Sri Lanka Tamil legislator shot dead at Christmas mass

Unidentified gunmen shot dead Tamil legislator Joseph Pararajasingham during a Catholic Christmas mass in Sri Lanka’s embattled eastern province, police said. Unidentified gunmen shot dead Tamil legislator Joseph Pararajasingham during a Catholic Christmas mass in Sri Lanka’s embattled eastern province, police said. The 71-year-old rebel-allied MP was shot from behind at close range at St. Michael’s church at Batticaloa, 303 kilometres (189 miles) east of the capital, they said.

They said at least eight others at the midnight mass were injured, including Pararajasingham’s wife. His police bodyguards also opened fire.

Police said no arrests had yet been made but a cordon and search operation is continuing.

“A search operation is underway in Batticaloa and we have also stepped up security for the two women and six men who were wounded during a gunbattle with the gunmen and the MP’s bodyguards,” a police official said.

He said the MP was taking part in the service when at least one gunman approached him from behind his pew and opened fire.

“There could have been one or more gunmen and there was an exchange of fire with the guards of