Sri Lanka police probing Siriliya link to rugger player’s murder
ECONOMYNEXT – Authorities are probing stunning new evidence that may link former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s ‘Siriliya’ charity to the murder of rugger player Wasim Thajudeen, police sources disclosed today.
Thajudeen was found dead inside his own car along Colombo’s Park Road in May 2012 in what the police then said was a motor accident. However, since then the police have done a U-turn and reopened a murder investigation.
The latest evidence shows that the Defender vehicle used to abduct Thajudeen shortly before he was murdered was in the possession of the Siriliya Foundation of Mrs. Rajapaksa.
Siriliya had acquired this vehicle along with another SUV from a local NGO. Siriliya had changed the colour of one of these vehicles to black. It was this black vehicle that had been used in the killing.
Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratna had said the Government Analyst’s report into the incident came only this February after the new government began asking questions about the cover up of the case.
Even then, the government analyst had said he did not have sufficient evidence to draw a conclusion suggesting that he too may have been a willing or unwilling party to the scandalous cover-up.
However, the Judicial Medical Officer had ruled that the death was not consistent with a motor accident and the victim appeared to have been tortured before he was killed.
Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered that the remains of Thajudeen should be exhumed on Monday for a fresh forensic test.
In the latest development, the boss of a local non-governmental organisation was called to give evidence about the black SUV which was said to have been used in the abduction. "He was told it is better to tell the truth because irrespective of which party is in power, this case will be continued," a source close to the investigation said.
Technical evidence led CID investigators to trace this vehicle to the local NGO which claimed that they had gifted the vehicle in question to Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s Siriliya Foundation.
The same foundation is already under investigation for using two other Toyota SUVs without registering or paying due taxes to the state for over three years.
The World Food Program (WFP) office in Colombo is also under investigation for transferring the ownership of the two vehicles to Siriliya without any authorisation from the government.
A police source close to the investigation into Thajudeen’s case said a high profile arrest was imminent. (Colombo/Aug06/2016)