Saturday, December 10, 2005

War refugees hit hard by continuous rain in Jaffna

Over 350, 000 internally displaced people (IDPs) living in temporary shelters in Jaffna are facing sever difficulties due to the heavy rainfall and strong winds that have hit the region.

Many of the shelters were constructed with material at hand by those who were displaced from their homes during the civil war. ‘We didn’t think we will spend so many years in these huts. Every day we prey to return to our homes’ said a victim.

Although some of people living in shelters are those whose homes were fully destroyed by the indiscriminate bombing campaigns of the Sri Lanka Air Force, a majority are actually people with habitable homes.

Even after three years of peace process, over 300 000 of the IDPs can’t return to their homes because the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has designated 32% of Jaffna as being High Security Zone which is off limits to civilians.

Most of the refugees say that they would have lost their lives to one of the many diseases that spread across these shelters if it weren’t for the excellent work being carried out by the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and other local Non-Governmental Organisations.

The government provides the High Security Zone refugees with rupees 750 (US$ 7.50) a month in compensation. Many residents say that the compensation is a joke. ‘The Army occupies our homes, businesses, schools, temples, churches, hospitals and acres of farmland. All we get is return is 750 rupees a month. It is a total joke.’

Meanwhile the government has allocated less than US$ 3 per flood affected person for relief efforts. This comes on the back of a budget that allocated over US$ 800 million for defence in 2006 alone.

New navy base for Batticaloa – 30 000 Tamils to be displaced

Plans for a new naval base in the Batticaloa district were unveiled by the Sri Lanka Navy on Friday.

The base is to be located close to the Eravur area.

30, 000 Tamils are to be displaced from the area to accommodate the new base. The plight of the displaced people remains unknown.

The construction of such a naval base does not look encouraging for the three year old peace process.

More to follow….

Karuna Group kills two more civilians in Batticaloa

Two men were shot dead by Karuna Group in the Kiran area of Batticaloa, reports from the area said.

The Karuna Group which operates from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps in the occupied areas of Batticaloa has been blamed for several murders in the area.

Residents in the area said that the two men were bundled into a white van by the Karuna Group at 9p.m on Friday. The bodies of the men were found in the early hours of Saturday.

A complaint is to be filed with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

Bomb explodes while being assembled at EPDP office

Reports from Trincomalee say that a bomb exploded while being assembled at the district office of the EPDP.

The explosion occurred in the early hours of Saturday, 10 December.

Four EPDP gang members where seriously injured on site.

EPDP has been blamed for several bomb explosions across the Tamil homeland in the past few months.

Paramilitaries were to be disarmed by the Government of Sri Lanka in accordance with the Cease Fire Agreement of 2002.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Norway to ask Sri Lanka Army to stop arbitrary incidents of violence against Tamils

Sources in Colombo report that the Royal Norwegian Government may lay down certain conditions before it can continue its role as the facilitator of the Peace Process between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

It is believed that some of the conditions are to include, disarming paramilitaries that operate under the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), a halt to targeted assassinations of patriotic Tamil civilians, halt to attacks on students by SLA and an immediate end to all arbitrary acts of violence by the SLA in the occupied areas.

Meanwhile Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka is reported to have said that Norway can in no way try to impose regulations on the sovereign Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is ready for war says Chief of Defence

Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Daya Sandagiri said in a press conference held in Colombo today that his troops are ready for war.

"We are prepared. We have the superior position. There is no doubt about it." said the Army Chief, indicating that the Sri Lanka Army had took full advantage of the peace process to arm and train itself to new heights.

Fears of the three-year-old truce breaking has increased after the murder of two women in Batticaloa by members of Karuna Group whose strings are pulled by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA)

"Civilian unrest and accelerating violence is due to intensified military violence against the people and sabotage activities of armed groups that work alongside the... military," the Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had said earlier.

