The chief custodian of the Ruhunu Kataragama Devalaya, Somipala. T. Ratnayaka, has reportedly been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a ‘golden tray’ offered to the Kataragama Devalaya. 

Ratnayaka is said to have surrendered to the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) on the morning of 27 December.

Earlier on 19 December, the custodian responsible for the storage room of the Devalaya had surrendered to the CCD in connection with the same incident. Following submissions to the Tissamaharama Court, the Attorney General directed the CCD to arrest both custodians.

When CCD officers visited the homes of the two custodians, family members stated that they had traveled to Colombo for medical treatment.

In 2019, the wife of the notorious fugitive gangster ‘Angoda Lokka,’ found dead in Coimbatore, India in 2020, had offered the 38-pound golden tray to the Kataragama Devalaya. 

Subsequent investigations revealed that the golden tray had been placed inside the room of the chief custodian, Somipala Ratnayake.

Upon learning of the disappearance of the item, a formal complaint was lodged in 2021 by the Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Devalaya. 

The investigations were later handed over to the CCD on the directives of Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon. The CCD officers sought advice from the Attorney General in this regard.