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 Post subject: Gangs fight for supremacy - Negombo-Katunayake-Minuwangoda
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:09 pm 
In the Negombo-Katunayake-Minuwangoda area
Two underworld gangs fight for supremacy

by Hemantha Randunu
Sunday Island / October 9, 2005


Two underworld gangs have been fighting each other to gain ‘supremacy’ in the Negombo-Katunayake-Minuwangoda area for the past several months. Recently the gang warfare reached a new high when one of the gang leaders, Kalu Gamini of Minuwangoda, crime clan was killed by the rival gang.

The rival gang was led by Asitha Kumara a nephew of the notorious killer, Lakshman Dharmadasa Silva alias ‘One Shot’ who was a resident of Heentiyana, Minuwangoda. When ‘One Shot’ was killed by police fire 1992 Asitha Kumara was a young man who admired his paternal uncle. After ‘One Shot’ was killed and the criminal gang had no leader Asitha Kumara entertained dreams of following in the footsteps of his slain uncle.

During this time there was a thriving business in the locality in the trading of cut pieces of textiles from the garment industry in the FTZ Katunayake. Businessmen bought these textiles in bulk and sold it to small garment makers and others who used them in small and cottage industries. But the underworld too enterted the bussiness and only those blessed by the were allowed to buy the bulk material a very profitable income.

No outsider was allowed to buy any cut pieces from any of the industries there were two other ‘trades’ under the supervision of the gangs. One was the vehicle hiring service at the Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake, the second, river sand transportation with earth moving for building sites.

In 1994 when the PA government came to power a certain criminal element who was in the good books of a powerful politician of the area took control of the earth moving operation. This man Kalu Gamini became very rich with the ‘commission’ he charged from all vehicle engaged in this business. Gamini was so powerful that no criminal dared to cross his path.

By this time Asitha, the nephew of ‘One Shot’ was in his prime and dreaming of becoming the crime boss of the area. To carry out his plans he hired a number of gunmen and organized his own gang. Then the UNP came to power in 2001 and Gamini could no longer hold sway with the politicians. Police who looked aside when Gamini committed various crimes like extortion were no longer prepared to do that. Asitha by that time had cultivated the friendship of a UNP politician of the district and the rivalry between Asitha and Gamini began to surface.

Asitha took charge of the earth moving business and he moved fast to get rid of his rival Gamini. The Asitha gang killed Gamini near the Udugampola junior school while he was going to meet someone involved in the earth moving business. Though Gamini was killed his gang did not stop their criminal activities nor were they deterred by the death of their boss. Kasippu Jaye, Sagara, Loku Aiya and Paspodda the leading members of the gang carried on regardless of the threat of the Asitha Gang.

Sagara of the Gamini gang was remanded as a suspect in the murder of a member of the Asitha Gang and Asitha knew that he will be the next target of Sagara. He told one of his good friends Keerthi, also a notorious underworld character that Sagara was becoming a bigger threat to him than any other member of the Gamini gang. The friend moved fast putting a trusted junior on the job of trailing Sagara and killing him before Sagara moved against Asitha.

During this period the Asitha gang found information to the Gamini gang about his gang’s movements as Nihal had close contacts with all taxi and van drivers who were running hires in the locality. Once he learnt it Asitha went into hiding after ordering that Nihal should be killed.

During this time Asitha was remanded as a suspect for the killing of Kalu Malli and another murder but Asitha controlled his gang from the remand prison. Nihal was unaware that the shadow of death was looming over him when he heard the news that Asitha was remanded nor did he even realize that gangsters could move even from within the walls of prisons to carry out their bloody tasks.

A few days later Nihal while traveling in a van with one of his friends was gunned down at Minuwangoda and the police investigating the crime took ‘Commando’ Udaya and Deepthi as suspects.

However the gang war was by now was hotting up. With two of his gang members ‘Commando’ Udaya and Deepthi remanded Asitha now felt he must have two more to guard him from any possible attack on the way to courts whenever his cases were called up.

While Asitha and some of his gang members were remanded an operator of the Gamini gang Pas Podda started his extortion racket from the earth movers who were supplying earth and sand for building sites. When Asitha heard that Pas Podda was making quite a packet from the racket he phoned Pas Podda over a cellular phone he had inside the prison.

