Inquest into death of SLAF personnel

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 August 1999, 09:20 GMT]
The inquest into the death of Flight Lt. Mahinda Rajapakse took place at the Vavuniya district court yesterday.

Airman Aravinda Nanayakkara, deployed at the Forward defence lines at Moondrummuirppu, told the inquiry that Flight Lt. Mahinda Rajapakse was killed in an explosion while returning to camp after giving orders to plant mines ahead of the defence lines.

"An anti tank mine connected to an anti personnel mine which was probably planted by the LTTE some time ago, exploded at a distance of about 20 meters from where we were working. The deceased was killed in the explosion," the witness said.

S.Ramanathan, the acting magistrate for the Vavuniya district, heard that Mahahinda Rajapakse died in an explosion at about 10.30 a.m yesterday.

The acting magistrate returned a verdict of death caused by explosion while on duty.

The inquest into the death of two other SLAF personnel, M.D.Jayasiri (29) and M.P.N.Fernando (36), who were killed in a mortar attack by the LTTE in the same area the day before on August 12, also took place yesterday.

The two died when a LTTE mortar landed in the Moondrumurrippu forward defence line bunker where they were deployed, said their colleague, airman S.A Bandualsena while giving evidence at the inquest.

"The first mortar fired by the LTTE fell near the trench bunker and we took cover in our trenches nearby. Immediately the second mortar fired by them fell over the 10th bunker of the 6th Forward Defence Lines killing two airmen who were inside," he said.


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