Gajendra Kumar Gives evidence at inquest

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 January 2000, 12:09 GMT]
"My father Kumar Ponnambalam, wearing black trousers and a white T-shirt with black stripes, left the house on that fateful morning with one 'Shantha' saying that he would proceed to Wellawatte and return within half an hour. "But that was not to be. He thereafter never came back home alive. We only saw him lying dead at the wheel of his blue Mercedes Benz." Thus stated Barrister Gajendra Kumar the only son of All Ceylon Tamil Congress leader Kumar Ponnambalam at the Magisterial inquiry into the death of Kumar Ponnambalam before Mount Lavinia Magistrate K.H.Sumathipala.

Witness Gajendra Kumar continued that his father had left home that day around 10 a.m. He and his father were to bring a vehicle from the garage. But on hearing that there was a bomb blast at Flower Road, they changed their plans and his father went to Wellawatte saying he would get back in half an hour.

He said he wanted to advise his father not to go out because of the bomb blast but before he could do that, his father had driven out. He also believed another person was in the car.

Referring to the mysterious 'Shantha', Mr. Gajendra Kumar.said he had come to the residence that morning and had also called several times earlier. Shantha spoke in Sinhala and he believed he was a Shinalese.

He said after he received the call from the Sun FM Station, he had telephoned his father on the cellphone but had got only a recorded answer. Later when he went to the scene, with Mr.Thomas, he saw his father fallen inside the vehicle. Both windows of the air-conditioned Benz were open and the automatic gear was at parked position. The cellphone number 077311922 was missing.

The case will be taken up again on January 21 with the leading criminal lawyer Daya Perera.


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