( October 17, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Yet another government sham is being planned under which Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana and the other six accused in the killing of British tourist Khurram Shaikh and the raping of his female companion are to be indicted today (17) and the court hearing against them is to conclude before the Colombo CHOGM, with the accused being ‘sentenced to death.’
The investigation into this crime which took place on 24 December 2011 has made no progress up to now, and even the main accused was bailed out and had functioned as the chairman of Tangalle PS. The brother of the deceased, Khurram Shaikh, and the MP for his area, Rochdale, had visited Sri Lanka and expressed their dissatisfaction over the progress of the investigation. Although they sought an appointment to discuss the matters with the president, he had intentionally avoided them.
Chief guest of the Colombo CHOGM, Prince Charles, who will be representing the Queen of Britain, recently told the media that he would make use of his visit to raise the killing of Khurraim Shaikh with the Sri Lankan government. Furthermore, prime minister David Cameron has told British parliament that the matter would top his agenda too, during his visit to the island.
Alarmed by these developments, president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government have planned this deception, under which this criminal case will be called by the Tangalle high court today in order to serve indictments by using the attorney general’s powers, without the conducting of a preliminary hearing, which was to take place at the Colombo chief magistrate’s court, to which it was transferred from the Tangalle magistrate’s court. The attorney general had recommended the case be taken up by a three member trial-at-bar, but his recommendation had been cancelled on the orders of the president.
Accordingly, once the indictments are served today, the hearing will continue and the accused would be sentenced to death before the CHOGM commences. The case will be taken up in absentia of the Russian female companion of Khurram Shaik, who is the key witness.
Hinting about the verdict, the president has told the Tangalle PS chairman, “Accept the ruling that will be given and go inside. In a few days I will use my powers and free you.” On this assurance by the president, the accused have agreed to accept the sentence. The president has also promised them all facilities during their incarceration.
In the end, the PS chairman and the other accused will come out, receiving a presidential pardon, while unanswered questions about fate of the empty T-56 cartridges found from the crime scene, persons who had brought the T-56 rifles, their connections with MP Namal Rajapaksa and as to how Khurram Shaikh’s female companion became a virgin once again will remain so forever.