Sri Lankan Red Cross stops work for slain colleagues

June 6, 2007 (AFP) – Red Cross offices across Sri Lanka stopped work Wednesday as a mark of respect for two colleagues gunned down last week. Sri Lankan Red Cross workers Sinnarasa Shanmugalingam and Karthekesu Chandramohan were abducted in Colombo on Friday and murdered by armed men claiming to be police.

They were working in the conflict-wracked eastern town of Batticaloa.

“These senseless killings have caused shock waves across Sri Lanka and the international community,” said Al Panico, the head of delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies here.

“Between them, these men gave 20 years of service to the Red Cross. Their deaths are a loss not only to their families, friends and colleagues but to the communities they worked with and supported,” Panico said.

Aid workers attached to the charity’s offices across the island also observed two minutes of silence for their murdered colleagues.
Rights activists protested in the capital, Colombo, too.

The murders were the worst to hit the tropical island’s aid community since the massacre last August of 17 local charity workers employed