Tigers warn of "calamity and destruction" after Sri Lanka killings
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) blamed the government and elements opposed to the Norwegian-brokered peace process for the murder of G. Nadesan, who worked for a privately owned Tamil newspaper.
"Sri Lankan security forces and the militants who are assisting them must realise the consequences," the LTTE said in a statement. "These actions are bound to lead the people of this island to a period of calamity and destruction."
The journalist was shot dead by gunmen Monday near the town of Batticaloa, 303 kilometres (190 miles) east of Colombo. The attack came a week after the killing of an academic in the same area.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local officials said both killings may be linked to an internal rift within the LTTE.
There has been a spate of violence in the troubled eastern region since April 25 with the deaths of more than 15 people, including Tigers and security personnel.
"Killing of intellectuals, journalists and friends of Tamil people is abominable," the LTTE said. "Even during this time of peace, anti-peace forces are engaged in barbaric activities."
The LTTE warned three weeks ago that the ceasefire arranged by Norway was in danger following the killings in the east.
Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway failed last week to revive peace talks between the government and the Tigers which have been stalled for over a year. A ceasefire, however, has been in place since February 2002.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist conflict in the past three decades.
aj/sct/rcw AFP 010721 GMT 06 04
Copyright (c) 2004 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 06/01/2004 03:24:14
©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.