Further arrests ordered in Hamilitta murder

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 June 2000, 14:05 GMT]
The Mannar Magistrate Mr.M.Illancheliyan ordered the arrest of five more Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers in connection with gang-rape and murder of a young woman on Tuesday. Ida Hamilitta, 21, was raped and killed in the early hours of 11 July 1999 in Pallimunai in the north-west of the island.

The judge issued the arrest order as requested by the chief police investigator H.M.S.Thilekaratne who submitted a report to the courts.

The police officer told the courts on Tuesday that one of the SLA soldiers, Kaliyan Murukaiah Mahalingam, who was attached to the Pallimunai SLA camp when the incident occurred, has revealed that 7 soldiers were involved in the rape and murder of Ida Hamilitta.

Two of them, U.Dayananda Upul Gurusinghe and N.K.H.D.Rjah Somaratne, have already been arrested and are remanded at the Anuradhapura prison.

The police officer said according to Mahalingam's statement Lietunent.B.B.Mahinda Perera, Lans.Copral M.K.Ruvan Kumara, K.P.Jayamande Hewawasam, S.D.Uppali Karunaraten and R.Dissanayake were involved in the rape and murder. They are reported to be serving in other areas, he said.

The Magistrate issued an order to the Brigadier N.S.Ranaweera to arrest and produce the suspects in the courts on 11 July. He further ordered that the remanded soldiers be produced on 4 July.

According to testimony from a witness who owns a shop in front of Ida Hamilitta's house, the woman was shot dead by Sri Lanka Army personnel from the Pallimunai SLA camp.


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