The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Saturday, 23 February 2008

LTTE got new method of child recruitment

LTTE is continuing to "forcibly train" children with use of arms in its stronghold in northern Sri Lanka and then returning them to their normal environment, the government has alleged.

"This (LTTE) terrorist group continues recruitment and use of children as combatants and its commitment (to stop such recruitment) was never implemented," the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN, Prasad Kariyawasam, told the working group of the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict.

Kariyawasam said the Tamil Tigers achieve their objective "by forcibly submitting the children to weapons training and thereafter returning them to their normal environment, so that they could be used for combat purposes as and when the need arises".

Evidence has now transpired that the LTTE does not permit children to pursue and successfully complete secondary education until and unless they undergo this weapons training, Kariyawasam said at the UN headquarters on Friday.

Local and international agencies compiling statistics on child recruitment do not seem to have taken cognisance of this new strategy adopted by the LTTE, the top Sri Lankan Diplomat added.

Kariyawasam also said the situation with regard to child abductions in Eastern Province has improved in a "tangible manner" after eviction of the rebels from the Eastern Province last year.

"There were no complaints recorded by law enforcement authorities in 2008 relating to abduction or recruitment of children by any armed group in the Eastern Province," he told the UN body.


Fisherman held for smuggling diesel to Sri Lanka

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Feb 23: Police today seized 40 litres of diesel meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka off Munthalmunai coast near Pamban and arrested a fisherman in connection with this.

Police said the fisherman S Maria Meller (30) was caught with cans, containing 40 litres of diesel, based on a tip-off.

On interrogation, it was revealed that the diesel was meant for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

He confessed that he had smuggled diesel several times to Sri Lanka in fiberglass boats provided by the LTTE.


Bus Bomb Blast in Mount Lavinia(more video)


Bus Bomb Blast in Mount Lavinia(videos)




Sri Lankan Air Force pound rebel base

The military in Sri Lanka said the Air Force took an air strike against a base of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north on Saturday morning.

Officials from the Defense Ministry said Air Force fighter jets raided a key LTTE military base 11 km north east of Oddusudan in the Mullaithivu district at about 6:35 a.m. local time (0105 GMT).

Pilots have confirmed that the LTTE military base has been accurately hit and the base is completely destroyed, officials said.

Intensive military conflicts are underway in the north, with the government determining to defeat the LTTE before the end of this year.

The military said more than 700 people have been killed in the escalating conflict since the beginning of this year.

The LTTE has been fighting for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east for more than two decades, resulting in the death of more than 70,000 people.

Source: Xinhua

Bomb Explodes on Bus in Sri Lanka, 18 Wounded

The series of violent event continue to be the highlight of Sri Lanka. The latest was another bomb explosion blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels, who allegedly put the bomb in a bus which exploded and wounded 18 civilians.

The blast took place in the suburb of Mount Lavinia in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, the BBC reported Saturday.

The media reports said the bomb went off after an old woman who was on that bus spotted a suspicious package. The passengers began evacuating the bus and that is when the explosion occurred, the BBC said.

A witness who spoke to Reuters said he saw the wreckage of the bus and its rear was completely blown apart. However, if it wasn’t for the old woman, many people on that bus would have died in the explosion.

Since the Sri Lankan government pulled out the ceasefire agreement last month, numerous accidents very similar to this one took place in the troubled island located south of India.

The Tamil Tigers did not made any comment about the explosion, but the usually deny the involvement in attacks increasingly focused on civilians. The attack came just a day after the Tiger accused the troops that fight for the Sri Lankan government of killing eight civilians, including three young children, in an air raid on their northern stronghold.

The conflict between the Sri Lanka's pro-government forces and the LTTE has started 24 years ago and over this period there were more than 70,000 people killed in the clashes. Two attempts of reaching peace were made, but after the last of them made during the peace-talks held in Geneva a year ago, the fighting has intensified.

The LTTE has an estimated 12,000-member land force and a 4,000-strong naval unit.


33 LTTE fighters among 35 killed in Lanka: Army

At least 33 cadres of the separatist LTTE and two soldiers were killed in fierce clashes in the embattled northern Sri Lanka as fighter jets targeted a rebel stronghold in the island nation, the army said on Saturday.

"Sri Lankan Air Force Jet aircraft this morning targeted a militant camp at north-east of Oddusuddan area in northern Sri Lanka," the Defence Ministry said, adding pilots confirmed the target was engaged successfully.

In ground clashes, at least five militants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were killed in Janakapura area in north-eastern Welioya on Friday, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

Separately at Adankulam in Welioya, troops killed four militants in a clash on Friday, it said, adding one soldier also lost his life in the confrontation.

In another clash in the same area later in the day on Friday, troops killed four more militants, the army said in a statement.

Meanwhile, one Tamil Tiger rebel was gunned down in a clash at Muhamale in Jaffna peninsula on Saturday, the defence ministry said.

Troops killed one LTTE fighter in Mullikulam in Mannar on Friday, the army said, adding it lost one security forces personnel.

In intense clashes in Kallikulam in Northern Vavuniya, troops said they killed seven militants and injured three on Friday, according to the defence ministry.

Source: Times of India

LTTE claim refuted

B. Muralidhar Reddy

The LTTE alleged on Friday that eight civilians, including three pre-school children, were killed and 10 were injured, four of them critically, when Sri Lanka bombed a coastal civilian settlement in the Kiranchi area in Poonahari in the Kilinochchi district.

However, the Air Force said it bombed “carefully identified” LTTE targets.

The Defence Ministry said here the jets had bombed two artillery positions of the LTTE terrorists located in the North of Mannar and Mulllaittivu areas.

It said the first air sortie was conducted around 12 noon in the Mannar area while the second at 1p.m in the Mulllaittivu area. “Fighter pilots have confirmed that the targets were accurately hit.”

The Ministry said the terrorists had been firing heavy artillery towards Mannar and Welioya Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) using guns located at the targeted locations. Recently, the LTTE terrorists fired at St. Anthony’s church, Thalladi, destroying the building and killing six soldiers engaged in cleaning and maintenance work, it said.

The Ministry said the jets had also bombed an “inland Sea Tiger base” at Kiranchchi, west of Kilinochchi.