Lakshman Kadirgamar

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

Lakshman Kadirgamar, 73, an ethnic Tamil who campaigned internationally to have the Tamil Tiger rebels declared a terrorist organization but later backed peace talks, was shot dead at his home Aug. 12. Government officials have blamed the Tamil Tigers, who began fighting in 1983 for a separate state in the island's northeast.

Mr. Kadirgamar, a Tamil Christian, entered politics in 1994 after practicing law in Sri Lanka and London and was immediately appointed foreign minister under President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government.

He lost the post when Kumaratunga's party fell from power in December 2001 but was reappointed foreign minister in April 2004.

Despite belonging to the minority Tamil community, Mr. Kadirgamar initially took a hard line against the Tamil Tigers and is believed to have been influential in adding them to the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1997. He later became a strong supporter of a negotiated settlement to the country's civil war.

Nick Perito

Hollywood Composer

Nick Perito, 81, an Emmy-nominated Hollywood composer and arranger who worked for more than three decades with Perry Como, died Aug. 3 of pulmonary fibrosis at a motion-picture retirement home in Los Angeles.

Mr. Perito began working as an arranger on Como's television show in 1963 and, the next year, became conductor for Como's shows, studio recordings and tours.

Born in Denver to an Italian immigrant family, Mr. Perito was a pianist and arranger for an Army band in World War II and later graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He worked with singer-actress Dorothy Dandridge, Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross.

He was musical director of the Kennedy Center Honors in the 1980s and 1990s and last year published a memoir, "I Just Happened to Be There: Making Music With the Stars."