5 shot in separate incidents in Sri Lanka

May 23rd, 2008 - 12:58 am ICT by admin  

Colombo, May 22 (IANS) Two members of the LTTE’s break away group Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) and three civilians were killed and four other people were wounded by gunmen in two separate shooting incidents Thursday in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, military and hospital sources said. “Two TMVP cadres, including the party’s chief organiser for Katankudi, were shot dead by unidentified gunmen around 11.15 a.m. In a separate incident, also at Arayampathi in Katankudi area, three Muslim civilians were killed by unidentified gunmen around 12.45 p.m.,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nananayakkara told IANS by phone.

Claiming that the wounded civilians were rushed to the Batticaloa hospital, he said that a police curfew has been imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in the area.

Batticaloa hospital sources confirmed that five bodies with gun shot injuries were brought to the hospital in the afternoon.

The motives behind the killings are not immediately known.

“Special police investigation has been launched to probe these two serious incidents,” said Nananayakkara.

These incidents have taken place barely a week after the leader of the TMVP, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, took oath as chief minister of the maiden Eastern provincial council, expected to commence next week.

President Rajapaksa appointed Pillaiyan as the chief minister of the Eastern province amid repeated requests from the Muslim party leaders in his coalition government to appoint a Muslim member to the top post.

Earlier Thursday, Rajapaksa administered oath of office and secrecy to M.L.A.M. Hisbullah, the ruling party member who raised the banner of revolt against the appointment of Pillaiyan.

Hisbullah took oath as provincial council minister of health and indigenous medicine, social welfare, women and youth affairs and sports at Temple Trees.

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