CURRENT AFFAIRS - 7

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LTTE IN SOUTH AFRICA (By ROHAN GUNARATNA)
India's National Magazine From the publishers of THE HINDU; Vol. 15 :: No. 24 :: Nov. 21 - Dec. 04, 1998
An investigation.
Click here for the full Report

 

Sri Lanka will not condone human rights abuses - Envoy
Sunday Observer : 11 April 1999

Sri Lanka has told the UN Commission on Human Rights now on in Geneva, that the Government of Sri Lanka and the independent judiciary have demonstrated to all would be offenders, that human rights abuses will not be condoned and impunity has no place in the country. This was stated by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador H.M.G.S. Palihakkara in his observations at the 55th Session of the UNCHR earlier this week.
 
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Bishop Exposed

The Bishop of Mannarama Fr. Rayappu Joseph had said that the army should leave the Madhu church region once the
checking of refugees is over. The Bishop never asked the LTTE to leave the church premises while they were there.

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DISMANTLE SINHALA SETTLEMENTS

Five Tamil racist parties, some of whom claim that they are moderates, have decided to agitate against what they call "massive state aided colonization projects" in Thirikunamalaya. This decision has been taken at a meeting, held in Kolomba, of representatives of the TULF, EPDP, PLOTE, TELO, and the EPRLF. These parties have been represented by Messrs.
Raviraj, Douglas Devananda, D. Siddharthan, A. Adaikalanathan and Suresh Premachandrqan respectively.

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MYTHS AND SCHOLARS - PART II

Ms. Coomaraswamy in her "paper" tries to give the impression that she is independent, objective, impartial etc., and that she
being a rational scholar is above myth making among both Tamils and Sinhala people. However as I have said in Part I of this
series of articles, which may not appear on consecutive Wednesdays due to exigencies of current affairs, there are no objective and impartial people among the human beings and Ms. Coomaraswamy is no exception. There are a number of myths in her "paper", but I must say that I do not hold her responsible for making those myths. After all making myths is also a kind of creative art or science depending on the way one looks at it. While giving the impression that she is against myth making she presents or tries to portrait the Tamil myths as gospel truth and the historical facts cited by the Sinhala people as myths. That is a good strategy provided that the others are unable to notice her technique.

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Kosovo and ‘Peace’
The Island : 10 April 1999


The Serbs of Yugoslavia are currently going on with the dreadful act of ethnically cleansing Kosovo province of Muslim ethnic Albanians. Over 200,000 of these ethnic Albanians have already been chased out and the tragic exodus continues. Meanwhile, NATO has realized the enormity of the catastrophe and has rightly taken military action against an intransigent Yugoslavia and its leader Milosovic. NATO has no choice under the pitiful circumstances facing the ethnic Albanians.

What happened and is happening to the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo happened to the 33,149 Sinhalese who were citizens of the north. The Sinhalese holocaust of 1983 in the north is being tragically enacted today in Kosovo. Most of the Sinhalese in the north were killed or chased out by the LTTE. It is the single most dreadful act of ethnic cleansing seen on this island since the Kalinga Magha invasion in the 13th century. No one bothers to check on the existence or of the whereabouts of these 33,000 odd people. No government gave the survivors of this holocaust any compensation. Those dead were not issued death certificates. Non of our "peace" groups, women’s groups or human rights groups ever bothered about this mass killing and exodus. That is the diabolical equation. There are no Commissions of inquiry into this worst possible holocaust in living memory.

Coming back to Kosovo, should NATO stop its military campaign unilaterally and start talking "peace" with Milosovic while the ethnic Albanians are being slaughtered? NATO does not think so. This is an intelligent and practical approach under the circumstances. One does not talk "peace" with killers while they are in the act of killing.

Isn’t this a good lesson for our "peace-mongers" and "Women for Peace" who are calling for "peace"-talks with Prabakaran ? One cannot and should not talk "peace" with murderers who are yet slaughtering people even in Colombo. Our "piece-mongers" should take a cue from NATO.

