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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom  > Tamil Armed Resistance & the Law  > Reports on Armed Conflict in Tamil Eelam > "Capture" of  the East by Sri Lanka and the Killing of Sinhala Chief Secretary of the Eastern Province


"Capture" of the East by Sri Lanka
and the Killing of Sinhala Chief Secretary of the Eastern Province

17 July 2007 BBC Report

[Links by tamilnation.org]

The President of Sri Lanka has condemned the killing of a top government official in the east, which he blamed on "cowardly" Tamil Tigers. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the attack would increase the resolve of the government to fight the rebels. Herath Abeyweera was killed on Monday 16 July , only a few days after the government declared it had captured all of the east of the island from the rebels. The Tigers responded by saying they would use all resources to strike back.

"I unequivocally condemn the cowardly assassination of Herath Abeyweera, chief secretary of the Eastern Province by terrorists of the Tamil Tigers," President Rajapaksa said. This assassination further strengthens our resolve not to give in to the forces of terror. "This is yet another act of savagery by the Tamil Tigers in their campaign of terror to achieve their goal of a separate state, allegedly for the liberation of the Tamil people who are themselves severely oppressed by its violence and terror.

Correspondents say that Mr Abeyweera's death comes as a blow to the government, which less than a week ago said that it had "routed" the rebels in the east. It announced that it would be holding victory celebrations after troops seized the last Tamil Tiger eastern base, Thoppigala, which it said gave them control of the region for the first time in 13 years. The rebels - who claim the east along with the north for a homeland for the Tamil minority - say they still have fighters on the ground and have switched tactics, going into what they describe as guerrilla mode. And they insist the Sri Lankan armed forces will struggle to hold on to their gains.

Mr Abeyweera was the top official in the Eastern Province, and was shot dead at his office in the port of Trincomalee on Monday evening. No one claimed responsibility for the killing, though the rebels traditionally do not admit carrying out such attacks. His death came as the army and rebels continued fighting on Monday in the northern Vavuniya district, leaving five combatants dead, the rebels said. Four soldiers and a rebel were killed and six other soldiers were wounded in the fighting, Tamil Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said in a statement. However the military denied that such a clash took place.

The Tigers still control large parts of northern Sri Lanka, where they run a de facto state. But the government says that its troops have killed hundreds of rebels since February. The rebels dispute the casualty figures.

A ceasefire signed between the two sides in 2002 is still in place on paper in Sri Lanka, although it has broken down on the ground. Much of the fighting up until now has taken place in the east. More than 60,000 people have died since the rebels began fighting for an independent homeland in the north and east in the 1970s. The Tigers say minority Tamils are discriminated against by the majority Sinhalese population.


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