The driver of the slain Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, relaying the saga of the Kolonnawa tragedy after narrowly escaping death, said that Duminda Silva got down from the vehicle at the Walpola junction and proceed to assault his boss.
“Sir fell immediately. Then one of the persons who was near Duminda shot Bharatha Mahattaya in his foot Then someone shouted: “shoot him in his head”. It was then that some one had repeatedly fired the shots at his head.
These were the events which led to the assassination of former Director General of Presidential Trade Union, Former Colombo District member of Parliament Baratha Lakshman Premachandra.
The firing also resulted in the death of two of his security officers.
The shooting also resulted in Colombo District member of parliament Duminda Silva also sustaining severe head injuries while two off his supporters were also injured and hospitalized.
Mr. Premachandra’s driver who narrowly escaped death, narrated the incident in the following manner.
“It was around 3.30 p.m. that we arrived at the Walpola Junction. There was very little time left for the polling to finish. Bharatha Mahaththaya wanted to visit some of the polling booths before the end of the polling.
“Duminda Silva arrived in three Prado Jeeps. They stopped and parked their jeeps crossing our paths Duminda Silva carried a pistol as he got down from the Jeep, insulting everybody there as he walked forward. Then, Bharatha Mahattaya also got down from the Jeep. Then, both of them exchanged insults which was followed by Duminda Silva slapping Bharatha Mahattaya hard on his cheek kncking him to the ground.
“Instantly, an aide of Duminda Silva shot Bharatha Mahattaya in his foot. Then, Bharatha Mahaththaya was holding his leg and struggling. Then, somebody screamed “Shoot him in his head and finish it off”.
“It was then that a series of shots were fired at Bharatha Mahattaya’s head and chest by Duminda Silva’s people.
“Bharatha Mahattaya’s security officers who were with him carried him and tried to take him to the rear of his Jeep. Then, even the two Security personnel were shot at,” the slain Bharatha’s driver said.
However, according to police investigations, Bharatha Mahattaya’s security personnel also returned fire at the time Duminda Silva’s security personnel opened fire.
It was at that stage that Duminda Silva also sustained head injuries.
The Criminal Investigation Department has also recorded statements of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s driver who was the lone survivor of the tragedy.
Police investigations have revealed that Duminda Silva’s people were in the possession of seven T-56 firearms. Information has also been received that the people who shot Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s security officer dead had also escaped with his legal firearm as well.
Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra died on the spot. There were several rounds fired at his head. His security officer and a security officer of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation were critically injured and succumbed to their injuries on being admitted to the hospital.
A close associate of Bharatha who was with him at the time of tragedy has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital and is now in a critical condition.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has also visited him in hospital and has provided special medical teams along with the appropriate facilities.
Supporters of the Bharatha on hearing of his death ran amok and started assaulting Duminda supporters. They also torched the political offices of Duminda.