3RD LEAD

Janaka Perera assassinated, blast kills 28 in Anuradhapura

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 October 2008, 03:58 GMT]
Opposition Leader of the United National Party in North Central Province, Maj. Gen (retd.) Janaka Perera and his wife, a former Sri Lanka Army officer, were killed in a bomb blast in Anuradhapura Monday morning around 8:45. Around 28 persons were killed and 80 wounded in the blast, Police said. An attacker, strapped with hidden explosives, embraced the former commander killing himself and several others, initial reports said. Janaka Perera was the UNP candidate for the Chief Minister post in 2008 Provincial Elections in North Central Province, which was marred by violence.

Anuradhapura district organiser Dr. Rajah Johnpulle, a Tamil UNP activist whose home and dispensary were set on fire by UPFA supporters in August, his wife, and several UNP activists were also killed in the blast. 15 of the 80 wounded were in critical condition, according to medical sources. 300 participants were at the site of the blast.

Janaka Perara was participating in an opening ceremony of a new UNP office close to the old bus stand in the town.

During Eelam War III, Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera played a major role in Jaffna and in Ma'nalaa'ru (Weli Oya). After the fall of Elephant Pass Base (EPS), he was appointed Overall Operations Commander (OOC) when Major Sarath Fonseka (now Lt. Gen.) was Security Forces Commander in Jaffna.

He retired from the military after being sidelined from becoming the Commander of the SLA and appointed as the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, first in Australia, and then in Indonesia, following his retirement. Sri Lanka was forced to withdraw his controversial posting to Sri Lankan High Commission in Canada, following diplomatic pressure on Colombo on his poor record on Human Rights in his carreer. More than 600 Tamils were forcefully disappeared during his tenure as Overall Commander of the Sri Lankan forces in Jaffna. A Tamil village, Ma'nki'ndi-malai in Ma'nalaa'ru region, was renamed Janakapura, after the SLA evicted Tamils from their village in 1984 and established Sinhala colonies there. Maj. Gen. (ret) Perera (then a brigadier) was posted for two years in Janakapura as the commander of the SLA's Special Forces with a key camp at Janakapura. Janaka Perera, one of the SLA's most celebrated officers, was barred from entering SLA camps in April 2008 by the military hierarchy after he criticized the present SLA Commander and the Rajapaksa government for their conduct of war with unrealistic deadlines.

 

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