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DATE=1/9/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=LANKA/ACCUSATION (L-O) NUMBER=2-257910 BYLINE=VANDANA CHOPRA DATELINE=COLOMBO INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Sri Lankan state radio says investigators are accusing several businessmen of being behind a recent assassination attempt against President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Vandana Chopra has the details from Colombo. TEXT: The state radio says a government investigation alleges a group of businessmen angry at not receiving lucrative government contracts was behind an attempt to kill President Chandrika Kumaratunga at a December 18th campaign rally. The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation says the investigation accuses the businessmen of funding the main opposition United National Party, as well as Tamil Tiger rebels. The radio reported investigators allege some army officials were also part of the plan to kill President Kumaratunga in an effort to set up a military regime in the country. President Kumaratunga was wounded by a suicide bomber on the last day of presidential campaigning. A second bomb exploded the same night at a nearby opposition election rally. More than three-dozen people were killed and scores injured. The government blamed Tamil rebels for the attacks. The state radio report says police monitored the activities of several businessmen, as well as two newspaper editors who have been critical of the government. The report said several people are being questioned and more will be interrogated in the days to come. President Kumaratunga won a second six-year term in the presidential election. During an appearance on state television last week, she blasted the political opposition, private media, and some businessmen -- saying they were all against her. Tiger rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community for 15- years. They accuse the majority Sinhalese of discrimination. (SIGNED) NEB/VC/RAE 09-Jan-2000 12:06 PM EDT (09-Jan-2000 1706 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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