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Tamil Tigers rampage in Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers rampage in Sri Lanka
by Amin George Forji
2006-10-23 09:57:14
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The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), simply referred to as the Tamil Tigers, are once more in the headlines for the same "traditional" reasons. It's reported that the group on Wednesday successfully attacked a seaport and a government-controlled naval base in the Southern commercial city of Galle.

The military in the capital of Colombo announced in a statement that the attack was carried out by three Tamil boats, with the rebels disguised as fishermen. The military is said to have retaliated, but four explosions ensued when the fighters blew up their boats, causing enormous damage. Two sailors died on the spot and 11 others were seriously wounded, as well as 26 civilians with lighter injuries.

The force has been rampaging for over a week and a recent suicide attack on a naval convoy in a Northern central district killed up to 100 people, 95 of them sailors, and injured 160 others.

A government spokesman on state radio condemned the attack at Galle and said it could not have come at a worse time and in the wrong city because the city is still undergoing reconstruction; being one of the cities that was seriously hit by the tsunami. Both the government and the rebels had agreed to refrain from fighting in tsunami-affected areas, but that pact has been violated on couple of occasions.

Both the government and the Tamil Tigers are due to have peace talks in Geneva on October 28th and 29th. It is suspected that the Tigers' attack came as a strategy to press for more demands during the forthcoming meeting.

Sri Lanka itself has had little peace since the early 1970s when the LTTE was first established with a fighting force of over 10,000 men and women. It purports to be fighting for a separate independent state of Tamil (comprising of all the regions in the East and North of the country), their military campaigns have successively tended to determine how the government in Sri Lanka runs its affairs. Its fighters are very dedicated to their cause, with many unafraid to transform themselves into human bombs, as need be.

The movement itself is a mixed blessing, and a subject of controversy. The West and the government of Sri Lanka consider them a terrorist movement, with many of its leaders implicated with crimes against humanity, such as numerous suicide bombings, adoption of child soldiers and the exploitation of girls as sex slaves. To the adherents of the LTTE, they are freedom fighters, but this only goes to tie on with the amorphorism that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

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