6TH LEAD (Correction)
Sri Lankan minister killed in Claymore blast in Colombo
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 January 2008, 05:52 GMT]
Sri Lankan Minister of Nation Building D. M. Dassanayaka, seriously injured in a Claymore blast near Ja-Ela junction, 18 km northeast of Colombo city, Tuesday around 10:35 a.m., succumbed to his wounds at Ragama teaching hospital, Police said. The driver of his pajero vehicle and a security guard also succumbed to their wounds while 8 others were wounded in the attack. Mr. Dassayanaka was on his way to the Sri Lankan parliament to take part in the first day of 2008 parliament session. Meanwhile, pandemonium reigned at the first meeting of the Sri Lankan parliament as main opposition UNP protested over the assassination of Tamil parliamentarian T. Maheswaran who was slain on New Year's Day.
Dassanayaka, 54, and two others were admitted at the Intensive Care Unit of the Ragama teaching hospital with serious injuries.
The blast has taken place 12 km away from the Katunayake International Air Port, near Rukmani Devi statue at Ja-Ela on Colombo - Negombo main road.
Dasanayaka, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian and non cabinet minister, was a hardliner in Rajapaksa government. He was elected from Puththa'lam district.
Meanwhile, Shafeek Rajabdeen of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, who received next largest preference votes after Maheswaran, was sworn in as the parliamentarian on Tuesday, filling the vacancy created by the assassination of Maheswaran, parliamentary sources said.