Vavuniya MP killed

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Mr. S. Shanmuganathan, also known as Vasanthan, parliamentarian for the Vavuniya district representing the Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF), was killed along with five others when a claymore mine exploded under the van they were travelling in at Irambaikkulam, 2 km east of Vavuniya around 10.00 today, said police sources.

Mr. Shanmuganathan was on his way home after visiting a circus near a Buddhist temple, when unidentified gunmen attacked the van as it approached Rice Mill junction east of Vavuniya on the Horawapothana road, said sources in Vavuniya.

The MP's 4 year old son, a relative and three policemen (body guards) died instantly while his wife was critically wounded and later rushed to the Vavuniya hospital.

Mr. Shanmuganathan was elected to parliament in the last parliamentary election held in 1994. He resigned his membership of the Vavuniya Urban Council to contest the parliamentary election.

The killing of Shanmuganathan is the latest in the inter necine violence which erupted within the PLOTE following the last land mine blast on May 12, which claimed the life of PLOTE's Vavuniya military commander, Mr. Thasan, a close aide of group's military wing leader Mr. Manikkathasan, said sources.

Sources in Vavuniya said that at least 22 youths have gone missing since the infighting in the PLOTE began .

Last week a youth identified as Ganasheamoorthy Sukirtharaj and a teacher whom he was with were reported missing.

The burnt body of another youth was found in Mayilankulam, near Vavuniya, the sources added

Meanwhile Manikathasan has told sections of the Tamil press that only 3 of the youth reported missing are in PLOTE's custody.

Sources close to the PLOTE said that Manikathasan has launched a severe retaliation against the leader of the organisation's political wing, the DPLF, which has three members in the parliament.

The inter necine violence is likely to continue in Vavuniya, Colombo and Trincomalee, they added.


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