Colombo, Jan 8 : Sri Lanka's Minister for Nation Building, D M Dassanayake, was killed Tuesday morning in a blast in Ja-Ela town, about 19km north of Colombo.
According to official sources, Dassanayake's convoy was passing between Colombo and the international airport when it was hit by a powerful roadside blast.
Dassanayake succumbed to his injuries while being treated in the Intensive Care Unit of the Ragama Hospital here.
Seven others were also wounded in the attack. They have been admitted to the same hospital.
Police said a Claymore mine - a landmine frequently used by Tamil Tiger rebels - was used in the attack.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues in the north of the country between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels after the government announced it was ending the rebels.
Colombo has formally announced that it will pull out of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement on January 16. The death toll in this week's clashes has crossed the 80-figure mark.
The Norwegian-brokered ceasefire began breaking down two years ago, resulting in renewed fighting that has killed over 5,000 people.
At least 70,000 people have died since the conflict began in 1983.
Both the Sri Lankan Government and the rebels have suffered heavy losses in the fighting.
In January 2008, Tamil MP T Maheswaran was shot dead in Colombo and rebels' intelligence Chief Colonel Charles was killed in fighting in the north.
In August 2005, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was shot dead in Colombo and in June 2006, a bomb killed Major General Parami Kulatunga, the army's third highest army officer.
In December 2005, pro-rebel MP Joseph Pararajasingham was shot dead in Batticaloa church, and in November 2006, pro-rebel politician Nadarajah Raviraj was shot dead in Colombo.
In a November 2007 air raid SP Thamilselvan, the head of the rebels' political wing, was killed.