List of Sri Lankan mobsters

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This is a list of some notable organized crime figures within the underworld of Sri Lanka.

Name Life Years Active Comments References
Kotte Sunil alias Gonawala Sunil d. 2000 1970s-1980s Gonawala Sunil is one of the earliest criminal gang leaders in Sri Lankan underworld. He allegedly had major connections with the UNP government at that time. He was involved in the massacre of 53 prisoners at Welikada Prison in 1983 and raping a 14-year-old girl in 1982. He was convicted of the murder, and was serving in prison when he was famously released on a presidential pardon given by President J.R. Jayewardene just before the 1982 presidential election. Subsequently, he was made an all-island Justice of the peace (JP). He had also been the bodyguard of Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, who was the Minister of Education of the J.R. Jayawardene government at that time. Sunil was killed in a shoot out with Police on May 20, 2000. [1][2]
Soththi Upali d. 1998 1970-1989 He was said to be a close ally of B. Sirisena Cooray, the Minister of Housing and Construction of Premadasa government. Sri Lankan Police officers allegedly have addressed him as "sir" during that time. He served as a reserve sub inspector at one time and was included in the UNP executive body by President Premadasa. In 1997, a presidential commission appointed by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga concluded that Upali was directly involved in assassination of Lalith Athulathmudali. Before the trial against him was finished, he was killed by a rival gang led by Dhammika Amarasinghe on December 17, 1998. [3][4][5]
Usliyanage Chinthaka Nalin Perera alias Chinthaka Amarasinghe d. 1996 1980s-1996 Amarasinghe was considered to be the arch rival of Soththi Upali, when he was at the height of his power. Also involved in numerous other murders, he gunned down Malu Nihal and Cheena – who were major henchmen of Upali, at Gothamipura in March 1993. It was alleged that Amarasinghe was supported by politician affiliated to People's Alliance. Chinthaka Amarasinghe hails from a cime-related family, with his uncle Noel Amarasinghe was the chief suspect in the Kollupitiya Tavern robbery case in 1966. He was killed at Thotalanga by a rival gang led by Kalu Ajit in 1996. [3][6][7][8]
Dhammika Amarasinghe d. 2004 1990s-2004 Brother of a former underworld stalwart Chinthaka Amarasinghe, Dhammika Amarasinghe is considered to be the most feared Sri Lankan underworld figure, ever. He was wanted for at least 50 murders and 17 bank robberies during the 1990s to 2004. It was reported that Dhammika had lost 16 of his family members due to the clashes with other underworld gangs. He was a close associate of Thilanga Sumathipala, the Colombo District MP. In 1999, Sumathipala - when he was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, facilitated Dhammika with thousands of sterling pounds to go and watch the Cricket World Cup held in England in the fake name of Buddhika Priyashantha Godage under a forge passport.[9] This sparked a huge controversy in Sri Lankan political arena. He was also associated with Lohan Ratwatte, a Kandy District MP. Dhammika was killed on January 9, 2004 inside the court room no.6 of Colombo Magistrate by an Army deserter named Siriwardanage Chaminda Udaya Kumara. It was speculated that he was killed in order to conceal the conduct of several high-ranking politicians, during the hearing of court cases. [3][7][8][10][11][12][13]
Ajith Dhammika alias Kalu Ajith d. 1997 1980s-1997 Kalu Ajith was involved in the killing of Chinthaka Amarasinghe in 1996. He was killed by Chinthaka's brother, Dhammika on July 16, 1997. [3][7]
Atapattu Hewasam Liyanage Don Wasantha Dharmasiri alias Kaduwela Wasantha d. 2002 1990s-2002 Kaduwela Wasantha was a major criminal gang leader during the 1990s. He and five other gang members were killed on Wesak poya day, May 26, 2002, by a rival gang led by Karate Dhammika. [14][15]
Baddegane Sanjeewa d. 2001 1994-2001 Sanjeewa worked as a police sergeant at the President's Security Division (PSD) of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and as Kumaratunga’s private body guard when she was the Chief Minister of Western Province. He was accused of a number of murders and assaults including the murder of "Satana" editor Rohana Kumara, assault of Rukantha and Chandralekha Gunathilake, assassination of Kumar Ponnambalam, burning of the house of actress Anoja Weerasinghe and attack on The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge in 1998. Sanjeewa was killed by the mob led by Dhammika Amarasinghe on November 2, 2001 allegedly under the orders of the former Minister of Defense, General Anuruddha Ratwatte. [16]
Moratu Saman d. 2003 1990s-2003 Key suspect of the assassination of the controversial politician Kumar Ponnambalam. Moratu Saman was initially a close ally of Dhammika Amarasinghe but eventually fell out with him. Amarasinghe attempted to kill him in 2002. He was killed by a rival gang led by Thoppi Chaminda in 2003. [8][17]
Koswattage Donald Nihal Wickremasinghe alias Nawala Nihal 1976-now Nihal was involved in several murders and extortion rackets over the years. He killed the prominent underworld figure, Kalu Ajit and two of his henchmen at Aththidiya. He is considered as the current godfather of Colombo underworld. [18][19]
Kitulgamaralalage Ajith Wasantha alias Vambotta d. 2006 2000-2006 It was reported that 3 of Vambotta’s sisters were allegedly raped, tortured and killed by a rival family. This had led to a series of revenge killings with more than 25 of the rival family members being killed and their property destroyed. He was wanted for 10 murders, extortion and kidnapping. He had allegedly started his life by selling vegetables at Sooriyawewa, hence the name Vambotta (Brinjal). He was killed by a rival gang named "Ratnaweera gang" in April 2006. [20][21]
