Saturday, February 23, 2008

18 injured in bus blast : Mount Lavinia

A powerful parcel bomb placed inside a private bus went off today morning at 11AM in Mount Lavinia causing injuries to 18 civilians. Many lives were saved by the alertness of a passenger who detected the bomb  and the crew who managed to evacuate most of the passengers once the detection was made. The driver, while taking great personal risk, managed to drive the bus to an area with less civilian presence just minutes before the bomb went off. The bus has been completely destroyed by the blast.

The blast comes only a day after the Tamil tigers claimed that the fighter jets of the SLAF attacked a civilian settlement in Poonakari.

17 comments:

  1. Defencewire,
    The bus looks like it's burnt out. Was it some kind of incendiary bomb?

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  2. Oh sorry, that should be Defencenet. I asked the same question there but still no reply, so posted the same here. Sorry for the name mix up.

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  3. DN,

    Is it true that Civilians death as Tamilnet claimed?

    Thanks

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  4. Rutherfed,

    It is not possible to confirm that right now. Perhaps in a few more days.

    But SLAF does not attack civilian settlements intentionally.
    However LTTE are exploiting 'civilian casualties' to the maximum.
    They've been moving their ammo dumps to civilian populated areas from a while now. (This was after several air strikes targeted fuel and ammo dumps). And now their leader's meetings are taking place in the same areas. In such instances, even precision bombings wont save the civs.
    Anyway its rather unfortunate that civilians are caught in between the mess.

    chamal,
    "Was it some kind of incendiary bomb?"

    Doesnt seem to be. Reason for the fire may have been the fuel. Anyway official confirmation will come in about 1-2 days.

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  5. We do hear lot of bad stories about the Bus drivers often. Let's salute once like this.
    Glad that civilians started to keep eye on where ever they can.

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  6. I so happy the that the innocent public of Sri Lanka is waking up to the reality and alerting to the pending disaster, just as this suspected device. My heartfelt sorrow for the injured. danger signs are obvious in SL,if one bother to look around. I am too glad that the terrorists too are bungling, as they too come from the same backround.What we observed in SL is too many to mention and the police are not up to it to react to any situation. One the 27th of Jan in front of 3 or 4 cops a few civic minded people took the law into their hands, beat up the offender, happened to be a brother of a Col.Unfortunately it was the civic minded people who were in trouble with the cops, just like in the Mervin affair at the SLBC.

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  7. One thing we all have to relaise is intensional civilian killings get done by Bus bombs.
    I assumed Human rights, now they are doing the human wrong!!!!!

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  8. http://www.army.lk/morenews.php?id=11005

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  9. is it true news or ypur propaganda ? why they can't show the pictures? like a tamilnet

    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=24736

    WELIOYA: TROOPS IN ANOTHER round of fierce fire fight with Tiger terrorists north of JANAKAPURA this morning (23) killed eight of them and recovered all of their dead bodies along with their weapons around 7.00 a.m.

    The gun fight erupted when troops stormed one of the LTTE’s strong points in the jungle north of JANAKAPURA in the morning.

    Eight T-56 weapons, two cyanide capsules, one Icom radio set and three hand grenades were also recovered along with dead bodies.

    Bodies of dead Tiger cadres are to be delivered to PADAVIYA hospital for further arrangements.

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  10. can you say what abot this news?

    CONTINUING HEAVY CLASHES in PARAPPAKANDAL, KOKKUTHUDUWAI, JANAKAPURA and surrounding areas during the whole of Tuesday (5) between troops and Tiger terrorists caused further losses to the Tiger terrorists, reports from those areas confirmed.

    Around 2.15 p.m. troops observing the presence of some Tigers in KOKKUTHUDUWAI area opened fire at them killing four terrorists.

    The heavy fighting brought valiant deaths to three soldiers who were fighting against the terrorists. Fourteen more soldiers received injuries.

