Terrorism Update
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Terrorism-related Incidents in Colombo - 2008






January 1

The UNP Member of Parliament, T. Maheshwaran, was shot at and injured by suspected ‘pistol gang’ cadres of the LTTE while he was offering prayers inside Sivam Kovil (Temple of Lord Shiva) at Kotahena in the capital Colombo. The Parliamentarian, however, succumbed to his injuries. One of the nine more civilians wounded in the incident also died of his injuries. Meanwhile the Kotahena police claimed that the suspect, a resident of Gurunagar in Jaffna, was shot at and injured in retaliatory fire by Maheswaran's security personnel and is under police custody.


January 2

Four persons were killed and over 20 injured in a powerful bomb blast in Colombo. The Defence Ministry said the blast which occurred at about 9:30am opposite the Nippon Hotel, targeted an army bus carrying soldiers.


January 4

The death toll in the LTTE claymore attack at Slave Island in Colombo on January 2 has risen to five with the death of the Second Lieutenant D.M.S.K. Dissanayake of Sri Lanka National Guard who was among the critically injured persons.


January 8

Suspected LTTE militants killed the non-Cabinet Minister for Nation Building, D.M. Dissanayake, in a claymore mine blast near Rukmani Devi junction at Ja-ela while he was proceeding towards Colombo to attend the Parliament session. A personal bodyguard of the Minister, identified as K.P. Rathnayaka, also succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. 13 people, including seven civilians, were injured in the incident.


January 8

The SLAF chief, Air Marshal Roshan Goonetilleke, narrowly escaped being caught in a bomb blast in Colombo. The SLAF commander had passed by the site of the blast in the Fort area of central Colombo, just three minutes before a parcel bomb placed in a roadside public telephone booth went off. Fitted with a timer, the bomb caused some minor damage to a building nearby. However, no casualties were reported.


January 18

Troops on a search operation in the Wattala area of Colombo district recovered one micro pistol, two magazines with eight live rounds and two hand grenades. The items had been hidden in an abandoned house at Weliamuna junction on Alakanda – Wattala road.


January 25

Police detected and chased four suspected persons, including one woman and three men on two motor bikes, in the middle of the Japan Lanka Friendship road at Thalangama Police Station in the Colombo district. Police later recovered a package with two Kiwi polish tins and a gum bottle filled with 175 grams of C-4 explosives along with eight inch wire cord detonator cord left behind by the suspected persons.


January 26

Police recovered two suicide jackets hidden in the Aduruppu Street in the Grandpass area of Colombo district. Those suicide jackets were filled with high power C-4 explosives.


February 3

At least 12 persons were killed and around 100 injured, 10 of them critically, when an LTTE female suicide militant blew herself inside the Colombo Fort Railway Station. The bomber who apparently arrived at the railway station in a train blew herself opposite the station cafeteria on platform number three at 2.10pm. The head of the suicide cadre was lying on the platform along with a cellular phone connected to a handsfree kit. "They (LTTE) would have targeted Security Forces personnel who were returning to their bases after rehearsals at the Galle Face Green," an unnamed military official said.


February 3

Earlier in the day, at least seven civilians, including two children, were injured in a low intensity grenade explosion inside the Dehiwala Zoological Garden on the outskirts of Colombo.


February 4

An explosion occurred at Dandeniyawatta in the Moratuwa area of Colombo District.


February 4

An IED that had been planted at the foot of an electricity transformer at Wijesiriwardane Mawatha in the Mt Lavinia went off damaging the transformer.


February 5

LTTE cadres blasted an electricity transformer in front of the Rajakadaluwa Christian Church in the Arachchikattuwa area of Chilaw. However, no casualties were reported.


February 21

A naval foot patrol recovered 20-kg of C-4 explosives packed in 20 packets, containing 1 kg in each packets, 23 detonators and two belts from Kerawalapitiya along the Colombo-Katunayake road, unnamed senior Navy official said. He informed the area is highly sensitive as gas tanks and oil refineries were situated and added, "A major disaster and mayhem was averted by recovering the 20kg of C4 explosives."


February 27

The Defence Ministry said that the person arrested on February 25 in the Pettah area of Colombo district was a number one LTTE militant allegedly involved in many civilian massacres carried out by the LTTE in the South. The suspect, identified as Muththusami Ilankoowan alias Sami, was arrested from a hotel on Kadireshan Road. The suspect owns a shipping line which he uses to promote the LTTE’s cross border terrorist activities and had come to Sri Lanka in 2007 to promote terrorist activities in the South.


