ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 16

Karunaratne-shooting takes another twist

Pix and Story by Palitha Ariyawansa.

The inquiry into the shooting of former Co-operatives Minister R.M. Karunaratne has taken another twist, as the suspect, a close associate of the former minister, saying the incident took place when the T56 weapon he was testing misfired. On Tuesday night Welimada Inspector Ratnayake Bandara and few officers rushed to the scene at Mr. Karunaratne’s house and continued investigation throughout the night and the morning.

The helicopter transporting an injured Mr.Karunaratne to the colombo National Hospital

From the empty bullets recovered from the scene it was proved that a T56 weapon had been used and later a gun covered with leaves was found on the path to the house. While searching the house the police recovered more firearms from their hiding place in the house. The weapons included three repeater guns, two revolvers, one shotgun, 280 T56 bullets, 55 SJ bullets and many other weapons.

The police suspicion was aroused after a neighbour of Mr. Karunaratne identified as Hshanka Kumara Ekanayake attempted to conceal what really happened. Mr. Ekanayake had worked for many politicians and was also a suspect in a murder case. He claimed he had brought the gun to be sold.

This statement was made while in police custody.Mr. Ekanayake told the police the shooting took place when he was with Mr. Karunaratne and while he went to the answer the doorbell.

When Mr. Ekanayake had opened the door a masked man with a weapon had fired a shot and escaped with three others running after him.

Pictures show the stocks of arms and ammunition found at the residence of Mr. Karunaratne.

When a police dog was used for the investigation it was found that Mr. Ekanayake was the main suspect in the shooting. Later while in the police custody, he admitted that he did the shooting.

Mr. Karunaratne was admitted to the Badulla General Hospital with gun-shot injuries caused by the firing of a T56 weapon and had undergone an operation.

But due to intense bleeding from his stomach and shoulder, he was immediately transferred to the Colombo National Hospital and is presently under medical supervision at the ICU.

Mr. Karunaratne a wealthy businessman, owning many shops and transport services lived alone in his house at ‘Keppetipola’ in Welimada and had retired from active politics some years ago.

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