    Around 11.00 a.m. on Tuesday (5) troops had to confront a group of terrorists in JANAKAPURA, WELIOYA area. During that fight nine terrorists were decimated injuring at least six more terrorists.

    In another round of fight in the same JANAKAPURA, WELIOYA around 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday (5) troops got rid of at least six terrorists.

    One soldier sustained injuries in the same clash.

    Again late in the evening around 6.30 p.m. troops in another encounter killed at least three terrorists in KADUTHODAMALAI, WELIOYA north when terrorists tried to fire on the troops.

    Meanwhile, troops in KALLIKULAM area the same day (5) raided a Tiger bunker in the area and killed one terrorist while injuring another at about 2.30 p.m..

    Troops confirmed that the LTTE bunker was razed to the ground during the raid.

    In the meantime clashes erupted in POKKARAVANI and UMAYARATHUWANKULAM areas in the morning hours on Tuesday (5) inflicted death to several Tigers. Two brave soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice in the incident.

    In another incident at UMAYARATHUWANKULAM Tuesday (5) troops confronted a group of Tiger terrorists at about 5.30 a.m..

    Two soldiers were injured in the attack and one soldier who received severe injuries succumbed on admission to the hospital.

    Meanwhile, a soldier who was active in POKKARAVANI area Tuesday (5) got trapped in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). However, the valiant soldier died of his injuries afterwards around 11.00 a.m..

    At about 7.40 a.m. the same day (5) one more soldier was injured in a confrontation with the Tigers in the north of MANTHAI, VAVUNIYA.

    Meanwhile, two more fierce fire fights erupted in PERIYATHAMPANI and UMAYARATHUWANKULAM areas the same day (5) reported at least nine Tiger terrorists were killed and a large number of their cadres were injured due to heavy fire attacks of the troops.

    Troops at about 4.30 p.m. forcibly entered the LTTE trench line in PERIYATHAMPANAI and killed four terrorists forcing other LTTE cadres to flee from the area.

    Soldiers suffered no injuries in the incident.

    At UMAYARATHUWANKULAM the same day (5) again, troops valiantly fought with Tiger terrorists who were holding a well covered bunker in the area at about 4.15 p.m.

    Troops tactically assaulted the bunker and captured it while killing five terrorists.

    In ADAMPAN area Tuesday (5) two more soldiers sacrificed their lives during a fierce confrontation erupted in between 8.00a.m.- 8.30a.m. when they launched a search and clear operation in the area.

    One terrorist was also reported killed in the fire fight.

    In PUDUKKADU the same day (5) troops shot and killed one terrorist at about 10.30a.m.

    Meanwhile, in KOKKUTHUDUWAI troops resisted a Tiger terrorist movement and killed one of them and injured another around 12 noon Tuesday (5)

    How ever seven soldiers were also injured in clashes.

    Meanwhile, Police in THIRUKKOVIL, AMPARA the same day (5) on information recovered one claymore mine, one detonator and a length of detonator wire from an abandoned land in the area during morning hours.

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  11. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SRILANKA

    Sri Lanka is in civil war again, and there are no prospects of a peace process resuming soon. On 2 January 2008, the government announced its withdrawal from a ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This formalised a return to conflict that has been underway since 2006 but also presaged worse to come. The humanitarian crisis is deepening, abuses of human rights by both sides are increasing, and those calling for peace are being silenced. There is no present chance of a new ceasefire or negotiations since the government, despite pro forma statements in favour of a political solution, is dependent on hardliners and appears intent on a military decision. International actors must concentrate for now on damage limitation: protecting civilians from the war's worst effects and supporting those working to preserve Sri Lanka's democratic institutions.

