FOREIGN MINISTER LAKSHMAN KADIRGAMAR ASSASINATED
It is with profound sorrow that we announce the
assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. The Minister
was shot by a sniper Friday night (12 August) outside his private
residence in Colombo. He died an hour later after emergency surgery.
The Sri Lanka Government unreservedly condemns
this act. The relevant authorities are conducting investigations
and a detailed statement will follow.
Lakshman Kadirgamar was Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Sri Lanka from 1994-2001 and from April 2004-until his untimely
death. An ardent advocate of a secular Sri Lanka, he was courageous
in championing the cause for a united Sri Lanka and played a major
role in bringing the LTTE’s terrorist activities to the
attention of the world, which resulted in the proscription of
the LTTE in many countries, including the USA. He steadfastedly
expressed the view that the LTTE must lay down arms and enter
the democratic process.
Minister Kadirgamar was the Chairman of the Council
of Ministers, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) - a regional group comprising the seven States of South
Asia (1998-2001), and was Vice Chairman of the Indian Ocean Rim
Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), a regional group
comprising the 19 States on the rim of the Indian Ocean ( 1997-1999).
Minister Kadirgamar 73, was a distinguished old
boy of Trinity College, Kandy where he was widely acclaimed for
his all round excellence as a scholar and sportsman. He was also
a rugby coloursman and an athletics Lion. He culminated his trail
blazing school career being appointed as the Senior Prefect in
1949 and winner of the much coveted Ryde Gold Medal for the best
all round student in 1950.
Mr. Kadirgamar read for his LLB degree at the
University of Colombo and later proceeded to Balliol College,
University of Oxford where he read for a degree in Letters. At
Oxford, he became President of the Oxford Union and won the august
seat of learning's Cricket Blue. Recently, he was honoured by
the Oxford Union, when the prestigious university unveiled his
The crowning glory of his legal career was when
he was elected as an Honorary Bencher of Inner Temple, of Great
Britain in its 496 year history, being only the second Asian to
achieve this status after former Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku
Abdul Rahaman in 1974. He was also a President’s Counsel.
Prior to taking to politics as a National List
Member of Parliament in the People's Alliance Government of President
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in 1994, he headed the United
Nations Intellectual Property Organisation as its Director, where
he was responsible for the drafting of legislation of nineteen
Embassy of Sri Lanka
12 August 2005
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