‘Grave setback’ to Sri Lanka Peace

“Sri Lanka’s government has declared a state of emergency hours after Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was killed outside his home by sniper fire. The assassination is bound to further strain the shaky cease-fire agreement between Sri Lanka’s government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. The truce, in place since February 2002, has been threatened by recent violence and the suspension of talks in 2003.

World leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, were quick to condemn the killing.

“Sri Lanka has lost a deeply respected statesman dedicated to peace and national unity,” Annan’s spokesman said in a statement. “The secretary-general hopes that this tragedy will not weaken the commitment of the people of Sri Lanka to achieve a durable peace in the country.” [Read more]