LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorist's Suicide Bomb Attack killing Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 12 civilians
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Tamil Tigers (LTTE) killed another Tamil politician in a suicide bomb blast. Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was killed following the blast in Welliweriya, Gampaha this morning. The blast occurred when he was about to flag off a marathon run as part of a Sinhala-Tamil New Year celebration event.
A lawyer by profession, Minister Jeyaraj was a fluent speaker in Sinhalese, Tamil and English languages. Being a faithful Catholic, the Minister expressed his concerns over LTTE's occupation of scared Madhu church and the removal of the Madhu statue recently.
Meanwhile, Gampaha Division SSP Hector Darmasiri was also seriously injured and admitted to the General Hospital at Gampaha. Gampaha Hospital sources, said that over 50 people were admitted and more casualties were been received at the moment.
Chronology of Suicide Bomb Attacks by LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists in Sri Lanka (Click here for details).
Explosion on outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital kills minister, several others
LTTE terrorists have exploded a bomb targeting a road marathon organized in the Weliweriaya town around 7.30 this morning.
Minister of Highways and Road Development Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was the chief guest to the occasion along with many civilians was reported killed in the cowardly bomb attack. According to latest reports received, at least 12 people were killed and over 90 injured in the explosion.
K.A Karunarathne is also said to be among the dead who was a former national and South Asian marathon gold medalist.
The bomb has been exploded just before the Minister declared the start of the marathon at the Kanthi play ground, in Weliweriaya, corresponding with a 'Hindu-Sinhala New Year' event.
Meanwhile, Gampaha Division SSP Hector Darmasiri was also seriously injured and admitted to the General Hospital at Gampaha. Gampaha Hospital sources, speaking to defence.lk said that over 90 people were admitted with serious injuries. 3 civilians were also admitted to the general hospital at Ragama and one was reported in critical condition, according to Ragama hospital sources.
Minister Jeyaraj was a politician who represented the parliament from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party since 1983. A lawyer by profession, Minister Jeyraj was a fluent speaker in Sinhalese, Tamil and English languages. Being a faithful catholic the Minister expressed his concerns over LTTE's occupation of scared Madhu church and the removal of the Madhu statue.
During his career, Minister Jeyaraj has held the many ministerial portfolios including, the Minster of Catholic Affairs, Minister of Ethnic Concession and National Unity, Minister of Port and Aviation, and Minister of Road Development. He was 55 years old and a father of two children.
LTTE is a ruthless terrorist outfit notorious for crimes against innocent civilians. In its pursuit for a mono ethnic separate homeland for Tamils, the outfit has killed and maimed over tens and innocent children, Tamil and Sinhalese political leaders in indiscriminate bomb attacks. FBI in a recent report called LTTE the most dangerous terrorist outfit in the world.
Chronology of Suicide Bomb Attacks by LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists in Sri Lanka (click details)
Tiger bomb kills Jeyaraj 14 others including National Athletics Coach, ace marathon runner killed:- Weliweriya: Highways and Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 13 others were killed in a LTTE suicide bomb blast in Weliweriya, Gampaha around 7.45 a.m yesterday, which also left over 90 people injured. The powerful blast occurred when the Minister was about to flag off a marathon organised as part of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year celebrations at the Kanthi playground in Weliweriya. Eyewitnesses told the Daily News that the blast occurred as soon as the Minister, the Chief Guest, raised the flag to start the marathon in the presence of over 500 people. Police are investigating as to how the suicide bomber got so close to the Minister. They suspect that the suicide bomber who targeted the Minister could have come in the guise of a marathon runner participating in the event or posed as a keen observer of the proceedings. Police are trying to trace the owner of a camera found at the site to check whether it has any link to the blast. A severed head believed to be that of the bomber was found 12 feet from the scene of the blast. According to the Director of the Gampaha base hospital Dhammika Mayadunne, over 50 injured persons have been admitted with eight in a critical condition. Among them was Gampaha Police division SSP Hector Dharmasiri. Four others have been transferred to the Colombo National Hospital. Sri Lanka's National Athletic Coach Lakshman De Alwis and ace marathon runner K.A.Karunaratne, who represented Sri Lanka at Barcelona Olympics in 1992, were among the dead along with two other participants in the race. According to sources the race which was originally scheduled for 6.30 a.m had got delayed as the organisers were not ready. The Minister who had arrived by the time had left the ground and returned to flag off the race by 7.30 a.m (Full report in Daily News).
