One more suspect nabbed in Katuwana killing


One more suspect was taken into custody in connection with the attack on a JVP meeting in Katuwana where two persons were killed two weeks back, a CID official said yesterday.

According to the CID officer the arrested man is believed to be a key suspect involved in the killing of a woman and a youth and severely injuring another who were attending to the JVP pocket meeting held in Hendiwatte, Katuwana on June 15. The CID arrested the suspect along with a T-56 weapon, three T-56 magazines, 49 bullets and eight 9mm calibre bullets, police said.
The CID claimed to have had some difficulty in arresting suspects as eyewitnesses were reluctant to give information fearing reprisals.

Police said there were only two eyewitness giving evidence against Julampitiye Amare who was the prime suspect according to the JVP.  A week after the incident Amare surrendered to the Tangalle Prison through a lawyer.A relative of Amare and another was earlier arrested in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile,  JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath claimed that the lives of the three persons who identified Amare as a suspect and around 20 others who had given evidence are at risk.

“There is a serious threat to not only witnesses but even to the monks who performed religious rites at the funeral of the two deceased,” Mr. Herath said.He charged that the police knew the associates of Amare but they were not making a genuine effort to arrest them because of political influence. He said the JVP would seek legal redress in the Supreme Court if the police failed in their duty.

Meanwhile Nishantha Sandhabharana, a lawyer who appeared for Amare accused the media of distorting facts.
He said that Amare had been his client for some time and had come to his office which adjoins the house in Tangalle owned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to surrender to the prison authorities.

“I took him in my Defender jeep to the Tangalle Prison but the media reported it was one belonging to the MSD,” he claimed.  “Amare has three murder cases and one attempted murder case against him in the Tangalle High Court in addition to several other cases elsewhere,” Mr. Sandhabharana said.

However, he vehemently denied that Amare had any cases involving rapes. He also denied Amare having more than hundreds of open warrants and said he had only three or four open warrants against him.  He said there were other underworld figures and UNP and JVP politicians who had obtained Amare’s services although he is affiliated to the SLFP politically.
Chandi Malli,  Sunil Rathnaweera, Jagath, Nande Watte Bala, Wambotta alias Wasantha were among some of the underworld figures who had obtained his services apart from UNP and JVP politicians such as Sajith Premadasa and Nihal Galappatti, he alleged.

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