LTTE attacks aims at ''derailing'' peace process: Rajapakse

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Colombo, June 26 (UNI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse today said the suspected LTTE suicide attack on an Army Major General on the outskirts of Colombo city this morning was aimed at ''disrupting'' the Norwegian-brokered peace process, but maintained such attacks would neither frighten the armed forces nor ''deter them from overcoming the LTTE and its terror''.

''These killings are further examples of the LTTE's concerted efforts to derail the peace process, and its total disregard for the international community's repeated calls on it to cease all violence and acts of terrorism,'' Mr Rajapakse said in a statement here today.

Meanwhile, Military Spokesman, Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said an LTTE suicide cadre, riding on an explosive-packed motor cycle, rammed it onto the vehicle of the Sri Lankan Army's Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Parami Kulatunga near Pannipitiya, killing him and three others, including a civilian.

Nine people, including civilians, were injured in the explosion and they were now admitted to the nearby Kalubowila, Jayawardenapura and Colombo national hospitals.

The huge explosion had taken place at Pannipitiya, approximately 18 km east of Colombo, on the Thalawattugoda-Kottawa road. The military car in which General Kulatunga was travelling was seen ablaze, while another back-up vehicle was also damaged.

The incident happened exactly after two months when a female suicide LTTE cadre blew herself up inside the heavily-guarded Army Headquarters in the heart of the Colombo city, killing the Sri Lankan Army Chief and eleven others, while injuring 29 people on April 25.

Government's Spokesman on Defence matters, Minister Rambukwella said the LTTE ''appeared to be using dual strategy by requesting the members of the European Union to quit the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) on one hand and committing more and more ceasefire violations on the other''.

''It is high time that the international community should joint-hand with the government of Sri Lanka to ''defeat this menace of terrorism'', he said, adding the government has taken all necessary steps to ensure the national security.

There is no reaction from the LTTE so far in this regard.


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