Civil war threatens to engulf Sri Lanka

Following the killing of a Tamil member of Parliament on Saturday midnight and the killing of a total of 28 Sri Lankan soldiers in the past three weeks, peace facilitating Norway sent warning signals on Monday stating that Sri Lanka was heading towards ci

Civil war threatens to engulf Sri Lanka

Addressing a tsunami commemoration ceremony in Oslo on Monday, Norwegian Development Minister and former special envoy for Sri Lanka Erik Solhiem noted that the present situation was 'grave'.

The alarm raised by Solheim comes as the Sri Lankan military said that the Tigers were bent upon triggering the war with daily attacks on soldiers.

Eleven soldiers were killed on Tuesday, 25km north-east of the Jaffna town when the vehicle carrying them hit a landmine. This is the fifth claymore mine attack in the past one month.

Meanwhile, the shadow war waged on the LTTE Prabhakaran faction by the break away LTTE militant Karuna, took an ominous turn with the gunning down of the Tamil member of parliament, Joseph Pararajasingham while he was attending midnight Christmas mass on Dec 24 in eastern Batticaloa.

Joseph Pararajasingham, member of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA), is the first TNA member to be gunned down after the February 2002 ceasefire.

In the midst of contradictory reports as to who was responsible for the assassination, a militant clandestine outfit calling themselves the "Sennan Brigade of the Eastern Soil", allegedly linked with the LTTE break away leader Karuna, has claimed responsibility for the killing.

The anti-LTTE website "Thenee" quoted the London-based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) as saying that it received a pamphlet from the "Sennan Brigade" claiming responsibility for the killing. The pamphlet in Tamil addressed to "The people of East" said: "A Traitor of our soil of East has now been eliminated. We of the "Sennan Brigade" take responsibility for the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham who is a traitor of our people," the TBC said.

"The death punishment was meted out by us to Joseph Pararajasingham for his treachery to our Eastern people and its soil as well as his facilitation for the annihilation of Eastern people by causing a war in collaboration with the Wanni Tigers," the statement added, referring to the LTTE faction headed by Vellupillai Prabhakaran.

The pamphlet has also issued a public warning to other TNA parliamentarians creating a fear psychosis in eastern Batticaloa.

"Batticaloa is a killing field as in all other regions but in Batticaloa it is a case of guerilla warfare against guerillas. Controlling this kind of violence is difficult," a government military officer said soon after two men, both scooter rickshaw drivers were killed by suspected rebels for passing information to the military.

The LTTE blames the government military for assisting its breakaway former area leader for Batticaloa, Karuna in eliminating pro-Prabhakaran LTTE members and supporters.

Meanwhile, the international truce monitors on Tuesday described the situation in Jaffna as "very dangerous."

Hagrup Haukland, head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), when contacted said that the bombings and shooting in recent weeks were 'pushing hard' the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) signed in 2002 by the government and Tamil Tigers.

Meanwhile tension has gripped two other regions in the north and east. A strike was observed in Vavuniya and Trincomalee on Tuesday by pro-Prabhakaran group calling itself the 'Tamil National Reawakening Organization'.

Police said posters had come up in the area urging for the removal of a Buddha statue in the town.

On Tuesday night one more Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier, was killed, and his wife and brother-in-law injured when suspected LTTE cadres hurled a grenade and opened fire inside the soldier's house in Trincomalee.

"It is now all about warnings, explosions, death threats and shoot outs", a peace activist quipped.

Source: Dawn

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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