"I have heard that you are making good money doing the ‘business we did. I don’t mind it but see that you send me 500,000 rupees. Otherwise you know what will happen to you."

But Pas Podda who heard what Asitha told him had other plans.

There was a member of the Asitha gang, Rupaisinghe, who collected extortion money from earth movers in another part of the district who came after Pas Podda demanding the 500,000 wanted by his boss Asitha but every time he came for the money Pas Podda put him off giving some excuse or another but Rupasinghe kept on coming almost weekly.

Finally Pas Podda and his friends decided to get rid of Rupasinghe. A few days later two persons on a motor cycle came to Yagodamulla near Katunayake where Rupasinghe was living. They saw him on the road but Rupasinghe whose instinct told him who the two persons were started running along the road but in vain. He was shot dead on the road.

When Asitha heard the bad news he was furious. He consulted his pals at the remand prison and decided that it was time to take counteraction against Pas Podda. Using his mobile phone in the remand prison he contacted Pas Podda. "You have killed one of my men. You know what will happen to you, don’t you?" Asitha told Pas Podda.

Pas Podda lost no time in preparing the blueprint to kill Asitha as he knew it was one of them that had to die first and there was no other way about it. Asitha also knew the danger he faced but he did not know how to prepare a plan to kill Pas Podda before the latter moved first.

Pas Podda prepared his plan well. He got Sagara, Loku Lal and three soldiers who had deserted their posts in the army. He also got a tipper truck used for moving earth. The plan was discussed at length with his trusted friends.

On the morning of September 26, Asitha had to attend the Gampaha Magistrate Court. The Black Maria carrying 12 remand prisoners among whom were Asitha and ‘Commando’ Udaya, Asitha who had immense influence over the prison officers told them, " I am under threat from my rivals. When you take me out in the prison vehicle please don’t handcuff me and my two friends because if we are attacked we should try to escape the shots by lowering ourselves on the floor of the vehicle."

His words were to become prophetic and the prison officers took them in the rear part of the Black Maria with another person, a businessman also to be produced in the courts on that day. All these four persons were not handcuffed. The Black Maria approached a bridge at Asgiriya, Gampaha. The prison’s driver saw a tipper truck coming towards the bridge from the opposite direction but the truck which could easily cross the bridge with the Black Maria was reversing without entering the bridge.

The driver was surprised to see the truck reversing and he slowed down his vehicle but kept on crossing the bridge. However Asitha, Deepthi and Udaya were watching the truck carefully. As the Black Maria crossed the bridge and came alongside the truck the prison’s driver put his head out and asked the driver of the tipper truck who was the only person to be seen in the front cab of the truck why he had reversed the truck when he had enough space to cross the bridge.

Just then a person armed with a gun rose from the rear of the truck. Deepthi shouted ‘We are being attacked.’ The gang members immediately crept under the seats of the Black Maria but the businessman who did not have an inkling of what was going on sat impassively in his seat when a bullet pierced his head and a number of gunmen started firing into the Black Maria but the driver stepped on the pedal fleeing from the rain of bullets coming into the vehicle.

However by that time three prisons officers and the businessman had been fatally injured and some of them had died before the vehicle reached the Gamapaha Hospital. None of the Asitha gang was hurt. They alone escaped but others had to pay with their lives for the bloody rivalry of killers as innocent victims of an underworld war.

But by no means is the war over. The rest of the bloody tale will be told later but let us hope no innocent bystanders or other innocents will have to pay with their lives for the rivalry among these gangsters who had better not been born among us.


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 Post subject: Why does Sri Lanka save gangsters from themselves
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:39 am
Posts: 16
In the aftermath of WWII, the US was plagued by similar internecine war-fare and Mafia gangsterism. One of the strategies used by the FBI, known as G-Men (Goovt man) was to embroil the gangsters in further conflict with each other by causing and cotributing sources of suspicion and random hits against each other. The process paid off massive dividends as the gangs eliminated each other in long-running vandettas, which once started, developed a life of their own.

By the late 1970's the Mafia was hard hit, by infilteration and thru internecine warfare, which enabled the FBI to decimate the remaining few Capos (God fathers) and carry the war against them all the way to Italy and Sicilly. Today the mafia is a distant memory, even though there are rumors that it continues to have a marginal existance.

Sri Lanka should follow this example and learn to divide and destroy this scourge on our society.


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