Day of The Assassin

A bomber kills Sri Lanka's President Premadasa at a May Day parade

The way his opponents tell it, Ranasinghe Premadasa had some mental quirks. After his election as President in 1988, he increasingly likened himself to Sri Lanka's miracle-working Buddhist kings of old. Until recently, he also avoided overseas travel, reputedly after astrologers warned of his death should he leave the island. The precaution was in vain. Last Saturday, while officiating at a festive May Day parade in Colombo, the 68-year-old President of low-caste birth was blown to bits by a suicidal assassin laden with explosives. At least 15 bystanders were also killed in this latest outbreak of political violence that has convulsed...

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