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Tamil nationalist, 2 home guards killed in Lanka

Written by: Staff
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Colombo, Apr 7: A Tamil nationalist and two Muslim home guards were shot dead in two separate incidents in Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa districts today.

Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, head of the Tamil Peoples' Forum of the Eastern port city of Trincomalee was shot by an unidentified person as he was on his way to a bank in the town, sources said.

A Tamilnet report quoting Tamil political party sources said that the assassination took place at a time when the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was about to announce appointment of Mr Vigneswaran as the nationalist parliamentarian of the party to fill the vacancy created by the death of Joseph Pararajasingham, who was slain inside a church in Battioaloa last year.

Meanwhile, police sources said that two Muslim home guards were shot dead by unknown gunmen while they were on duty in Polonnaruwa district, where the rival factions of the LTTE frequently clash.

These two incidents have taken place exactly a day after the visiting Norwegian facilitators urged the government and the LTTE to adhere to the provisions of the fragile ceasefire agreement and the agreement reached at the Geneva direct talks in February, warning that ''there will be problems down the road'' otherwise.

''As it stands now there can be no doubt that the promises given at the first round of talks in Geneva are not properly implemented.

We strongly urge both the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to do whatever is in their hand to stick to the letter of the ceasefire agreement and what was agreed in Geneva and implement them as it would help to rapidly move forward to the next round in Geneva,'' visiting Norwegian minister for International Development, Eric Solheim told Sri Lanka's Foreign Correspondnts' Association yesterday.

Minutes before leaving for New Delhi to brief the Indian leaders on the present situation of the peace process, the Norwegian envoy expressed optimism that the next round of talks will go ahead as scheduled for three days from April 19, with the President Mahinda Rajapakse giving guarantee for the safe passage for the LTTE delegation to leave for Geneva talks via Colombo international airport as requested by the LTTE.

UNI

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