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 Post subject: Campaigned for UNP - Rukantha and Chandraleka attacked
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:43 am 
Alleged PA thugs attack Rukantha and Chandraleka

By Felician Goonawardene
@ Sunday Leader / January 30th 2000

The residence of veteran musicians Rukantha Gunethilika and his wife Chandraleka was stormed on Wednesday, allegedly by supporters of the ruling PA, who threatened to kill the couple, humiliated them and damaged property.

The group of men who stormed the house ransacked it, abused the singers and forcibly cut their hair.

A mob arrived at the Matthegoda home of Rukantha around 9.15 p.m, Wednesday, January 26. Seven men entered the house with the intention of setting the house and its occupaants on fire, said sources.

The house, according to neighbours, is never closed except at night. People, especially the singers' fans, are in and out of the house. Hence even on that fateful day the front door was wide open.

Chandralekha had taken both her children, Rainy and Windy, to the kitchen while Rukantha was seated in the hall. Rukantha saw a vehicle park near his gate and a group of people walk up to his doorstep. Assuming they could be either friends or fans he relaxed. It came as a rude shock to Rukantha when he saw that the men entering the house were wielding weapons.

One man placed his pistol on Gunathilake's temple and told him not to move. Another man was posted in the front garden as a lookout. Another proceeded to the kitchen where Chandra- lekha was with the children and the domestic aid.

The man who was with Rukantha demanded ammunition which, Rukantha brought with him from America. Rukantha, stunned by this request tried to say that he did not hold weapons in his possession, but the man threatened to shoot him.

By this time the man in the kitchen managed to bring the other members of the family to the room where Rukantha was being interrogated. According to Chandralekha, the intruder had dragged her by her hair to the place where her husband was seated.

At this point the entire family was threatened and intimidated severely. The men told the victim that they had come there to kill them by setting them on fire. They kept demanding the weapons brought from America which Rukantha stoutly denied having brought.

While one intruder held the family at gun point, the others ransacked the house assuming that they could find weapons. But they failed to find any.

Now, to the utter dismay of the Gunathilakas, the thugs ordered Chandraleka to hand over the kids to the domestic and holding Rukantha at gunpoint, cut his hair. Repeated protests fell on deaf ears.

After cutting his hair, the men held up Chandraleka's head and cut her hair as well. The men then poured petrol over the couple in order to set them on fire.

Meanwhile a member of the United National Party (UNP) media unit Saman Athaudahetti who heard that Gunathilakas were going to be killed, rushed to the nearest police station and informed the police about it. The police meanwhile alerted other police stations through their communication sets.

One of the men who came to attack the Gunathilakas who also had a communication set found out that the police had got to know about the incident and were after the gang. He immediately conveyed this to the others. On hearing this, the gang fled the house.

They took along with them the singer's car and his mobile phone. Some valuables were also taken. The loss is estimated to be around Rs. 2.1 million, said the Gunathilakas' relatives.

Rukantha actively campaigned for the United National Party during the last presidential election in addition to winning the hearts of many millions of Sri Lankans with his musical talent.

According to the sources he and his family had been issued death threats twice before.

Meanwhile, local artistes condeming what they called 'barbaric act', said in a statement that this attack on the singers was a clear indication that the PA government was seeking revenge on them because they had campaigned for the UNP during the presidential election.

They said that the PA was not only against Rukantha, but against all musicians of this country. "Similar attacks took place against artistes earlier too," they charged.

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