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Welikada prison massacre: CID tells Court that eight selected detainees were shot dead

The CID notified Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday that investigations revealed that Police Inspector Rangajeewa and two others had entered the Welikada Prison ​on ​the night of the incident,dressed in civil clothes,selected a group of prisoners and had taken them to another location.

This was with regard to investigations being conducted on the riots that took place at the Welikada Prison in 2012 during a search for illegal arms wh​ich resulted in the deaths of​ 27 inmates​.

The CID revealed in Court that eight of the detainees had been taken and shot dead, which was a crime according to Paragraph 32 of the Penal Code.

The eight prisoners who were gunned down were ​M​alinda Nilendra alias Malan, Nirmala Atapattu, Moh​a​med Wijaya Rohana alias Gundu Mama, Chintha​​mani ​M​ohottilage Thushara Chandana alias Kalu Thushara, Ponna Kapila alias Andrapulige Jothipala, Harsha Sri Keerthi Perera alias Manju Sri, Ma​a​li Susantha alias Raigamage Susantha Perera and Devamalalage Malith Sameera Perera alias Konda Amila.

The CID told Court that investigations had revealed that based on the evidence of witnesses, after the Army had entered the Welikada prison later that night and brought the situation under control, a group of prisoners had been picked out and later shot.

On November 9,2012 a search operation was launched at the Welikada Prison in search of illegal items by the STF, Prison intelligence and prison guards.

As prisoners started protesting, a riot broke out. On July 18, 2017 investigations were handed over to the CID on the orders of the IGP.

In connection with the incident, the then Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake had arrived at the prison and on the orders of the then Army Commander two armoured vehicles had also been brought to the prison and during this riot 27 inmates had been killed, the CID told Court.

However, they had also revealed in Court that on that night around 12.00 midnight the prisoners had broken the prison armoury and used the weapons to attack the Security Forces. In the exchange of gun fire, two of the prisoners who had tried to escape had been shot by the STF. The two had sustained injuries and upon admission to hospital had died. The two prisoners are Ranaweerapatabendige Leslie and Liyanarachchige Anura. The STF had handed over a T56 firearm and ammunition found at the spot to the Borella Police.

The CID had concluded the investigation and notified the Court that the file was sent to the AG. The CID also requested Court permission to submit the weapons and ammunition taken into custody to the Government Analyst and call for a report.

Taking into consideration the evidence presented before him, the Magistrate ordered ​that ​the weapons be sent to the Government Analyst and called for a report​ on the matter. ​

Siranjanee Kumari​ / DN


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