Premalal Jayasekara, two others sentenced to death
By L. Niroshana (Kahawatta)
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Ratnapura District candidate Premalal Jayasekara and two others were sentenced to death after Ratnapura High Court Judge Rohan Jayasuriya on 31 July convicted them over the fatal shooting incident in Kahawatta during the lead-up to the Presidential Election in 2015.
Former Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councillor Nilantha Jayakody and former Kahawatta Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Vajira Darshana de Silva were also sentenced to death over the case.
Besides the imposition of the death penalty on the convicts, Judge Jayasuriya also ordered them to pay compensation amounting to Rs 600,000 to the relatives of the victim, who was identified as Dodamgoda Sunil Perera alias Shantha Dodamgoda.
Judge Jayasuriya also ordered the convicts to pay compensation of Rs 300,000 to W. Karundasa Weerasingha and Mohammad Ilfam, the two persons wounded in the shooting incident.
The Court also warned that the failure to pay the compensation would result in the convicts being imposed with a 24-month rigorous imprisonment.
The Attorney General indicted seven accused at the said Court on 13 September, four years ago, on nine counts and on charges of manslaughter.
The trial had lasted from 2017and the Judge had acquitted four other accused from the case.
Nalin Ladduwahetty PC appeared for the fourth and fifth suspects, while the other two suspects had been represented by Anil Silva PC.
The shooting incident had taken place on the morning of 5 January 2015 and resulted in the death of a political supporter, who was decorating an election stage of the then Common Opposition Candidate of the Presidential Election, Maithripala Sirisena in Kahawatta in the Ratnapura District.
The UNP supporter who was engaged in decorating an election stage, was wounded in the shooting incident and succumbed to injuries in hospital on 8 January.
The Pelmadulla Chief Magistrate had issued arrest warrants on the suspects involved.
Former Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara was arrested on 10 January over the election-related shooting incident while he had been released on bail on 7 December 2015.
Jayakody and de Silva had also been arrested over the shooting. Jayasekara, popularly known as ‘Choka Malli’, was due to contest the upcoming Parliamentary Election from the Ratnapura District on the SLPP ticket.