The Tangalle Nature Resort Manager said she saw Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana and some others, who accompanied him to the resort’s Christmas Party mercilessly assault Khuram Shaik near its camp fire area.
Manager Tharanga Pieris in her evidence led by Senior State Counsel Thusith Mudalige told High Court Judge Rohini Walgama that the hotel had organised a Christmas Party on Christmas Eve and tickets were sold to locals and foreigners.
She said the hotel provided food and beverage to the guests who attended the party.
Ms. Pieris said there was a campfire outside the hotel and that she saw the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapatirana, first accused Lahiru Kelum and some others who accompanied them assaulting a man whom she later came to know as Brian.
She said fifth accused Sarath shouted out pleading that the assault on Brian be stopped.
Meanwhile Khuram Shaik who happened to come there attempted to save Brain by upbraiding the accused saying, “What are you doing.”
Ms. Pieris said she tried to prevent Shaik from going but that here attempts had failed.
She said she then saw Shaik being assaulted by the accused and when Shaik tried to get away to get to his cabana he fell down close to the swimming pool.
Ms. Pieris said she then saw first accused Kelum assaulting Shaik’s girlfriend Victoria with a chair that was near the swimming pool.
“Victoria fell into the pool and when she tried to come out of the pool, she was further assaulted by the first accused,” the resort manager said.
With the situation getting worse, her assistant Nayani and the Chef asked her to call the police. When Ms. Pieris moved towards the reception area to telephone the police, the fourth accused Prageeth Chaturanga standing closeby aimed a gun at the witness and threatened to shoot her if she telephoned the police.
She said she saw Victoria giving artificial respiration to Shaik who tried to get up twice but fell back.
Ms. Pieris said went to the neighboring hotel, “Paradise” and she returned sometime later after a worker informed her that the situation had calmed down.
When she returned to the holiday resort she saw blood stains close to the swimming pool and in the lobby area with broken glass bottles on the floor.
Ms. Pieris said more than Rs.100,000 worth of hotel property was damaged. She said she complained to the Tangalle police and later to the CID.
The accused in the case being heard in the Colombo High Court on a request made by the Attorney General on January 22 are: Lahiru Kelum, Saman Deshapriya, Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Chandragupta Vidanathirana, Prageeth Chaturanga, M. Sarath alias Sahan, and S. Prageeth Chaturanga by Attorney General on January 22. Further hearing has been put off for today. (T. Farook Thajudeen and Lakmal Sooriyagoda)