Who was the SLMC activist killed - Salaam or Munas?

Mar 20 (IL) The cause of death of a 45-year-old SLMC activist on Tuesday night in Veeramunai, Sammanthurai was yet to be identified by the police.

OIC Sammanthurai police Shiran Perera said that the suspect had gone to the SLMC office on Tuesday morning and had departed around twelve noon.

The victim, Kaldeen Salaam, a fisherman by profession had been working at the SLMC office as a tea maker and a minor labourer.

According to police the victim had been engaged in selling fish after office hours and had gone to his house in the evening to provide some fish to his daughter.

He had left the house late in the evening and had not returned and his body was found in Weeramunai, a village two kilometres away from Sammanthurai, on Wednesday morning.

The post mortem revealed that the victim had died due to a deep wound on his head and due to severe bleeding.

A Magisterial inquiry is to be held today and the cause of the death would be announced thereafter, the police said. SLMC alleged that this was a political killing and that their candidates and supporters have been receiving immense death threats especially from the UPFA supporters for the past few days.

Meanwhile, President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday directed Inspector General of Police to hold an impartial inquiry over the death of Kaldeen Salaam.

Sources told that a Special investigation Unit has already been dispatched to the area from Colombo to investigate. They said that authorities have given instructions not to include any police personnel from the area.

However, the media has received conflicting reports over the SLMC victim's name, while the party stated that the deceased was K. Salaam, and a statement issued from the Presidential Secretariat claimed that the name of the deceased was Mohamed Munas.

While sources from the East alleged that there was a secret move by 'interested groups' to create a rift between the Tamil and Muslim people living in the area, which may have been a reason why the body of the victim may have been dumped in a Tamil village called Veeramunai.

UPFA National List nominee and SLMC dissident Anver Ismail in a complaint to the President has said that certain SLMC groups were trying to blame the incident on other groups.

Mr. Ismail had claimed that the victim was last seen near the SLMC party office in Sammanthurai.