Top TMVP member, driver shot dead outside Colombo (Lead)

November 14th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Nov 14 (IANS) A top member of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), a breakaway group of the Tamil Tigers, was shot dead along with his driver Friday by unidentified gunmen in the outskirts of Colombo. Attacks on TMVP members are on the rise in the eastern province, a military official here said. According to military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the unidentified gunmen shot dead a secretary to the chief minister of the Eastern Province, at Athurugiriya located about 15 km east of Colombo, while he was travelling in a car with his driver Friday.

The TMVP member, identified as Kumaraswami Nandagopan alias Ragu and his driver were found dead inside the car and the Athurugiriya Police is conducting further inquiries into the attack.

According to media reports, Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesadurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillaiyan along with a senior provincial minister have visited the scene of crime amid tight security.

Meanwhile, two more TMVP activists were killed Thursday night in another attack in the eastern Batticaloa district.

These two TMVP members were killed when unidentified gunmen fired at TMVP party office at Karadiyanaru in the eastern Batticaloa district.

The TMVP, a breakaway faction of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has faced continued attacks in the Eastern Province, especially after its leader Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, was appointed as the parliamentarian of the Rajapaksa government last month.

According to reports nearly 20 TMVP members have been killed in the recent past due to such attacks.

The TMVP is bitterly opposed by the LTTE and the police blamed the Tamil Tigers for the killings.

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