The crematorium at the Borella Kantta had been in operation between 1 and 2 a.m. this morning. Since the crematorium does not operate after 7 p.m. and since there were two jeeps and white vans inside the premises, a resident in the area had informed the incident to the Borella Police.
The resident told us that although he had informed about the matter to the Borella Police at around 1.40 a.m., the police had not arrived until the jeeps and the white vans left the premises. He added that although the people in Kanatta were attired in civvies, their actions indicated that they were members of the security forces.
An officer from the Borella Police upon inquiry confirmed that they had received a similar complaint over the telephone early in the morning. A senior official from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) told us that the crematorium at the Borella Kanatta, which is under the purview of the CMC, is shut at 7 p.m. every day and that the keys are handed to the chief watchman.
However, he said there have not been any reports of the crematorium being operational this morning.
Several attempts made to contact the Colombo Mayor for comment failed since he is currently overseas.
Although bodies are not cremated at night in the crematorium, young boys and girls and even JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera were burnt in the crematorium at midnight during the 1988-1989 period.
Nevertheless, we are yet to learn who had used the gas crematorium at the Borella Kanatta this morning.
Since we have based this story on reports received by one person, we request journalists and human rights activists in Sri Lanka to further clarify this story.