The brother of Khuram Shaikh--the British tourist who was killed in the 2011 Christmas eve tragedy at Tangalle - accompanied by a British MP will visit the country next week in a bid to urge Lankan authorities to expedite the investigations and bring charges against those responsible for the killing of his brother.
Nasser Shaikh accompanied by British Labour Party MP Simon Danszuk will be in the country to find out the progress made in bringing those responsible for the killing to justice, a spokesman from the British High Commission told the Daily Mirror.
“The two will be in the country on March 7 and 8 and during their visit they intend to meet a range of government officials in order to find out what progress had been made in the investigations and the legal process,” the British High Commission spokesman said.
Eight suspects including Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman (UPFA) Sampath Vidanapathirana were arrested for allegedly killing the British national and sexually assaulting his girl friend.
It was reported that the family of Shaikh and the British government had expressed concern over the delay in investigations into the case.
Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow near Rochdale was murdered at a restaurant in Tangalle on December 25, 2011 while he was on a holiday from his work as a Red Cross worker in Gaza.
A graduate from Salford University, Shaikh was shot and stabbed when he and his Russian girlfriend, Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, were attacked at the Tangalle restaurant.
Khuram’s brother Nassar has expressed concern over the delay in the case against the alleged killers and had told that lack of action “gives out the wrong message.” He had told media that it was “disheartening” that the suspects had not been brought to trial.
The case has been taken up by Simon Danczuk, a British Labour Party politician and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rochdale who had urged the British government to press the Sri Lankan authorities to get the case moving.
Commenting on the gruesome murder a spokesman for MP Danczuk had earlier noted that “There is some concern that political interference is playing a part, particularly as one of the suspects is a prominent politician with ties to the President.” “One year on from the murder all the suspects have been released on bail, no charges have been brought, the politician has been reinstated back into the ruling party and there is no trial on the horizon,” the spokesman said.
The Magisterial inquiry is being conducted against eight suspects including Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman (UPFA) Sampath Vidanapathirana, his private secretary Mohottige Sarath alias Sahan, Weerappuliga Pradeep Chathuranga, S. P. Januka Chathuranga, H. T. Nuwan Chnithaka, E. T. Nadeera Shaman, Nalagama Praveen Chaturanga, Saman Deshapriya and Obada Arachchige Lahiru Kelum. Meanwhile the Attorney General has given the green light to go-ahead for non-summary proceedings against the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha chairman and other suspects who are on bail. The head of the Criminal section of the AG’s department, Additional Solicitor General Suhada Gamalath said that charges will be issued on the suspects.
The suspects are to face charges of murder of the British national on Christmas Eve 2011 and causing grievous injury and sexual assault to his 23-year old Russian partner Victoria Alexandrovna.(Susitha R. Fernando)