Fifteen killed in bomb blast
New wave of crime: LTTE terrorism targets civilians
A powerful explosion ripped through a packed passenger bus yesterday
in Godagama, killing 15 and injuring 42 passengers.
Deputy Inspector General Police Jayantha Gamage told the Sunday
Observer that the bomb, believed to have been set off by the LTTE in the
Matara bound private bus, exploded while the bus was proceeding along
Godagamma. At the time of the blast it had carried 65 passengers.
Of the 65 passengers, 15 were killed on the spot and 42 injured were
admitted to Balapitiya and Karapitiya Hospitals. The bodies are lying at
Karapitiya hospital morgue. The Deputy Director Teaching Hospital
Karapitiya Dr. Shelton Perera told that condition of 8 patients were
Meanwhile the police have cordoned off the area and urged the public
to identify the bodies.
This attack followed a bus blast last Friday when six passengers were
killed and another 70 wounded at Nittabuwa.
Meanwhile, the Government last night condemned the Tiger terror
attack and said its commitment to peace was undiluted. The Government
said: The Government condemns the brutal attack on two passenger buses
in Keetiyagoda on the Colombo - Galle highway today (06) and in
Nittambuwa yesterday (05) which has killed over 20 and injured around 75
The government extends its deep sorrow to the relatives of the dead
and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
The government believes that the LTTE is attempting to divert
attention from the continuous defeats they have been suffering at the
hands of the security forces during the recent past.
At a moment when the security forces are successfully carrying out
counter terrorist measures to restore civil administration in the North
and East, the LTTE has resorted to engage in terror attacks in the south
in a bid to disrupt normalcy.
The government reiterates that terror attacks will not deter its
efforts to find a peaceful solution to the National problem or its
counter terrorism masseurs to defeat terrorism.
LTTE's terror attacks will only strengthen the governments' resolve
to defeat terrorism and restore normalcy in the North and East.
President urges restraint
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that the LTTE motive
behind the twin bomb blast in Nittambuwa and Telwatta was to create a
backlash in the South and urged the public to exercise restraint.
"Through these attacks, the LTTE has attempted to thwart the
Government's efforts to find a peaceful solution to the grievances of
Tamil community," the President said in a statement.
General public must exercise patience, he said, urging them to extend
their support to the Police and Security Forces to prevent the repeat of
such attacks in the future.
He urged the people, especially the employees in public transport
services, to be vigilant.
The President extended his condolence to the relatives of the victims
of the twine bomb blasts, which shocked the nation.
Japan condemns terror attacks
Japan condemns in its strongest terms the series of bomb attacks on
civilian buses which took place in the evening of 05 January in
Nittambuwa and in the afternoon of 06 January in Godagama, which
deprived the lives of 21 people in total and injured many others. While
expressing sympathy for those who lost lives and those who got injured
in the attacks, Japan states that these attacks which deliberately
target innocent common people must be condemned as cowardly acts of
terrorism and such incidents must not be repeated in future.
Defence Sec. urges public to be vigilant
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday warned public not
fall into LTTE tactics after the back to back bomb explosions at
Nittamuwa and Thelwatte.
In less than 24 hours after Friday's bomb blast at Nittambuwa, 15
passengers including women and children were killed yesterday at
Godagamma in a similar explosion inside a packed private bus.
The Defence Secretary said the LTTE has changed its strategy now as
they are being defeated militarily. "Each time they get defeated and
lose control, they resort to these type of acts targeting civilians.
They expect to bring pressure on the political leadership with attacks
on civilian targets. All what the LTTE want is to put innocent civilians
in trouble and create chaos," he explained.
"I urge the public not to fall into this LTTE trap. They should act
in a responsible manner and cooperate with the Police and security
forces to minimise acts," the Defence Secretary urged.
He requested such the public to be vigilant. Rajapaksa stressed the
need to go ahead with the Vigilant Committees. "We proposed to form
Vigilant Committees. I hope the Police has taken necessary action in
this regard. This is the best way to support the security forces to end
attacks a civilians," the Defence Secretary said.
Compensation to families of bomb victims
The Government decided yesterday to pay compensation to the relatives
of the victims of the two bomb explosions at Nittambuwa and Seenigama.
This would be implemented under the Jatika Saviya program, said a
Presidential Secretariat press release.
A Government delegation which met the family members of the victims
of Nittambuwa explosion paid them compensation for Rs.50,000 each.
Meanwhile a urgent meeting was presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa
to brief the security situation in the country after the LTTE blasted
two passengers buses targeting civilians on Friday and Saturday at
Nittambuwa and Seenigama.