The Lanka Academic

MARCH 6, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 4, NO. 335

Headline Summary
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Tamil Ondrinaipu Mandram Says, "Battalions in Batticaloa Will Function under Karuna
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.00 A.M Sunday 7 March. An organization under the name of 'Amaparai District Thamil Ondrinaipu Mandram', closely associated with Batticaloa's rebele LTTE leader , Karuna released a statement yesterday explaining their position on the rift between the LTTE leadership. The group says hereafter the Amparai-Mattakalapu (Batticaloa) platoons will function under Karuna Amman and the cadres in Mattakalapu is also ready to function under the leadership of National leader Prabhakaran who will always be their leader. The group says that they are answerable to their people in Batticaloa and they would receive a favourable response from Prabhakaran

The statement says "On behalf of the LTTE leaders it is for the attention of the Thamil-speaking people, it is our intention to make clear the people's fear as what is happening among the leaders of LTTE. In the history of our war it cannot be denied that the cadres from Mattakalapu and Amparai District had contributed a lot to the successes of the war. In the North and East war front, Mattakalapu and Amparai District children had achieved many successes and up to now 4550 heroes had lost their lives. Out of this, 2428 heroes had sacrificed their lives to safeguard the Yarlpaanam soil. Our children have done all these in order to achieve our self-determination, territorial integrity and our sovereignty. Even now, our best cadres are being taken to Yarlapanam step-by-step. When recruitment was made in Mattakalapu, we gave promises to the youths and their parents that they would not be sent to Yarlapanam in any case. But now an order was given by the North to send 1000 cadres to North. This cannot be accepted. Hereafter the Amparai-Mattakalapu platoons will function under Karuna Amman and the cadres in Mattakalapu also ready to function under the leadership of our National leader. Mr. Pirapakaran is always our national leader. There is no question about that. But we must answerable to our people in Mattakalapu.
Published: Sat Mar 6 21:05:15 EST 2004

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Karuna/Prabha Rift- TULF leader says peace process could be affected
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.30 P.M Saturday 6 March. TULF leader V. Anandasangaree says that the rift between Prabhakaran and Karuna and the latest development within the LTTE is unfortunate as it would disturb the peace process and dash the hopes of the people. Anandasangaree who is camapigning in Jaffna said that the people had been hopeful that a solution would be possible and the latest in-fighting within the LTTE had created fresh doubts. TULF leader who is contesting as an independent candidate in the North also said that his supporters were encountering problems daily and are being ridiculed and assaulted. He added that he had confined his campaign mainly to advertisements in the local dailies, rather than canavassing openly in the peninsula. The TULF leader has been provided security by the government.
Published: Sat Mar 6 11:31:14 EST 2004 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Peace Talks, CFA will not be affected - Thamilchelvan  - Tamilnet

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Tamil rebel crisis deepens: leaders dismiss breakaway commander, but he refuses to relinquish control
Associated Press, Sat March 6, 2004 10:18 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A split in Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels widened Saturday when guerrilla leaders dismissed a powerful commander who had earlier broken away from the main insurgent army but he refused to relinquish control of his 6,000 troops.

The Tigers' eastern commander, Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, also known as Karuna, pulled his fighters away from the 15,000-strong army in an unprecedented dispute with the northern-based top leader over his demands that the eastern region send recruits to the north.

The schism is the biggest blow to the rebel group since it began its insurrection in 1983, and the guerrillas usually kill anyone who dissents or challenges their leadership. It is also a major threat to an already highly fragile cease-fire between the rebels and government forces.

``It's a very tricky situation that can seriously affect the cease-fire and the peace process,'' Hagrup Haukland, deputy chief of a European team of truce monitors, told The Associated Press.

One of Muralitharan's senior officers quoted the commander as saying Saturday that he did not think the split would lead to fighting between the two factions, but if the northern group attacks the east, then ``we are fully able to counter any challenges.''

A senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said government forces in the north and east had been put on alert.

He said Muralitharan's men had also stepped up their guard and were checking for Tiger infiltration from the north.

A few hours earlier at a press conference in Kilinochchi, a northern rebel town, the Tigers' political chief S.P. Thamilselvan warned that ``the action of a single individual running contrary to the aspirations of the Tamil people cannot be tolerated whatever the consequences may be.''

``Karuna has been discharged from the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam organization and has been relieved of all responsibility,'' Thamilselvan said, calling the act of dissension ``traitorous.''

He said Muralitharan would be replaced by his deputy, Ramesh, who like many Tamil insurgents uses only one name. Ramesh as well as other officers have fled from the east to the north.

``It was a decision ... which has not been accepted by his deputies, cadres and the people as a whole,'' Ramesh told reporters at the news conference.

But Muralitharan refused to step aside.

``I will not give up my command,'' one of Muralitharan's top officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, quoted his boss as saying. ``It's very ridiculous to make a statement that I am expelled, when it was we who first decided to break away and have our own administration.''

