New Killings Threaten Ceasefire- HRW

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 July 2004, 03:01 GMT]
Human Rights Watch, a U.S. based independent nongovernmental organization said in a media release Wednesday, "A spate of killings between factions of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) threatens Sri Lanka’s ceasefire...More than a dozen people have been murdered over the last month in apparently politically motivated killings attributed either to the LTTE or a faction led by the LTTE’s former eastern commander, Colonel Karuna, who broke away from the LTTE in March 2004."

HRW's release further referred to the recent killlings in Colombo of renegade leader Karuna's associates saying that, "Even before the police were notified of the killings, the LTTE announced that these victims had been killed by “dissidents” within Karuna’s own faction, and stated further that the killers had sought and received refuge with the LTTE."

Sri Lanka Government's press release soon after the Colombo incident did not go as far as to accuse the "LTTE of announcing the killings," but said the Government will investigate how some web sites broke the story before the Sri Lanka police knew of the incident.

Liberation Tigers, refering to the incident, said in their peace secretariat website that "dissidents within the renegade Karuna group killed seven associates of Mr. Vinyagamoorthy Muraleetharan (“Karuna”) because of differences within the group." LTTE also said that Karuna associates "were accommodated at a military intelligence safe house in Kottawa, in the outskirts of Colombo."

“These targeted killings sadly show that the ceasefire has not meant an end to the violence that has plagued Sri Lanka,” said James Ross, senior legal advisor for Human Rights Watch. “The LTTE and pro-Karuna forces should immediately halt these killings," the HRW website said.

However, the LTTE has repeatedly accused the Sri Lanka Government of its complicity in the killings in the east. Although the SL Government has denied any involvement, there have been several reports of Sri Lanka Army intelligence operatives' collusion in the east killings, and of high level Sri Lanka Government officials providing support and security to renegade leader Karuna.


Related Articles:
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25.07.04   Karuna meets with Sri Lankan ministers, US officials- paper
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20.07.04   Tamil MPs slam SLA, paramilitaries for threats to media
14.07.04   Colombo promoting Karuna to destroy LTTE – US think tank
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05.07.04   LTTE warns Security Forces to stop East killings
05.07.04   Armed Tamil youth arrested in Buddhist temple
04.07.04   ‘Jailed Karuna associate in SLA psy-ops’ - LTTE
28.06.04   ‘SLA intelligence behind Batticaloa murders, confusion’ - LT..


External Links:
HRW: Sri Lanka: New Killings Threaten Ceasefire

 

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