Duminda to become Sri Lanka’s 21st century ‘Madduma Bandara’
ECONOMYNEXT – Politician and convicted murderer Duminda Silva is widely expected to follow in the footsteps of a Sinhala legend Madduma Banadara who braved the executioner just before formal British colonial rule.
Duminda Silva who was handed down the capital punishment sentence last week for the 2011 killing of fellow party member Baratha Lakshman Premachandra and four others should face the gallows and help the cause of his brother Rainer Silva.
Elder brother Raynor (sometimes spelt Rayynor) Silva’s Hiru TV network defended broadcasting images of a naked and violated Seya, a four-year-old girl raped and murdered at Kotadeniyawa and said their action was taken to bring back capital punishment.
Hiru TV network staunchly defended not only violating broadcasting norms, but also child protection laws of the country which prohibit such displays of child victims – all in the name of generating public opinion to bring back the gallows.
Now that younger brother Duminda is facing the death penalty, he could emulate Madduma Bandara who stepped forward to be beheaded first at a time when his older brother was gripped with fear.
Raynor’s Hiru TV would not only succeed in securing more credibility, but their cause of eliminating dreaded criminals would get a boost if Duminda could be the first since 1976 to hang.
It may be better than hanging around the Welikada prison for a lifetime, as capital punishment is normally commuted to a life behind bars. Hours before the verdict, he was seen at another bar, this time at the Cinnamon Grand.
He has already set a grand record in the country’s criminal justice system. He is the only murder convict who did not spend a single day in remand prison.
The CID had earlier questioned him at length about his alleged involvement with a drug dealer known as "Wele Suda" with whom he is said to have met somewhere near the same hotel.
Even though he claimed not to know the drug dealer, they could compare notes at Welikada while he gets an opportunity to show his bravery and become a sort of 21st century Madduma Bandara for the underworld. Apologies to Madduma Bandara’s descendants. (COLOMBO, Sept 13, 2016)
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Jehan Perera - Executive Director National Peace Council