MONITORING FACTORS AFFECTING THE

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					MONITORING FACTORS AFFECTING THE
    SRI LANKAN PEACE PROCESS




    CLUSTER REPORT



      THIRD QUARTERLY
AUGUST 2006 – OCTOBER 2006




 CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES




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                                                     TABLE OF CONTENTS


   CLUSTER                                                                                                                Page Number
   PEACE TALKS AND NEGOTIATIONS CLUSTER.................................................... 2
   POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT CLUSTER.......................................................................9
   INTERNATIONAL CLUSTER…………………………………………………….15
   SECURITY CLUSTER..............................................................................................................15
   LEGAL & CONSTIIUTIONAL CLUSTER......................................................................27
   RELIEF, REHABILITATION & RECONSTRUCTION CLUSTER......................33
   PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS & SOCIAL ATTITUDES CLUSTER................................40
   MEDIA CLUSTER.......................................................................................................................48.
   ENDNOTES.....………………………………………………………………………..54




                                                      METHODOLOGY

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has conducted the project “Monitoring the Factors
Affecting the Peace Process” to provide an understanding of the current status of the peace
process. The output of this project is a series of Quarterly Reports. This is the third of such
reports.

It should be noted that this Quarterly Report covers the months of August, September and
October.

Having identified a number of key factors that impact the peace process, they have been
monitored observing change or stasis through a range of indicators. These indicators
suggest trends for each factor. The factors have been grouped into a series of clusters
which reflect critical dimensions of the peace process. The trends will suggest the level of
change in each cluster and in sum will indicate how the peace process and its environment
have been strengthened or weakened.

This Synthesis Report will highlight the trends that emerge from the monitoring process
and analyse them within the context of their respective clusters and between the clusters.
This report is drawn from the more comprehensive Cluster Report which examines the
various trends, factors and indicators in greater detail.




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                     I. NEGOTIATIONS AND PEACE TALKS CLUSTER

1.1      Context
Over the last quarter the prospect for negotiations dimmed as the crisis of violence intensified and
the parties became increasingly intransigent. The Government of Sri Lankan (GoSL) and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attended negotiations in Geneva on February 19-20 and
were able to reach an agreement on how to re-commit to the CFA and to devise ways of ending the
violence. Over the following weeks the violence gradually intensified and the Geneva Agreement was
repeatedly violated. While the Government was determined was to meet for the second round the
LTTE proved reluctant resulting in the talks not going. Provocative incidents of violence threatened
an unraveling of the CFA. In a last ditch effort the facilitators attempted to encourage the parties to
focus on a critical pillar of the „no war no peace‟ situation – the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.
Having agreed to attend talks in Oslo the LTTE pulled out of the negotiations at the last moment. It
became increasingly clear that the parties were unable and unwilling to address the crisis of violence
in the peace process, and have conflicting views on how negotiations should proceed, resulting in a
paralysis in arriving at a negotiated settlement.

1.2.     Factors, Indicators and Trends
1.2.1.   Efforts at salvaging the „no war no peace‟ situation through face-to-face talks
         strengthens the deadlock in the peace process

Faced with the mounting violence there were renewed efforts at international mediation and crisis
diplomacy. Over this period these efforts have had a dual focus, somewhat similar to December and
January, where the focus was on trying to secure an agreement to cease the large-scale violence, in
essence to bring about a ceasefire within the CFA, and to return to negotiations in order to avoid a
breakdown of the „peace process.‟ With the Mavil Aru crisis these efforts had to be re-directed as the
situation on the ground dramatically shifted with the launching of large scale military operations. In
mid-September the parties agreed to meet for face-to-face talks once more in Geneva on October
28-29. That both parties participated in the talks was remarkable in itself, but as the lead up to
Geneva suggested contentions over conditions for talks was to undermine the negotiations. The
LTTE refused to move further either on to other issues or to agree to another round unless the A-9
was re-opened. The parties in effect were returning to their historic positions with the LTTE
demanding talks on immediate changes in the ground situation, and with the Government expressing
a desire for a broader discussion ranging from violence to the core political issues. While arguably the
duration of talks did see a decline in violence, at least in terms of large scale military operations, the
failure of talks inevitably led to a continuation of the crisis of violence.

The CFA and the „no war no peace‟ scenario have faced multiple challenges but the Mavil Aru Crisis
that began in late July is unique in that it led to a full-on military offensive and a battle for the control
of territory, rather than merely to paralyse or weaken military positions as seen with previous military
campaigns. The SLMM unsuccessfully attempted to use its position to broker an agreement on Mavil
Aru in late July, and was followed by Norwegian Special Envoy Jon-Hanssen Bauer who in arrived in
Sri Lanka in early August during the Mavil Aru crisis and attempted to reach an understanding. The
sluice gates were closed on July 20 and a letter with three demands was sent to the Government. A
letter from the SCOPP was dispatched to the SLMM which in turn led to the LTTE Trincomalee
Political Leader inviting the SLMM to talk directly with the people on July 26. The SLMM met the
local people on July 28 at Kallady LTTE political office but during the discussion a bomb was
dropped in the vicinity.1 On July 26 the security forces had according to the LTTE bombed
Kathiravelli, killing seven people a few hours after the SLMM agreed on July 26 to come to
Mavilaru.2 Bauer met with the leaders in Colombo, Killinochchi and Trincomalee. Reportedly at a
meeting between Bauer and S.P. Thamilchelvam on August 6th the LTTE agreed to open the sluice


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gate. The same day the head of the SLMM Ulf Henricsson and SLMM Trincomalee district head Ove
Jansen proceeded to the sluice gates with LTTE Trincomlaee Politial Head S. Elilian.3 According to
the LTTE and the SLMM the Government was informed of the decision and the SLMM visit but
artillery shells landed in close proximity to the gates during the visit.4 The Government claimed that
the SLMM had not informed the SCOPP of the intended visit.5

The issue raised a number of critical concerns, one being the role of the SLMM. The Mavilaru
Incident raised serious issues about its security, and communication and confidence between the
SLMM and the Government. As the head of the SLMM Ulf Henricsson put it: “We sat for talking
and got clearance from the government and tried to convince the LTTE to have confidence in the
government. They dropped a bomb in the vicinity. That‟s not the right signal.” That this was
repeated only a few days later is all the more troublesome as it indicates either a lack of
communication on the part of the SLMM or a complete disregard for the efforts and more
importantly the security of the SLMM. The position of the SLMM was already in question, with
mounting criticism from the Government and, more immediately, a demand for the withdrawal of
SLMM personnel from European Union member countries. Following the failure of the Oslo Talks
and subsequent efforts by the SLMM to reach an understanding with the LTTE for the continuation
of SLMM monitors from EU countries the SLMM went ahead with the withdrawal of monitors from
Finland, Denmark and Sweden before the LTTE deadline of September 1. The SLMM‟s ability to
monitor has been affected by this change. The loss of personnel did have an impact on their capacity
as the number of monitors stands at 30, compared to the 57 envisaged in the CFA. Both Norway and
Iceland increased the number they were contributing and also redeployed personnel who had
previously served in SLMM. 6 The change has also had significant symbolism as it represents a
dramatic alteration of a pillar of the CFA. It also showed the challenges to negotiations based on
parity between the parties that has been thrown off balance by the EU Ban which in itself is a
response to the shift in the form of violence. The SLMM was forced to alter its composition despite
the opposition of the Government. The Government “urged the three countries, even if their
nationals have to withdraw from conflict areas due to the LTTE threat, not to withdraw from the
SLMM headquarters in Colombo, as it gives further currency to the LTTE blackmail.”7 The change
in the SLMM‟s composition marked an alteration of an article of the CFA without the agreement of
both parties.

Another critical aspect of the Mavilaru Crisis is that it demonstrated an increased willingness to
consider other options, besides negotiations. The government projected the Mavilaru military
operation as a “humanitarian offensive” to safeguard the basic right to water for 15,000 affected
farmers.8 Nonetheless, that a full scale military operation was launched does indicate that the
government has moved beyond negotiations, retaliatory raids and covert operations. From December
it has become clear that the LTTE too had increasingly shifted its strategy from occasional incidents
of violence to a more sustained campaign. Thus both parties seem to be exercising their range of
options of violence in dealing with each other. They have not, however given up on negotiations.
Both insist they are for peace and a negotiated settlement. The LTTE for instance claimed that the
government was waging “a war of aggression” and that the LTTE was “flexible for talks. But,
Colombo seems to be locked into a military mindset.”9 The Government throughout this period
continued to insist that it was for negotiations to reach a political settlement, as for example
expressed by President Mahinda Rajapakse to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in mid-August.10

Efforts at negotiations to address the Mavilaru Crisis and the situation at large thus continued in this
quarter. Even while the Mavilaru Operation and the Battle for Mutur continued the Government and
the LTTE engaged in talks with the Norwegians serving as intermediary. On August 2 Bauer
announced that the Government was willing to consider reopening the strategic reservoir of
Pankulam; an irrigation tank that the LTTE alleged was occupied by the navy which had prevented
paddy cultivation for Tamil farmers.11 Beyond the immediate crisis over water, the parties explored


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the possibility of talks, with both sides asserting new conditions, responding to the changes on the
ground and the military balance. The President in his meeting with the Co-Chairs on August 22
expressed the government‟s desire for talks but that it would depend on “a clear commitment to a
comprehensive and verifiable Cessation of Hostilities by the LTTE leader.”12 While this was to be
expected the President also demanded modalities “to ensure that the Sampur area does not pose a
military threat to the Trincomalee Harbur and its environs due to the LTTE military presence in the
Sampur violating the CFA.”13 While the previous President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
had made significant objections of the LTTE increasing its military presence in Sampur which was
ruled as a violation by the SLMM, this move in making it a condition for negotiations was new.

Throughout this period, however they continued to be reports from both sides expressing interest in
negotiations. At one level the interest in negotiations stayed constant in that both sides rhetorically
pledged themselves to negotiations but without committing themselves and while continuing to
engage in violence and military operations. The timing of these calls for talks suggested that an
interest in talks fluctuated with how each side fared on the battlefield and was part of the propaganda
and diplomatic war by both sides to demonstrate the weakness of the other side and their own
commitment to the peace process. On August 13th the Government expressed an interest in going
ahead with talks on the LTTE‟s invitation passed on to the Government by Norwegian facilitators
on the 11th. Some media attempted to show that impetus for talks was due to heavy fighting in
Jaffna,14 without substantiating as to how serious the offers by both sides were.

There was mounting international pressure to encourage negotiations and a political settlement
culminating with the Co-Chairs trying to encourage both parties to commit to talks. That the
Norwegians chose to remain engaged and even stepped up their involvement is notable even as the
parties expanded their military campaigns. There were other international initiatives to break the
stalemate. The President‟s meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on August 31 at his official
country residence Checkers marked an important development particularly given the timing – in the
aftermath of intense military operations . While at a public level the issues under discussion were
suitably vague – “strengthening bilateral relations, the ethnic conflict and international issues,”15 it
intensified speculation that a supplementary line of communication had been created. Meeting on
September 12 the Co-Chairs issued a statement welcoming the parties‟ willingness to attend talks
without conditions and called for the parties to agree to talks in early October in 2006. The Co-
Chairs trying to convey that this round of peace talks would be slightly different in terms of follow
up by the international community. A critical component of Geneva I was that the SLMM would
monitor and report on the implementation of the agreement reached. In the proposed talks the Co-
Chairs attempted to demonstrate that they would follow up progress after the talks. They proposed
peace talks should take place in early October and that the Co-Chairs would meet at the end of
October to “review progress of the talks.”16

The Co-Chair statement, particularly on the issue of conditions and the venue and date for talks
while signaling a new opportunity for peace also created tensions. It also revealed the conflicting
position the government found itself in as it had to rationalize both the need for war making and
peace making, without appearing to be weak. On September 12th the Sri Lanka Government
spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella denied that his government would commence unconditional talks
with the LTTE.17 The Government critiqued the Norwegians and the Co-Chairs for deciding the
dates and venue for talk without consulting the Government. “The Government notes with great
concern… the procedural irregularities of the statement in making commitments regarding dates and
venue without prior consultation with the Government.”18 Government spokesperson Rambukwella
not only stated that the Government was not consulted but that the President was shcoecked and
angry.19 Subsequent reports from the state media and the SCOPP Director Palitha Kohonna however
expressed willingness in going forward with unconditional talks and that the main issue of contention
was the date.20 The debate and confusion over conditions would continue with the Government


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spokesman Rambukwella stating on September 26th that LTTE leader Prabhakaran had given
commitments,21 the cabinet spokesman denying on September 30th that there was an official offer
from the LTTE22 and Rambukwella insisting on September 30th that the Government had its
conditions including the LTTE agreeing not to engage in any violence and ensuring that it would not
smuggle in arms. The chief Norwegian facilitator flew to Killinochchi on October 1 to convey these
conditions to the LTTE.23

Unlike in January where the agreement to attend talks led to a virtual end of violence, the lead up to
Geneva II did see a drop in violence, but not as dramatic. In fact while the government in particular
called for an end to violence there was a clear continuation of violence, with the Government even
bombing Pooneryn within a few hours of Norwegian Ambassador meeting LTTE Political Chief S.P.
Thamilchelvam.24 The Government had in fact insisted that “If the Tigers fired a single shot after
PRabakaran undertaking, the government would withdraw from the CFA.”25 The LTTE also stated
that “opportunities for resuming talks wil be much stronger when the Sri Lankan government ceases
its military actions and all the CFA articles are fully respected and implemented.”26 The Security
Force Commander Sarath Fonseka is reported to have told the Co-Chairs on October 4th that the
military forces‟ campaign of “pre-emptive” strikes would continue in order to “curb terrorism not
withstanding with the ceasefire agreement.”27 . In the lead up to Geneva it was made clear by the
Norwegian facilitators that there would be no pre-set agenda. At the peace talks the Norwegian
facilitator announced that the agenda was three fold: to focus on humanitarian issues, the CFA and
the military situation and issues concerning the political resolution.28

The efforts to revive negotiations ultimately failed. Like in Geneva I, where the first day of talks was
spent citing a litany of violations of the CFA by the opposing side, in Geneva II the two sides
engaged in a recitation of complaints. There was variation in the scope of the issues taken up by the
two parties indicating a different focus in their separate agendas. At the talks itself the Government
stated that it did not want to treat the Geneva talks as a “opportunity to score debating points” but
that it sought to “address core issues and address the challenges that lie in the way of a peaceful
future.”29 It did go onto cover a gamut of issues including the various steps it had taken to address
the situation including the All Party Conference, human rights initiatives and humanitarian
operations; the LTTE‟s series of violations, democracy, a final settlement etc. 30 The LTTE focused
on the humanitarian situation, violence and the CFA, without making specific reference to political
issues,31 thus making clear that it was not in complete agreement with the themes highlighted by the
facilitator.

