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Ruling party lawmaker, bodyguard shot dead, one wounded

February 11, 1997

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Assailants shot and killed a ruling party lawmaker and a bodyguard Tuesday and wounded another lawmaker in election-related violence in southern Sri Lanka.

Nalanda Ellawala, 29, died after being shot three times in the chest, police said. An unidentified bodyguard also was killed and another member of the People’s Alliance’s, Dilan Perera, was wounded.

The attackers opened fire on the two lawmakers in Kuruwita, 50 miles southeast of the capital, Colombo, where they had gone to file nominations for next month’s local elections.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack and the gunmen escaped on a motorcycle, police said.

Some 3,500 representatives will be elected in the vote, the first after the Alliance came to power in 1994.

No voting will be held in the north and the east, where Tamil militants claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese have been fighting for a separate homeland. More than 47,000 people have been killed in the fighting since the insurgency began in 1983.