Trade Union Centre for Building the Country, Health Convener Ravi Kumudesh, who was with the slain journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram minutes before his abduction in Bambalapitiya, accused politicians of using the killing to gain political mileage while the killers were roaming free.
Addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday, he said that due to this type of political behaviour it was clear the killers would have a very good platform to go on a killing spree, but he refrained from pointing a finger at anyone or group over the killing..
He also said that his meeting with Sivram on that fateful day was accidental. `I knew Sivaram as a journalist who wrote both nationally and internationally. When meeting a person of his caliber there are so many things to discuss, unfortunately following this meeting he was killed and some people are taking advantage of this to sling mud at us.`
Asked whether he fears for his life, he said, `without finding the killers, it is pointless targeting us, if the killer feels that I knew something about him, it would put me in danger.`
Asked why he did not visit the Police Station immediately for statement, he said that he left with his friend before Sivaram left. When he got to know about the abduction he made a statement to the police. `In fact we asked him whether he needed a three wheeler, then he said that there are plenty of buses and he would go by bus`.
`I knew that he had received death threats but I never thought that he would be killed, even after the abduction, I thought he would return safe, Kumudesh added`.
The Union President Linus Jayatilake and the General Secretary Dharmasiri Lankapeli also spoke.