While the format for talks was a contributing factor, it was the parties‟ attitude towards the
negotiations and their motive for attending talks that were arguably the most decisive reasons. The
format for talks itself was problematic, as Kumar Rupesinghe, President of the National Anti-War
Front noted the peace talks were “of a positional bargaining format rather than one which would
lead to a mutual understanding.”32 Yet, it seemed that there was nothing to prevent the parties from
listing their series of complains on the first day and on the second looking at the three main
categories of issues. As commentator and civil society activist Jehan Perera noted: “It is also puzzling
why the two parties could not agree to discuss the issue of the re-opening of the A-9 highway,
humanitarian assistance, the upholding of the Ceasefire Agreement and the core issues as one
package when they were meeting for two whole days… If problem solving was the real need, there
was no need to get stuck on insisting on one item meeting.”33

The issue of the suspension of violence is one indicator of this attitude. Whereas in agreeing to
attend Geneva I, the parties had reached an understanding to suspend violence and which for the
most part they did, in Geneva II the issue was taken up as priority but there was no real
understanding reached. Instead there were confusing statements made by both sides in the lead up to
Geneva II over this issue, while on the ground the violence continued. Even while the Government


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stated that it had a pre-condition for talks – that violence must end - and that it had received
assurances from the LTTE it contradicted this position and continued with its “pre-emptive” strikes.
The failure to suspend violence demonstrated the level of distrust. The relationship between the
Government and the LTTE has steadily deteriorated EGS over the past year – seen so prominently
with the disputes over transport for the LTTE prior to Geneva I. The violence naturally intensified
the tension as seen vividly in the language used prior to the talks. In the Government response to the
announcement on talks it stated that “it is important to note that the peace process in Sri Lanka is
conducted between a democratically elected government of a sovereign state and an armed group
practicing terrorism.”34

The issue over which the talks finally collapsed was the opening of the A-9 highway linking the South
to the Wanni and to Jaffna and the LTTE‟s insistence that the issue be addressed before moving
forward. The LTTE insisted that the closure was “the new „Berlin Wall‟,” a violation of the CFA and
had created a humanitarian crisis where Jaffna had become “an open prison” for six hundred
thousand people.35 The LTTE demanded that the A9 be opened as a pre-condition for moving on
other issues or agreeing to another date for talks which the government refused to do citing “daily”
LTTE attacks.36 The government instead sought to continue supplying Jaffna by sea and asked the
LTTE to provide security guarantees for the ships which the LTTE refused.37 The government
criticized the LTTE for coming to talks stating that they had no conditions and than placing a
condition.38 With regards to addressing the resolution of the conflict, the LTTE welcomed the MOU
between the two major national parties and called for a Sinhala consensus which would serve as a
basis for negotiations between the GoSL and the LTTE.39 The LTTE did call for an internationally
supervised referendum on the future of the North East which the Government rejected.40

That the talks ended on the A-9 issue raises critical points with regards to peace making in Sri Lanka.
On one hand that the talks collapsed over LTTE insistence on addressing an immediate
humanitarian issue and the Government insisting on addressing it as one step part of broader range
of issues including the core political issues, should come as no surprise, as this is a repeated pattern
seen in previous peace talks in Sri Lanka‟s history of peace processes. The manner in which it was
brought up by the LTTE as a condition that had to be fulfilled before the process could move
further, especially given that the parties had agreed that they would come to talks without any
conditions suggested that the LTTE was trying to test its negotiating partner. It could be interpreted
that the LTTE was trying to play spoiler like in Oslo where it pulled out of talks on the day that talks
were supposed to start, on the basis that the government delegation was not of a cabinet level even
though it had prior knowledge of who the delegation would consist of. The government could have
responded magnanimously and devised ways to open the A-9 but it seemed clear that the LTTE
wanted the A-9 opened unconditionally when it could have offered a bargaining chip such as the
suspension of violence.

Geneva II brought neither an agreement on critical issues nor a decision on a new date for
negotiations. The agreement that there would be another round in Geneva I created a critical
dynamic for negotiations to move forward and in establishing an understanding for addressing
critical issues. In this round it did not seem that even a dynamic for further negotiations could be
established. The Government as per a now established pattern was the more willing to engage in
talks, stating that it was willing to “meet at any time with a view to resolving the national question.”41
The LTTE stuck to its position for refusing to meet until the A-9 issue was resolved. At least from
their statements the Norwegian facilitators seemed positive that efforts to resuscitate talks could
work, with the Hansen-Bauer calling on both party not to be “hasty” and to “reflect on the situation”
while Norway would continue its efforts to move the process forward.42 Both parties did however
promise not to launch any military offensives which fell short of a suspension of violence but did
mark a success. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs stated “Both sides did pledge to



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respect the case-fire and not to carry out any military offensives. Switzerland expects these
undertakings to be honoured.”43

While international pressure was a critical force compelling both sides to attend talks, the parties also
perhaps saw the talks offering a respite from the fighting. Both sides had over the quarterly period
demonstrated their offensive and defensive capabilities, with the Government in particular gaining a
strategic advantage. Both sides had also suffered significant and humiliating defeats. For instance it is
claimed that the LTTE decision to attend talks was based on the usual LTTE strategy which is a
“combination of the battlefront and negotiation table. The latter turned out to be a respite for the
Tigers, before they return to the battlefront with renewed vigour.”44 Although the series of battles
should have created a new mutually hurting stalemate, it was not clearly hurting enough for them to
want to broker a deal and compromise.




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                                   II POLITICAL CLUSTER

2.1     Context

As the one year anniversary of the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse drew closer, it
became clear that while the leadership of Rajapakse it was more or less uncontested, but that the
stability of the government still remained in question. Over the first six months of the Rajapakse
Presidency, the President attempted to consolidate his position through maintaining his alliance with
the JVP and JHU*, while trying to build on the UPFA‟s parliamentary majority through securing new
alliances with the minority parties and encouraging crossovers by M.P.s from the UNP.


2.2      Factors, Trends and Indicators
2.2.1 President succeeds in consolidating power through broad coalition
Over this current quarter the government under President Rajapakse was able to strengthen his
political leadership and the position of his government through creating new alliances and
maintaining existing ones. Relations with his coalition partners were tense and given their position,
i.e. outside the cabinet the President attempted to bring one his critical allies the JVP into
government. Faced with their unequivocal stance on the peace process, the President was unwilling
to commit himself to an agreement with them and turned to alternative all is including the CWC,
UPF and the UNP. The agreement between the UNP and SLFP to create a national government,
despite the gaps in a clear action plan as to how it would be actualized, in created a historic
precedent. The understandings with the JVP and the JHU did not end, instead the President was able
to consolidate his position through Expanding his alliance to include unlikely partners.

As seen in the last quarter, relations with the JVP became increasingly tense as the party critiqued the
government policies on the peace process and on economic reform. As the JVP became increasingly
public in its criticism in the latter period of the last quarter, behind the scenes there were efforts by
the President to encourage the JVP to officially join the government rather than to maintain the
existing arrangement of the JVP being an insider/outsider – part of the parliamentary alliance but
outside the government. Having responded negatively to prior invitations, the JVP formulated a
series of conditions which if accepted, would lead to the JVP joining the government and accepting
cabinet positions. The JVP terms titled “A Proposal to Strengthen the Government” were handed
over to the President by JVP Leader Somawanse Amerasinghe on July 31 which was to be taken up
for discussion by the SLFP Central Committee and the parliamentary group.45

The document submitted by the JVP included twenty proposals or conditions. Some of the key
conditions included:
      Abrogation of the CFA
      Removal of Norway as facilitator
      Banning of the LTTE
      De-merger of the North-East province
      Disarm the LTTE before talks
      Strengthen the military
      Develop a home spun solution to the ethnic conflict
      Reduce to the cabinet to 30
      Halt the privatization of the Petroleum Corporation and the Ceylon Electricity Board.46
That these proposals were controversial to say the least is an understatement, as it was a clear attempt
at re-directing the government and consolidating the JVP‟s hold over the President. The JVP which
claimed responsibility for getting Rajapakse elected as president, reminded the public and the
government that it had submitted 13 proposals at the last Presidential Elections, 12 of which were in


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the hands of the People‟s Alliance to fulfill and that the Mahinda Chinthanaya was a joint product of
the two parties, and that therefore the JVP had a “duty” to see that the program was successful.47 As
JVP leader Amerasinghe stated “The situation in the country has changed since the signing of the
MOU…The JVP has a duty and responsibility at this moment to be a source of strength to President
Mahinda Rajapakse to steer the country in the right direction in the face of a deep, broad and sharp
conspiracy against him both locally and internationally.”48 Thus, the JVP was clearly expressing its
displeasure at the direction the government had taken. The JVP also critiqued the size of the bloated
cabinet.

While the SLFP needed the JVP‟s 39 seats to stay in government, the consequences of implementing
for the government all the proposed demands, at least in the mid-term proved too much. On August
23 the SLFP handed over its counter proposals at Temple Trees.49 The SLFP stated that it was
unable to agree with four of the twenty proposals which were the abrogation of the CFA, ousting
Norway from its role as peace facilitator, the de-merger of the North and Eastern Provinces and
confining the cabinet to 30 members.50 The SLFP noted that it did not reject these four proposals
outright but felt that it could not change its policy in the short-term.51 Following a JVP Politburo
meeting on August 29, the JVP responded on August 30 that it would refuse to move further on the
issue unless the SLFP accepted the four proposals and criticized the SLFP‟s decision as the
conditions are “a prerequisite for supporting the government in rebuilding the country and defeating
terrorism.”52 The JVP Politburo also decided to call off further negotiations on joining the
government unless the Government accepted the four proposals.53 There were subsequent meetings
to discuss the four conditions such as on September 8 where a compromise was offered by JVP
Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawana to implement the four conditions after a period of a year
but with little success.54 On October 4 the JVP announced that it would not attempt to join the
government as an “internal partner” but that it would continue to support the government.55

The failure to secure the JVP‟s entry into the cabinet has significant implications. The government
faced the increased risk of agitation by JVP-backed trade unions and even the possibility of JVP
protests. JVP Secretary Tilvin Silva has told a public meeting in Dambulla that the JVP “will be
forced to dethrone him and replace him with someone else if he refused to get off the wrong
track.”56 In avoiding the JVP joining the government SLFP did however prevent the JVP from
imposing its policies and constraining the Government‟s ability to respond to developments in the
country, particularly in the peace process. Some commentators noted that the failure would free the
President as “in the past 10 months President Rajapakse had been unable to make any significant
moves in the peace front because of JVP pressure.”57 Relations between the two parties deteriorated
with the JVP leader even accusing the SLFP of being “just like someone engaged in the world‟s
oldest profession – someone who is standing on the street waiting for whoever comes along to be
picked up”58 but there no dramatic political fall out. The JVP throughout this quarter was able to
show its strength in the political landscape. Faced with the prospect of strengthened Emergency
Regulations in September that included a condition that any trade union any trade union that disrupts
essential services will face a ban and freezing of its funds the JVP voiced its immediate opposition as
it has powerful trade unions in key sectors like the Colombo Port, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation
and the Ceylon Electricity Board which resulted in the proposal not moving ahead.59 The
Government was still unable to move on the proposed restructuring of the CEB resulting in the
withdrawal of the ADB US$ 30 million grant.60 The move by JVP MP and central committee
member Nandana Gunatilleka to leave the party over differences with the party leadership and he
join the SLFP in mid-September created ripples in the political landscape as it marked a critical
challenge to the unity of a highly centralised party.

It has been noted in previous quarterly reports that the government has been attempting to create
and maintain multiple alliances. So even as its efforts to secure a stronger alliance with the JVP began
to falter, the Government took significant steps to create alternate alliance, first with the CWC and


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UPF, and then with the UNP. On August 18, five days before it responded to the JVP proposals, the
President arranged a meeting with Ceylon Workers‟ Congress at Temple Tree in order to invite them
to join government. Following a successful meeting on August 25 two members of the CWC
including CWC leader, Arumugam Thondaman and Up-Country Peoples‟ Front Leader, P.
Chandrasekeran were appointed as cabinet ministers,61 and three other members were appointed as
deputy ministers.62 There had been rumours of such a development yet it was by no means inevitable
given the reluctance of any minority party wishing to be seen actively supporting a Government
engaged in a number of military offensives. Furthermore, the tensions over such an alliance from the
President‟s other two allies, particularly the JHU which opposed the move made the alliance
problematic but not impossible.63 The UNP also critiqued the switch over by the CWC claiming that
it was “treachery” even though there was nothing in the bi-lateral agreements between the UNP and
the CWC which prevented such a measure.64 Thondaman claimed that he took the step in order to
“safeguard the minority community and because the President has expressed his intention to work
towards a negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict.”65 This alliance had significant repercussions at
least to strengthening the government‟s parliamentary majority and giving it more of a multi –
cultural image.

Two days after presenting its counter-proposals to the JVP proposals and five days before the JVP
responded the President wrote a letter to the UNP on August 25, inviting the parties to join the
Government under the slogan of “country before every other thing” and declaring he needed the
party‟s “full co-operation.” As the leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremasinghe was out of the country,
Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya stated that he would not “rush in to reply the letter” and would
discuss the invitation with all sections of the party.”66 This was followed by a letter on August 31
from the UNP leader stating that the party was ready to collaborate to “overcome the national crisis”
while “retaining the UNP‟s identity and policies.”67 This was soon followed by a meeting between
Rajapakse and Wickremasinghe on September 11 with both parties citing it as a possible step for a bi-
partisan approach in reaching consensus on the grave problems facing the country.68 The following
day the President appointed a five member delegation to engage in bi-partisan talks to arrive at a
consensus on the national question.

The initiative was itself historic. While the initial concept was limited over the quarter its scope was
dramatically expanded. At the outset, the communication between the President and the UNP was
vague with both parties speaking of cooperation and collaboration on the national question without
specifying the nature of this joint action. In fact in the early follow ups both sides went to great pains
to explain that they did not seek to bring about a coalition government. President Rajapakse at a
conference on September 5 stated his invitation to the UNP was “not to swell the Parliamentary
majority but to find a solution to the national problem,” while the UNP leader Wickremasinghe
responded stating the UNP‟s intention of supporting the government which the UNP explained to
the media was not the same as forming a national government.69 At the first meeting, between the
two leaders the question of a national government did not even come up.70 The scope of issues was
initially also imprecise. The initial focus was the national question. At the September 11 meeting the
President referred to reaching an agreement on “a national agenda for peace and development” and
specially emphasized the ethnic issue, hinting at the possibility that talks would focus on a consensus
on the ethnic conflict and be similar in nature to the efforts during the late nineties.71 By the first
meeting of the seven-person delegations on September 18 it was clear that the process was going to
be more than a one-item agenda with the parties agreeing to extend to talks to other areas that “may
be vital for the nation‟s well being.”72 By the third round of talks between the two delegations,73 six
areas had been identified for the „Common National Agenda‟ the ethnic issue, electoral reforms,
good governance, economic development, nation building and social development (covering health
and nutrition, youth empowerment and employment).74 On October 12 the President invited the
UNP to join the government and the two parties agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU). The MOU was signed on October 23 proposing “a bi-partisan approach seeks to bring the


                                                                                                       11
country peace and economic prosperity through consensus and cooperation in five key areas-resolving the
conflict in the North-East, electoral reforms, good governance, social development and the proposed structure of
collaboration.”75

That the agreement is historic cannot be overstated. It is a historical first and the concept of
consensus between the two largest national parties, the UNP and the SLFP has always been
proposed as a critical step to addressing the challenges to the country, in particular the ethnic
conflict. The agreement had its precedents in the ill-fated Liam-Fox Agreement of 1999. As the
President noted at the signing ceremony “We are glad to reach this milestone today raising the
country above petty personal and party politics.”76 UNP frontliner Prof. G L Peiris stated that “the
talks were a historic occasion to formulate a „Common National Agenda‟ deviating from the
confrontational politics that existed in the country for decades.”77 The implications of the resulting
partnership are far reaching. For the peace process it seemed that this was a hugely significant
development, as it would ensure that a southern consensus could be created on the basis that the
UNP and the SLFP as the two main parties represents at least two-thirds of the electorate in the
South. The alliance also offered political stability for the government and country at large. However,
as commentator and civil society actor Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu notes “the more that is
invested in this partnership the greater the responsibility on the two sides to succeed. Likewise, were
they to fail, the greater the costs of failure.”78

