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Gallows for Kotakethana ‘Serial Killer’

19 February 2024 04:41 pm - 17     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Ratnapura High Court judge Lanka Jayaratne imposed the death sentence on a convict who was indicted for double murder at Kotakethana in Ratnapura.

Prosecuted entirely based on DNA evidence by Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Lakmali Karunanayake, court found accused Neil Lakshman guilty of the murder of a mother and daughter in Kotakethana in 2012.

The accused was indicted for raping the daughter and committing the double murder. According to the evidence the house where the murders were committed was set on fire to destroy all evidence. 

The Kotakethana area became notorious for a series of mysterious killings and during the trial it transpired that the multiple murder was also connected to the first ever ‘serial killer’ reported in Sri Lanka.

The victims had been brutally killed, attacking them on their heads with a sharp weapon.

Considering the seriousness of the offence, the Attorney General had filed a direct indictment without a non-summary proceeding.

At the beginning of the trial, the offences had been read out to the accused and he had pleaded not guilty. While the prosecution was led by Senior DSG Lakmali Karunanayake, attorney-at-law Chaminda Kohupitiya was appointed as a crown counsel as there was no lawyer to appear on behalf of the accused.

Relating to the same murder incident, a trial had been imitated against three accused before the Colombo High Court earlier but after the prosecution, all three accused had been discharged. However, three years after the incident, the accused had been arrested based on DNA evidence.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Lakmali Karunanayake


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  Comments - 17

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  • Jeanne Monday, 19 February 2024 04:56 PM

    This is great news. Please let's see more of capital punishment for murderers and child rapists in particular.

    Nimal Tuesday, 20 February 2024 01:49 AM

    What capital punishment? It's a death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

    Jeanne Tuesday, 20 February 2024 12:22 PM

    @Nimal : Would you rather him live comfortably enjoying his freedom? Some justice is better than no justice at all. People are never satisfied in this country.

    Terrence K Monday, 19 February 2024 05:38 PM

    We will definitely see a reduction in crimes if the government implements the electric chair/lethal injection as the public knows very well that the implementation of the law is very weak as they can snuff peoples lives and get a reduced sentence. Can anyone replace the lives that are lost. These criminals know that parole is given for good behaviour whilst in prison in reducing their stay in prison. Many brains should go into implementing capital punishment and we need the President of the country having the backbone to take strong decisions irrespective of the consequences otherwise there is no way we could have a good society!!!!!!!!

    Cherath Monday, 19 February 2024 05:42 PM

    Over 12 years (over 4300 days) allowed to live (and more, as no execution) since snuffing out 2 innocent lives, 1 of whom subjected to even rape! May the new government in waiting have the strength to speed up such brutal cases and 'liquidate' these social parasites, lawfully and speedily.

    Jayantha Monday, 19 February 2024 06:14 PM

    One of the best and intelligent judges in Sri Lanka. Remember we have some weak judges who cannot even solve a simple rent or property matter. Sri Lanka needs more judges of her calibre.

    Spartacus Monday, 19 February 2024 07:04 PM

    Justice delayed is justice denied. It's no use giving final sentences after 12y because the perpetrator at this stage anyway does not care because he would have enjoyed raping and murdering more during this time.

    Jeanne Tuesday, 20 February 2024 02:04 AM

    @Spartacus: You wouldn't be saying that if it had been your mother and sister. This sentence will bring comfort to the families left behind. Better late than never.

    Justice served Monday, 19 February 2024 09:06 PM

    Correct judgement. Salute the judge.

    Mfb Monday, 19 February 2024 09:19 PM

    Death sentence in Sri Lanka.???

    Jeanne Tuesday, 20 February 2024 12:21 PM

    @Mfb : Why not?

    Hypocrisy Tuesday, 20 February 2024 12:41 PM

    If murders can happen in Sri Lanka why not death sentence?

    Jude Fernando Monday, 19 February 2024 11:11 PM

    No point. He will spend many years living comfortably courtesy tax payer money. Will be released in his old age.

    db Tuesday, 20 February 2024 12:26 AM

    our tax money to maining 12 years and rest of the life . He will never get any punishment. put him to clean Nilwala river in Matara. If he is lucky he will live forvever and clean the river which good for him and env. if croks are hungry then we can save dogs and human lives around nilwala bank

    Citizens Tuesday, 20 February 2024 12:26 AM

    Excellent! But the judgement on cases like this should be quicker, should not take so many years after such heinous crimes!

    Justice Tuesday, 20 February 2024 01:41 AM

    Please bring mandatory capital punishment for drug offences too like what happens in SE Asia. This will indeed clean up the society and make the country a safe place to live.

    ANNECUNT Tuesday, 20 February 2024 03:54 PM

    Namal Rajapaksa is comming to pardon you when he becomes the president


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