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DateLine Saturday, 10 January 2009

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Attack on MTV/MBC station:

Key suspect arrested

A key suspect behind the attack on the MTV/MBC station was arrested and the Government is requesting the public and media to be patient till investigations are complete.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is a friend of the media has instructed the police to use maximum effort to bring to book culprits responsible for the attack on the Sirasa TV station and assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha.


 The Black Defender without a number plate was allegedly hidden at a house belonging to the Kotte Municipal Council Opposition Leader. Picture by Suranjith Perera, Dehiwela- Mount Lavinia group correspondent.

Vehemently denying allegations against the Government for the Sirasa attack, Power and Energy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said key suspects behind the Sirasa TV attack were arrested and with strong evidence the suspects behind the attack will be brought before justice.

Elaborating the series of incidents that happened before the attack on MTV/MBC station on Wednesday morning, Minister Aluthgamage said Ravi Karunanayake, MP and some other key figures including former Minister Karu Jayasuriya had allegedly met at a flat behind Cycle Bazaar in Borella.

“They had invited Jayasuriya to hide the real motive of the meeting and police are investigating into details regarding the meeting,” he said.

Meanwhile, several hours before the attack on Sirasa, an Opposition MMC from Sri Jayawardanapua, Kotte reportedly stormed the Dewuram Vihara in Pannipitiya near the Sirasa TV and allegedly ordered the monk to come to his house to chant pirith.

“Police arrested the suspect and later he apologized to the monk,” he added.

Two hours following the attack on Sirasa, a call had been received on emergency number 118 informing that a white van was exchanging arms with a Black Defender opposite the HSBC Bank in Rajagiriya.

“Police intelligence traced the Black Defender without a number plate and it was hidden at a house belonging to the Kotte Municipal Council Opposition Leader,” added Minister Aluthgamage.

Initial investigations revealed that the vehicle was not registered in the name of the MMC Opposition leader. He also stressed that the Sirasa CCTV was not functioning at the time of the attack and the management was requested to bring the CCTV tape to gather evidence.

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