    In addition to heavy fighting in the north, the first weeks of 2008 have seen the assassinations of a government minister and a Tamil opposition member of parliament, multiple bombings in Colombo, a wave of deadly attacks on civilians in the majority Sinhalese south, and widespread disappearances and killings of non-combantants in the north and east. More than 5,000 combatants and civilians are estimated to have been killed over the past two years. At least 140,000 have fled intensified fighting in the north, and more are likely to be forced out if the military continues its push into Tiger-controlled territory. If the government's military approach in the east is a precedent for its conduct of the northern campaign, civilians and their property are at grave risk.

    Much of the blame for the resumption in violence lies with the LTTE; its ceasefire violations and abuses of the population under its control pushed the government towards war. The Tiger strategy was to shore up internal support by provoking a Sinhala nationalist reaction; it worked, although the insurgents may come to regret their approach. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has also overplayed his hand. Relying on support from Sinhala extremists, he has let them set an agenda that allows only for a military approach.

    The military and much of the government leadership believe they can defeat or permanently weaken the Tigers by the end of 2008. The LTTE has been badly hurt over the past eighteen months: it has lost the areas it controlled in the Eastern Province; its arms routes have been disrupted; hundreds, perhaps thousands, of its fighters have been killed; and senior commanders are now vulnerable to targeted elimination, either from air force bombs or special forces. But the Tigers remain a formidable fighting force. While the army has been inching forward in the north, they are fighting back from well-defended positions. Even assuming the Tigers can be defeated militarily, it remains unclear how the government would pacify and control the large Tamil-speaking areas in the north that have been under LTTE domination for a decade or more.

    The government argues its military campaign will clear the way for a political solution. Vowing to 'eradicate terrorism', it says it aims to destroy the Tigers or force them to disarm and enter democratic politics and negotiations alongside other Tamil and Muslim parties. But after promising for more than a year to undertake substantial constitutional reforms once the All-Party Representative Committee (APRC) recommended them, it now proposes only to 'fully implement' the constitution's long-existing Thirteenth Amendment. The limited devolved powers for the north and east that this would represent are unlikely even in the best case to be sufficient to win over many Tamils or Muslims, though they could be a useful start if implemented sincerely. Since President Rajapaksa has chosen to depend on strongly Sinhala nationalist parties for his government's survival, however, this seems unlikely.

    Meanwhile, ethnic divisions are deepening. The humanitarian costs of the war are concentrated in Tamil-speaking areas. In Colombo, security forces have conducted large, often indiscriminate arrests of Tamils under emergency regulations. But Muslims are under pressure from both the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), a paramilitary group which broke from the Tigers and operates with the government's blessing, and government-sponsored land and administrative changes. The much touted 'liberation' of the Eastern Province has failed to bring development or democracy; instead it has been characterised by military rule and rising ethnic tensions. The government will lose an opportunity to set up a democratic alternative to the LTTE in the east if it fails to rein in the TMVP ahead of a series of elections scheduled to begin in March 2008.

    The human rights and governance crisis continues unabated, with paralysis of the institutions empowered to investigate and prosecute, and consequent impunity for abusers. The many ad hoc commissions of inquiry of the past two years have accomplished nothing, while disappearances and political killings continue, especially in Jaffna and other parts of the north. Both the Tigers and the TMVP continue to recruit and make use of child soldiers, despite repeated pledges to UN agencies and others not to.

    The current conflict is worse than what preceded the 2002 ceasefire. The government's counter-insurgency campaign is more brutal and indiscriminate, the terror and criminal activities of its Tamil proxy forces more extensive and blatant, and the role of chauvinistic Sinhala ideologues in government more pronounced. The suspected involvement of pro-government forces in the assassinations of Tamil politicians is particularly disturbing. The Tigers have fully militarised life in areas under their control and returned to brutal attacks on Sinhalese civilians, intent on provoking even worse retaliation.

