The death of popular ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen has created enough and more headlines over the past three years that today, there is no one to relate the true story with regard to the incident. Since there had been delays by certain law enforcement authorities at the time of the incident, the mystery continues to date. However, since the incident has now become the ‘hottest’ topic in town, the dailymirror takes a look at various angles to the story:
“I lost trust in the police”
Giving an exclusive reasoning with regard to the incident, Aisha Thajudeen, sister of the late WasimThajudeen said that at the time of the incident a case was filed by the criminal branch of the Narahenpita police. “The case was not taken up by the traffic branch since the body was beyond identification. I gave witness at the first court hearing and I remember the judge asking me if I suspect anyone and then I said that even though his death is suspicious I cannot suspect anyone because he was a friend to all. People say that the family did not support the investigations but that is not true. For good reason we have been avoiding the media and I don’t think anybody would want to turn a blind eye when you see your own family member dead with no proper reason. Of course we did what we could and we always gave them any information we were asked about. The case was heard many times in courts but then there was no cause of death for one and a half years, thereafter the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) gave in a report. But then again the case was not concluded because the Government Analyst has not given his report. So the case was going on and on with no support around. Also I don’t think it would have been the correct time for us to be involved but with the current situation in the country and with the CID following the investigations I now have confidence in them. If it was an accident or a murder there should be a conclusion or a cause of death but then there was nothing as such. Since there were vague facts we did not want to come forward.
When asked about what she thinks about the delay in taking up the case, she said that the delay was due to drawbacks of government institutions. “The case has been very active with the CID working effortlessly to shed light to it since January and we know that something will turn out right. I lost trust in the police but I now have confidence in the CID. Things have not been very quiet but it has rather been a dormant period.
“Also I don’t want to comment on anybody since the investigations are going on but I do have certain things to be suspicious about. The reports were all over media but there are contradictions between the JMO and the GA report. Since the reports were not compatible obviously something is not right about the cause of death. Still the JMO has not given his final report so depending on that will have to continue the investigations further.”
“Every citizen should be treated according to the law of the land and it should be equal to anybody. The perpetrators can be anybody and if nothing is done by the law I believe that God is there to help us.”
“I have no words to describe his personality and character. He is a man full of smiles and he treated everybody the same. He didn’t discriminate anybody and he would always extend his support to anybody in need. He was not married when he passed away and the child he is carrying is a baby of one of his brothers.
“I never knew Mr. Thajudeen”
While the investigations were going on, several social media sites related the story in numerous possible ways. A name that has come up with the incident is of Yasara Abeynayake. In her comments to the , Yasara said, “I never knew Mr. Thajudeen nor have I ever even spoken to him. These rumours started back in 2012 by a website named ‘Lanka Leaks’ and it has spread like fire ever since then. I don’t know why they attach me to this story but they unfortunately picked me and spread it far enough for people to believe their false story. When asked whether the diplomatic position she was awarded to serve in Australia had any link with the incident she said Mr. Thajudeen passed away in 2012 and I got my posting in mid-2014 so my posting had nothing to do with the incident. Also this incident had nothing to do with my break-up with Yoshitha Rajapakse as I never knew Wasim. Yoshitha and I were engaged and it came to an end because our horoscopes did not match and his family was very superstitious about astrology related matters.This break-up was just like any regular break-up but the sad part is that most people in the country decided to make it their business.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with our sister paper, the Sunday Lankadeepa Yasara has mentioned that she had wanted to speak to the media when the incident happened. “Most people discouraged me from resorting to it saying that it was gossip stories which were unfounded and to take no notice of them. It was not my intention to follow these gossip web sites. After some time those stories stopped circulating. But again after the elections it had come to the scene once again. Whenever I meet people they say things, which had greatly caused me and my family much distraught. This is unjustifiable. See the plight of people who are subjected to this harassment. It is my honourable request not to welcome all what is been published via the internet, and do not be in a haste to take decisions. Once the reports are released people would know the truth.'
“I have very clearly reported everything”
JMO Prof Ananda Samarasekara
When contacted the Judicial Medical Officer, Professor Ananda Samarasekara said that there were no undue delays with regard to the determination of the cause of death and submitting the reports to courts.
“The case took the usual time span that a normal investigation of this nature would take. So if you go by the time, the postmortem was done on May 17, 2012 at the time of his death. At the end of the post mortem the necessary specimen were taken to different laboratories to carry out the investigations. Thereafter the body was handed over as per the request of the courts. Then on that day itself I sent an additional report to the Court where I have indicated very briefly that there is a need for further investigation when considering the injuries. Once investigations were done and after determining the cause of death I submitted the reports to courts. By March 2013, except the Government Analyst’s (GA) report I received all other reports. I followed a routine procedure and once I received all reports except the GA report, those reports were sufficient for me to determine the cause of death. Then I included an analysis of the findings and the basic opinion and a 10 page report was submitted to Court on April 10, 2013 along with the anexures and other documents. After sometime I received a GA report and usually when the GA send a report there’s a copy in the police as well. In this case although I received the GA report it didn’t carry a significant cause of death. So the cause of death was made available in courts. The normal practice is that if the courts want any further clarifications they send a notice. But I haven’t received any such notices from courts nor did I have any communication from the investigating police until June 26, 2015. So I already gave my cause of death and I have very clearly reported everything with regard to the injuries.”
Adding further he said that the effects of the head and limb injuries and burns are probably associated with a Carbon Monoxide toxification and even today the cause of death remains the same. When asked if the death was a murder he said, “Don’t ask those things from me because it is a matter to be decided by the judge. We as experts only determine the cause of death but the only thing that I have included in my report is that there are some unusual injuries and I have mentioned all that in detail.” He also said that he didn’t have any political influences during the process of preparing and submitting of the report.
Statement by the lawyer
The ‘silence’ maintained by the family has created enough doubts over the media but as Aisha mentioned, the family has always been active on certain grounds. Keeping this in mind, Lawyer Misbah Sathar issued a statement which stated that the family is very much interested to see justice being served to Wasim’s tragic death and that they have now come forward battling a silence of two years. The statement further said, “They believe it is time for justice and the prevailing situation in the country would help them see this case concluded with the truth revealed in the court of law and the accused punished.
The family is much grateful to the CID and very much in support of all their efforts in seeking the truth in his mysterious death. The family respects and will abide by the law of the land in procedures pertaining to his death investigations. The exhumation falls in line with a requirement to take the case forward and each and every member of the family is in support of it.”
The statement of clarification by Sri Lanka Red Cross
Adding some more curiosity to the incident, Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne on Thursday (06) charged that three officials attached to the Presidential Security Division (PSD) have allegedly been involved in this mysterious incident. In the meantime, the vehicle used for the incident also made headlines again revealing that it was a vehicle donated to the Former first lady Shiranthi Rajapakse for activities of the Siriliya Saviya Foundation by the Sri Lanka Red Cross.
In a statement of clarification produced by the Sri Lanka Red Cross with regard to the incident, the organisation stated that on 21st July 2011 an official communique was raised to its Chairman (President) Mr. Jagath Abeysinghe by the Secretary of the Siriliya Saviya Foundation Ms.Kumari Dissanayake requesting support for transportation for its health related work for women and children. Quoting from the statement it further stated : “Accordingly on the 22nd of June 2011, our Chairman (President) wrote officially to the Minister of Social Welfare at that time, Former Minister Felix Perera seeking his advice on the next course of action for Sri Lanka Red Cross to take on this matter.
On the 27th of June 2011, the Minister of Social Welfare Former Minister Felix Perera wrote back with his consent and concurrence, while requesting Sri Lanka Red Cross to proceed in providing the said support towards transportation to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation. The Minister also emphasized to Sri Lanka Red Cross that this opportunity to support the Siriliya Saviya Foundation should be considered as a privilege to serve the most vulnerable people of Sri Lanka.
Accordingly a defender bearing the number plate WP – KA 0642 was handed over to the Chairperson of the Siriliya Saviya Foundation Former First Lady Mrs.Shiranthi Rajapakse on the 11th of August 2011. (photo is shown below - courtesy : BBC)
On the 20th January 2015, the Transport Manager of Sri Lanka Red Cross retrieved the said vehicle from the Siriliya Saviya Foundation.”
In its concluding remarks the statement mentioned that the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society is unaware of the activities and maintenance of this vehicle from the period of August 2011 to until the time the vehicle was retrieved in this year as it was entrusted to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation.