As part of the wave of kidnappings in the capital city of Colombo, the son of Maj Gen MD Fernando, Security Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka, was kidnapped on Thursday and released on Saturday.
“We do not know who took him and for what reason, or if any ransom was demanded. All we know is that he was blind folded and taken," the military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe told Hindustan Times.
Mayura Dimuthu Fernando (43) did not return from work on Thursday, though he had left his office in Colombo with the intention of going home. His car was found outside his office, suggesting that the kidnapping had taken place outside his office.
Interestingly, Mayura was running a private security agency. But he had not bothered to have any security personnel for himself.
This brazen kidnapping followed the still unsolved kidnapping of the Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, Prof S Raveendranath.
Prof Raveendranath was also kidnapped in Colombo, in the vicinity of the high security Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall where he had gone to attend an official meeting.
The police say that they are still clueless about the fate of the university don who is a known agricultural scientist.
Small time extortionists take the cue
With big time kidnappings taking place without let or hindrance in Colombo under the very nose of the police and security forces, small time extortionists have taken the cue and swung into action.
The Island daily reported on Saturday that small time traders operating in popular shopping malls like Liberty Plaza and Majestic City and in Sea Street in Pettah, were being terrorised by an underworld gang with demands as high as SLRs 400,000.
According to the report, the gangsters claim to have contacts with the police and say that there will be no use complaining because part of the loot goes to the higher ups in the police.
Repeated demands for protection money had made at least one cell phone shop owner close down his business, the paper said.
Earlier, more than 50 Indian Tamil traders of the capital were kidnapped for huge ransoms, touching off an agitation by Indian Tamil political parties and human rights workers.
The kidnappings have since come down drastically, though police have not been able to identify and book the kidnappers because of lack of evidence and cooperation from the terrorised victims.