Tempest in Panadura
Infuriated landlord gives way to savage instincts
A ghastly, brutal cold blooded and ruthless killing was reported from
Panadura last week. The horrific double murder sent shocks through out
the country. The victims were a young muslim couple from Maligakande
living with their little daughter in a rented annexe in Kaduruwa, in the
The couple was brutally beaten up and stabbed to death by a murderous
landlord after they had retired to bed that night. What was the motive
for slaying the innocent couple? Why did the suspect silence both
husband and wife for ever? According to Panadura North police, the
accused has had a violent past. Senior Supdt. of Police Panadura U.
Dharmasena said the Police are probing whether the suspect was involved
in a previous murder.
Was the suspect prone to violence? OIC Panadura North Inspector
Jayanetti said that they are investigating whether the suspect was
involved in other stabbing incidents. Gamini Mudalali, a small time
trader (42) lived in Gorakana, Panadura with his wife Sweeni (37).
The suspect had rented out three rooms in the main house to tenants.
One of the rooms was occupied by a Muslim couple with their one and a
half year old daughter. Mohammed Deen (39) was employed at a hotel in
Mount Lavinia. He lived with his wife Satha in a room in the same house.
The adjoining room was occupied by a Sinhalese couple.
The house was more or less a boarding house with three couples
occupying three rooms. There were constant quarrels between the Sinhala
and the Muslim couple over trivial issues. The blaring sound of a radio
was a big issue. The landlord too detested the Muslim tenant for several
reasons. He had defaulted rent for several months and was in debt. He
also quarrelled frequently with his neighbour.
The Sinhala couple had on numerous occasions lodged complaints at the
Panadura North Police station regarding the harassment meted out by the
Muslim couple. The landlord too was infuriated when policemen called
often at his house to investigate these complaints. He felt embarrassed
when policemen called over at his house.
The tragedy occurred last week when the Muslim tenant returned home
after a hard days work on that fateful day. He found his room in pitch
darkness and knew instinctively that the landlord had cut off the
electricity supply owing to personnel animosity. There was no
electricity even in the room where the Sinhala couple lived.
In the meantime a heated argument ensued when the Muslim tenant
inquired about the power failure from the landlord. The land lord
couldn't give a valid reason to him after he disconnected the power
supply. However both the Muslim and the Sinhala couples went to sleep
that night in pitch darkness.
Around 10.p.m. that day, the landlord stealthily tiptoed into the
room of the Sinhala couple and picked up the door pole. He then abruptly
entered the room of the muslim couple without any rhyme or reason. The
couple was lying on their bed with their little child.
In a burst of anger, he held the pole tightly in his hand and dealt
several blows to the heads and bodies of the man and the woman. Then he
went into a rage and stabbed the man and the woman several times on the
bodies till they bled profusely and collapsed.
The suspect then took away the blood spattered pole and having washed
it returned to the room where the Sinhala couple was staying. He told
them sarcastically that the pole was free from blood stains as it had
been washed thoroughly. While the Muslim couple was being beaten to
death, their neighbours had heard them groaning and screaming. The
victim had begged of mercy from the landlord not to kill him.
Despite repeated pleas both the husband and wife were done to death
by a man with savage instincts. He had no remorse for human life. It is
quite evident from the killing of the couple. Nobody knows the reason
why he killed the woman. After all the suspect had an axe to grind with
However it would have been a harrowing experience for a little girl
of one and a half years to witness her parents being killed in a
ruthless manner. The shock and trauma that she underwent will remain in
her memory for a life time. Soon after killings the Sinhala couple left
the premises and sought refuge at a friend's place that night.
When OIC Panadura North, Inspector Jayantti and party visited the
suspect's home at Gorakana, he found the two bodies inside the room
lying in a pool of blood. The suspect Gamini Mudalali and his wife was
taken into custody. Police recovered the pole and the knife used in the
It was found inside a room. The Acting Magistrate Panadura, Laitha
Chandraratne held the Magisterial inquiry. The AJMO Panadura Dr. U.
Attygalle held the post-mortem examination. The two suspects have been
remanded pending further investigation in to the double murder.