President condemns cowardly assassination COLOMBO: President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday emphatically and unequivocally condemned the cowardly assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle by LTTE terrorists. The President in a message said: "I emphatically and unequivocally condemn the cowardly assassination of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Highways and Road Construction and Chief Government Whip, by LTTE terrorists. Our thoughts first go to Fernandopulle's family and to the families of all others who were also killed and injured in this act of savagery, whose grief we share with them. Minister Fernandopulle was a popular representative of the people, elected by the voters of Gampaha District at several elections. The assassination of such a committed democrat once again shows the total contempt of the LTTE to the democratic process and its unquestioned commitment to violence and terror to achieve it narrow and limited objectives, that are far removed from the interests of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. It is also significant that in carrying this repeated act of terrorist brutality the LTTE has chosen as its target a leader of the Catholic and Christian communities of Sri Lanka, who played an important role in bringing about greater understanding among the different communities of our country. While calling on the people to be calm and collected in the face of such extreme provocation by the forces of terror, I wish to reiterate that this dastardly act will not weaken our resolve to eradicate terrorism from our midst and bring peace, harmony and democracy to all our people, which was also the constant and unqualified wish of Mr. Fernandopulle." (Full report in Daily News).
Deaths of Lakshman and Karu a big loss for athletics - Former Sri Lanka Olympic marathon runner K.A. Karunaratne and Sri Lanka national athletic coach, Lakshman de Alwis were amongst those who were killed in yesterday's bomb explosion in Weliweriya which also took the life of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. They were among the 14 persons killed when an LTTE suicide bomber, disguised as a marathon runner, blew himself up early this morning. Warrant Officer Karunaratne (53), who was recently elected President of the CT & FC, was the chief organiser of the marathon race, conducted with the aim of grooming talented long distance runners. Karunaratne, in a media interview recently, said his aim is to build a team of good marathon runners and the Weliweriya marathon is the first step towards that goal. He was planning to get reputed long distance runners and organise an annual international marathon. He represented Sri Lanka at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and many other international meets with distinction. 'Marathon Karu', as he was better known in the athletics, was a household name during his era, as the king of the popular Nestomalt Marathon. Veteran track and field coach De Alwis (69) too was attending the regional marathon race in Weliweriya, at which Minister Fernandopulle was the chief guest. De Alwis has produced many Sri Lanka athletes over the past four decades, including Asian Games gold medallists S.L.B. Rosa, Sunil Gunawardena and former sprint queen K.G. Badra Gunawardena. In his second term as the Sri Lanka national coach, De Alwis has been serving in the top capacity for the last four years (Full report in Daily News).
To: Mark Holland, Liberal MP for Ajax-Pickering Yasmin Ratansi, Liberal MP for Don Valley East Lui Temelkovsk. Liberal; MP for Oak Ridges-Markham. - Your Tamil Tiger ‘Doves of Peace’ turned - By Asoka Weerasinghe - *A Killing Monster-Bird One More Time Today* Dear Jim, Maria, Derek, Borys, John, John, Mark, Yasmin & Lui: Remember how you lot stood outdoors on that rain-spitting, cold shivering day last November at the Markham Fair Ground with 10,000 of your Tamil constituentsmin vigil for S.P. Thamilchelvam’s death. The day you christened the Tamil Tigers the ‘Doves of Peace’, shedding crocodile-tears that froze onto your cheeks for the Tamils to see, and locked-in those 10,000 votes to get re-elected at the next Federal Election! Remember, that was the day when you all, Borys in particular, lambasted the Sri Lankan Government for getting rid of this terrorist. Well, they did it again this morning. Your ‘Doves of Peace’ turned the ‘Killer-Monster Birds’ and one of their suicide bombers killed Sri Lanka’s Minister and Chief Government Whip (your Karen Redman), at a sporting event at Weliweriya, 25 km North of the capital Colombo. With him they killed the National Athletics’ Coach and the Sri Lanka Olympic Marathon Runner and record holder. With that act they have one more time pinned onto your lapels the badges */–‘You are a Fool’; ‘You are our Idiot-Mascot’./* This morning when you get to church, temple or mosque, I hope you will take a moment to cleanse your conscience and souls, by kneeing and saying a prayer to all who were killed in this suicide attack by your ‘Doves of Peace’. And I will say Amen! to that.
Irreparable loss - PM COLOMBO: Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka in a condolence message on the untimely death of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle reiterated that the LTTE was engaged in this type of heinous crimes to paralyse the Government's effort of eradicating terrorism from Sri Lanka. "The LTTE, infuriated over the non-ending military defeats in the North and East is engaged in this type of inhumane assassinations to paralyse the Government's effort of eradicating terrorism from the country especially to paralyse the development activities in the North and East after the liberation," the Premier said in his message. "The Government will not waver in its position by any of these acts and will continue in its efforts of eradicating terrorism further," he said. The Premier condemning the assassination of Chief Government Whip and Highways and Road Development Minister Fernandopulle by LTTE terrorists said: "The sudden demise of Minister Fernandopulle is an irreparable loss to both the Government and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. "He was forthright in expressing his views and was a good debator in Parliament. "I convey my deepest sympathies to the Minister's immediate family members." (Full report in Daily News).
Tigers break promise, attack sports event * Minister Fernandopulle, National Athletics Coach, Olympics runner killed * Killings only strengthen our resolve to wipe out terrorism – Govt. * Tigers have killed Catholic leader – President - The government yesterday vowed that it wouldn’t succumb to LTTE terrorism after a male suicide cadre assassinated Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (55) at Weliweriya, Gampaha as he flaged off a marathon at 7.45 am. Fernandopulle held the post of the SLFP Treasurer at the time of his death and was one of the staunchest defenders of the ruling coalition both in and outside Parliament. A senior security official described the suicide cadre a human claymore mine. "It was a directional blast and hit the minister at point blank range. Even if he had worn a bullet proof west, he wouldn’t have survived the blast. Both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake issued statements vowing to militarily defeat the LTTE. Wickremanayake said the ongoing military campaign couldn’t de derailed by political assassinations. Fernandopulle first entered Parliament in 1989 from the Gampaha District. In August 1994, he polled over 100,000 and came only second to the then Prime Ministerial candidate Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga. After joining the government service in 1972 as a science and maths teacher he had entered Law College in 1974 and passed out in 1977 (Full report in Island).
Eyewitness recounts Weliweriya terror - Yesterday's bomb attack on Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle by an LTTE suicide cadre at Kanthi Sports Ground in Weliweriya, Gampaha has taken place on the minister's second visit to the ground to inaugurate the sports meet organised by Adishthana Sports Club in that morning. According to a member of the Organising Committee of the sports club and witness to the explosion, Harsha Priyankara, Minister Fernandopulle has first visited the Kanthi Sports Ground at 6.15 am. He was scheduled to inaugurate the sports meet and marathon that morning, he said. "The Minister left the sports ground at 6.15 a.m. as they were not ready to start the events at the time. I was in the process of registering participants," said Priyankara. "Minister Fernandopulle came to the ground again at 7.30 a.m. By then all was keyed up to start the events," he said. "The Organising Committee welcomed the minister and accompanied him to the stage where he addressed the gathering," he said. "Then he went from there to the open course of the ground where the marathon was supposed to commence. Famed marathon runner K.A.Karunaratna gave a flag to the minister. The minister was supposed to signal the contestants to start the marathon." "The Minister wished the contestants a "good run" and raised the flag. An explosion was heard shuddering the entire area." The injured were rushed to the Gampaha Hospital by the people, he added. Minister Fernandopulle and twelve others, among them marathon runner K.A.Karunaratna and several members of the Minister's staff, were killed instantly in the attack carried out by the LTTE suicide cadre, police said (Full report in Daily News).
Eastern Poll will uphold democracy, human values and freedom Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle states in one of his last interviews: In one of his last full-length interviews given to the media, Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said a grateful Eastern populace will hand over a resounding victory to the UPFA on May 10. Expressing his views on the forthcoming Provincial Council elections in the East to the Asian Tribune, Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle stated that a Muslim or a Tamil should be the Chief Minister. Recent local government election results clearly showed that the people are happy with the Government and with the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal. They now control nine Local Government bodies. They have a choice at the Provincial Council elections that is between the Government coalition or any other group contesting the elections. He added whatever is said and done, the people in the East will vote with the Government at the Provincial Council elections, because the people in the East know that they have to get lot of things done by the Government in their areas as it had been neglected for a long time. Excerpts from the interview Minister Fernandopulle had with the Asian Tribune: (Full report in Daily News).
Government condemns assassination - The Government expresses its deepest sorrow regarding the assassination last morning of Minister of Highways and Road Development and Chief Government Whip, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle by the LTTE in Weliveriya and condemns without reservation the vile and cowardly act of terrorism that took the life of the Minister and 11 others, states a Government Information Department press release. "Jeyaraj Fernandopulle commenced his political carrier in 1970 as an election agent for a SLFP candidate. In 1984, he was appointed as the chief organiser by the SLFP for the Katana electorate. From there onwards he has been elected to Parliament five consecutive times in the years 1989, 1994, 2000, 2001 and 2004. He has held the profiles of Plan Implementation and Parliamentary Affairs; Civil Aviation, Tourism and Christian Affairs; Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Marketing Development; and the time of his death was the Minister of Highways and also the Treasurer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Mr. Fernandopulle was an outspoken politician with exceptional attributes of courage, dynamism and drive, a democrat and upholder of human rights, and someone who stood up for the rights of all communities and religious faiths. His presence will be sorely missed in Sri Lanka's political firmament and especially by his colleagues in Parliament and the people of Katana and the Gampaha District, the Government notes. His demise will be mourned by all those who espouse democratic values and by all citizens regardless of ethnic identity, religious faith or political conviction. The Government emphasizes that this act of terrorism underscores the importance of eliminating terrorism from the country using all means available and necessary and remains committed to this all important precondition for bringing about peace and restoring democracy in all parts of the country (Full report in Daily News).
