1/13/2010

Sri Lanka presidential election enters a phase of violence

(January 13, Colombo - Lanka Polity) The campaign for Sri Lanka's presidential that is scheduled to be held on January 26 entered into a phase of violence as terrorists suspected to be sponsored by the government opened fire on a bus carrying supporters of the opposition killing an elderly woman and injuring two others.

The incident took place close to the village of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a van and a motorcycle blocked the way for the bus before opening fire. The terrorists fled following gunning down 60 year old Somawathi Kuruppuarachchi on the spot. The vehicles used in the terror attack were later recovered by Hungama police as they were abandoned. However no arrests had been made so far despite the government stated "The Government of Sri Lanka is appalled at this tragedy, vehemently condemns it, and will not tolerate any such acts of violence in the midst of this democratic electoral process. All steps are being taken to bring those responsible to justice. Instructions have been given to the authorities to bolster security at political events up to and on polling day to ensure that all Sri Lankans can participate safely in the electoral process."

Expressing concern over the incident the US called for a peaceful election in Sri Lanka.

The area has a history of political violence and the group of victims was travelling to attend a propaganda meeting held with the auspices of United National Party Deputy Chairman Sajith Premadasa, the son of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa who was killed by a suicide bomber on May 01, 1993.

Since there is a pitch battle for the presidency more incidents can be expected in the coming couple of weeks ahead of the election.


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