By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
Initial investigations into the killing of Lalith Wasantha Mendis, a 61-year-old entrepreneur and the father-in-law of State Minister D.V. Chanaka, who owned a textile business in Galle, suspected that a dispute between two underworld gangs may have been the motive behind the fatal shooting.
The 61-year-old entrepreneur, Lalith Wasantha Mendis, who owned a textile shop in Galle city, was killed by unidentified gunmen while travelling in a car along Dickson Road in Galle on Saturday.
It is suspected that the notorious underworld criminal Kosgoda Sujee’s gang may be responsible for the attack.
The incident occurred on Saturday night when unidentified gunmen ambushed the businessman while he was returning home.
Police said two assailants on a motorcycle followed the businessman’s car, and a hail of bullets was unleashed upon him while he was driving the car. Mendis succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to Karapitiya Hospital.
Police recovered more than 20 empty shells from a T56 assault rifle, underscoring the severity of the attack.
Galle Police have initiated a thorough investigation into the shooting, with multiple police teams deployed to track down the suspects.
Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that investigations are underway, suspecting the possibility that the shooting was a result of a rivalry between two underworld factions.
The ongoing power struggle between Kosgoda Sujee and Rathgama Vidura is believed to be at the root of these violent confrontations.
While suspicions point towards Kosgoda Sujee’s gang’s involvement in the shooting of the textile businessman, Police are continuing investigations to ascertain the motives and apprehend the suspects involved in the shooting.