January 19, 2007 / 8:57 PM / 12 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Assassinations of political figures in Sri Lanka

(Reuters) - A prominent Tamil politician was assassinated in Sri Lanka on Friday, the latest escalation in the island’s two-decade civil war.

Nadarajah Raviraj, a member of the Tamil National Alliance — widely seen as the proxy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in parliament — was shot dead in the capital Colombo.

Here is a chronology of assassinations of major political figures in Sri Lanka since the outbreak of the civil war in the 1980s:

July 13, 1989 - Appapillai Amirthalingam, leader of the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), is shot dead at his home in Colombo.

March 2, 1991 - A car bomb explosion near Colombo kills Deputy Defense Minister Ranjan Wijeratne. The government blames the separatist LTTE, which denies involvement.

April 23, 1993 - Opposition leader and former National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali is shot dead at an election rally near Colombo.

May 1 - President Ranasinghe Premadasa is killed in a blast during a May Day rally in Colombo. The LTTE is blamed, but the rebel group denies it carried out the assassination.

October 23, 1994 - Presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake and 51 others are killed in a bomb blast during an election rally in Colombo. The LTTE denies involvement.

May 17, 1998 - TULF’s Sarojini Yogeswaran, the mayor of the northern Jaffna town, is killed at her residence by a gunman. An unknown group, the Sangilian Force, claims responsibility.

June 7, 2000 - Industrial Development Minister C.V. Gunaratne and 21 others are killed in a suicide bomb blast in Colombo.

August 12, 2005 - Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar is shot dead near his Colombo home in an attack blamed on the LTTE. The rebel group denies involvement.

December 25 - Joseph Pararajasingam, MP for the Tamil National Alliance is shot dead in a cathedral in the eastern town of Batticaloa. His supporters claim the killing was carried out by a group with links to the Sri Lankan army.

July 24, 2006 - Maha Kanapathipallai, a senior member of Tamil political party EPDP — former militants opposed to the Tamil Tigers — is gunned down in Colombo.

August 12 - Kethesh Loganathan, an ethnic Tamil and deputy head of the government’s peace secretariat, is shot dead in Colombo.

Nov 10 - Nadarajah Raviraj, a prominent member of the Tamil National Alliance is shot dead in Colombo.

Source: Reuters

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