National Athletics coach, ‘Marathon Karu’ killed - The LTTE broke its pledge not to target any sports event with yesterday’s direct attack on a marathon at Weliweriya, which claimed the lives of National Athletic Coach Lakshman de Alwis and Olympic runner K. A. Karunaratne. Among the dead and wounded were several men taking part in the marathon. The LTTE, shortly before the SAF Games held in Colombo in August, 2006 assured it wouldn’t target SAG Games or any level of sports activity. This pledge was given by senior LTTE representative K. Papa against the backdrop of the assassination bid on Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka on May 25, 2006. In an interview over the phone with Divaina, Papa, who had been in charge of the group’s Sports Division had assured they wouldn’t target any international or local sports activity. He also dismissed assertion the LTTE would disrupt the August Games. He emphasized it wouldn’t be reasonable to blame the LTTE in the event some other organization had targeted the Games. Lakshman de Alwis had been the schools’ 100m and 200m champion since 1958 before joining the SLAF. The highlight of his athletic carrier was the Asian Games in Jakarta in 1962, where he competed in the 200 m semi finals. Karu had won the SAF marathon Gold in 1991 and 1993. He had been the only Sri Lankan to secure a fourth place at an Asian Games when he came fourth at the Beijing Games in 1990. He also represented the country at Olympics in Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992) and several other international competitions (Full report in Island).
Fernandopulle fourth MP assassinated this year - The vacancy caused by the assassination of Gampaha District MP Jeyaraj Fernandopulle would be filled by Duleep Wijesekere, who polled 48,018 preferential votes at the last general elections in April 2004, political sources said. Wijesekera is the Highways and Cooperatives Minister of the Western Provincial Council. Wijesekera told The Island although he was next in line he hadn’t thought about entering parliament. Political sources said Fernandopulle had been the first to be killed in a terrorist attack although four Gampaha District MPs had been replaced in the sixth Parliament. JVP MP Siripala Amarasinghe quit on April 19, 2006 and his vacancy had been replaced by Sarath Kumara Gunaratna, the sources said. Dissident SLFP MP Sripathy Sooriyarachchi’s death due to an accident on February 9 brought Reggie Ranatunga to Parliament. This was followed by the death of Anura Bandaranaike, MP, on May 16. His vacant slot would be filled by Sarana Gunawardena, the sources said. Among the four parliamentarians assassinated this year were T. Maheswaran, D.M. Dassanayake, K. Sivanesan and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (Full report in Island)..
An eyewitness account Minsiter was about to flag off marathon… The Island photographer Nishan S. Priyantha, an eyewitness said the suicide cadre would have triggered the blast from behind Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. The minister was about to flag off the race when the full force of the blast hit him. "I saw body parts of people flying in all directions. It was a gruesome sight," he said, asserting the assassin couldn’t have been among the runners. Priyantha had been among a group of photojournalists covering the event organised by ‘Marathon Karu’ who had reached Weliweriya at 6.35 am, a few minutes after the minister had left as the organisers hadn’t been ready to start the event. According to him Fernandopulle had come back again at 7. 30 a.m. and got on to the stage where he addressed the gathering for about 10 minutes. Priyantha said the minister praised ‘Marathon Karu’ for organising the event and emphasised the importance of promoting sports in the provinces. Then he got down from the stage and got ready to flag off the race when the blast ripped through the crowd. According to Priyantha, the minister’s personal photographer who stood between the minister and him had been caught in the blast (Full report in Island).
President: Catholic leader assassinated - President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said slain Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle had been a leader of Catholic and Christian communities of Sri Lanka. In his condolence message, the President said Fernandopulle had played an important role in bringing about greater understanding among the different communities. The President urged the people to be calm in the face of what he called extreme provocation by the forces of terror while reiterating his commitment to eradicate terrorism. The following is the President’s statement: "I emphatically and unequivocally condemn the assassination of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minsiter of Highways and Road Construction and Chief Government Whip by the LTTE. Our thoughts first go to the family of Fernandopulle and to the families of all others who were killed and injured in this act of savagery, whose grief we share with them. He was a popular representative of the people, elected by the voters of Gampaha District at several elections. The assassination of such a committed democrat once again shows the total contempt of the LTTE to the democratic process, and its commitment to violence and terror to achieve its narrow and limited objectives. The LTTE has chosen as its target a leader of the Catholic and Christian communities of Sri Lanka, who played an important role in bringing about greater understanding among the different communities of our country." (Full report in Island).
