The brave threesome who saved many a life
COLOMBO: The brave, vigilant and patriotic guardians of the
nation who saved the lives of many innocent civilians from a massive
human disaster by a heavy claymore on Tuesday in Borella junction are to
be praised and their feat should be trumpeted to the nation. The
courageous trio comprised Police Constables K.A.A. Ranasinghe, P.M.C.
Rajapakse and S. Chandrasiri.
Q: Where is your usual duty station?
vigilant: PC Ranasinghe Pix by Mahinda Vithanachchi
PC Ranasinghe: I work in the city traffic attached to the
Pettah police, I was on a special duty to enforce "empty parking" on
Tuesday at Borella Junction. On that day my duty covered from the D.S.
Senanayake Junction to Borella Junction and vice versa on one side.
PC Chandrasiri: I'm attached to Borella police station. On
Tuesday morning I was on duty at the Borella Junction.
PC Rajapakse: I was a recent entrant to Kotte Police. On
Tuesday I was on a special duty to enforce "empty parking" at Borella
Junction. My duty was to cover from D.S. Senanayake Junction to the
Borella Junction on one side of the road.
Q: Why were you suspicious about the particular bicycle?
PC Ranasinghe: My duty is on route clearing, i.e. ensuring no
parking of vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles in places where they cannot
be parked. My destination was from D.S. Senanayake Junction to Borella
Junction. When I was walking up and down clearing from D.S. Senanayake
Junction to Borella Junction I didn't see a bicycle there before.
patriotic guardians: PC Ranasinghe with PC Rajapakse
and PC Chandrasiri
When I was coming back I saw a bicycle parked in front of a grocery.
The luggage of the bicycle was facing the road side, it was fixed with a
box. Inside the box were two bundles of Kankun leaves, but they were
withered in the early morning around 9.10 a.m. I questioned the grocery
owner and asked him who was the owner of the bicycle but he was puzzled.
Then I inquired from the lottery seller if he was the owner, he also
did not know who the owner was. Next I went in search of the owner
around Borella Junction filling station but I couldn't find the owner.
Then I felt suspicious the way it was parked and the withered Kankun
Q: What was your reaction soon after you saw the claymore?
PC Ranasinghe: I approached the bicycle to see what was in the
box. First, I took out the Kankun leaves and opened the box and found
there were some spoiled tomatoes, radish and some eggs.
At the bottom was a cardboard, when I lifted it I saw a green wire
and a bomb inside it. I slowly replaced the cardboard and ran to PC
Rajapakse who was on "empty parking" duty on the other side. I told him
that "there's a bomb inside the box on the bicycle luggage, and evacuate
all the civilians and vehicles from the area".
Then I rushed for more assistance from PC Chandrasiri who was on
traffic duty. We three came to the spot and PC Chandrasiri detected the
box and found a bulky size claymore and two detonators. Then we
evacuated the civilians and the vehicles. PC Chandrasiri was the only
one who had a walkie talkie and he called the emergency for the
Q: Why do you think the terrorists have chosen this spot to
place the claymore?
This route is used by the VIPs and that day was Parliament was
sitting. Ministers take this road as it goes through Narahenpita. It's
also the morning rush hour. Opposite the YMBA, between D.S. Senanayake
Junction and Borella Junction gets crowded. If the claymore went off at
that time there would have been a massive disaster.
Q: If the claymore went off what would have been the
There is a pre-school, a filling station, YMBA, Hatton National Bank
(HNB), the Bus stop and Traffic light. If the claymore exploded the
consequences would have resulted in human catastrophe.
The STF bomb disposal team rushed to the scene and defused the
claymore which contained around 6,000 bicycle ball bearings and C4 high
explosives. The weight of the claymore was 16.5 kg. If it exploded, it
could have created an enormous calamity.
Q: The terrorists' new technique of planting roadside bombs in
three wheelers and bicycles etc. How are you going to over come such a
We can face it if the general public co-operates with us. We ask the
public to assist us and be part of us.
When we stop a vehicle, motor bike or three wheeler at a checkpoint,
people get annoyed with the officers for their delay. If we ask the
drivers to remove their vehicles from the places where they are not
allowed to park, they argue with the officers. If the public follow the
rules of security and traffic we can face any situation.
Q: Have you ever come across such experience in your life
PC Rajapakse: I've been working in conflict areas for six
years. I was involved in route clearing missions during that time, so I
have faced many such incidents.
PC Chandrasiri: I have also faced such incidents many times as
I worked close to the Army at Forward Defence Line in the North and
PC Ranasinghe: For me, this was the first such experience I
come across in my twenty years of service.
Q: Did you receive any help or support from the public at that
moment you found the claymore?
In fact, we didn't receive support from the public as we were
evacuating civilians from the area and the civilians without listening
to our orders were coming towards the scene.
Q: How did you feel when you first saw the claymore ?
PC Ranasinghe: When I lifted the cardboard I noticed a green
wire and a bomb and I really panicked. At once I thought of my life and
the innocent civilians. Then I rushed to other officers to evacuate the
civilians from the area.
Q: Have you received any reward for your heroic job and for
saving many innocent lives?
So far we have not received any reward or promotion. We heard that
there will be a reward and promotion. We have not received any
confirmation from the officials yet.
Q: What is your message to the public with regard to this sort
of deadly explosives?
We request the public to be vigilant these days as terrorists are
targeting civilians and VIPs. We are also proud and happy that we saved
so many lives and prevented a great diaster.