A critical question that arises is how far the alliance will go forward. As it became clear that the
alliance was not going to be issue based but more a national government there were questions as to
the future of the existing bloated cabinet if the UNP was going to take up cabinet questions. Rather
than resolving the question of modalities of cooperation in the MOU it was postponed and instead a
committee was created to ensure that the agreement would be implemented.79 There was discussion
that there would be a return to the committee style of government last used in the 1930s.80 The
decision to postpone goes to the heart of this alliance in that it does not represent an agreement on
how to address issues, rather it is an understanding to facilitate agreement. In establishing principles
it was interesting that the subcommittee on the ethnic conflict put forward a policy paper which, as
one newspaper stated “studiously avoided using the word “federalism” to avoid controversy at the
outset but that the solution contemplated was federal in nature.”81 It is also noteworthy that decision
to collaborate on economic development that was flagged as a separate issues in earlier conversations
was dropped. While it is arguably more comprehensive than the three paragraph Liam-Fox
agreement, the MoU is “open ended and its fate is largely dependent on how soon and well the two
parties pursue the goals spelt out in the document.”82 It was noteworthy that in the October
negotiations in Geneva that significant mention was made of the alliance by the Government but
there were no signs that the UNP had been included in a substantive manner in the preparations or
in the consultations during negotiations, nor did it seem to have a desire to.

 useful factor to consider is the motivation for the alliance. The MOU at one level represents a
marriage with limited commitments but significant short-term gains for the two leaders. For the
President the alliance offered political stability, particularly with the upcoming budget and his efforts
at creating a southern consensus. In article six the UNP offered to nominate two members to the
representative committee of the APC that it had been boycotting. So far Wickremasinghe promised
after the October 23 meeting that the UNP would support the upcoming budget.83 The President
also made clear that with the UNP alliance there would be no need for an early general election. 84
The MOU did not also restrict the President in an exclusive relationship as in his interpretation the
President made clear that there was space for other political parties to join the government and that
he would “not disregard the views of the JVP and the JHU.”85 The UNP alliance also strengthened
the diplomatic position of the government, particularly with India which had been calling for a such
an alliance, and lent legitimacy to the APC process. “For the international community, the United
National Party (UNP) personifies the peace dove… A bi-partisan agreement with the UNP for


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whatever reason, will, add more credibility to the government in its projection as a peace
promoter”.,86

The alliance also offered the Wickremasinghe a life line as he faced a mass cross over of UNP M.P.s
from the opposition benches to the government.87 That the first official notification to the UNP was
a letter to Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya iniviting the UNP to join the government which was
subsequently explained by the President as not accenting to an attempt to swell the government‟s
parliamentary majority is noteworthy.88 Some commentators noted that the very fact that the
President wrote to the deputy leader was because he “envisaged a split in the UNP right down the
middle and that this was the intention of addressing his letter to the Deputy Leader.”89 Hence, it is
possible that this was part of a strategy for a large section of the UNP M.P.s to cross over and take
up cabinet positions. As a part of the alliance, the President gave his assurances to the UNP that he
would not accept any crossover.90 During this period the crisis within the UNP was coming to a head
with demands for internal reform within the party, and the alliance paved the way for
Wickremasinghe to limit the available options for his opponents within the party, especially as there
were indications that there was an understanding between the section of the UNP that wanted to
break away and sections close to the President.91 Wickremasinghe was able not just to prevent the
cross over but also to prevent his opponents from gaining more leverage by blocking the UNP from
accepting cabinet positions, at least in the short-term while assuring the President that the matter
would be taken up by the Working Committee and the Parliamentary Group. Subsequently
government ministers claimed that as the issue of cross over M.P.s was not part of the MOU the
eventuality of such an occurrence taking place cannot be ruled out.92 The UNP was also able to
ensure that it could safeguard its independence and image as indicated by article four where the UNP
agreed to support the government in its search for a negotiated settlement “while opposing terrorism
in all its manifestations and upholding human rights” and article seven which demanded swift
movement on addressing the 17th amendment to the constitution. In addition, it would be able to
continue functioning as the main opposition party.93

A challenge to the government and its seemingly new political orientation was the Supreme Court
Ruling on the De-Merger Issue on October 16. The Supreme Court ruling on a fundamental rights
petition by the JVP called for the de-merger of the North and East on the grounds that the North
East Provincial Council is ultra-vires of the Constitution (See the Legal and Constitutional Cluster for
a more detailed discussion on the case). A merged North East is seen as a fundamental starting point
for the discussion on power sharing. Sinhala political groups oppose it and hence the victory of the
JVP‟s petition. The TNA called for immediate steps to restore the merger and began a satyagraha
campaign in parliament while other groups such as the UNP and SLMC made cautious comments
about how the decision was not favourable for the peace process. The government maintained a
stoic silence and found itself in an embarrassing position in that it ideologically had sympathies with
the decision but practically was unwilling to announce its approval of the ruling. It was embarrassed
by the fact that the de-merger was one of the terms demanded by the JVP and that one of the
retaining lawyers of the JVP was H.L. De Silva who had served as a negotiator in Geneva I and was
also a member of the APRC.

That all these political developments were taking place against the backdrop of intense violence with
a government engaging in a series of military operations, be they defensive or offensive, cannot be
emphasized enough. For instance in the early period of the quarter there were reports that CWC and
SLMC which had both been in consultations with the government about joining the alliance were
forced to suspend deliberations due to the military escalation as they did want to extend support to
the military operations.94 While there were significant political machinations over this quarter
suggesting that this would result in some political re orientation, particularly with the alliances and
the nature of the understanding Govt. and the UNP and Up Country Tamil political parties, the
context in which this all took has had significant implications. Over the last three months the


                                                                                                     13
Government has been involved in a war or „defensive military operations‟ with the LTTE that has
created a new political climate where the politics of moderation has yielded to a more aggressive
rhetoric and policy of milliterization, prompted by the crisis of violence that intensified since
December. Particularly during the Mavil Aru and the Sampur Campaigns President Rajapakse took
the wind out of the JVP and JHU sails and borrowed their rhetoric for his military campaigns,. 95
Over this quarter the President and the government has secured a public image of a leadership
determined to protect the sovereignty and security of the country at any cost, without giving up on
the option of peace talks. There were increasing accusations that the Government had been hijacked
by a JVP/JHU agenda. That the JVP Propaganda Secretary would accompany Presidential Advisor
Basil Rajapakse in the wake of military operations such as Mutur and that the JVP Volunteer
Movement put up their flag at the Mutur Hospital. After the elaboration of Muttur only strengthen
this claim Thus, even with his new political allies it is not clear that the government will re-align its
political direction, at least in the peace process, as the violence continues to worsen.




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                                    III. SECURITY CLUSTER


3.1     Context
The crisis of violence in the „no war no peace‟ situation that dominated most of the previous quarters
continued to widen and intensify over the last quarter, covering the months from May to July. It is
clear that the military balance has increasingly shifted from the period of December 2005 to January
2006 where the security forces found themselves hemmed in and increasingly exposed to guerrilla
attacks especially in the form of claymore mines. Over this quarter through an increasing use of its
aerial superiority, a greater willingness to use the tri-services to launch offensive and defensive
operations and a policy of retaliatory violence against civilians the security forces along with its
military allies has attempted to strengthen its control of the North and East. The use of aerial
bombardment itself is striking – at one level it seems just a knee-jerk reaction, on the other the fact
that the targets continue to be the same would suggest that it is part of a larger military strategy – that
of crippling the opposing side‟s military force in particular arenas be it aerial capabilities or access to
the Trincomalee Harbour so as to be in a more advantageous military position. The Maavil Aru
Operation shows the government‟s determination to operationalize this strategy. This strategy offers
advantages both in the battlefield and at the negotiating table. Over the last quarter the parties shifted
their strategy from just seeking to weaken their military capabilities to seizing territory. As the two
parties to the conflict and their allies attempt to wrest control on the ground, the violence and the
culture of impunity continues to intensify with a growing body of human rights violations,
demonstrating an increasing disregard for fundamental human rights and humanitarian norms. The
dramatic escalation in the number of victims coupled with the nature of these incidents, be it the
claymore attack on the bus in Kebetigollewa, the massacre in Allaipiddy or the brutal torture and
killing of a family in Vankaliai suggest that the violence in the North East is becoming more brutal.
The violence, its multiple impacts and the resulting fear has increasingly made day-to-day life for a
number of communities.

3.2.2   A state of undeclared war: Violence intensifying to unprecedented levels
Looking at the overall security situation it seemed that the „no war no peace‟ situation was
increasingly being pushed towards war. Over 2005 as the level of violence picked up the situation
was characterized as a proxy war that was developed to a low-intensity conflict. From December
2005 onwards, bar the Geneva Honeymoon period, the rate of casualties and the use of particular
forms of warfare including aerial bombardment and sustained offensives suggested it had moved
beyond this phase. Between August and October there were a series of military offensives with full-
on battles that made clear that the parties were returning to the practices of war and warfare. As in
the previous quarter the parties continued to re-commit themselves to the CFA while threatening the
other of the consequences of military operations to the CFA.

A dramatic change that emerged in the last quarter was in the type of violence: “There is an emerging
trend in that the parties are increasingly moving from commando raids or attacks aimed at crippling
military infrastructure to the seizing of territory, which is usually a critical part of conventional
warfare. Over this quarter there was heightened speculation that either the Government or the LTTE
would go beyond retaliation, commando raids and covert killings to wrest control over territory,
which in turn would push the „no war, no peace‟ situation to a fully fledged official war.” Between
July 26 and October 12 the two sides stepped up their military operations with putsch at securing
territory in Eastern Trincomalee and the Jaffna Peninsula. These offensives led to dramatic swings in
the military balance and significant losses in terms of manpower. Over this quarter it became clear
that the change in strategy led to a dramatic escalation in overall violence as one operation
snowballed into another and led to battle on multiple fronts.


                                                                                                       15
Military Operations in Eastern Trincomalee: The closure of the Mavil Aru Anicut led to a
military crisis with far-reaching consequences. As noted in the last quarterly report “While there have
been a number of battles between the two parties, particularly at sea, none of them can compare to
the scale of the Maavil Aru operation that involved army units in ground operations with artillery on
infantry and aerial support.” With the failure to negotiate an understanding to the issue of the
closure the Government launched a military operation on humanitarian grounds.96 The battle in and
around Mavil Aru raged for over a weak but the army inched their way towards the anicut, making it
clear that they were meeting heavy resistance from the LTTE. Government spokesperson Keheliya
Rambukwella stated on August 1 “We are just 10 minutes away from opening the sluice gates” but
four days later they still did not control the anicut gate. It also revealed that the government offensive
was not as successful as expected, resulting in confusion as to what was happening, for instance the
Army insisted it was in control of the western part of the kallar canal97 and by August 5 the
Government was stating its willingness to negotiate a settlement.98 By August 8 the gates were
opened reportedly by the LTTE.

With the battle continuing in Mavil Aru the LTTE launched a counter offensive on August 2 with
attacks on army camps in Kattaparichchan, Selvanagar and Thoppur which the army was able to
successfully defend. The LTTE also attempted to wrest control of Mutur a largely Muslim Town,
but with a significant Tamil population . That the LTTE was able to seize strategic parts of the town
including the SLTR office, the bus stand and the police, 99 even though it was for a short period
demonstrated the technical strength of the LTTE. The government claimed that by August 2 the it
had regained control of the town but it was not until August 4 that the security forces able to
establish full control.

Each military operation and counter offensive intensified the drive for further military operations and
worsened the security dilemma. The violence that spread from Mavil Aru to Serunuwara and Mutur
then shifted to Sampur within a month. It should be noted however that most of these areas were
sites of various forms of violence prior to the military operations. Sampur in particular had become a
clear target of the security forces as the Government response to the attempted assassination of
Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was the aerial bombardment of Sampur which was “not a flash of
the pan, knee-jerk reaction but a well thought out strategy.” The Mavil Aru Crisis unleashed a series
of offensives and battles with both parties trying to secure strategic advantages. Although the
forward defence lines, like in much of the East is unclear, much of Sampur, including the town was
under LTTE-control and for much of the CFA period has been a site of contention, especially
following the LTTE‟s construction of military camps. Sampur is critical because of its strategic
location in relation to Trincomalee Harbour and the latter‟s access to the high seas. Given the role
Trincomalee serves as a supply base for Jaffna harbour it has an added value.100 The previous
administration also voiced concern over Sampur but this current administration especially in recent
months made clear that it would not just protest about the threat posed but take action. By mid-
August the possibility of a military operation had become clear: the military commander announced
“We are taking out their bases in Sampur. As far as we are concerned their presence in Sampur is
unacceptable because of the threat is poses to the Trincomalee Harbour. So we will continue
operations in Sampur until their positions are destroyed.101 By August 27 the government had
launched an intense multi-pronged offensive forcing the LTTE to withdraw by September 4.

The operations in the triangle of violence – Mavil Aru, Mutur and Sampur brought about a dramatic
change in the military balance. While the government‟s initial offensive proved slow and did not
succeed in securing its main aim – of gaining control of the sluice gates in its subsequent defensive
and offensive operations it was able to gain a strategic advantage. In particular the success of the
Sampur Campaign where it forced the LTTE to withdraw amounted to an effective defeat of the
LTTE. With this defeat the government seized control of new territories, roughly 140 square kilo


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metre, including the apex point of Trincomalee Bay - Foul Point.102 The security forces were caught
off guard with the LTTE‟s incursion into Mutur Town and they were forced to move troops from
Vavuniya, but that they were able to maintain control of the four strategic camps including Mutur,
Selvangar, Kattaparichan and Mahindapura proved decisive.103 For the pro-war faction within the
government and among its allies, especially the JVP Sampur was a real boost. As the poster of the
National Movement Against Terrorism declared “Onward to Killinochchi.” As one commentator
noted part of the Rajapakse administration‟s agenda has been securing greater control of the East.104
For the LTTE, Sampur marked a severe set-back on multiple levels. LTTE Trincomalee Special
Commander „Colonel‟ Sornam personally oversaw the defence of Sampur but was unable to launch
any rear guard action to slow down the onslaught. It proved to be a military embarrassment for the
LTTE. The LTTE threatened to withdraw from the CFA but then took to asserting that the
Government‟s operations demonstrated that the latter had withdrawn from the CFA, clearly
revealing it as an empty threat and the LTTE‟s strategic vulnerability in that it was not willing to
declare war. While it is claimed that „Sampur area‟ is under government control, the LTTE contests
this stating that it retains control of 25% of the area and that it has not fled the area.105 While
Sampur was a strategic loss it is not clear how far the loss of Sampur impacted on the LTTE‟s
fighting forces in terms of loss of manpower and weapons. The security forces found only one piece
of artillery making clear that the LTTE had withdrawn its heavy guns.106 The figures of casualties
from both sides had not been independently verified and the figures cited by both sides suggest that
the situation has returned to war times when each side inflates casualties from the opposing side and
quotes low figures for themselves. For instance the government stated that 66 tigers and 13 soldiers
killed while LTTE Political Head S. Elilan said 18 cadres been killed. 107

It should be noted that both sides sought to rationalize their use of military operations on
humanitarian grounds and insist that this did not equate to resuming war. The Mavil Aru Operation
was titled as a humanitarian operation with Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake stating that
“A common question asked by many was whether the government has re-started the war. The
government wishes to categorically state that it had not started a war.”108 The LTTE in rationalizing
their military operations in and around Mutur stated that they were intended to “disrupt Sri Lanka‟s
indiscriminate onslaught against Tamil civilians.” LTTE military spokesman I. Ilanthirayan said there
was a “humanitarian need” for “defensive action.”109 As the newspaper columnist Suranimala noted
“If there is one issue on which both the government and the LTTE are in agreement, it is that there
is no war with each party claiming they are addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the
people.”110

