Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and
President, Sri Lanka Cricket, Thilanga Sumathipala
Dhammika Amarasinghe, Bada
Mahinda and S. B. Dissanayake
By Frederica Jansz
case against Thilanga Sumathipala and the dreaded underworld
killer Dhammika Amarasinghe took a chilling turn on Friday,
January 9, when Dhammika was shot dead while being produced for a
non-summary inquiry at Court No. 6 in Hulftsdorp.
killer, while pulling the trigger six times shouted, "You
killed my brother." Dhammika was shot in the face, chest and
murderer, another underworld figure known as Chaminda
Sirivardanage Chaminda Kumara was almost immediately apprehended
by an army lance corporal who having heard the commotion inside
Court No. 6 rushed in and spying the killer holding a gun and a
hostage had kicked the gun out of his hand.
from Grandpass, Chaminda told CID sleuth IP Samudrajeewa, "I did
this because he killed Baddegana Sanjeewa."
however is not Baddegana Sanjeewa's brother. The latter was a former
member of the Presidential Security Division (PSD) as well and a
well-known underworld thug.
who is familiar with Chaminda retorted, "Don't lie." Chaminda
thereafter stopped talking. According to the cops Chaminda is closely
connected to another underworld leader by the name of Prince who was
also in court that day as a case against him was also being called.
is reportedly backed by a former deputy minister who is a man about town
and sleuths are now probing whether Chaminda's shouting was a red
herring to cover the real contractors of this murder.
Police on Friday verified that none of Chaminda's brothers have
resides at V 4/6, Kamkarupura Mahal Nivasa, Orugodawatte. He was
apprehended by Grandpass police on March 2, last year after cops on
suspicion searched him and found him to be in possession of six bullets
of a T56 weapon. The
bullets were found hidden in his underpants. He was placed in remand for
a period of three months and released.
The court case of this incident bearing no: 46016 is scheduled to
be called for hearing on February 16, this year. On Friday, police
determined that Chaminda is an army deserter bearing no. 408740 from the
Kuruwita army camp. He has another residence address listed as 134/176,
2nd Adiyara, Stace Road, Colombo 14.
was wanted for more than 50 murders when he finally met his bloody fate
on Friday at around 11:15 a.m. following a highly publicised and
controversial case involving Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and President,
Sri Lanka Cricket, Thilanga Sumathipala.
was gunned down less than 24 hours after the hearing of this case filed
by the Attorney General's Department naming him and Sumathipala as the
first and second accused respectively, for having used a forged passport
to travel to the UK in 1999 and utilising Cricket Board funds to do so.
daring daylight killing on Friday sent shockwaves through the country.
Some 10 days prior to the murder, Dhammika's former partner in crime,
Mahinda Godage alias Bada Mahinda making a second confession before the
Kaduwela magistrate pleaded for extra security for him and his family
who he claimed were under repeated death threats issued by two
individuals, namely, Dhammika Amarasinghe and Thilanga Sumathipala.
of whether Godage was exaggerating or not, the magistrate took heed and
ordered for his security to be increased at the Welikada prisons.
making this second confession, Godage once more implicated Dhammika in a
triple murder he claimed he was a witness to having been carried out at
Kaduwela by Dhammika and two others.
was Godage's first confession made on September 19, last year before the
Gangodawila magistrate, which revealed that Thilanga Sumathipala had
hired the underworld kingpin Dhammika Amarasinghe for criminal
shocking disclosures by Bada Mahinda accused Sumathipala of having
financed first class air travel and a holiday to England for Dhammika
Amarasinghe to attend the 1999 Cricket World Cup matches in England.
was at the time in remand having surrendered to police headquarters
three months prior to this confession. It is an open secret in political
circles that it was Sumathipala who had advised Dhammika to surrender
with an assurance of taking care of him. Sumathipala had also spoken to
several top government members on getting bail for Dhammika. In his
police statements Bada Mahinda repeatedly said that Sumathipala
contracted Dhammika to attempt the murder of Editor in Chief, The Sunday
Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge.
has further claimed that Sumathipala assisted Dhammika and a gang of
underworld figures to stay at a house he owns jointly with his wife at
Dehiwala after having assassinated Baddegana Sanjeewa.
stunning were revelations made by Bada Mahinda that Sumathipala recently
ordered the killing of Executive Director, Airport and Aviation Services
Limited (the managing company of the Bandaranaike International
Airport), Gamini Abeyratne.
