‘A hero of our time’: President
Declaring a period of national mourning, a shocked and saddened President Chandrika Kumaratunga hailed the slain Lakshman Kadirgamar as a national leader who combined intellectual vigour and political courage with personal integrity of the highest calibre.

In a glowing tribute to her veteran foreign minister who fought many an international battle on her behalf, the President said Mr. Kadirgamar was also “deeply committed to a political settlement that upholds pluralism and democracy within a united Sri Lanka.”

“During the eleven-year tenure of his leadership of Sri Lankan foreign policy, the nation achieved incomparable success in its international relations, which culminated in the LTTE being proscribed in many foreign countries,” the President said.

“He was a hero of our time. He waged a relentless struggle against terrorism in all its forms, despite continuous threats to his life,” she said. Lakshman Kadirgamar was felled by political foes opposed to the peaceful transformation of conflict and who were determined to undermine attempts towards a negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict.”

Condemning the killing as an act of terror, the President vowed her Government would not be bowed by such heinous acts of violence and would spare no effort to bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.

While appealing for calm and restraint in the face of this grave and cowardly attack on Sri Lanka, the President said a state of national emergency had been declared to facilitate enhanced security measures and effective investigations of this wanton act of terror.

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