SOTHTHI UPALI SHOT DEAD (98 Dec 23)
Arambawelage Don Upali Ranjith alias Soththi Upali was shot dead on Thursday the seventeenth at Bokundara, near Piliyandala. He was returning home from the magistrate courts in Kolomba, where he has being charged in connection with the assassination of Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali.
It is believed that two vehicles have followed the bus in which Upali was traveling from Kolomba to Piliyandala.As soon as he got down at Bokundara, he was shot and then dragged into one of the vehicles and taken to a place about 4 km from Bokundara, shot again and dropped. It is also believed that it is the work of a rival gang but no details are known.
The commission appointed to go into the assassination of Mr. Athulathmudali. found many people including the late Mr. R. Premadasa connected directly or indirectly with the murder. However there is a strong belief among many people that the findings of the commission have been not impartial. Many people believe that Mr. Athulathmudali. was killed by the LTTE and the findings of the commission have helped to whitewash the LTTE.
These incidents show how the society has been politicsed and the links that the politicians have with the underworld figures. Upali has been at one time a supporter of both Mr. Vijaya Kumaratunga and Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, and known to them personally. Like many others Upali has also served politicians of the major political parties.