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Sri Lanka party leader gunned down in drive-by shooting – Times of India

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COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan political party leader was killed Monday along with four others, authorities said, in a rare drive-by shooting.
Police said the motive was unclear, but that Saman Perera, chairman of the Our Power of People Party, appeared to be the main target of the attack.
Perera’s party has a seat in Sri Lanka‘s 225-member legislature, although he was not an MP himself.
He was gunned down in the southern town of Beliatta, nearly 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of the capital Colombo.
Police said his vehicle had stopped at a roadside restaurant when gunmen in a pickup truck opened fire and then sped off.
They said they were aware of a feud between Perera and a local criminal boss, a connection that local media have also reported.
The shooting came as police backed by soldiers carried out a nationwide anti-crime operation which has seen more than 44,000 people arrested in a mass crackdown.
Police said operation “Yuktiya,” the Sinhala name for justice, had resulted in a sharp decline in crime.
The UN’s human rights chief, Volker Turk, has criticised the police operation, saying it was responsible for a series of abuses including arbitrary arrests, torture, strip searches and searches without warrants.
Public Security Minister Tiran Alles told reporters in Colombo last week he was unconvinced by the allegations and said the crackdown was in the country’s best interest.

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