Focus on the East

Thursday, 22 May 2008
Intelligence units have claimed some NGOs have provided rations and other assistance to LTTE units presently operating inside Yala Sanctuary. They have given this assistance in the guise of helping Hindu pilgrims making their annual pilgrimage by foot from the East to Kataragama. The rations and other equipment are believed to have been given between Okanda and Panama in Ampara.

Meanwhile ethnic violence rose its ugly head again in the East with the assassination of the TMVP Political Head for Kathankudy Shanthan and his aide Raman Parasuraman while riding a motorbike near Kathankudy Bus stand at noon today by alleged ‘Jihadi’ Gunmen notorious for their activities in the Muslim enclave of Kathankudy, 3kms from Batticaloa Town.

TMVP gunmen killed 3 Muslims in retaliation at around 12.20pm injuring 11 civilians including one Sinhalese near Arayampathi Tamil village. The Karuna group is notorious for its anti-Muslim stance despite having a Muslim spokesman. Defence sector sources warned growing ethnic disharmony could facilitate furhter LTTE infiltrations.

The TMVP resettled a large number of Tamils from former LTTE controlled areas at Karbala, a village originally belonging to Muslims from Kathankudy. Shanthan played an important role in that and also in the recent election campaign for the TMVP from his office at Kathankudy.

Meanwhile M.L.A.M. Hizbullah was sworn in today as the Minister of Health for the Eastern Province. Government Muslim leaders and others in the East had convinced Hizbullah to accept the post after he initially elected to leave the UPFA with two loyalists.

Sri Lanka also lost its seat in the Human Rights Council but managed to gain 101 votes, more than half the seats of the council, which is 97 seats. Sri Lanka won 123 seats last year. Pakistan, despite being under a military rule, won what could have been Sri Lanka’s seat in the council.


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