Women’s Development Organisation condemns murder to two sisters by Karuna Group

In a statement released today the Women’s Development Organisation condemned the killing of two innocent females in Batticaloa by the Karuna Group on Thursday morning. Atrocities of this nature by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and their auxiliary groups would only increase the Tamil peoples resolve for freedom, the statement added.

The statement was sent to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and human rights organisations working in the Tamil homeland.

The statement further called for the persons responsible for this hideous crime to be brought to justice and all Cease Fire violations by the SLA to be halted.

LTTE political head meets Norway Ambassador

Pointing out that the recent escalation of violence is due to military aggression and sabotage activities of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) supported paramilitaries, LTTE's Political Head Mr. S.P.Thamilchelvan stressed the urgent need for effective implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) and the critical need to maintain Muslim, Tamil amity to maintain peace, when he addressed the media following a meeting with the Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar Friday morning. The meeting that began at 9:30 a.m. lasted for one and a half hours at the LTTE's Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi.

External Link: FULL ARTICLE

Another civilian seriously injured by Sri Lanka Army

Not a day goes by without reports from Jaffna of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) seriously injuring or killing innocent civilians.

The latest episode occurred on Friday, when SLA soldiers in the Marathanamadam area of Jaffna opened fire on a civilian for no apparent reason.

The seriously injured man in fighting for his life at the Jaffna Hospital, sources from Jaffna said.

Sri Lanka Army atrocities spread across the Tamil homeland

Puttlam became the latest region of the Tamil homeland to have fallen victim to the continued increase in atrocities by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).

Civilian sources told this website that the SLA cordoned off many areas of the district and conducted house to house searches. Sources further added that 24 Tamil civilians were taken away by the SLA. The fate of the arrested civilians is not known.

Funeral held for Sri Lanka Army General

Civilians in Jaffna hosted a funeral for an effigy of the new Sri Lanka Army Commander, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka.

The new commander who is well known for his warmongering is resented by the civilians of Jaffna who are fully against the continued military occupation of their homes.

Many civilians blame Sarath Fonseka as the man responsible for several massacres that occurred in Jaffna during the 90s.

Trincomalee civilians protest against Sri Lanka Army atrocities

Normal life came to a stand still in Trincomalee today as residents protested against the continued Sri Lanka Army (SLA) atrocities across the Tamil homeland.

The protesters condemned the killings of innocent Tamil civilians in Jaffna and Batticaloa by paramilitaries working under the SLA. Further they voiced their strong opposition against attempts by SLA to create tension against Tamil speaking Hindu, Christians and Muslims.

Trincomalee residents warned that such protests will continue unless the SLA put an end to its Cease Fire violations.  

Norwegian Ambassador visits Tsunami devastated Mulaiteevu

The Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo, Hans Brattskar toured Tsunami affected Mullaitivu area and visited Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) managed transit centers housing Tamil refugees.

The Ambassador was able to witness firsthand the grim reality faced by Tsunami victims. Almost a year on they are still relying on the TRO for their day to day lives and are still living in transition shelters constructed to last no more than six months.

The Mulaiteevu district has been fully liberated from military occupation and hence receives no aid from the Government of Sri Lanka.

The PTOMs agreement for the equitable distribution of international Tsunami aid in the Tamil homeland was blocked by extremist elements in southern Sri Lanka.

Mannar Civilians’ Association complains to SLMM

The Mannar Civilians’ Association has made a formal complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) with regards to the increase in atrocities committed by the occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the district.

Since the election victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa, SLA violence and intimidation has increased several folds, said civilian sources. ‘The complaint was made to highlight the negative effects the military occupation is having on the day to day lives of ordinary people’ sources added.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sisters of surrendered Karuna Group member murdered

In another monstrous act, the Karuna Group which operates under the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Intelligence has shot dead two sisters of Mr. Puhalventhan, a Karuna Group carder who recently surrendered to the LTTE. A two year old child has also been seriously injured.

The paramilitary carders had thrown a grenade into the home of the sisters while they were in their sleep at 2.20a.m on Thursday Morning. An act of such cowardliness would have only been carried out by the Karuna Group, said local residents.  