Citizen -D
Kandy

 

Suspected LTTE Sea-Tiger was sent to launch attack on Colombo port
Daily News : 10 April 1999

Naval Intelligence sources who have begun interrogating a suspected LTTE Sea-Tiger cadre taken into custody by the Intelligence Gathering Unit (IGU) of the Mt Lavinia Police from a Colombo lodge late last month, believe that the suspect
Adaikalam Anthony Amaradas alias Aiyamanni alias Mohana (22) from Point Pedro is one of the terrorist cadres sent to the City to launch an attack on the Colombo Port.

Click here ffor the full news article

 

Sri Lanka assured Thailand won’t allow LTTE activities
Island : 9 April 1999

Thailand this week assured Sri Lanka that it would not allow its territory to be used by the LTTE for any activities inimical to the Island, informed sources said.

The assurance was given at discussions held by the Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar with the
visiting Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand M. R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

This follows reports that the LTTE was using Thailand as a source for the purchase of arms and also
as a transit point for smuggling of arms to Sri Lanka.
 
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Skeletons found in Jaffna stadium points accusatory finger at IPKF
Indian Express : 8 April 1999

The discovery of human skeletons and bones in an abandoned stadium in Jaffna may drag the Indian Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF) into a controversy over their role in Sri Lanka's north-east more than 10 years after they pulled-out from the island.

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Indian Defence Minister denies harbouring LTTE activists
Daily News : 8 April 1999

Indian Defence Minister, George Fernandes has categorically denied harbouring LTTE activists and rebels from Northeast and Myanmar at any stage during his office.

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The Army in Madhu The Island : 7 April 1999 - By Nalin de Silva

The Bishop of Mannar has said that the army should leave after checking the refugees living in the
Madu church premises, after the operation

Ranagosa cleared the area surrounding the church. It was a well known fact that the LTTE was
present in Madu ostensibly unarmed but engaged in various activities.
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Govt has political solution to end war against LTTE at earliest-President
Daily News : 6 April 1999

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said yesterday that the Government has formulated the political solution to end the war against the LTTE at its earliest in order to stem the loss of human lives in battle.

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24 LTTE cadres killed in clashes
Hindu : 5 April 1999

A total of 24 Tigers, including two women militants, and four Sri Lankan soldiers were reportedly killed in encounters between the security forces and the LTTE on Saturday.

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Indian Minister has links with LTTE - MP
The Island : 5 April 1999

An Indian opposition party leader on Saturday accused Defence Minister George Fernandes of secretly supporting Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatist guerrillas.

Subramaniam Swamy, who heads the small centrist People's Party, told reporters that Fernandes had ordered the Indian navy not to intercept ships belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Swamy alleged that Fernandes had also recently met LTTE representatives in Paris and awarded a defence ministry contract to Indian supporters of the rebels.

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263 LTTE cadres surrendered

Sri Lankan army said today that 263 LTTE cadres surrendered to the security forces after liberation of Madhu area in the north after the Rana Gosa operation last week

Click here for details in Hindu : 2 Apr 1999

 

TELO leader arrested for alleged links with LTTE
Hindustan Times : 1 April 1999

General Secretary of the over ground Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) S. Vinothalingam has been arrested for possessing two gold coins with the LTTE logo embossed on them.

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An appraisal of the concept of a traditional Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka
(Continued from Saturday)
Isand : 29 Monday 1999
By Prof. G. H. Peiris

The fact that the eastern littoral itself is not ethnically homogeneous (well known but frequently overlooked) is also illustrated by our maps with a fair degree of clarity. The littoral is as much the traditional homeland of the Muslims as it is of the Sri Lankan Tamils. And, in several areas, the former group constitutes the numerical majority which, as already stated, has no common cause on this issue with the latter.
 
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Lanka third country to ratify Convention for Suppression of Terrorist Bombings
Daily News  29 March 1999

The Government of Sri Lanka deposited with the United Nations on Tuesday, its Instrument of Ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, the Foreign Ministry said.

The document was handed to Dr. Palitha Kohona, Head of the Treaty Section of the United Nations by Ambassador John de Saram, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations. Dr. Rohan Perera, Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and S. N. Senanayake, Senior Legal Assistant, Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present.
 
