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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2158

Sri Lanka on the road back to civil war

[b]Sri Lanka on the road back to civil war[/b]

Less than two months after the presidential election, Sri Lanka is slipping towards civil war. Escalating violence has been accompanied by widespread repression by the Sri Lankan security forces against the country’s Tamil minority, as well as Sinhala chauvinist agitation by President Mahinda Rajapakse’s allies—the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).

In December alone, some 90 deaths were reported. These included 46 military personnel killed in a series of ambushes, 10 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members murdered in unexplained circumstances, and several members of paramilitaries connected to the security forces as well as a number of innocent civilians. This deadly toll has continued unabated in January, with new deaths reported virtually every day.

Over the past two years, there have been killings and reprisals between the LTTE and a breakaway faction led by V. Muralitharan, also known as Karuna, but the violence was mainly confined to eastern Sri Lanka. Now the violence has spread to the Northern Province, particularly on the Jaffna peninsula, and has all the signs of being the prelude to all-out war.

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