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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Sri Lanka: Wasim Thajudeen Killing; Three ex-PSD Officers Traced

(Gotabaya Rajapaksa allegedly ran death squads when he was defence minister,Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/ Reuters)

Sri Lankan living in UK also linked to ‘conspiracy’, JMO report on Sept 10: Arrests to begin within two weeks.

Three ex-PSD officers – who have been identified by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as possible suspects of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen’s killing – will be arrested within the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, a civilian, who is presently in London, has also been identified as a person who was aware of the conspiracy to kill Thajudeen, Police sources added.

“There is no truth in the stories that the suspects have fled to Italy. Probably, they are referring to the person who is presently in the UK. He is a civilian who was aware of the incident. But, the majority of possible suspects are in Sri Lanka and we have traced them. They will not be able to flee the country,” a senior officer involved in the investigations told the Daily News.

“The Police will be able to arrest three of the suspects before the next two weeks,” the officer said.

“The person in the UK fled the country after the incident through the assistance of a former diplomat who has a notorious track record. The diplomat too is under investigation at the moment for a number of other offences. It can be confirmed that he was not a member of the defence establishment,” he said.

The CID earlier this month received information that a secret discussion had taken place at the PSD officers’ mess on Thajudeen prior to his death. The discussion had taken place with the knowledge of a very senior Police officer who had close links to the top echelons of the previous regime.

Meanwhile, the CID has already established that no motor accident had taken place at the site where the rugby player’s body was recovered.

“Thajudeen’s body was not even in the driving seat of the vehicle. At the time the charred body was recovered, it was in the other front seat,” a highly placed Police source said.

Although the initial Police report said the vehicle caught fire within seconds of the accident, the fuel tank of the vehicle was half full, he added.

“There is no way that a vehicle can burn in that manner while the fuel tank is half full,” the officer explained.

“When investigating the vehicle, we found out that there were no signs of an accident. There is evidence to suggest that an ‘accident-event’ had been fabricated to cover up a crime,” he added.

Following this development, the CID carried out investigations to find out whether Police reports have been ‘twisted’ to portray a wrong picture about the rugby player’s death. Initial investigations into his death was carried out by the Narahenpita Police which dubbed it as an “accident.”

Thajudeen’s body was exhumed on August 10 to conduct further investigations into the rugby player’s mysterious death. Inquiries were carried out to ascertain whether fractures in Thajudeen’s body were in line with the findings of the CID. A comprehensive report is this regard is expected to be presented to court on September 10.

The Police also investigated into a vehicle allegedly used to abduct Thajudeen. The vehicle had been handed over to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation, headed by former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, by an international non-governmental organisation.

By Rasika Jayakody / CDN


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