|Suicide bomber kills 12 at Fort Railway Station - Update 3
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|Author:||Percy [ Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:16 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Suicide bomber kills 12 at Fort Railway Station - Update 3|
suicide bomber explod at Fort Railway Station
12 civilians killed, 100 injured
Sunday, February 03, 2008
@ DN / SLMD / Agencies
A female LTTE suicide bomber exploded herself inside the Fort railway station today at 2.15 PM, causing heavy civilian casualties. At least 9 people (8 male, 1 female) have been killed and 100 others with injuries have been admitted to the national hospital. Casualty figures may rise.
Hospital sources said that 9 civilians were killed while over 100 others received injuries due to the explosion have been admitted to the National Hospital Colombo. A majority of males and several children are among the wounded.
The explosion has taken place near the canteen situated in close proximity to the 3rd platform of the railway station. A train bound to Ambepussa has also been damaged in the incident.
The bomber has got down from a train and exploded," military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.
"I was near my counter and I heard a big blast. When I looked behind I saw a policeman bleeding," said Ravindra Pinto, a ticket inspector at the station. "As I took him and rushed out, I saw many men and women on the ground," said Pinto, who was not wounded.
A spokesman for the Colombo Fort Railway station said that all incoming trains to Fort Railway station have been temporarily halted.
|Author:||Percy [ Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:21 pm ]|
|Post subject:||12 killed, 103 injured by LTTE bomber|
12 killed, 103 injured by LTTE bomber
A spokeswoman at Colombo National Hospital said seven people were dead on arrival and five others later succumbed to their injuries. Among the dead were four boys from the D.S. Senanayake College (Colombo) baseball team and their coach. Two young girls aged 12 and 13 were also killed.
@ Agencies / MCNS
Sunday, February 03, 2008
The total number of deaths from the Fort railway station blast is gone up to 12, while 103 others were receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital.
A spokeswoman at Colombo National Hospital said seven people were dead on arrival and five others later succumbed to their injuries. Among the dead were four boys from a school baseball team and their coach. Two young girls aged 12 and 13 were also killed.
A police spokesman said the train attack had been carried out by a suspected female operative of the Tamil Tigers. "The bombing has all the hallmarks of the Tigers," a police officer at the scene said. "The head of the woman suicide bomber was found on a platform."
The officer said initial reports indicated that the woman had blown herself up aboard the train, but forensic experts later determined that she had carried out the attack on the platform as passengers were exiting the train.
The United States, one of Sri Lanka's main financial backers, condemned the spate of bombings and asked all sides in the decades-old conflict to ensure the safety of civilians.
Fearing more such attacks, the government put off by three days Monday's opening of a public exhibition marking Independence Day, officials said. " The Deyata Kirula" mega exhibition, scheduled to start on February 4, has been postponed to February 7 due to the prevailing security situation in the country. The exhibition will be held between February 7 and 10 at the BMICH.
All passenger buses plying from Vavuniya and Mannar to Anuradhapura are only allowed to travel to Medawachchiya with immediate effect. From there separate buses would be provided for passengers. Earlier the Colombo - Vavuniya Train service (Yal Devi), was curtailed at Medawachchiya.
Train service from Fort to other areas resumed as usual and security has been tightened up at the station with additional troops.
|Author:||Percy [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:55 pm ]|
|Post subject:||An act of terrorism shatters dreams|
An act of terrorism shatters dreams
No one can fill the void, when one loses a child
Let the white doves fly
Don't let anyone cry
End War by and by
Then no one will sigh
The nine children whose lives were brutally taken away by the Fort Railway station bomb blast on February 3 - on the throes of the 60th Independence Day celebrations - had vivid dreams for their future. Some of them wanted to become pilots while others wanted to become doctors. Some were excellent sportsmen while others were prolific dancers. Yet, all hope was shattered in an instant, crushed by the inhumane hand of terrorism which took innocent lives from both sides of the ethnic divide.
By Sherwani Synon and Poornima Weerasekara
@ DM / Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The DS Senanayake College Baseball team is still reeling from the unexpected tragedy that took away the lives of seven team mates and their coach.
Malinda Aramadura, the 26 year old baseball coach was a dedicated teacher, talented sportsman and loving father. An old boy of DS, Malinda was determined to take his college baseball team to the next level. This vision enabled the school to be selected as the third best baseball team in the island at the 2007 National Interschool Baseball Tournament. His wife Sadeesha Gunesekara and one year old baby girl Risindi Vidasma Aramadura were eagerly waiting for him to return home after the tournament in Kandy. The young family also had plans of moving to Colombo recently. However, all these dreams were shattered by an inhumane act of terrorism.
Seventeen year old Supun Halalle, who captained the baseball team for 3 consecutive years enquired about the Dehiwala bomb blast in his final call to his parents. “I tried to call my son a few minutes later to ask him to get off at the Maradana station, but he didn’t answer the phone,” the deceased child’s father S. Halalle said, moaning for the loss of his only child. “I heard about the blast on TV and then I tried to call his mobile. But there was no answer. Then I called a relative who works as a doctor at the general hospital. But she was unable to give a clear reply,” the father added. “I felt restless and I rushed to the General Hospital and looked for my son’s name among the list of those injured. But his name wasn’t there. My relative who was a doctor then came and said that Supun was undergoing an operation. But I couldn’t accept that my son would meet with such a tragic death,” the father moaned. “He was a good cricketer as well. But he stayed out of that game because we felt that it might hinder his studies,” he added.
Kolitha Kumara Mahamudalige from Hokandara was studying to sit for his Advanced Level examination for the second time. “He was a keen student who aspired to go forward in the commerce stream. He was a very talented sportsman who played for the college baseball team for 4 years,” his friends said.
