Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, 55, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Highways and Road Development and the chief government whip in Parliament, was killed on the spot when a suicide bomber detonated explosives, at the start of a marathon race . Six of the runners were among the other 12 killed said the Ministry of Defence, Public Security Law and Order. The explosion occured in Weliweriya town about 7:30 am Sri Lanka time just outside of the capital city Colombo. Another 50 people were seriously injured and rushed to hospital, the Police said.
According to reports the bomb was detonated by the suicide bomber just before Fernandopulle waived the flag to start the race. Many marathons like these are run during the tradional Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations which falls on 12 and 13 of April.
The Minister has been a critic of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Police said they suspected a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonated the explosives.
For photographs of the blast site and more news see Ministry of Defence website
For a short video cut and paste this link on your browser :http://srilankantube.com/item/HCNY46ZYJH1WJP6T (Note sound is in Sinhala language)
For CV of the minister see also the Minister’s website