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Special Team killed Lasantha – CID

Quoting a statement made by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka on Wickrematunge’s killing, the CID informed the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court yesterday that Fonseka had harboured suspicions that a special unit carried out attacks on Wickrematunge, including on the media.

The unit allegedly operated under the former Head of the Intelligence Services, Kapila Hendawitharana. The CID informed court that it had recorded a statement from the former Army Commander Field Marshal Fonseka on the killing of the late Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and the Field Marshal had told them that he had suspicions about a special unit operating under Hendawitharana to carry out certain attacks in the Colombo area.

Fonseka had also said he was not aware of the security situation in the Colombo area at the time as it was handled not by him but by a Major General.

Citing the latest findings in its probe on the Wickrematunge killing, CID Inspector Nishantha Silva said former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge had died due to an assault on his head by an unidentified sharp instrument and not by shooting.

Lasantha Wickrematunge was widely thought to have died from a shooting that took place on his way to work on January 8, 2009.

Nishantha Silva also said when examining evidence of the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, it had identified five phones that were utilized for internal communication among members of the gang suspected of the murder.

Investigations had revealed that the phones were used near Upali Tennakoon’s residence in Imbulgoda and in the vicinity of the Rivira Media Corporation to which both Upali Tennakone and Keith Noyahr were attached.

According to the CID, four out of the five mobile phones had been purchased from the same location - a private business institution.

Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Chief Editor of the English weekly, The Sunday Leader, was assassinated on January 8, 2009 by unidentified assailants on Attidiya - Mt. Lavinia Road, Colombo.