Humanitarian Impact of Operations and Violence in Eastern Trincomlaee: The violence had a
huge impact on the civilian population of the area leading to casualties, mass displacement, shortages
of basic supplies and fear, It also became a fear that in this phase of the undeclared war there was
little regard for civilian safety. It should be noted that Trincomalee as a whole has experienced a
series of incidents of violence with an upsurge from April onwards. For example in Mutur one aspect
of the violence was the firing on civilian targets and the resulting casualties including the Mutur
Government Hospital, a number of schools including Arabic College (ten killed) and Al Nuriah
Muslims School in Thioppur (five killed) , St Anthony‟s Church (one eight year old boy killed) and an
ambulance (three killed). 111 This showed a complete disregard by the two parties for the basic
humanitarian norms and international laws governing armed conflict. Each side blamed the other for
the attacks but from the local Muslim Community there were charges that the artillery bombardment
and the Multi-barrel rockets (MBRs) were being fired by the Government. 112 There was at least one
incident where the community charged the LTTE with trying to provoke attacks on the civilian
refuges by firing artillery in close proximity to these targets. The conditions within the town steadily
deteriorated with civilians unable to access food, water and basic medical supplies for the injured.
Civilians found themselves trapped and cut off in Mutur with only limited evacuations due to the
inability of both parties to assure the safety of the ICRC or UN Agencies and the navy also finding it


                                                                                                     17
difficult to operate in the existing conditions.113 The Muslim Community of Mutur took a decision to
leave Mutur and walk with white flags to Kanthale. They reached an understanding with the LTTE to
guarantee them safe passage but at Panchanoor the LTTE subjected them to an identification
process and some of the men were separated from the rest and tied up. There are confusing reports
as to what happened but a number of reports allege that shells landed and that an unknown number
of Muslims were killed. For the Muslim Community of Mutur the entire experience demonstrated the
vulnerability of their position with a state showing complete disregard for their safety and the LTTE
which demonstrated little concern for the community‟s security and a willingness to go back on
guarantees it provided.114

The violence created a huge humanitarian crisis. As the violence spilled over from Mavil Aru whole
communities took to flight. The Sinhala Communities from the Serunuwara area fled in the face of
artillery and ground fire to Kanathale. Muslims from Mutur, Thopur and adjacent Muslim villages
also fled to Kanthale, Kinniya and to other parts of the country, as far a field as Kurunegala and
Colombo. It is estimated that in Kanthale alone there were roughly 29,936 displaced people in at least
seventeen camps. As noted in the Chapter on Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction there are key
concerns with regards to disaster preparedness, the role of the government as opposed to NGOs and
INGOs and questions of security.115 With regards to the situation in LTTE-controlled Trincomalee
there was little information coming out of how badly civilians affected hit with no news from
Eachalampattu apart from the LTTE and even that was sparse. With on-going military operations
access and supplies to area were sharply curtailed and weeks went by without any international
agency being allowed to access these areas. While some of the Mutur Tamils had been able to flee to
Trincomalee, others fled to LTTE controlled areas and along with the civilians in Sampur found
themselves under attack once more with more than twelve villages destroyed. A significant
population fled towards Kathiraveli and Paatsenai. There were reports of casualties as civilians tried
to flee such as the 20 killed and 26 injured at Pattipuram as a result of aerial bombardment and a
second group where 2 were killed and 5 injured when they were trying to cross at Ilankaithurai-
Muhathuvarama on August 26.116 The issue of the resettlement of civilians became increasingly
politcised with the Government using pressure to encourage Muslims from Mutur to move from
Kanthale through a range of tactics including cutting rations and encouraging NGOs to follow suit,
not finding solutions to the flooding of IDP camps in Kanthale and on occasion using force to push
displaced families out of centres such as in Kinniya. There were concerns expressed both by the
community and agencies working with the displaced as to whether the conditions in Mutur were
secure for return. By September 10 42,000 of the 46,000 displaced Muslims returned.117 A leaflet
from the Tamil Eelam Redemption Force calling for the expulsion of Muslims in Mutur led to mass
panic to which the government responded with shutting off access routes out of Mutur. 118 The
Muslims of Mutur recognize the fact that their situation is unstable and until that Tamils neighbours
return their position will be highly vulnerable. The government has stated it would encourage Tamils
to return both to Mutur and Sampur but it is yet a mass return is unlikely in the near future especially
given that it is unclear if the government wants a full return of civilians it could result in LTTE
infiltration.119

Military Operations in the North: Over the last quarters it has been noted that the security
situation in the Jaffna peninsula has steadily deteriorated with multiple patterns of violence including
both sides exchanging artillery fire across the FDL, a series of ambushes and claymore attacks against
the security forces, killings and disappearances of civilians by the state, its military allies and the
LTTE etc. Violence in the North has continued for much of the current quarter but in the initial
period of each month there were major military operations with huge losses in terms of manpower
and shifts in the lines of control. While the overall situation changed with the operation in the East,
another front opened up in the North.. From August 11 the artillery exchanges intensified in
Muhamalai with one instance where 20 civilians were killed in government-controlled areas.120 On
the same day the last bus entering government controlled areas at Muhamalia reportedly contained a


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number of LTTE cadres who get down and opened fire, forcing the government to withdraw to
second line of defence but the forces were able to counter attack and regain control.121 The LTTE
launched a sea borne attack on Mandathivu and Kayts and infiltrated the islands on August 11. Over
the next three days the government fought back firing artillery and launching search operations to
push back the LTTE in the islands but the fighting continued in Muhamalai.122 The LTTE also
launched artillery fire towards the Pallaly Airbase to which the government responded with aerial
bombardments of Pooneryn. The casualties for this period were high with some estimates quoting 88
soldiers and 2 sailors injured with 79 bodies and more 100 LTTE carders reported to be lying over
the FDL.123

In the second phase of fighting the LTTE reportedly launched mortars on September 8 to pre-empt
an army offensive which was supposed to take place on September 9 2006. The security forces
carried out an offensive on September 9 across the FDLs in Muhamalai and Eluthuwadduwal with
Czech-built T55 Main Battle Tanks and Russian BTR armed personnel carriers. They succeeded in
securing their FDL and occupied the LTTE‟s FDL and over the week advanced over 1 km into
LTTE controlled Pallai crossing second LTTE line. There were reports that the tnitial directive for
troops to advance to Elephant pass,124 but found the area heavily mined and booby trapped and also
had to confront heavy LTTE artillery firing from Iyakkachchi, below Pallai which resulted in stalling
of the military operations.125 As in the previous phase the LTTE reportedly used 130 mm howitzer
guns on Pallai security zone from Kalmunai Point, Pooneryn forcing a closure of air transport which
was able to resume only after aerial bombardment 126 The government launched aerial and multi
barrel attacks to soften LTTE defensive and offensive capacities.127 The government‟s offensive was
titled as referred to as a “limited action” to neutralize LTTE artillery and mortar positions ahead of
FDL.128 Casualty figures were not clear with reports stating that the army suffered 27 losses and 103
injured and the LTTE 60 according to the military129 but LTTE military spokesman Rasiah
Ilanthirayan claimed that they did not have any casualties on first day even though the security forces
found 11 bodies.130

A third phase of military operations took place in October, against the backdrop of an agreement by
both parties to attend talks in Geneva. On October 11 the LTTE claimed that the armed forces was
launching a mass offensive with the use of battle tanks and armored personnel carriers backed by
aerial support. The two pronged offensive from Muhamalai and Kilali ran into heavy mortar, RPG
and ground fire causing the slowing down of infantry movements as troops advanced into LTTE
defence positions. Within hour an hour they began to withdraw to their original position. That this
was a military debacle is obvious. The figures of casualties are still unclear with some quotes as high
as 138 of officers and soldiers killed.131 While initially the army claimed that 8 officers and 47 soldiers
were killed with 78 personnel missing, the LTTE handed over 74 bodies to the ICRC.132 In addition
the forces lost 5 tanks which it can be assumed that the LTTE will try to repair and turn on the
armed forces. 133 In terms of morale and military positions this marked a significant set back for the
armed forces. Another striking feature of this offensive was that the political leadership and even
sections of the military hierarchy all confessed ignorance of the operation: with the Head of SCOPP
Palitha Kohona stating that as head of the institution responsible for setting out the official position
on military action against the LTTE he would have been informed.134 Even more strikingly the Joint
Operations Headquarters and its head, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera was
also unaware but that permission had been obtained to carry out aerial attacks.135 If both the military
and political leadership were unaware of the operations this poses a dangerous threat to the state. It
has become evident that certain sections were aware of the offensive so the key question is at what
level approval was sought and secured. While the cause for the operations is unclear there were
indications the LTTE had pre- warned the SLMM that the military was preparing for such an
offensive and the Directorate of Military Intelligence warned that the LTTE was strengthening its
defences.136 Ultimately, regardless of which side was preparing for an offensive,137 the most
important factor in terms of the military balance is who won the battle.


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As to how exactly the operations in the North fitted into the LTTE strategy are unclear. In particular
whether the offensive was intended as a distraction from the East in order to put pressure on the
Government by opening up another front is open to debate. It is well known that the re-capture of
Jaffna is a critical aim of the LTTE and there have been repeated intelligence warnings of a build up
of LTTE forces suggesting that they would launch a ground offensive backed up civilian militias such
as Makkal Padai.138 Through the attacks the LTTE was able to demonstrate its fighting and offensive
capacity. Even though in the second phase the LTTE lost territory it was able to thwart the military
from moving further and cause heavy casualties. Its defensive capacity in the North despite the
security forces advantage of air support and MBRs is striking. As a number of defence
correspondents noted the LTTE defences in Pallai meant the armed forces virtually “walked into a
trap.”139 The army suffered significant casualties as a result of these battles and it has become evident
that any battle in the North will be slow and bloody. The security forces have however gained a
significant advantage in that they have been able to secure territory and also demonstrate their ability
to resist attacks.

Humanitarian Impacts of the Military Operations and Violence: The security situation in Jaffna
had rapidly deteriorated over the previous months with civilians becoming the direct or indirect
victims of violence while the civilian population as a whole had to endure increasing obstacles to day-
to-day life as a result of restrictions such as on fishing, limited mobility causing an inflation of food
prices in addition to an intensification of fear. An immediate impact in the upsurge of violence
through military operations was the closure of the A-9. While the entry/exit point at Muhamali has
remained shut for most of the quarter, there is extremely limited access through the Omanthai
checkpoint. The closure has had far-reaching effects both in the Wanni and Jaffna, especially in terms
of shortages of food and other basic supplies. With regards to Jaffna the government began sending
food shipments via sea but there are claims that the supply is far short of needs leading to a severe
shortage in the market, price hikes and increasing malnutrition. Coupled with the security conditions
this has created a dangerous humanitarian situation as the security restrictions such as curfews and
fear of violence mean people are unable to carry out their livelihoods which in turn means that many
people are unable to earn. Furthermore, there are shortages of cash in the banks resulting in further
hardships. There are a large number of people trapped in parts of the North East – Jaffna residents
in Vavuniya or LTTE controlled areas trying to return home and vice versa. Within Jaffna in addition
to people form outside the district seeking to flee local residents also have tried to seek refuge
outside the Peninsula. Reportedly 14,500 people have registered with the GA seeking transport to
leave Jaffna.140 The situation in Jaffna, as ICRC Delegate General for Asia and Pacific Reto Meister
warned was “chocking.141”

The response by the parties to the situation is illuminating, especially given their rationalizing of
military operations on humanitarian grounds. The government has refused to relent on its stance of
opening the A9 and has sought to use ships as an alternate means142 while trying to provide relief for
those facing food shortages. At the same time it has tried to deny that there is a food shortage and
tried to blame the LTTE for threatening shop owners not to open. The government provided
transport for 975 civilians out of Jaffna on Shakthi vessel in early September.143 The Government
also opened the Omanthai checkpoint to allow essential items into Killinochchi and Mullaitivu. The
LTTE has responded aggressively to this closure warning that air and sea movements to Jaffna are
not secure. The LTTE even informed the ICRC that they were unable to guarantee the security of
planes or ships carrying supplies to Jaffna that would fly under the ICRC‟s flag.144 That the Parties
were unable to reach an understanding on the A9 issue became the issue over which the Geneva II
talks broke down suggested that the parties were less interested in finding a method of gradually de-
escalating and easing the humanitarian situation in Jaffna. In addition the security situation for
civilians has steadily deteriorated with has steadily deteriorated. There are increased reports of white
van abductions and killings with some reports stating that daily figures are as high as 3 per day.


                                                                                                      20
Civilians were also caught in the cross fire and became the victims of the military operations be it the
20 civilians killed in Muhamalai and 16 in Allaipiddy on the first day of the military offensive in
Jaffna on August 12.

Military operations in Batticaloa and Amparai : In Batticaloa the Karuna Group and the LTTE
had over 2005 and 2006 stepped up their military operations of commando raids, ambushes and
killings. Over this quarter the level of violence intensified with the armed forces also taking up a
more active role, while the attacks on the security forces seen in previous quarters continued. The
two sides exchanged artillery fire though long range weapons. By August artillery firing had become a
daily feature. The LTTE responded to a military offensive in September by firing artillery towards
Mavil Aru from Verugal which resulted in artillery and MBRs being fired into Verugal, Kathiraveli,
Paalsenai and Vakarai areas.145

Over this quarterly period the Karuna Group launched a number of raids on LTTE Camps in
Batticaloa and Ampara. The TMVP even claimed that the Karuna Group had succeeded in driving
out the LTTE from Amparai and was in the process of locating LTTE cadres.146 The Group also
launched a number of attacks in Vakarai. The LTTE continued to insist that the Karuna Group was
carrying out operations with the armed forces and the STF. For instance in the attack on
Kanchikudicharu it claimed that 18 STF and paramilitaries were killed on September 6th, 147 and that
there was at least artillery support from STF camps in Kanchikudichcharu and Thandiaddy and SLA
camp in Aranthalawa.148. The SLMM stated that there were a number of attacks against the LTTE
where the perpetrators either “came from or fled to GoSL controlled areas” and that there was high
number of killings, attacks and abductions where indicating that “armed groups operate in that area.”
Furthermore “the only clearly identified armed group is the Karuna Faction and their political front
TMVP who, contrary to the GOSL commitment, became even more visible in the East. There are a
number of indications that the GOSL is actively supporting the Karuna Group.”149 The balance of
power in Batticaloa and Amparai seems to have shifted with the Karuna Group expanding its
operations and size. Military sources put the group‟s size as 500-600, while the LTTE in Batticaloa –
Amparai is believed to be 800 and 1,200 border guards.150 It is unclear whether the Karuna Group
has succeeded in driving out the LTTE from particular camps and areas of the East but it is clear that
the attacks has weakened the LTTE‟s control.151 The Karuna Group continues to expand its
operations taking such measures such as the banning of Sudar Oli and Thinnakural in Batticaloa and
Ampara.152 The TMVP also established its office in Trincomalee Town and the group has reportedly
become openly active in Trincomalee Town. The Karuna Group has become more open in its
presence and the relationship with the security forces has become clearer especially given the
protection given to the TMVP offices by state agencies.