Mahinda has maintained that Dhammika when contracted by Thilanga was
paid his financial dues by a man they refer to as 'Podi Sir' whose real
name is D. S. Perera and who presently works at the Cricket Board.
latter is a former teacher and a close confidant of Thilanga Sumathipala.
He has told police that Dhammika used to be told to come to various
points in Punchi Borella where 'Podi Sir' would meet with him and hand
out the cash.
also said that Dhammika used to visit Sumathipala at the BCCSL at
Maitland Crescent where he sometimes collected monies for various
'contracts' he carried out for Sumathipala.
Mahinda has said that he and Dhammika grew up together having both
studied at St. Thomas' College in Kotte. Dhammika, he claims, also
extorted monies from drug mudalalis.
man he has named is the crippled drug baron 'Thotalanga Bandu,' who
allegedly paid Dhammika between Rs. 20 to 30 lakhs every month as part
of 'protection money.'
claims that Dhammika was also responsible for the shooting at Minister
Ravi Karunanayake's residence during the 2000 general election. He has
said that Baddegana Sanjeewa and Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra were
falsely accused for this shooting.
attack during that same election period on the UNP headquarters, Siri
Kotha, which is located at Pitakotte, Bada Mahinda says was also carried
out by Dhammika and Baddegana Sanjeewa.
to Bada Mahinda, the attack on Rukantha and Chandralekha Gunetilleke in
January 2001 was carried out by Dhammika, Baddegana Sanjeewa, Captain
Ranji and some officers from the PSD.
further maintains that the Lake Club and press in Kandy belonging to the
Balasuriyas were also burnt down by Dhammika at the behest of Thilanga
Sumathipala. Dhammika at the time of his death was the main suspect in
over 50 murder cases.
for a man who claims to be innocent, Thilanga Sumathipala has done
everything possible these last three months, to portray the image of a
man totally and completely guilty.
pointed out by Senior State Counsel Vijitha Malalgoda in the Colombo
Magistrate's Court last Thursday, January 8, Sumathipala has lobbied
other judges and courts in an attempt to avoid being produced in court
last Thursday as deemed by law. His last ditch attempt must indeed seal
Sumathipala's hour of shame.
Sumathipala is streetwise and according to reports on Friday he was
being 'prepared' for 'routine surgery,' whatever that means.
to have unbearable pain in his back last Tuesday, Sumathipala finally
resorted to now what is a well-known gambit of influential individuals
faced with a jail sentence. He booked himself into a prestigious and
expensive private hospital, namely, the Apollo Hospital in Colombo, and
has succeeded in persuading no less than three medical doctors to issue
a medical certificate.
together with his lawyers planned the saga well. On the evening of
January 6, prior once again to a Poya Day, Sumathipala and his cronies
got into action.
long time friend and confidant, Prabath Nanayakkara, who has been heard
boasting of his 'close' links with various members of the judiciary and
the police was the willing tool this time in Sumathipala's game of
who is known to drop the name of the Chief Justice at every turn,
telephoned the mobile medical service Medi-Calls Private Limited and
requested a doctor and ambulance to be sent post haste to No. 59,
Campbell Terrace, Borella and informed Medi-Calls who the patient was.
catch however is that Thilanga Sumathipala was not even a registered
client of Medi-Calls, yet the mobile medical service rushed to his
house, together with an ambulance and doctor, who having checked
Sumathipala agreed with him that he should be admitted immediately to
a suite, came to be booked for Sumathipala.
who is a client of Medi-Calls is fully aware of the stipulations and
rules by which this service is run. A ground rule is that the caller
must be a member. In fact when the service is called, a patient is
immediately asked for his or her registration number and if the patient
has lapsed in the annual membership fee, immediate payment is demanded
before a doctor is sent.
however did not have a registration number at the time Medi-Calls was
asked to come to his home, having never enlisted with the service. It
was Prabath Nanayakkara, the well known influence peddler, who was a
client of Medi-Calls.
