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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Stop submitting ‘irrelevant’ evidence

A court in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, has ordered the police to prevent submitting ‘irrelevant’ evidence with regard to the killing of a presidential advisor. The Colombo magistrate’s court made the order to police criminal investigation division (CID) as the lawyers representing Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others made an objection against police providing irrelevant evident.
The lawyers for the victims said although it is the normal practice to provide direct evidence that led to the murders, the CID is submitting evidence unrelated to the incident.

Shanaka Ranatunga, who has travelled with Mr Premachandra testifying before the court said although the victim came under barrage of fire, he did not see who fired them.

Although defence ministry’s monitoring MP, Duminda Silva, was holding a gun, the witness said he did not see whether Mr Silva used the gun at that moment.

Daughter’s vow

Mr Silva’s telephone operator Tarindu Chaturanga testifying said the MP did not have a gun during the incident.

‘If no justice is done for my father we have a plan B and we are prepared to implement that’

Speaking to journalists outside the court, the slain politician’s daughter Hirunika Premachandra vowed to keep fighting in search of justice.

“We heard that a senior officer has been transferred. I am very sad but I believe the rule of law still exists in Sri Lanka,” Ms Premachandra said.

The family of late politician was not happy about the investigations and question why parliamentarian Duminda Silva was not a suspect in the investigation.

Swarna Guanaratne, elder sister of Mr Premachandra earlier told BBC Sandeshaya that Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has failed to even send a reply to an appeal sent by the family in February this year seeking more security to her brother.

Mr Premachandra, the presidential advisor on trade unions was shot dead in Kollonawa allegedly by supporters of ruling party MP, Duminda Silva.

“Minorities’ friend”

Saman Shantha Perera, an eye witness driver has testified to the police that it was Duminda Silva who first shot at Mr Premachandra after beating him.

  He kept the Kolonnawa area a safe haven for Tamils and Muslims to reside in

Political columnist DBS Jeyaraj

Mr Silva then ordered his men to shoot Mr Premachandra, the driver of the slain politician has told police investigators.

But defence spokesman Lakshman Hulugalle earlier told BBC Sandeshaya that the young MP is not a suspect in the murder investigation.

“If no justice is done for my father we have a plan B and we are prepared to implement that,” Hirunika Premachandra told the journalists on Friday.

Media minister Keheliya Rambukwella has pledged an impartial investigation.

Announcing the ruling of the post-mortem, the magistrate ruled that the four victims were killed as result of gunshot wounds.

Political columnist DBS Jeyaraj has described late Mr Premachandra as a progressive politician and a “friend of Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka.”

“He kept the Kolonnawa area a safe haven for Tamils and Muslims to reside in,” says the columnist.

Mr Jeyaraj further adds that the late politician’s campaign against “drug mafia” invading Kolonnawa that ultimately resulted with his sudden death.


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