When will they learn? The LTTE has once again laid bare its true face as a savage terrorist outfit through a dastardly attack on a sports event, killing Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the National Athletics Coach Lakshman de Alwis, Olympic runner K. A. Karunarante and a number of others including sports enthusiasts at Weliweriya yesterday. It was such indiscriminate rabid terror that plunged the Munich Olympics into a bloodbath in 1972. Yesterday’s attack came despite an LTTE pledge that it would not target sports events. Will the world take serious note of the incident and act accordingly in dealing with the LTTE? Prabhakaran, hiding in an underground bunker somewhere in the Wanni and dying many times before his death, may boast he has silenced Jeyaraj, an indefatigable campaigner against terrorism. But, he has no reason to brag. Jeyaraj chose to be among his people braving an elusive enemy known for cowardly attacks. However, such pluck bordering on rashness doesn’t pay in dealing with a pack of hyenas masquerading as Tigers. Survival of LTTE targets depends on their ability to think like terrorists—short of acting like them—and to take precautions without exposing themselves to terror strikes unnecessarily. Unfortunately, most of them walk right into the jaws of death, as if affected by taedium vitae. Jeyaraj's assassination, it may be argued, had an element of suicidal tendency. For, knowing that he was a prime target of the LTTE, he lowered his guard to flag off a marathon in an area with heavy terrorist infiltration, throwing caution to the wind. Terrorists have to be lucky only once (Full Editorial in Island).
Marathon Karu killed in bomb attack - Lanka's national athletics coach Lakshman de Alwis and former Olympic marathon runner K. A. Karunaratne were among those killed in a suicide bomb attack Sunday morning at Weliweriay. The bomber struck at the start of a marathon, killing a minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 11 other people. Dozens were wounded. Minister of Highways and Road Development Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was opening the race 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Colombo, was among those killed, government spokesman Anusha Paltipa said. Eleven other people died and more than 90 were wounded, the Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site. Karunaratne competed in the 1992 Olympic marathon and the 1993 World Championships. He won gold in the marathon and 10,000 meters at the 1991 South Asian Games, defending his marathon title in 1993. Karunaratne and de Alwis were confirmed dead by, government spokesman, Lakshman Hulugalle (Full report in Island).
FOREIGN MINISTER TELLS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT LTTE SHOULD BE DEALT IN A MANNER FIT FOR TERRORISTS IN A BBC INTERVIEW - By Walter Jayawardhana - The reckless killing of a senior politician who represented a minority Tamil Christian community together with five athletes at a district marathon with a coach of national eminence by a walking bomb has once again drawn the attention to the fact that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has to be dealt with in a manner terrorists deserve, Foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama told the BBC in Cairo. He said he would draw the attention of the international community to this unmistakable fact once again. Speaking about his assassinated cabinet colleague, who died instantly during the bomb ignited by a LTTE suicide bomber when he was flagging off some marathon runners Bogollagama said, “In fact this is a very sad day. Once again the LTTE has shown their terrorist characteristic by taking one of our Ministers. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was not only a senior politician in the country; he was representing the minority (Tamil) community in Sri Lanka very much in the government. “We have experienced this in the past year,” said Bogollagama, “we have lost Presidents, we have lost Foreign Ministers, and we have lost others in this struggle. At the same time LTTE has to be dealt accordingly and this is why I am calling upon international community to look at this incident once again.” The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister was making obvious references to the assassinations of Laxman Kadirgamar, the island nation’s first Tamil Foreign Minister and the former President Ranasinghe who died at the hands of LTTE killers. Ironically Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was the first Christian Tamil tipped to be the Prime Minister of the country and at the time of his death was the Leader of the House. In his statement Bogollagama further told the BBC, “He came from the minority community and also was a devoted catholic. The time of this incident where LTTE suicide bomber took on his life resulting in several other deaths was a sports event that’s once again taking away 5 athletes who were participating at this marathon and an additionally another coach was of national eminence. This feature shows that LTTE has no boundaries and no rationale in taking up their targets. Here, there were civilians and it was at a time when the Tamils and the Sinhalese are jointly getting ready to celebrate the New Year,” that they took Fernandopulle’s life. Replying to the BBC correspondent who asked what measures had been taken to stop the violence taking place in Sri Lanka the minister said, “In fact that is where we have proposed the constitutional process along with the democracy to be restored in the areas that were hitherto held by the LTTE (fascism). In fact late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle as Minister and member of the Peoples Alliance (PA) government was seen in Trincomalee recently at the time of handing over the nomination papers where he was leading the campaign in the Trincomalee district in support of the PA candidacy. This is a show at a time when they have entered into where democracy is to be once again restored in the areas that were hitherto held by LTTE, how the LTTE frustration is trying to take off the target and the politicians in the country. This (assassination) is not going to deter the efforts of the government (EOM).
