Sri Lanka News and Discussions

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by pyromaniac, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    With India largely refraining from supplying weapon systems and platforms with "offensive capabilities'' to Sri Lanka in its bloody
    fight against the Tamil Tigers, Pakistan and China deftly stepped into the vacuum.

    In fact, Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, during a visit to Islamabad on January 19-20, profusely thanked Pakistan for its "continued support'' to his country's armed forces which had helped in virtually breaking the backbone of LTTE.

    So, when Sri Lanka jumped in to send its cricket team to Pakistan after India refused to do so in the 26/11 blowback, it was seen in some quarters as "a thank-you'' message from Colombo to Islamabad.

    Over the last few years, Sri Lanka has increasingly turned to Pakistan and China for weapon supplies, which has left India wringing its hands in despair at the strategic manoeuvring by Islamabad and Beijing in what it considers its backyard.

    So much so that national security adviser M K Narayanan once even went public with the palpable unease in the Indian defence establishment over the matter, by stating that Sri Lanka should not seek weapons from China or Pakistan since India as the "big power in the region'' would fulfil its needs.

    The remarks expectedly created a furore in Sri Lanka, especially since Narayanan added that India would not provide weapons with offensive capabilities to the island nation due to political sensitivities in Tamil Nadu.

    India, on its part, has supplied "defensive or non-lethal'' weapon systems like automatic 40mm L-70 close range anti-aircraft guns and `Indra' low-flying detection radars to the island nation, apart from training hundreds of Sri Lankan military personnel.

    But this twin-pronged strategy of arms supplies and military training, coupled with intelligence sharing and "coordinated'' naval patrolling, however, has failed to effectively counter Pakistan and China's ever-growing strategic inroads into Sri Lanka.

    Both Pakistan and China have assiduously forged deep military links with Sri Lanka, coming to its aid with emergency military supplies whenever the need arose.

    Even as India dithered, Pakistan has transferred huge amounts of automatic rifles, heavy mortars, multi-barrel rocket launchers, artillery and tank shells to Sri Lanka in recent years.

    Sri Lanka is also getting JY-11 3D air surveillance radars, armoured personnel carriers, T-56 assault rifles, machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, missiles, bombs and the like from China.

    Some sections of the Indian defence establishment have even called for India to bolster arms supplies to Sri Lanka to prevent a repeat of what happened in Myanmar, where too Pakistan and China stepped in with military and other supplies after India initially rebuffed the military junta there.


    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...g-arms-from-Pak-China/articleshow/4220337.cms
     
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  3. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    LTTE and Srilankan Politics

    US blames LTTE for Tamil civilians' sufferings

    Washington: Holding the Tamil Tigers responsible for the "increasing sufferings" of civilians in Sri Lanka's embattled north, the US on Friday asked the outlawed LTTE to stop lobbying shells and shooting guns out of the safe zone declared by the government.

    US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher also called on the LTTE to stop the violence and allow the innocent Tamil civilians to flee the shrinking war zone.

    "Tigers have been shooting shells out of the safe zone. We call upon the government not to shoot back, but first and foremost the Tamil Tigers have to stop shooting.

    Lanka urges civilians to flee war zone

    "That is where we are asking to stop the violence, let the people find safety, and then talk about how to end hostilities," said Boucher, who heads the South and Central Asian Affairs at the State Department.

    Talking to a group of South Asian journalists, Boucher insisted that the US call to stop fighting is to both the LTTE and Sri Lankan Government.

    "The Tamil Tigers by trapping them (civilians), by continuing the conflict, are just increasing the sufferings of the Tamil people. So it is very much time for them to allow safe passage for them to allow these people to leave," Boucher said.

    Lankan troops move further into last LTTE territory

    While the Government says there are only 70,000 people trapped in the war zone, aid agencies contradict the figure and say the number could 200,000.

    http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14866798&?vsv=TopHP7
    :vehicle_plane:
     
  4. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    Indian medical team to arrive on Monday


    COLOMBO: A medical team from India will arrive here on Monday to provide emergency care to civilians displaced by the fighting between security forces and LTTE in the north.

    India is sending the team based on an agreement made during the recent visit of the Foreign Secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, to participate in the SAARC Standing Committee meeting.