too, Medi-Calls for some unknown reason made an exception, as the
service has never been known to rush to a patient's home on the
registration number of another. As one wag pointed out, Sumathipala's
'severe back pain' must have been got from having stooped so low. Soon,
like Pinocchio, his nose too will begin to grow, given the damnable lies
he continues to utter.
for Sri Lanka, that Sumathipala has been aided and abetted in his game
of deceit and manipulation by medical doctors is just one more sorry
reality in a country besieged by crooks.
is now a fact that some of those in the medical profession are
hypocritical and without a conscience. Far from honouring the
Hippocratic Oath, they have brought shame to their profession, bending
as they do to influence and big bucks.
Minister S. B. Dissanayake also lobbied hard for Sumathipala to be
released from possible remand last Thursday. Even the Maha Nayaka Thero
of the Malwatte Chapter was not left in peace and Dissanayake has been
moving heaven and earth in an attempt to have Thilanga Sumathipala
absolved from all guilt.
and Sumathipala called on the Maha Nayaka recently and explored the
possibility of getting the high priest to put in a word for Sumathipala
with the Chief Justice.
another Buddhist monk, Palitha Thero was also approached to use his
influence with the powers that be in the judiciary.
Sumathipala's and Dissan- ayake's focal complaint is that the charges
against Sumathipala are all part of a Christian conspiracy against the
Buddhists. We wonder where and how in this conspiracy documents have
surfaced proving that Thilanga Sumath- ipala aided and abetted an
Sunday Leader has also been lobbied by pals close to Prabath Nanay-
akkara to refrain from naming him in this ugly game. This newspaper
continues to reiterate that Thilanga Sumathipa- la is a thief, a liar
and a crook beyond par and we stand unbowed and unafraid to name any
individual who dares tread into our offices and attempt any 'deal' with
us to withhold information.
section of Sumathipala's legal advisors, D. N. Thurairajah & Co. on
January 5, this year, have sent us another long missive, completely
unrelated to the charges against him demanding publication. We can only
but reiterate that Thurairajah's veiled threats and insinuations against
this newspaper hold no water and have ended in the WPB.
are more than ready to challenge their accusations in a court of law,
armed as we are with ample documentary evidence proving beyond all doubt
Sumathipala's connivance with Dhammika Amarasinghe, who during his
lifetime was a dreaded underworld killer.
D. N. Thurairajah & Co., we are not indebted to Sumathipala for our
bread and butter.
there is yet another power base operating from a house down Ward Place
working round the clock to help save Sumathipala.
campaign manageress of this exercise is an intimate associate of the
Prime Minister's Private Secretary, Sudath Chandrasekara, who too
resides at the same house and whose medical needs for example are
attended to by this 'busy body,' as identified at Temple Trees.
the influence of the Private Secretary, the Ward Place 'busy body' has
been phoning Interior Ministry Secretary, M. Junaid and top cops at the
CID to provide assistance to Sumathipala with a view to subverting the
process of justice.
interference reached such a level, she even started calling Temple Trees
incessantly to solicit the Premier's support and the telephone operators
were finally told not to connect her calls to the Premier.
this case continues to dramatically unfold, apart from members in the
medical profession, already one magistrate has fallen for having
discharged Sumathipala from this case.
first accused is now dead. With the court order on the call for an
arrest warrant on Sumathipala due tomorrow, the nation is closely
watching, whether Sumathipala will once again walk a free man.
AG's Department has already ruled that a prima facie case exists against
Thilanga Sumathipala. Last Thursday, January 8, Senior State Counsel
Vijitha Malalgoda pointed out to Magistrate Boyagoda that Sumathipala
has made a mockery of the judicial system. That he did so exactly a
month back to the date on December 8 is a fact.
Wickremeratne appearing for the first accused in this case, Dhammika
Amarasinghe argued that his client had not been properly noticed under
Section 139 of the Criminal Procedure Act and that court had not
considered all the available evidence before ordering his client to
appear before court.
was in court on Thursday, unaware that death was lurking around the
corner and he was to be fatally gunned down the very next day.
