2nd lead:

Grenade blast kills two in Colombo Bollywood show

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 December 2004, 18:48 GMT]
Two people were killed and around 15 others were wounded in a grenade blast in the bollywood "Temptation 2004" show at Horse Race Square, Colombo, according to the Police. The blast occured at 11.30 p.m midnight during the show, which was staged by Bollywood superstar Sharukh Khan. Buddhist Monks were earlier protesting against holding the show on the death anniversary of Ven Gangodawilla Soma Thera.

Two people died and 15 were badly wounded, said the police of Cinnamon Garden Colombo-7.

The injured people were admitted in the Colombo National Hospital, two of whom were severely affected cases, Colombo National hospital sources said.

The show was stopped immediately by the police. Sharukh Khan and his troupe were taken safely to the Hotel by the police.

The police and Srilanka Army security helped the crowd disperse safely.

Two suspects were arrested according to the Cinnamon Garden police sources.

Earlier, romours were spread that it was a conspiracy to stage the show on the first anniversary of the death of Ven Gangodawila Soma Thera.

The late buddhist monk, Ven Gangodawila Soma Thera, was widely regarded as a champion of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. He died last December while visiting Russia. Anti-Christian hostility was sparked off during the mourning days following his death as media speculations and romours were spread indicating a "possible Christian conspiracy".

Organisers of the Bollywood event, prior to the Saturday's show, told media at a press conference that the show was planned 6 months ago and that the Indian star was not aware - till the last week - that the death anniversary of the late Thera coincided with the Saturday's show.

The Indian star observed two minutes of silence at the beginning of the show that was regarded as the biggest musical event of the year in Sri Lanka.

Although the Buddhist monks withdrew their fasting, following the apology by the organisers, a Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) parliamentarian monk, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera and a few others sustained injuries in the clashes that erupted between the protestors and the police earlier.


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