Sri Lanka's foreign minister killed in sniper attack

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kadirgamar, was fatally shot in the chest and head at his home on August 12. Two people have been arrested in connection with the attack but their identities have not been released.

The Inspector General of Police, Chandra Fernando told reporters, "It's the Tigers," blaming The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have observed a ceasefire since 2002. The rebels currently deny involvement in the shooting.

Since the shooting Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency. Many fear this assassination and resulting countrywide lock down could jeopardize the island's fragile peace process.

Under the emergency rule, the authorities can deploy troops whenever they wish, detain suspects of terrorist activities without charge, and search and demolish buildings at will.

Many world leaders including Jan Peterson, Norway's foreign minister and Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State has called this a senseless crime. India has called the shooting a "terrorist crime" and promised any help that is needed to end this crisis in Sri Lanka.