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Don't let terrorism score off anti harassment
Island : 28 March 1999

The National Movement Against Terrorism has warned that the security of Colombo is being gravely
endangered by persons taking cover under the government's anti-terrorism initiatives to act as LTTE cats
paws. Such persons are responsible for most of the transformer blasts and the most recent suicide bomb
attempt on the life of a Mount Lavinia policeman active in the anti-terrorism effort, the statement said. The
full text appears below:

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Sri Lanka ratifies convention for suppression of terrorist bombings
Sunday Observer : 28 March 1999

Sri Lanka Government deposited with the United Nations on March 23, Tuesday, its Instrument of Ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist bombings, according to a Foreign Affairs Ministry press release issued yesterday.

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Life back to normal in Madhu area
Sunday Observer : 28 March 1999

The Madhu Church area, cleared by the Army from LTTE control rebels, is now being cleared of mines laid by the rebels. Civilians estimated to be over 3,500 are back in their normal day-to-day activities, official sources said.

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Annual festival after 15 years
Army liberation of Madhu region kindles new hopes among Catholics and refugees
Sunday Observer : 28 March 1999

It would surely be a bit of pleasant news to the Catholics all over the country during this period of Lent and Easter festival, that nearly after 15 years, they would once again be able to perform their annual pilgrimage and festival at the historic Madhu church this year in grand scale, thanks to the heroic efforts of the forces to liberate the region from the control of the Tiger terrorists.

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Considerable stock of fuel bound for Sri Lanka seized
Sunday Observer : 28 Msrch 1999

Amidst the increased vigil to prevent smuggling of fuel to Sri Lanka, about 8,000 litres of kerosene, 5,000 litres of diesel, 200 litres of petrol and 143 bottles of dextrose were seized in different cases by the Coastal Security Group (CID) and the local police in the coastal areas of the Tamil Nadu State, according to police officials in Chennai.

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Two bombs explode near Chilaw Telecom premises
The Island : 31 March 1999
 
Anamaduwa-Two explosions had occurred near Telecom premises at Chilaw Monday (29) night. One was the re-commissioned containerised exchange which was lying by the side of the Post Office. The other was a 400 pair cabinet fixed near Ananda College, Chilaw, SLT sources said.
 
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Perumal lies low during Lanka visit
Indian Express : 27 March 1999

COLOMBO, MARCH 26: Tamil leader Varadaraja Perumal has returned to India, the land of his self-imposed
exile, after a foray into Sri Lanka, apparently to test the political waters. Perumal flew back to New Delhi on March 17 and from there travelled to Ajmer, where he and his family have lived in a tightly-guarded house provided by the Indian government for nearly nine years. It is not known if he will return to Sri Lanka.

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Two passenger vessels for Trinco-KKS run
The Island : 27 March 1999

The government will acquire two fast passenger vessels to improve transport services between Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai, a senior government official said on Friday. The Chairman of the cabinet appointed tender board, H. A. Wimalagunawardhana said that a decision will be taken soon after an evaluation of the bids received.
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Lockerbie and the LIONAIR flight
The Island : 26 March 1999

I boarded a train at Heathrow to get to Victoria, after a tiring flight from Colombo. The plane was full
and the service on board short by international standards. I was in no mood for polite conversation.
Wanted to get back home to bed. I ‘plonked’ into my seat and closed my eyes, to get some rest, but it
was not to be. A Sri Lankan voice inquired "so you came from Ceylon?" My first inclination was not to
respond but I did, with a monosyllable yes, without even glancing at the speaker. I deliberately injected
a note of impatience into my "yes", in the hope that the man would leave me alone. His next question
however made me sit up, "You must be a Singalese (sic)". I looked at him and asked him in a
somewhat stern or rude voice, "what is your problem?". He apologized for disturbing me. At which
point, I foolishly, ( realized in retrospect) proclaimed that I was British of Sri Lanka origin——-he
merely responded that he was a Tamil.

