The notorious gangster Kitulamulla Gamage Ruvan
Kumara alias Vambotta, of the Southern Province
was shot dead at Eswatta, Kosgama on Sunday (2) night by
unidentified gunmen who had followed the vehicle he was
travelling in from Negombo, Kosgama police said yesterday (3)
Underworld kingpins have gone into hiding,
fearing for their own safety, after Sunday night’s killing of
the notorious Vambotta became known.
Many of the underworld leaders, who were opposed
to Vambotta now fear that they would be the target
of revenge killings by what remains of his gang, while those who
had no grouse against him fear that they could be targeted by
other seeking to take complete control of the underworld now
that the feared Vambotta is out of the way.
A member of the Vambotta’s gang who was
seriously injured in the shooting was admitted to the Homagama
Two other persons who were travelling with
Vambotta were unhurt although the pursuers had used
automatic rifles to riddle the underworld figure’s body with
bullets, police said.
Vambotta who had started life selling vegetables
in the Sooriyawewa weekly fair had later joined the notorious
gang of Ratnaweera who was a suspect in a large number of
extortions, robberies and murders and remained with the gang for
sometime but later left it to form his own gang, police said.
When Southern Provincial Councillor Chandimalli
was killed by the Ratnaweera Gang in front of the CID
headquarters, Colombo Ratnaweera was arrested as a suspect and
Ratnaweera too was gunned down by the Vambotta
gang who held up the prisons vehicle at Ridiyagama when he was
being taken to courts by the prison officers. Ratnaweera and a
prisons officer were killed.
Vambotta was remanded as a suspect in the case
and it was only one and a half months ago that he had been
released. On Sunday Vambotta with some others including the
person who was seriously injured had come to Negombo and were
returning to Sooriyawewa but had come to Kosgama police area
when a van in which his assailants travelled had opened fire on
Vambotta’s van killing him almost instantaneously, police said.
The gang rivalry between Vambotta and Ratanaweera had claimed
the lives of a number of people before each gang leader also was
gunned down by gang members police said.