of a DON
Top of the pic. L-R Thajith, Madhu, Dhammika and Lanka,
(2) Dhammika (C) with his cousin Thajit (L) and another underworld
figure Lanka (R)
(3) Dhammika with his wife Madhu and child
(4) Dhammika with his mother Gladys
and nurtured by corrupt political elements, Sri Lanka's 'underworld' has
thrived - breeding in a cesspool of violence, promulgating the most
chilling and foul acts of crime.It is to this vile system that the
dreaded Dhammika Amarasinghe was born and bred.
schooled at St. Thomas's College in Kotte, Dhammika grew up to become a
psychopathic, calculating, cold-blooded killer, beyond redemption.
Dhammika's terrifying track record during his short life span of 30 odd
years completely nullifies a claim by a female relative that Dhammika
initially wished to become a Catholic priest.There is not an iota of
evidence to substantiate this wild statement that appears
incomprehensible in the face of what Dhammika turned out to be from a
very young age.
and utterly ruthless to the end, the fact however remains that Dhammika
may never have succeeded in his bloody and gory deeds to the extent that
he did, if he did not enjoy the patronage and protection of politicians
and individuals of Thilanga Sumathipala's kind.
was a willing tool, expertly wielded by the likes of Sumathipala who
took on the role of a godfather contracting Dhammika when the need
arose. Sumathipala can be
compared to John Gotti, the mafia boss of mafia bosses in the USA, also
known as Dapper Don or Teflon Don. Gotti was the kind of man who would
calmly arrange for your corpse to be encased in a barrel at the bottom
of the Hudson River before adjusting his $ 400 necktie and striding out
to meet the paparazzi.
from the high-security Illinois Prison where he was serving a life
sentence for numerous murders and other charges, Gotti died at the age
of 61 in 2002, following complications from throat cancer in a prison
Sumathipala, Gotti too sported expensive suits and even more expensive
cars, dispatching to their deaths, among others, his predecessor as head
of the Gambino crime family and, allegedly, the man whose car hit and
killed his son in a road accident.
is in similar vein that Sumathipala too handed out such contracts to
Dhammika to the extent he rewarded him not just monetarily but, by also
facilitating his travel to the UK in 1999 so he could watch World Cup
Cricket. Thilanga Sumathipala in 1999 too was president of the Cricket
sleuths at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) have formulated
a road map, which details Dhammika's bloody trail. But, his close
alliance with politicians and political cohorts like Sumathipala and
Lohan Ratwatte, sleuths in the CID claim, prevented them from netting
this killer who at the time of his own murder was wanted for over 50
killings. As a wag was heard recently to quip, "Sri Lanka's police
force is the best money can buy."
is alleged that Dhammika chose a path of murder most foul after his
brother Chinthaka was killed by a rival underworld gang. This incident
however according to police records was not the catalyst, which served
to launch Dhammika onto a path of unjustifiable and terrifying acts of
plenty of links to the underworld facilitated by his own mother Gladys,
Dhammika hardly needed any introduction to the underworld.Even at the
time of Chinthaka's killing, in 1996, he was no stranger to the chilling
machinations of mafia style gangs. At the time of his brother's killing
in 1996, Dhammika was wanted by the police
for having committed at least three murders as well as for being
involved in no less than 17 bank robberies in the Gampaha District.
however needed a sponsor - a godfather - and this he found in the likes
of Thilanga Sumathipala. The CID has now further established valuable
documentary evidence of the link between Thilanga Sumathipala and
Dhammika Amarasinghe who posed off as Buddhika Godage.
CID has also established that Dhammika using the name of Buddhika Godage
purchased a van, which he paid for by issuing a bank cheque in the name
of Buddhika Godage.He also rented out a house at Moratuwa in the name of
Buddhika Godage. The real Buddhika Godage, brother of Bada Mahinda
continues to reside at Kotte.
CID sleuth confided that he personally is a witness to Dhammika
and Thilanga Sumathipala travelling together in one vehicle - a Serena
van.He says he followed them along
Parliament Road and at Rajagiriya tried to run them off the road
but that they picked up speed and got away. The cop maintains he also
had no orders from the top to arrest them despite the fact that Dhammika
was a wanted man.
brother, Chinthaka's blood had hardly dried, before Dhammika in 1996
formed his own 'team,' who
comprised of individuals identified by
police as "Christopher Barry, Gala, Moratu Saman, Piyaratne,
Chamara and Sanjeewa Pohol."
1997, Dhammika was arrested by the Gampaha police in connection with
having committed a murder.Unfortunately however, within the space of a
few months he was out on the streets once more due to "insufficient
Dhammika formed a fresh 'team.' This gang consisted of Bada Mahinda,
Lanka, Jackpot Chaminda, Gala, Dias, Podi Chaminda and his first cousin,
Thajit alias Methnal Amarasinghe.
intense police investigation has ascertained that it is this team that
was familiar with Thilanga Sumathipala, president of Sri Lanka Cricket.
