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LTTE Suicide Bomb Attack A Desperate Attempt To Stop Fleeing Citizens
KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Bernama) -- The suicide bomb attack near a mosque in the southern Sri Lankan city of Matara Tuesday was another desperate attempt by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) to prevent thousands of displaced citizens from fleeing the areas controlled by them, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia Dr D D Ranasinghe said here today.
"LTTE, in the face of defeats inflicted on them by the security forces, is eager to create a backlash to their terror and to obtain the sympathy of the international community," Ranasinghe said in a media briefing on the current situation in Sri Lanka, at the High Commission here Wednesday.
The suicide bomb attack on the Milad-un-Nabi Muslim Festival to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad at the Jumma mosque in Matara (about 160km from Colombo) killed at least 15 people with more than 20 others injured including a government minister.
Ranasinghe said that the Sri Lankan government condemned the suicide attack and urged its citizens to remain calm and unprovoked.
Expressing his concern over some reports which he said were inaccurate, Ranasinghe said the Sri Lankan government wanted all its citizens to continue to support the security forces and police by exercising their outmost vigilance as the LTTE, which is facing imminent annihilation, could very well resort to other similar acts.
He said that the Sri Lankan government's effort to end the war against LTTE is at its final stage as the rebel organisation has been cornered in a small area of just about 40 sq km in the northern Mullaittivu district, some 350km northeast of Colombo.
Ranasinghe said that the government is also continuously urging the LTTE rebels to consider laying down their arms and discuss an end to hostilities with the government.
He said that the Sri Lankan government's current military operations is to clear the remaining pocket in the north of LTTE activity and to restore normal civilian administration and democratic political process.
The two-decade conflict which is created by LTTE since 1970s, faces another phase of difficulties as LTTE is keeping 100,000 civilians as human shields in a desperate bid to prevent final assault on their jungle hideouts, Ranasinghe said.
So far, 36,000 civilians have escaped and are housed in transit villages and welfare villages in Vavuniya while some have escaped to Jaffna and others evacuated to Trincomalee.
Ranasinghe said that the government was also trying to liberate innocent Tamil civilians from the clutches of LTTE in the northeastern part of the country and requesting them to move into the Zero Civilian Casualty safety zone, where they could get basic needs and other humanitarian assistance.
On the Sri Lankan cricket team bombing, the High Commissioner did not rule out the involvement of LTTE in this horrible act.
However, he declined to comment further apart from saying that "Pakistan is investigating the matter thoroughly."
The LTTE has been fighting a fierce military campaign against government troops since the mid-1980s to carve out a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community in the north and east, resulting in the killing of more than 70,000 people. update of last weeks story.. with different video
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