Dead man tells terrible tale
Hadley Chase thriller, double game and insurance scam leave mother dead
By Tania Fernando
A real life case with pages from a detective thriller where a dead youth comes alive after a tragedy staged for multi-million rupee insurance has ended in real tragedy with the mother of the key player actually dying of shock.

The serial thriller appears to be too fantastic to be true. It allegedly began when 31-year-old Udayakantha Jayathilake and his wife, residents of Britain for several years, apparently got an idea of doing a little bit of what Emil Saundaranayagam had done decades ago. They wanted to take British insurance for a ride and they might have done so if not for a smart brain not in Britain but in the medical faculty of the Peradeniya University.

According to the pieces put together by police detectives, the story went like this:

Udayakantha Jayathilake and his wife, in pursuance of their massive insurance claim, came back to Sri Lanka some months ago and allegedly staged a robbery and killing at Habarana on June 3. Everything appeared to be brilliantly stage-managed - a burnt car with a body inside, a weeping widow complaining to the police, expensive items reported missing and all that.

Ms. Jayathilake, also allegedly playing a key role in the drama, had complained to the police that her husband was missing from June 3 after he went to Dambulla to buy some antique furniture. Soon after, the police received information that a vehicle was found burning in the Habarana area. The tip-off also appeared to be part of chasing the crooked shadows.

The police went to the scene, saw a body in the burning vehicle and called the Jayathilake family.

On to the scene came the third suspect - Mr. Jayathilake's brother. He identified the body as that of Udayakantha.

DIG Ananda Jayasekera said that to give crime book credibility to the operation, the victim's wallet had also allegedly been placed on the scene with his identity and credit cards to further substantiate the case. To back up the claim of robbery and killing, the family members said a modern camera and other expensive items were not in the burning car which he had hired from a rent-a-car company to go to Habarana.

Almost everything appeared to be in place for a gang robbery and killing and it was probably only as a mere formality that the skeletal remains were sent to the Peradeniya medical faculty for further tests, while the insurance papers were sent out fast.

The brains behind the crime were leaving nothing to chance. The British High Commission was also informed that a British resident back here on holiday had been killed.

Five months passed by and then the wheel of death turned the other way. Forensic experts at the Peradeniya University replayed the whole drama with the shocking disclosure that the skeletal remains found in the burning car at Habarana were not of Udayakantha Jayathilake but of a woman.

The Police then set in operation the third part of the drama. They sent detectives to secretly watch the Jayathilake home and find more clues on the alleged double game.

It paid off and Udyakantha who had stayed under cover for some months was arrested when he emerged from his Kandy hideout to go to Colombo. The camera and other personal items, which his wife complained to be missing from the burnt vehicle, had also been found in his possession, police said.

Udayakantha, his wife and brother were produced in court while police are looking for a fourth suspect who also played a role by finding a body to be put in the burning car.
On Friday, the crime fiction thriller took a horrifyingly tragic twist. Udayakantha and the other suspects were produced in the Polonnaruwa Magistrate's Court and granted bail. Among those who had come there was Udayakantha's mother who since June had been mourning and weeping over the death of her son, who had all the time been hiding in Kandy.

Seeing her dead son alive was apparently too much for the aged mother. She collapsed and died soon after seeing her son.
Nothing was well and no one ended well.

Peace brokers intensify efforts
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Chief Trond Furuhovde is scheduled to meet LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham tomorrow in the Wanni to take up a series of issues, including the tension in the Eastern Province.

His meeting comes as the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen arrives in Colombo today.

The Norwegian delegation's visit will mainly focus on the establishment of the Joint Task Force and the preparation for the next round of peace talks in Thailand. The ongoing problems related to the cease-fire agreement and the tense situation in the East will also be discussed.

The Norwegian delegation is scheduled to visit Hambantota today to meet MPs of the district and local authorities while a meeting with the Hambantota Chamber of Commerce has also been arranged. The main aim of the visit to Hambantota is to obtain first hand knowledge on the economic needs of the area.

