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Police investigating delivery of body parts to Lankan MP's family

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March 5, 2001 


COLOMBO-(AP) - The mother and mother-in-law of an opposition Sri Lankan lawmaker have received unlikely parcels in the mail: a mutilated head and a frozen hand.

A parcel containing a human head was delivered Friday to the mother of United National Party leader Ravi Karunayake at her home in Nugegoda on the outskirts of Colombo, police said. On the same day, two men on a motorcycle delivered a human hand in a parcel to Karunayake's mother-in-law at her residence in Kohuwala, a Colombo suburb.

The men asked that it be given to Karunayake's wife, the lawmaker said. The family summoned the bomb disposal squad which found the severed hand.

"We find it impossible to say who may have been responsible but we are continuing investigation," said police inspector H. L. Sumanaratne.

Karunayake said the hand was bloated and the head was mutilated. The lawmaker said he believed the threats had been issued by people who were worried about his political activities, though he did not give details.

Karunayake has led opposition to several government deals, including the sale of AirLanka - now called SriLankan Airlines - to Air Emirates.

He also took the government to court to oppose the floating of the country's currency in January, claiming the move was illegal because President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is also finance minister, had not informed Parliament.

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