of clubbing ends in brutal killing
By Marisa de Silva and Asif Fuard
The quarrel began after several Cognacs and Tequilas during the
bar hop of the city night spots that fateful Thursday (June 30)
night. The CID detectives have been looking for one of the most
vital clues – the clothes worn by Shramantha Jayamaha, the
is after detectives found what they suspect are Shramantha’s
blood-stained fingerprints on the steel railings of the staircase.
This is said to have been confirmed by the Government Analyst. The
presence of blood in the area has helped detectives establish the
spots where Yvonne’s head has been bashed.
had identified three blood-splattered spots on the staircase where
the victim’s had been smashed. Detectives say soon after the
incident, at the Royal Park, luxury apartment complex, Rajagiriya
the suspect had left the scene of the crime and got into a friend’s
cab, dressed only in his boxer shorts and a dark coloured shirt
with his white trousers draped over his arm.
are the clothes that have now gone missing mysteriously. They say
suspicious have arisen over the clothes that Shramantha reportedly
wore. They do not rule out the possibility that they were burnt.
of the clothing, the CID backed by DNA evidence and support of the
Government Analyst has been able to find evidence in its ongoing
that fateful night, victim Yvonne Jonsson and her sister Caroline
had left their apartment at 8.30 p.m. in a blue jeep owned by their
father. Yvonne had been driving the vehicle. They were on their
way to attend a party organized by some of their friends.
first stop they made was at Caroline’s boy friend Shramantha’s
place, in Bagatale Road where he lived with his sister. They had
all proceeded to the White Horse, a popular pub off Nawam Mawatha,
met up with four of their friends, they had gone to Glow, another
club in Galle-Face. But as there had not been much of a crowd there,
they had proceeded to Blue Elephant but since there wasn’t
a crowd there too they had gone to Holiday Inn where they met a
family friend, a Korean girl who also lived at the Royal Park apartments.
From there they hit the Blue Elephant once again.
minutes into their stay, an argument had ensued between Caroline
and her boyfriend. Yvonne had scolded Shramantha for making her
sister cry. The argument between Shramantha and Caroline had apparently
been over a boy waving at Caroline. As the argument continued, Yvonne
had apparently told the two of them to find their way back home.
sisters parted company at this point and Caroline and Shramantha
had taken a Hilton hotel cab back to the Royal Park while Yvonne
and her Korean friend had gone back to the Glow. The Korean friend
had left Yvonne at the Glow and gone to the Taj Samudra Hotel. Shramantha
and Caroline had arrived at the apartment complex in the cab at
2 a.m. Shramantha had gone up with Caroline to the 23rd floor, and
had left her apartment after spending about 20 minutes.
to police Yvonne had driven into the Royal Park at 2.45 a.m. It
was within the next 45 minutes that the whole gruesome tragedy had
The CID believe the suspect had apparently waited outside the apartment
until Yvonne returned. Upon her arrival an argument had ensued between
the two leading to a scuffle, along the stairs. The first evidence
of a scuffle — the price tag on Yvonne’s sunglasses,
which had probably fallen off her handbag — was found on the
22nd floor. Her ear-rings, bangles and hand-bag were found scattered
along the 21st and 20th floor stairways. Detectives believe that
the argument had continued from the 23rd floor right down to the
19th floor, where Yvonne’s bundled up body finally lay at
the foot of the staircase. Her own stretch pants had been used to
strangle her, investigations have revealed.
to police, at 3.03 am. the suspect had called his friend Mohamed
Rilvan. Rilvan had just returned home (on Bauddhaloka Mawatha) from
his sister’s house in Greenpath. He was about to turn in for
the night, when he received the call from his friend. When Rilvan
had said that he was unable to get out of the house at that time,
his friend had pleaded with him to pick him up saying, “…you
have to come and pick me up. You will be my friend for ever.”
had then agreed to come in a cab to the Royal Park Residence.
Having followed instructions to come to the basement and pick him
up, Rilvan had looked for his friend there. Having failed to spot
him he had called on the mobile, and asked him to meet him at the
lobby as he had to get home where his parents were waiting up for
him. His friend had then appeared from the lift in his boxer shorts
and shirt, with his trousers draped over his arm. Although Rilvan
had thought it was a bit strange to see his friend in this state,
he hadn’t questioned him.
the two boys had proceeded to the cab. According to the cab driver
as soon as the two boys had got into the cab Rilvan’s friend
had switched off the hood-light. Thereafter, they had left Royal
Park and Rilvan dropped his friend at Bagatale Road.
suspect was asked to give a statement at the JMO’s office
the next day (Saturday July 2), after which he was asked to follow
the detectives to the CID headquarters for further questioning.
He had later gone to the funeral house with his mother.
Anthony, a domestic aide was the first to see the body of Yvonne.
She told the inquest that she found the body in a pool of blood
on the 19th floor.
“I work as a domestic for a Korean family on the 16th floor.
I usually work from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. On Friday, July 1, I came to
work at 9 a.m. I was asked by the lady of the house to go to the
19th floor to give some things to somebody staying on that floor.
I left the 16th floor around 9.30 a.m. Because the lift was taking
a long time to come down, I decided to take the stairs,” she
took the stairs and when I reached the 19th floor I saw a female
body that seemed bent into two lying in a pool of blood. It looked
like the body of a girl. I got such a shock that I fell and rolled
down the staircase all the way down to the 16th floor. I then informed
the manager of the apartment complex, Chandrapala Wanasinghe. He
told me that I had probably seen a ghost. He then went with me and
identified the body,” she said.
first Magisterial inquiry was heard on Thursday before Additional
Magistrate Amali Ranaweera who ordered that the suspect be remanded
till July 18. She also ordered the JMO reports to be produced in
court when the case was taken up next.
