Police question SL cricketer over hotel rape

Danushka Gunathilaka (AP)
Danushka Gunathilaka (AP)

Colombo - Sri Lankan police have questioned a player for the national cricket team after a Norwegian woman was allegedly raped in a hotel room while he was present, an official said on Wednesday.

Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka, 27, has already been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket on a "misconduct" charge after a close associate of his was arrested for sexual assault in the team hotel in Colombo.

Gunathilaka was quizzed by police on Tuesday about an incident at the weekend when his friend Sandeep Jude Selliah, 26, was accused of raping one of two Norwegian women in their room, an officer told AFP.

"He has said he was asleep and was not aware of what had taken place between his friend and the Norwegian woman," said the policeman on condition of anonymity.

Selliah, a British passport-holder of Sri Lankan origin, was arrested shortly after the woman complained to police Sunday that he raped her the evening before in the presence of Gunathilaka.

Selliah was remanded in custody until Thursday.

"Police are not pressing charges against Gunathilaka at the moment, but the case record will be presented to a magistrate on Thursday," the officer told AFP.

Police said the Norwegian woman had left Sri Lanka after making the rape complaint. The incident took place at the hotel where both the Sri Lankan and the visiting South African team are staying.

Gunathilaka has been left out of the 15-man squad to play a five-match one-day international series against South Africa starting at Dambulla on Sunday.

The cricket board will conduct a disciplinary hearing after police investigations are over.

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