It is also this team that set ablaze Balasuriya's Lake Club
press.They first met Sumathipala through his racing outlets,
Sporting Star. Sumathipala in order to secure his gambling
business and the premises where Sporting Star was housed, embraced
underworld elements and one such team he nurtured and fed was the gang
led by Dhammika.
the record it must be said that Sumathipala was not alone in this
endeavour. In fact he and Dhammika's 'team' was backed by a politician
of no mean stature.
is this team that was 'contracted' in July 1998 to shoot at the home of
Editor, The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge,
December 1998, this team was once more out on a bloody contract.This
time around it was to murder "Raja," the brother of another
rival underworld gang led by a man known as "Kaduwela
Wasantha."It was Raja who was believed to have killed the ill
famous "Soththi Upali," the latter of who was a firm favourite
of Dhammika and the rest of the Amarasinghe family. Soththi Upali too
was a political favourite of some members who are today in government.
And likewise, 'Raja' was a close confidant of a VIP. Kaduwela Wasantha
was later killed by another gangster known as Karate Dhammika.
1999, Dhammika formed a close alliance with Sanjeewa Perera alias
Baddegana Sanjeewa who was a constable attached to the Presidential
Security Division (PSD) as well as a member of the underworld.Dhammika
and Baddegana Sanjeewa were soon loyalists to each other, so much so
that Sanjeewa's home at Baddegana in Pitakotte was often used as a safe
haven for Dhammika. It is here that Dhammika was introduced to
"Captain Ranji," another leader of an underworld gang
operating in Negombo.
was also at Baddegana Sanjeewa's house, that SI Samudrajeewa, later that
year in 1999, at the time OIC of the police special team at Peliyagoda
arrested Captain Ranji and two other underworld figures despite vigorous
protests by both Baddegana Sanjeewa and Nihal Karunaratne, the former
strongman of the PSD.
underworld figures were handed over to the Negombo police and thereafter
the CID was brought into handle the investigation - but the matter ended
meanwhile was out on a killing spree. Having vowed to seek vengeance for
his brother's murder Dhammika finally carried out his threat.Chinthaka
had been killed at Thotalanga in 1998, by underworld figures called Kalu
Ajit, Anura Chutti and Victor.
later killed Anura Chutti 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 Editor Satana, 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 Jayewardenepura Hospital where as
the story goes, one of the gang cut the neck of Chutti.
Bada Mahinda has told police that Dhammika shot the decapitated head
three times in a rage to avenge his brother, Chinthaka's killing.
Setting fire to the bodies, Mahinda says in a confession he made later
before the Gangodawila Magistrate that Dhammika then took the
dismembered head of Chutti 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
proceeded. Tharawatte Ajit wanted for the murder of Rohana Kumara has
also escaped the police net and is believed to be at present hiding in
the meantime, Dhammika travelled to the UK in May 1999 to watch World
Cup Cricket, using a passport under the name Buddhika Priyashantha
Godage. In order to do so Thilanga Sumathipala authorised and granted
traveller's cheques amounting to Sterling Pounds 1,500 - monies which
were released from the Cricket Board - which Sumathipala later wrote off
as a bad debt together with the entire executive committee of Sri Lanka
Cricket in 2001.
the year 2000, Dhammika got heavily involved with Lohan Ratwatte, son of
former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte.At this point Dhammika
and Moratu Saman fell out with each other over who should be the leader
of this gang and Moratu Saman finally moved out of this group and formed
his own group of killers linking himself closely with another politico.
brutality knew no bounds. Thajit or Methnal Amarasinghe, a first cousin
to Dhammika and also an underworld figure had by this time begun a love
affair with Chinthaka's wife. Incensed and angry at the affair, Dhammika,
had while 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, 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.
Mahinda has said 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 hide-out at Dambulla but was
tracked down and arrested by CID sleuth Samudrajeewa who led a police
party and arrested Thajit for his connection with previous killings.
2001, Dhammika read the writing on the wall and knew only too well that
the UNP was on a winning streak. Well aware that he would fall with the
Ratwattes, Dhammika realised he had to cross the fence.And in similar
vein to the significant role Thilanga Sumathipala played in facilitating
the crossovers of numerous ministers from the People's Alliance, he also
facilitated the crossover of members of the underworld.
is Sumathipala who during this time introduced Dhammika to a former
politician of the PA who is
today in government.This politician
was already savvy with the underworld and had close to him
disciples of Kaduwela Wasantha. This group did not like Dhammika being part of the fold, as Dhammika had killed Kaduwela Wasantha's
brother - Raja.
the politician needed
Dhammika and so there was no way he could be pushed out. In order to
prove his loyalty to the incoming regime Dhammika was pushed into
killing Baddegana Sanjeewa.
underworld, feed off political masters - to back the right man and the
right party is vital for underworld figures to ensure their survival -
and Dhammika was no fool as far as this was concerned. Neither for that
matter is Thilanga Sumathipala.
was rumoured at the time that Baddegana Sanjeewa was also considering a
'cross-over' but senior
sleuths dismissed this theory asserting Baddegana Sanjeewa remained
loyal to the PA. He signed his death certificate as a result and his
most trusted lieutenant was instrumental in planning and carrying out
the evening of November 2, 2001, Sanjeewa had received a telephone call
from another close friend named, 'Shantha' who asked him to drive to
Pitakotte junction since Dhammika had arrived together with Gala.
