Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Murdered by Tamil Tigers
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, was murdered earlier today, presumably by Tamil Tiger terrorists.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice condemned the assassination of Sri Lanka’s foreign minister as a “senseless murder and vicious act of terror” and urged Sri Lankans not to let it lead to resumed civil war. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, 73, was shot in the heart and head Friday after taking a swim at his house in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. Hours earlier, Kadirgamar had delivered a speech on international affairs to a student audience.
In Crawford, Texas, where President Bush is vacationing, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, “We condemn this outrageous and barbaric act” and offered condolences to the Sri Lanka government and Kadirgamar’s family. Rice, who said she last saw Kadirgamar in June, said she was shocked and saddened by his death. “This senseless murder was a vicious act of terror, which the United States strongly condemns,” she said in a statement. “Those responsible must be brought to justice.”
The army blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam, widely known as the Tamil Tigers, for killing Kadirgamar, who was a Tamil himself. A long insurrection ended in a cease-fire in February 2002, but tension has been building between the Tigers and the government. “It’s a big, big blow to the cease-fire and the whole peace process irrespective of who is behind this,” said Hagrup Haukland, chief of the cease-fire monitors.
It’s not surprising that terrorists would kill one of their own who was seen as compromising with the enemy. One hopes they are not rewarded for this act of brutality.