 Significant Military Incidents: It should be noted that between each of these major putsches
violence continued with firing of artillery, aerial bombardment, claymores, killings and
disappearances, hence this is an undeclared war fought on multiple fronts by multiple actors in
multiple ways. Two key incidents impacting the military balance took place in October in Habaranna
and Galle. On October 16 the LTTE carried out a suicide operation in Habaranna, at least 116 sailors
killed and more than 130 were injured.153 The attack took place at a navy transit point in Boraluwala,
Digampathana, near Habaranna when navy buses carrying soldiers on leave and returning from leave
met to exchange their passengers. The suicide bomber came in a truck and crashed into the transit
point before blowing up the truck. The number of casualties was the highest the navy suffered since
the signing of the CFA, despite the number of clashes at sea. On October 17 the LTTE launched
another daredevil attack on the Navy‟s base in Galle, SLNS Dakshina from sea. The Sea Tigers
attacked using four boats that were reported to have set out from near Panama.154 A civilian and a
sailor were killed in the violence and a number of navy vessels were damaged.155 The navy was able
to repulse the attack and claimed that it killed 15 LTTE cadres; eight bodies suspected to be those of
LTTE cadres were washed ashore.156 Both these attacks had multiple effects. As Iqbal Athas noted in


                                                                                                     21
the context of the Galle Attack “Even if the attackers failed to cause heavy casualties or damage, the
LTTE delivered a message – it still retained the military capability to reach the South.”157 The LTTE
has through both attacks been able to demonstrate its military capabilities and above all build on its
military success at Muhamalai. In addition to the significant losses of personnel and moral, for the
security forces the two attacks coupled with the Muhamalai debacle represented a series of setbacks
that also challenged the growing public conviction that any war that would follow would be fast and
easy. It also raised concerns as in both cases there were warnings of a potential attack.158 The full
economic impact of these attacks has yet to be seen particularly with regards to tourism as both
Habaranna and Galle are key tourist centres.

As fierce offensives ranged in one location there would be a significant exchange of gunfire in others.
The LTTE movements and offensives by sea were also thwarted such as the September 2 attack on
KSS Harbour in Jaffna with twelve crafts reportedly destroyed,159 or the October 20 LTTE attack on
Point Pedro which was followed a day later by a Sea Tiger attempt to land two boats in in Delpht..160
A joint operation by Sri Lankan navy and air force on September 17 100 nautical miles off Kalmunai
resulted in the destruction craft believed to be carrying arms for the LTTE was blown up, It was
purported to be third largest vessel since CFA signing other two in 2003.161


Geneva Peace Talks: As noted in the negotiations cluster, unlike in the previous round in February
there was no agreement reached that all forms of violence would cease as the two parties contested
whether such an understanding had been reached or not and then made verbal threats that they
would withdraw from talks. In addition to the daily incidents of violence which did not seem a
dramatic drop like January to February 2006, the small incidents continued while it seemed that the
large operations had ceased. The third phase of the Muhamali Operation in October made clear that
this was not the case and it seemed as if there was a deliberate effort to ignore prospect of talks if not
to the destroy the window of opportunity. That the parties did agree to go talks, and the LTTE
especially after Muhmalai indicates both parties ambivalence of turning away from the peace process
and the „no war, no peace situation.‟

Swings in the Military Balance of Power: Looking at this quarter as a whole it is clear that there
have been rapid swings in the military balance of power between Mavil Aru and Geneva II. In the
East it seems to be clear that the government has been able to make headway in securing territory
and a strategic advantage over the LTTE. While the Mavil Aru Operation took much longer than
expected it did signal an important shift in the Government‟s strategy in switching to a hard line
stance and a willingness to use military options. With Sampur the government transformed the
military balance in Trincomalee and thereby better secured this vital site which has an important role
in deciding the military balance. That is not to say that government controlled areas are not
vulnerable to LTTE incursions as demonstrated with the Mutur Attack. Yet, coupled with the role of
the Karuna Group harrying the LTTE forces in Batticaloa and Ampara, the government has been
able to strengthen its position.

In the North the battles for Jaffna have resulted in huge swings in the balance of power. It is clear
that both sides have consolidated their defence capabilities making it increasingly difficult for making
significant headway to capturing territory and keeping it. The LTTE operations in Mandathivu and
the Army operations in Pallai both show their ability to launch raids but not necessarily their ability
to seize control. That the government forcers were able to inch forward to seize the LTTE‟s FDL
and prevent the fall of Jaffna or of entry points to the peninsula is notable, demonstrating that it has
been able to gain some advantage. Yet, the casualties of the operations in October for the security
forces did have an impact on the morale and restrained ambitions for going towards to Elephant
Pass at least in the short term.



                                                                                                       22
Looking at the overall balance it would thus seem that the armed forces have a slight advantage over
the LTTE in this quarter, especially when compared to December 2005 and January 2006. The
government‟s support for utilizing military options has strengthened the military‟s position. On the
battlefield the greater coordination of aerial support, artillery, infantry and ground troops has
delivered significant rewards. Yet, as defence corresponent iqbal athas noted “this phase of war in the
past weeks saw battlefield gains shifting from one side to the other. At first, buoyed by the military
successes at Mavil Aru, Kattaiparichchan and Muhamalai and Sampur the Government spoke from a
position of greater strength… The debacle [at Muhamalai] followed by the two attacks [at Habaranna
and on Galle Harbour] erased the great momentum.”162 Temporarily at least there was clearly need
for a respite from war-making and for re-evaluating strategic goals.

The government had losses particularly in manpower. From the period of major operations official
statistics lists that 31 officers and 380 other ranks were killed, and 118 officers and 2081 other ranks
were injured.163 As Iqbal Athas claims this figure is misleading as the total official number of 411
army personnel does not seem to reflect the number of casualties from each of the major operations
and minor incidents during this period. The figures from the incidents at Muhamalai, Habaranna and
Galle would add up to 613 military personnel and 2956 wounded.164 Also loss of six battle tanks lost
in Muhamalai battle, each costing around Rs 10 million (US$ 100,000).165 The figure of LTTE
casualties according to the military is at least three times the figures for the security forces.166 As
Athas points out this playing of figures was typical of the war days when there was little scope for
independent verification and the Government would minimize security force casualties and claim
large figures for the LTTE, and vice versa.

For the LTTE this quarter has been a set back as it has had to yield strategic territory to the security
forces in Jaffna and Trincomalee. Some analysts are quick to point out the LTTE‟s present weakness
“if a comparative study was to be on the superiority of fire power used so far in Eelam War IV, it
could be concluded that that Tigers have not been all that successful during the CFA in stock piling
as it was made out. In fact it appears the morale of the fighters was down and so is the fighting
capabilities, proving the renegade Tiger correct.”167 The LTTE also suffered some desertions in
Trincomalee. 168 Some defence correspondents noted that many of the fighters were underage and
that there were a number of women cadres so there is a possibility that the LTTE is keeping back its
core fighting force so this actions has been more of “a dress rehersal.”169 Furthermore, the
expectation of new tactics by the LTTE did not come into being. 170 Yet, it is notable that LTTE‟s
old strategies did succeed in re-balancing the military dynamics with its two operations in the South –
in Habaranna and Galle demonstrating its ability to strike hard.

Human Rights: As seen in the last quarter where it was noted that there was increasing disregard
for civilians and the situation has continued to deteriorate with instances of direct targeting of
civilians, flagrant violations by the parties for the laws and norms governing the treatment of civilians
during armed conflict, horrific incidents of violence, and a growing culture of impunity. The numbers
of killings give some indications of the killings. The quoted figures are in variance with some
organizations such as the Home for Human Rights claiming that up to 1339 were killed from January
to September 2006 171 Some of the major incidents of violence give a further indication to the
growing human rights and humanitarian crisis.

Killing of 17 workers from the INGO Action Contre La Faim in Mutur:
Seventeen workers from Action Contre La Faim were killed in the ACF Office in Mutur.
The last radio contact was at 6:10 on August 4 while the Judicial Medical Officer who performed the
post-mortem indicated that the probable time of death was between the night of August 3 and 4.
There are conflicting reports as to who controlled Jaffna at that point as the Government insisted
that it had not lost control of Mutur and then stated it had regained control of Mutur while later
stating that the LTTE infiltration last from August 1 to midnight August 4. There was mounting


                                                                                                      23
suspicion that the government forces were involved. The SLMM in a statement blamed the
government and also critiqued the government for preventing them the right of entry. The
Government‟s Peace Secretariat stated that the statement was “extremely irresponsible” and that it
was a “pre-emptive ruling.”172 Responding to the international outcry the government responded that
it would call for Australian forensic experts but then stated that they would have observer status only
Australian Forensic experts came but left pending a response to the government‟s request to the
court to exhume two of the seventeen bodies and returned to Sri Lanka and will a wait court‟s
decision on direction of investigation, status only as observers.173 The killings created deep fears for
humanitarian agencies working in the North and East as it became clear that Sri Lanka had become
one of the most dangerous places for humanitarian workers. Furthermore it demonstrated the
vulnerable situation of the Tamil civilians. The case also had a tragic link to the killing of the five
students in Trincomalee in Janurary 2006 where one family lost two individuals, one in each incident.
The investigations raised questions of credibility, transparency and independence.

Aerial bombardment of girls in Sencholai, Mullaitivu
The airforce bombed a camp in Sencholai on August 14. The government insisted that it was a
military camp where children were receiving military training. The LTTE claimed that the female
children from across the North East who were attending a residential two-day first aid training.
Sencholai itself is an orphanage. It is reported that over 50 girls were killed and over 120 injured. The
government insisted the military nature of the camp with Rambukwella stating that “the gender or
age limit of those inside an LTTE area was immaterial in a military offensive targeting Tiger training
camps.”174 “We have proof that this was used by the LTTE as a training camp. We have been
monitoring this are for the last three years before attacking it.”175 The government noted that the
context for the attack was the growing violence in Jaffna and the LTTE‟s preparations for a fresh
military offensive.176 The SLMM stated that it had no evidence to suggest that the camp was a
military installation,177 which the government dismissed.178 The UNICEF also visited the site and
local hospital and found more than 100 children receiving treatment “

This is yet another example of how vulnerable children are in an armed conflict and how children
become victims of violence, regardless of intentions.”179 The attack raised critical concern about the
rights of children in situations of an armed conflict and the willingness of the armed actors to engage
in military operations where the evidence was ambiguous.

Killing of 11 labourers in Ranthal Kulam, Pottuvil
On September 17 eleven Muslim labourers went out to repair anicut at Ranthal Kulaum in Pottuvil
and disappeared. A search party found the workers blindfolded, badly mutilated and hacked to death.
One survivor, Meera Mohideen (60). Police claimed that he had made a statement implicating the
police. He was supposed to be sent Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital but he was instead sent to
the General Hospital in Ampra. His daughter Rujja says that he was unable to speak and that neither
she nor her husband was able to visit him.180 The local Muslim community protested demanding the
removal of Sastaweli STF Camp chief S.N. Gunaratne claim that he was directly or indirectly
involved. This was followed by a protest in Ulla which resulted in more violence with a number of
protestors and police injured. On September 27 Mohideen was transferred to Colombo General
Hospital. The STF claim that the Muslims were involved in illicit timber felling which the STF were
trying to prevent, hence used this opportunity to discredit the STF. In the days prior to the killing
there had been increased hostility over the attempt by the local Sinhalese to bury a villager in the
Muslim burial grounds, thereby intensifying existing tensions over land and communal relations. The
SLMC leader who visited the site stated that the local people believed that the STF had a hand in the
killing and called for an international commission. The six STF personnel meant to provide security
for the SLMC leader were withdrawn.181 A Muslim Minister in the Government A.L.M. Athulla
visited Mohideen and obtained a statement that the LTTE was responsible. This case raises a number
issues including the treatment of the key witness, especially the questionable manner in which his


                                                                                                      24
statement was recorded and the manner in which he was kept in isolation. The Pottuvil killing raises
a larger issue of the insecurity and vulnerability of the Muslim Community as also made clear in the
Mutur Crisis. It is clear that the security of the community cannot be guaranteed from any of the
armed actors.

The Killing of 16 in Allaipiddy and the Disapearance of Father Thiruchelvam Nihal “Jim
Brown”
On August 12 as the LTTE landed in Mandaitheevu and fought its way up to Allaipiddy, many of the
residents fled to Philip Neri‟s Church. The army began firing multi-barrel rocket launchers on
Allaipiddy-Mandatheevu. Some of the shells fell near the vicinity of Philip Neri‟s Church. Sixteen
people sheltering inside the church were killed and fifty four were injured. The parish priest Father
Brown asked that the security forces allow the survivors to leave the area but they were refused.
Subsequently they were allowed to go to Kayts182 but then had to appeal to additional magistrate
Srinidhy Nadasekeran to let the wounded be sent to Jaffna Hospital.

Father Thiruchelvam Nihal “Jim Brown” went missing along with a social worker on August 20
driving on a motorbike from Kayts having assisted at a church service. They were last seen at the
Allaipiddy Road Junction at 1.50. There was also an entry recording that they had left at 2.10 pm but
Kayts police were unable to check details from navy and the witness noted that Father Brown did
not enter Allaipiddy until 2.10 so he could not have left by then.183 Father Brown was transferred to
Allaipiddy in the aftermath of the killing of 9 in Allaipiddy in May. The parish priest at the time
Father Amalraj came under increasing poresure with accusations that he was a Tiger supporter so
Father Brown was sent as a replacement. The priest had come to meet the bishop on August 19 and
told him what had happened in Allaipiddy and the Bishop had asked him to stay at the Bishop‟s
House he had responded “Lord my people are waiting for drinking water. I‟ll deliver those water
bottles and then I‟ll come back.”184 Another priest had disappeared on August 11 Rev. Vincent
Vinodharajah, priest of an evangelical church of the apostle. The Bishop of Jaffna became so nervous
about the situation where even priests have no safety he wanted to recall priests from all problematic
areas but the laity put pressure to prevent such measures being adopted.185 The Allaipiddy Incident
raises a number of issues including the principle that places of worship and religious figures are
protected by international law and the cultural norms of this country. It also demonstrates the role of
the security forces in carrying out or turning a blind eye to disappearances.


                                Attacks on High Profile Individuals
Kethesh Lognanthan, Deputy Secretary General of SCOPP was assassinated on August 11 2006. He
become a key human rights advocate. He was shot at his home by a man who claimed to be from the
CID and who spoke fluent Sinhalese. His murder was condemned by a number of local and
international actors including Kofi Annan.186

The Pakistan High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Bahseer Wali Mohammed was targeted by a bomb in
a three wheeler on August 14. Fingers pointed in different directions but with the LTTE being the
chief suspect. The possible rational being Pakistan‟s growing military ties with Sri Lanka.187 It was the
first time such a high level international personality had been targeted in the Sri Lankan Peace
Process, or even the conflict, since the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. His two
Sri Lankan body guards were killed.