Getting into his Serena, Baddegana Sanjeewa met up with Dhammika and
Gala outside a tea boutique within close range of the UNP headquarters
at Pita Kotte - Siri Kotha.
chatting amicably, Dhammika had climbed into the back seat of the
vehicle while Gala had climbed into the front passenger seat.
15 minutes later, Baddegana Sanjeewa was found dead on Pagoda Road
slumped in the driving seat of his Serena, his jaw slack,
with six gun shot wounds in his body.The police claim that Gala
had shot Baddegana Sanjeewa in the side of the head repeatedly. The
police also say that Dhammika while the gun was being fired dialled the
phone number of a top politico and said, "Sir, vedey hari, Sanjeewa
mala."There wasn't a single other eye-witness to the slaying.
Baddegana Sanjeewa was 29 years old at the time of his death. Despite
him having been interdicted by this time from the ranks of the PSD, a
police revolver together with a police identification card was found on
the person of Baddegana Sanjeewa at the scene of his murder.
having committed this murder Dhammika together with Gala and Bada
Mahinda and the rest of the gang were given shelter at a house owned by
Sumathipala and his wife, off Kawdana Road in Dehiwela.
who was subsequently arrested in relation to other crimes got bail seven
months later and was sent to England together with his whole family
where he continues to reside. But Dhammika remained. But following his
arrest, Gala made a devastating statement on Baddegana Sanjeewa's murder
where Sumathipala's name
figured prominently and that statement will soon out.
January 19, 2002, Dhammika killed another underworld figure known as
Harrison Chandrasiri. Using Harrison's mistress Margi, Dhammika
convinced her to reveal Harrison's whereabouts and shot him dead at
Dehiwela while Harrison was distributing invitation cards for his
daughter's forthcoming wedding.Harrison became a target for Dhammika as
the latter believed that Harrison had financed Kalu Ajit who killed his
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 plans.
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 lover.
on July 5, 2002, Dhammika attempted to kill Moratu Saman at Talahena. He
missed his target but shot dead in the process one Gihan Mendis who
happened to be travelling in the same vehicle as Moratu Saman.
to Bada Mahinda and the police, this attempted murder was carried out by
Dhammika, Jackpot Chaminda and Lanka. Moratu Saman was finally gunned
down in May 2003 by another rival underworld gang. Thereafter, Dhammika
killed another underworld figure known as Senaka at Moragasmulla. This
was purely a contract killing Dhammika carried out for hard cash.
CID thereafter towards the end of 2002, arrested Methnal Amarasinghe
also known as Thajit and a member of Dhammika's gang.Amarasinghe gave
evidence on the Wellampitiya and Kaduwela murders as well as told police
he had driven Dhammika to the airport in May 1999 to leave for the UK
together with Thilanga Sumathipala. Methnal is now free on bail.
year the CID got information that a contract had been handed out to
murder Chairman, United National Party, Malik Samarawickrema and
Executive Director, Airport Services Ltd., Gamini Abeyratne. The CID
were tipped off that Dhammika had been contracted by Sumathipala to
carry out these killings.
sooner was a report to this effect made available to the CID chief,
Dhammika surrendered on Sumathipala's advice to the Colombo Magistrate's
Court last year.
had promised he would secure Dhammika his freedom.But Dhammika remained
in prison and according to sources had threatened Sumathipala recently
saying he would spill the beans if Sumathipala did not secure his
freedom - fast. Dhammika's threat of course did not bear fruit - he was
gunned down in the Magistrate's Court of Colombo and with him was buried
the Pandora's box on crime.
lobbied Malik to have Dhammika released
Sumathipala sources confirm visited the home of Chairman, United
National Party, Malik Samarawickrema some months back
and appealed for Samarawickrema to use his influence and
have Dhammika released from remand prison.
in front of Samarawickrema, Sumathipala telephoned the jailbird
and spoke to him and requested Samarawickrema to do the same.
shocked Samarawickrema however did nothing to ensure the release
of Dhammika, which angered Sumathipala.
is now being speculated that this maybe why Dhammika's mother
Gladys, following her son's murder on January 9, this year, named
Malik Samarawickrema as a possible assassin. However, when asked
by the judge if she knew who Samarawickrema is she had to admit
she did not know who he is or where he works.