Buddhist monk slain as Sri Lanka killings grind on

Reuters, May 13, 2007

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Unidentified gunmen shot dead a senior Buddhist monk near a border separating government from Tamil Tiger territory in the island’s northeast on Sunday, a day after troops killed five rebels in separate incidents, the military said.

Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said it was too early to say who was behind the monk’s killing in the far northeastern district of Trincomalee, where troops have evicted the rebels from territory they held under the terms of a now tattered 2002 ceasefire in recent months.

“Two gunmen have come and shot him,” Samarasinghe said. “It is too early to say who has done it or even who we suspect has done it. It was in a Sinhalese area.”

The Tigers were not immediately available for comment.