of Chandi Malli: Where were the guards?
By Chris Kamalendran
The killing of southern provincial council minister M.K.Ranjith
just outside the Police headquarters and few metres from a high
security zone has left a trail of questions about security.
T.E. Anandaraja said the gunmen had apparently been able to get
away partly due to the negligence of the police guards. Six men
are alleged to have moved in from a side entrance near the CID office
and three of them had fired at the provincial minister who is also
known as 'Chandi Malli' when he came there to report to the CID
on a court order relating to a case in which he is a suspect.
By way of an
explanation, the Police Chief said two buses passed the scene at
that fateful moment and that may have been one of the reasons why
the guards did not hear the sound of gunfire. However, if they had
acted faster and more effectively, the killers could have been nabbed,
he admitted. Road blocks were placed later, but it was too late.
killing took place about 75 metres from where the Presidential security
guards were deployed along Jandhipathi Mawatha (Sir Baron Jayatillake
Mw). They were guarding one of the main entry points to the high
security zone which encompasses the President's House. The Sunday
Times learns that usually two armed policemen are deployed at the
side entrance from where Mr. Ranjith walked out, but on that particular
day no officer had been stationed at the location.
Soon after the
shooting, the six men had escaped in a car and a three-wheeler.
In a twist of the cohabitation crisis, Interior Minister John Amaratunga
said he believed the Presidential security guards could have moved
into catch the killers. "It is not only the duty of the police,
but the duty of the PSD as well as they are responsible for the
security in the area," he said.
police sources said the shooting took place in an area which did
not come within the high security zone. Mr. Amaratunga, who is the
main target of increasing criticism over the explosive crime wave,
said investigators had identified the killers and he was confident
they would be tracked down soon. Mr. Ranjith was known to be a close
associate of opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakse. He was known to
have political enemies both within the party and in other parties
and had reportedly received several death threats.
had been arrested by the CID for the alleged possession of T-56
rifles, pistols, and shotguns. He was remanded for one month and
then given bail with directions to report to CID headquarters on
the last Sunday of every month. But Sunday, May 25 turned out to
be the last Sunday of his life. On that fateful weekend, he had
left his Beliatta residence on Saturday to attend the funeral of
a friend in Moratuwa. On Sunday morning, he had visited the Opposition
leader before going to CID headquarters for his date with death.
Division Chief D.S. Lugoda said police teams were in the areas where
the suspected killers were thought to be hiding.
Students seek answers to question paper leak
With the GCE Advanced Level Examination ending today, thousands
of students who sat for the Sinhala papers are uncertain as to the
validity of the test which was marred by the leak of five questions.
Mahinda Wijesiri said a decision would be taken after the CID completed
its probe. The candidates who sat for the Sinhala paper are uncertain
whether they would have to re-do the examination and whether any
decision to rescind the test would affect their university admission
leaking of the Sinhala paper is reported to have taken place when
a well-known tuition master in Kurunegala had reportedly released
several questions to the students attending his classes. (NK)