Newspaper: Tamils Plan To Kill Sri Lankan President
Jan. 07, 1996
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Long-range weapons and radar are guarding President Chandrika Kumaratunga's home and office after reports of a Tamil rebel plot to assassinate her.
Military intelligence received reports that four rebels had left France with aircraft parts that could be assembled into a plane, Colombo's Sunday Leader newspaper said.
The four Tamils had been employed in an aircraft manufacturing company, the newspaper said, quoting unidentified security sources. It did not name the company or the rebels, and the report could not be independently confirmed.
Powerful long-range weapons have been placed around the presidential palace, and radar has been mounted on rooftops around Mrs. Kumaratunga's home and office to detect missiles or aircraft, the Sunday Times newspaper said.
The military believes the rebels have ultralight aircraft because soldiers found aluminum plane parts during the military's recent offensive that led to the capture the guerrillas' stronghold of Jaffna city.
Tamil rebels have assassinated their foes both in Sri Lanka and overseas. The killings of President Ranasinghe Premadasa and of India's former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, have been attributed to them.
The rebels are fighting for a homeland in the north and east for minority Tamils, who claim discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. More than 39,000 people have been killed since the civil war began in 1983.