    The Indian High Commission here said the team would establish an emergency medical unit, including a hospital at Pulmodai in the eastern district of Trincomalee, to supplement the existing medical facilities in that area.

    “In addition, a consignment of urgently needed medicines and other supplies worth approximately Sri Lankan Rs.70 million will also be brought by the team and handed over to the Health Ministry,” it said.

    Attack
    Separately, the military said troops were hunting LTTE infiltrators who made a desperate attempt to breach the security force defences during the early hours on Friday. The Defence Ministry said the LTTE cadre attempted to breach the defences of the security forces south of Chalai.

    It said the LTTE cadre were led by “top level” commanders Swarnam and Loreance in the “failed attempt” and lost over 35 cadre.
    http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030756001400.htm
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Sri Lankan Tamil Issue

    With the Sri Lankan forces close to finishing off the LTTE, the implications of the civilian problem is being felt in India.
    Tamil political parties are upping the ante over this and trying to play the Tamil pride card in this election season.
    Should India intervene and ask SL to hold back which would mean an indirect support to LTTE, or sit back and make necessary noises.
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Sri Lanka Discussion Thread

    India demands Sri Lanka end war on Tamil Tigers

    CHENNAI, India, April 23 (Reuters) - India asked Sri Lanka on Thursday to stop its military campaign against the Tamil Tigers, while the issue forced a regional party to shut down a key electoral swing state in the middle of India's election.

    India said it would send two special emissaries to Sri Lanka, to convey the government's concern about more trapped civilians in the war zone and demand an end to the war.

    "We are very unhappy at the continued killing in Sri Lanka. All killing must stop. There must be an immediate cessation of all hostilities," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

    Indian politicians face pressure to protect Sri Lankan Tamils, who are closely linked to about 60 million Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu across a narrow strait from Sri Lanka.

    The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which rules Tamil Nadu state and is an ally of India's ruling coalition, called a 12-hour strike in the state, but experts said it was an attempt to garner votes with a show of sympathy for Sri Lankan Tamils.

    DMK has upped the rhetoric against the Sri Lankan military ahead of voting in Tamil Nadu next month. India is now voting to form a government in a staggered month-long general election.

    On Thursday, shops and business remained closed in Tamil Nadu and traffic stayed off the road, a shutdown experts said had more to do with the polls than concern for Tamil refugees.

    "The strike call is a feeble attempt by (DMK chief) Karunanidhi to show the people that he is concerned about the happenings in Sri Lanka," Cho S. Ramaswamy, a political commentator, said in Chennai.

    The Sri Lankan war has caught India's ruling Congress party in a bind. It needs to please ally DMK and win voters, without being seen as going soft on the Tamil Tigers who are blamed for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

    With 39 parliamentary seats, Tamil Nadu is a big prize in the general election, and the DMK swept the state in 2004, a performance the Congress hopes Karunanidhi's party will repeat.

    Sri Lanka's military said troops now control all but 13 sq km (5 sq miles) of the island, where the LTTE and founder-leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran are fighting a last stand in their war to create a separate state for the Tamil minority.

    More than 100,000 refugees have emerged from the war zone this week, overloading the relief efforts. (Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Jeremy Laurence)

    India demands Sri Lanka end war on Tamil Tigers | Reuters
     
  7. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well its election season so Karunanidhi will try to get maximum mileage from the situation, but I think its best to let the SL Army finish off the LTTE properly this time, and render humanitarian assistance to the civilians who are trapped from India's side.

    The LTTE is on its deathbed, and it wouldn't be good strategy to stop now.

    The whole Tamil Eelam demand started because of the racist policies of the Sinhalese government, so hopefully they've learnt a lesson and will give equal rights to the Tamil minority.
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  9. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    I guess it'd be better if we just merged the threads, Singh...

    Please do the honours...
     
  10. GokuInd

    GokuInd Regular Member

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    India, China and the Sri Lankan crisis

    Here is another article regarding Sino-Indian relationship in case of the Sri Lankan conflict:
    India upset with China over Sri Lanka crisis - India - The Times of India

    India upset with China over Sri Lanka crisis

    NEW DELHI: China's declaration of support for the Sri Lankan government against the LTTE, apart from sticking out like a sore thumb in the eyes
    of the world, has further fuelled India's mortal distrust of its largest and most powerful neighbour. While India has a much more nuanced position over the issue owing to its domestic compulsions, an unfettered China is supporting Colombo and, in the process, authenticating India's fear about Beijing extending its influence in the Indian Ocean.

