Wasgamuwa national park closed after killings

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 15:29 GMT]
Sri Lankan wildlife authorities have closed the Wasgamuwa national park Wednesday after unknown attackers Monday night shot and killed the chief warden and a caretaker of circuit bungalow at Wasgamuwa national park in the Central Province, bordering Polonnaruwa, Ampaa'rai and Matale districts, Police said. A large scale search operation was launched despite the Deputy Inspector General of Police of Central Province, Kingsely Ekanayake, ruling out the possibility of LTTE involvement in the attack. The paradise park of Wasgamuwa, home to a variety of flora and fauna, with a varied climate, is visited by locals as well as foreign tourists.

The slain workers at the Wasgamuwa park were identified as Samarathunga and Dingiri Banda.

The JVP, during the 1971 insurrection, was known to have operated from Laggala, which is located on the way to Wasgamuwa.

The Department of Wildlife comes under the ministry of JHU headed by "Patali" Champika Ranawaka, a former militant JVPer from 1980's, who is currently the advisor of the all monks Jathika Hela Urumaya.

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