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Last updated: 08 October, 2011 - Published 12:21 GMT
 
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Curfew after Bharatha Lakshman killed
 
Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra (L) with President Rajapaksa (C) and Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara (file photo: Daily News)
Mr Premachandra (L) has long been a supporter of President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Curfew has been declared in a Colombo suburb after a presidential advisor on trade unions, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, has been shot dead in Angoda.

The former parliamentarian and a leader of Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP) and two of his bodyguards were killed in the shoot out in Angoda between his supporters and the supporters of Duminda Silva, MP.

Dozens more have been wounded in the battle between the two ruling party politicians backing rival candidates on Saturday’s local polls.

The BBC’s Charles Haviland in Colombo says the army is out in force and there has been mob vandalism in the suburb after the shooting incident.

But the defence spokesman Lakshman Hulugalle told the BBC that there has been no tension in the area.

'Out of danger'

Mr Premachandra was a close confidante of late Vijaya Kumaratunga, who formed the SLMP after resigning from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Duminda Silva, MP
Mr Silva is out of danger after a brain surgery, doctors say

Mr Silva, a Government MP, works on defence matters under the president’s brother, the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Reports say he has had two bullets removed from his head.
Dr SVK Gamage at Jayawardenepura hospital told BBC Sinhala service that there is no danger to his life after a brain surgery.

The young parliamentarian is the monitoring MP for the defence ministry, that comes under the purview of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He is also a leading figure of ruling party's youth front Nil Balakaya, of which President's eldest son Namal, MP, is the leader.

Police have begun investigations.

The gunfight on Saturday followed another political killing on Friday.

The violence underlines the fact that, although the government regularly says it defeated terrorism with its war victory, much politics here is underpinned by violence, and government politicians with guns hold sway in various parts of the country, says the BBC’s Charles Haviland.

When questioned by BBC Sandeshaya how both groups armed themselves, police spokesman SSP Maxi Proctor said the CID has begun a separate investigation regarding the issue.

 
 
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