Thursday, March 22, 2012

Basnayake Nilame Arrested for Double Murder

The main suspect in the murder of two monks at Kotte Rajamaha Vihara was arrested in the early hours of this morning (Mar. 22), said police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana.

The man has been identified as a disrobed monk living in Embilipitiya.

On the day prior to the killings, he had arrived at a construction site at Boralesgamuwa to obtain a job with the intention of entering the temple in the night.

Another suspect in the double murder on March 20 was arrested by Maharagama police on the following day. He is a 26-year-old man employed at an insurance firm and also a Basnayake Nilame of a temple in Galgamuwa.

Upon being questioned, he has first told police the two monks were killed over an Embilipitiya land dispute.

Later, he has claimed murder had to be committed as the two monks had identified him when he had gone to the temple to steal a gem-studded golden sword belonging to the temple.

A frequent visitor to the Kotte Rajamaha Vihara, he had arrivedthere around 9.45 pm on the day of the murders, while the main suspect had already been in hiding.

The main suspect had knifed Pitigala Jinasiri Thera in the lavatory, and then struck Boralesgamuwe Gunaratana Thera, and both assailants had then fled the scene.

One monk was already dead when area residents arrived, and the other was pronounced dead upon admission to hospital.

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