The split in rebel ranks a month before April 2 parliamentary elections mirrors a split within the government. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's power struggle with her political rival Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has threatened to derail efforts to end the 20-year civil war.

The rebel schism was expected to make things worse.

In an exclusive interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Muralitharan said his grievances with top rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran were about sending more cadres from the east to the north and allegations of favoritism. He also complained of unauthorized assassinations and attacks in his area.

Ramesh rejected the allegations.

It was not immediately known what measures the northern leadership will take to institute Ramesh in Muralitharan's placea move that could lead to deadly fighting between the two factions.

Muralitharan's official said hundreds of parents from the east would go to the north to ask for their children back, where at least 600 had been stationed on the front lines.

Muralitharan said his group will respect the existing truce until it can sign a new one and blamed northern leaders for a spate of recent political killings in his area.

Prabhakaran signed a February 2002 cease-fire with Wickremesinghe, halting the war that killed nearly 65,000 people.

``A single individual's lapse and the disciplinary action in removing him from the organization, will definitely not affect the peace process in anyway,'' Thamilselvan said.

Trained in India, Muralitharan has led some of the Tigers' toughest battles most significant was an 18-month battle in 1997-1998 where the Tigers defended a key highway that cost more than 3,500 lives and was dubbed the ``highway of death.''
Published: Sat Mar 6 18:48:00 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Tamil rebel crisis deepens: leaders dismiss breakaway commander, but he refuses to relinquish control  - Associated Press

Karuna Sacked From LTTE, Relieved of His Responsibilities
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 12.50 P.M Saturday 6 March. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have sacked their rebel Eastern Commander, Karuna from the organization and relieved him of his responsibilities... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels say they've discharged breakaway commander
Associated Press, Sat March 6, 2004 01:50 EST . - - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels announced Saturday that they've discharged a prominent rebel commander who has broken away from the main guerrilla army... Back to the top

LEAD: Sri Lanka rebels sack dissident commander+
Associated Press, Sat March 6, 2004 09:59 EST . - - Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday branded a senior commander standing up to its northern hierarchy a ''traitor'' and expelled him... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebel leader says he will not relinquish command despite being dismissed
Associated Press, Sat March 6, 2004 04:36 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A powerful Tamil Tiger commander who split from the main rebel army refused Saturday to relinquish his command, one of his senior officers said, hours after guerrilla leaders announced that he had been dismissed and replaced by his deputy... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels expel renegade leader
Reuters, March 6. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have expelled a renegade leader in an internal crisis that could unravel the island's two-year-old peace process... Back to the top

Prisoners Escape from ' Eelam' Police Station
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.25 A.M Saturday 6 March. Number of prisoners who were remanded at the Tamil 'Eelam' police stations in Batticaloa had already escaped... Back to the top

Balance of forces tilt against rebels in LTTE
HT, Colombo, March 5. The split in the LTTE is for real, despite public statements to the contrary from the eastern rebel leader Col Karuna and the head of the LTTE's political wing, SP Tamilselvan... Back to the top

Factional war fears rise as Sri Lanka rejects deal with renegades, 05 March 2004 2344 hrs . Sri Lanka's fragile peace process faltered with fears the country could slide back into civil war after the government rejected a breakaway Tamil Tiger commander's request for a defence pact and separate truce... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Defense Ministry rejects separate truce with breakaway rebel group
Associated Press, Thu March 4, 2004 22:55 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government on Friday rejected a call for a separate truce with a faction of the Tamil Tiger rebels that broke away from the main group this week, a top Defense Ministery official said... Back to the top

LTTE Eastern leader talks tough in interview, March 5, 2004 16:25 EST. An eastern faction of the Tamil Tiger rebels that broke with the main group this week in the movement's first major rift says it is seeking a separate truce with the government, a move that international mediators say could complicate peace efforts... Back to the top

European Union condemns pre-poll killings by suspected Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Fri March 5, 2004 10:17 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The European Union on Friday condemned the recent killings by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels of political activists who opposed their views ahead of Sri Lanka - 's upcoming parliamentary elections... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Elephants Desperately Hunting for a Job
Yahoo, March 5, 2004 , 7:30 Am EST. GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Elephant polo is a slow game at the best of times, and especially so in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Conference to promote Sri Lanka for business functions, NEW STRAITS TIMES-MANAGEMENT TIMES
Associated Press, Fri March 5, 2004 13:45 EST . - - Conference to promote Sri Lanka - for business functions, NEW STRAITS TIMES-MANAGEMENT TIMES ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Zoysa back in Sri Lankan Test team against Australia, March 7, 2004. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka have recalled left-arm fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa in a 15-member squad for the opening cricket Test against Australia starting at Galle on Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka confirm April tour to Zimbabwe, March 7, 2004. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka will tour Zimbabwe in April and May, the Sri Lankan cricket board said on Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Mahanama appointed ICC match referee, March 7, 2004. COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan opening batsman Roshan Mahanama has been appointed an International Cricket Council match referee, the cricket board said Friday... Back to the top

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