Boy’s body exhumed after four years

Murder most foul, not croc attack, say parents
By Ariyadasa Kodituwakku

The body of a 14-year-old boy said to have died after being attacked by a crocodile was exhumed on the orders of the Judicial Medical Officer B. H. Samaranayake of the Hambantota Hospital on March 21 this year, almost four years after his death,

A student of Weligaththa MV, Sandun Madhusanka was buried on July 16, 2008 after being reportedly attacked by a crocodile. His body was sent to the Hambantota Hospital mortuary for an autopsy after the body had lain on a makeshift bed on the roadside for two days after his death. The JMO in his verdict said that death was due to strangulation.

The exhumation of the boy’s body was ordered after his parents petitioned the Hambantota Courts resulting in the magistrate ordering that the body be exhumed for an inquiry. The body was buried after the inquest and the verdict given was that death was due to drowning after being attacked by a crocodile. However, the injuries did not appear to show that the boy had come under a croc attack.
Giving evidence the boy’s parents said that he was their son and that he left home on July 12, 2008 and did not return.

They had later learnt from the police that the boy had been attacked by a crocodile and his body recovered. The crocodile had meanwhile been killed by people of the area.

However, the parents on suspicion had later written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Human Rights Commission. JMO S. Ambepitiya in his verdict after the magisterial inquiry said that death was caused by a blunt weapon, adding that there was no evidence of a crocodile attack. Two men suspected of being involved in the killing are said to be missing from the area. A police team led by HQI C. E. Edirisinghe of the Tangalle police is investigating the incident.

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