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Helicopters fly low as missile threat remains
Troops come closer to LTTE strongholds in the Wanni
The Island : 25 March 1999

Troops were yesterday further consolidating their positions in the 325 sq.km captured in the Madhu
area during operation, ‘Battle Cry’ at the weekend, defence sources said.

Troops conducting a search operation at Palampiddi within the newly captured area on Tuesday
morning had found one T-56 weapon and 11 hand grenades left behind by the fleeing terrorists.

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Post - bomb syndrome
THe Island Editorial : 25 March 1999

The Mt. Lavinia bomb blast on Tuesday evening has rudely disturbed most Sri Lankans and awoken them to the reality of terrorism from the more leisurely pastimes such as Big Matches, electioneering and lamenting about the failure of Sri Lankan cricketers. Yesterday, the nation was afflicted by what could be called the post- bomb syndrome. The peop

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Civilians and clergy welcome return to freedom
Madhu liberated from LTTE control

Daily News : 24 March 1999

I was among a group of journalists who visited the Madhu church yesterday soon after its liberation from years of LTTE dominance, hardship and control.

The relief upon the arrival of the military was written on every face we saw in the area.There are nearly 20,000 people living there including refugees.The total land captured by the Rana Gosa - II troops is approximately 325 square Kilometres.

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Myths and Scholars – Part 1 & 2
By Nalin de Silva

A paper written by Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy to "From Facets of Ethnicity", which is published
by The Social Scientists Association has been reproduced in "The Island" on the 6th and 8th of
March 1999 under the title "Myths without conscience: Tamil and Sinhalese nationalist writings of the
1980’s". This is supposed to be a scholarly paper, as against articles and columns written to
newspapers. Ms. Coomaraswamy herself refers to this particular production of hers as a paper
according to the custom adopted when writing to the "academic journals". Let us analyse at some
length, this very important "scholarly" paper as it is not very often we get the opportunity of referring
to papers published by Ms. Coomaraswamy in "The Island" under her name.

Click here for Part (The Island : 24 March 1999)
Click here for Part  (The Island : 31 March 1999)

 

Dr Olga Mendis OAM
President Sinhala Cultural and Community Services Foundation.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

 

Ceylon Tamil nationalism and the Tamil Nadu connection
By V. K Wickramasinghe
The Island : 24 and 25  March 1999

S. L. David (SLD) in the Island of 25/11/98, says in his own words, " I was amazed to read H. L.
D. Mahindapala’s extraordinary theory that the entire Ceylon Tamil struggle for equity, secularism,
language rights and devolution etc., was in fact a crafty smoke screen thrown up by the upper caste
Velallas to keep the lower castes down and pre occupied with the " bogus " " Sinhala Buddhist
threat ". ("Cultural castration of the Jaffna man." Island 4/11/98 part I and 5/11/98 part II)
Click here for the article on 24 March 1999
Click here for the article on 25 March 1999

 

An appraisal of the concept of a traditional Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka
By G. H. Peiris
The Island : 24 March 1999
Author’s note

This paper, written in 1985, was presented at the ICES seminar on ‘The Economic Dimensions of
Ethnic Conflict of Sri Lanka’ held in August that year. Since then the paper has been referred to and
commented upon in several widely circulated monographs and articles, some of which contain
misrepresentations of both its general theme as well as its specific factual content. Since the seminar
paper has hitherto remained unpublished, the ICES has agreed to carry it in the present issue of its
journal.
 
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LTTE suspect caught by vigilant committee members
The Island : 23 March 1999

KANDY: A second attempt to blast a power transformer at Gohagoda Road, Katugastota by an LTTE suspect
was foiled by a team of Vigilant Committee members patrolling in the area on Sunday night.

The LTTE suspect was caught while making an attempt to plant a bomb to blow up the transformer, according to Katugastota police.

As the suspect fell into the hands of the Vigilant Committee members his companion escaped in the shrub jungle and disappeared, according to police.

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Sri Lankan army advances further north
BBC News : 22 March 1999

The Sri Lankan army has continued its advance north against the Tamil Tiger rebels, through Madhu and on
towards Palanpitti.

