Bombs fail to halt Sri Lanka election
Monday 20 December 1999
She was treated in Colombo for an eye injury said to be minor. But 22 people died in the attack when a man in women's clothing detonated a bomb around his waist as Mrs Kumaratunga was about to get into her car. Almost simultaneously a blast 15km away at a rally by Mrs Kumaratunga's election rival, Ranil Wickremesinghe, killed 11 people.
It was assumed the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were responsible. Commentators had seen indications that the LTTE was inclining towards Mr Wickremesinghe and his United National Party. The bombing of both parties' meetings was a way of indicating that the Tigers are neutral.
The small change of political debate in Sri Lanka is that the war between the Sinhalese government and the LTTE goes on because it is in the politicians' interests. Mrs Kumaratunga's escape exposes that view as far- fetched to say the least. The Tigers' supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has put another question mark over the effectiveness of Mrs Kumaratunga, who in her five years in power has vacillated between pacific and belligerent positions.
Yet Mr Wickremesinghe, who has offered the Tigers peace talks, cannot draw much comfort from the latest atrocities either. His party remains squarely in the line of fire.
"The LTTE has made clear it wants Mrs Kumaratunga out of the picture ... and this may harden attitudes of many Sinhalese against the LTTE," said Jehan Perera, a political analyst. "My feeling is that this will create a sympathy vote and will help her in the election."
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire