1993 A young suicide bomber killed Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa and at least 17 other people in a huge explosion at a May Day rally in central Colombo. Police said the bomb exploded seconds after Premadasa’s police bodyguards stopped a man on a bicycle. A man’s body found at the scene had wires attached to his clothing. Prime Minister Dingiri Banda Wijetunga was appointed acting president. Under the constitution, he must summon Parliament within a month. It will elect a new president by secret ballot to serve until Premadasa’s term would have expired in December 1994. The bomber struck during a rally organised by the ruling United National Party. Premadasa, 68, was at Armour Street directing the rally moments before the blast. The smell of burning flesh filled the air as dazed onlookers wandered around. Metal police badges and torn posters of Premadasa littered the ground. Battered May Day banners trailed from lampposts.
Other important events
1707 Kingdom of Great Britain is created as a treaty merges England, Wales and Scotland.
1715 Prussia declares war on Sweden.
1896 Charles Tupper is sworn in as the 6th Prime Minister of Canada.
1898 A US naval force destroys a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
1919 Mount Kelud erupts in Indonesia, killing 5,000 people.
1925 Cyprus becomes a British colony.
1931 The 102-storey Empire State Building opens in New York City.
1933 The first telephone link between Britain and India is established
1948 The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) is proclaimed.
1958 Arturo Frondizi becomes President of Argentina
1960 India’s Bombay state splits into Gujarat and Maharashtra states.
1967 Anastasio Somoza Debayle becomes President of Nicaragua.
1971 Amtrak Railroad begins operating in US.
1978 Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura becomes the first person to reach the North Pole solo.
1979 Greenland gains home rule from Denmark.
1989 Government of Kampuchea changes country’s name to Cambodia.
1990 Soviet protesters heckle President Mikhail Gorbachev at May Day parade in Red Square.
1991 Angola’s leftist government and US-backed rebels reaches a peace agreement to end 16 years of civil war
1993 Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa is killed in a suicide bombing in Colombo.
1994 Ayrton Senna dies in hospital after a high-speed crash on the seventh lap of the San Marino Grand Prix.
1997 Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness win two of Northern Ireland’s 18 seats in British parliament.
1999 UAE and Oman sign an agreement defining the border between the two countries.
2001 Philippines declares a “state of rebellion”, two stages down from martial law in Manila.
2004 The 10 new members from eastern Europe and Mediterranean join the European Union.
2007 The new 13-lane Business Bay bridge over Dubai Creek opens.
2008 China opens the world’s longest cross-sea bridge between Shanghai and Ningbo.
2011 Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren are killed in a Nato air strike.
2014 Twin bombs planted on a train kills one person in Chennai, India.
2017 10 Indonesian hostages freed by militants in southern Philippines.