JVP resurgence in Yala?
[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
An armed group set fire to fifteen buses and other vehicles in the Kadirgamam peoplised transport board last night.
The group also destroyed a transformer. A security guard who escaped informed the local Police. When they arrived on the scene, the group fired on them. A fire fight ensued, according to the Police at Kadirgamam, for four hours.
The group later withdrew in the direction of the Yala jungles.
The Sri Lankan Police say that the attack on the bus depot was carried out by a group of Liberation Tigers who are based in the Yala jungles. They said that this was evident from the fact that members of the group spoke in Tamil.
The Sri Lankan Police and sections of the local press have attributed several incidents in the Yala sanctuary this year to the Liberation Tigers.
The sanctuary which is one of the island's main tourist attractions lies on the southern edge of the Ampara district. Tourists have stopped visiting Yala after many of its luxury bungalows were torched by unidentified gunmen.
The suspicion has fallen on the Liberation Tigers for they maintain large bases in the vast Kanjikudichcha Aaru jungles north of Yala.
But some sources in Colombo said that the incident might be linked to the resurgence of JVP's underground armed wing.
Kadirgamam was one of the main Hindu pilgrimage centres in the island two decades ago. Successive Sri Lankan governments have systematically transformed it into a flamboyant Buddhist religious enclave.
The small shrine of the Tamil god Murugan, however, still remains the central place of worship in the Kadirgamam complex. The name of the former jungle shrine is now officially called Kataragama in the Sinhala language.