Abductions and Disappearances: Over this quarter there were waves of abductions and
disappearances across the North East and the South. Child recruitment continued with both the
LTTE and Karuna accused of carrying out abductions and forcible recruitment.188 It also noted the
there was an emerging trend in that the Karuna Faction had stepped up its recruitment drive to rival
the numbers being recruited by the LTTE in the month of August with the former recruiting 43 and


                                                                                                      25
the latter 47. Over the current quarter the Karuna Group recruited 96 children while the LTTE
recruited 116.189 According to UNICEF figurers the LTTE released one batch of 46 children in the
first week of September and announced a new on the rights of the child a week prior to the visit of
the Special Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on Children in Armed Conflict, Alan Rock.190 In
his statement Rock pointed to the continuing recruitment by the LTTE and its failure to comply with
the commitments it had made with regards to the Action Plan. Rock also pointed to the abductions
by the Karuna Group and claimed he had evidence indicating linkages between the security forces
and the group.191

“Amidst total apathy and inaction of the law and enforcement authorities, there are continued
abductions and mysterious killings taking place in the country,”192 with a sharp rise in Colombo in
August. There are claims that Tamil businessmen were targeted for abduction and ransom. The sums
of money being spoken of are huge rs 100 million.193. For instance a lodge owner at Vivekanada
Road in Kotahena disappeared on July 7 but was reported to have called his mother and stated he
was going to be kept as a hostage and that a ransom of Rs 4 million was to be paid in Polonnaruwa.
The money paid but he is still missing. In other cases there have been no reports of demands of
money. For instance Selvamani Thavarasan, niece of UNP parliamentarian T. Maheswaran, who was
abducted on September 1 in the morning and was released at midnight.194 Nadrajah Kuruparan of
Sooriyan FM news was abducted on August 29 but was released on August 30 at night. Up-Country
People‟s Front Colombo District political orgaiser K. Sivakanthan wasabducted on August 23. On
September 1 Reginald Jesudasan, 31 was abducted on his way back home after work, after 7.20 pm
when he was last seen. His body was found the next morning wrapped from head to toe in polythene
and with torture marks in Thotalanga, Grandpass.195 Some state from January to August 65 civilians
reported missing, 50 in August alone while others state that 41 are missing.196

The disappearances in Colombo led to protests from politicians, both Tamils and Sinhalese, and civil
society groups. A group of parliamentarians formed an ad hoc committee to monitor and address the
disappearances – the Civil Monitoring Committee. Tamil parties call for demonstration but receive
assurances from the president so called off the protest. The police, as voiced by IGP Chandra
Fernando and the government also took the line that some of these cases were being investigated to
examine if the complaints were genuine and if any ransom money had been paid.197 Some police
sources officially state that some of the abductions could be the work of the LTTE in order to
embarrass the government, while other police sources state that most of the abductions have been
carried out by Tamil paramilitary groups.198 Police Deputy Inspector General N.K.. Illangakoon is set
up a team to investigate the sudden spike of disappearances in Colombo and its environs. The police
arrested individuals accused of extorting Tamil businessmen199 and also suspended policemen over
taking bribes at checkpoints.200 As in the case of the abductions the culture of silence is what is
terrifying as even groups that demonstrated against disappearance during the Premadasa Presidency
are mute.201 Fear has returned that even cabinet minister in fear of being disappeared as made evident
by Minister Periyasamy Chandrasekeran who charged that he was being monitored by army
intelligence.202 Mano ganeshan warns “It may be Tamils today but it could be the Muslims and
Sinhalese tomorrow” while Vasudeva Nanyakkara states that people are stricken with fear.203

The government has responded to the series of violations with a number of measures including the
appointment of a Special Presidential Commission to probe disappearances headed by retired High
Court Judge Mahanama Tillakaratna.204 The President also announced the creation of an
International Commission of Inquiry which was subsequently altered to a national commission with
international observers. As Special Rapporteuar on Extrajudicial Killings noted “A truly independent
international inquiry holds out the prospect of resolving some of the horrendous events of recent
weeks and months and bringing the country back from the abyss.” He called for the commission to
be independent, credible, effective and empowered. He also warned that “If the commission does
not meet the requirements the initiative will fail and set back the cause of peace. If the requirements


                                                                                                    26
are taken seriously the move will prove to be courageous and could break the vicious circle that
currently grips the country.”205 That these measures were put in place at all is striking but the timing
of these initiatives suggests that the government is sensitive to the demands of domestic and
international actors. Members of government particularly those who have to face international
community and explain the atrocities have a difficult task. “Interestingly President Mahinda
Rajapakse too had spoken grudgingly about how things had gone out of control as regards the
conduct of certain government security and sleuth outfits, and how he was confronted for the cases
whenever he went abroad while he knew nothing about them.”206 A number key international actors
voiced their concern over the situation in the country including at the UN Headquarters in New
York, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and in a number of capitals referring to
the growing human rights and humanitarian crisis, that had effectively put Sri Lanka third on the
international agenda, behind Darfur, the Middle East. A number of local civil society groups and
actors, international rights groups, representatives of multilateral agencies and states voiced their
concern and the need for critical steps to be take by the actors involved in the violence, including the
need to create an international human rights monitoring mission.




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                    IV.     CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL CLUSTER


4.1     Context
The previous quarter continued to be dominated by the issues related to the failure to reconstitute
the Constitutional Council and the other constitutionally–mandated independent commissions, and
the resultant crisis of rule of law and democratic governance. Specifically, while the Constitutional
Council remained inoperational, the President proceeded to make several unilateral judicial and other
governmental appointments in contravention of the express terms of the 17th Amendment to the
Constitution, which requires the prior sanction of the still-defunct Constitutional Council. In doing
so, the Government again demonstrated an apparent contempt for the Constitution and the rule of
law.

4.2      Increasing
While the issues surrounding the failure to reconstitute the Constitutional Council and the other 17th
Amendment-mandated independent commissions persist, these issues have been overshadowed
during this quarterly period by further legal developments, particularly certain key
judicial decisions, which have further exacerbated concerns regarding the crisis with respect to the
rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. The controversial Supreme Court decisions in the
UNHRC/Sinharasa case and the North-East Province de-merger case once again reflect a politicized
Supreme Court, which does not augur well for the prospects for a resolution of the ethnic crisis.
Meanwhile, the Government and military strictures on Non-Governmental Organizations operating
in the north and east, which have taken a noticeably hostile turn during this quarter, reflect a
dangerous trend towards a disregard for the human rights of the civilian population in that region.

4.3     North East De-Merger
The Supreme Court on 16th October 2006 in a landmark judgment ruled that the merger of the
North and East provinces, effected by gazette notification on a presidential directive in 1987 was null
and void ab initio (from its inception). In doing so, the judgment has declared illegal a political
arrangement that had become a de facto reality over the past 17 years.

The merger of the North and East provinces that have functioned as two separate provinces since
independence came about with the signing of the Indo Lanka peace accord in 1987 and the
establishment of provincial councils under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.207 The
temporary merger of the two provinces to create a single northeastern entity was to be validated with
a referendum within a year. However the continuing ethnic conflict in the island has resulted in
deferring the referendum indefinitely. Since 1988 successive Presidents have extended the merger
through special gazette notifications as they were unable to carry out the referendum on the merger
which was to decide the amalgamation of the two provinces by the vote of the people of the two
provinces separately.

The Petitioners in the instant case, Jayantha Wijesekera, Mohamed Buhary and Wasantha Piyatissa, all
of whom were residents of the Eastern Province and affiliated with JVP, alleged infringement of
their fundamental rights to the equal protection of the law, guaranteed by Article 12(1) of the
Constitution, as a result of the merger since this was done without approval of Parliament and their
fundamental right to elect a Provincial Council had been violated. Ruling in favor of the Petitioners,
the Supreme Court held that the merger constituted a violation of Article 154A(3) of the
Constitution, which empowers only Parliament to provide by law for merger of the provinces, as well
as section 37(1) (b) of the Provincial Councils Act 1987.

Intervenient petitions were filed in the Supreme Court in this case by entities of voluntary socio-
religious organizations in a bid to counter the JVP‟s petition. These were filed by Kadirgamathamby


                                                                                                    28
Thambiaiyah of Trincomalee, Vettivel Jayanathan and N. Thillaiyampalam. Another was filed by
United Socialist Party (USP) Sirutunga Jayasuriya too filed a petition in this case. These petitioners
claimed that the Northern and Eastern Provinces have been traditionally recognized as Tamil
speaking areas well before colonization and have remained so even after independence. It was the
contention of the intervienient petitioners that State-aided settlement of Sinhalese persons from
other parts of the country on state lands in the Eastern Province, particualalry in Trincomalee and
Amparai has resulted in the Tamils losing their status as the clear majority of persons in theEastern
Province.208 From a technical legalistic perspective, the Supreme Court‟s ruling arguably does remedy
an illegality in the sense that the manner in which the merger was effected was not in accordance
with the Constitution and not open and transparent.

From a broader political and conflict resolution perspective, however, this judgment has serious
detrimental implications on the peace process insofar as, as expressed by political and legal analysts,
“Tamil nationalist forces committed to a separate state will cite the judgment as yet another example
of lack of empathy or understanding on the part of key Sri Lankan institutions and feel reinforced in
their belief that separation is the only option.”209 Moreover, the timing of the court challenge, 17
years after the merger‟s effect and at the height of renewed war, signals a deliberate attempt to drive a
political wedge into the ethnic issue during a particularly sensitive time. Finally, the conduct of the
Supreme Court, and particularly that of the Chief Justice, during the proceeding again raises
questions as to its independence and non-bias.

Some legitimate concerns about the manner in which the case was heard, the fact that the lawyers
representing some of the parties who wished to intervene in the case, were not given the opportunity
if making their submissions properly, not allowed to develop their arguments. It had been critically
noted by media and political and legal annalists on this issue especially when dealing with complex
issues such as this which have a significant political fall out it would have been better for all parties
and intervenient should they have been made to feel that they had an opportunity to be heard. The
judgment went further than required in declaring the merger null and void ab initio, rather than
tailoring a narrower ruling which could have acknowledged the ground realities of the past 17 years
as well as the practical implications for the resolution of the ethnic conflict.

4.4      Supreme Court Decision on the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on
         Civil and Political Rights – UNHRC/Sinharasa case
On 16th September a five Judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice ruled that
the Sri Lankan Government‟s accession to the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights was inconsistent with the Constitution of Sri Lanka. In the case in
question, the Petitioner, Nallaratnam Sinharasa, had made an application to the Supreme Court to
effectuate, on the basis of the Court‟s “inherent powers”, the findings of the United Nations Human
Rights Committee at Geneva established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights in Communication No. 1033 0f 2000 which found the Sri Lankan State responsible for
violations of Sinharasa‟s human rights in the conduct of his initial arrest, prosecution and conviction
in 1995.

In its judgment the Supreme Court held that the accession to the Optional Protocol and the
subsequent declaration by the President of Sri Lanka in 1997 that the Government had acceded to
the Optional Protocol was unconstitutional and invalid, on the grounds that the treaty conferred a
public law right which was a purported exercise of the legislative power and therefore was within the
realm of Parliament and the people at a referendum. The Court further held that the Optional
Protocol also amounted to a purported conferment of „judicial power‟ on the Committee in violation
of Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution, which reposed „judicial sovereignty‟ in the people. The Court
ruled that Sri Lanka, like Britain, followed the dualist theory that recognized the distinction between
international and municipal law. Therefore, the judgment continued, international treaties entered


                                                                                                      29
into by the President or the Government of Sri Lanka had to be implemented by domestic legislation
in order to have internal effect.

Arguably, there was a genuine question as to the extent to which the Sri Lanka judiciary – as opposed
to either the executive or legislative branches – was empowered by its own Constitution and internal
laws to effectuate the findings of an international body such as the UN Human Rights Committee
which holds the Sri Lankan State responsible for human rights violations in contravention of its
international treaty obligations. However, the Supreme Court‟s ruling seems to have gone
unnecessarily beyond this narrowly focused issue relating to the separation of State powers, to
abrogate in its entirety an international human rights treaty ratified in accordance with the powers
vested in the executive by the Constitution. In so ruling, the Supreme Court has seemingly
withdrawn Sri Lanka from the Optional Protocol and, moreover, called into question the executive
authority to enter into any future international treaties. As the Asian Human Rights Committee
described in its statement, “The Supreme Court‟s decision which declared that neither United
Nations Conventions signed by Sri Lanka nor the directives of monitoring bodies were binding on
the country, has all but removed the country from the international human rights community.”210 As
such, the ruling signals a further deterioration in the human rights regime in Sri Lanka, at a time
when such protections are even more acutely needed in order to protect increasingly-threatened
minority rights. The judgment will further undermine public confidence, particularly that of
minorities, in the rule of law and the protection of human rights in the judiciary as well as the rest of
the Government.

4.5      Government Strictures on Non-Government Organizations
Six foreign NGOs had had their visas and work permits revoked by the Sri Lankan Government on
grounds of foul play, and were given a few weeks to leave the country. The banned organizations
included MSF France, MSF Spain, MDM France, Doctors of the World USA, Medicos Du Mondo
and Solidarities.211

The reason for the refusal to grant visas, according to Government Military Spokesman Keheliya
Rambukwella, was the INGOs‟ non-compliance with immigration and customs policies, their
withdrawal and non-conformity to an agreement made with the navy during the tsunami and their
„acting as mercenaries‟ in the north east. The Government spokesman in this instance declared that
the government had the right to deny visas to anyone, and had been forced to exercise it in this
case.212

Several NGOs and political parties voiced their opinion against the State control of NGOs stating
that it was a violation of human rights. They said it was an act aimed at fulfilling political aspirations
by certain political groups. They were to submit a written appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to
change his decision on controlling NGOs and to explain their stand to the Parliamentary Select
Committee on NGOs.213

In another example of Government hostility towards INGOs by condemning what it called anti-
social activities of some INGOs, a senior government source commented that INGOs including
UNHCR representatives in the east had tried to block the resettlement of internally displaced
persons. According to this source, “on one occasion an additional GA in a Northern District had
been threatened by the UNHCR officers….”214 The Defense Ministry issued a warning thereafter
that, if resettlement was being blocked, those INGO representatives would be arrested after
conducting police inquiries.215

According to the Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse, the GOSL was concerned over the
possibility of mercenaries entering the LTTE held territory in the guise of foreign relief workers.
Rajapakse expressed the belief that their recent decision to tighten controls was primarily to prevent


                                                                                                       30
the LTTE and unscrupulous elements among the „INGO circuit‟ from taking advantage of the
situation. The above developments indicate an unhealthy trend developing within the military and
Government to systematically close the space available for human rights and humanitarian workers
to operate in the conflict affected areas.

As noted by Centre For Policy Alternatives Director Rohan Edirisinha during a news conference,
controlling NGOs is a violation of basic human rights.216 He explained that controlling them is not
necessary as there are laws which govern the NGOs already. Mr. Edirisinha accused the
Government of trying to politicize NGOs which are functioning freely.217 Mr. Edirisinha further
warned that the country is moving towards fascism if the state tries to control everything.218

The Parliamentary Select Committee, to investigate the activities of local and international NGO‟s,
continues its investigations in to financial transparency of both national and international non
governmental organizations, threat to national security from these organizations and on what these
organizations are doing for social welfare of Sri Lankans. The 25 member Parliamentary Select
Committee on NGO‟s headed by JVP MP. Vijitha Herath comprises representatives from all parties
represented in Parliament. This is the first time a Parliamentary Committee had been appointed to
investigate the activities of both the INGO‟s and NGO‟s.

However concerns have been raised within civil society as to whether the Parliamentary Committee
is using its authority to intimidate and still the voices and actions of the non governmental
organizations. This concern was highlighted this quarter in an open letter by the International
Commission of Jurists addressed to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the Select Committee of
Parliament for the Investigation of the Operations of non-governmental organizations and their
impact.219

This letter draws attention to the fact that the basis for the establishment of the Parliamentary Select
Committee, as set out in the terms of reference issued in Parliament, is the allegation that some
NGO‟s are engaged in activities that are “inimical to the sovereignty and integrity of Sri Lanka” and
“detrimental” to the national and social wellbeing of the country”, and that adversely affect “national
security”. The ICJ has noted that if the „Parliamentary Select Committee is to continue to function, it
will be important to clarify the terminology used in terms of reference, to ensure there is no scope
for misinterpretation‟ since currently the terminology used is vague and , given the current security
context in Sri Lanka, could be misused for purposes other than those intended by the Parliament.

