Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sri Lanka's Gen. Assassinated in suicide attack

This story has been written by Ranga Sirilal for al-Reuters.

The Tamil Tigers are suspected of assassinating this General on his way to an Army base on Monday.
Major-General Parami Kulatunga, the army's deputy chief of staff, was travelling to a military base when a motorcyclist approached his convoy and rammed into his vehicle around 12 miles (20 km) from Colombo.

"The general is dead. Two others (soldiers) are also dead," Chief Inspector of Police Chaminda Banunurachchi told Reuters at the scene. A civilian was also killed. "I think it was a suicide attack by motorcyclists against the general."

The attack comes on the heels of a rash of ambushes and military clashes that have killed around 700 people -- half of them civilians -- so far this year. Many fear the violence could reignite a two-decade civil war with the rebels.
As I had written earlier, there was a supposed peace deal. I do not know which side is provoking the other, so I cannot make any assumptions.
Kulatunga's car was left lying perpendicular across the narrow street, burnt-out and still smouldering. A Reuters witness saw the severed head of the suspected suicide bomber lying in the gutter around 50 metres down the street.
"They came in a motorcycle and rammed the vehicle. Who else could it be?" said a military spokesman. "It was a suicide attack."

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had no immediate comment on the latest incident, but they routinely deny involvement in attacks.
That would seem reasonable, if they did not do anything. Again, I do not know. I will not assume they did this, however.

S.P. Thamilselvan is the leader of the LTTE. He has stated that he would use suicide bombers IF war resumes by the government.

The director of a think tank, National Peace Council Jehan Perera, stated his belief that the Jamil Tigers were trying to put pressure on the government by going after them close to their home, instead of waiting for the government to their homes. This has yet to be proven, but it is one possible scenerio.
Monday's attack also comes just days after President Mahinda Rajapakse again sought through informal channels to start direct talks with the LTTE in a bid to halt escalating violence.

The Tigers turned him down.

"He has tried to create direct links with the LTTE for months and again last week," S. Puleedevan, head of the Tigers peace secretariat, told Reuters. "He is trying to sideline (mediator) Norway in the peace process. The LTTE will not accept that."

"We have no trust at all in the Sri Lankan government and will continue with the Norwegian channel."

(Additional reporting by Peter Apps and Simon Gardner in COLOMBO)
(Writing by Simon Gardner, editing by Rahul Sharma; Colombo Newsroom, +94-777-686-030, simon.gardner@reuters.com)
While this is a tense situation, the government would be well advised not to take retalliatory bombing action over the north and east of this country. This is where the minority lives, and they are asking for a homeland. They do not believe the government has their best interest at heart, and they just want to rule themselves. After all, everyone wants the Arabs to force Israel to give up her security to terrorists, so why not?

For more information: Category: Sri Lanka.