An Australian IT professional, 33-year-old Gajan Karunanandan and his wife Sumudu were looking forward to spending the end of the year holiday season with family and friends in Colombo. They had arrived in Sri Lanka two days earlier. But their lives took a tragic turn on the night of December 19, when Gajan was killed in a hit-and-run accident at Attidiya, leaving his loved ones in shock and grief.
Accompanied by a friend, who is also an Australian citizen, the two had left home to walk up the road to buy some hoppers for dinner. “They had left around 9.p.m. While they were walking up the road, a vehicle had hit them from behind,” a relative said.
The vehicle’s occupants left it and fled the scene, while police who arrived at the scene following a call, later rushed the victims to the Kalubowila Hospital. Gajan died shortly after admission, while his friend is still in hospital. The following morning, two men surrendered to the Mount Lavinia Police and were remanded.
Colombo South Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. Prasanna Dasanayaka said that as two suspects were examined by him several hours after the tragedy occurred, it was difficult to say whether they were under the influence of liquor. Gajan’s body was flown to Australia yesterday for the last rites to be conducted there.
Australia is among several countries which in their travel advisories have warned their citizens of the hazardous road conditions in Sri Lanka.