Bomb attack targets Sri Lanka opposition ahead of vote
AFP – by Amal Jayasinghe
COLOMBO (AFP) – A key opposition activist in Sri Lanka was targeted at home by a bomb attack Friday as violence escalated ahead of next week’s presidential election.
The pre-dawn blast destroyed a car and severely damaged the home of Tiran Alles, a wealthy businessman and key ally of the opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. He and his family escaped unhurt.
“I heard a huge explosion and as I came out of my room I saw the house on fire,” Alles told AFP, pointing the finger at the ruling party for the attempt on his life. “They were obviously trying to kill me.”
The attack came amid tightened security as Sri Lankans prepare to go to the polls Tuesday to choose between President Mahinda Rajapakse and his former army chief Fonseka.
The opposition alleged Alles had been targeted because Fonseka’s campaign had released a photograph of Rajapakse’s eldest son Namal with a Tamil rebel leader at a London nightclub.
Rajapakse’s reputation as a war-hero president is staked on his victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, who were wiped out in a huge government offensive after 37 years of fighting.
“Since the photograph showed some sort of a link between the president’s family and the Tamil Tigers, Alles had been receiving death threats,” the spokesman said. “Even yesterday, we complained that he could be targeted.”
Alles said forensic experts were going through the wreckage of his car and house at Colombo’s Nawala quarter, but he did not expect an impartial inquiry from the police.
Charred debris was strewn over the frontyard of the fire-damaged house and the roof had partially collapsed.
“I don’t expect anything from the investigation,” Alles said. “They will try to kill me before the election.”
Alles campaigned for Rajapakse’s victory in the November 2005 election, but fell out when a few dissidents were sacked from the government.
Since his fall from grace within the Rajapakse administration, Alles had worked with the opposition and was partly credited with arranging for Fonseka to come forward as a common opposition candidate.
Fonseka and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the bombed home.
“The attackers are believed to have come in a van and carried out the attack and fled,” a police official at the scene said, adding that no arrests had been made.
A total of four people have been killed and hundreds have been injured during campaigning in the run-up to the vote. The police have received more than 700 complaints of election-related violence.
The attack came despite a stepping up of security across the country following orders from Rajapakse to ensure a violence-free vote.
International concern over escalating election-related violence has poured in with United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressing alarm over the increasing number of violent incidents and killings.
Ban urged all parties and their supporters “to show restraint and refrain from violence, to adhere to the electoral laws and rules, and to avoid provocative acts throughout the election period and its aftermath.”
The independent Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake was quoted as saying Wednesday that he had stopped giving directives to the police and public officials who disregarded his orders for conducting a free and fair vote.
Rajapakse called the vote two years ahead of schedule to benefit from the government’s defeat of the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels after decades of ethnic warfare on the island.
But he faces a surprise rival to power in Fonseka, the former general who led the troops to victory in May.
well done Mr.Fonseka,you have so quickly transformed in to a typical Sri Lakan politician so as to understand that only way out now is beggibg for sympathy.
WHAT A SHAME FOR MR GOVERNMENT,THESE ARE CRIMINAL CASES,I THINK THE GOVT ALLREADY AFRAID TO SF WHOM WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT
I KNOW ONLY ONE THING.. TIRAN ALLAS IS TERRORIST SUPPORTER… IAM NOT AFFRAID TO TELL THAT.. BECAUSE I KNWO HIM… SO BLAST ONE MORE TIME…
Malsara.. if he is a terrorist supporter, it should be proved in court and he should be sent to jail. this is not the way to handle it.
and tyronne.. when things like this happen we do feel sympathy, not for SF, but for ourselves and our future. we cannot hold our opinion, there is no democracy, if we do not agree with MR our houses will be burned down and we will be killed. Mahinda is the hitler.
Dear readers and commentators,
You should be balanced in surveying about any issue.If you pick the wrong idea after being fooled by any one one day you will have to be sorry.Please note that the operating system in management in the government heads are corrupted and it has turned out to terror mode.Please inquire what has happened to Mr. alles.according to my survey he is the member who worked with this President closely in 2005 election campaign.He is responsible for handing over a Bribe to Terrorist organization here before the election in 2005 handed over by the head.It helped him to stop the entire Tamil ethnic votes from the north to the opposition party.Today Mr.Alles is the only evidence for this case.So what?The head is trying his maximum to erase the evidence.But the head cannot erase all his bad in his history book which is with the god.One day he will have to face all these allegations in gods courts is not it? Now every body should get together and show the world that we are not Genocide.This President has shown it clearly against SF.He accused him for signing contracts with the Tamil parties.It itself prove the Genocide.He is poisoning the Sinhalese community again among the Tamils.Am I correct?The world is against us.Why? It is because of this issue.When the countries President act in this manner can you expect a different from a Sinhalese civilian?No.It is shame for Sinhalese now.We will be cornered by the international very soon if this practice is generated further.How could be proud of us while showing Genocide?90% of the Sinhalese community are Genocide.They do not know the history of our country since 1800 years onwards.If they know it this will not happen.All the politicians are hiding the history truth of Sri Lanka.For greedy political taste they do anything to safe guard their money making seats.
Now the LTTE is over.But do you see the terror in government today?If the President is sure about his win,Why should he order his members to spend and attack opposite at this moment?If I was in this seat,situation I will not spent a cent for this.This is guiltiness.He knows that he has not done as he said.But our fools are happy.This is not a joke.People are suffering for food.Well as they talk about large developments people will have to eat concrete what are build.At this moment who ever do any wrong at this election campaign in the government the President is Responsible.Why should he use such a man power to his campaign if he has done his duties up to date? People will have to think where are we going to go further with children for the next six years.Also think what we have gained for the past 4 years.The war is not that special as they talk.The war was created by politicians only.They created problems and went for war.This is the fact.They played out Tamil community.They fooled Sinhalese community.All the culprits got together to carry on the long project.Earned lot of money.This is the way they earned money. If I am highlighted to these characters tomorrow I will be shot like innocent Lasantha who wrote the truth.You should change this system immediately to bring Law to this country and to rebuild this corrupted nation including Buddhist monks who do politics.Real Terrorist like mervyn,etc should be hanged to death.
Govt responsible for attack on Alles’s residence: Former President
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga visited SLFP (M) secretary Tiran Alles’s residence in Nawala that came under grenade attack.
Speaking to the media a short while ago, Ms. Kumaratunga said that the government should be fully responsible for the attack and President Rajapaksa should also be blamed for not taking possible steps to prevent the violence taking place in the country.
She said that if the government cannot handle such violence they should resign from their posts.
MR N comrades are in the ICU knowingly their defeat attempting hold on to power.THE WORLD KNOWS WHAT IS HAPPENING>ALL these acts endorses their smell of defeat.MR DO NOT HURT YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN<YOU HAVE TERRORIST IN THE PARLIMENT WELCOMED BY YOU.TIME IS CLOSING IN ON YOUR FATE,leave honourably like your late dad.