Police officers further remanded

Police firing at FTZ protest
By W. Hubert Fernando

The death of 22-year-old Roshen Chanaka of Minuwangoda was caused by a firearm, it was ruled at a magisterial inquiry held last week.

Roshen, an employee of DSL Global in Katunayake, was among the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) workers who had staged a protest on May 30 against the proposed Private Sector Pension Bill. Roshen was injured when police fired on the protestors, and died from loss of blood and shock caused by gunshot injuries.

Seeduwa Inspector of Police (IP) R. M. Ratnayake and IP R. C. K. L. Ranasinghe have been charged in connection with the killing of Roshen. Negombo Chief Magistrate H. N. P. Amarasinghe refused the police officers bail and ordered that their bail application be referred to the High Court.

The suspects have been further remanded until the next hearing, on July 25. Also produced in court that day were three persons who were charged with stoning the police during the May 30 protest rally.
The three persons were released after their statements were recorded.

SIM in banana intercepted

By J. A. L Jayasinghe

A woman from Trincomalee who allegedly attempted to pass on a mobile phone SIM card hidden in a banana, to an LTTE suspect remanded in Bogambara Prison, was taken into custody yesterday morning by prison officials and handed over to the Kandy Police.

The woman is said to be the suspect’s mother. The incident is being investigated by Prison Superintendent T Jayasinghe and his officials.

Royal Park case: Both state and defence appeal

The appeals filed by the Attorney General and the accused Amith Jayamaha who was sentenced to 12 years RI by the High Court of Colombo for the murder of his fiancée Yvonne Johannsen, were listed by the Court of Appeal to be heard on August 22.

The death occurred in July 2005 at the Royal Park Condominium in Rajagiriya. When the case was heard on July 12 before Justices Ranjith Silva and J.D.S.C Lekamwasam, the Deputy Solicitor General Jayantha Jaysuriya with Senior State Counsel Ms. Haripriya Jayasundara informed Court that the judgment pronounced by the Colombo High Court that the act was culpable homicide not amounting to murder, was too lenient and that the verdict should be revised to a charge of murder.

President’s Counsel Anil Silva appearing for the accused in his application was of the view that the sentence of 12 years RI was too harsh and sought a revision. The Bench of the Appeal Court directed that both appeals should be heard together on August 22

Relief at summit for Sigiriya climbers

By Damith Wickremasekara

The Economic Development Ministry has mapped out a new Sigiriya development plan under which toilet facilities for local and foreign tourists will be provided at the summit of the rock as well as in the ground area, Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said.

He said the Cultural Ministry and the local authorities had approved the setting up of the toilets, both at the top and the bottom of the Sigiriya rock fortress.

The toilets at the top of the rock will be mobile toilets and maintained by the private sector. The deputy minister said they would be set up in a manner to minimize damaging the cultural value of the rock.
The Ministry has also selected a land adjoining the Sigiriya rock for tourists to have entertainment during the night. This entertainment village would have cultural items, drum festivals and local arts.

In addition an electric car service would be provided to bring visitors closer to the rock instead of buses in a bid to reduce pollution. Vendors already operating in the rock area would be allowed to carry on their business activities in a special area, he said, adding that 38 stalls would be set up initially.

Kovil animal cruelty case: Trial on Nov. 25

Preliminary objections raised by defence counsel that charges cannot be maintained in the private plaint filed against two trustees of the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil in Munneswaran, alleging cruelty to animals in August last year, during the Kovil’s annual festival, were rejected by the Chilaw District Judge and Magistrate on July 12.

The two trustees are Kalimuttu Sivapakyasunderam and Mahendrasamy. Upholding the counter objections filed by the complainant’s counsel, the judge fixed the case for trial on November 25 and directed that summons be issued on the witnesses.

The private plaint has been filed by animal rights activist Lalani Perera alleging offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance and the Butchers Ordinance. The offences cited are torture of animals, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and the killing of animals in an unnecessarily cruel manner.

Harshana Nanayakkara appeared with Lakshman Wewalwala for the plaintiff.

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