Continuing JVP fear psychosis series - Part IX :
End of the road for JVP’s serial killer
‘Gamini’, the JVP serial killer had, many years ago, applied to join
the Army Volunteer Force and had received a letter calling for him to be
present at an interview. But, he was unable to do so, as he was at the
time in Police custody at Horana, his native abode.
October 9, 1945
February 16, 1988
* Started political life in the Lanka Sama Samaja Party
* Later joined Sri Lanka Freedom Party
* Jailed under emergency regulations by JR Jayewardene but never
* He founded the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP)
‘Gamini’ was recruited by a JVP member who scouted for vulnerable
looking youth. ‘Gamini’ was the ideal fodder. He was a very unhappy
youth. Although he had passed the NCGE, he had failed to obtain
employment. His parents were divorced. And, he had no permanent abode.
He had been forced to sell peanuts at the Horana Bus Stand, where he
was picked up by the JVP. After training, he went onto become the JVP’s
No. 1 serial killer.
He went onto kill DIG Terrance Perera, University Don Prof Stanley
Wijesundara, actor-politician Vijaya Kumaratunga, Municipal Councillor
Jayantha Mallimarachchi and UNP General Secretary Nandalal Fernando
among his 43 victims.
On February 16, 1988, the JVP gunman ‘Gamini’ brutally gunned down
the very popular actor-politician Vijaya Kumaratunga, whose Sri Lanka
Mahajana Party was making into the JVP base and youth had begun to move
away to the SLMP and its charismatic leader. And, he was supporting the
So, the JVP Politburo ordered his execution. ‘Gamini’ was entrusted
with the assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunga.
‘Gamini’ spent two weeks planning the brutal killing. He was
accommodated in a tea boutique in Polhengoda run by a JVP member in
close proximity to Vijaya’s house.
After having closely observed Vijaya’s goings-out and comings-in, he,
with a JVP cadre, followed the actor-politician for two whole days
behind his car.
On the day of the assassination, around noon Vijaya arrived in a car,
got down and went into the house. After waiting in a parked motorcycle
for several minutes, they saw him returning with a file in hand.
Then, ‘Gamini’ took his T-56 weapon and shot Vijaya twice in the
back. The actor-politician fell down and the killer went up to him and
shot a fusillade of bullets into Vijaya’s head.
‘Gamini’ then got onto the bike and proceeded with his accomplice
down Polhengoda Road to a safe house at Dampe, Piliyandala.
The JVP psychopath serial killer’s end came five months after
One sunny afternoon in July 1989, ‘Gamini’ was walking along
Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo when a scooter taxi stopped in front of
A man, whom ‘Gamini’ thought was a DJV cadre bringing him
instructions for another slaying, walked up to the JVP’s serial killer.
‘Gamini’, addressing the man, said, “What is the job you have for me
this time.” To which, the other replied, “Come with me. I will tell
When ‘Gamini’ got into the taxi, the man whom he thought was a fellow
terrorist, caught his arms in a grip of steel.
The driver of the scooter taxi then stepped on the gas and proceeded
‘Gamini,’ who created the JVP fear psychosis, now felt very much
JVP’s no. 1 serial killer
applied to join Army Volunteer Force
*He was a native of Horana
*He killed Vijaya Kumaratunga on February 16, 1988
*Gamini spent two weeks planning to ill Vijaya
*He shot Vijaya twice in the back
*He found a safe house at Dampe, Piliyandala after the killing
*Gamini’s end came five months after Vijaya’s killing
He realized he had made a very costly mistake. It was going to be the
biggest in his life.
The three-wheeler stopped at the CDB headquarters at Gregory’s Road
and the JVP killer was bundled out and taken to the Bureau’s Chief
Ignatius Canagaratnam, who soon realized that his detectives had caught
a very big fish, although they had not known it at the time.
The next day, ‘Gamini’ made a statement to the detectives, giving all
the details of his brutal killings.
When he was taken to the scene of one of his crimes, ‘Gamini’ tried
to escape and this resulted in his death.
Soon after that, Rohana Wijeweera, Saman Piyasiri Fernando, Upatissa
Gamanayake, in fact the entire JVP leadership was wiped out and normalcy
restored to the country.
The writer is a
former editor of Daily News and The Sunday Observer.