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 Post subject: Major and 2 soldiers shot dead
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:04 pm 
Sri Lanka trooper kills three in New Year rage

@ AFP / © 2004 Khaleej Times

16 April 2005

COLOMBO - A Sri Lankan soldier enraged over not being given home leave for the traditional New Year shot dead his superior officer and two colleagues on Saturday, officials said.

The soldier was overpowered after he killed a major and two soldiers in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, military officials here said.

They said the soldier was handed over to the local police together with the automatic assault rifle used against the three men.

“It looks like some dispute over granting leave,” a military source here said. “An investigation is underway.”

Sri Lanka’s traditional New Year which fell on Thursday saw fewer accidents as celebrations were muted because the country was still recovering from tsunami disaster, police and hospital staff said.

The celebration-related accidents saw a sharp decline this year as revelry was limited with hardly any fire crackers burst this year compared to previous years, the head of the main National hospital here, Hector Weerasinghe said.

“We had half the number of admissions yesterday and the day before compared to an average working day,” Weerasinghe said adding that the number of people admitted was down to 35 from the daily average of 75 to 80.

He said 230 people were brought to the National Hospital Thursday and only 35 of them were kept back for further observation while the others were sent off after outdoor treatment.

In previous New Year seasons, at least 500 people were taken to the main hospital here.

Police said the number of road accidents were also fewer this year because not many people travelled during the long holidays unlike in previous years when the country is virtually shut down for a week.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a New Year message urged the nation to get over the tsunami disaster which claimed nearly 31,000 lives and made a million homeless and said the country must get on with the task of rebuilding.

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