Sri Lankan government condemned Saturday the murder of a government official in its Eastern Province, coming close on the heels of the killing of another government official in the same province.
T. Thavaraja, a Tamil and the divisional secretary at Tirukkovil in the eastern Ampara district, was killed as he was traveling in his motor cycle at around 7 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) Friday.
The government said in a statement that the murder "threatens the functioning of government institutions in an area where the maintenance of the cease-fire agreement is a high priority and the urgent work connected with post tsunami relief and reconstruction is an immediate need."
The statement said those responsible for this assassination will be brought to justice, and the government will give full protection of government officials as they carry out their duties.
Thavaraja was the second state official to be murdered in the Eastern Province recently.
A government official was gunned down in the neighboring Batticaloa district allegedly by the Tamil Tigers two weeks ago.
The eastern province has become a hotbed of violence and around 40 killings of people have taken place since January of this year, the police estimates.
The area is the theater of continued internecine clashes between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam mainstream and its renegades led by its former eastern commander Karuna.