Bomb Blast Magisterial Inquiry

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 January 2000, 19:10 GMT]
Colombo Chief Magistrate, G. D. Kulatileke, conducting the Magisterial inquiry into the deaths at the bomb blast at the final People's Alliance rally at the Town Hall directed the CID to summon a senior officer of the Presidential Security Division to depose on the next date of hearing.

Police sergeant S. Kumarasinghe, attached to Presidential Security Division, testifying before Colombo Chief Magistrate told the hearing that people who entered the venue of the People's Alliance final election meeting at the Colombo Town Hall were subjected to careful search.

He stated that President Chandrika arrived at 7 p.m. and she concluded her speech at 9.15 p.m. He heard crackers being lit at the Vihara Maha Devi Park opposite the venue of the meeting. It was followed by a loud noise.

Thereafter he saw several persons injured and killed.

Colombo Senior DIG T. N. de Silva, and four other officers of the Presidential Security Division (PDS), namely SI Bandara Abeykoon, sergeant H. Dayaratne, Police constable A. B. Ekanayake, and army captain R. M. K. Dissanayaka, were killed as a result he concluded.

Responding to a question by the Court, he told that he was unable to say as to how the suicide bomber entered the venue of the meeting in spite of the search.

Meanwhile the police said CID officials arrested four persons in Batticaloa in connection with the blast.

The police said the suspected female suicide bomber has been identified as Kunanayaki Manikkam of Navatkudha. Her mother, Marimuthu Manikam, and her sister, Manikam Kangeswary, were arrested yesterday.

The CID arrested two others today, Mr. Nalathamby, a school principal and a retired teacher, Mr. Ilayathambi, according to the police.

All arrests were made at Aaraiyampathi, and they were taken to Colombo for further investigations, the police said.


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