The father of Kumari Cooray, the woman who committed suicide outside Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeem`s residence last week, said yesterday that he did not suspect any foul play in her death.
Former parliamentarian Mervyn J Cooray also said that he would take charge of Kumari`s two children, 17-year Gayeshan and 13-year Deshani Wijeyasinghe.
`From her small days, she was a very stubborn girl,` Cooray told the Sunday Island. `Whenever she took a decision, she wouldn`t listen to anybody else. I don`t suspect any foul play.`
Colombo City Coroner Edward Ahangama, who held the post mortem into Thursday`s death, returned a verdict of suicide due to burn injuries sustained as a result of setting herself on fire.
Kumari was 40-years-old and a divorcee. Her body was identified by her brother, Vijith Cooray.
Giving evidence, Pattani Mahendran, a security guard at Carnival Ice Cream, Kollupitiya, said Kumari had come around 1.35 am and asked him to open the gate.
She wanted to meet Hakeem. However, he had refused to let her in.
She had left only to return around 2.40 am in a three-wheeler, again demanding that the gate be opened. He refused, and said the gates would be opened only at 6 am. She then scaled the parapet wall and, after climbing onto the roof of the guardroom, doused herself with petrol and lit a match. She threatened to set herself on fire if she wasn`t permitted to see Hakeem.
Soon afterwards, she set herself on fire and died after attempts to save her life failed.(NW)