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Suspected LTTE militants kill Tamil candidate in Sri Lanka

Suspected LTTE militants killed a Tamil candidate in Sri Lanka, marking the beginning of violence in the run-up to parliamentary polls.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2004 19:10 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Suspected LTTE militants shot dead a Tamilelectoral candidate in eastern Sri Lankaon Monday,marking the first political killing in the run-up to the April parliamentary elections.

Two gunmen shot dead Sinnathamby Sunderapillai, who was receiving treatment at the Batticaloa hospital for gunshot injuriessuffered in an attack on Saturday, police said. They said there were no armed guards posted to protect the victim and the attackers got away unchallenged.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing which came two days after the London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International asked Tamil Tiger rebels not to kill opponents during the vote campaign.

Sunderapillai, a member of the minority Tamil community, became a candidate of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) at the April 2 vote despite threats from pro-rebel groups.

The UNP said it was awaiting a police investigation report into the slaying of their candidate in Batticaloa today.

"It is too early to speculate as to who was responsible," UNP spokesman GL Peiris told reporters in Colombo.

Pro-LTTE groups had warned minority Tamils not to offer themselves as candidates from the two main majority Sinhalese parties of Wickremesinghe and President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

First Published: Mar 11, 2004 13:34 IST