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Sri Lanka Acquits Five Accused in Lawmaker’s 2006 Death

FILE - The family of Nadarajah Raviraj, a prominent member of the Tamil National Alliance who was assassinated the previous day, pay their respects over his body in Colombo, Nov. 11, 2006.

A Sri Lankan court has acquitted five suspects, including three navy personnel, who were accused in the shooting death of an outspoken ethnic Tamil lawmaker.

Nadaraja Raviraj was shot to death in his car in 2006 during the country’s long civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels, which ended in 2009. He was an advocate for greater self-rule for minority Tamils and had explained the Tamil perspective of the conflict in Sinhala, the language of the majority.

The verdict was delivered by High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke on midnight Friday following the unanimous decision reached by the jury in the monthlong trial.

Raviraj’s killing was widely condemned by the international community.