‘Only one suspect remaining, eight arrested’
‘There is only one suspect to be arrested in connection with the
killing of Presidential Director General on Trade Union Affairs Bharatha
Lakshman Premachandra. The government’s operations to seize illegal
weapons are in progress with vigour following the incident,’ Fisheries
and Aquatic Resources Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna yesterday told the
The suspect is a former Special Forces officer. He will be arrested,
Asked for his comments about various accusations that have been
leveled against the government by the Opposition UNP that the government
was trying to protect those responsible for Bharatha’s killing, Dr
Senaratna described them as baseless.
“How can the UNP accuse the government of protecting those who are
responsible for the incident, when all suspects involved in the incident
are in Police custody,” he asked.
‘Eight suspects have been arrested in this connection, including the
suspect who the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe challeged the
government to arrest,’ he said. The Opposition Leader challenged the
government to arrest the suspect “Chaminda” if it can ,and it did. He is
in Police custody now, he said. It was because of the action taken by
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that two suspects who fled the
country to Tamil Nadu could have been arrested, he said.” It was this
arrest that facilitated the arrest of the other suspects”, he said.
Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa personally intervened to get
the Tamil Nadu Police chiefs to arrest the suspects, who fled the
country, said Senaratna.
‘They were said to have been arrested using 20 Police officers in an
operation carried out by Tamil Nadu Police Service.
Commenting on the government’s ongoing operations to seize illegal
weapons, Senaratna said that steps were taken to strengthen this
operation following the shooting incident. However, the programme has
been operative since the defeat of terrorism in the country, although
some UNP MPs have been maintaining that the government launched the
operation of seizing illegal weapons and drugs only after Bharatha’s
killing, he added.