The Sunday Leader

First Autopsy Report On Lasantha Murder Issued To Mislead Probe

by Nirmala Kannangara

 It has now proved that the first autopsy report of the Founding Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge had been issued to mislead investigations, similar to that of former Havelock Sports Club Captain Wasim Thajudeen.

On Thursday, August 10 the second postmortem report of Wickrematunge was produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate which stated the cause of death was due to stab injuries with a blunt weapon. It has now confirmed how the then JMO, Colombo South Hospital Dr. K. Sunil Kumara, tried to mislead the investigation claiming the cause of death was due to cranio cerebral injuries following a discharge of firearms.

“Since the JMO report contradicts with the Government Analyst’s report, and also with the medical report of Professor Mohan Silva who performed the emergency operation on Wickrematunge that there were no traces of any gunshot injuries, the CID in September 2016 made a request to Mt. Lavinia Magistrate, Mohammad Sahabdeen seeking an order to exhume Wickrematunge’s remains to obtain a second post-mortem report. The remains were exhumed on September 27, 2016 under the supervision of Colombo No. 2 Magistrate,” Senior Attorney at Law and Former President, Bar Association, Mt. Lavinia, Athula S. Ranagala who appeared for Wickrematunge family interests told this newspaper.

A copy of Dr. Sunil Kumara’s JMO report, which this newspaper is in possession states as thus, “I, Dr. K. Sunil Kumara, Consultant Judicial Medical Officer do hereby affirm,

“The deceased was admitted to Ward No: ASU (Accident Service Unit) of the Teaching Hospital Colombo South on 08-01-09.

“The deceased was found to be dead when brought to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital.

“I have held a post mortem external examination on the body of the above-named deceased.

“From the history obtained from the previous medical records of this case and the statement of the police station who states that there were no grounds to suspect foul play in regard to the death, I am of the opinion that the cause of death is due to Cranio Cerebral injuries following a discharge of a firearm”.

According to Ranagala, it is questionable as to how the JMO came to a conclusion that the death was due to gunshot injuries when there were neither entry nor exit bullet wounds on Wickrematunge’s body.

“If there were no exit bullet wounds then the bullet should have been in Wickrematunge’s body. Without taking an X-ray, how could this JMO come to a conclusion that he died of gunshot injuries. Had he ever visited the place of the incident and spoken to the people to find out whether they heard any gun firing? Had he checked the vehicle the deceased was driving and the scene of the crime whether there were bullet cases. I understand that he now says that the JMO report was written based on the bed head ticket (BHT) where there was a note that he has died due to gunshot injuries. Do the government hospitals need JMOs who write the post mortem reports based on the BHTs,” Ranagala said.

Meanwhile, a retired high ranking defence sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said that unlike in Wasim Thjudeen’s case, it wouldn’t have been so difficult for the team of JMOs to ascertain Wickrematunge’s cause of death as if the death has occurred due to bullet injuries; the damage to the skull is very clear unlike stab injuries where the skull could have sustained cracks around the damaged area. Even a medical student can identify the difference between a gunshot damage and stabbed damage although the then Kalubowila JMO could not,” the defence sources said.

He further said how puzzling it was the way the former Kalubowila JMO in his six-page post mortem report describes about the death. “Until the last page where the doctor gives the cause of death, the JMO has never mentioned any firearm or gun powder involvement in the murder but suddenly on the last page he had come to a conclusion that the death was due to a wound following a discharge of a firearm. The first few pages say that the death was due to an assault, stab or from a fall,” sources added.

7 Comments for “First Autopsy Report On Lasantha Murder Issued To Mislead Probe”

  1. I can tell without hesitation that nobody will be brought to justice on Lasantha’s murder. It was done on a day light. There were witness. The Government at that time was responsible for the murder. Without their input the murder would not have happened. Lasantha was their enemy. Not only Lasantha there were many other murders during the previous regime. They all were done with perfection. It is very sad to see the justice is not done. I blame the Police because there were forced to turn the blind eye on political murders.

  2. Lee K Y

    So where is this JMO now

  3. Sylvia Haik

    These are just two of the false reporting cases during the reign of the Rajapakse regime that has come to light. I wonder how many hundreds of questionable deaths during the 9-year reign of the Rajapakses, still remains hidden.

  4. Jude

    Sadly enough there are still many supporters for the King of Thieves. Strangely enough the new government has done next to nothing to book these criminal that are still serving the forces. In fact the President has honored them as ‘war heroes’ when they investigated and charges are about to brought. What a shameful country.

  5. This JMO should be brought to justice, hopefully this would deter other crooked doctors not to pander to corrupt politicians,

  6. Thanga

    Yet Mahinda Rajapaksa has the audacity to claim that under his rule there was rule of law and justice. The JMO concerned should be interdicted and charges filed for submitting a false report.

  7. mr lasantha was killed by former president family they must go to JAIL for rest of there live ,mr Ranil and minister of justice want stop the case or delay. the case must put under the carpet, this president and prime want do cheating the public,most government parliament are criminal , must wipe out by terrorism

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