The police said today that Malaka Silva was not arrested at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya because the policemen on duty had not been informed that he was wanted in connection with the alleged assault on the army major.
They said they were keen on doing a thorough investigation before arresting him.
Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake said the police were not under pressure from any quarter with regard to the investigations.
He said the police had obtained a court order to obtain the video footage recorded on 13 CCTV cameras.
DIG Senanayake said the statements were recorded from Malaka and Rehan Wijeyaratne within 48 hours after the incident. However the media was told that he had to be arrested to record the statements.
“We ordered them to come to the Kompannaveediay police station at 8.00 a.m. today and if they had been late even by a minute I prepared to send three teams of police officials who were on standby to arrest them,” he noted. “We could have sent a message to the 2,000 policemen on duty at the Kelaniya Temple at the exposition of the Kapilavasthu Relics but our main objective was to arrest the suspects involved after a proper investigation,” he said.
DIG Senanayake said the police are investigating whether the Major was at the hotel to track down a drug trafficking operation.
“We have also arrested the man who handed over the pistol to the police. There is an investigation on the other hand whether the Army Major had informed his camp before going to the hotel with his pistol,” he added.(Supun Dias)
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana