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Police renew appeal for witnesses after man murdered in Mile End cemetery

Police have released an image of Ranjith Kankanamalage (credit: Met Police)

Police have renewed an appeal for witnesses three weeks after the violent murder of a man in a Mile End cemetery.

Ranjith Kankanamalage was found unresponsive at around 7am, on Monday, 16 August following the suspected homophobic attack in Cemetery Park, Southern Grove.

The 50-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photo of the victim has been released in the hope it may jog people’s memories.

Substantial police activity has continued at the scene involving a specialist search of the entire 27 acre park.

Ranjith, known as ‘Roy’, has been described as “a gentle, friendly man who travelled to the UK from Sri Lanka. He was also 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.”

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