The Sunday Leader

CID Sees Links To Jeep And Thajudeen Murder

by Nirmala Kannangara

Shiranthi Rajapaksa recieving the jeep, Wasim Thajudeen with a child

Despite concrete evidence the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is now in possession about the Defender Jeep Sri Lanka Red Cross Society handed over to Shiranthi Rajapaksa for the use of Siriliya Saviya Foundation work, it is suspicious as to why the former First Lady and her son pretends not to know its ‘fate’ thereafter.

White coloured Defender Jeep, bearing registration number WP KA – 0642 owned by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, had been handed over to Shiranthi Rajapaksa in 2011 on her request to be used for the Siriliya Saviya Foundation. However, instead of using it for the foundation work, the former First Lady had given it to the Presidential Secretariat vehicle pool to be used as a security vehicle for Yoshitha Rajapaksa.

When the CID interrogated Shiranthi and Yoshitha Rajapaksa on two occasions last week to find out why the colour of the said Defender Jeep was changed twice – first to blue and then to black colour without following the due process when changing the colours of the vehicles – neither the former First Lady nor Yoshitha Rajapaksa had given any response, instead had told that they were unaware of what happened to it after it was handed over to the Presidential Secretariat vehicle pool.

According to reliable defence sources, it was after the Red Cross inquired Shiranthi Rajapaksa as to why the jeep is being used as a backup vehicle for Yoshitha Rajapaksa when it was given for her foundation work, it is learnt the colour of the jeep had been changed to blue immediately. “After it was handed over to Siriliya Saviya Foundation, it was given to the Presidential Secretariat to be used as Yoshitha’s backup vehicle. Fuel was supplied to this jeep by the Secretariat and the PSD officers used this vehicle. Once a Red Cross Manager had seen their jeep with PSD Security, and had inquired Shiranthi Rajapaksa why it was being used as a backup vehicle for her son to which she had responded negatively claiming she was unaware of it after handing it over to the Presidential Secretariat,” reliable defence sources said.

It is learnt that although the CID had questioned Yoshitha Rajapaksa on how this jeep had been used as a backup vehicle and why the colour was changed, junior Rajapaksa had said that he too was unaware about this particular jeep as his backup vehicles were provided by the Presidential Secretariat vehicle pool.

However, in a statement given to the CID, SSP Wegodapola of the Presidential Secretariat had stated how Yoshitha Rajapaksa gave him a photograph of another vehicle and wanted him (SSP) to change its colour similar to what it was in the picture. Even other police officers attached to the Presdential Secretariat giving their evidence before the CID had told how junior Rajapaksa was using the jeep in question and it was the Secretariat that spent money for fuel and repairs of this jeep.

Be that as it may, the sources further queried as to why the mother and son wants to hide the truth from the investigators if they had not committed any crime. Yoshitha would have told that it was he who instructed the police to get the colour changed if there is nothing to hide. “If there’s nothing to be hide they should have told the CID that it was they who got the colour changed. When both mother and son were asked to come to the CID to obtain statements on July 27 and 28, none of them came giving lame excuses. The investigators had wanted to take a warrant from court in the event Shiranthi and Yoshitha failed to come to CID last week,” sources added.

According to the sources, it is alleged that this is one of the defender jeeps that were following Thajudeen from Havelock Town, a few hours before his brutal murder on May 17, 2012 near Shalika Grounds, Narahenpita.

When contacted the Red Cross Society, a higher officer who did not wanted to be quoted, said on condition of anonymity that after the jeep in question was handed over to the then First Lady for the use of Siriliya Saviya Foundation work, they were unaware for what it had been used for.

“Once one of our officers had seen this vehicle with PSD officers and when inquired, the First Lady had said that she was not aware of it after handing it over to the Presidential Secretariat vehicle pool. We did not give the jeep to be given to the President’s office vehicle pool but on the request of the former First Lady for her Siriliya Foundation work. When came to know that this vehicle was being used as Yoshitha Rajapaksa’s backup vehicle, we did not inquire about it further until the CID called us somewhere in 2015 and asked about this jeep. In June 2015, the CID took statements from two higher officials from the Red Cross Society on the change of the colour,” the Red Cross officer said.

According to the defence sources, it was from the Government Analyst Department that the CID had come to know that the jeep had got its colour changed twice. “The CCTV footages although shows how two black colour defender jeeps were following Thajudeen’s car on that fateful night, the CID is yet to retrieve the number plates of the two jeeps to match with the Red Cross jeep. The statements obtained regarding the colour change of this jeep is not connected to Wasim Thajudeen’s murder. But after obtaining the CCTV footages and the colour change of this jeep without informing the Department of Motor Traffic, the CID believes that there is connection to Thajudeen’s murder with this jeep which is still yet to be unearthed,” sources claimed.

Meanwhile comprehensive investigations into the telephone calls that had taken from the Presidential Secretariat on May 17, 2012 to the former Crime OIC Narahenpita and other phone details that have been obtained had made easier for the investigators in their investigation. According to the sources two prominent security officers of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s security detail have been identified as possible suspects in the murder and there are about 20 identified suspects involved in Thajudeen’s murder that have aided and abetted the murderers.

