On Thursday (September 8), High Court reached a verdict in the controversial Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case, sentencing his killers to death.

Premachandra was killed in October 2011 during a clash with MP Duminda Silva and his supporters, after which Silva was among those accused of murder. The following is a brief timeline of the events that transpired during the five years since Premachandra’s death.

8 October 2011 – Parliamentarian Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra is killed in a shootout between his security officers and a group of rivals. MP R. Duminda Silva, who is a part of the rival gang, is also shot and wounded.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa attends the funeral of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Image courtesy dailynews.lk

12 October 2011 – Premachandra’s final rites take place.

At the time of his demise, he was serving as the Director General on trade union activities at the Presidential Secretariat.

1 November 2011– MP Duminda Silva is flown to Singapore for medical treatment for injuries sustained during the incident.

15 November 2011 – The Colombo Magistrate’s Court issues a warrant to arrest Duminda Silva upon his return to the country.

January 2012 – Police identify 14 suspects involved in the incident. All suspects are arrested.

22 July 2012 – Duminda Silva claims that he cannot remember who shot him or what had happened during the incident.

5 March 2013 – Duminda Silva returns to the country and is arrested. He is shortly hospitalised following the arrest.

6 May 2013 – Duminda Silva makes his first court appearance.

2 May 2014 – The case is referred to High Court where it will be heard by a three-member bench.

5 May 2016 – Duminda Silva informs Colombo High Court that he is innocent of all 17 charges made against him.

14 July 2016 – Case examination concludes.

8 September 2016 – Duminda Silva and four others are given the death sentence for the murder of Premachandra and life imprisonment for possessing illegal firearms. Nine suspects are indicted.

Featured image: Duminda Silva arrives at courts. Image courtesy asianmirror.lk