Ex-intelligence man admits to Lasantha killing, hangs himself


Lasantha Wickrematunga

by Hemantha Randunu

Investigations into the murder of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga took a new turn with a retired sergeant major of the army intelligence unit committing suicide by hanging himself at his home in Kegalle after allegedly signing a letter admitting to the killing, police headquarters sources said yesterday.

The dead sergeant major was identified as Edirisinghe Jayamanne (52), a resident of Karandupana, Kegalle.

A note believed to have been written by the retired sergeant major said: "It was I who killed Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, My friend Malinda Udalagama, who has been arrested for it is not responsible for the murder. Please release him."

The retired sergeant major was a father of three and his wife was working abroad, police said. The second son of the retired soldier was to leave the country to attend a sports event on Thursday. He had accompanied the son to the latter’s school and returned home after handing over the boy to the school authorities. His eldest son was not at home attending to his work while the youngest child was in school.

According to the preliminary investigations Jayamanne hanged himself from a rafter in his home around 8.30 am. A neighbour, a trishaw driver first saw Jayamanne hanging. He informed the Kegalle police of the incident. Police arrived at the Jayamanne’s house and brought the body down. The police found the note written by Jayamanne on a table near his body. Police sources said that Jayamanne’s son had identified that it was his father’s hand writing.

Two special police teams had commenced two separate investigations into the mysterious death, police said.

Jayammane’s body was taken to the Kegalle Hospital for the post mortem.

Kegalle Police are conducting further investigations under the supervision of Kegalle Superintendent of Police A. Serasinghe.

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