B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Condemning the killing of Chief Secretary to the Eastern Province Herath Abeyweera on Monday as a “cowardly assassination”, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it had only strengthened the determination of his Government to tackle the challenge posed by the Tigers.

In a statement here, Mr. Rajapaksa described it as yet another act of “savagery by the LTTE” in its campaign of terror to achieve its goal of a separate state. “This assassination further strengthens our resolve not to give in to the forces of terror, but to proceed with our task of restoring freedom and democracy to the East, and all of Sri Lanka,” he said.

Separately, the LTTE alleged that ordinary folks fishing in Chemmalai, a coastal village in Mullaithivu, came under a Navy attack on Monday. “It is just luck that the people were unhurt”.