An ethnic Tamil man was shot and wounded Tuesday in what authorities believe was an attack linked to fighting between rival rebel factions in Sri Lanka's volatile east.
Two unidentified gunmen shot Kadirgamar Thambivelupillai, 49, while he was riding his motorbike to work in Batticaloa, 220 kilometers (135 miles) east of Colombo, military spokesman Brig. Nalin Witharanage said.
He was hospitalized but his condition was not critical, Witharanage said. An initial investigation found that Thambivelupillai's two sons have links to the mainstream Tamil Tiger rebel group, he said.
A split in the Tamil Tiger rebels in March 2004 sparked internecine clashes that have killed scores, mainly in Sri Lanka's east. The Tamil Tigers began an armed insurrection in 1983, demanding a separate nation for Tamils in Sri Lanka's northeast and claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.
The conflict killed more than 65,000 people before a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire was signed in 2002. Subsequent peace talks have been stalled since 2003 due to disagreements over power sharing, AP reports.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated