Police Crime Officers are seen inspecting the location (Photo: Daily Mirror/ Kushan Pathiraja)
Gunmen kill woman, hurt 12 more in Colombo political rally
(NIDAHASA News) Sri Lanka's relatively peaceful election campaign yesterday (31) took a deadly turn when unidentified gang open fire into a gathering of ruling United National Party (UNP) in Kotahena, killing a woman a wounding 12 others.
Gunmen in a vehicle spayed bullets into a gathering organized to support UNP candidate Final minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday morning.
Karunanayake said he had been leaving when gunmen opened fire into the crowd of about 500 attendees.
“I was the target,” said Karunanayake. “This was an act of political terrorism.”
Former president Rajapaksa's United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was quick to point out that the shootout could be a result of intra-party clashes of UNP, responding the allegations that UPFA is igniting political violence in the country.
UPFA former MP Dilan Perera told press that underworld figures of UNP candidates had clashed because of the competition for preferential votes.
This is the first election to be held after the fall of decade-long Rajapaksa rule, which was accused of openly violating election laws and abusing state properties for their election campaigns. The election campaign so far is seen as one of most peaceful campaign in recent history. Election commissioner seems to take more strict steps to ensure elections laws are followed while civil movements carrying out massive campaign for a "clean" parliament that consist of representative with clean track records.