Malalgoda meanwhile took the position that Section 139 is not applicable
in these circumstances. He pointed out that Section 139 is referred to
for an individual not already in custody.
was not in custody for this particular case but for another. Court
cannot issue summons or a warrant on someone already in remand. Hence,
Malalgoda asserted that court could only order the suspect to appear
order was made by the courts on December 4, for Dhammika to be produced
on January 8, 2004. Even on December 10, when this case came up the
order was not overruled.
Lakshman Ranasinghe meantime maintained that he was appearing in this
case for a limited purpose mainly to submit to court the medical
certificate secured for Sumathipala.
claimed that Sumathipala had got a severe back pain while in
consultation with his lawyers last Tuesday and was thus rushed to
hospital. He maintained that Sumathipala may have to undergo surgery and
is at present undergoing a series of medical tests.
was Minister S. B. Dissanayake who approached Ranasinghe to appear for
certificate without a seal
Malalgoda however pointed out that the medical certificate did not state
anywhere that Sumathipala is unfit to attend court. The medical
certificate also bore no seal, Malalgoda observed, reiterating it is
indeed strange that upto Tuesday Sumathipala was in good health but no
sooner he failed to obtain anticipatory bail from the Court of Appeal he
evaded the Magistrate's Court on Thursday by admitting himself to
for Sumathipala, Rienzie Arsecularatne argued that the Magistrate's
order on December 10 accepting the fresh plaint filed by the AG's
Department is per incuriam or bad in law and based without proper legal
based his argument on former Magistrate Ananda Ganlatharachchi having
discharged Sumathipala from this case on December 8, 2003. But on
December 10, Magistrate Balalle on the same material that the discharge
order had been made issued summons to Sumathipala to come to court on
stated that Ganlatharachchi on December 8 (which was Unduwap Poya Day)
had considered all the evidence before him before ordering Sumathipala's
discharge. He charged that Magistrate Balalle on December 10, when
hearing this case had not considered properly all the material placed
disagreed reiterating that Magistrate Balalle's order on December 10,
was made after having considered all the facts placed before
Ganlatharachchi two days before on December 8.
maintained that Sumathipala's defence, having sought anticipatory bail,
gives credence to the fact that Sumathipala is guilty enough to have
been remanded on January 8.
pushed for a warrant to be issued on Sumathipala but Boyagoda deterred
and instead finally agreed on Malalgoda's insistence to direct Colombo's
Judicial Medical Officer to examine Sumathipala and determine the
veracity of his physical state.
meantime argued that an arrest warrant was unnecessary in this instance
as Sumathipala is not in hiding but warded at room 630 at the Apollo
Hospital in Colombo. Kolitha Dharmawardena, Ananda Hettiarachchi and a
team of other lawyers appeared for the accused.
court was packed with members of the Cricket Board too, including Vice
President, Sri Lanka Cricket, M. J. M. Muzammil and Secretary Mohan de
Silva. Conspicuous by his absence was the other Vice President, Aravinda
bloody trail of Dhammika Amarasinghe
Amarasinghe is believed to have over the years carried out a spate
of killings to avenge the murder of his brother Chintaka
Amarasinghe. Chintaka was killed at Thotalanga by underworld
figures called Kalu Ajit, Chutta and Victor in 1998.
later killed Chutta at IDH. At the time he was accompanied by
Moratu Saman, his cousin Thajit, Tharawatte Ajit who is the main
accused in the killing of Satana Editor Rohana Kumara, Jackpot
Chaminda, Bada Mahinda, Baddegana Sanjeewa and three other unnamed
officers from the PSD.
was killed at a restaurant at IDH while in the company of one
Tuwan who was also shot dead in the shoot out. Both bodies were
taken by Dhammika to an isolated area close to the Sri
Jayawardenapura Hospital where he, according to Bada Mahinda, cut
the neck of Chutta and shot the decapitated head three times in a
rage and a fit of vengeance for his brother Chintaka's killing.
fire to the bodies, Mahinda says in his confession that Dhammika
then took the dismembered head of Chutta and deposited it at the
same site where his brother Chinthaka was murdered at Thotalanga.
carrying the dismembered head, the group was stopped at a police
checkpoint at Ingurukade but Baddegana Sanjeewa had shown his ID
and said he is from the PSD and the group with its gory possession
Ajit, wanted for the murder of Rohana Kumara, has also escaped the
police net and is believed to be hiding in France.