Mr. Helgesen during his four-day stay will meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesignhe tomorrow.

Meetings with President Kumaratunga, the Government's peace delegation and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse are also scheduled.
The Norwegian delegation will make a three-day visit to the North - holding talks in Jaffna on Tuesday and in the Wanni with LTTE leaders on Wednesday.

CBK, Rajitha meeting on, then off
By Harinda Vidanage
A meeting between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Lands Minister Rajitha Senaratne arranged for this week was allegedly blocked by officials of the Presidential Secretariat.

Minister Rajitha Senaratne told The Sunday Times that those mediating between the President and himself had informed him that the meeting was due to take place.

But an official spokesman of the Presidential Secretariat had later informed him there was no need for such a meeting.

"I am not sure whom I should believe," Dr. Senaratne said, adding that "when the President's official spokesman discounts the possibility of a meeting why should I go after them."

Dr. Senaratne said he felt that the change of position was due to the Supreme Court determination on the 18th and 19th amendments being known.

Presidential spokesman Harim Pieris told The Sunday Times there was a meeting arranged between the President and Minister Senaratne, but declined to elaborate.

Former Minister John Seneviratne had been the chief mediator between the President and the minister.

Mr. Seneviratne told The Sunday Times that several times he had spoken to the President and other senior members of the gesture made by Mr. Senaratne.

SEP accuses LTTE of harassing members
The Socialist Equality Party based in the north has complained to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission that LTTE is allegedly threatening and harassing its members, a SEP press release stated.

The LTTE had assaulted three SEP members on 8th October in the Kayts Island where a 27-year old father of three had suffered serious stab injuries, the press release said.

The SEP has asked that the guilty LTTE members who made death threats and assaulted the SEP members be immediately arrested. It has also said that LTTE must discipline and punish all those involved in issuing death threats. A week ago the World Socialist Web Site and SEP also launched an international campaign against death threats made to three fishermen by the LTTE when the fishermen refused to hand over money to the LTTE to build a new office.

The press release invites all human rights organisations and individuals committed to the defence of democratic rights to denounce the attack.

Appoint separate Governors to north and east, says SMP
By Shelani Perera
The Sinhala Mahajana Peramuna has called on the Government to appoint separate Governors to the North and East in a bid to bring about normalcy to the East.

SMP Secretary Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera said his group believed that the demerger of the province with two governors being appointed would ensure stability in the east which was now being dominated by the LTTE.

Accusing the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission of being biased, the Thera said the SLMM was only calling on the Sinhala people to be calm but it failed to ask Tamil schoolchildren and civilians to remain calm.

He also said the SMP has opened an office in the east to entertain complaints by Sinhala and Muslim people who were subjected to LTTE harassment.

Fears of banned chemical in imported flour
Once again concerns are being raised that imported flour contained Potassium Bromide, a carcinogen, which is used to improve and maintain the quality of flour for a longer period.

Before it was banned by the national food advisory committee, two years ago, Potassium Bromide was widely used to treat flour by milling agents. Strict orders were issued to the Ceylon Wholesale Establishment to ensure that Potassium Bromide was not used to treat flour. But with checks not being conducted thereafter, flour producers are again allegedly using this chemical agent

"We are very strict that it is not used and instead asked them to use Ascorbic acid," Dr. A.M.L.Beligaswatte, former Director General Health Services who was also a member of the National Food Advisory Committee said.

He said that Potassium Bromide was banned from use as it could cause cancer in the thyroid glands.

Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, Chief Medical Officer of the Colombo Municipal Council who is also attached to the FAC when contacted by The Sunday Times said checks would be resumed on Monday to ascertain if Potassium Bromide is being used again to treat bread products and flour.
Flour treated with Potassium Bromide quickens the fermentation process and improves texture. Dough made out of Potassium Bromide treated flour expands after a while, is known as 'oven spring'. As a result, the quantity of bread is also increased. The quality, of old flour, improves when given the Potassium Bromide treatment.
However, Potassium Iodide and Ascorbic Acid are supplements that could be used to treat flour.

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