“A suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated himself next to a police bus in downtown Colombo on May 16 at 12:00 noon. According to Defense Ministry spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, six policemen and two civilians were killed and 75 to 80 persons were injured. Subsequent media reports put the figure at seven police and two civilians killed. Rambukwella attributed the attack to the LTTE. The blast took place on Lotus Road, approximately a mile and a half from the Embassy and 100 yards from the rear entrance of the Hilton Hotel.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
The Embassy wrote; “Ambassador expressed condolences to Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the loss of life. The Defense Secretary said the police bus was likely a target of opportunity for the suicide bomber since the incident occurred on a route not normally traveled by police buses. He speculated that the bomber may have been en route to another target. The attack took place the day before a long weekend leading up to the celebration on May 19 of Vesak, the most important Buddhist holiday of the year.”