Students protest against military occupation of Jaffna

Today, students from across the Jaffna district protested against the continued occupation of their villages and towns by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). The protests gathered momentum when the SLA stopped students on their way to schools and demanded that they produce their identity cards.

Sources from the Kalladi area report that irritated students began shouting ‘military leave or be removed’. The incident is said to have turned violent when the SLA tried to intimidate students by opening fire. Civilian sources report of seeing students throwing stones and bottles at the SLA while being fired on.

Meanwhile, students say that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has refused to accept complaints made by them against the existence of SLA camps and checkpoints on school roads. Students say that the existence of SLA structures close to school premises is highly intimidating and prevents them from attending school.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

UN Secretary General condemns violence in Tamil Homeland

United Nations Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan has condemned the latest cycle of violence in the Tamil homeland.

"The secretary-general is very concerned about the increasing tensions in the country and appeals to all parties to uphold the 2003 ceasefire agreement," UN spokesman Stephanie Dujarric said in a statement.

Atrocities committed by the occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the Jaffna district have increased several folds in the past few days. Increasingly, school children are becoming targets for the guns of the occupying forces. Several incidents of SLA attacks on students of Heartly College, Methodist Girls School and Jaffna Hindu Ladies College have been reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) just this week. Youth welfare is believed to be a matter in which the UN Secretary takes great personal interest.

Sloppy solider responsible for death and injuries

Civilian sources from Vavuniya (a majority Tamil town under the occupation of the Sri Lanka Army) said a sloppy solider exploded a hand grenade in the town on Wednesday.

The incident is said to have killed one civilian and injured five including a solider.

Incidents of this nature have become common place in a town that has been under military occupation for over a decade, sources concluded.

Student shot injured by Sri Lanka Army

Amid growing calls for the withdrawal of the 40, 000 strong Sri Lanka Army (SLA) (99% Sinhala) from the Jaffna district (99.5% Tamil), the SLA soldiers have decided to up the anti by increasing their atrocities.

Although the latest spree of violence began with the targeted assassinations of patriotic individuals on Thursday night, it has now spread to engulf the most vulnerable members of society, the children.

Today, the students of Jaffna Hindu Ladies College, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, came under assault from the SLA, sources from Jaffna said. Following which a crowd of students gathered on the scene and began to shout anti occupation slogans. The soldiers who became irritated with the students opened fire and in the process subjected one student to serious injuries.

A complaint is to be made with the SLMM.

Sri Lanka bans Tamil motorcyclists from wearing helmet

In most countries of the world it is a legal requirement to wear a helmet whilst riding a motorcycle. The same is also true for Sri Lanka.

However, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has decided to apply this law to the Tamils of Jaffna in a twisted form. Sources from Jaffna told this website that the SLA has banned them from wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. As most motor cyclists wear helmets as standard practice, this new order by the SLA seems absurd. Reports suggest that many motorcyclists are starting to use buses or walk to their destinations than risk their life riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

Meanwhile the SLA has attempted to justify its orders by claiming that attacks on its checkpoints were conducted by men wearing helmets and that this makes the job of identifying those responsible for the attacks harder. One wonders if the same order would be enforced in Colombo should criminal acts be conducted by men wearing helmets.

A helmet protects the head from injury if motorcyclist gets involved in an accident. Helmets protect the head by reducing the rate at which the skull and brain would be accelerated or decelerated by an impact. The helmet acts as a shock absorber. According to studies in the US, under universal helmet laws, most states experienced 20% to 40% lower fatalities rates from motorcycle accidents than during periods without laws or under limited laws regarding protective head gear.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

LTTE condemns killing of Muslims

The Batticaloa political unit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have issued a statement condemning the continued violence against the Tamil Speaking Muslim population by government sponsored paramilitaries.

The statement further urged, people of all faiths to maintain calm and avoid falling into the traps set by Sinhala chauvinist elements.

