most foul is becoming most common, as the spate of
The spate of killings in the recent weeks has caused a sense of
apprehension in the public, exerting pressure on the authorities to
ensure safety and prevent the country from spiralling into a vortex.
However, the spate of recent killings across the country have sent
The discovery of decapitated bodies and severed limbs in the
Diyawanna Oya and other areas, the murder of a Police SI in Panadura,
the discovery of a mutilated body in a cess pit, the murder of a woman
in Kahawatta, have all served to ratchet up the sense of fear and anger
in the minds of the public.
ASP Ruwan Gunasekara
Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Police Media Spokesperson, ASP Ruwan
Gunasekara said, “it was unfortunate that so many incidents had taken
place in the past few weeks, but claimed he had his doubts as to whether
they were inter-related. The killing of the Sub Inspector (SI) of the
Bandaragama Police Station, Ruwan Wijepala Wijewardana Palihawadana on
April5, is still being investigated.
We haven’t found sufficient information to arrest the criminals.
However, we are conducting investigations and hope to find the culprits
soon", he said.
He also said decapitated bodies and body parts found in several areas
recently are mysterious. Although we publicized in the media about the
bodies, so far nobody has come forward to identify them.
What is more intriguing is that no complaints have even been lodged
against these missing people and we are seeking public help to identify
these bodies to continue with the investigations”, he said.
As for the bodies and body parts found in the Diyawannawa, Welikada
and Dematagoda areas, earlier, police investigations were handled by the
respective police stations, Mirihana, Welikada and Dematagoda, but now
investigations have been handed over to the CID on the instructions of
IGP N.K. Ilangakoon.
“A DNA test will be conducted. A court order has been sought in this
regard. This will help to trace any close relatives of the missing
people. The public can help by providing any information about these
missing persons to the CID on Telephone No. 0112320145”ASP Gunasekara
The murder of 39-year-old Chandrani Swarnalatha in Kotakethana, whose
body was found floating in a stream near her home has now been revealed
as being committed by her son..
This killing is a grim reminder of the series of killings in
Kotakathena since 2008. In the past few days, the media reported that
Chandrani's husband, brother and son were suspects of the crime. " Since
this is the eighteenth murder of a woman in this village, almost every
villager was questioned.
The irony is that police were questioning these villagers not for the
first time, which has been thrown into the limelight with these
killings. The husband of the recent victim was questioned previously for
the murder of a different female too but he was released on bail as
there was no evidence against him", the police spokesman said.
So far the Police have arrested suspects in nine of the eighteen
murders and court cases are pending.
According to ASP Gunasekara, there was no link between the suspects
in each case. “The only link we see in this series of murders is that
the victims were all women. It is important to look into these killing
from a socio-political perspective.
However, we are closely monitoring the current situation in this
The recent victim had died due to severe injury caused to the skull
with a heavy weapon.
She had also received deep cut injuries on her body. Investigations
are conducted under the direction of an ASP of the CCD. as far as the
recent crimes are concerned. We are hopeful that we will be able to
arrest the culprits shortly”, he said.
On July, 20, 2008, the first of the eighteen killings was reported
from Kahawattha, Kotakethana with the murder of 56- year- old Sellama
Mariyani, Kotakathena came into the limelight with two more murders that
of P. Nayana Nilmini (52) and her 19- year-old daughter, K. C.
Selllahewa. With the killing of the mother and daughter, investigations
took a different turn, bringing into focus hidden political agendas and
drug dealing. This information was not revealed in any of the previous
The reason for the mother and daughter murder was reportedly a drug
issue. A person identified as Raju, the brother of the Member of the
Godakawela Pradeshiya Sabha, L.H. Dharmasiri, Raju's wife and a three
wheeler driver were being interrogated by the CID regarding the murders.
A wary public fearful of the country descending to a different form
of violence, want the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure
the safety of all citizens, speed up the investigation and take
immediate action against the suspects.
Researching the reasons
Prof. Mayura Samarakoon
Prof. Mayura Samarakoon, leader of the group of academics who
investigated the situation in Kotakathena, Kahawatte, Senior Lecturer,
in Social Sciences Dept. of Sri Jayawardhana University, Prof. Mayura
Samarakoon, “Kotakethana is an isolated village where there are lots of
uneducated villagers who don’t trust the Police and the law and order in
the country. "These villagers are so illeterate that they don't even go
to the Police to lodge a complaint, because they think it's of no use.
The village is politicized by a group of Pradeshiya Sabha politicians
and the entire village is run according to them.
According to the findings of the research that we carried out for
nearly two years. Illegal drugs and alcohol are the main reasons behind
this pathetic situation in this village.
"Most of the men are miners. Most of them are not at home most of the
time as their jobs entail being outside the home.
There were many extra-marital affairs and conflict between husbands
and wives were the order of the day. Most men were hooch addicts.
