3RD LEAD (UPDATE)
Two SLAF Kfir fighter jets crash in mid-air
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 March 2011, 06:19 GMT]
Two Israeli-built Kfir bomber jets of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) crashed in a mid-air collision during a rehearsal Tuesday morning killing one pilot at Yakkala in Gampaha. The other pilot sustained injuries. Both the Kfir bombers that killed several civilians in Vanni War were completely destroyed. The rehearsal was for the 60th anniversary of the SLAF which is being marked on Wednesday with fly-past aerobatics and a skydiving display. Five years ago, on 14 August 2006, 55 schoolchildren and staffers were massacred in Mullaiththeevu in a genocidal air strike carried out by the SLAF. The crime against humanity is yet to be subjected to international investigations.
SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has been invited as the chief guest for the event at the Ratmalana air base visited the scene of the accident.
SLAF had deployed the Kfir bombers to bomb military and civilian targets during the Vanni War.
The SLAF pilot killed was identified as Flight Lieutenant Monath Perara. The other pilot, Squadron Leader Vajira Jayakody was rushed to hospital with injuries.