Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Fear Stalks Colombo as Mines Kill Tamils

by Paul David, Tamil Eelam News Services, June 25, 2008

Panic-stricken civilians in the Capital are on edge like never before - watching who gets on buses, reporting suspicious parcels and avoiding public transport, fearing retaliation from Tamils for the killing of Civilians by the military in the rebel-held areas according to eye-witnesses.  

COLOMBO - Civilians in and around the Capital Colombo rushed to home fearing retaliation as the news of a Tamil student being killed in apparent sabotage mine attack by the Sri Lankan military’s special Commandos in the rebel controlled north reached Colombo.  A 16-year-old Tamil student, who was travelling with his family on a tractor in the northern rebel-held area, was killed and his father and three siblings were wounded in the attack according to rebel police officials in the area.

Panic-stricken civilians in the Capital are on edge like never before - watching who gets on buses, reporting suspicious parcels and avoiding public transport, fearing retaliation from Tamils for the killing of Civilians by the military in the rebel-held areas according to eye-witnesses.  

Security is beefed up in the Capital where police and military are put on high alert to prevent any retaliation. Western embassies in Colombo have advised their nationalities to avoid the Capital and the use of public transportation in Sri Lanka according to an embassy source in the Capital.

A group called the 'Ellalan Force', claimed responsibility this month for the recent attacks on transport vehicles in the Capital Colombo where scores of civilians were killed and said the attacks were "stern replies" for Sri Lankan military’s attacks in which 26 Tamil civilians were killed at the begining of this month. 

Another  internally displaced Tamil civilian was killed in a Sri Lanka Army (SLA)-operated Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) claymore attack on Sunday in the rebel-held town of Mallaavi, according to the rebel police officials in the area.

Many in the Capital fear an attack is imminent in southern Sri Lanka as revenge for what they say is a sharp increase in claymore mine attacks on civilians in rebel-controlled territory.  

The government does not give journalists access to rebel territory so attacks and their casualty figures there are impossible to verify. But the Tigers accuse the government of using guerrilla-style tactics against them - employing what are called "deep penetration units", or Tamil-speaking paramilitaries, to infiltrate rebel areas and kill civilians. The government denies this.

Those minority Tamils who live in Colombo say they cannot remember ever being as scared as they are now. It does not matter if they are doctors or lawyers - they expect to be questioned and searched at numerous roadblocks and checkpoints. After every bomb hundreds of Tamils in the locality will be rounded up for questioning and their houses searched.  

According to an article published in the British Medical Journal a new survey conducted by the UN World Health Organisation estimates the Sri Lankan war death at 215,000 compared to the previous estimate of 61,000.