The sources further accused MP Namal Rajapaksa and Captain Tissa of Mahinda Rajapaksa security detail for having discussed the murder over the phone – details of which are now in the possession of the CID which is said to have been retrieved by foreign experts.

Earlier former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake and OIC Crimes Narahenpita Sumith Perera were arrested for conspiring and concealing Thajudeen murder evidence.

“It was Anura Senanayake who closed down the police investigation into the death of Havelock Sports Club Rugby player and Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka Rugby Team, Wasim Thajudeen. Senanayake was accused of clearing the ‘accident’ site within a few hours which is strictly prohibited, and of altering police records to suggest that the death was due to a fatal accident.

“Senanayake came under criticism for taking a personal interest in classifying the death as an accidental death caused by burn injuries which was confirmed by the then Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer, Prof. Ananda Samarasekera in his initial and interim post-mortem reports. However, the Government Analyst’s report states that carbon monoxide had not been found in Thajudeena’s lungs,” sources claimed.

After the second post-mortem conducted by Prof. Ajith Tennakoon, irrefutable evidence surfaced that Thajudeen did not die in a car crash accident but he had succumbed to assault injuries. Although it had been claimed earlier that Thajudeen had succumbed to burn injuries that he suffered when his car crashed into a wall near Shalika Grounds in Narahenpita, it became a mystery as to how his wallet was found a few kilometres away from the scene, and how his mobile phone was found in Nuwara Eliya – hundreds of kilometres away from where the victim died.

According to the sources, there had been so many lapses while conducting the initial investigation, where they have failed to obtain CCTV footage from the vicinity immediately after the accident. They have also deliberately failed to search for his mobile phone and to obtain the call details and gather proper evidence from the neighbourhood and from the security guards at Shalika Grounds. They also should have obtained evidence from the fire brigade officers to find out the reason for the fire,” the defence sources added.

According to the sources, glass particles had been found on the reverse side of the deceased’s knee, but it had not been established whether there was a broken bottle in the car. The sources further said how disappointing it is as the CID is yet to arrest the former Chief JMO for giving a false autopsy report to conceal the evidence.

“The JMO should have checked Thajudeen’s injuries and established the way they occurred and checked where the glass particles had come from. It is also surprising as to why these glass particles were not sent to the Government Analyst. Prof. Samarasekera is a medical expert, and it is surprising to see how he was trying to impede the investigation which is against the Hippocratic Oath he has taken,” the sources claimed.

9 Comments for “CID Sees Links To Jeep And Thajudeen Murder”

  1. ed



  2. As I have repeatedly requested, you should provide an email link to your articles. so that readers could share them with friends where appropriate.

  3. Athiy

    If the said jeep was handed over by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to Siriliya Saviya Foundation, have they transfered the Vehicle Reistration ? How can Siriliya Saviya in return handed it over to the Presidential Secretariat to be used as a Security Back Up vehicle for Yositha Rajapakse and is he entitled for such security since he is a Naval Officer who serving the Sri Lankan Government at that period?
    If they have not done any wrong why did it take so long for them to appear before the CID, once the story came up regarding this matter it would have been better if both of them would have voluntarily given their statements to the CID and cleared the mystery. Instead they staged a Street Drama by bringing in bus load of people to show support for them spending a huge sum of money, why they resort to these types of dramas by blocking the roads and disturbing the normal general public. This itself shows who they are ? Will wait and see the justice taking place.

    • Robert

      All these are stinging like rotten fish. If this is how a murder of a person from Colombo is coverered up by ex president’s aides and supporters, what chances are there for the war crimes in the north to come out ?!

  4. Ranjan Fernando

    This is now confirmed outright as a murder! The puzzle is with so much evidence of so many people involved in the act, aiding and abetting and another team of police personal and JMO openely attempting to cover up the murder still the enept investigators and the Judiciary haven’t found one person to be arrested or charged for the murder.
    What a sad country and how can can we expect the international observers to have any confidence in our judicial system or its Guardians, stripped of all their clothes?

  5. In the western countries crimes are solved with even a hair found at the place of crime, our poor country has no proper justice system even if the murderer come forward and accept the crime. he is left to go scot free. When will SL become a country where justice can be expected.

    • Citizen

      Deal Dasa influenced the judge to grant bail to Anura Senanayake who was at the verge of coming out with the truth.

      Now the crook Deal Dasa who was impeding the wheel of justice has no more power to influence the AG’s Dept and the Judges.

      So who is now influencing the CID from arresting the mother of the nation, Viharamahadevi, her two the princesses. and the so called Professor Samaresekere.

      Where is the justice undertaken by Ranil and Sirisena in 2015. Years

    • Robert

      When it comes to justice, in the west ( * excluding the US) people do not think in terms of friends or relatives. Recently a Police chief in the UK is facing the music in courts 30 years after the cover up.
      However, most native Britishers would consider IRA as a terrorist group, though Northern Ireland is which was part of Ireland before its independence. They would ignore some atrocities done against the catholic population by the British army.

      One has to forget kith and kin behaviour if true justice and harmony to prevail.
      Sri Lanka has a very long way, even if she wants to achieve it.

  6. NM

    Did he have the required qualifications be ranked a Naval Officer?

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