Violence against Tamil speaking Hindus, Christians and Muslims have increased several folds since the election victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa who was backed by the Buddhist extremist all monks party, the JHU.  

Tamil and Muslim Community leaders meet

A meeting was held between Tamil and Muslim community leaders from the Trincomalee district, at Kanesapuram Mahavidyalayam today.

Sources claim that the meeting was constructive and allowed the two communities to voice their fears and opinions.

Amid reports from Amparai claiming that Sri Lanka Army Special Task Force has been encouraging attacks that create tension, the leaders of the two communities are said to have reiterated their resolve to work together and defeat these forces of evil.

37 Muslim leaders had travelled from Sri Lanka Army occupied areas for the meeting. They were all provided protection by a special unit of the Tamil Eelam Police.

Attacks in Jaffna continue

On Tuesday, six Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and an SLA official were killed in a Claymore mine attack on a SLA tractor in Irupalai.

The attack is the latest in a serious of tit-for-tat violence between civilians and the 40, 000 strong SLA soldiers occupying the district.

Violence sparked off on Thursday after two civilians were murdered by SLA intelligence personals, civilian sources claimed.

Today’s attack is believed to a reprisal to the attacks on the students of Heartly College and Methodist Girls School by the SLA on Monday.

Jaffna residents have made it clear on several occasions that unless the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) acts to curb arbitrary violence by the SLA; they will take matters into their own hands.

Although the attacks at the school premises yesterday were reported to the SLMM, it had no effect.

A meeting scheduled between LTTE and SLA officials yesterday was called off by the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat in Colombo.

Karuna Group carders claim responsibility for attack on Muslims

We have reported several times on the rise in tension between Tamil and Tamil Speaking Muslim communities in the Batticaloa-Ampari area.

Today it has been confirmed that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sponsored Karuna Group has been responsible for all the attacks on Muslim civilians.

Amaparai district Political Head of the Liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Mr. Daya Mohan said that two carders from the Karuna Group had surrendered to the LTTE after senior Karuna Group member Iniyabahrathy was killed earlier today.

The two, Mr. Gnanatheepan and Mr. Puhalventhan, had revealed to the LTTE that the Karuna Group was in fact responsible for all the attacks on Muslim civilians in the past few days. They highlighted that they had received orders from ‘higher up’ to do all that is possible to create tensions between the various Tamil speaking religious communities.

A press conference is scheduled to be conducted soon. Mr. Gnanatheepan and Mr. Puhalventhan are expected to be at the conference.

Attack by Karuna Group foiled

A planned attack by the Karuna Group in the Amparai district has been foiled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Sources from Amparai claim that a group of 10 led by senior Karuna Group member Iniyabahrathy tried to infiltrate the LTTE controlled areas of Amparai during the early hours of Tuesday.

A counter attack by the LTTE while the group was in No Mans Land had killed four Karuna Group members including the leader Iniyabahrathy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

LTTE denies involvement in Jaffna mine attack

Speaking to a Tamil language website, Mr.Illaparithy the Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the Jaffna district said that the LTTE had no involvement in the mine attack that killed six soldiers on Sunday.

He highlighted the fact that there are currently no LTTE members in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupied areas of the Jaffna district. Political carders of the LTTE were pulled out of occupied territories after they were repeatedly targeted by SLA aided paramilitaries.

On June 26, a bus carrying LTTE political carders, was targeted by a remote controlled mine in Welikanda.

Colombo Stock Exchange plunges as Monks call for War

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), the all monks Buddhist nationalist party called for a return to war on Monday.

At a JHU press meet the leader of the party demanded the country be put on war footing and preparations be made for an impending showdown.

He also reiterated that any final solution to the ethnic conflict must be within a unitary state.

The JHU was a part of the SLFP-JVP-JHU axis that campaigned for the election victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

On hearing the news, the Colombo Stock Exchange plunged 68.82 points (3.05%) to close at 2,187.56.

