Two members of LTTE break-away group killed in Sri Lanka

June 2nd, 2008 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, June 2 (IANS) Two members of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), a break-away faction of the Tamil Tigers, were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Batticaloa Monday, a military official said. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said one of those killed was identified as the deputy head of a local council for which elections were held a couple of months ago.

“Iyathurai Pushpanathan alias Kattalan, deputy chairman of the Manmunai Pradeshiya Sabha in Kalawanchikudi, and his colleague Arasadurai Mohanadas alias Anburajan were shot dead by two gunmen at Eruvil in the Batticaloa district,” Nanayakkara told IANS.

He said the two TMVP members were travelling in an autorickshaw when the motorcycle-borne gunmen shot at them at close range. Both men died on the spot.

“We suspect that it is the work of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) gunmen, who wanted to make use of tension prevailing between the Tamil and Muslim communities in the area to their advantage,” the military spokesman said.

Last July, the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, declared that the military had flushed the LTTE from their former strongholds in the east after a year of fighting.

Within months, the government held polls for nine local councils, including the Manmunai Pradeshiya Sabha in Kalawanchikudi.

Vowing to develop the war-ravaged eastern province to be a role model for the other eight provinces in the country, the government held elections for the eastern provincial council after forming an alliance with the TMVP.

The UPFA-TMVP alliance won the provincial poll May 10 amid charges of poll violence and secured 20 seats in the 37-member council, which is set to convene within next few days.

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