    As unpromising as present circumstances are, the government should be alert to any opportunities that arise to promote a new peace process. Meanwhile, the international community needs to use its limited leverage for the time being to prevent further deterioration, while developing strategies to strengthen the moderate, non-violent forces still committed to a peaceful and just settlement and to build the middle ground – significantly beyond the unitary state but far short of a separate Tamil state – that will be necessary if a lasting political solution is to gain traction once political conditions are better. This will require pressing the Tigers and their supporters to abandon terrorism and separatism, while simultaneously encouraging a new consensus in the south in support of constitutional and state reforms.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    To the Government of Sri Lanka:

    1. Meet basic humanitarian needs and protect civilians from the effects of war by:

    (a) conducting all military operations in strict accordance with international law;

    (b) guaranteeing full and prompt access for UN agencies and humanitarian organisations, with adequate medical supplies, to LTTE-controlled areas; and

    (c) defending UN agencies and international humanitarian organisations against unfounded allegations by hardline politicians and parties and guaranteeing the safety of all humanitarian workers, Sri Lankan and foreign.

    2. Take all necessary steps to protect the fundamental human rights of all citizens, including:

    (a) conducting anti-terrorist operations in accordance with both domestic constitutional guarantees and international human rights and humanitarian law;

    (b) investigating fully all allegations of disappearances and killings carried out by state forces or militant groups aligned with the state and prosecuting when credible evidence is available;

    (c) passing through parliament a witness protection law that takes into account suggestions from civil society organisations and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP);

    (d) accepting the proposed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) office in Sri Lanka with adequate powers to monitor and report on human rights violations throughout the country; and

    (e) guaranteeing the protection of media personnel and investigating fully recent attacks on journalists.

    3. Develop the Eastern Province equitably, transparently, inclusively and effectively by:

    (a) delaying local and provincial elections until the illegal activities of all armed groups, including the TMVP, are curtailed and adequate security for all political parties is guaranteed by the police and legitimate security forces;

    (b) ending de facto military rule over large parts of the Eastern Province and ensuring that politicians and civil servants of all ethnicities have a major role in planning and decision making; and

    (c) guaranteeing full access for UN agencies and humanitarian organisations in the newly cleared areas.

    4. Pursue vigorously political reforms that address the legitimate rights and needs of all citizens and ethnic communities in a united and democratic Sri Lanka by:

    (a) granting the Eastern Provincial Council, once constituted, all allowable powers under the Thirteenth Amendment, including for police, finance, land and education;

    (b) publicly commiting to pursue in the near future more substantial constitutional reforms, including power-sharing at the centre; and

    (c) requesting the APRC to publish its proposals for constitutional reforms by the Sinhala and Tamil New Year (mid-April 2008), even if full consensus has not been reached.

    To the President:

    5. Establish immediately the Constitutional Council and request it to nominate new members to all independent commissions.

    To all Political Parties:

    6. Monitor closely implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment, work to ensure that maximum powers are granted to the Eastern Provincial Council once it is established after free and fair elections, and press the government to keep constitutional reform high on the agenda.

    To the Constituent Parties of the All-Party Representative Committee (APRC):

    7. Submit final proposals for constitutional reforms, including power sharing, by mid-April 2008, if necessary with majority and minority reports.

    To the United National Party:

    8. State publicly willingness to support in parliament reasonable devolution and power-sharing proposals that go beyond the limits of the unitary state, once these are submitted by the APRC.

    To the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE):

    9. Cease all attacks on civilians, suicide bombings, forced recruitment and repression of media freedom and political dissent and respect fully international human rights and humanitarian law.

    10. Abandon publicly the demand for an independent Tamil state (Eelam) and announce willingness to negotiate within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

    To the International Community, in particular Japan, Norway, the EU, the U.S., India, Australia, South Korea and Other Asian States, as well as the United Nations:

    11. Recognise that the 2002 peace process having now run its course:

    (a) the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donors Conference (Norway, Japan, the U.S. and the EU) no longer have, as such, a clear peacemaking role; and

    (b) there needs to be deepened cooperation between India, the EU and the U.S., with the goal of eventually developing a more politically powerful contact group.