Jeyaraj Fernandopulle: Condolences From All Over World Poured in to Asian Tribune - Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama while expressing his heartfelt condolences stated that the LTTE has once again demonstrated its callous disregard for human life by the cold-blooded and dastardly assassination of my Cabinet colleague Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle today. I vehemently condemn this brutal act of terrorism, which is a direct assault on democracy and all civilized values of humanity. The untimely demise of Jeyaraj under such terrible and tragic circumstances has robbed the nation of an outstanding and dynamic politician, who served the people of Sri Lanka in all the ministerial portfolios he held, with distinction and dedication. He excelled in parliamentary debates as a brilliant orator with a fine command of all three languages. His death has deeply shocked and saddened me and left me bereft of a colleague, whose friendship I have cherished for the last thirty-four years, since our Law College days. Minister Fernandopulle assassination, which is the latest in a string of political killings that has targeted legislators elected by the sovereign will of the people, should convince the international community of the true face of the LTTE-a fascist terrorist entity, which does not subscribe to democracy and pluralism. This should serve as a wake-up call to the international community to redouble its efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Government of Sri Lanka is firmly resolved to eradicating terrorism and freeing the long suffering people in the last remaining pockets of the North from the tyranny of the LTTE, so that they too would be able to enjoy the fruits of democracy as the rest of our citizens. Jeyaraj, during his entire political career fought hard to build a united Sri Lanka, where all citizens could live in peace and harmony, enjoying equal rights. He paid the supreme sacrifice in pursuit of this noble vision (Full report in Asian Tribune).
Death toll rises to 14 in LTTE suicide attack - Weliweriya - LTTE suicide cadre has blown himself killing 14 civilians including the minister of highway and road development, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, in Weliweriaya, 19 Km northeast of Colombo around 7.30 this morning, April 6. LTTE suicide cadre has blown himself when the Minister who was the chief guest of the opening ceremony of the road marathon reached to the runners for flagging off the race. K.A. Karunarathna, the former national marathon champion and South Asian marathon gold medalist, Luxman Alwis, the national athletic coach and Chief Inspector K.D.R Kannangara, personnel security officer to the minister were also among the dead, hospital sources said. According to the latest information, 12 bodies have already been identified while two others are yet to be identified, hospital sources said. Further, 83 people have already been admitted to the Gampaha hospital following the suicide attack and 15 among them are in critical condition. Gampaha Division SSP Hector Dharmasiri who received critical injuries has been admitted to the General Hospital in Gampaha. Minister Jeyaraj was a politician who represented the parliament from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party since 1983. A lawyer by profession, Minister Jeyaraj was a fluent speaker in Sinhalese, Tamil and English languages. Being a faithful catholic the Minister expressed his concerns over LTTE's occupation of scared Madhu church and the removal of the Madhu statue (Full report and photos in Sri Lanka Defence Ministry).
Death Wishes of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle - 1. To bring about peace and stability in the country 2. Tamils should live with peace and honor in the country 3. LTTE terrorism should be ended either by negotiation or else by militarily means. 4. UPFA should win the East Provincial Council elections and Pillaiyan should become the chief MinisterJeyaraj Fernandopulle - A Martyr Asian Tribune was in touch with Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. He used to call Asian Tribune almost every other day and discuss the political development in the country. Some conversations were off the record. Ony those meant for publication appeared in print. Asian Tribune recorded his interviews judiciously. The last time Asian Tribune spoke with the late Minister was on Saturday (April 5th) around 9.30 PM, Sri Lanka time. He was talking about the trip he took to Trincomalee on the 3rd, to participate in the filing of the nomination papers of the UPFA in the provincial Council Elections. His scintillating voice still reverberates in our ears. We played the recorded voice one more time; there was no words to describe our emotions. He is no more with us. When he came up with the two Ambassadors – US and Norway involved in talks with Rauff Hakeem, the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress to contest in the Provincial Council elections, we told him this is a very serious issue. He said that everyone in Colombo knew about it. We told that this is something new to our readers. One of our contributing editors, Philip Fernando who resides in Los Angeles, described it, "This is dynamite man.” Unfortunately our friend Jeyeraj Fernandopulle succumbed to a bomb blast (Full report in Asian Tribune).
