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More Religious War: 103 Dead in Sri Lanka Suicide Bombing

onedomino

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There are two types of Tamil Tigers terrorizing the Buddhist government in Sri Lanka: Hindu and Muslim. I have never heard of a Hindu suicide bomber. It is a very high probability that the suicide bomber was a Muslim Tamil Tiger. It seems that in a very large number of instances when Muslims come in contact with another religion, or culture they do not like, there is horrific violence: Russia, Chechnya, Lebanon, America, a nasty attempt in Canada, Britain, France, Netherlands, Spain, Tanzania, Kenya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Somalia, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, near miss in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and even Western China. Have I left anyone out? Have Muslims declared war on everyone else? This is what Bin Laden and other terrorist murderers want.

Tamil Tiger Bomb Kills 103

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,20596004-948,00.html

Tamil Tiger rebels who drove an explosives-laden truck into a convoy of sailors have killed at least 103 people and wounded 150 more in Sri Lanka's worst suicide attack. Well the media will now probably call for an American withdrawl from Sri Lanka because there can be no doubt that our presence provoked the attack. No wait...check that. There is no American military in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan military retaliated with air strikes deep inside territory held by the Tigers, the rebels said as the defence ministry said one war plane crashed into a lagoon near Colombo late today during a "training mission.''

The government said the "barbaric'' suicide attack, which coincided with heightened international efforts to restore a 2002 truce, meant the Tamil Tiger guerrillas were not interested in talks scheduled to take place next week in Switzerland.

The bombing occurred about 170 kilometres northeast of Colombo at a transit point in the restive district of Trincomalee for security personnel coming to and from the front line of the drawn-out conflict.

Only the chassis of the truck remained amid more than a dozen buses parked in an open field where 340 sailors were waiting to leave for their destinations, officials said.

Rescue workers made a pile of automatic assault rifles and hard helmets of sailors who perished.

The fate of dozens of civilian traders selling tea and sweets to the security personnel was not immediately known, police said adding that several civilians may have also died.

The government in a statement expressed "deep shock'' over the bombing while the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) tacitly admitted they carried it out.

"When Sri Lanka air force bombers continue to bomb targets in Tamil homeland ... how could anybody expect the Tigers to refrain from targeting military installations,'' the pro-rebel tamilnet.com website quoted Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan as saying.

He said there were unspecified civilian casualties in air attacks carried out by the military after the bombing.

"The truck had driven into the middle of the open ground, and then the explosives were detonated,'' a local police official said. "There were about 15 buses.''

Doctors said that 98 bodies were at the nearby Dambulla hospital, four more people died while being taken by road to a hospital in the major town of Kurunegala while another died at Anuradhapura hospital.

"This barbaric attack on unarmed sailors shows that the Tigers are not worried about international opinion,'' said government defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, who is also the minister of policy planning.

"We are keen on negotiations, but the Tigers are not.''

Last week, Tigers fiercely resisted a major military onslaught, killing at least 133 soldiers and wounding 500 in two hours of fighting, according to government figures.

The first suicide truck bombing against the security forces was in July 1987 when a truck loaded with explosives rammed into an army camp on the Jaffna peninsula, killing 40 troops.

Until this attack the worst suicide bombing was in 1996 against the central bank building in Colombo which killed 91 and wounded 1,400.

US Condemns Attack

The United States has condemned a suicide attack in Sri Lanka that left at least 103 people dead and wounded 150 others, blaming the Tamil Tigers for the carnage.

"Though there have been no claims of responsibility, this attack is in keeping with the tactics of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement today.

The rebels had tacitly admitted to today's suicide attack about 160km northeast of the capital Colombo.

An explosives-laden truck next to a convoy of sailors was blown up in the attack, which came as Sri Lanka's key international backers moved to salvage a 2002 truce and arrange talks later this month.

The vast majority of those killed and wounded were believed to be sailors.

"The United States condemns today's suicide attack near Habarana, Sri Lanka that killed more than 90 civilians and members of the Sri Lankan navy. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims,'' McCormack said.

"As we and others in the international community have made clear, the LTTE must renounce the use of terror,'' he said.

"Only through the cessation of violence, a renewed commitment to peace talks, and constructive engagement by both sides can a political solution to this conflict be achieved.''

The United States together with Japan, the European Union and Norway are co-chairs of the a Tokyo donors' conference which had tied $US4.5 billion ($A5.98 billion) of aid to Sri Lanka to progress on a peace settlement.

And this:

Analysis: Tamil-Muslim Divide

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2070817.stm

Violence between Hindu and Muslim Tamils in eastern Sri Lanka comes at a time of relative calm in the rest of the country. Story is from before today'd bombing.

The Tamil-Muslim divide is deep-rooted and could derail the fledgling peace process launched after a ceasefire signed by the government and Tamil Tiger rebels in February.

The Tamil community is not as homogenous as it appears to be. The political aspirations of the majority Hindu Tamils have not always had approval from Muslim Tamils based in the east.

Tamil Muslims have nurtured fears that, in a unified north and eastern province - a demand of the Tamil parties - their interests would not be protected.

Growing Divide

Their fears are based on sheer demography. In the east, Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese constitute a third each of the population.

If the northern and eastern provinces were to be merged as part of any political deal, the Muslims fear they would have to live under the Hindu Tamils of the north.

They have better social and economic mobility, thanks to the historic headstart they had in getting education and government jobs under British colonial rule.

With this in mind, the Muslims in the east have historically tried to forge a separate identity for themselves, based more on religion than on language.
Since the rise of Tamil militancy in the 1980s, the divide has only widened, with the Tamil Muslims increasingly seeking to align themselves with the Sinhalese majority.

The party representing Sri Lankan Muslims, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), has been a member of the ruling coalition now and in the recent past.

Forced out of Jaffna

The differences were further accentuated in the early 1990s, when Tamil Muslims from the northern province were forcibly evicted by Tamil Tigers when they captured the Jaffna peninsula.

About 65,000 Muslims from the north of the country have lived as refugees in the south and parts of the east ever since.

The Tamil Tigers have shown signs of realising that the Muslim question has to be addressed if they are ever to make progress in the peace process.
An accord signed between SLMC leader and minister, Rauf Hakeem, and Tiger supremo Prabhakaran, hard on the heels of the ceasefire accord with the government, was reflective of this.

The deal specifically underlined the acceptance of the position that the internally-displaced Muslims of the north would have a right to return to their homes as part of the peace process.

Tiger Taxes

However, there are other thorny issues to be sorted out. Taxation of Muslims in the east by the Tamil Tigers is one such issue. The Muslims in the east, mostly farmers and traders, have resented the taxes imposed on them by the Tigers.

But the Tigers have showed no signs of stopping the practice. Observers, however, feel even if such issues are sorted out in the rush to strike a deal, the larger question of identity would continue to dog the two communities.

They speak the same language, but find it difficult to see eye-to-eye on political issues.
 

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