Jayakody Arachchige Ruwan Perera alias Olcott 1977–2010 1988-2010 Hailed from Magazine Road, Borella in Colombo city, He was linked to more than 28 killings, several robberies and abductions in Colombo and its suburbs. He earned a lot of fortune through drug trade, especially heroin. He owned two luxury residences in Colombo and Kurunegala. Olcott was involved in the LTTE’s failed assassination attempt of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga along with Thel Bala and Kimbulaela Guna, two other notorious gang leaders. He disappeared from Sri Lanka after that and lived in Tamil Nadu for more than a decade. He returned to Sri Lanka in 2009. His mansion was stormed by Special Task Force soldiers in September 2010. He was arrested and subsequently killed by the soldiers, when he tried to grab the weapon of an officer. [22]
Kamal Dammalarachchi alias Dematagoda Kamal 1971-2010 1990s-2010 Dematagoda Kamal was involved in at least 15 murders including the killing of Dushyantha Senevirathne – the Leader of Opposition in the Galle Municipal Council. He was killed when he allegedly tried to throw a bomb at the Police. [23]
Sinniah Gunasekeran alias Kimbula-Ela Guna 1990s-2008 Kimbula-Ela Guna was a major drug dealer in Sri Lanka. He was involved in LTTE activities also. He took part in LTTE’s failed attempt to kill President Chandika Kumaratunga in 1999. After that, he fled Sri Lanka and is currently living in Tamil Nadu, South India. It is alleged that he had monitored and conducted the drug traffiking activities in Sri Lanka from there. In 2008, he was arrested by Tamil Nadu Police. [22][24][25]
Thel Baala 1990s-2000s Thel Baala was a prominent drug dealer and gang leader around Bloemendhal garbage dump in Sri Lanka during the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was shot dead by a rival gang led by Colum. [22][26]
Prince Colum alias Prince 1973-2007 1992-2007 Colum was involved in various murders in the Kotahena and Grandpass areas. His primary operating area was the around Bloemendhal garbage dump. Colum was killed by a rival gang in 2007. [26][27]
M.K. Imtiaz alias Anamalu Imtiaz d. 2009 1990s-2009 Anamalu Imtiaz was involved in at least 39 murders, including contract killings. He was also heavily involved in other areas of crime, including extortion and drug dealing. He operated in Maligawatte, and was kidnapped and killed by an unknown rival gang on July 9, 2009. [14][28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The rise and fall of Gonawila Sunil". Lanka Library. 2005. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  2. ^ "Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 29 - Prisoners massacred". Lanka Library. 2005. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Mobsters, politicians and cops in unholy alliance". TheIsland. 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  4. ^ "Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Chapter 58: Premadasa indicted". Asia Times Online. 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  5. ^ "Fundamental Rights - Preventive detention". Law Net. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  6. ^ "Thilanga named as contractor by underworld gangster". Sunday Leader. 2003. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  7. ^ a b c "Shotgun justice Notorious underworld gangster executed amidst court trials". Sunday Times. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  8. ^ a b c "Countdown for Thilanga". The Sunday Leader. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  9. ^ Sri Lankas former King maker ,Cricket board boss ,Telecom chairman Thilanga Sumathipala convicted for a 2 year jail term after a long drawn out case .Jayawardhana Walter. Lanka Web News.Available online
  10. ^ "Another killing as police hunt for Dhammika killers". Sinhalaya. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  11. ^ "Makings of a DON". The Sunday Leader. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  12. ^ "Underworld of no return: They kill, kill and kill until they get killed". The Sunday Times. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  13. ^ "Thilanga named as contractor by underworld gangster". The Sunday Leader. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  14. ^ a b "Gang wanted for Vesak day slaughter held". 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  15. ^ "Kaduwela Wasantha, five others killed". 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  16. ^ "Baddegane Sanjeewa was top security officer cum famous criminal during PA regime — Rajitha". Asian Tribune. 2002. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  17. ^ "The end of a Moratuwa gangster". Sunday Island. 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  18. ^ "Has the Godfather of the Mafia gone beneath?". The Sunday Observer. 2006. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  19. ^ "Nawala Nihal was cremated alive: Was Udayapala acting under orders?". The Island. 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  20. ^ "underworld leaders go underground: Notorious gangster Vambotta killed". The Island. 2006. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  21. ^ "Three arrested for Vambotta killing". LankaNewspapers. 2006. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  22. ^ a b c "Drug baron meets his Waterloo". The Sunday Observer. 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  23. ^ "Underworld kingpin ‘Dematagoda Kamal’ dead". Daily Mirror. 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  24. ^ "Drug dealer behind businessman's killing?". The Sunday Observer. 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  25. ^ "CID to interrogate local drug kingpin caught in India". Info Lanka. 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  26. ^ a b "Godfather of garbage". The Sunday Times. 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  27. ^ "Rise and fall of Colum". The Sunday Observer. 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  28. ^ "Colombo’s most feared gang leader murdered". The Island. 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-10.