Sri Lankan Opposition Lawmaker Assassinated

Tamil MP had tangled with government
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 11:35 AM CST
A Sri Lankan policeman stands guard as other officials carry on investigations at the scene of a shooting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. A gunman assassinated opposition lawmaker Thyagaraja...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A Sri Lankan opposition lawmaker was gunned down during a New Year’s religious celebration last night, 2 days after accusing government troops of abductions and murders in the northern part of the country and promising to name names when parliament reconvened, Reuters reports. He was rushed to the hospital along with his suspected killer, who was injured when bodyguards returned fire.

Thyagaraja Maheswaran was an advocate for his ethnic Tamil people, scores of whom have died under shadowy circumstances in northern Sri Lanka, the AP reports. The suspected killer was also Tamil. Two weeks ago, the government drastically reduced Maheswaran’s security detail, which he considered an attempt to pressure him into silence. He said to blame the government if anything happened to him.