Dhammika had a fall-out with Moratu Saman and tried to kill him at
Thalahena. He missed his target but shot dead in the process one
Gihan Mendis who happened to be travelling in the same vehicle as
to Bada Mahinda this attempted murder was carried out by Dhammika,
Jackpot Chaminda and another underworld figure called Lanka.
Moratu Saman meantime was gunned down in May this year by another
rival underworld gang.
Thajit (Dhammika's first cousin) had by this time begun a love
affair with Chintaka's wife. Incensed and angry at the affair,
Dhammika on another occasion travelling in the company of his
wife, mother, two brothers Chaminda and Buddhika, Kotte Pradeep,
Wanigasekera, Susila Amarasinghe and two other cousins called
Bunty and Deepa, shot Thajit.
had stopped at the timber depot at Kotte where Thajit had been
standing, got down from the vehicle and shot him at point blank
range in the knee demanding he end the affair with his
sister-in-law who had also been inside the vehicle at the time of
the attack. Bada Mahinda says he was a witness to this incident as
he had also been inside the same van.
was warded for his injuries but refused to divulge who had shot
him fearing for his life. He later staked a hideout at Dambulla
but was tracked down and arrested by CID sleuth CI Samudrajeewa
who led a police party and arrested Thajit for his connection with
Mahinda further maintains that Dhammika met and formed a close
alliance with Lohan Ratwatte via Baddegana Sanjeewa. Dhammika,
according to Mahinda, later assisted Ratwatte in the 2000
elections to "stuff thousands of stolen ballot papers into
during this time had been detected at a police checkpoint at
Kadugannawa with a haul of weapons and arrested but later released
after Lohan Ratwatte had prevailed upon the Kadugannawa OIC to
triple murder at Kaduwela where Kaduwela Wasantha's brother Raja
and two others were killed according to Bada Mahinda was also
carried out by Dhammika, Jackpot Chaminda, Moratu Saman and Lanka.
Bada Mahinda says he drove the van in which the killers travelled.
Wasantha was later killed by another gangster known as Karate
deadly tentacles spread far and wide. He was later involved in the
killing of another underworld figure known as Tudor of Negombo.
This killing he carried out together with another underworld
kingpin from Negombo known as Capt. Ranjit. Even Capt. Ranjit has
escaped the police and is hiding in Italy.
meantime did not forget his brother's murder and targeted yet
another underworld figure called Harrison Chandrasiri. Using
Harrison's mistress Margi, Dhammika convinced her to reveal
Harrison's whereabouts and shot him dead at Dehiwala while he was
distributing invitation cards for his daughter's forthcoming
became a target for Dhammika as the latter believed that Harrison
had financed Kalu Ajit who killed his brother Chintaka.
allegedly enjoyed a close relationship with the OIC (Crimes),
Grandpass Police IP Mahindasiri. In his confession Bada Mahinda
has said that Inspector Mahindasiri narrowly escaped death the day
Harrison was murdered as he was due to travel in the same vehicle
together with Harrison that day as he often did but later changed
fact it is Mahindasiri according to Bada Mahinda who even
telephoned Margi and informed her that Harrison had been gunned
down, unaware that she had assisted the killers to murder her
believed that Dhammika continued to call the shots from prison.
Using a mobile phone, he apparently threatened adversaries and
issued instructions to other underworld figures to carry out
various contract killings and extortions.
for an act of bravery
Lance Corporal of the 17th Batallion of the Sri Lanka National
Guard who apprehended the assassin, Chaminda Kumara at the court
complex in Hulftsdorp has been promoted to the rank of Corporal
for his bravery.
up with Dhammika
January 8, Dhammika Amarasinghe was a calm and confident man. He
did not look perturbed or plagued with worries when he walked into
Court No. 1 at the Colombo Magistrate's Court.
in a white shirt and dark trouser, sporting a long beard, Dhammika
coolly took the stand and when he had to step down again, since
the case was to be heard later in the day, he took a seat in the
courtroom with two jailors on either side of him.
then made it a point to stare around, not threateningly, but in an
appraising manner, like he was taking into account his
surroundings - little knowing it would be the last time he would
do so. His eyes were blank but it was obvious that he was paying
attention to what was happening around him.
were also abound that Dhammika would be making a confession if his
patrons did not ensure his liberty.
also spoke to his jailors from time to time and smiled at them. At
no point did he show signs of fear or apprehension.
