Dec 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka police have arrested five suspects including the prime suspect in connection with the murder of ruling party councilor of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Hasitha Madawala.
Two unidentified men on a motorbike gunned down the local councilor on Saturday (January 05) near his residence in Waragoda, Kelaniya.
The police spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Prishantha Jayakody told the local media that the prime suspect named Rangana was arrested last night at the Bandaranaike International Airport when he was trying to board a flight to Singapore.
Following his interrogation the police have uncovered the information on the other four suspects and arrested them in the nearby areas of Kelaniya and Kiribathgoda. One of the suspects named 'Singapore Sarath' is reportedly a relative of the prime suspect Rangana.
The police have also recovered a 9mm pistol, two bullets, a motorbike, two helmets, a T81 gun, two magazines, 48 bullets and a three- wheeler after interrogating the suspects. It is believed that the pistol and the motorbike were used by the suspects in the killing.
His killing has angered the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), main constituent of the ruling alliance.
The General Secretary of SLFP Maithripala Sirisena condemned the brutal killing and said that the party is deep in sorrow and outraged about taking the life of the member from his family, party and the country.
The party has written a letter to the Inspector General of Police asking for an urgent and fair probe on the murder and asked to arrest the culprits immediately.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the house of the slain party member Monday to pay his last respects and urged the authorities to intensify the investigations on the murder.
The 32-year-old Councilor was among several members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha who along with its Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera campaigned against the alleged corruption and irregularities taking place in the Kelaniya electorate under the Minister of Public Relations Mervyn Silva.
Ranaweera and hundreds of others accused Minister Mervyn Silva for the killing and appealed the President to remove him from the electoral organizer position of Kelaniya.
Local media reported that the residents in the area have informed security forces that the chief suspect, Rangana is a supporter of Minister Mervyn Silva.