Uddika Premarathne accused of staging gunfire incident on his vehicle

Uddika Premarathne

The Sri Lanka Police have disclosed that the gunfire incident involving the vehicle of former Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) parliamentarian Uddika Premarathne was staged by Premarathne himself, with the help of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the area.

During a press conference in Colombo on June 13, Police Media Spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa revealed that suspects connected to the incident have been identified following investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The incident occurred on September 17, 2023, when a group of unidentified gunmen fired at Premarathne’s car shortly after he returned to his residence in Anuradhapura at around 10:35 PM. The parliamentarian escaped unharmed.

The assailants, arriving in a car, targeted Premarathne as he walked towards his house after parking his vehicle. The left rear door glass of Premarathne’s car was damaged in the shooting, which was believed to have involved a pistol.

Following the incident, Anuradhapura police launched an immediate investigation, and Special Task Force (STF) personnel were deployed to enhance security near the MP’s house. The CID later took over the investigation.

Despite this, Premarathne claimed in Parliament that the existing system in the country was responsible for the attack on him. He attributed the shooting outside his residence to systemic issues within the country.

On February 27, 2024, Premarathne resigned from his position as a Member of Parliament, and S.C. Muthukumarana of the SLPP was appointed to fill the vacant seat. Premarathne was later reported to have flown to Canada seeking political asylum, which he denied, stating he was awaiting a work visa in Canada.

In 2020, Premarathne, a popular actor, ran for the parliamentary election from the Anuradhapura District as part of the Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance, led by the SLPP, which was formed in 2019. He secured 133,550 votes and won a seat in the 16th Parliament of Sri Lanka.