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Cornered LTTE sank its ship carrying arms
Hindustan Times : 22 March 1999

The LTTE sank its ship carrying arms and ammuntion last week when it was confronted by Sri Lankan and Indian naval vessels in the Bay of Bengal.

The 500 tonne ltte vessel mv mariamma “was cornered after a nine-day hunt in the eastern Indian Ocean in which dozens of warships and aircraft of the Sri Lankan navy and airforce, the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian navy participated.

Sri Lankan navy gunboats aborted mv mariamma crew’s attempt to land war supplies off Mulltaituvu coast on March 7. The ship fled across the Bay of Bengal to Thailand. With naval gunboats in hot pursuit, ltte gave up the attempt to get away and sank the ship on March 11.
 
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Cornered by warships, LTTE scuttles its own arms ship
Sunday Island : 21 March 1999

The LTTE sank one of its own arms ships last week, losing hundreds of tons of sophisticated weapons and
ammunition, as warships surrounded the vessel in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, according to Foreign Ministry
sources.

The sinking was the climax of a massive nine day hunt in the eastern Indian Ocean which involved dozens of
warships and aircraft from the Sri Lanka Navy, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Coast
Guard, a senior Foreign Ministry source told the Island.

Sri Lanka Navy gunboats initially forced the 500-tonne ship, "MV Mari-Amma," to abort its mission of delivering
war supplies to the LTTE off the Mullaittivu coast, by chasing it out to the open seas on March 7.

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Rights classes for top cops battling LTTE infiltrators in the city
Sunday Island : 21 March 1999

Police Legal Division last week educated senior officials involved in anti-LTTE operations in the city on arrest,
detention, interrogation and other related matters as part of the ongoing efforts to improve discipline, a Police
Headquarters spokesman said on Friday.

The director of the Terrorist Investiga-tions Department [TID] was among the operatives who atten-ded a series
of lectures at their headquarters at Galle Buck, previously used by the Immi-gration and Emigra-tion Department.
Rights classes take place amidst indications the LTTE was seeking to target officers in charge of investigations into
their activities.

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LTTE maximises use of seized artillery
Sunday Island : 21 March 1999

The military has expressed fears of fresh artillery attacks on security forces positions in the Wanni region, senior military officials said.

"We are expecting more LTTE attacks," one officer said adding that last Wednesday's artillery strike on Thallady brigade headquarters could be the beginning.

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Police cook with LTTE time bomb arrested at SSP's office
Sunday Observer : 21 March 1999

The Batticaloa police had arrested two persons, the cook attached to the police officers' mess and a three-wheeler driver in connection with attempting to plant a high explosive time bomb fitted into a motor 81 in the office complex of the Batticaloa Senior Superindent of Police.
 
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India's Ex Navy chief 'levels charges against Fernandes'
Daily News : 20 March 1999

A New Delhi-date lined Reuter report on Thursday said India's former Navy Chief Admiral Visnu Bhagwat levelled charges against Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes accusing him of in appropriate links with North-eastern rebels and Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatists".
 
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LTTE loses vessel and arms worth at least US$ 10 million'
The Island : 19 March 1999

The Navy yesterday said that they foiled an LTTE attempt to smuggle in a ship load of arms, ammunition and explosives following a major naval operation in international waters this month. Over 20 gunboats and Fast Attack Craft were involved in the 12 day operation which forced the LTTE vessel to flee to Indian waters.

The vessel was later found sinking off the Andaman coast. Defence officials said that the LTTE had abandoned the vessel to avoid being captured by Indian Coast Guard.

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LTTE now controls only 8 per cent of country's landmass
Daily News : 18 March 1999

Irrigation and Power Minister and Deputy Defence Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte said on Tuesday that after the present government came into power, the extent of the country's land mass which was controlled by the LTTE was reduced from 25% to 8%.

The Minister who was addressing a press conference at Anuradhapura said that over 200 Tigers have been killed by the forces in small operations conducted during the period December 1998 to February '99, while the military's casualties were between 30 and 40.

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Suicide-bomber kills 3 in Colombo suburb
The Hindu : 17 March 1999

Three persons were killed in an attack by a woman suicide-bomber on the vehicle of a police official in a Colombo suburb today. At least 10 persons were reportedly injured, five seriously.

