11:32 AM

Janaka Perera assassination probe Police scrutinize video tape

Senior DIG Jayantha Gamage, who accompanied three special police teams sent from Colombo to carry out investigations, told The Island that the video tape of the Sirasa cameraman is of vital importance and a definite conclusion could be made on the planning and killing of Janaka Perera. The Sirasa cameraman, too, was killed in the explosion.

Meanwhile, investigators said the head of the suspect suicide bomber had been blown smithereens and was beyond recognition.

Investigations so far revealed that after addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony of the office of the leader of the Opposition of the North Central Provincial Council, opposite the old bus stand, the Major General Perera had invited the people to partake of some kiribath. There had been two tables laid out for the kiribath, one inside the office and the other in the verandah. The assassin, according to eye witness accounts, had been seated in a chair opposite the office where late Major General was seated and had gone into the office on the pretext of partaking of kiribath when the explosion occured.

Some survivors of the blast had said that the assassin on the pretense of worshiping the victim had bent down before exploding the device.

Janaka Perera’s wife Vajira, Anuradahapura UNP organizer Mr. Johnpulle, his wife, three lawyers and some Provincial Council members and some other members of the public including had died in the blast.

Police is conducting a separate inquiry to ascertain whether there had been any lapse on the part of the Police since four policemen posted at the entrance to the building near the gates had failed to notice the suspicious looking suicide bomber entering the premises.

North Central Provincial Chief Minister Berty Premlal Dissanayake, speaking to The Island yesterday condemned the killing and defined it as a cowardly act of the LTTE.

Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Ranjan Ramanayake said that even his life is in danger and the Police security provided to him during the elections had now been withdrawn. He urged the Police to provide him with security. He said that despite being the Opposition leader he had not been provided with an official vehicle.