An old suicide jacket weighing more than three kilos was found hidden inside a room of a rest house in Kataragama this morning, the police said.
The detection was made by the police after the suicide jacket was found by a man who came to undertake some repairs in the rest house. Police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said that upon finding the kit, the person immediately informed the Katharagama police. It is suspected that the suicide jacket belonged to the LTTE and during the conflict the person who was carrying it may have hidden it in the store room following a failed mission.
It was found hidden inside a used tyre which was in a store room. The police have recorded ten statements from the manager and the employees of the rest house and the army bomb disposal unit was called to the scene. The suicide kit contained the following serial number, S.R.P 014B, along with two detonators.
The pilgrims staying at the rest house were also subject to the search carried out by the police at the time the suicide jacket was recovered.
The guest house consisting 65 small rooms is situated opposite President’s College in Katharagama and is in close proximity to the ‘Menik Sisila’ holiday resort used by police officers.
SP Rohana said that the Government Analyst is to visit the scene and hand over the report within the next few days. Following his inspection the suicide jacket will be defused with the assistance of the Army.
No persons had been arrested so far but the manager of the rest house and his employees are under police surveillance till the investigations are concluded, the police said.
The Katharagama police are conducting further investigations into the incident. (Supun Dias, M.K Nandasena and Nayanadeva Bandara)