A vibrant civil society is an essential element of any democracy and the work of NGO‟s should be
encouraged and further as the ICJ rightly acknowledges NGO‟s like any other organizations and
individuals, should be subjected to generally applicable and properly legislated national laws and
regulations in such areas as financial and tax matters and criminal law. Such laws and regulations
should not infringe on the rights to freedom of assembly , association and expression contained in
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Sri Lanka is a party.

Vijitha Herath, Chairman of the Select committee stated the NGO‟s identified as potential threats to
national security are to be called to testify before the Committee. He further stated that legislation
would be brought to Parliament shortly to ban NGO‟s that are found working against the national
security and territorial integrity of the country and that already the Committee had recommended
banning NGO‟s that are found working against the interests of Sri Lanka.220

   High Court freezes Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) accounts for six months

On 5th September High Court of Colombo directed the freezing of the TRO bank accounts for six
months. The High court order was an affirmation of the decision taken by the Financial Intelligence


                                                                                                     31
unit of the Central Bank the week before such order to freeze the said account under financial
Transaction Reporting Act and the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act.

“The TRO in Sri Lanka has received through the banking system in Sri Lanka, large sums of money
from its branches in several foreign locations and continues to receive such funds, purporting to be
for humanitarian projects. Since there is now a doubt as to the purposes of these funds and a
likelihood that these funds may be used for terrorist financing , investigations are currently in
progress in this regard”221


4.6      Elections and Electoral Reforms
Local Government Elections in the north and east continue to be postponed as a result of the
security situation in that region. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake decided to
postpone the local government polls in the North-East till June 30, 2007. The election had earlier
been scheduled for September 30, 2006, to elect members to local bodies in Jaffna, Mulaitivu,
Mannar and Vavuniya districts in the North and certain other local bodies in the East. This decision
was hailed by the TNA and EPDP citing that the situation is not conducive at all for an election in
the war-ravaged province.222

Meanwhile, the GOSL continues to discuss the possibility of broad-based electoral system reform.
The interim report of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms which was to be
presented in Parliament by Dinesh Gunewardena on 12th October suggests an electoral system which
is a combination of the first past the post system and the present proportional representation system
(PR) based on the German model.223 The proposed model is considered by the select committee to
meet the goals of providing stability and governability of the Parliament while ensuring fair
representation of minority parties and communities.

However the smaller parties, namely SLMC, JVP and CWC, have expressed reservations regarding
the proposed system. It drew flak from the SLMC for its failure to provide for the Multi Party
Constituencies (MPC). The minority parties‟ concern is with regard to minority representation. The
SLMC view is that at least 25 seats should be allocated to accommodate representatives from
minority groups.224 The UNP, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction regarding the proposed structure of
electoral reform except for a few points that they felt needed further refining.

Though the select committee had initially planned to submit the final report to Parliament by 12th
October, this has been delayed due to the request for more time by the smaller political parties. The
Committee continues to meet to discuss reforms.225

4.7      Committee to Review 17th Amendment
The previous quarter reported that Parliament had approved the Government proposal to appoint a
select committee to bring in amendments to the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The political
parties represented in Parliament decided to amend the 17th Amendment in light of the crisis that
has arisen over re-activating the Constitutional Council. On 7th September, Parliament appointed
the said select committee as agreed by political parties earlier, and appointed Constitutional Affairs
Minister D.E.W Gunasekera as the Chairman of the Committee. The UNP had earlier decided not
to make representations to this committee citing it as a delaying tactic to cripple the activities of
Independent Commissions established under the 17th Amendment. However, it changed its stand
later and decided to participate in the committee and make constructive suggestions to amend the
17th Amendment.




                                                                                                   32
4.8      Emergency Regulations
The Emergency was again renewed in this quarter. Parliament on the 8th November 2006 extended
the State of Emergency by one month with 102 voting in favour and 21 opposing. The SLFP, UNP,
JVP, EPDP and the CWC voted for the extension, while the TNA and Colombo District UNP
member T. Maheswaran and Western Peoples Front member Mano Ganeshan voted against. JHU
and SLMC members were not present at the time of voting.226

As has been noted in prior reports, the regulations continue to raise concerns surrounding their
discriminatory impact inasmuch as they give the police and state security apparatus expansive powers
of search, arrest, detention, and seizure of property, while simultaneously suspending various
concomitant due procedural safeguards designed to protect individual rights and liberties. The
continued enforcement of the emergency regulations will continue to place a strain on public
sentiment among the community at the receiving end – the Tamils. It is foreseeable, also, that the
emergency regulations will continue to be renewed and extended unaltered by the Parliament
indefinitely.




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                                   V. ECONOMIC CLUSTER

5.1     Context
The macro-economy seems to have performed well during the second quarter of this year despite
deteriorating security situation in the North-East and an unrelenting rise in world oil prices. The 8%
growth rate for the first quarter and other economic indicators suggest that growth can be sustained
irrespective of the security situation. All the foregoing politico military developments including
possible attacks on economic targets, coupled with political instability in the South and the lack of a
clear economic framework would have profound consequences for the economy in due course of
time. The violence has had a profound effect on the economy in the North and East, with sharp
price hikes particularly in Jaffna. All statistical data in Section 1 is derived from the Central Bank of
Sri Lanka227 and hence much of the data and analysis will be on the second quarterly period, April-
June, using more current information where available. Section 2 is derived from secondary sources
and collected in the field in the North and East region by the Point Pedro Institute of Development
(PPID).


5.2     Factors, Trends and Indicators
5.2.1   Macro Economy of Sri Lanka: Continuing economic growth despite violence and
        increasing oil prices but signs of slowing down
The third quarter of 2006 saw the intensification of the conflict that resumed in December 2005.
Macro-economic indicators showed continuing growth and resilience. While failing to eclipse the
high growth rate of the first quarter, the growth rates in the second and third quarter continued to be
high. The service and agricultural sectors in particular are fuelling growth, and recording growth rates
higher than the corresponding quarters last year. On the external front the economy has done
reasonably well during this year. Despite world oil price rises the government has been able to
maintain three months‟ reserves during the first ten months, even though the trade deficit hit a
record high in the third quarter. The government was able to maintain reserves primarily due to
strong exports and increased flow of remittances from abroad. In addition to export earnings and
remittances the government mobilised external resources through the sale of foreign currency
denominated development bonds worth over USD 500 million. Further, the government is planning
to sell foreign currency denominated Treasury bills in order to attract foreign investors into the
government securities market.

The second and the third quarters have witnessed a rapid increase in military expenditures
throughout the year. The government resorted to domestic borrowings to finance the rise in military
expenditures. Government‟s competition with the private sector to mobilise domestic resources has
resulted in excess demand for money in the domestic financial markets. This intense competition
resulted in excessive borrowings in the domestic financial markets during the third quarter. This is
one of the primary causes of spiraling inflation in the country, which was about 17% in October (in
terms of CCPI). While interest rates continued to soar, inflation rates were higher. The government‟s
unwillingness to raise interest rates higher suggested it was more interested in sustaining a high
growth rate than on tackling the cost of living. The rise in inflation over the last two quarters is
primarily due to a rapid rise in public expenditure for military and welfare funding.

In order to stem the excessive borrowings in the financial markets the Central Bank increased
borrowing rates twice during the month of September, which was unprecedented. Even after such
interest rate rise it falls below the inflation rate. The real interest rates have been negative for over a
year. This negative real interest rate is also a primary cause of excessive borrowings in the financial


                                                                                                        34
markets. However, the Central Bank is reluctant to raise the interest rates over and above the
inflation rate because it would negatively impact on economic growth. Hence, it appears that the
government is in favour of boosting economic growth rather than arresting inflation. There is likely
to be a trade off between economic growth and inflation.

The proposed budget for 2007 is an expansionary one; total public expenditure is expected to
increase by over 40%, including 46% rise in military expenditures (see Table 4). The government is
planning to finance the budget through additional taxes and by raising the existing tax rates. The
government revenue fell short of expectation during 2006 (as has been the case in the past several
years) and the prospects are not any better for 2007. This means government will resort to increased
domestic borrowings in 2007 as well. These borrowings will increase the stock of total public debt in
the country, thereby increasing the burden of debt repayments in the years to come. These are likely
to increase public expenditures in the future as well, which in turn would fuel inflation. Thus, it is a
vicious cycle.

The government also enunciated a 10-year public investment programme (PIP) along with the
budget 2007 (Ten Year Development Plan). The PIP is targeted on infrastructure development
projects spanning over a 10-year period.

Germany has suspended its bilateral aid programme to Sri Lanka reportedly due to lack of progress
in the peace front. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to close its office in Sri
Lanka and would henceforth carry out operations in Sri Lanka from its office in New Delhi. These
recent developments could be indicative of the growing frustration of the international community
with the government‟s economic and political programmes and policies. Moreover, on the home
front, the Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance has reportedly tendered his resignation
recently effective from January 01, 2007. These external and internal changes do not augur well for
the Sri Lankan economy in the coming year, as it would fuel uncertainty about the country.

A high economic growth rate (Gross Domestic Product- GDP) was sustained from the record
breaking growth rate in the first quarter. The revised quarterly growth rate in the first quarter was
8.3% (up from 8.1% notified earlier). The economy (GDP) grew by 7.6% in real terms during the
second quarter 2006 and 7.5% in the third quarter 2006. While the growth rate for the second quarter
growth rate was lower than that of first quarter, it was higher than that of the corresponding quarter
last year (6.0%). A drop in growth rate was expected as the rate of growth in the first quarter of 2005
was significantly low due to the impact of the tsunami of December 2004. The Sri Lankan economy
grew by 8% during the first half of this year, stimulated by telecommunications, financial services,
fishing, trade, and manufacturing sub-sectors.

The second quarter growth was stimulated by the industrial sector that recorded 6.7% growth in real
terms, which was higher than in the first quarter (5.9%), but lower than in the corresponding quarter
last year (7.8%). The services sector grew by 8.3% in the second quarter 2006, which was lower than
the first quarter 2006 (9.5%) but higher than the corresponding quarter last year (7.7%). Similarly, the
agriculture sector recorded 6.4% growth, which was lower than the previous quarter (7.3%) but
higher than the corresponding quarter last year (-2.7%). The third quarter growth of 7.5% was almost
equal to the preceding quarter but higher than that of the corresponding quarter last year (6.4%).

In agriculture, tea and rubber output dropped (by 15% and 3% respectively) during the third quarter
2006 while coconut output increased by 7.5% in comparison to the previous quarter. Outputs during
the third quarter 2006 were almost the same as in the third quarter last year, but coconut output was
2% higher. The Colombo tea auction price increased consistently during the quarter under review
averaging USD.1.87 during the third quarter mainly due to external factors.228 This was the highest
quarterly average price this year and was higher than the price in the same quarter last year. While the


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private and public sector industrial production dropped considerably during the third quarter ((9%
and 11% respectively), industrial exports continued to soar, increasing by 10% in value terms, in
comparison to the first two quarters of the year. These three indices were higher in the third quarter
2006 than the corresponding quarter last year.229

Despite the decelerating growth rate in the services sector (compared to the first quarter) its
contribution to the GDP growth was highest during the quarter under review. Transport, trade,
communications, and financial sub-sectors stimulated services sector growth. Telecommunications
and cargo handling at Colombo port recorded highest growth rates. Despite a work stoppage staged
by couple of trade unions for few days at the Colombo port in July cargo handling and warehousing
sub sectors posted significant growth during the quarter under review. All types of
telecommunication (CDMA, cellular & fixed lines) services recorded significant growth. Further,
banking, finance companies & insurance sub-sectors also grew highly. Growth rate of the domestic
trade sub-sector, however decelerated.

During first nine months of this year the GDP grew by 7.8% in real terms (as against 5.8% in the
corresponding period last year). Services and industrial sectors were the main contributors to the
third quarter growth. While the growth rate of the agricultural sector was only 4.5%, the services
sector grew by 8.5% and industrial sector by 7.4%. Agriculture sector‟s growth during the third
quarter was significantly lower than that of the previous quarter (6.4%) but more than double that of
the corresponding quarter last year (2.0%). Drop in the agriculture growth rate during the third
quarter was partly due to decline in farming & fishing in the N&E province as a result of
intensification of the conflict. Industrial sector‟s growth (7.4%) was higher than the preceding quarter
(6.7%) and the corresponding quarter last year (6.9%). Services sector‟s growth (8.5%) was marginally
higher than the previous quarter (8.3%) and the same quarter last year (7.5%). The annual GDP
growth in 2006 is expected to be around 7% because the fourth quarter growth is expected to be
lower than the first three quarters due to declining agricultural production, drop in tourist arrivals
due to the security situation, and reduction in exports.

Interest rates continued to soar during the third quarter in order to arrest excessive borrowings by
the private sector, which in turn fuelled inflation. Interest rate rises were primarily targeted to arrest
soaring inflation. Nevertheless, inflation continued to be greater than the interest rates, hence
resulting in negative cost of borrowing (negative rates of real interest), during the quarter under
review. The hesitation in raising the real interest rates to positive level can be explained by the fear
that raising the interest rates beyond the inflation rate may curtail economic growth due to reduction
in investment and productive activities in general. It appears that government‟s goal is higher
economic growth rather than reduction in cost of living. The prime lending rate, Treasury bill rates,
repo, and reverse repo rates were all higher than in the preceding quarter and the corresponding
quarter last year.

The cost of living (inflation) was on relentless rise during the third quarter as in the previous
quarters primarily due to rapid rise in public expenditures caused by increased military and welfare
expenditures. Excessive borrowings by the private sector as a result of negative real interest rates
(nominal interest rates lower than inflation), and by the government in order to fill the shortfall in
government revenue are fuelling inflation. Further, withdrawal of fuel subsidy in July and about 30%
rise in electricity and water tariffs in September are also contributory factors to rising inflation.

The point-to-point inflation, in terms of Sri Lanka Consumer Price Index (SLCPI), increased to
11.5% in September from 10.7% in June. The annual average inflation rate in terms of SLCPI
increased to 6.8% in September from 6.1% in June. Mostly, both the point-point and annual average
rates of inflation were higher during the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. The point-
to-point inflation in August and September 2005 were lower than in the corresponding months this


                                                                                                       36
year, but annual average rate of inflation was higher during the third quarter 2005 compared to the
corresponding quarter this year. Inflation was higher in terms of the Colombo Consumer Price Index
(CCPI) than in terms of the SLCPI. In terms of CCPI the point-to-point rate of inflation increased
from 14.7% in July 2006 to 15.4% in September 2006. Similarly, the annual average rate of inflation
in terms of CCPI increased from 10.4% in July 2006 to 11.2% in September 2006.

The rising trend of inflation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as increasing public
borrowing shows no sign of abatement. Domestic public borrowing has intensified during this year
because external aid has showed signs of slowing down. The slowing down in economic aid may be
due to an upsurge in violence and lack of clear economic policy framework. During the first nine
months of this year 70% of the total public debt incurred was from domestic sources and only 30%
was from external sources, whereas usually domestic debt dose not exceed 60% of the total.

There was positive development in international trade as exports increased considerably while
imports increased only negligibly. Total exports, in value terms, increased by 13% during the third
quarter compared to the previous quarter. That is, total exports during the third quarter were worth
USD 1,857 million (as against USD 1,643 million in the second quarter), which is a record quarterly
export figure. On the other hand imports increased negligibly to USD 2,662 million in the third
quarter from USD 2,652 million in the second quarter. Both the exports and imports during the third
quarter 2006 were considerably higher than in the corresponding quarter last year.

Hence, trade deficit dropped by 20% to USD (-) 805 million in the third quarter from USD (-) 1,009
million in the second quarter. But, the trade deficit during the third quarter last year (USD -665
million) was 21% less than the corresponding quarter this year. Trade deficit during the first nine
months of this year was USD (-) 2,600 million, which is a record high. Rising world oil price is the
primary cause of the increase in trade deficit this year.

