Four including gunman arrested

Galle Cricket Association President’s killing

By Shamindra Ferdinando


Ambalangoda police have arrested four persons in connection with the killing of Galle District Cricket Association President and millionaire businessman Premasiri Halambage (53) on the night of Aug 12, 2016

Police recovered a T56 assault rifle and a pistol. They also took a car into custody used by the killers.

Two unidentified persons shot dead the former first class cricketer at Manimulla in the Ambalangoda police area. Senior DIG Franklin Fernando told The Island that those arrested included the person who had fired the T 56. However, the person who had used the pistol was in remand prison after being arrested for some other case following Halambage’s killing.

Gunmen fired at the SUV driven by Premasiri near his residence. His 12-year-old son received gunshot injuries. Premasiri succumbed to his injuries before being admitted to the Balapitiya base hospital.

The killing took place in the wake of a legal dispute over Premasiri’s election as the President of the Galle Cricket Association on July 28. The Galle International Cricket stadium administration deprived Galle Cricket Association members an opportunity to enter the premises on the day of the election.

An irate Premasiri held the meeting at the entrance to the stadium where members elected him as the President of the Galle District Cricket Association.

Having refused to accept Premasiri’s appointment Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) called for fresh election.

Premasiri, however successfully moved the Galle District court against the SLC directive. The Galle District court suspended the scheduled election pending further hearing.

The police said that two persons had fired at Premasiri’s SUV using the T-56 and the pistol. The investigations were continuing.

Premasiri represented Bloomfield and Singha in about 70 first class cricket matches. Recently, Premasiri had been on the panel of the Inside Sports programme on Sirasa.

An investigator told The Island that the relatives of a person identified as Sarath killed on July 18, 2016 at Wathugedara also in the Ambalangoda police area had ordered an attack on Halambage as they thought he was responsible for Watugedara killing. Responding to a query, the officer said that there hadn’t been any evidence to suggest Halambage’s involvement in it.

Investigations are being conducted by Ambalangoda HQI Chief Inspector Mahinda, Crimes OIC SI Balachandra, SI Maduranga and a team under the supervision of acting ASP Ambalangoda Dulshan Nagahawatte, Elpitiya Division SP Nihal Thalduwa and DIG Kithsiri Jayalath.



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