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 Post subject: Black Friday LTTE blast kills 26 civilians - Piliyandala
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:14 pm 
Black Friday LTTE blast kills 26 civilians at Piliyandala

"Piliyandala attack was evidence of sheer desperation of the LTTE which had suffered heavy losses on the Jaffna and Vanni fronts. Had they scored a major battle-field victory as it proudly boasts off it wouldn’t have spoilt it with a civilian massacre."

@ LL/Agencies/LNP

Against the backdrop of heavy fighting in the northern theatre, the Tamil Tigers struck in Colombo Friday evening. An explosion in a Kahapola bound SLTB bus, shortly after it left Piliyandala, claimed the lives of 26 civilians, Police spokesman DIG N. K. Illangakoon said. He placed the number of wounded at 49.

He said the majority of the dead and the wounded were office workers returning home.

Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle last night said the Piliyandala attack was evidence of sheer desperation of the LTTE which had suffered heavy losses on the Jaffna and Vanni fronts. Had they scored a major battle-field victory as it proudly boasts off it wouldn’t have spoilt it with a civilian massacre.

The LTTE targeted the bus about 2 and half hours after a tip off received by police led to the recovery of a 11 kg claymore mine at Wolfendhal Street. A police spokesman said the information had been received by police post at Wolfendhal Street. The claymore mine had been concealed in a parcel. Police commandos defused the mine.

The bomb went off at Piliyandala, a predominantly Sinhala Buddhist area taking the lives of 26 innocent civilians and injuring 49. Images of bodies being carried away in bags, school children in blood soaked uniforms and people screaming and shouting flashed across televisions horrifying a nation.

Eyewitnesses claim to have seen an explosion as the bus came to a screeching halt at nearby terminal.

Arunasiri Attanayake is one of the innocent victims among the 49 casualties at the Kalubowila Hospital. This father of two, a daughter (6) and a son (10) were rushing home that day.

“My brother was abroad for many years and he came to Sri Lanka several days back, so I went to meet him. Because we had a lot to talk about I got a bit late,” Arunasiri recalled. As he lay haplessly, his whole body was swathed in bandages and his face was contorted in pain.

“My daughter was a bit sick so I needed to get home, that’s why I decided to get into this crowded bus. I knew that my wife and children were anxiously waiting for my arrival,” he said.

“I never go in that bus, but since I got late I decided to get on. I was standing in the middle of the bus, when suddenly I felt as if a bolt of lightning struck! But soon I realised that it was a bomb,” said Arunasiri. After a few seconds when he recovered from the shock, about five people had landed on his leg. Unable to figure out what to do, he had freed his legs from the bodies. Somehow he had dragged his immovable leg and got down from the bus. “I leaned against a shop door. Someone helped me and brought me to the Piliyandala Hospital. Then I was transferred here,” he reminisced.

Attanayake suffered severe wounds on his face, hands and legs. One of his legs is paralysed. Internal bleeding has severely damaged hearing abilities.

Sanjeewa (25), a resident of Madapatha, is a mason and had been returning home after work in Wewala. “I was sitting just behind the driver’s seat. I heard a loud explosion less than two minutes after the bus had started to move. I felt myself being thrown off the bus,” said Sanjeewa. He had hardly been aware of what happened to him even though being conscious.

“I only came to my senses after arriving at Piliyandala Hospital. My head is severely wounded and my hearing abilities have lessened,” said Sanjeewa looking at his mother who was by his side with a tear stained face. His family comprises his father, mother, three sisters and two brothers. “I am heavily wounded so I don’t know when I will be able to return to my daily routine of work. We are people who live by the daily allowances we get from working. What I am really worried about is my job. If I am unable to go to work for a long time, I will lose the job,” said Sanjeewa. A look of distress was written over his face.

“I was at the back of the bus. When the bus started moving and entered the main road, suddenly there was smoke in the bus accompanied with a terrible sound. I walked out dizzy and bleeding from the head,” said R.P. Prema who was inside the bus, route number 157, heading to Kahapola from Piliyandala. Prema survived the blast with only minor injuries and is now receiving medication at the Piliyandala District Hospital.