'friends' or partners in crime, as they may be, filled the
courtroom and looked at him with open admiration, smiling
ingratiatingly each time he looked their way - not knowing it
would be the last time they came into close contact with the man,
a man whose life came to a bloody end on January 9, on the same
premises he walked the day before.
family shocked and furious
the chilling murder of Dhammika Amarasinghe at Court No. 6 last
Friday his family were both shocked and furiously angry.
woman who identified herself as an aunt of the slain Dhammika
alleged to media personnel, "we are convinced that Thilanga
Sumathipala and Bada Mahinda are behind this killing."
her tear stained face the grief-stricken aunt recounted snippets
from Dhammika's childhood, revealing an amazing detail that
Dhammika's sole ambition while in school had been to join the
seminary and become a Catholic priest.
She said however that he had "fallen to this
level" after both his father and brother were murdered.
alleged that each time Dhammika was to be produced in court he
informed his family and cohorts.
But that on Friday none of them had been aware Dhammika was
being brought to court again.
further charged that contrary to procedure the police had not
carried out any security checks on those attending the courts on
Friday. "This was a well planned operation to have him
killed," she alleged.
Dhammika's blood soaked body was brought out of the court house
his family began weeping loudly. Amidst the wailing, police
personnel who were nearby were heard telling the family, "the
families of those that Dhammika killed during his lifetime also
wept in this same manner... these are the tears you are all
shedding today..." The
cops' verbal observations were met with a burst of abuse by
Dhammika's womenfolk who screamed filth at the police - cursing
the cops with dire consequences.
"Wait and see this will not end here..." they
threatened shrilly, warning that worse was yet to come. They
further charged that the press was also partly responsible for his
murder. They added that the high security given to Dhammika's
partner in crime and now bitter foe Bada Mahinda was never given
to Dhammika who had requested in writing for additional security
claiming a serious threat on his life existed.
in court on Friday
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
morning last, the Colombo Magistrate's Court complex in Hulftsdorp was
converted into a police hub, with officers in khaki suits rushing about
and police jeeps zooming in and out of the court complex. Lawyers and
security personnel were walking about in a hurry, while crowds gathered
outside the courts trying to catch a glimpse of what was going on
first, police officers and lawyers were hesitant to speak about the
events that took place in the courthouse. However, once the media
personnel made their way to Court No. 6 a gory sight greeted the press.
24 hours after the hearing of the controversial case involving Thilanga
Sumathipala and Dhammika Amarasinghe, Dhammika named as the first
suspect in this case was shot dead.
shooting took place at around 11.15 a.m., minutes after Dhammika's case
was heard in Court No. 6. Police
immediately apprehended the murderer, Chaminda Udayakumara from
case taken up for hearing on Friday was one out of 45 murder charges
against Dhammika. The
hearing on Friday was taken up before Magistrate Izzadeen.
Attorney-at-law Anton Senanayake appeared for Dhammika while State
Counsel Prasanna Wimalaratne represented the state.
the hearing, the jailers were in the process of taking Dhammika out when
Udayakumara, who had pretended to be an apprentice/law student, had also
walked towards the door. It was at this moment that Udayakumara, who had
apparently concealed the weapon in his shoe, had suddenly taken it out
and shot at the crowd including Dhammika. Udayakumara it was initially
believed had fired six shots. At
first glance six bullets were seen on the courtroom floor.
upper floor of the courtroom complex had patches of blood and two others
were also injured. Dhammika fell on the floor before the killer was
police officer who witnessed the whole episode stated that they could
not figure out what had happened till Udayakumara had shot about two or
three rounds. He went on to say that it was then that they witnessed a
man dressed in a pair of black trousers and white shirt holding out a
gun shooting at the crowd.
to the officer, the Magistrate too witnessed the incident.
lawyer who also witnessed the shooting
said that his reflex action at hearing the gunshots was to duck.
