Army Officer arrested in connection with bus explosion

Saturday, 3 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Police and Army conducting parallel investigations into suspect and his motives


The Army officer involved in the grenade explosion in the bus en route to Diyatalawa was arrested yesterday by authorities. 

According to Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara, the suspect, Lesley Kumara Chandrasena, is a Sergeant Major of the 6th Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corp attached to the Menik-kanda camp, Diyatalawa.

Gunasekara revealed that a Police investigation was being conducted and that the Bandarawela Magistrate had remanded the suspect till 15 March.

“The Bandarawela Magistrate visited the Diyatalawa hospital, where the suspect is currently warded, and remanded him till 15 March in accordance with the findings of our investigation,” the Police spokesman said. 

He said that suspect was arrested for negligence as well as being in possession of an illegal explosive device. 

“It appears that he had brought the explosive from his house,” the Spokesman said, while refusing to divulge more information citing the ongoing Police investigation. 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army Director – Media Brigadier Sumith Athapattu told the Daily FT that the Army was carrying out a parallel probe of the incident. 

“We are investigating the suspect and his motives. It is our strong belief that the grenade that the suspect had was most likely an illegally-obtained explosive and not one belonging to the Sri Lanka Army,” the Brigadier said.

The Brigadier further divulged that the suspect had serious financial debt issues. 

The suspect will be taken before the Bandarawela Magistrate’s Court for his next hearing on 15 March.

A total of 19 passengers, including 12 Army personnel, were injured when a grenade exploded in a bus travelling from Jaffna to Diyatalawa on 21 February. (SG)