- Title: SRI LANKA: HUNT BEGINS FOR ASSASSINS OF SRI LANKAN FOREIGN MINISTER.
- Date: 14th August 2005
- Summary: (FLASH 0615GMT) COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (AUGUST 14, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/MV/CU: MILITARY CONDUCTING SECURITY CHECKS IN COLOMBO (8 SHOTS) 0.41 2. GV/MV/CU: PEOPLE PAYING THEIR LAST RESPECTS TO THE SLAIN FOREIGN MINISTER LAKSHMAN KADIRGAMAR (4 SHOTS) 1.05 3. MV/PAN: ROHAN EDIRISINHE, POLITICAL ANALYST CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES, ARRIVING FOR INTERVIEW 1.10 4. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ROHAN EDIRISINHE, POLITICAL ANALYST -CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES, SAYING: "One hopes something positive will come out of this. All sides will be jolted into realising that something positive has to be done on the peace process. I also hope that it will remind people of the evil of the strong ethno-nationalism. If you don't agree with the your communities dominant position you are viewed as a traitor, you are viewed as some one worthy of liquidation. And I think there is a huge moral position with this kind of politics." 1.42 5. GV: INDEPENDENCE SQUARE 1.47 6. MV/GV: WORKERS SETTING UP FOR FUNERAL (5 SHOTS) 2.16 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 29th August 2005 13:00
- Location: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
- Country: Sri Lanka
- Reuters ID: LVA5P2PCWH340ALGFZ8AFJK6LFJQ
- Story Text: Sri Lanka hunts assassins and suspects rebels
carried out the attack.
Over 1,000 police and troops scoured the Sri Lankan
capital on Sunday (August 14) for one or more snipers,
suspected to be Tamil Tiger rebels, who gunned down the
island's foreign minister and rekindled fears of a return
to civil war.
Soldiers checked cars entering or leaving Colombo after
the government declared a state of emergency as a
precautionary measure to allow mass troop movements.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government said a
denial of involvement by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE) in the assassination of Foreign Minister
Lakshman Kadirgamar was hard to swallow, but said a
ceasefire with the rebels would hold.
Sri Lanka's police chief blamed the assassination on
the Tigers, who have repeatedly warned that a 2002 truce
that halted two decades of civil war could collapse because
of a rash of killings in the restive east that the
government and rebels blame on the other.
Investigators found spent ammunition from a sniper
rifle and an abandoned grenade launcher near Kadirgamar's
home in Colombo's elegant diplomatic quarter on Saturday.
They say the gunmen hid upstairs in a house next door
and shot the minister four times; twice in the head, once
in the throat and once in chest, just after he finished a
swim on Friday night.
Observers say there are no signs yet of a return to a
war that killed more than 64,000 people and ravaged swathes
of the north and east, but the killing has plunged the
island's peace process into its worse crisis since the
truce was agreed.
"One hopes something positive will come out of this. All
sides will be jolted into realising
that something positive has to be done on the peace
process," said Political Analyst Rohan Edirisinhe.
The government is preparing a state funeral on Monday
for the slain 73-year-old Oxford-educated minister, one of
Sri Lanka's most respected politicians. Shops and cinemas
will close in a mark of respect.
Kadirgamar has long been at the top of the Tigers' hit
list for campaigning to have them labelled as a terrorist
group by the United States and Britain. Because he was a Tamil
many hardliners had called him a traitor.
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