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Ranjith Kankanamalage
Ranjith Kankanamalage

News -

Appeal three weeks on from murder of man in Tower Hamlets

Police are issuing a renewed appeal for witnesses following the violent murder of Ranjith Kankanamalage in Tower Hamlets.

Ranjith, known as ‘Roy’, was violently attacked and murdered in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park three weeks ago today. Officers from Specialist Crime are investigating the murder, which has been categorised as a homophobic hate crime from the outset.

There has been substantial police activity at the scene involving a specialist search of the entire 27 acre park, and, though the investigation continues to move at pace, police are issuing a refreshed appeal for witnesses.

Met officers will be present at the entrances to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park between 22:00hrs tonight and 06:00hrs on Monday, 6 September to provide reassurance, talk to members of the public and share witness appeal leaflets.

Police have released a photograph of Roy which they hope will jog people’s memories. He is described as a gentle, friendly man who travelled to the UK from Sri Lanka. Roy was a Bhuddist.

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, policing commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: "This is a horrific murder and my thoughts are with Ranjith’s family and loved ones. Whilst such incidents are thankfully still very rare in London, I want to reassure that community that my officers and specialist detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice. I also want to be really clear that there is no place, at all, in London for any form of hate crime and the Met is absolutely committed to tackling it and supporting victims.”

Derek Lee, from the LGBT+ Advisory Group, said: "We appeal for anyone who knows anything about this horrendous crime to come forward using the many channels available. We are aware that, while it remains unsolved, this is causing considerable concern amongst LGBTQ+ people in Tower Hamlets and across London.

“We are advising the police on sensitive ways of keeping our parks safe and wider reassurance for all communities. At the same time we ask everyone to please use common sense when going home or out late at night. We must all be vigilant."