Most of the eyewitnesses said that the people in the surrounding area immediately came to help the victims. They had quickly loaded them into vehicles and taken them to the hospital. “Within 10 minutes or so an ambulance arrived and the rest of the people were moved in to it and taken to the hospital” said Prema.

At the Kalubowila Hospital morgue people waited uneasily for the officials to release the bodies of their dead relatives. Some lay on the sole bench to be found in the morgue. Others stood. Women, with disorderly hair, stood. They were exhausted by crying. When sobs were heard again, they reminded everyone what had brought their world to an end.

In the morgue were remains of the 26 who died of the bomb. Most of them, already badgered by reporters, were unresponsive when told to relate what they had seen and heard. When spoken to, they were startled and stared at people. They didn’t have the strength to do anything else. Some of them were stoically making arrangements for the dead to be taken home. But the absence of a magistrate seemed to delay the release of the bodies. A police officer called out numbers and people went inside the morgue to identify the dead. Some women sent out violent cries. Soon the magistrate arrived and people started to cry. They were helpless and let those who could help, take them to some corner of the building. The pain they were experiencing was visible. It looked unnecessary to awaken a powerless withered woman, who had temporarily stopped crying, to say that her son, who was not yet twenty, will be missed.

Wepathaira Gnanananda Thero, a Buddhist monk, also passed away in the explosion.

Twenty-two of the victims of the explosion have been identified so far and there names are as follows:
1. Sumudu Hettiarachchi, Kesbewa
2. Neththikumarage Dilan Chandika, Kahapola, Madapatha
3. Kamal Deepthi Perera, Pinnawala, Madapatha
4. Nanda Kumara (conducter of the bus)
5. Samarakoon Mudiyanselage Samarakoon Banda, Kahapola, Madapatha
6. Dodampahala Rohitha Priyankara Perera, Villorawaththa, Moratuwa
7. Rasika Nilantha, Madapatha, Ukgalgoda
8. Magret Wijesinghe (a teacher), Madapatha
9. Shiromi Fernando, Madapatha
10. Shamalee Perera, Madapatha
11. Inoka Sanjeewani, Madapatha
12. Upul Shantha
13. Rohan, Sarvodaya, Madapatha
14. Wepathaira Gnanananda Thero, Nanda Piriwena, Kesbewa
15. Suranga Fernando, Madapatha
16. Ishara Amarasinghe
17. R.M. Asha Rajapakse
18. Rasika Nishanthi
19. Percy Raymond Nanayakkara
20. K.W. Piyarathna
21. Leelawathi Dabare
22. Ishara Geethika Sandamali Wijerathna, Madapatha


 Post subject: Suspect taken into custody with the remote controller
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:18 pm 
Suspect taken into custody with the remote controller used to blast bomb in Piliyandala

(@Lanka-e-News, 2008 May 02, 9.30 AM)

Piliyandala police says that they have arrested two Tamils and a Sinhalese with the remote controller used to detonate the bomb in a passenger bus at Piliyandala. The arrested persons are the residents of Vavuniya, Piliyandala (Miriswaththa) and Chilaw (Madampe). The Tamil youth of Miriswaththa and the Sinhalese youth of Madampe are the workers of Penguin garment factory.

Thirty persons were killed and 63 were injured in the explosion. Following information received by Piliyandala police, a Sinhalese and a Tamil were arrested from a rented house near Delthara Podi Pansala and another person who was a resident of Miriswaththa was also looked for to be arrested. He was not at home at that moment and later he surrendered to police with his wife.

Special Task Force recovered the remote controller used for the bomb explosion from a paddy field in Millagahawaththa, Delthara following information obtained from the Tamil youth of Vavuniya. He has arrived in Delthara area three weeks before the explosion.

Police says that the suspects are further interrogated.

Residents of the area have destroyed the house of the Sinhala suspect.

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