February 29

Seven persons, including three police officers, were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up when police knocked on a house door during an operation targeting LTTE militants in Colombo. One of the injured police officers died later. One LTTE suicide jacket, six claymore mines, four hand grenades and one suicide belt were recovered by the police from Modera area of Colombo district couple of hours before the blast.


March 5

Medawachchiy police seized a three-wheeler with three persons and war like items at a snap roadblock near the Karapikkada junction in the Colombo district.


March 10

One civilian was killed and four others were injured in an IED explosion in the Wallawatta area on the Colombo-Galle road.


March 25

Police arrested five LTTE suspects along with four kilograms of C-4 explosives, 10 electric detonators and four time devices from a house in the Aluth Mawatha area in Colombo district.


April 8

The Colombo magistrate has allowed police to detain a Singapore national suspected of having links with the LTTE until May 7. The magistrate also ordered the police to produce the suspect, Muttusamy Ilangovan, believed to be a senior leader of the LTTE's international naval operations. He is also accused of staying in Sri Lanka although his visa had expired.


April 26

26 civilians, including 17 males and seven females, were killed and 40 others injured when the LTTE militants detonated a bomb inside a Ceylon Transport Board bus parked at the public bus stand in Piliyandala suburb of Colombo, at around 7:00 pm.


May 12

Troops recovered one T-56 weapon, three magazines and one hand grenade from a location near a building complex on D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha.


May 16

13 persons, including nine police personnel, were killed and 95 others were injured as a LTTE suicide bomber on a motorcycle laden with explosives rammed into a bus carrying police officers around 12.05 pm at the Colombo Fort. Reports indicated that the LTTE may have aimed to sabotage the swearing-in of the newly elected Eastern Provincial Councillors at the nearby Presidential Secretariat through this attack. But the event was held as scheduled.


May 24

The SFs defused a time-bomb with C4 explosives from inside a passenger bus near Seylan Bank Branch at Rawathawatta in the Moratuwa area of Colombo district.


May 26

At least eight passengers, including four women, were killed when a LTTE parcel bomb with a timer exploded in a crowded train near Dehiwala, a suburb of capital Colombo, at around 4.50pm (SLT). More than 70 persons were injured in the explosion which occurred in the fifth compartment of the Kalutara district-bound train, Senior Superintendent of Police R. Gunasekara said.


May 30

The Police recovered a claymore mine from inside a Central Transport Board bus at Moratuwa bus-stand in the Colombo district. One detonator and few electrical batteries were also found along with the claymore mine.


May 31

Unidentified assailants lobbed a hand grenade targeting civilians near a private bank at Wellawatta town on the Colombo-Galle road in Colombo and injured 10 persons. Two of the injured persons died later.


June 4

At least 17 persons were injured in a bomb blast along the coastal railway track at Dehiwala, a suburb of capital Colombo, police said. Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera said that an unidentified assailant attempted to lob a parcel at the Colombo bound train from Panadura, but failed as civilians in the area prevented it by screaming. "After noticing that the people had seen him, the suspect had thrown the parcel towards the railway track and ran away from the scene," he added. The railway track was slightly damaged due to the blast.


June 6

22 persons were killed and 40 others injured in a LTTE-triggered a powerful explosion on a public bus near Katubedda Shailabimbaramaya temple on the Katubedda – Piliyandala main road in Colombo. Eight women and 13 men were among the dead in the explosion in the bus which was proceeding to Mt. Lavinia from Kottawa.


June 6

Police on the information provided by an arrestee recovered a 5-kg heavy claymore mine from 2nd Avenue near Abeysekararamaya road at Watarappala in the Mt Lavinia region of Colombo.


June 6

On information given by an arrestee the security forces recover a stock of arms and ammunition from a data processing company office in Wellawatta on the Galle road. The recoveries include one micro pistol, one magazine, explosives and detonators.


June 13

The mastermind behind the international credit card fraud for funding the LTTE has been arrested by the STF while conducting a search operation in the Wellawatta area of Colombo. The suspect, Anandan alias Neshanadan Muruganandan, was in a super luxury apartment in Wellawatta at the time he was arrested by the special Police team. He had a large number of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and bank receipts issued by both local and foreign banks, amounting to over SLR 100 million, in his possession. He had cloned credit cards using PIN and card numbers obtained from unsuspecting cards holders in the United Kingdom. These funds were later transferred to the LTTE. British Police conducted several raids which proved that the cloned cards were being used in Sri Lanka to draw funds.


June 14

Six LTTE suspects, including a female, was arrested by a special Police investigation team during an anti-terrorist raid conducted in Wattala area, a suburb of Colombo. The investigation team has also found C-4 high explosives weighing around 2.7kg in the possession of the suspects at the time of arrest. According Police spokesperson, Ranjith Gunasekara, Police is conducting further investigations.


June 18

A hand grenade was recovered from inside a private bus plying from Avissawella to Colombo.


June 20

Police, following information received from a Black Tiger arrested in Colombo recently, recovered 9.5-kg of C4 explosives, 1.5-kg of steel balls, eight detonators and some batteries. Further interrogation led to the arrest of another LTTE militant, who impersonated as a film director, who was gathering intelligence on movements of VIPs participating in a function at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo.


June 20

A sophisticated machine used for printing forged credit cards was recovered by police in Colombo. A defence official told the Daily Mirror the machine was found after interrogating Neshanadan Muruganandan alias Anandan - the alleged mastermind behind an international credit card scam - arrested by the Special Task Force personnel in Wellawatta last week.


June 21

A claymore mine weighing about six-kg was recovered from the Sebestian canal at Bodhiraja Mawatha in Colombo.


June 21

One person believed to have maintained close contact with the LTTE was arrested in Colombo by a special Police team. Preliminary investigations revealed that the arrested suspect, the manager of "Sooriyan Rest", No. 18, station road, Colombo 6, had provided accommodation to the LTTE suicide cadre who self-detonated an explosion targeting a Police vehicle near the Sambuddhaloka Temple on Lotus Road on May 16, 2008.


June 22

Army troops found one T-56 weapon and one S-84 type weapon hidden inside a three-wheeler speeding past Kotahena area in Colombo. The driver of the three-wheeler was also arrested.


June 29

One hand grenade was recovered by the SFs from one lorry passing Magammana in the Homagama area of Colombo district.


July 13

Police conducted a search operation near the Aurveda Hospital at Rajagiriya and found two hand grenades, one shotgun and 36 rounds of ammunition hidden near the statue of Dr. N.M. Perera.


August 2

Police recovered 400-g of TNT high explosive hidden inside a pair of ladies’ shoes, a kilogram of the same explosive laden inside a tin container, two LTTE camouflage uniforms and one box of ammunition buried under soil in a jungle area on the beach in the Karukkupane area of Colombo district.


August 19

An unidentified assailant killed a Police Constable, Herath, guarding a sealed private Computer Graphic Centre in the Kotahena area of Colombo. The Computer Graphic Center, suspected to have been involved in LTTE terrorist networks, remained sealed following a Court order.


August 22

Accessories needed to prepare suicide jackets were recovered by the SFs from the inside of St. Philip Neri's Catholic Church in Colombo Fort. The SFs recovered a bag laden with 11 MR type switches, 11 PT type switches, one PR type switch, five remote antennas and one bag of garments.


August 30

At least 48 persons, including two children and seven women, were injured in an LTTE-triggered parcel bomb explosion at the Bo-Tree Junction in the Pettah area, a short distance away from the main bus terminal in Colombo. Defence officials said the bomb inside the parcel was left near a wristwatch vendor.


September 8

10 persons were injured, two of them seriously, in a hand grenade explosion in the Pettah area of Colombo district. Several vehicles, including a Police Emergency car that was passing the place when the blast occurred were badly damaged.


September 10

An explosion was reported near the De Seram road end adjoining the railway track in Mt. Lavinia in the Colombo district. However, no loss of life or damages to the property was reported.


September 11

An explosion occurred near the upward railway track area at Kalupalama in the Wellampitiya region of Colombo district. However, no loss of life or damage to the property was reported.


September 13

The Police recovered about 100-g C4 explosives and a timer near an electricity transformer close to the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo district.


September 16

Four persons were injured when a suspected parcel bomb exploded inside a Colombo Transport Bus at Horton Place roundabout in Colombo.


September 24

Commandos of the Sri Lanka Police Special Task Force recovered one T-56 and two T-56 magazines, 125 T-56 ammunitions, 565-g explosives and a map at Wattala in the Hekiththa area of Colombo district.


September 26

The SFs recovered an LTTE suicide jacket weighing 3.6 kg, 152 kg of C-4 explosives in eighteen packages, two 9V batteries, two 17 m double detonator codes, a 32 m detonator code, a stock of detonators and a night vision device from Rosary road at Kudapaduwa in the Negombo area of Colombo district and also arrested two suspects in connection with the recovery.


September 29

Two persons were injured in a bomb explosion which also damaged several vehicles at the parking lot at Front Street in the Pettah area of Colombo district. The time bomb was placed in a parcel under a van. "Three vans, two cars, three trishaws, a lorry and two motorcycles were damaged in the explosion," Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera said.


October 4

The LTTE exploded an electricity transformer located along Ferguson Road in Grandpass, a residential area within the Colombo city limits using 400–500 grams of explosives.


October 5

The Government has reportedly created a special police task force to protect the Colombo and its suburbs from possible terrorist attacks as the LTTE is facing losses to the military in the North.


October 9

Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena escaped an LTTE carried out suicide attack at Pirivena junction in the Boralesgamuwa area of Colombo district. A female suicide cadre blew herself targeting Minister Sirisena’s motorcade at Pirivena junction around 1.15 pm (SLST) when the Minister was returning after a Government function in the Bandaragama area. The Minister escaped unhurt. A civilian was killed and five others including Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath and newly appointed Ministry Secretary Ranjith Wijethilaka were injured.


October 12

Sri Lankan media reported that 10 LTTE suicide cadres are in Colombo city waiting to hit more strategically important targets when ordered by their leaders. A recently arrested LTTE intelligence cadre from Wellawatta has reportedly revealed this information. Media reports also claimed that 30 intelligence cadres have entered the Colombo city gathering tactical and strategic information for their next terror act. They are suspected to be using uniforms similar to what is being used by the Sri Lanka armed forces and the Police Department.


October 20

A minor explosion occurred in the CBS in Colombo. The explosion took place under a Sri Lanka Transport Board bus belonging to the CBS damaging three buses.


October 23

One hand grenade was recovered by the troops on duty in the Maradana area of Colombo district.


October 28

An LTTE aircraft dropped two bombs targeting the Kelanitissa power station in Colombo. However, no casualties were reported. According to military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara the blast caused a minor fire at the power station which was doused by the fire-fighters. Later, the air defence system in Colombo and suburbs was activated and the electricity supply to the city was suspended as a precautionary measure.


November 11

Police found two high frequency transmission receivers inside a nine-storey building at Nawam Mawatha in Colombo.


November 13

Troops recovered a LTTE suicide jacket, filled with 1-kg of C-4 explosives kept hidden under the staircase of an abandoned commercial complex at Bangalawatte in the Wattala area, a suburb along the Colombo- Negombo road in the Colombo district.


November 14

The Personal Secretary to the Eastern Province Chief Minister and TMVP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan a. k. a. Pillayan and his driver were assassinated by suspected LTTE militants at Oruwela in the Athurugiriya area of Colombo district. Pillayan’s Co-ordinating Secretary Kumara-swamy Nandagopan a. k. a. Ragu had contested at the Eastern Provincial election as the main TMVP candidate for the Trincomalee district.


December 2

Negombo Police arrested three youths allegedly running a high powered communication centre in the area, suspected to be linked to the LTTE According to police, the suspects who were from Jaffna have been operating this communication centre from a Canal Road residence in Negombo for some time. All three youths, in the age group of 23 to 28 years, are believed to have had links with a group in Germany, police said. The police also seized some of the equipment used for the operations of the high powered communication centre.


December 6

The Keselwatta Police conducted a search on St. Sebastian flats at Gunasinghe Pura in capital Colombo and recovered one T-56 weapon, one T-56 magazine and 55 rounds of ammunition. One suspect was detained in this connection.


December 15

Two claymore mines of 6.75 kilogram each were recovered by Police from Ragama in Colombo District.


December 18

The CCD arrested three extortionists while they were attempting to extort SLR 500,000 from a businessman in Colombo in the guise of LTTE militants. Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranjith Gunasekera, said the three extortionists had been threatening a businessman in Colombo and demanding a ransom of SLR two million claiming they were LTTE militants.


December 19

A suspected LTTE militant who attempted to explode a bomb inside a bus was arrested at Meegoda in the Padukka area of Colombo District, Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.


December 28

Eight persons were killed when a suspected LTTE suicide bomber blew himself after entering the premises of a Civil Defence Force (CDF) post at Wattala in the Colombo District. One Army officer, six CDF personnel and one civilian died while 17 others sustained injuries.


December 29

A minor explosion targeted an electric transformer at Golumada Junction along the Galle Road in the Ratmalana area of Colombo District. Police said the explosion, which occurred around 8.45pm, did not damage the transformer though there was minor damage only to the two towers on which the transformer was fitted.


December 30

An unidentified assailant shot the chief priest of the Kali Kovil (Hindu Temple) at Negombo in the Colombo District. Negombo Police said the victim, identified as Muttiah Sivaprakashan, was shot inside his house at about 11:30pm (SLST).





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