    According to government sources, Beijing's support to Colombo cannot be viewed in isolation because it follows a series of initiatives aimed at influencing the Sri Lankan government. These include selling huge quantities of arms to Colombo last year and boosting aid almost five times to $1 billion. In fact, China is now the largest donor to Lanka. Its Jian-7 fighter jets, anti-aircraft guns and JY-11 3D air surveillance radars played a key role in the Sri Lankan military successes.

    China came to rescue of Colombo after the US stopped direct aid to Sri Lanka because of its dismal human rights record. What's worse, said strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney, Beijing has also roped in its ally Pakistan for providing military assistance to Lanka. Pakistan's own economy is in tatters, but it has increased its annual military assistance to Sri Lanka to $100 million at Beijing's behest. It is also well known that its air force trained its Sri Lankan counterpart in precision-guided attacks.

    "The Chinese are courting Sri Lanka because of its location in the Indian Ocean -- a crucial international passageway for trade and oil. Chinese engineers are currently building a billion-dollar port in the country's southeast, Hambantota, and this is the latest `pearl' in China's strategy to control vital sea-lanes of communication between the Indian and Pacific Oceans by assembling a `string of pearls' in the form of listening posts, special naval arrangements and access to ports,'' said Chellaney.

    The Chinese are building a highway, developing two power plants and putting up a new port in the hometown of President Mahinda Rajapakse. Delhi is also feeling hard done-by by Beijing's support to Colombo over the issue of LTTE because it believes China is driving home an unfair advantage it has over India in the crisis. "Unlike in our case, there is no moral dimension to the crisis for China. We have to think about the humanitarian situation and conditions after the offensive is over. There is no domestic compulsion for China but our involvement is much more intricate,'' said a source.

    China, in fact, continues to aggressively pursue its strategic interests by building ports in the Indian Ocean rim, including in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. According to Chellaney, Beijing has sought naval and commercial links with the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. "However, none of the port-building projects it has bagged in recent years can match the strategic value of Hambantota,'' said Chellaney.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India is prone to commit one straegic blunder after the other. Itscall because of the bloody political classes who are more bothered about their votes than national interest. They will probably wake up the day a Chinese SSBN harbors in the new port they are building.
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Military operations against LTTE over: Lanka

    COLOMBO: Sri Lankan government today said the combat operations in the northern parts of the island have concluded and security forces have been
    instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial fire. ( Watch )

    "The government of Sri Lanka has decided that combat operations have reached their conclusion. Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial fire which could cause civilian casualties.

    "Our security forces will confine their attempts to rescuing civilians who are held hostage and give foremost priority to saving the civilians," a statement from the President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Office said on Monday.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    50,000 civilians trapped in LTTE-held area

    The ongoing war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has displaced lakhs of civilians from the war zone.

    Sri Lankan army claimed that LTTE resistance would collapse within the next 48 hours. Army's 58 and 53 Divisions have linked up trapping LTTE in a six-square km area.

    The army pointed out that only five km of Mullaitivu coastline remains to be liberated from LTTE, which in a last ditch attempt also used two armour plated trucks to smash through advancing forces.

    Meanwhile, the civilians have been forced to leave their homes and take shelter in relief camps as the war in northern Sri Lanka rages on. Even as camps are packed to their capacity, thousands of people are continuously seeking shelter in at various places.

    At an IDP (Internally displaced persons) camp in Vavuniya's Manik Farms in Sri Lanka the biggest concern is congestion, though the government in coordination with the United Nations and other countries is trying to provide food, shelter and medicines to all those displaced.

    Sri Lankan Tamils rescued off Andhra coast
    No truce, no ending war with LTTE: Sri Lanka
    LTTE still holding civilians as human shields: Lanka
    However, access to the camps is still a problem. Humanitarian agencies had also requested to allow freedom of movement of IDPs and vulnerable populations.

    Sri Lankan government has now released 111 elderly IDPs from Manik Farms and Vavuniya camps.

    According to reports an estimated 50,000 civilians are still trapped in the six square km area controlled by the LTTE. The United Nations says nearly 6,500 civilians have already been killed in the recent fighting.

    International mediators have appealed to the government to safeguard the estimated 50,000 civilians trapped by the fighting, but the government has ruled out a halt in the military offensive against LTTE.

    UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes claimed there are 50,000 civilians still trapped in the combat zone in Sri Lanka with the LTTE refusing to let them leave.

    "We believe there are some 50,000 civilians still trapped there. It may be more, it may be less; the government figures are much less but we think 50,000 is a reasonable figure for an estimate of how many are there and is certainly a significant number. And of course these people are in great danger from the continuing fighting; the numbers of civilian casualties hither too has been pretty horrific in the last three months," said Holmes

    CNN-IBN Senior Editor VK Shashikumar, who has been tracking the situation in Sri Lanka, reported that Sri Lankan forces have sealed all the escape routes of the LTTE.

    "Nearly 3000 LTTE cadres have been caught by the Lankan army as they tried to flee into the safe zone along with the civilians. The question is will Prabhakaran (LTTE chief V Prabhakaran) be able to hold out in the small pocket into which they are bottled into by the Lankan forces. On Thursday one of the top LTTE leaders who surrendered to the Lankan forces said that Prabhakaran has three options. The first is to commit suicide by consuming cyanide, secondly he may surrender and lay down arms and thirdly he might use civilians trapped in the six square km stretch as human shield and escape by the sea route."

    But Sri Lankan army and navy are determined that LTTE leaders must stand trial and therefore all attempts are being made to apprehend them.

    Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has also denied reports that a proposed loan from the International Monetary Fund is being delayed by the US apparently to pressurise Colombo to do more to help civilians trapped in the war zone.
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Eyewitness Account: Sri Lanka's hidden war zone

    Eyewitness Account: Sri Lanka's hidden war zone | See photos
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Refugees who managed to escape the fighting in SL and reach India are saying that the LTTE is firing on the civilians fleeing the fighting.
    Shows that the LTTE has the least of regards for the Tamil life it is championing.
     
  16. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    War is hell. What more can one say?
     
  17. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    India cannot send Army to Sri Lanka: PM

    India cannot send Army to Sri Lanka: PM

    PTI | May 09, 2009 | 17:32 IST

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday rubbished the talk of sending the Army to Sri Lanka and favoured a political solution to the problem of Tamils within a united and federal set-up, brushing aside the views of parties in Tamil Nadu, including ally DMK, pitching for a separate Eelam.

    "What is possible and what is not possible, I think it is a matter of speculation. But quite frankly we are dealing with a sovereign state Sri Lanka� a sovereign country. It is not so easy to march armies to a sovereign state," he told a press conference in Chennai.

    He was replying to a question on AIADMK chief's Jayalalithaa's remarks that if a government of her choice comes to power after the elections, it would send army to Sri Lanka for creation of a separate Tamil Eelam state.

    With AIADMK and its allies PMK and MDMK raising the stakes on the Eelam issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi also joined the bandwagon for a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    "There is such thing as international law and all those constraints I think are known to all those who are making tall promises," he said in an apparent reference to Jayalalithaa's recent election speeches.

    The prime minister appeared to suggest that any action by India should not also make Sri Lanka go for other options.

    Singh told the southern neighbour that there could be no military solution but only a negotiated political settlement which is fair to Tamils.

    "We are living in very uncertain times. Whatever we do vis-a-vis our neighbours, we have to recognise that they are sovereign countries.

    "In dealing with sovereign countries who have options other than dealing with India, sometimes we can hurt the wider national interests by taking a narrow shortsighted view," the Prime Minister said when asked why India can't snap ties with Sri Lanka.

    Singh took strong objection to a question that he was maintaining silence on the Sri Lanka Tamils issue and said it was not true.

    "That's not true. I am deeply concerned over plight of the civilians in Sri Lanka. I have used every opportunity to take up the issue with the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka," he said.

    "This is not an issue which is of concern only for the people of Tamil Nadu, but for the people of India," the Prime Minister said.

    Asked about different opinions by political parties on LTTE, he said: "As as far as the Government of India is concerned, LTTE has been regarded as a terrorist organisation so far."

    On India's stand about Prabhakaran and whether New Delhi will help Sri Lankan Government in nabbing the LTTE chief, the Prime Minister said: "Prabhakaran is a proclaimed offender and he is wanted in India. Now the issue is not this.

