World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Blasts Blamed On Tamil Rebels Kill 19 In S. Lanka

By Anjana Pasricha
New Delhi

Two Blasts Blamed on Tamil Rebels Kill 19 in Sri Lanka's Capital

Two separate bomb attacks in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels have killed at least 19 people, including a female suicide bomber. The attacks came a day after the head of the country's Tamil rebels ruled out hopes for a political settlement to the ethnic conflict that has raged for a quarter of a century.

Police say a handicapped woman blew herself up Wednesday morning after security personnel stopped her from entering the offices of Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda in Colombo. One of his staff members was killed and two others were injured. The woman, who was apparently wearing a bomb vest, also died.

The woman had been allowed into the complex with other people who had come for a weekly open meeting to discuss their problems with the minister - the apparent target of the attack.

Devananda heads a party representing Sri Lanka's Tamil ethnic minority (the Eelam People's Democratic Party). He once fought alongside the Tamil Tiger rebel group, but renounced violence and joined the political mainstream in 1987.

Police have blamed Wednesday's attack on the rebels, officially known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE. The attack came just a day after the LTTE chief, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, said in an annual radio address that peace efforts with the Sinhalese-dominated government are a waste of time.

He described the government as "genocidal", and accused it of aiming to destroy the Tamil community.

Political analyst Rohan Edresinghe of Colombo's independent Center for Policy Alternatives says the message from the rebel chief is clear: there is no hope of a political settlement between the government and the rebels.

"The LTTE will now try to show the Sri Lankan government and show the world that they have military strength, they have military prowess, and that they cannot be defeated militarily," he said.

Prabhakaran blamed the international community for fueling the conflict by giving the government economic and military aid.

The conflict has intensified since a 2002 peace agreement began to unravel three years ago. Earlier this year, the government scored a major military success against the rebels by driving them out of their eastern bases.

Observers say the Tigers are also under pressure in their northern bases. They say the government is intent on pressing its military advantage instead of pursuing peace talks.

The Tamil Tigers launched their struggle for a Tamil homeland in 1983. The conflict has since claimed more than 60,000 lives.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC