The double-murder case against ex-minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon will be heard by the Kandy high court this month. This is not about that case, but yet another ‘heroic’ act by him.
Janaka loves to mention his father tearfully when he relates his life story, how he had read out poems at the Kandy bus stand etc. His father was indeed a simple politician. But, Janaka has not done justice to his father by deed.
From Deiynnewela in Kandy, Janaka came to Dambulla in the 1980s. Those who are in the know well know why he made that move. In the beginning, he did not even have a place to live in Dambulla.
Feeling sorry for him, one Upali Perera gave him a house but did not charge any rent. He was honest in his help to Janaka. Contesting from Dambulla at the 1994 election, Janaka got elected and appointed a deputy minister. He showed his gratitude to Upali by giving a liquor license to his wife Jayanthi.
Upali too, was not a good man. He was a trickster. Janaka’s politics gave him strength in his money-lending and other businesses. He was an alcoholic and died of that.
Upali had a two-acre land at Yapagama, Dambulla. After his death, Janaka threatened Jayanthi and told her to give him the land. When she opposed, Janaka said her liquor license would be cancelled. But, she did not give in. Janaka seemed to have forgotten it, but he did not.
By then, he was a wealthy man, extortion money from Dambulla economic centre alone brought him hundreds of millions of rupees. But, he did not forget that land.
Upali’s son Sanath Manju made inquiries and found that Janaka had prepared fake deeds through a lawyer named Sarath Madduma Bandara and got ownership of the land. By that time, Sarath too, had died. The present value of the land is around Rs. 70 million.
According to a complaint lodged by Manju to the CID, an investigation is underway. It has recorded evidence from the others and will soon summon Janaka too.
Janaka’s conduct is repulsive. When we make such revelations, some might say we are targeting the election. An election is irrelevant to our journalism. Election or not, we will continue to reveal the corrupt as we have been doing for many years.