Prabhakaran-Karuna battle takes turn for the worse
TNA candidate killed

by Norman Palihawadana, T.Chandrasekera and Hemantha Randunu
A TNA candidate for the Batticaloa district and a relative were shot dead, by the LTTE’s pistol group, in Batticaloa yesterday morning, police sources said.

Rajan Sathyamoorthy, who was leading the TNA team at the April 2 parliamentary polls and his brother-in -law Kandiyah Kanagasabai (55) were gunned down at the former’s house in the Thandawanwali area in Batticaloa town. A supporter of Sathyamoorthy, Sinnathambipulle had been admitted to Batticaloa hospital with serious gun shot injuries, sources said.

Sathyamoorthy was a supporter of dissident LTTE regional commander Karuna Amman.

Two gunmen, who had arrived at Sathyamoorthy’s residence yesterday, had said they wanted to support the TNA campaign and wanted to talk to Sathyamoorthy.

The leader of the district’s TNA team Sahtymoorthy had welcomed them and served tea. He had then entered the shrine room to perform his morning prayers. The gunmen had thereafter entered the shrine room and shot him while he was praying to the Gods, witnesses told police. The gunmen had then made their getaway spraying the place with bullets killing his brother-in-law and injuring a supporter, police said.

Both Sathyamoorthy and Kanagasabai died on the spot.

Sathyamoorthy had earlier told police that he had received repeated death threats from the LTTE pistol group but had refused security, a police official said. "We had proposed to provide special police protection to Sathyamoorthy since he received so many threats over the phone. But he had refused to accept government security," ASP Nalaka de Silva said.

Sathyamoorthy was an eminent businessman in Batticaloa and was the President of the Batticaloa Traders Association, before he entered politics. He contested the 2000 General election under the UNP ticket unsuccessfully and supported the TNA at the 2001 general election.

Sathyamoorthy had organised several protests in the region in support of Karuna.