Saturday, November 07, 2009

" I saw the body of the victim floating in the water" - TNL Assistant News Editor

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda - Giving evidence in the Magisterial inquiry into the alleged forced drowning of a youth at the Bambalapitiya beach, Assistant News Editor of the TNL television channel, Sisikelum Dahampriya Balage, yesterday informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate that he had viewed what happened on the beach below through the lens of a camera recorder from the seventh floor of a building located next to the Bambalapitiya railway station.

He informed court that he witnessed a man been chased by three persons towards the sea and seen these three men assaulting the man they were chasing with sticks.

When the matter was taken up for evidence before Colombo Fort Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, the Assistant News Editor of TNL informed court that he could not clearly make out if the three men chasing the lone man were police officers or not. “After an hour I saw the body of the victim floating in the water. I did not inform the police as several police officers were witnessing the scene. I was under the impression that it was happening under the direction of the police. That is why I did not inform the police,” he said.

The elder brother of the victim, Balawarnam Kadirgamanathan, informed court that his brother Sivakumar was mentally unstable and had been so since 2007. “I have five elder sisters and one younger sister. He is my only brother. He was arrested by the Dehiwela police in 2007 for allegedly dancing on the road and stopping vehicles. He was treated at the Angoda mental hospital more than thrice. He had gone missing from home on October 27. When I saw him for the last time, he was wearing a black T-shirt and brown trouser. On October 30, I went to the morgue and identified the body of my brother”, said Balawarnam Kadirgamanathan. Finally, he requested that a proper investigation be conducted into the death of his brother. Navy Officer Upali Prematilake and Yogaraja Darshan, a friend of the brother of the victim, Balawarnam, also gave evidence. Magistrate Pilapitiya postponed the hearing for November 20.

© Daily Mirror

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