Tributes paid to Karu and Alwis - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has condemned the bombing of a marathon in Sri Lanka. KA Karunaratne, Sri Lanka's only Olympic marathon runner and the national athletic coach, Lakshman de Alwis, are among those killed in Sundays' suicide bomb blast in Weliweriya, Gampaha. "The IAAF is saddened to receive the tragic news of the bomb blast today at the start of a marathon in Sri Lanka which among others killed a government minister, a former Olympian and a national coach," the IAAF said (Full report in BBC).
Marathon Bomb - Sri Lanka suicide assassin may have been marathon runner April 6, 2008 (AFP) - A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed Sri Lanka's highways minister as he opened a marathon Sunday in an attack that left 11 others dead and nearly 100 wounded, police and officials said. Senior minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, 55, was killed in the town of Weliveriya outside of the capital when the blast ripped through the large gathering at the event, police said. The minister had walked up to the starting line where more than 100 athletes had lined up and at the count down a huge blast shattered the occasion. "Ready, on your marks, steady...," the official had said over the public address system, moments before the huge explosion. "It was a suicide bombing of the Tigers," media minister Anura Yapa said. Fernandopulle, a vocal critic of the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and a member of Sri Lanka's failed peace talks with the guerrillas, is the second government minister to be killed this year. Television footage showed an explosion close to the minister, the Leader of the House in parliament and regarded as a potential prime minister, at the start of the marathon. "We suspect a suicide bomber pretending to be a marathon runner carried out the attack," a police officer at the scene told AFP, confirming that the minister was blown to pieces by the force of the blast. He had been opening elaborate celebrations marking the traditional New Year shared by both the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils on the troubled island. "I hope you will be able to successfully end these games...," the minister said just before the bomb claimed his life (Full report in Lanka Business).
Investigations Commence on LTTE Suicide Attack on Hon Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle - GAMPAHA: POLICE AND ARMY commenced special investigations on the LTTE suicide attack that killed Hon. Minister of Highways and Road Development Mr. JEYARAJ FERNANDOPULLE in the WELIWERIAYA town along with twelve others this morning (6). Hon. Minister was the Chief Guest at a sports event organized to mark the oncoming Sinhala and Hindu New Year festival, the main cultural function annually celebrated by Sinhalese and Tamils in the island. The LTTE suicide bomber has triggered his suicide jacket at the very time that Hon Minister was to flag down to start the marathon on the road in front of the KANTHI playground in WELIWERIAYA. The blast killed the Hon Mister on the spot. Lieutenant Colonel P.S.S.R. UDAYADHEERA, National and South Asian marathon gold medalist Mr. K.A KARUNARATHNE, National Coach Mr. LUXMAN DE ALWIS and Chief Inspector KANNAGARA were also among the dead. Over eighty had been injured while four were transferred to National Hospital COLOMBO in critical condition. Hon Minister Mr. JEYARAJ FERNANDOPULLE, was a senior politician who represented his people in GAMPAHA District more than twenty five years. A pious Catholic by birth, the slain Minister always attacked the LTTE, specially their activities in Holy MADHU area, in his eloquent speeches delivered in Sinhalese, Tamil and English languages (Full report in Sri Lanka Army).
Suicide blast kills Sri Lanka minister - Sri Lanka's highways minister and at least nine other people were killed on Sunday in a suspected suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels near Colombo, a security official said. "Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle is dead from the explosion," Laksman Hulugalla, director general of the media centre for national security, told Reuters. The military said 10 people were killed and 25 injured by the explosion in the town of Weliveriya, 30 km (19 miles) from the capital, Colombo, where Fernandopulle had gone to flag off a marathon race. Television footage showed a ball of fire moving toward the minister as he kicked off the race. "Its a suicide attack, definitely by the LTTE," said a bomb squad official from the scene. The LTTE, who usually deny any involvement, were not immediately available for comment. Fernandopulle, 55, is the second minister to have been killed since January when the minister for nation building, D.M. Dassanayake, was killed in a roadside blast in the same district, Gampaha. Foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was the most senior government leader killed in recent years, shot dead at his home in Colombo by a suspected Tamil Tiger sniper in August 2005. The latest attack came as the Sri Lankan military presses on with an offensive to retake the Tigers' northern stronghold. Nearly 60 rebels were killed in two days of gunbattles along the northern frontier, the government said earlier this week. The Tigers are fighting for an independent state in the north and east of the island in a 25-year civil war that has killed an estimated 70,000 people. In January the government called off a tattered 2002 ceasefire, accusing the rebels of using it to regroup and re-arm, and vowed to fight them militarily. Analysts say the military has the upper hand in the latest phase of the long-running war given superior air power, strength of numbers and swathes of terrain captured in the island's east. But they still see no clear winner on the horizon (Full report in Swis Info).
