2nd Lead (Adds details, corrections)

SLA trooper sentenced to death

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 07:29 GMT]
Vavuniya High Court Judge J.Visvanathan Friday sentenced to death Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier, Dinapalage Jayantha Dinapala, for murdering two brothers, Kanagasabai Kanagalingam, Kanagasabai Kanagendran, and their cousin Thamotharampillai Pulendirarajah, in the village of Chambaikulam in Vavuniya on 03 March 1996, legal sources said.

In the case that shocked and frightened the Tamil community, soldier Danapala and the second accused, soldier Jayasinghe Arachige Premasiri, attached to the Chambaikulam SLA camp were accused of hacking to death the three Tamil farmers and causing severe injuries to Sivayogarani, the pregnant wife of Pulendirarajah, one of the murdered.

Mr. Premasiri was killed later in a shootout in Anuradhapura.

Government Attorney Manikavasagar Ganesharajah appeared for the victims. Attorneys M.N.X.Sornapala (now deceased) and S.Arunagirinathan appeared for the accused.

Sivayogarani appearing as a witness told the court that the her husband was a farmer and that the first accused Dhanapala frequently visited their house to buy vegetables. "On the day of the incident at 9.30pm Dhanapala came with two other soldiers and took my husband his two cousins, my three children and myself inside the jungle. They left us to wait in a spot, tied the hands of my husband and his cousins, and started attacking them with knives. Soon after they approached me, kicked me with their boots and tried to attack me with knives. I was injured and fell unconscious," Sivayogarani said.

"Since I carried the lantern when the accused first entered the house I was able to see their faces and that is why I was able to locate them in the identification parade," Sivayogarani added.

Mithulini, daughter of Sivayogarani who was 6 years old at the time of the incident, also gave evidence. Mithulini said that she knew the accused as the soldiers were frequent visitors to their house to buy vegetables. She said that she cried when the accused attacked her mother's hand and neck.

Dr. Bavani Paupathy, Vavuniya District Medical Officer, in her medical reportsaid that the injuries sustained by the victims were caused bysharp instruments and the depth of cut indicated that the perpetrators intended to kill the victims.

 

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