Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Attempt on the life of the Pakistani High Commissioner:

The great escape

It is a miracle how the Pakistani High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Bashir Wali Mohamed escaped death by a few seconds as his vehicle sped along Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha Colombo 3, around 1.20.p.m. last Monday.

As the vehicle passed a tri-shaw which was parked at Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, near a cross road all of a sudden it exploded killing seven persons including four army Commandos who were escorting the High Commissioner and injuring several others.

The Defender vehicle in which the five commandos travelled was badly damaged in the blast. The four dead army commandos and seven injured civilians including an army commando were rushed to the National hospital Colombo by the police with the help of the people who gathered there.

It was subsequently revealed that the trishaw had been packed with a claymore mine. People who went to rescue the commandos had to struggle a lot to pull them out from their vehicle. The Pakistani High Commissioner and others in his vehicle were unhurt.

The High Commissioner was on his way to attend a function at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo when the mishap occurred. The reverberating sound of the explosion was heard even as far as Fort and in Bambalapitiya areas according to witnesses.

Police suspect that the explosion was triggered by a remote control device by someone in the vicinity after being tipped off that the motorcade carrying the High Commissioner was approaching the trishaw. However the High Commissioner's vehicle was only slightly damaged in the attack.

According to police one plausible theory is that some one had followed the High Commissioner's car from the time it left his residence at Wijerama Road Colombo 7 on that day.

Ostensibly some one had monitored his movements to plan this heinous attack with precision although it misfired. But who could plan this dastard attack on him and for what purpose.? What was the motive behind it.? Of course these are some of the queries that the police will have to look into in the course of their investigations.

Police however say the explosion bears the hallmarks of LTTE involvements judging from similar explosions in the past. There is perception that the assassination attempt was lined to the Pakistani Government's willingness to support the Sri Lankan armed forces logistically after the skirmishes between the LTTE and the government troops erupted in the North - East recently.

First time

The Colombo Detective Bureau (CDB) sources said that the trishaw was badly damaged after it exploded. However the detectives were trying to locate the engine and the chassis numbers with a view to trace its owner.

In fact this was the first occasion where a trishaw was used to detonate a claymore bomb in the heart of the Colombo city. According to CCD Director, SSP, Sarath Lugoda around 30 persons had been questioned in this connection but no arrests have been made upto the time of writing this story. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is also conducting an investigation with regard to the incident.

Meanwhile it was learnt that he trishaw was brought to Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha about half an hour earlier by an unidentified person. Owing to the powerful claymore mine explosion two vehicles which were parked at Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha were severely damaged.

The petrol tank of a car exploded when it was engulfed in a ball of fire. However contrary to earlier news reports there had been only one claymore mine explosion. The second explosion was heard when the petrol tank of the vehicle caught fire and exploded. A woman passenger travelling in a vehicle died while the driver of that vehicle sustained serious injuries.

In fact IGP Chandra Fernando earlier cautioned the public that trishaws entering the Colombo city from outstations posed a great security threat. He said there was credible information that trishaws were being used by the underworld gangs to transport dangerous weapons etc.


A survey done recently had found that many trishaws that enter Colombo from outstations were involved in criminal activity. He also cautioned that the LTTE had a history of fitting petrol tanks of vehicles with explosives that was hard to detect.

What is surprising is that Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha being a route used by VVIP's to travel to the Parliamentary complex and elsewhere is poorly patrolled by the police. Had there been adequate police patrols on this road that day this tragedy could have been averted. It was only last week that parking of vehicles on the roadsides in Fort area was totally prohibited. Car parks in Fort and Slave Island areas are now used for this purpose.

The recent detection of a haul of explosives at Wattala Mabole was freightning beyond description. The explosives and ammunition found concealed in a lorry include eight claymore mines, fifteen hand bombs, one magnet bomb, two -T-56 rifles, three magazines, one pistol, a rifle, ten bomb detonators, 500 ammunition and other accessories.

The two LTTE cadres who had travelled in the lorry had swallowed cyanide capsules following their arrest. One person died while the other was saved after being admitted to the Ragama hospital. It was subsequently revealed that the explosives were being transported to Colombo to stage a massive attack. However due to security reasons the name of the place had not been revealed.



| News | Editorial | Money | Features | Political | Security | PowWow | Zing | Sports | World | Oomph | Junior | Letters | Obituaries |


Produced by Lake House Copyright 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor