Priest killed for garlanding Rajapaksa | india | Hindustan Times
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Priest killed for garlanding Rajapaksa

india Updated: Feb 08, 2007 17:48 IST
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The LTTE on Wednesday killed a Hindu priest who had garlanded Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when the latter visited Vaharai, a Tamil town in Eastern Sri Lanka which the armed forces had captured from the rebels recently.

Army spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe told Hindustan Times that the priest, Selliah Parameswara Gurukkal (61) of the Sandiveli Ganesh temple in Batticaloa district, was shot dead by the LTTE for garlanding the President.

A group of men who identified themselves as LTTE, had come to his house at night and said that he was wanted for an inquiry, and took him away in a van.

Sources in Batticaloa said that Parameswara Gurukkal was among a number of Tamil civilians who were brought to Vaharai to be shown to the president.

At the function, the priest was asked to garland the president and a picture of that was widely disseminated. But that picture sealed the priest's fate.

The other worrying aspect of the situation is that the LTTE is still operating in the government-controlled areas of Batticaloa district, adopting hit and run tactics.

Death threat to dissident ministers

On Tuesday, the cabinet minister for National Heritage and anti-Rajapaksa faction leader, Anura Bandaranaike, threw a bombshell by saying that he had been getting anonymous phone calls threatening to hang him and fellow minister and fellow dissident, Mangala Samaraweera.

When the police wanted to question him on Wednesday, Bandaranaike said that he would meet them only after making a statement in parliament on Thursday, thus indicating that he was going to make maximum political capital out of it in the context of his stand off with President Rajapaksa.

LTTE gets Sinhala collaboraters

The arrest of three Sinhala government-accredited mediamen and their confession that they were going to indulge in terrorist strikes in the Sinhala areas of South Sri Lanka on behalf of the Tamil Tigers, has sent shockwaves through the majority Sinhala community. Earlier, three Sinhala Army Majors were caught spying for the LTTE.

The mediamen, Lalith Seneviratne, Sisira Priyanka and Nihal Senasinghe, had confessed that they had received six days training in Kilinochchi under an LTTE trainer named Kapila Amman.

They had been given a large amount of explosives including mines, and a good deal of money to buy their way through.

Significantly, the trio were earlier associated with the radical Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is currently at odds with President Rajapaksa.

According to The Island daily, the trio told the police that they got involved in subversion because they believed that there should be a radical change in Sri Lanka's political system.

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