Bomb scare in Baduraliya: Sabotage revealed | Sunday Observer

Bomb scare in Baduraliya: Sabotage revealed

Palitha Thewarapperuma
Palitha Thewarapperuma

Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment Palitha Thewarapperuma dropped a bombshell this week when he alleged that Palindanuwara Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and Pohottuwa politico Dhammika Ranasinghe had a hand in the planting of 15 hand grenades at the Dikhena Vidyalaya in Baduraliya. The incident had caused widespread panic following the April 21 terror attacks as parents islandwide had been uneasy and concerned regarding a possible attack on schools.

The Deputy Minister calling a press conference accused Ranasinghe of providing the hand grenades to the 32-year-old accused Pavithra Madushanka who was later handed over to the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) for further investigations. According to Thewarapperuma, Ranasinghe, an Army deserter has had previous offences in relation to explosives. “Pavithra Madushanka who was arrested is a close aide of Ranasinghe,” the Deputy Minister revealed adding that he had campaigned for Ranasinghe at the last elections.

Madushanka has been accused by the Police of leaving 15 hand grenades close to a building which houses Grade 1 students at the Dikhena Vidyalaya where they were discovered on the morning of May 24 by parents and the security guards of the school. The Police have called it an act of sabotage and an attempt to create panic using the vulnerable situation in the country to gain political mileage. Other Pohottuwa politicos and parties supporting the group, such as MP Dayasiri Jayasekara and Madhumadawa Aravinda have also been accused of inciting violence and panic following the Easter Sunday attacks leaving the party embroiled in the stirred up chaos which has followed.

Ranasinghe, formerly a member of the United National Party (UNP) had joined the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in 2011. According to Thewarapperuma, Ranasinghe had switched political allegiance that year in a bid to evade arrest. “At the time it was revealed Ranasinghe’s wife had supplied explosives to a suspect to harm a political opponent,” the Deputy Minister said.

“He switched sides when he realised he will be arrested,” he said. Later Ranasinghe pledged his support to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) which was formed in support of Opposition Leader and Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Thewarapperuma claims Ranasinghe must take responsibility for the incident in Baduraliya. “I am making these statements responsibly,” he said adding that he is even prepared to give a statement to the law enforcement agencies in this regard. “However, as a citizen I doubt if the Police will take action against Ranasinghe,” he said. - MB