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Rajapakse associate arrested for murder and rape of tourists

A close associate of the Rajapakse clan has been arrested in connection with the murder of a British tourist and the suspected rape of his Russian girlfriend.

Kuram Shaikah Zaman, who was 27 years old was killed on Christmas eve after intervening in a dispute between locals in Tangalle.

Amongst those arrested is Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana, a close confidante of the president's son and member of parliament, Namal Rajapakse.

Zaman worked for the ICRC in Gaza and was on holiday with his girlfriend, Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna, who was also attacked and is currently in a critical condition in intensive care.

Reports indicate she had been raped but a police spokesman said they were awaiting medical results to confirm this.

“We were informed that there were no cloths on the Russian female when she was admitted to the hospital. However, we are still waiting to see the medical reports including DNA tests” the police spokesman said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has paid tribute to their former employee.

A spokeswoman at the Jerusalem office said: "He went on holiday to Sri Lanka with a colleague and unfortunately this has happened.

"We are deeply shocked and the International Committee of the Red Cross is grieved by the loss. He was a very committed member of the Red Cross team in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. 

"We cannot give any specific details of the circumstances of what happened because the criminal investigation is taking place.

"We are in contact with the local authorities and will follow it up with them."

Tourists are reported to be too scared to venture out in Tagalle and are leaving the holiday resort in droves.

“Normally, tourists move around and visit other venues in the area, but now they are afraid to go out in the night” President of the Tangalle Tourist Hoteliers Association Keerthi Priya Wedaarachchi told BBC Sandeshaya.

"Almost all hotel rooms were full in Tangalle before the murder on the Christmas day."

“This is a bad omen not only for Tangalle but for the whole of Sri Lanka.” he added.