Probe into Namal Gunawardena killing
Police look for NLB official

by Shamindra Ferdinando

The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) wants to question a senior National Lotteries Board official in connection with the ongoing investigation into the assassination of SLFP western provincial councillor Namal Gunawardena recently.

"We searched his office and his Attanagalle residence after obtaining a court order. He continues to evade us," a senior investigator said.

The former provincial councillor was given an influential position at the National Lotteries Board after the present government took office.

"We want him to report to us," the officer said, adding that they were in the process of investigating the assassination.

Inquiries revealed that the assassination may have been due to political rivalry or over a tender over the removal of junk from the Veyangoda Textiles Mills.

UNP Western Provincial Councillor Lawrence Madiwela yesterday said that the police should arrest the persons responsible for the assassination. He said that he recently wrote to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, IGP Chandra Fernando and the DIG in charge of Western Province (north) urging action on this.

The CCD also recorded the statement of a former PA Gampaha district MP in this connection. He was questioned twice.

Police declined to comment on speculation that the mastermind behind the assassination of Colombo High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya was believed to be involved in the assassination of the SLFP Councillor.

Well informed sources said that Gunawardene’s political enemies (within the same party) appeared to have sought the drug baron’s help to assassinate the young politician.

"The UNP had nothing to do with this. This is a home and home match," the sources said.

Namal Gunawardena, widely tipped to be the SLFP’s choice for Mirigama was shot dead outside the house of an Indian friend living in the Kollupitiya police area. Initially police investigated the possibility of the high profile killing being the work of a business rival of the Indian.


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