Nearly one month after the death of a
high-ranking United Nations lawyer, the arrest
of three men in Arusha,
Tanzania hopes to shed light on
inconsistent claims he died of natural causes.
Few pieces of information have been
collected on the last hours of
Shyamlal Rajapaksa's life, a prosecuting lawyer
for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,
in Arusha, Tanzania, leading police investigators
and the United Nations to backtrack
and backtrack again on how he died.
At different times throughout the investigations,
police and other officials have claimed
Mr Rajapaksa died of drug overdoses, murder,
and most recently, a natural causes.
"He died of a stroke," says Bocar Sy, a information
officer for the ICTR in Arusha.
"What caused that?
We don't know.
We don't yet have access to the final
But the police aren't so sure.
The subsequent arrest of three men last week
hopes to clarify his last moments.
"We're still looking for more clues on the death.
It's only after investigations are complete that
we can conclusively say what killed him,"
Arusha police commander Matei Basilio said.
Mr Rajapaksa was found dead in his living room,
face-down in a pool of his own blood on
the morning of August 11, by a housemaid.
Police collected samples of narcotics from the room
that initial reports said he was taking
with two men the night before.
Police first said he had likely died of a drug overdose,
and a search was on for his companions,
who, a resident guard said, had never been
Two weeks ago, the United Nations and
police officials claimed that Mr Rajapaksa,
a nephew of Sri Lanka' Prime Minister
Mahinda Rajapaksa, was murdered,
possibly by the two unknown assailants.
The United Nations backtracked last Monday
on the details, saying instead he had died
of natural causes.
They said it was conclusive.
No reason was given for the reversal.
As for the two people he was with the night
before he died, there had been no trace of them,
until they, and another were taken into custody
Their identifications remain undisclosed.
Police say they are still awaiting results from
the forensics test in Dar es Salaam to tell, exactly,
how Mr. Rajapaska died, but his family
says little weight should be given to those words.
Mr Rajapaska's mother has told media in Tanzania
and Sri Lanka that her son was murdered
over a report he was allegedly writing
on the Rwandan genocide, and that
the United Nations is behind a cover-up.
Gsm: (250) (0) 78-847-0205 (Mtn Rwanda)
Gsm: (250) (0) 75-079-9819 (Rwandatel)
Home: (250) (0) 25-510-4140
P.O. Box 3867
Kigali - RWANDA
Skype ID: kayisa66