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After Operation Ranagosa
Entire Vavuniya District liberated
Sunday Observer : 14 March 1999

The Vanni district Parliamentarian Dharmalingam Sitharthan opined that with the launch of 'Operation Ranagosa', recently, the entire Vavuniya district has been liberated from the grip of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Mr. Sitharthan told the Sunday Observer that Vavuniya district with four AGAs divisions, out of which, only three were earlier liberated from the LTTE. But after 'Operation Ranagosa' all four AGA divisions have now been liberated.

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Bomb explosion at bus stop kills one, injures 17
Daily News : 11 March 1999

One person was killed and 17 others injured in Tuesday night's bomb explosion in a bus parked at the Pettah bus-stand, Acting Colombo National Hospital Director Dr Hector Weerasinghe said yesterday.

However, no one was injured in two other explosions which also took place in Colombo on Tuesday night. One of those was the blasting of an empty train compartment while a train was on the move from Maradana to the Maligawatte Railway Yard and the other was the destruction of a fuse box at Gas Works Street Pettah by a suspected time-bomb.
For details, click here

 

Suspected terrorist bomb ends up in smoke
Daily News : 10 March 1999

A bomb exploded in the toilet of an empty second class compartment of the Matara-Colombo train at Maligawatte last night when it was returning to the yard after disembarking all passengers at Maradana.

Two engine drivers received minor injuries and the compartment was slightly damaged, police said.

This is the second time that a suspected LTTE bomb went off in an empty train. A bomb exploded on the
Colombo-Padukka train last week. Police believe that both bombs were intended to mark their presence in the South by the LTTE.

Police said the bomb had been placed in the seventh compartment of the train. Its weight had not been determined yet. The Army Bomb Squad searched the train for any other explosive devices, but none was found.

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As Operation Rana Gosa gets under way
15,000 Northern villagers liberated from LTTE terrorists
Daily News : 9 March 1999

Around 15,000 civilian population living in 25 villages covering nearly 600 square kilo metres have been liberated from the terrorist clutches in three days by Rana Gosa troops in the Wanni area, according to operational commanders in the North.

Operation Rana Gosa which started on Friday will continue. Yesterday troops were consolidating the areas brought under their control, said a spokesman for the Operational Headquarters of the Defence Ministry.

Click here for full details

 

Aussie F.M. slates Tiger fund-raisers
Sunday Observer : 7 March 1999

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has reiterated his country's strong criticism of terrorist actions by the LTTE and has drawn attention to the fund-raising activities in Australia by what he described as 'front organisations for the LTTE'.

The Foreign Minister made these remarks at a speech to a gathering of Sri Lankan Australians in Sydney. According to reports reaching Colombo, Minister Downer reaffirmed his promise made to the Australian Parliament, not to meet representatives of organisations that refuse to condemn terrorist actions, perpetrated by the LTTE.

Mr. Downer said he was opposed to allowing fund-raising by groups in Australia that were 'front' organisations of the LTTE. He acknowledged, however, that proving links between such fund-raising groups and the LTTE was difficult.

Recalling memories of a childhood visit to Sri Lanka, his first trip to a foreign country, the Foreign Minister reminisced how he discovered his father's signature in the visitors' book of the Galle Face Hotel, signed, several decades ago.

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Anti-terrorists criticise ‘secret’ talks with LTTE
Hindustan Times : 7 March 1999

The National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT) has severely criticised the Sri Lankan government for “secretly and unofficially” commencing negotiations with the separatist LTTE, describing the move as a “despicable tranaction”.

In a Press release issued here on Wednesday, NMAT said that it had reliably learnt that certain high officials and leaders of the government of Sri Lanka and “hand picked” officers of the armed forces were involved in the negotiations. It declared that these negotiators, however highly placed, had no mandate from the people to hold any such talks with the LTTE, which it described as a “treacherous” organisation. Further on the secrecy of the talks, the NMAT said that most members of the cabinet were in the dark about what was going on.

Click here for full details



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