Progress of Several High Profile Criminal Cases in Sri Lanka

Trincomalee Students’ Case

It’s been 13 years since the murder of 5 students in Trincomalee. This graphic depicts the timeline of events subsequent to the incident. A preliminary inquiry was initiated in 2013. In July 2019, the inquiry was concluded. The decision of the Trincomalee Chief Magistrate to discharge the suspects from the preliminary inquiry was reportedly due to insufficient evidence. A preliminary inquiry is conducted before a Magistrate to assess if the evidence is sufficient to commit the accused to trial in the High Court. At this preliminary stage, the Magistrate does not decide on the guilt or innocence of the accused.

Shooting of the Rathupaswela Protestors

It’s been 6 years since the shooting of 3 protestors in Rathupaswela, Weliweriya. In 2018, the CID handed over the investigation file to the Attorney General’s Department.   In July 2019, the Attorney General asked the Chief Justice to appoint 3 judges to constitute a High Court Trial-at-Bar to prosecute the identified suspects of the case.

Murder of Wasim Thajudeen

It’s been 7 years since the murder of Wasim Thajudeen. In 2015, the CID took over the investigation. In June 2019, it was reported that former DIG Anura Senanayake, a suspect in the case, was served indictments. The case is set to take place in October 2019. In August 2019, Former Chief Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Ananda Samarasekera was indicted by the Attorney General in the Colombo High Court. Up to date however, no direct suspects have been identified.

Welikada Prison Riots

In 2012, 27 inmates of the Welikada prison were killed, and 43 others were injured in the prison compound. Up until 2019 investigations were ongoing.  In July 2019 the Chief Justice appointed a Trial-at-Bar comprising of 3 High Court Judges to hear the matter.

ACF Case

It’s been 13 years since the murder of 17 local staff members from the Paris-based Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) at their compound in the town of Muttur, Trincomalee.  The CID is pending a report from the Government Analysts Department since 2016.

Lasantha Wickrematunge

It’s been over 10 years since the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge. As at January 2019, the investigation remains ongoing. The investigation led by the CID is yet to identify direct suspects.No direct suspects have been identified. In August 2019, the Attorney General instructed the acting Inspector General of Police to expedite the investigations of five high profile cases including the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge.