Brutal assault on Range Bandara:
Defeated UNP candidate arrested
United National Party Puttalam District defeated candidate Shantha
Abeysekara and four others were arrested by Police in connection with
the brutal assault on former UNP Parliamentarian Palitha Range Bandara
and his supporters Saturday.
Furniture destroyed by the mob. Picture by Prasad Purnamal
Police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody told the Daily News that
Bandara was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). Bandara was
assaulted at a UNP supporters’ meeting presided by him held at a house
on Sinhapura Road, Chilaw. He was admitted to Marawila Hospital and
thereafter transferred to the CNH.
SP Jayakody said Shantha Abeysekara had lost at the election while
Bandara was elected and according to inquiries the brawl was over the
preference vote issue. The suspects were produced before Chilaw
Abeysekara obtained the third highest number of preferential votes
from the UNP in the Puttalam District at the April 8 General Election
while Bandara and Niroshan Perera were placed first and second. Only
these two were elected to Parliament from the UNP from the Puttalam
district. Witnesses told the Daily News that a mob prevented Bandara’s
supporters from admitting him to the Chilaw Hospital.
Hence he had to be taken to Marawila Hospital, the
ex-Parliamentarian’s bodyguard police constable Ratnayake and another
supporter P.M. Suriya Bandara of Arachchikattuwa too suffered injuries
in the attack and were admitted to the Chilaw Hospital.
The meeting had been organized to thank voters who supported Bandara.
When the meeting was in progress the thugs numbering about 15 rushed in
vehicles with swords and poles and began assaulting the participants.
Most participants fled the scene while Bandara and two others confronted
the mob. Chilaw Police are investigating.