Ten sentenced to death for murdering mother and five children

Ten persons convicted of murdering six members of the same family inside their house at Anugunakolapelessa in 1998 were yesterday sentenced to death by the Provincial High Court Judge R. S. S. Sapuvida. Among the convicts are four members of the same family.

The family members among the convicts are Liyanapathiranage Ariyadasa, Liyanapathiranage Rupasena, Liyanapathiranage Dayananda and Liyanapathiranage Nandasena. An accused, who was absconding, was sentenced in absentia.

In December 1998, Gamage Sumanawathie, 46, of Uswewa, Angunakolapelessa and her children, Palitha, 22, Priyantha, 24, Ajith Kumara, 16, Suranga, 11, and Sanjeevani, 9, were shot and chopped to death. The head of the household, Peter Samarasinghe was murdered in 1991 and those sentenced to death yesterday had been indicted for his murder. They were however acquitted on the grounds that evidence against them was not adequate.

State Counsel Oswald Perera and Sachini Iddamalgoda appeared for the prosecution.

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