National Athletic coach and ace marathon runner also killed in the LTTE suicide attack on Sri Lanka Highway Minister - Sri Lanka Highway Minister and chief government whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and eleven others were killed in a suicide attack this morning at a sporting event in Weliweriya, about 25 km north of capital Colombo. National Athletic coach Lakshman De Alwis and Olympic marathon runner and national record holder K.A. Karunaratna were also among the killed. The Minister was about to kick off a marathon when a suspected LTTE suicide bomber in the guise of a marathon runner blew himself up killing the Minister and at least eleven other people. Over 90 people have been injured in the blast, the Defense Ministry said. Minister Fernandopulle (55), a lawyer by profession entered into politics in 1970 as an election agent for a Sri Lanka Freedom Party candidate. He was elected to the Parliament in 1984. He has held several ministerial portfolios during his tenure and served as the Minister of Highways and Road Development and also as the chief government whip in the present administration. He is an outspoken critic of the LTTE terrorist organization (Full report in Colombo Page).
Minister Jeyraj Fernandopulle and 12 others killed in LTTE suicide bomb attack - LTTE terrorists have exploded a bomb targeting a road marathon organized in the Weliweriaya town around 7.30 this morning. Minister of Highways and Road Development Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was the chief guest to the occasion along with many civilians was reported killed in the cowardly bomb attack. According to latest reports received, at least 12 people were killed and over 90 injured in the explosion. K.A Karunarathne is also said to be among the dead who was a former national and South Asian marathon gold medalist. The bomb has been exploded just before the Minister declared the start of the marathon at the Kanthi play ground, in Weliweriaya, corresponding with a 'Hindu-Sinhala New Year' event. Meanwhile, Gampaha Division SSP Hector Darmasiri was also seriously injured and admitted to the General Hospital at Gampaha. Gampaha Hospital sources, speaking to defence.lk said that over 90 people were admitted with serious injuries. 3 civilians were also admitted to the general hospital at Ragama and one was reported in critical condition, according to Ragama hospital sources. Minister Jeyaraj was a politician who represented the parliament from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party since 1983. A lawyer by profession, Minister Jeyraj was a fluent speaker in Sinhalese, Tamil and English languages. Being a faithful catholic the Minister expressed his concerns over LTTE's occupation of scared Madhu church and the removal of the Madhu statue. During his career, Minister Jeyaraj has held the many ministerial portfolios including, the Minster of Catholic Affairs, Minister of Ethnic Concession and National Unity, Minister of Port and Aviation, and Minister of Road Development. He was 55 years old and a father of two children (full report in Sri Lanka Defence Ministry).
Suicide Bomber Claims Life of Hon. Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle - GAMPAHA: A POWERFUL SUICIDE BLAST, triggered apparently by a suicide bomber who has infiltrated a new year sports festival at WELIVERIYA, GAMPAHA claimed the life of Hon Minister JEYARAJ FERNANDOPULLE on the spot along with a few marathon runners this morning (6) at 7.45 a.m.. Initial reports said that ten were killed and at least twenty-five injured in the explosion (Full report in Sri Lanka Army).
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What is really happening in Sri Lanka today is that a blood thirsty racist group led by some misled Tamils called LTTE is terrorizing against the Government of Sri Lanka and its people irrespective of their ethnicity with an intention of carving out a separate state. There is no conflict as such between Sinhalese and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka. In fact, the majority of the Tamil community lives in peace and harmony among the Sinhalese population through out the country apart from the Northern part of Sri Lanka. The entire Sinhalese and the Muslims population who lived in the Northern area for centuries were either killed or chased away completely by the LTTE Tamil Tiger terrorists. At the moment, not a single Sinhalese or Muslim is living in Jaffna, but, many thousands of Tamils are living in Colombo in peace with the other communities. Based on 2001 census, the Tamil population in Colombo district is 12.1% (see 2001 census). So, who is discriminated ? Tamils or Sinhalese? Do you need more evidence ?
Caution : The images shown in this web page exposing the atrocities of the LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists may be found disturbing by some people. Proceed at your own caution.
The United States' top intelligence agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is the most dangerous and deadly extremist organization in the world. The official website of FBI in its tops story said that LTTE is far more dangerous terrorists outfit than al Queda, Hezbullah or even HAMAS. http://www.fbi.gov/page2/jan08/tamil_tigers011008.html
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