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British tourist’s death: Lankan politician held

[Zee News, Friday, 30 December 2011 09:34 One Comment]

(PTI) A ruling party politician has been arrested in Sri Lanka and remanded to custody in connection with the last week’s killing of a British national in a southern coastal resort.

A ruling party local politician was among the six people remanded in custody till January 6 in connection with the killing of Kuram Shaikah Zaman, a 32 year old British national.

His girlfriend was also injured in the attack.

Reacting to the killing, the Lanka government said better security measures were needed to ensure the safety of tourists.

"We recognise the need to have better security and we are working on that," Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, the deputy minister of economic development said.

Abeywardena said the attack has highlighted the need for more security and the authorities were taking measures to make it safer for holiday makers.

He said the government had offered to fly in the family members of the Russian woman who escaped the attack with injuries and is recovering at a hospital in Colombo.

"We are taking care of her medical bills and we are also offering to bring down any of her family members to be with her until she is able to travel back home," Abeywardena said.

[Full Coverage]

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One Comment »

  • Seran Senguttuvan said:

    Sri Lanka holidaymakers tell of horror slaying of Red Cross hero from Rochdale

    Tourists have described the terrifying moments before a Red Cross worker was killed at a paradise resort.

    Prosthetic expert Khuram Shaikh, from Milnrow, Rochdale, gave hope to men, women and children who lost their limbs in the world’s deadliest countries.

    But he was killed on a Sri Lankan beach resort after taking a break from his duties in the conflict-hit Middle East.

    Eyewitnesses have told us how the 32-year-old aid worker was randomly targeted after he became caught up in a bar brawl at a hotel in Tangalle.

    Mr Shaikh, a rehabilitation manager working with the International Red Cross in Gaza, had been on a holiday with colleague Victoria Alexandrova, who was also badly injured in the attack.

    Canadian holidaymaker Dixie Klaibert was staying at the Nature Tangalle hotel with family.

    Speaking from India, she told us how a ‘bar brawl’ involving local men broke out at a Christmas Eve party at a hotel, attended by guests, hotel staff and locals.

    She said: “We started screaming for them to stop, but they picked up chairs and started smashing them over the man on the floor.

    “I glanced back to see a man with a gun walking behind us towards the bonfire.

    “It looked like an AK-47 or a machine gun, so my sister and I started screaming that there was a gun, at which point we dropped everything and got out of there.

    “As we were walking back to our room we heard the gunshots, and ran.”

    Ms Klaibert was staying at the beach hotel with husband Chris Stooksbury, sister Daisy Klaibert and her sister’s boyfriend Orion Foster.

    Mr Foster, a commercial diver, described how Mr Shaikh was attacked by a group of men and appeared to be struck with a broken bottle.

    He said: “He was walking and hunched over hugging himself. Things were being thrown at him and he was being beaten while he was walking.

    “He made it to end of the pool area where they caught up to him.

    “Three guys were bearing down on him and then attacked him. This is where I believe he was again wounded severely by the broken bottle and they slashed his throat.

    “He only made it another 15 feet where he collapsed and did not get back up.”

    The terrified group hid in their room while they desperately phoned for aid and waited 45 minutes before police arrived at the scene.

    Ms Alexandrovna, 23, a Russian citizen, was also savagely attacked, has now been transferred to a private hospital in the country’s largest city Colombo.

    Reports from the Sri Lanka media state that the southern tourist town is now all but deserted after foreign visitors fled.

    Local police say they are still probing the attack in the early hours of Christmas day.

    A post-mortem examination showed Mr Shaikh had been attacked by a sharp weapon and shot.

    Six people are now in custody, including a local politician named as Sampath Vidanapathirana, who surrendered himself to officers a day after the shooting.

    But Ms Klaibert, a former investment bank worker based in London, said she feared that local people would be too frightened to give evidence about the attack.

    She added: “Police arrived and left, but nobody said anything to any of the hotel guests.

    “Given that a local politician involved is terrifying and a number of people appeared to have access to firearms, I would think local people would be extremely scared about speaking out.”

    Mr Shaikh, who had worked for the International Red Cross since 2009, also served in North Korea.

    His heartbroken family described the Salford University graduate as ‘courageous’ and someone ‘who lived to help others’.

    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1469300_sri-lanka-holidaymakers-tell-of-horror-slaying-of-red-cross-hero-from-rochdale