By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema – Photo by Thusitha Kumara
Rich brats playing havoc in nightclubs was back in the limelight last Saturday (13) night when a simple accident ended up in blood splattering fisticuffs. Nightclubbers at Galle Face Hotel’s Amuseum were witness to an ugly brawl between a former minster’s son, the future son-in-law of a government minister and a UNP candidate at the last general election.
The clash between former Minister Mahinda Wijesekera’s son and Southern Provincial Councilor, Kanchana Wijesekera, the fiancé of Post and Telecommunications Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga’s eldest daughter, Harsha Manna and UNP candidate for Ratnapura District Anuradha Wimalaratne and their friends, resulted in Wimalaratne being admitted to hospital with severe injures to his left ear and face.
Lying on his hospital bed, Wimalaratne related the incident that took place last Saturday. Wimalaratne had arrived at Amuseum around midnight on Saturday (13) with about five friends. Around 1 am, he had gone to the car park accompanying a friend to his vehicle. “It was at that time that the incident first started. One of my friends had tripped and knocked on Wijesekera’s table and he had apologised. However, the group at the table had been angry and had fought with him. I walked in at the time and we settled the issue,” he explained.
Wimalaratne and his friend had sat on a couch at the nightclub. A young boy had walked up to them and suddenly started to assault Wimalaratne’s friend.
“I assaulted the boy and pulled my friend away. It was then that I was told that the boy who had assaulted my friend was Wijesekera,” he said.
Soon afterwards, Wimalaratne and his friends have walked to the car park when they had noticed a crowd of about 15-20 who had come downstairs to the car park.
Wijesekera and his group of friends had come down to the car park as well.
The vehicles had just started to pull out of the car park when a guy had pulled Wimalaratne’s shirt, as the shutter on his side was pulled down.
“I got down from the car and the guy hit me with the whisky glass in his hand. He hit me and when I turned back, I saw him running back to Wijesekera’s group,” he said.
Wimalaratne said the boy who had assaulted him is one Harsha Manna, who moves in Wijesekera’s circle.
Harsha Manna is to marry Minister Kumaratunga’s daughter next month.
A bleeding Wimalaratne was admitted to the Accident Service at the Colombo National Hospital where he had received nine stitches on his left ear and cheek.
He was later transferred to a private hospital in Colombo.
Wimalaratne’s doctors had advised him to stay in hospital for a few days as the cartilage in his left ear has been badly damaged and an infection would cause the ear to shrink. “I will be taking legal action against the person who assaulted me,” Wimalaratne said. When contacted by The Sunday Leader, Wijesekera denied any involvement in the incident.
He said that although he did visit the nightclub on the 13th night, he had arrived at the venue after the incident had taken place. “I was not there, but there had been an incident before I had arrived at the place and I was informed of it later,” he said. When asked if his friend Harsha Manna was involved in the incident, Wijesekera said that a few of his friends were involved in the incident and that he was not involved in it.
“I heard my name being mentioned in the media and I went to the Colpetty police and inquired about the incident and asked if there was a complaint against me. The police informed me that my name was not in the complaint,” he said.
Wijesekera said that he had even asked the police if there was anything he needed to do, but the police had said there was nothing for him to do.
Nevertheless, on Thursday (18) morning, Wijesekera said he made a statement to the Colpetty police.
“I will be filing a case against these guys for falsely using my name,” he said.
The Colpetty police meanwhile, said that the investigations into the incident were continuing and that they have managed to identify the suspect involved in the assault. Police sources also said that Wijesekera’s name had not been mentioned in the complaint and that the individual who had assaulted the victim with a glass has been named in the complaint. “The police have been able to identify the suspect since he has also been named in the complaint. The police will arrest him and produce him in court,” police sources said.
However, when asked if Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga had contacted the Colpetty police to inquire about the incident and to see what could be done to safeguard his future son-in-law’s interests, the police officers refused to comment.
Meanwhile, Wimalaratne was summoned by the Colpetty police to record a statement on Saturday (20) at 11 am.