Sri Lanka Tamil lawmaker shot dead

Jan 01, 2008 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan Tamil parliamentarian has died after being shot inside a Hindu temple in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo Tuesday morning, police and hospital officials said. T. Maheshwaran was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but succumbed to his injuries soon after, Colombo hospital director Hector Weerasinghe told LBO.

He had previously survived an assassination attempt by the Tamil Tigers when he represented the United National Party, now the main opposition.

The politician ran a business which provided shipping services to the northern Jaffna peninsula.

The Tigers control the land route north to Jaffna on which they taxed goods and people, until the sea route was re-started by the government.

Most goods are now sent to Jaffna by sea using several vessels, some of which Maheshwaran operated.

But he had also been critical of the government’s military campaign and allegations of human rights abuses by security forces and large scale arrests of Tamils.

The shooting took place as Maheshwaran attended a new year service in a Hindu temple in Kotahena, a northern suburb of the capital Colombo, with a high concentration of minority Tami