    "The issue is the future of Tamils in Sri Lanka... On how the Sri Lankan Government settle the issues through political means so that Tamils in the country can live with dignity and self-respect.

    "The immediate concern is that the people trapped should be brought to the safe zone and the Sri Lankan government should resolve it through a political settlement," Manmohan Singh said.


    URL for this article:
    India cannot send Army to Sri Lanka: PM


    -----------------------

    I'm glad he made that statement.
     
  18. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sri Lanka shelling 'kills'2,000 civilians'

    Sri Lanka shelling 'kills' 2,000 civilians

    By: AFP
    Published: 10/05/2009 at 09:56 PM

    [​IMG]
    Photo provided by a pro-LTTE organisation on May 5 shows
    Tamil civilians walking past a truck that was destroyed
    by Sri Lanka shelling the rebel-held territory in Mullaittivu.
    The Tamil Tiger rebels have accused the Sri Lankan government
    of killing more than 2,000 civilians in 24 hours of artillery attacks,
    but the military denied the allegations.



    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday accused the government of killing more than 2,000 civilians in 24 hours of artillery attacks, but the military vehemently denied the allegations.

    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said in a statement posted on the pro-rebel Tamilnet website that the army had unleashed a devastating offensive on the small coastal patch of land that the rebels still control.

    "More than 2,000 innocent civilians have been killed in the last 24 hours," Tamilnet quoted S. Pathmanathan, the rebels' chief arms smuggler, as saying.

    The website said rescue workers had counted more than 1,200 bodies. Many of the dead were "found in bunkers and inside the tarpaulin tents," it said.

    A government doctor who works in the area still under rebel control told the BBC that 378 bodies and 1,122 wounded had been brought to a makeshift hospital on Sunday.

    The military dismissed the rebel claims as propaganda, saying the guerrillas themselves had carried out the attack using mortars "to tarnish the image of the security forces in the eyes of the public nationally and internationally."

    Sunday's conflicting claims were characteristic of the war, in which independent reporting is impossible as journalists and aid workers are banned from travelling freely in the area.

    A British television news team was expelled from Sri Lanka on Sunday after it broadcast allegations of poor treatment of the 200,000 Tamils who are being held in state-run camps after fleeing the fighting.

    The report, shown on Channel 4, contained allegations of sexual abuse and claims of dead bodies being left where they fell, as well as water and food shortfalls -- all of which Colombo has denied.

    Sri Lanka's leaders believe the military is on the verge of defeating the Tamil rebels, who are holed up on the northeastern coast of the island, after 37 years of conflict.

    At the height of their power in 2006, the Tigers -- who want an independent Tamil homeland in the Sinhalese-majority island -- controlled roughly a third of the island.

    The Sri Lankan government has refused all international calls for a ceasefire despite reports from the United Nations last month saying up to 6,500 civilians may have been killed and 14,000 wounded in fighting since January.

    It has also turned down requests by the UN to send humanitarian officials into the rebel territory, where the UN estimates about 50,000 civilians are trapped.

    The government says the number of civilians being held by the Tigers as "human shields" is less than 20,000.

    Defence officials reported on Sunday that troops had advanced further into Tiger territory despite fierce rebel resistance.

    The Sri Lankan army also said it had uncovered a bizarre contraption that could have been intended as an underwater bunker for the elusive leader of the rebels.

    The 360-foot (110-metre) long railway carriage-like construction may have been designed to be wheeled under the sea as a hiding place for Velupillai Prabhakaran, the army said.

    Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament last week that Prabhakaran, 54, was still leading his men.

    Prabhakaran has not been seen for more than 18 months, and speculation has been rife that he may have been killed or already fled the island.


    Bangkok Post : Sri Lanka shelling kills over 2,000 civilians: rebels
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers admit defeat

    There was talk of the LTTE leadership committing mass suicide. So what next for the Sri Lanka and the Tamil issue?
     
  20. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    They are up to something. No remorse in killing them otherwise they will re group and attack again.
     
  21. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    The srilankan govt should start treating lankan tamils on par with sinhalese. This was the root cause of Lankan -LTTE war.There is a danger of LTTE regrouping in Tamilnadu and cause trouble for india.
     

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