Sri Lankan attack disrupts peace envoy
Monday, January 23, 2006
The patrol was ambushed with a fragmentation mine - the most recent in a series of attacks which have killed over 70 military personnel since December.
The attack came after Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim arrived in Sri Lanka for truce talks. As he arrived, three soldiers were killed in a landmine explosion in the east, which the army blamed on the Tamil Tigers. Rohan Abeywardene, deputy inspector general of police said the Tamil Tigers were responsible for the attack.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have threatened to resume their armed struggle this year unless President Mahinda Rajapakse grants independence - which he has refused to do. The Tamil Tigers want a separate state in the north and east of Sri Lanka.
The rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese-dominated state of discrimination.
The rebels say they are ready to use suicide bombers, as in the past, if war resumes. The Sri Lankan army is preparing for the worst with analysts say both sides are already engaged in an undeclared war. The Tigers, accuse the military and government-backed paramilitaries of a litany of abuses, including rape and executions of Tamil civilians and rebels.
About 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the cease-fire. Peace talks broke down in April 2003, when the Tigers withdrew, demanding autonomy in the Tamil-majority northeast region.
Over 100 people have been killed in the escalating violence since December.
- Simon Gardner. "New Sri Lanka attack ahead of last-ditch peace bid" — , January 23, 2006
- "Sri Lanka blast mars envoy visit" — , January 23, 2006
- "Peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka" — , January 23, 2006
- "Violence in Northeast" — , January 22, 2006