Gunakone Released

Mr. Charles Gunakone, an Australian based Tamil businessman who was arrested in Colombo last month has been freed by appeal courts, reliable sources claim.

He was taken into police custody in the early hours of October 10, allegedly for questioning in connection with the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

Sri Lankan Police is yet to find evidence against anyone in connection with the assassination of the late Kadigamar.

Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat blocks meeting to diffuse tension in Jaffna

As reported earlier, a meeting between a high level delegation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) headed by Mr.Ilamparithy ,Jaffna district Political Head and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commander in charge of Jaffna was organised by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

The meeting was to have been held today at the Muhamaalai no man zone.

However, the LTTE delegation, SLMM and international press faced disappointment as the Army personal failed to attend the meeting stating that approval had not been granted by the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat in Colombo.

Meanwhile local residents have begun to move out of the Point Pedro area as the SLA continued to fire tear gas at students of Heartly College and Methodist Girls School.

Residents said that the SLA targeted tear gas at their houses after ordering them to stay indoors.

Heartly College students disappointed with SLMM

Students at Heartly College, Jaffna expressed their disappointments at the actions of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) today.

Student sources said that they intercepted a SLMM vehicle and made complaints while they were being attacked by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers. Although the SLMM officials had witnessed the attacks they failed to take any action. The attacks by the SLA continued after the SLMM left the site.

“Arbitrary attacks on students at school premises is not permitted by the CFA. SLMM should have acted to halt the barbaric acts of the army.” a student at the prestigious school said.

LTTE and SLA to meet as situation in Jaffna deteriorates

Jaffna District Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Mr. C. Ilamparuthi will meet Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander of Jaffna area Major General Sunil Tennakon on Monday evening at the no man zone at Muhamalai, sources reported.

The meeting has been organized by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in a bid to bring the tit-for-tat violence in the Jaffna peninsula to an end.

Violence broke off between the SLA and civilians after two farmers were murdered on Thursday evening by the SLA assassination squad which comprises of SLA Intelligence officials and the auxiliary EPDP armed gang.

Eight SLA soldiers were killed and several civilians injured in the violence that followed Thursday’s murders.

Civilian sources report that several murders in the past were reported to the SLMM as requested. However, the lack of action by SLMM and the continued killings and arbitrary shootings had led the local residents to take their security matters into their own hands.

In the past few days thousands of troops have been deployed along the A9 (Jaffna-Kandy) Highway; many roads have been closed to vehicular traffic; on the roads that are open travellers are reporting several hours of delay as the SLA has been combing every vehicle and over 100 arrests have been made.

Meanwhile students at Heartly College, Jaffna reported that the SLA had set up several checkpoints around their school and that the soldiers were firing tear gas at them in a trigger-happy fashion.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

LTTE and Muslim heads meet in Trinco

In an attempt to defuse tensions that have been rising in the Muttur area of Trincomalee district a delegation from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) including the political head for the district met with Muslim leaders from the area.

In the past few days five members from both the Tamil and Tamil Speaking Muslim communities have been murdered in tit-for-tat violence.

The meeting was facilitated by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

In recent days the Sri Lanka Army and government sponsored paramilitaries have been keen to start sectarian violence between Muslim and Tamil communities, so that they can facilitate their pay master’s plans to return to civil war.

Jaffna at boiling point

Tensions continued to flair on Sunday between civilians and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which has been occupying the Jaffna district for almost 10 years.

Civilian sources claim that the SLA atrocities have increased several folds since the election victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his extremist SLFP-JVP-JHU alliance.

In the days following the election several civilians were mercilessly attacked by the SLA and EPDP thugs who operate with the aid of the SLA.

Several killings took place in the Kytes, Point Pedro and Neervely areas of the peninsula. All incidents were reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM)

It has emerged that while the SLMM lacked the teeth to bring normalcy to the peninsula by halting the atrocities, the civilians and especially the youth have took matters in to their own hands.

The final pull of the straw came on Thursday when a SLA assassination squad murdered two farmers and injured another at a tea shop in Neervely for having put up decorations to celebrate the National Heroes Day, claimed a civilian organisation in Jaffna.

