Initial police investigations into Saturday night`s killing, of senior Military Intelligence officer, Lt. Col. T. Rizvi Meedin, had revealed that the shots were fired by a person who had been travelling with the officer in his official car. The assassin (name withheld on legal advice) is believed to be a close associate of the officer, who shared a bottle of liquor with him at the officer`s Kiribathgoda residence over a hour before the killing. `The shots were definitely not fired from outside,` a well informed source said adding that the military and police were investigating possible LTTE involvement.
Meedin was found dead inside his official car (19-5823), near his home in the Kiribathgoda housing scheme on Saturday night.
He is believed to have been shot around 10.30 on and was rushed in an unconscious state to the National Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries at 1:30 a.m. Sunday. This is the first major incident since the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at his private residence on August 12.
Meedin, attached to the Military Intelligence Corps (MIC) in Colombo, had been shot twice in the head while he was returning home in his car. The victim was at the wheel.
The sources did not rule out the possibility of the involvement of a close associate (name withheld on legal advice) of the officer in Saturday`s killing.
The associate and the assassin identified as a Sinhalese living at Sampur, Trincomalee are believed to have been with Meedin at the time of the shooting. The sources said that the officer had been shot with a micro pistol, a favourite weapon of LTTE intelligence wing cadres and Sinhalese on the LTTE`s payroll. Speculation is rife that Meedin had a personal dispute with the associate, believed to be a wealthy businessman engaged in the lucrative fish trade. The man from Sampur is believed to be involved with the Colombo underworld. The military said that the assassin is believed to be part of the Colombo underworld working with the LTTE.
The Colombo underworld is believed to involved in the assassination of Maj. Tuan Mutalif also of Military Intelligence exactly five months ago.
Army Headquarters said that Meedin had gone out with his friends late night on Saturday and that a friend of his called his wife at home and informed her that Meedin was lying dead near her house. Police identified the caller as the associate who allegedly had a dispute with the officer. Meedin is the second senior intelligence officer shot dead in Colombo this year. He was 39 years old and a father of two children.
Army Headquarters said that the officer`s family requested a private funeral. The officer`s associates had disappeared.
The sources said that they had had a drink at the officer`s residence and then went out claiming that they needed some chicken for bites.