Sri Lanka is preparing to hold a state funeral Monday for its slain foreign minister. Lakshman Kadirgamar was shot by a sniper Friday. The assassination has thrown into doubt the future of an already fragile peace plan between the government and the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas.
Officials say up to 10,000 people may attend the funeral and cremation of Lakshmar Kadirgamar to take place later Monday with full honors.
The 73-year-old foreign minister was killed by snipers late Friday in an assassination the government blames on separatists from the Tamil Tiger guerilla group - charges the rebels deny, reports VOA.
Reflecting the importance India’s attaches to its relations with Sri Lanka, a high-level delegation led by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday attended the last rites of slain Sri Lankan foreign minister who helped in bringing bilateral ties to a level of "irreversible excellence."
Mukherjee, accompanied by External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, drove straight to the official residence of Kadirgamar and laid a wreath on his body before joining the funeral ceremony at independence square.
Mukherjee, in a statement on arrival here said "the greatest tribute we can pay to his (Kadirgamar's) memory is to work with renewed energy, determination and focus to ensure that India-Sri Lanka relations are improved and strengthened even further.
"His was a relentless struggle against forces of terrorism and violence. He was deeply and passionately committed to the protection of democracy and human rights," the Defence Minister said, informs Newindpress.