    12. Strengthen efforts to convince the government to accept a fully staffed UNHCHR office, able to monitor and report on rights violations throughout the country.

    13. Continue support for constitutional power-sharing reform to address legitimate minority grievances, monitor Thirteenth Amendment implementation and urge the APRC to submit its proposals by mid-April 2008.

    14. Strengthen efforts to close down the LTTE's global financing and supply networks.

    15. Cooperate with UK authorities in gathering evidence for possible prosecution of former TMVP leader Karuna on war crimes and human rights violations charges.

    16. Speak out more regularly in defence of UN agencies and international humanitarian organisations and for the safety of all humanitarian workers, Sri Lankan and foreign.

    To Donor Governments and International Financial Institutions:

    17. Promote respect for the Guiding Principles for Humanitarian and Development Assistance agreed by donors and the Sri Lankan government in 2007 by forming a donor task force to investigate political and conflict dynamics in the Eastern Province and report publicly on the best way to ensure equity, inclusiveness and transparency.

    To the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict:

    18. Recommend that the Security Council impose targeted sanctions on both the Tigers and the TMVP for continued recruitment and use of child soldiers.
    Colombo/Brussels, 20 February 2008

    Source: International Crisis Group

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  12. kvuda me shingaya methana kakka koranne?

    Oya tamilnet pala pala inna anne.

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  13. Is sad to see another horrendous dissater just avioded in time. Just think of the worst that could have happened. It gives me creeps.

    But the good thing is,

    1. LTTE is showing its desperation
    2. For the first time in histrory ordinary people in south are contributing to the war effort. Bieng vigillant at least!

    I take my hat off to the passenger and the bus driver!

    And again VP is making a big strategic blunder. Like killing Rajiv. That is making southern poeple feeling the pain. Bringing the war home. That is going to be the worst blunder of all time.

    Reasons are,

    1. They will continue to support the present governmont what ever the hardships. Thus making the opposition and LTTE dream of a peoples uprising against the present government a true dream.

    2. Sinhala nation is usually lethargic, forgetfull and forgiving. But when challenged or pressed to wall they rise to the challenge. You havent seen that in the recent history un fortunately.

    Every bomb in the south will double or triple the support to MR regime. recruitment to the Army is already rising.

    Sinhala diaspora so far didn't contribute to the war effort significantly yet. But They will. They will physically come and help.

    LTTE is digging deeper and deeper and taking entire tamil nation with it.

    So far majority in the south didn't have anti tamil feelings. We hated LTTE. But LTTE is poisonning it which make any future political solution impossible.

    I feel sorry for the innocent tamils. Not the boot lickers.

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  14. DN,
    I read in Lankapage a suggetion of an open and growing rift between Army and Navy top brass. I know both these charachters personaly and both of them are very .... you know what I mean.

    Smoetime ago same thing happened between Gen SF and Gen Janaka perera. Personality conflicts, conflicts with seniority etc. If I am correct Navy commander is senior to army chief.[by service]. But during operations Army automatically becomes senior.

    This is a weakness in our defence forces structure. As in other countries it is time to get all three forces under one command. Otherwise petty politics get in the way of national security.

    What I personlly feel is Gen SF may have minor deficiencies but for the need of the hour he is the one and only man.

    For the consumtion of ordinary folks I reveal one. He wants the egg york in a bulls eye exactly in the middle. if not god save the cook. When my wife cookes it looks like the bull is winking. LOL...But I humbly consume it in silence.

    But in a way that is excatly the kind of man we want as the Commander of the Army init? A perfectionist.[esp Arti and MBRL targets..]

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  15. I suddenly realized I am alone in the blog.

    Then I further realised what a poor sod I am to spend the saturday night at home, typning away.

    Life is precious and short. Off I go to the PUB for a pint.

    cheers folks

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  16. DN:
    off topic - what are the precision capabilities of SLAF? do we have guided munitions?
    thanks

    ReplyDelete

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