Aug 25, Colombo: The five suspects who broke-in to the residence of the Associate Editor of Sunday Leader Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema have been identified by the police.
An armed gang of five robbers broke-in to the journalist's home at Dickmanís Road in Bamabalapitiya in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday and threatened the journalist with a knife demanding her to show where the money and jewellery were kept.
However the police responding to a call made by her husband, also a journalist at the Sunday Leader, who arrived at home late and observed suspicious movements, confronted the gang and thwarted the robbery.
During the confrontation, the police fired at the robbers fatally wounding one and arrested the other four who were also injured. Four police officers also were injured, one seriously, and admitted to the Colombo National Hospital.
According to Police Media Spokesman Superintendent of Police Buddhika Siriwardena, the deceased suspect has been identified as 39-year-old Kadirappulige Indika Sampath Kumarasiri from Avissawella.
The others suspects were identified as Kadirappulige Rohiha Chandimal Kumara, Kadirappulige Rohitha Lakskman, Udayasiri Asanka and Vithana Arachchige Shantha Kumara from Hungama, Kiribathgoda, Ambalantota and Avissawella. Two of them are believed to be army deserters and the person killed and two others are brothers, the Sunday Times reported.
Meanwhile, the police emphasized that the intrusion into the journalist's house was a robbery attempt and not an attempt to harm Mrs. Abeywickrema as media activists claimed.
The police said several similar break-ins have been reported in the area recently.