Wanasinghe told court that after being told of the body, he rushed
to the 19th floor with two others. “The body looked like that
of a doll. I later managed to identify the body as that of Roger
Jonsson’s daughter Yvonne. Her jeans had been pulled down
to her ankles and wrapped around her neck,” he said.
Wanasinghe later informed the Welikada police.
Roger Jonsson, the father of the victim said he last saw his daughter
around 8.30 p.m. on Thursday after he had returned home from the
“Both my daughters were dressed up and ready to go out. I
spoke to them and said, “you’ll are going together and
make sure you’ll come back home together.”
next day I woke up around 6 a.m. and went to my younger daughter
Caroline’s room and found that she was not there. I then went
to my older daughter Yvonne’s room and found her room door
locked. I then asked my wife and she said that they were asleep.
When I was about to leave home I found a note on our apartment door,
written by Caroline to Yvonne ‘wake me up when you come home.’
I read the note and went to work,” he said. “When I
was at work I got a telephone call from a friend of mine who asked
me to come home urgently. I reached home about 1.30 from my work
place and saw my wife and younger daughter crying in Yvonne’s
I was informed by the police that Yvonne had been killed and I was
asked to follow them to the spot where Yvonne’s body had been
found.” The Royal Park, security appeared to be tight soon
after the murder, but its Close Circuit TV Cameras had been out
for months, though it covered only the lobby area.
believe that security in the upper floors should be strengthened
as many of the areas in the upper floors appeared to be isolated.
“People living in these buildings pay huge sums of money and
they deserve to be given better security,” a detective said.
The day after
morning after the gruesome murder, the chief suspect in Yvonne’s
murder, Shramantha Jayamaha sent an SMS on his mobile phone to
Caroline and in response Caroline had said that her sister Yvonne
had not yet returned home. Shramantha’s response was that
she may be still ‘rocking herself away’.
Shramantha was not available throughout the day on Friday to be
questioned by the Police, and family members claimed he was out
following day i.e. on Saturday, he had visited the Johnson family
at the Royal Park Residence Penthouse to pay his respects to the
murdered girl. He is reported to have told the family that he
would ‘kill the person’ who had killed Yvonne, if
he caught him. He was taken in for questioning by the CID on the
same day, and placed under arrest on Sunday.
was keen to continue her studies in fashion designing. She was
due to face an interview at an international College in Kollupitiya,
in order to continue her studies in the US.
Jayamaha, 19 was sacked from Colombo International School on disciplinary
suspect the boy was in the habit of taking drugs.
families linked to criminal behaviour
What factors may drive teenagers and young adults towards anti-social
and criminal behaviour?
the absence of a mental disorder, such risk factors include drug
and alcohol abuse, parental separation and conflicting family relationships,
psychologists say. In Sri Lanka, the commoner factors are parental
separation and alcohol abuse which often occur together.
our cultural setting, extended families often rally round the children
of divorced parents but some lack this support and may suffer from
serious consequences as a result”, a clinical psychologist
impact of parental separation on children may differ, depending
on the age of the child at the time of the divorce: infants may
not understand the conflict, preschoolers may fear being abandoned,
giving them a sense of insecurity in adulthood.
greatest impact however is on school age children who find coping
with parental conflict more difficult than younger or older children.
They are old enough to understand that they are in pain because
of their parents’ conflict but they are too young to control
their reactions to their pain, psychologists explain.
the child grows older, he or she may feel the loss of parental support
in handling emerging sexual feelings, especially if the parent they
are living with is of the opposite sex. In fact, research has shown
that boys raised by their divorced fathers and girls raised by divorced
mothers adjust better than those raised by a divorced parent of
the opposite sex.
these children reach adulthood, they have difficulty in embarking
on a relationship with a prospective partner as they will experience
doubts about their ability to get married or stay married.
is because they will try to understand the causes that led to their
parents’ separation, remember the conflict and the stress
of the divorce and view their own relationships in this context.
a result, these children experience grief, guilt, embarrassment,
divided loyalty and intense anger. These emotions, if wrongly channelled
could easily lead to drug and alcohol misuse or anti-social or criminal
behaviour, psychologists say. This may be compounded by the single
parent being lax with the child’s discipline in order to be
perceived as the ‘good’ parent.
Research has however shown that such adverse consequences can be
minimised. This is best achieved by the remaining parent exercising
firm discipline in a loving and caring relationship with the child
where the latter feels secure.
has also been demonstrated that joint custody by both parents, where
the child divides his time equally between parents may in fact be
detrimental as this can lead to constant conflicts between the separated
partners, thus heightening the child’s anxiety and counselors
now recommend custody with one parent.
of the poorest and the highest social classes are at risk more than
those in between because of the lack of resources in the former
and over indulgence by parents and potential for abuse of alcohol
and drugs in the latter.
our society becomes more competitive with more and more families
having both parents leading working lives, the divorce rates have
risen. We are now seeing a rise in drug use and delinquent behaviour
among divorced parents’ children. This problem has still not
attracted enough attention and it is time we do so,” said
the clinical psychologist who wished to remain anonymous.
(The writer is a practising doctor and teacher of psychiatry)
The death of Yvonne Jonsson was due to head injuries and strangulation,
according to Additional Judicial Medical Officer Dr. M.T.A.B. Abeysingha.
His report also said the victim had many injuries on her neck and
added that the precise time of death could be established through
an investigation of circumstantial evidence.