Demonstrations held demanding the arrest of Mervyn Silva

Minister Mervin Silva

A group of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members are demanding the arrest of Minister Mervyn Silva in connection with the murder of former Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala.

The group of PS members along with residents of the area are currently engaged in a peaceful demonstration outside the Mahara Magistrate Court displaying placards demanding the arrest of the Minister.

The five suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Hasitha Madawala have been presented to the Mahara Magistrate Court.

Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala died due to gunshot injuries sustained by an unknown gang on January 5.

He was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following the shooting, which occurred in front of his residence in Waragoda, however had succumbed to injurious soon after.

Madawala was a supporter of the current Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha who along with several other PS members took a stand against alleged corruption and irregularities in the Kelaniya electorate.

The prime suspect in the killing was arrested on January 7 at the Bandaranaike International Airport while attempting to leave the country.

The suspect, Rangan, had revealed during interrogations that he was planning to board a flight to Singapore, police spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody said.

According to information uncovered following interrogation, four other suspects were arrested over the murder from the Kelaniya and Kiribathgoda areas while one of them, ‘Singapore Sarath’ is said to be a relative of Rangan.

The firearm and motorcycle used by the suspects to carry out the murder were recovered while a magazine, two bullets, two bike helmets, a T81 rifle, 42 ammo and a three-wheeler found in their possession were also seized.

It was reported that the residents in the area have informed security forces that the chief suspect, Rangan is a supporter of Minister Mervyn Silva.

The case was then handed over to the CID which assigned a special team to conduct investigations.

The incident was met with a host of criticisms by opposition parties and some members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha who stated that the government Minister Mervyn Silva was in some way involved in the murder.

Even though Minister Maithripala Sirisena stated that an impartial investigation should be carried out regarding the murder of Kelaniya PS member Hasitha Madawala UNP MP Tissa Attanayake questioned its probability.

He stated that ‘thug politics’ is currently prevailing in Kelaniya and that an impartial investigation cannot be expected on a person representing the government.

Condemning the murder of the UPFA member of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, the UNP General Secretary stated that such situations had not prevailed in Kelaniya previously.

The Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Prasanna Ranaweera claimed that the murderers of Hasitha Madawala have confessed to accepting a Rs. 3.5 million contract from Minister Mervyn Silva to assassinate several PS members.

He stated that officials of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha were afraid to attend assembly or even a public meeting.

He stated that they were all active members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and requested the President, Defense Secretary and IGP to guarantee their safety.

Ranaweera stated that even though he has been provided with security, he requests authorities to do the same for the remainder of the PS members.

However, the main person – Minister Mervyn Silva still walks free and until he is arrested, there is a threat to our lives, the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman told reporters during a press conference.

Mervyn Silva tendered his resignation from the post of Kelaniya Chief Organizer which was accepted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on January 11.

However, Ranaweera added that removing Mervyn from the post of Keleniya electorate chief organizer alone will not suffice.

Courtesy: Ada Derana