Apart from the fact that the shooter was dressed as an apprentice, he
was not in a position to identify the shooter.
to The Sunday Leader on how Udayakumara managed to sneak a firearm
amidst heavy security checking, ASP Premalal Ranagala said that the
police officers at the courts do not check lawyers and apprentices,
adding that even though they check visitors they do not check their
Anton Senanayake told The Sunday Leader that Dhammika's case on Friday
involved a double murder committed three years back in Borella.
Senanayake stated that Dhammika in this case had surrendered to court.
As for the proceedings in court on Friday, Senanayake explained that the
Attorney General had instructed for the case to be moved for a fresh
date. Accordingly, the case was to be heard again on January 22.
went on to say that the case that was to be taken up after Dhammika's
was also lawyer Senanayake's, in which the suspect was another
underworld figure - Prince. According to Senanayake, when he heard the
shots, he had thought that someone was trying to shoot Prince and had
asked the police to remove him from the room.
the shooting in detail, Senanayake said that after carrying out the
shooting, Udayakumara had taken an onlooker as hostage and shouted that
he would shoot the hostage if anyone attempted to shoot him. Udayakumara
with his hostage had then gone near the registrar's room and it was
there that Udayakumara was overpowered by a lance corporal on duty. The
person taken hostage was wounded and suffered a gun shot injury to his
the shooting, Senanayake had stepped out to see Dhammika, who had just
stepped out of the courtroom with his jailors, fallen face down on the
floor. When he turned Dhammika over, he had seen Dhammika's chest
covered with blood, but still alive. Senanayake had then shouted at the
police to take Dhammika to hospital and it was then that they had taken
him in a three-wheeler. At the same time the police had also taken the
two others injured in the shootout to hospital.
added that the weapon used by Udayakumara was a small weapon, which was
taken into the Magistrate's custody.
the gunshots, the lance corporal had rushed upstairs to room No. 6. It
was then that he had seen Udayakumara with a hostage. The officer had
requested Udayakumara to hand over the weapon and when he refused to
hand it over, he had kicked Udayakumara's hand, and the gun had fallen.
The officer had then grabbed Udayakumara and handed him over to the
police along with the gun. Eyewitnesses, including security personnel at
the court premises said they had been expecting a shootout on Thursday
(8) at the hearing where Thilanga Sumathipala had also been named as a
shootout in the Magistrate's Court on Friday left two innocent
bystanders wounded. One of them was even taken as a hostage by the
to The Sunday Leader, Hazmil Hamdoon from Kettarama said that he
came to courts that day over a case involving his sister's baby.
was the first time I ever visited a court complex and I was
looking forward to the experience," he said.
went on to say that he was standing in the courtroom when a person
who he could not identify started to shoot. "I was also taken
as a hostage," he said, adding that "I don't know what
happened, I panicked and fainted."
Hamdoon vaguely remembers the culprit being arrested by the
from Colombo 12, who was the other injured in the shooting visited
the courts to simply meet his lawyer.
had an ongoing land case and he visited the courts to meet his
lawyer. He was informed that his lawyer had gone upstairs and he
too had gone up to meet him. Not seeing any sign of his lawyer,
Naufer had turned and started walking towards the staircase when
he heard 'a sound of firecrackers.' Wondering who could possibly
be lighting crackers in the courtroom, Naufer had turned to look
back. He had then seen a person falling on the floor. Not
realising what had just happened, Naufer had turned and merely
taken two steps when he was shot in his leg.
couldn't even look around. I just fell and didn't even see who
shot me," he said. Naufer went on to say that never in his
wildest dreams did he imagine that such an event could take place
amidst heavy security.
cards in his pocket
police officer who wished to remain anonymous told The Sunday
Leader that when clearing Dhammika's pockets, he did not find a
wallet or any other belongings, except for 15 cellular phone SIM
cards. The SIM cards are now in police custody.