Two Sri Lankans will stand trial for the murder of countryman Sameera Chandrasena, who was found dead at a fire-ravaged farmhouse in North Canterbury in February.

Thuvan Sawal, 23, and Viraj Alahakoon, 33, were committed for trial today at Christchurch District Court and will appear next at a High Court callover on August 24.

Mr Chandrasena, 28, was working as a dairy farmer in the quiet town of Oxford when his charred remains were found at his rented Domain Rd house on February 23.

A post mortem examination found he had died as a result of assault injuries before the fire started, police say.


Sawal and Alahakoon, both of St Albans in Christchurch, are jointly charged with the murder of the popular, cricket-loving Mr Chandrasena, as well as arson, and remain in custody.