Illicit affairs played a crucial role behind some of the murders which
led to the disintegration of village life in Kotakathena.In our research
we made a few suggestions which could help to overcome the situation
This village was not in the limelight as it is a few miles away from
It is isolated. It is important to improve infrastructure facilities
of the village as they don’t have proper roads, transport facilities,
electricity and other basic needs. However, when looking at the entire
scenario, what is starkly obvious is that the Police has not played the
role of a peace keeping force and there were many lapses on the part of
A serious doubt that in our minds was whether the culprits were being
questioned and taken into custody in cases where there was sufficient
evidence to prove their culpability".
18 March 2015: Body parts found in Diyawanna Oya
Media reported the discovery of a body with a severed left arm in the
Diyawanna Oya behind Parliament.
More human body parts were discovered in the Dematagoda and Welikada
Police divisions. Police is seeking public help to identify the bodies
to conduct further investigations.
5 April 2015: Another murder in Kahawatta
Chandrani Swarnalatha’s husband lodged a complaint with the Kahawatta
police that his wife was missing when he had returned home around 2.20
am on 5 April, after attending a funeral in the neighbourhood. There was
blood as well as pieces of flesh in the house. The body was found the
next day in a stream near her house.
Her son has been identified as the main suspect. Investigations are
April 5, 2015: SI slain in his sleep
The killing of Sub Inspector (SI) of the Bandaragama Police Station,
Ruwan Wijepala Wijewardana Palihawadana, while he was asleep at his
residence in Panadura. According to Police Spokesperson, ASP Gunasekara,
the Police have no clue about the culprits of the murder.
The brutal killing had taken place inside the victim’s house while
his two children and wife slept in another room.
The SI’s throat was slit in the early hours of Monday or the previous
night after he went to bed around 11.00 p.m. on Sunday.
The victim’s wife was the first to witness her husband lying in a
pool of blood around 4.30 a.m. on 6 April
The post-mortem examination revealed that the death was caused due to
the cut in the throat which had resulted in draining of blood from the
Raped, strangled and dumped in a pit
The post-mortem on 66-year-old Mallika Madurusinghe, a wealthy woman
of Minuwangoda and wife of the landed proprietor, Wilfred Jayasinghe,
indicated that she was raped and had severe head injuries resulting from
a heavy blow. Seven of her ribs were broken and she was strangled to
A mother of two sons, she was living with her husband and younger
son, while the elder son lived elsewhere with his family. Mallika had
been reported missing and the police could not find any trace of her
whereabouts. Both the police and the family members however suspected
that she must have left her residence while being distressed over some
March 21 was a fateful day for the Wilfred Jayasinghe family, when
Mallika's younger son noticed something blue floating in a toilet pit.
Investigations unveiled the mystery of what had happened to Mallika,
unfolding a tragedy no son wants to stumble into. For, found in the
depths of the pit was the decomposed naked body of Mallika who had been
missing for several days.
On the day of the inquest, the Minuwangoda ASP, who was directing
investigations observed the suspicious behaviour of the 18-year-old
family helper. He confessed to his innocence when the police grilled him
over the murder. On further questioning, it transpired that a
35-year-old man, identified as Nishantha Sampath of Rajasinghapure,
Minuwangoda had been present at Mallika's residence on the day her
disappearance was reported to the police.
Although the man in question protested his innocence to the police,
the family help who had right through maintained his innocence broke
down under severe grilling by the police, and confessed, “We committed
this crime after consuming liquors,” explaining, “The Gedara Mahattaya
told me he was not properly looked after by his wife. He did not have
his meals at home. You have to kill her and dump her body into the
The decomposed naked body
of Mallika was found in a toilet pit
The family helper said the man of the house, Wilfred Jayasinghe had
promised to pay him Rs 200,000 to commit the crime. “When I refused, he
promised me Rs 300, 000,” he said, claiming that the Mahattaya had
instructed him to scream that there was a snake in the room, and when
Nona (Mallika) had come into investigate, Nishantha had thrown a cloth
over her and clobbered her on the head with an iron-bar.
“Then Nishantha raped her, though I refused to do so,” he said,
adding that when they removed the cloth that covered her face she had
regained consciousness. “Then we strangled her to death. We then put the
body in a wheel barrow and dumped it into the toilet pit along with her
night gown and pair of slippers,” he elaborated, claiming that shortly
after the deed Nishantha had left the house while he remained, and that
the elder son, Kapila Mahattaya had lodged a complaint with the police,
upon reaching home and finding his mother missing. He said around
midnight the day of the murder, Mahattaya, had enquired from his about
the contract and that he had said it was ‘OK'. “He gave me an advance of
Rs. 20,000 and I asked him to pay the balance later when I leave home
for the New Year,” the The helper, identified as Racial Jayakumar alias
Roshan who confessed to the murder hails from Nawalapitiya. He is not
known to the Wealthy landed proprietor Wilfred Jayasinghe who has tea
estates in Nawalapitiya where Roshan's parents worked.The three suspects
were remanded. The law would hold whether the murder was committed on a
contract by the husband Wilfred Jayasinghe or he was implicated to
escape the suspects’ culpability to the murder. The Minuwangoda police
are conducting investigations under the direction of Senior DIG Pujitha
Jayasundara and DIG H.P. Kularatne and SSP Munasinghe.