag was found a few yards from the Pugoda-Kosgama road in the Colombo district. Residents had complained of a stench prompting police to search the area.

In Welipenna, a police constable who was returning after a wedding party was stabbed to death following a dispute with a neighbour.
“Police constable Sumith Gunasekara, 50 was returning with his two children when one of the neighbours followed him and stabbed his child and the police constable. Sumith succumbed to his injuries and the child is undergoing treatment “, a police officer involved in the investigations said.

A senior police officer told the Sunday Times that the perpetrators of all these crimes, some of which occurred in a rush of sudden anger, failed to realise the wider circle of victims of each incident.

“People fail to realise the consequences of these murders. They should think that not only the victim’s family would be affected but also the family of the person responsible for the murder because that person will end up in jail,” the officer said.

Additional Reporting:
Lal S. Kumara

 Ex-soldier’s ‘sting’ fails as love rival comes back to life

Next Thursday, a former soldier (currently in remand custody) who attempted to murder a man who had cuckolded him by forcing a cobra to bite him, will face court.

The suspect, Sisil Chaminda, abducted his victim, a villager in Sevanagala, tied him up and blindfolded him, and then threw him into a barrel in which a cobra had been placed the previous day.

Chaminda is alleged to have then provoked the cobra which lashed out, biting the victim at least seven times.
“When the victim lost consciousness the suspect had lifted him out of the barrel and untied him and left him to die – he had assumed that the man would die of snake poisoning.

“Chaminda killed the snake and placed it close by so that people would believe that the death was caused by a random snakebite,” an officer of the Sevanagala police said.

Defying the odds, the victim regained consciousness less than half an hour later. He managed to reach a nearby house and told the people there what had happened to him, and was rushed to the Embilitiya Hospital Intensive Care Unit

He told police what had happened, and Chaminda was arrested, and now faces possible charges of abduction and attempted murder.

Police believe that the villager had an affair with Chaminda’s wife and this had prompted the ex-soldier to plan the murder.

“If the man had not regained consciousness we would have assumed that the death was simply caused by a snakebite. Even an inquest would have found that the death was due only to snakebite,” the police officer said.


Youth killed by beating, report shows – cops suspected

Sandun Malinga

A Judicial Medical Officers’ report into the death of a teenager who was allegedly assaulted by the Kandaketiya police has revealed that the death was caused due to damage to the youth’s internal organs.

Eighteen-year-old Sandun Malinga was arrested with four friends over allegations of hunting for precious artefacts in the Bogahalanda forest reserve. His family claims Malinga had left with his friends to purchase a three-wheeler.

Police had taken them into detention and allegedly assaulted them at the police station.

The youth had told his mother the following day that he had been badly beaten up by one of the policemen.

He was admitted to the Badulla hospital and succumbed to his injuries.

The JMOP’s report, submitted to the Magistrates Court in Badulla, stated that the injuries had been caused by an assault.

A sub-inspector, four constables, a police assistant and a Civil Defence Force member are under investigation for the alleged murder.

Uncontrollable grief: The mother of the victim on leaving the JMO’s office. Pic by Palitha Ariyawansa

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