Agitated civilians, held a general shut down protest on Friday. Unknown persons have also been throwing grenades and opening small arms fire into some of the several hundred checkpoints set up by the SLA. They in turn have been responding in classic fashion by opening fire at anyone and everyone on site. Several civilians have been injured as a result mindless firing by the SLA.

The tit-for-tat violence continued across the peninsula on Sunday. Local residents have reported hearing gunfire in the Neervely area. Residents from all across the district have complained about the numerous number of road blocks being set up by the SLA. All vehicles travelling on the A9 (Jaffna-Kandy Road) are being combed by the SLA for several hours. Youth are being arrested at random, with some also suffering abuse. Meanwhile the SLMM has issued a request to the Government of Sri Lanka and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to use their influence to try and put an end to the vicious cycle of violence.

Kattankudy Divisional Secretary succumbs to his injuries

Mr. A.L.M. Falleel, the Divisional Secretary (DS) of Kattankudy who was shot by two men believed to be members of the Karuna Group on Friday has succumbed to his injuries, reports claim.

Local residents have protested against the killing for the second day running.

Karuna Group operates from Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps in the Batticaloa district. In recent days the group has been proactive in attempts to create tension between the Tamils and Tamil speaking Muslims living in Eastern Sri Lanka.

Short fuse in Sri Lanka – Boston Globe

The outcome of last month's presidential election has stoked fears that the war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will resume in coming months. The new president, Mahinda Rajapakse, won a narrow victory in alliance with two hard-line Sinhala nationalist parties thanks to an election boycott by most Tamils in the north of the island.

In Rajapakse's initial address to Parliament Nov. 26, he warned ominously that he will reject self-determination for the Tamils, that he is committed to a ''unitary state" controlled by the Sinhala-Buddhist majority, that he wants to dissolve the current joint Tiger-government administration of post-tsunami relief, and that he plans to terminate a peace process that has been mediated by Norway.

Two days later, the Tigers' leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, delivering his annual Heroes' Day speech, restated the Tigers' familiar aim of self-government in a Tamil homeland, noted a ''vast" policy difference between the new president and the Tigers and warned that Tamils are losing patience. ''The new government should come forward soon with a reasonable political framework that will satisfy the political aspirations of the Tamil people," he said. If no such offer is forthcoming, Prabhakaran said, the Tigers will in the next year ''intensify our struggle for self-determination." This either-or threat, seen alongside Rajapakse's own hard-line stance, presages an imminent renewal of civil war.

Former President Bill Clinton, who toured government-controlled areas of Sri Lanka Tuesday as a UN special tsunami envoy, grasped the danger looming over the island should the current ceasefire be washed away. ''Any recovery progress achieved this year will be quickly reversed if Sri Lanka returns to civil conflict," Clinton warned.

Sri Lanka has limited strategic importance for the United States, but America's new strategic partner, India, has much to fear from a recurrence of warfare between the Tigers and the island's Sinhala-dominated government. India and the United States should bring international pressure to bear on the island's belligerents to sustain the current ceasefire and craft a political resolution that recognizes the Tamil need for self-government.

External Link: FULL ARTICLE

On this day in 1984

"The Mannar massacre is a case in point. On 4 December 1984, a vehicle carrying an army patrol was blown up by a mine on the road leading through the jungle to the small northern town. One soldier was killed and 11 wounded.

In the carnage that followed, troops poured out of their camps and according to the townspeople, killed more than 100 civilians. One group stopped a bus... and then shot all the ... male passengers... Another twenty died when the same treatment was meted out to a busload of passengers traveling in the opposite direction.

Off the main road, an army jeep drove into the village of Parappankadal. The soldiers fired indiscriminately, killing 12 of people including a mother nursing her infant child. The child survived though three toes were blown away by the bullet that killed its mother."

Michael Hamlyn reporting in the London Times, 18 February 1985