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Sri Lankan politician Kumar Ponnambalam shot dead
[5 Jan 2000]

All Ceylon Tamil Congress leader and a lawyer  Mr. Kumar Ponnambalam was gunned down by unknown gunmen near Ramakrishna Hall, Wellawatte which is a Tamil dominated suburb around 11.45 a.m. today, police and officials said.

    According to Lakhanda radio transmissions, he had been leaving his hotel in his car when he was shot twice. He was known to openly support the issue of a separate homeland for minority Tamils for which the LTTE had been fighting.

    A prominent politician, who represented his party in the 1982
presidential elections, Mr. Ponnambalam was to be involved in the Chemmani mass graves issue, regarding alleged surreptitious and illegal burial of persons in Jaffna. Both local and foreign forensic and criminal investigation experts, with the support of the government had been involved in the exhumes.

     This killing was followed by a suicide bomb explosion in front of the Prime Minister's office in the morning today killing 11 people and
wounding 29.

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