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 Post subject: Coming to terms with underworld terror
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:23 am 
True to the saying ‘Violence begets violence’, those who arm themselves against humanity are slain by those very same arms

Coming to terms with underworld terror

According to the Crime Division of Police Head Quarters, 46 members of underworld gangs have died since November 2004. These include 20 who have been killed as a result of fighting among rival gangs, while 26 have died in confrontations with the police.

By Senaka de Silva
@ DM / Saturday, April 08, 2006


Little did Wambotta, the notorious underworld gang leader realize that he too would face the same fate on April 2 like Army Malli who was killed on April 1, 2006.

With the recent killings of notorious gangsters, either by their rivals or in a Police shootout, society breathes a sigh of relief, praying that all notorious underworld gangsters are punished the way they deserve.

It is alleged that some of them have connections with top people and they use their names to get their release when in custody. It’s about time that the Police gave the treatment they rightly deserve to all gangsters for being a menace to civil society.

On Sunday April 2, 2006 Ajith Wasantha alias ‘Wambotta’, a noted underworld figure was on his way with five of his associates to Sooriyaweva from Seeduwa. When they reached Ratwatte in Awissawella they heard gun shots. A little while later Wambotta and Sumeda Priyankara were found dead inside the vehicle they were travelling in.

This is the most recent shootout involving underworld gangs which Police are investigating to identify the killers.

According to the Crime Division of Police Head Quarters, 46 members of underworld gangs have died since November 2004. These include 20 who have been killed as a result of fighting among rival gangs, while 26 have died in confrontations with the police. Underworld gangsters who had been killed by police include Thoppi Chaminda, Atta Indika, Samantha Gunawardene, Kalu Selva, Kaluwa Modara Deshabandu, Forman Stanley, Kandane Chinthaka, Kandane Dammika, Ayub Khan, Modara McDonald, Halwathura Jayathunga, Ragama Madura, Ukuwala Gayan, Ranjan Ariyadasa and Army Malli.

Those who have been killed in confrontations among the gangs were Moratu Saman, Army Roshan, G. Boy, Kumudu Gunawardene, Modara Nelson, Maligawatte Sumanadasa, Night Rider, Bandaragama Sunil, Maligawatte Sriya Kantha, Lee Molawatte Rizwan, Wijaya Ranjan, Dompe Gunawardene, Kota Gamini and Kotahene Rajeswaran.

These gangs have been involved in contract killings, extortion, housebreaking, rape and drug dealing. Some gang members such as Baddegana Sanjeewa and Kaduwala Dammika were even patronized by political leaders.

IGP Chandra Fernando claims that these underworld gangs were confined to their villages before 1978, prior to the introduction of the open economy. “After 1978, factories were set up and business establishments were introduced. As a result organized gangs came into existence,” he explained. He maintains that the situation became worse after 1990/1991 with the increasing exodus of men from the Army. According to him the deserters were forced to join these gangs as there was a demand for those who were trained to handle sophisticated weapons.

Later, in early 2000, several Bills were presented to Parliament with the intention of curbing gang warfare. A Police Commission was set up to strengthen the police force to face the increasing threat to law and order by these gangs.

The killing of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, while hearing a controversial case against a noted gangster, turned the attention of the police towards the acute need to stop the trend of violence. Subsequently, the use of modern technology such as scientific evidence was used to nab killers.

The tactics that are now being used by police include the setting up of special units in all police divisions to deal with underworld gangs. In addition, with the assistance of the Swedish government, technology has been provided to the police to carry out investigations on the spot. Police personnel are being trained to handle modern technology which is in use in advanced countries.

Over 60 gang members have been arrested as a result. Over 60 have fled the country. Another 30 are moving freely, according to police. Operations are on to arrest these persons, according to the IGP. “I will wipe out all gangs completely,” Mr. Fernando pledged.

Some say that culprits, when apprehended, should be exposed on both the electronic and the print media so that the public would be aware of them. The menace of chain snatching has raised its ugly head once again in many areas, making the females reluctant and scared to wear their valuable jewellery.


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