The refusal of the Australian and West Indies cricket teams to play World Cup matches in Colombo, ironically, was enough to shift international attention away from the event that had caused that reluctance in the first place. The event was the 31 January bomb explosion that devastated Colombo´s plush business district and killed nearly a hundred people, injuring 1500 more.

The message that Vellupillai Prabhakaran and his Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sent was chillingly clear: the Tigers may have been driven from their lair in Jaffna, but they had not been de-fanged. Plastic explosives and dynamite hidden in a lorry carrying rice bags, were what blew up the city centre, destroying property worth billions of rupees. The imposing central bank building, one of the biggest and best in the city, and its 2300 employees, took the brunt of the blast.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian