Senior SLA officer killed
[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Brigadier Larry Wijeratne, Commander of the SLA's Pt. Pedro garrison, was killed and three others wounded when his vehicle was destroyed by a suicide bomber, in Pt. Pedro town 32 km north of Jaffna, around 3:30 p.m today, said sources in Jaffna.
The Brigadier was on his way from Pt. Pedro to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base complex at Palaly to leave for Colombo to take up a new appointment.
The incident occurred opposite the Pt. Pedro bus stand when a suicide bomber jumped on the vehicle the Brigadier was travelling in.
Brig. Wijeratne was killed instantly, while three others travelling with him were injured.
The vehicle that preceded Brigadier Wijeratne's and the one that followed suffered only minor damage.
Brigadier Wijeratne had recently been appointed Commandant of the Kotalawala Defence Academy for SLA officers. He had handed over command of the Pt. Pedro Brigade recently.
In Jaffna, he was a senior officer in the Vadmaradtchi sector of the peninsula.
There was tension in Pt. Pedro and shops closed immediately after the incident.
Briadier Wijeratne has been considered by the SLA as one of its best officers in the Jaffna peninsula. He was praised for keeping the activity of the Liberation Tigers under complete check in Vadamaradchi since 1996.
Briadier. Wijeratne had considerable experience with the Sri Lankan army's Directorate of Military Intelligence.
Brig. Wijeratne had completed a tour of duty in the Vadamaradchi sector of the Jaffna peninsula, and was to take over the Kotalawela Defence Academy as Deputy Commandant.
Brig. Wijeratne was a former commander of the Sri Lankan Army's 4th Artillery Regiment.
He had also been a former instructor at the Diyatalawa Military Academy.
His wife is also a serving officer in the SLA - Lt.Col. H.I.G. Wijeratne, staff officer, Directorate of Legal Services.