Eighteen year old Rajaratnam Rathiswaran’s passion in life was baseball and until his last breath his ambition in life was to excel in that field. The youngest of three boys, Rathiswaran was the apple of his mother’s eye and the words of his brother which resonates with grief said it all. “My mother has still not accepted the death of my brother,” elder brother Rasidaran said. “After we saw the news about the bomb on television, we tried calling his friend but we couldn’t get through. Seconds later someone called us back and told us that we should go to the hospital for more information,” Rasidaran explained. After going through every ward searching for their younger brother hoping that he was only injured their pathway only led to the mortuary. “I have known Rathiswaran ever since the day we joined Montessori and in my opinion he is a very friendly person. He was very supportive to his friends and made sure that he did everything possible when they needed his help. Even the day before he left for the tournament, he came to visit me at home,” Arvin explained.
“Our son called us on the morning of February 3 and said that he would be returning home shortly. Then we asked him to visit the Temple of the Tooth, to ask for blessings for his upcoming AL examinations,” Dr. Ashoka Thulapitya, the mother of late Vimukthi Sajan Thevarapperuma from Kalutara lamented. Sajan was also a talented swimmer and basketball player. He was also the secretary of the DS media unit. “He always aspired to be a doctor and to help his brother,” the grief stricken mother said.
“I was in the same class with Dinuth. He was excited about returning home early after the baseball tournament to attend an alms giving at the Angoda Hospital,” Dinuth Piyashanka’s best friend J. Amila recalled. Dinuth was looked after by his relatives after the death of his mother three years ago. He was an outstanding baseball player who received College Colours for his performance. “His dream was to become a pilot. He was a very talented person who was always willing to lend a hand,” Amila said.
Thivanka Thisera, an 18 year old student of D.S Senananyaka College was another victim of the brutal suicide bomb attack. They had just returned to Colombo after the baseball tournament in Kandy and decided to have refreshments before continuing their journey towards their homes but then life took an unexpected and a vicious twist. He was very keen in his studies and also loved sports activities. Since he would be finishing his education next year he had high hopes of going to U.S.A to continue with his higher education. Thivanka, the eldest in his family left his home on February 1 in the hope of winning the baseball tournament and returning back to his family but unfortunately destiny thought otherwise. “Thivanka was a very talented boy and he was a person who would always be there for his friends. He would always talk about his ambition of going to America to continue his studies with us and would also advice us to listen to our parents and fulfil their dreams. Even when he left for the tournament he reassured us that they would win the tournament and bring the trophy to the school,” explained Danushka, a friend and team mate of Thivanka. Danushka’s life was spared as he failed to attend the tournament due to a family funeral.
Eranda Chaturanga’s family is in shock about the untimely death of their son. According to Eranda’s aunt Chandrawathi, the boy was brought up by his grandmother as his parents are employed overseas. “We tried calling him on Saturday but his friend answered the phone and said that he couldn’t talk as he was in the field at that time and asked us to call him later but unfortunately we couldn’t call him again,” sobbed Chandravathi. Buddhika, his friend since Grade 1 was shattered when he heard about this untimely death. According to him, Eranda had even asked him to join the team to Kandy but he declined as he was busy. “Although he had other commitments Eranda didn’t give up his passion for baseball and continued playing and took part in tournaments. Another friend of his called us up and told that Eranda was hospitalized but when we went to the hospital he was listed as an injured victim but later on he succumbed to his injuries,” explained a distraught Buddhika.
The six survivors of the 13 member Baseball team at DS Senenayake College, who returned a day earlier are still trying to grasp the full extent of the tragic death of their team mates. “Six of us left a day early because our matches had finished. But the others stayed in a spirit of good sportsmanship to cheer the other teams, until the end of the tournament,” eighteen year old R.M. Rizwan, a fellow team mate said. “Our coach called me at 12. 30 p.m. and said that they were at Polgahawela on their way back home. Then I had received a call at 2.00 p.m. but I couldn’t answer the phone as I was in a class. Then few minutes after 2.05 another friend had received a news alert on his mobile phone, about a bomb blast at the Fort railway station. I frantically tried to get in touch with our coach and I dialled his number 18 times. But there was no answer,” Rizwan said, recalling those fateful moments when he first heard about the tragedy. “Then on the 19th try, a policeman answered the phone and when I said that I was a member of the DS baseball team he said that my teammates had met with an accident and asked me to come to the hospital to help identify the injured,” he added. But when Rizwan reached the hospital, it was too late to say goodbye to most of his teammates. The other survivors of the baseball team are Ashan Jayamanne, Praneeth, Chanushka, Rishad Gouse and another playfully known as “Jocky.” “It is a very hard blow to all of us and I have been spending all my time at the funerals of my friends. It is still difficult to come to terms with the fact that so many of them are not there,” Rizwan added.
Rashmi Lakshika Perera was returning home from a holiday with her aunt in Kandy and decided to have an ice-cream on that fateful afternoon. “I asked her to come by train because they had found many bus bombs. If she left the station promptly then she might have been spared,” the grieving mother of 12 year old Rashmi Lakshika, a former student of Holy Family Convent said. “She was a very simple and sensitive child. We went to Kandy on Thursday for an interview at an International School. She was very keen on her studies and she wanted to study in the English medium,” the mother said. “I returned early, but she wanted to stay back with her aunt. She was a very talented child who excelled in dancing,” the mother recalled. “My child had died on the spot, because a bullet had pierced her head. My sister and her eight year old son are hospitalised with injuries,” she added.
Proving that terrorism knows no ethnic divides, another girl aged 13 from Kotahena was a victim of the brutal attack.
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