Sunday Leader Journalist Faraz Shauketaly was shot at by a group of unidentified men in his house at hotel road in Mount Lavinia.
Shauketaly received bullet injuries in his neck and was rushed to the Kalubowila Hospital.
The gun-shot wounds were however not life threatening. Eyewitnesses said they saw three men running away from his room following the shooting incident.
He was on the telephone with a journalist at the newspaper during the late hours of the night discussing a story which was to be published this Sunday when his telephone line got cut.
Attempts by the journalist to get him back on the phone then failed. Minutes later the newspaper was informed that he had been shot.
The house in which Shauketaly is staying is also a mini guest house. A group of foreign tourists who had just checked in a day earlier said they heard a commotion and screams and when they opened the door leading to Shauketaly’s room they found blood all over his body.
“We then realized what had happened and got his car keys and rushed him to hospital,” one tourist told the Colombo Gazette.
Shauketaly had mentioned on an earlier occasion that he had faced threats but had not reported the matter to the police.
Doctors at the Kalubowila hospital said that shrapnel from the bullet had got lodged on his lower neck close to the shoulder.
UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya, who arrived at the hospital, spoke to the journalist and later told the Colombo Gazette that his injuries were not very serious.
Shauketaly had later requested to be transferred to the Nawaloka hospital but the hospital said they do not admit gun-shot patients.
He was later transferred to the Colombo National hospital to conduct an operation.
The Mount Lavinia police said they were investigating the incident and had also provided security to Shauketaly in hospital.
Director of the National Hospital Dr. Anil Jayasinghe said that Shauketaly has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital and tests are being carried out on the object believed to be part of a bullet which is still in his body. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam; Pic courtesy Azam Ameen and Reuters; Video courtesy Sanka Vidanagama on You Tube