11/29/2007, 00.00
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UN condemns two bombs in Colombo

by Melani Manel Perera
The secretary general Ban invites both sides in the conflict to “resume the peace process”. The two explosions, one caused by a female suicide bomber, left 18 people dead and 30 wounded; they could signal the beginning of a fresh Tiger campaign against civilians in answer to the government attacks in the North.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The UN secretary general Ban ki-Moon has strongly condemned yesterdays attacks in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo which left 18 people dead and 30 wounded.  So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks even if suspicion falls at the door of the separatist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). The attacks follow a declaration by one of the Tiger leaders.

“The secretary general condemns the suicide attacks in Colombo – reads a statement released yesterday – and sends his condolences to the families of the victims”.  Ban then urged an immediate end to “the spiral of violence in Sri Lanka” and asked for “both sides of the conflict to return to the peace process and make every effort to protect the civilian population”.

The first attack, carried out by a female suicide bomber, took place yesterday morning.  The target of the failed attack was Douglas Devanada, welfare chief and leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP). Along with the bomber the Minister’s personal secretary died in the attack.

The second explosion occurred in Nugegoda district in a shopping centre during rush hour.  The bomb hidden in a package killed 17 people.  Among the 39 injured were many students.

Both attacks come on the heels of a declaration made by Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who accused the International community of supporting the government in its campaign of op position repression and affirmed that there was no remaining possibilities of putting an end to the civil war.

Meanwhile in the Northern areas held by the Tigers there has been an intensification of battles between the rebels and army.  On November 27 11 children were killed in Vanni, an area controlled by the rebels.  Both the LTTE and the Government accuse each other over being behind the slaughter.  In another “accident” the day before in Maluvarayankattaiadampan, 2 teachers and 3 children died from artillery fire targeting the school.

The feeling on the ground among those living in the North of the country is that yesterdays attacks could signal the beginning of a fresh Tiger campaign against civilians in answer to the government attacks in the North. For its part the government has declared that these are the “last moves of the Tigers as a terrorist organisation”.


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