On the eve of a presidential election, a suicide bomber nearly succeeded in assassinating President Chandrika Kumaratunga. She was injured in the attack that killed 14 people, including the officer in charge of her security. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who are being blamed for the attack, have surged in recent months and are threatening to retake the Jaffna Peninsula in the north, an area they controlled for much of the past 16 years of civil war. Hopes for a peaceful settlement, which were high in past few years, have been dashed and there is no end in sight to the conflict.