Tamil MP killed amid heavy Sri Lanka fighting

Nov 10, 2006 (AFP) – Gunmen assassinated a pro-rebel Tamil MP in the capital Colombo Friday as Sri Lanka’s warring parties fought fresh battles and faced rising international condemnation over civilian killings. “They are clearly not going to get a solution through violence,” Boucher warned. Unidentified gunmen shot dead legislator Nadarajah Raviraj, 44, and his bodyguard as they drove to work, police said. A few minutes earlier, Raviraj had appeared on television accusing security forces of killing civilians.

President Mahinda Rajapakse said the slain politician was a personal friend and expressed shock at the news of his assassination, his spokesman Chandrapala Liyanage said.

“The President ordered the inspector-general to make sure that they get to to the bottom of this political assassination,” Liyanage said. “He was shocked and saddend to hear about it.”

He said the President had also asked the foreign ministry to request Britain’s help with the investigation.

Raviraj is the second legislator from the Tamil National Alliance to be killed in the past year.

MP Joseph Pararajasingham was shot dead while he attended Christmas day mass at a Roman Catholic church in the eastern town of Batticalo