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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2829

Deceased UN Prosecutor Shyamlal Rajapaksa’s remains is expected in Colombo today

Colombo, 16 August, ( The casket with the remains of Shyamlal Rajapaksa, a Sri Lankan lawyer is expected to reach Colombo today morning.

Shyamlal Rajapaksa who was working at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in Arusha, located in Tanzania who is related to the current Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been found dead in Arusha in mysterious circumstances.

His dead body was discovered on Thursday morning at his Arusha house said sources close to his family.

The circumstances of his death are still not known. Even the interim postmortem report failed to conclusively come up with the exact time of his death. According to the postmortem report, he must have died after Wednesday midnight.

Unconfirmed reports revealed that he is believed to have been murdered by a gang who tried to rob the house.

The sources claimed that he met with his unfortunate fate while struggling with the robbers.

But police in Arusha have denied such suggestions, saying the Sri Lankan lawyer had invited friends over to his house on Wednesday and had drinks with them there until around 11 pm.

The Arusha Regional Police Commander, Basilio Matei, told newspapers that Rajapaksa was in good spirits during the time his guests were there.

“It is not true at all that he could have been killed by bandits. His security guard told us that he opened the gate for the guests to get inside as they had fun and drank beer till late,”Matei said.

Police say Rajapaksa was found by the housemaid lying on the floor on Thursday morning after this revelry. Blood was running from his nose.

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Kenya J. Dissanayake speaking to Asian Tribune said the cause of the death of of Shyamlal Rajapaksa is yet to be determined.

He said that there was no marks or injuries in the body of the deceased except for bleeding from his nose.

High Commissioner further said that according to information received Shyamlal Rajapaksa has earlier had an open-heart bypass surgery three years ago and massive heart too is not discounted as the cause of his death.

When speaking to Asian Tribune from Nairobi, he added, doctors from Dar es Salaam conducted an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death. However the doctors who conducted the autopsy have submitted the interim report. Based on the interim report’s findings the police have allowed the remains of the Sri Lankan Lawyer to be flown to Sri Lanka.

He said along with the remains, a United Nations officer is also flying to Colombo to hand over the casket to his family members, which is said to be a normal practice adopted by the UN in case some staff members pass away whilst in service.

Rajapaksa and his wife, Prashanthi, have been employed as attorneys at the Arusha-based ICTR. He was one of the prosecutors at the tribunal which is trying suspected perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner told Asian Tribune that he was already promoted as the Chief Prosecutor and his promotion is to take effect by the end of this month.

A London-qualified barrister, the 42-year-old Rajapaksa went to school at Royal College Colombo, and was a member of Sri Lanka’s People’s Alliance in the southern provincial council from 1999 to 2004.

He is also a nephew of the current Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and was the only son of the late George Rajapaksa, a prominent politician from the Hambantota District and Lalitha Rajapaksa.

He was earlier attached to the attorney general’s department as a state counsel in Sri Lanka, before joining the ICTR in Arusha.

- Asian Tribune -

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