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Sri Lankan murder suspect testifies in own defence

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – A man on trial for murder took the stand Monday to testify in his own defence, CTV Montreal News reported.

Amalan Thandapanithesigar said he had a long-simmering dispute with his neighbour, Jeyarasan Manikarajah, whom he felt was continually disrespecting his wife.

The pair knew each other in their native Sri Lanka, and that familiarity seems to have bred contempt.

Thandapanithesigar said that Manikarajah frequently whistled at his wife, and he testified Monday that in his culture it was very disrespectful.

He admitted that on June 23, 2014, he had imbibed a considerable amount of alcohol and argued several times with his neighbour, at one point telling him “I’m a human being, don’t turn me into an animal.”

Later that evening, according to Thandapanithesigar, Manikarajah yelled at him and insulted him from next door. That’s when Thandapanithesigar grabbed a knife from the kitchen and went next door, with what he said was an intent to scare the older man.

Manikarajah was found badly injured a short time later and he died in hospital. The remaining witnesses in the case are Thandapanithesigar’s wife and a toxicologist.

Once they have finished the Crown and the defence lawyer’s will make their closing arguments and the jury will likely begin its deliberations next week.

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