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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle: Condolences From All Over World Poured in to Asian Tribune

Colombo, 07 April, ( Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama while expressing his heartfelt condolences stated that the LTTE has once again demonstrated its callous disregard for human life by the cold-blooded and dastardly assassination of my Cabinet colleague Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle today. I vehemently condemn this brutal act of terrorism, which is a direct assault on democracy and all civilized values of humanity.

The untimely demise of Jeyaraj under such terrible and tragic circumstances has robbed the nation of an outstanding and dynamic politician, who served the people of Sri Lanka in all the ministerial portfolios he held, with distinction and dedication. He excelled in parliamentary debates as a brilliant orator with a fine command of all three languages. His death has deeply shocked and saddened me and left me bereft of a colleague, whose friendship I have cherished for the last thirty-four years, since our Law College days.

Minister Fernandopulle assassination, which is the latest in a string of political killings that has targeted legislators elected by the sovereign will of the people, should convince the international community of the true face of the LTTE-a fascist terrorist entity, which does not subscribe to democracy and pluralism. This should serve as a wake-up call to the international community to redouble its efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The Government of Sri Lanka is firmly resolved to eradicating terrorism and freeing the long suffering people in the last remaining pockets of the North from the tyranny of the LTTE, so that they too would be able to enjoy the fruits of democracy as the rest of our citizens. Jeyaraj, during his entire political career fought hard to build a united Sri Lanka, where all citizens could live in peace and harmony, enjoying equal rights. He paid the supreme sacrifice in pursuit of this noble vision.

In their hour of grief, I wish to convey my heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family of late Minister Fernandopulle as well as to the bereaved families of all the innocent bystanders who perished in this tragedy.

In the meantime, Sri Lank’s Consul General in Los Angeles Jaliya Wickramasuriya Remembers Jeyaraj as Respected Sri Lankan Leader

Sri Lankan Consular General in Los Angeles Jaliya Wickramasuriya while grieving the passing away of a great leader and friend, remembers Jeyaraj Fernandopulle as one of the most respected leaders of Sri Lanka. He stated that Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Highways and Road Development, a senior politician and close associate of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a devout Catholic who belonged to the main minority group, the Tamils.

His presence in the Cabinet signified government’s’ ties to both Catholic and Tamil groups and helped forge a sense of unity among all sections of Sri Lankan community. He was considered the strong man in the Cabinet and held the post of Chief Parliamentary Whip from the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party coalition that formed the Rajapaksa administration.

The fifty five year old minister succumbed to a suicide bomber disguised as a marathon runner at a multi-racial Hindu-Sinhala New Year celebration few miles north-east of the capital city Colombo, at which Minister Fernandopulle was the chief guest. Over ten people died along with the Minister. Over 80 people were injured. This is the second time that a minority member holding a Ministerial position had become victims of suicide bombing. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and Jeyeraj Fernandopulle both Tamils allegedly targeted by the terrorists.

Fernandopulle had been warned by the country’s Intelligence Unit several times that he was a top target for assassination by the proscribed LTTE-the Tigers. Their activities were banned by the United States government. The FBI described the Tigers as one of the most vicious terrorist organization in the world.

Fernandopulle gave an interview to the media few days ago describing his goals for Sri Lanka: unity among all communities, the end to the ethnic crisis as quickly as possible and a sense of harmony among the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities.

He will be severely missed by the Sri Lankans.

Jaliya Wickramasuriya,
Consular General of Los Angeles,
For the Republic of Sri Lanka.

Asian Tribune -

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