In terms of Balance-of-Payments the gross official reserve declined during the third quarter.230 In
fact, gross official reserve declined from USD 2,793 million at the end of the first quarter to USD
2,509 million at the end of the second quarter (10% drop), and USD 2,384 million at the end of the
third quarter (5% drop). Depletion of gross official reserve was due to increased cost of oil imports
and consequent rising trade deficit, and drop in foreign aid inflows despite the rise in inward
remittances. Continuous drop in gross official reserve has resulted in depreciation of the rupee
during the last week of the quarter under review, which continues to date. Gross official reserve at
the end of the third quarter 2006 (USD 2,384 million) was 2% less than at the same time last year
(USD 2,429 million).

Net private remittances from abroad during the first three quarters of the year were USD 1,552
million. While net private remittances received during the first nine months of this year (USD 1,552
million) have successively dropped across the three quarters231 they been almost 25% higher than that
received during the same period last year (USD 1,248 million). Earnings by the tourism industry
increased marginally to USD 107 million during the third quarter in comparison to USD 100 million
in the second quarter. Third quarter tourism earning this year was almost double that of the same
quarter last year (USD 57 million). Besides, total tourism earning during the first nine months of this
year was USD 324 million in comparison to USD 242.5 million during the same period last year
(34% rise), which was an abnormal year because of the impact of the tsunami on tourism.

Capital Markets were steady during the quarter under review despite worsening security situation
throughout the country primarily due to negative real interest rates. Due to the negative real interest
rates in the financial market investments in the stock market was more profitable. The All Share
Price Index (ASPI 1985=100) was on the rise during the quarter under review compared to the
previous quarter. The ASPI rose to 2,355 at the end of the third quarter from 2,112 at the end of the


                                                                                                    37
second quarter. Similarly, the Milanka Price Index (MPI 31-12-1998=100) increased to 2,963 at the
end of the third quarter from 2,714 at the end of the second quarter. Stock market indicators during
the third quarter 2006 were lower than that in the corresponding period last year.232

6.2.2   Economy of the North-East signs of returning to pre-CFA levels
The level of violence, especially in the third quarter has dramatically increased. The eastern economy
was badly hit since the Mavilaru crisis that started in the third week of July because Trincomalee
district is the commercial and industrial hub of the eastern province. The northern economy was
severely hit since the closure of the A9 highway on August 11th. A9 is the only land connection
between the Jaffna peninsula and the mainland. Further, air travel between Colombo and Jaffna was
also suspended on August 11th. Hence, virtually Jaffna peninsula was cut off from rest of the island.
However, after a few weeks the A9 was opened at Omanthai end (Vavuniya district) up to
Muhamalai. Since the Muhamalai checkpoint was not opened, land access to Jaffna was barred and
remains so to date. The closure of A9 is not new to the population in Jaffna. In fact, it was
continuously closed for about 12 years from 1990 to April 2002. Therefore, shortages of goods, black
markets, long queues, power cuts, and lack of public transport have been part of the Jaffna society
for a longtime. However, four years of nominal peace between February 2002 and August 2006 had
improved their living conditions. In this circumstance, past four months have undone the positive
outcomes of the peace process, in spite of its inherent weaknesses.

Closure of the only access road has caused immense hardship to around 600,000 people trapped in
the peninsula because of lack of food and non-food supplies and lack of transport facilities within the
peninsula as well as to rest of the country. Air travel between Colombo and Jaffna also resumed
twice a week since November. By end of August travel between Jaffna and Trincomalee was
facilitated by chartered ships. Besides, cargo ships carry food and other essential supplies to the
people of Jaffna. Nearly 55% of the northern provincial population lives in the Jaffna district
(600,000 out of 1,100,000), and Jaffna used to be the commercial hub of the northern province

The closure of the A9 has caused severe disruption to mobility, livelihoods, education, and health
care in the peninsula. However, daytime curfew was gradually lifted and power supply was partially
restored in September. Cost of living started skyrocketing in Jaffna since the closure of the A9 and
disruption to supplies from rest of the country. A number shipments of essential goods sent from
Trincomalee and Colombo have, to a limited extent, cushioned the steep rise in cost of living but
there continues to a significant price difference. Other areas of the North East are affected to varying
degrees but across the board the violence have reduced economic opportunities as a result of
violence and fear, security restrictions, loss of mobility, resources and man power. The economy of
the conflict region has virtually reverted to the pre-ceasefire times.

There was large-scale displacement of all three communities in the eastern province, particularly in
Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts during the quarter under review. In this quarter there were waves
of displacement, especially in the wake of the Mavilaru Crisis as communities fled from Eastern
Trincomalee. As other battlefronts opened and attacks intensified more people began to move so
that by the end of the third quarter there were about 200,000 displaced people throughout the North
East.

With the closure of the A9 highway loss of livelihoods in the northern province, including
government-controlled Jaffna and LTTE-controlled Vanni region, intensified. Remaining stocks of
food and non-food items in the shops were fast depleting and as a consequence lay off of staff in
private shops was taking place. Many businesses have converted their full-time staff to part-time, and
many more have been made redundant. Services sub-sectors such as hotels & restaurants, wholesale
and retail trade, communications, financial services, and public, community & social services employ


                                                                                                     38
significant share of the peninsula population. In addition over two hundred people working in
landmine clearing work have lost their jobs because of suspension of mine clearing in the peninsula.
There is an exodus of expatriate staff from the INGOs in the peninsula and most of the international
and national NGOs are working with skeleton local staff. Tsunami reconstruction work has also
come to a standstill because of lack of building materials and exorbitant prices.

Furthermore, there were few thousands of job losses in the LTTE-controlled Vanni region because
of the closure of A9 highway in August and freezing the bank accounts of the Tamils‟ Rehabilitation
Organisation (TRO) in early September. LTTE employed hundreds of people at checkpoints in
Puliyankulam (Vavuniya district) and Palai. Besides, hotels & restaurants (mostly owned by the
LTTE) at Murugandy and Kilinochchi town areas that served thousands of vehicles and passengers
traveling to Jaffna daily have lost business due to the closure of the A9 at Muhamalai. In addition,
TRO, a non-governmental organisation aligned with the LTTE, employed hundreds of people in the
Vanni in their activities including tsunami recovery. With the freezing of the bank accounts of TRO
in Sri Lanka hundreds of its employees lost their jobs. Thus, these have resulted in thousands of
livelihood losses in the Vanni. Further, LTTE-owned bus transport service in the Vanni is crippled
because of loss of business on the A9 highway between Omanthai and Muhamalai en route to Jaffna.

During the last two quarters there has been a reemergence of black markets. Prior to the ceasefire
agreement signed between the GoSL and the LTTE in February 2002 the northern economy beyond
Mannar and Vavuniya was beset by shortages and black markets. In addition to the closure of the A9,
an economic embargo was imposed on LTTE-controlled areas since 1990. With the partial233 closure
of the A9 and consequent unofficial economic blockade since August 11th there is reemergence of
shortages and black markets in the northern economy after a lapse of four years.

Although the government is attempting to meet the essential food and other needs of the Jaffna
population by sending shiploads of goods and distributing through the Multi Purpose Cooperative
Societies (MPCSs) at reasonable prices (Colombo price plus shipping cost) shortages of goods
persist. There are reports that the Government‟s attempts to persuade the private sector (particularly
chambers of commerce) to transport goods by cargo ships from Colombo and Trincomalee to Jaffna
have failed due to politico-military pressure exerted on the private businesses in Jaffna. Even grocery
shopkeepers in town areas are coerced to keep their businesses closed in order to disrupt the
distribution channels. In addition to distribution of essential items through the MPCSs the
government also distributes essential commodities through selected army camps and police stations,
because of reported leakages from the MPCSs.

In spite of the wide outreach of the MPCSs there are very long queues for purchase of essential
commodities at these places. Moreover, leakage of goods from the MPCSs to the black markets is
also severe and widespread in many parts of the peninsula. While the government is attempting to
relieve the pressure through the MPCs there are claims that the MPCs in Jaffna are de-facto
controlled by proxies of the LTTE and allegations that like in the private sector, there appears to be a
conscious effort to disrupt the distribution network of MPCSs as well. There are also reports that
some of the food assistance provided by INGOs has been sold rather than distributed. There are
claims that tsunami relief items have surfaced at some of the MPCSs in Jaffna after the closure of the
A9. For example, canned fish with the sticker “Not for Sale” and wheat flour packets with the
inscription “Donated by WFP” are openly sold in some of the MPCSs.

Tamils in Colombo and other parts of the country are sending essential commodities to their
relatives and friends by parcel post. In many post offices in the Colombo city and suburbs everyday
there are long queues of people waiting to send essential commodities by parcel post. In fact, this
parcel service is very cheap. Post offices collect these parcels and send to Trincomalee post office.
From Trincomalee it is shipped to Jaffna. Normally it takes about 3-4 weeks for the parcels to reach


                                                                                                     39
the recipients. However, there are several complaints about this parcel service. Some have not
received their parcels even after three months. Most parcels are opened and part of the contents
stolen. Postal Department says goods are stolen by naval personnel who check the parcels at
Trincomalee harbour before loading into the ship. However, there is evidence of pilferages by postal
staff within the Jaffna peninsula.

The Cost of living is skyrocketing in the Jaffna peninsula. Particularly after the closure of the A9
highway prices have spiraled since September because of the shortages in stocks. However, only the
prices of goods that are brought from rest of the country have escalated, while locally produced
perishable goods such as vegetables and fruits are sold sometimes at cheap prices. However, when
there is shortage of particular vegetables the prices shoot up. Due to severe restriction on fishing
price of fish has also escalated although it is a local produce.

Jaffna continues to be the most expensive town out of the four towns surveyed – Ampara
(Kalmunai), Batticaloa, Jaffna & Vavuniya – for the purpose of this report. Prices in Jaffna were
particularly high on non-food items such as fuel, LP gas and cement. Prices in Jaffna were on average
21% higher than in Vavuniya in July, which shot up to 36% in August and almost 100% in
September (Tables 2.1-2.3). There is hardly any difference in the prices in Ampara and Batticaloa.
Besides, prices in Ampara, Batticaloa, and Vavuniya have only a marginal difference (see Tables 2.1-
2.3).


             Cost of selected food & non-food items in the conflict region
                                     January - September 2006


   5800
   5600
   5400
   5200
   5000
   4800
   4600
   4400
   4200
   4000
   3800
   3600
   3400
   3200
   3000
   2800
   2600
   2400
              Jan      Feb       Mar       Apr      May       Jun       July     Aug       Sep

                           Ampara          Batticaloa         Jaffna        Vavuniya
In Ampara district prices of goods, both food & non-food, on average have dropped during the
quarter under review (Table 3.1). In Batticaloa as well prices on average have dropped in August and
September (Table 3.2). In Vavuniya while prices of food items have dropped considerably during the
quarter under review, prices of non-food items have also dropped in July and August but has
increased marginally in September (Table 3.4). In contrast, prices of food items in Jaffna increased by




                                                                                                    40
55% in September compared to June. Further, prices of food and non-food items in Jaffna increased
by 63% in September in comparison to June (Table 3.3).

Graphs 1 & 2 also demonstrate the steep rise in prices in Jaffna in August and September. In some
of the markets in the peninsula prices could be even higher than presented here. Besides, ad hoc
black markets set up by the side of the roads sell certain food and non-food items at exorbitant
prices.




              VI. RELIEF, REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION


6.1      Context
As the violence intensified the numbers of displaced surged, and with it the challenges to
humanitarian responses multiplied over the last quarter (May – July). Patterns of displacement that
had rapidly increased in April and it became increasingly apparent that there was a lack of
preparedness on the part of humanitarian actors to respond to this problem. In addition to attacks
on civilian targets, humanitarian actors found themselves the victims of violence making it
increasingly difficult for them to access particular areas and work in the North East. The tsunami
recovery, particularly in the North and East continued to be slow with the issues of governance
regarding tsunami coordination and management still lacking transparency.

6.1.1 Increasing signs of an emerging humanitarian crisis
The quarter of August-October 2006 witnessed a large scale humanitarian crisis in relation to
displacement, lack of preparedness in dealing with displacement, forced return and resettlement as
well as human security concerns of both civilians, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and
humanitarian workers. Further, this quarter witnessed an increase in restrictions being imposed on
humanitarian workers with limited access to LTTE controlled areas as well as the introduction of
travel permits for the North and East, impacting rehabilitation and reconstruction activities and the
overall development in the North and East. A critical issue highlighted in this quarter was the
shortages of food, water and medicine in certain areas in the North East, resulting in malnutrition,
possible starvation of people, and death of civilians due to the lack of essential medicines. The rising
hostilities in the North and East and the direct targeting of civilians, IDPs and humanitarian actors
had direct and far reaching impact in the quarter on relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
RRR August-Oct 2006


The many dimensions of displacement

With the intensification in violence there was increased displacement in the North East, with
movements to and from LTTE controlled areas. According to UNHCR, there were there were
211,363 registered IDPs for the period April-November 2006.234



                                                                                                     41
Jaffna                    43,182
Killinochchi              46,048
Mullativu                 24,805
Mannar                    9,143
Vavuniya                  7,340
Trincomalee               3,378
Batticaloa                72,191
Ampara                    2,217
Anuradhapura              1,090
Puttalam                  1,881
Kurunegala                88

While this is a large figure, there are many more not registered with the authorities. 235 Further, there
are difficulties faced in obtaining accurate data from areas in the North East which are LTTE
controlled and have restricted access. Though the above give IDP figures at 3,378 in Trincomalee,
reports stated that there were around 42,000-45,000 IDPs in LTTE controlled areas in Trincomalee,
with exact figures unknown due to limited access to these areas and the nature of displacement with
many living in makeshift shelters, family and friends and not in welfare camps.236 Further, it was
reported that there were close to 15,000-20,000 people displaced in the Killinochchi district.237
Therefore, though UNHCR figures can be used as an indicator, it does not reflect the true nature of
displacement in Sri Lanka.

This quarter witnessed significant displacement in several parts of the North East, namely
Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Jaffna districts which are highlighted below.

Displacement in Mutur and Batticaloa: The fighting that erupted in August near the Mavilaru
anicut and the resulting hostilities in Mutur and Sampur led to large numbers of civilians fleeing the
areas and seeking refuge in Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts. August witnessed around 40,000
Muslim IDPs moving to Kantalai area238, many living in schools, temporary shacks and tents which
are set up in people‟s garden‟s or in vacant lands. Questions on disaster preparedness were raised
when there was evidence of delay in addressing the needs of the IDPs, the government slow in
providing shelter and essential items and largely relying in International and National Organisations
(I/NGOs) to provide essential services.239 This was the case even though high-level committees were
set up headed by ministers as well as a Special Relief Centre being created jointly headed by the
Ministry of Disaster Relief and the Ministry of Resettlement. Day to day activities were coordinated
by the Divisional Secretary. A new development that was evident in Kantalai and Serunuwara was the
ethnisication and politicization of humanitarian assistance, with local organizations and
organizations affiliated with political parties assisting affected persons on the basis of ethnicity and
vote base.240

Reports also stated that there are attempts by the Government to speedily resettle IDPs back to
Mutur regardless of security concerns in their home town, raising concern on forcible return to ones
homes. While government was seen to use coercive methods to return the IDPs to Mutur, there was
also concern that there was lack of infrastructure, as well as limited numbers of government officials
in Mutur to ensure safe return.241 Added to woes of the IDPs were the rains that resulted in many of
the camp areas being flooded, increasing the risk of disease.242 The largely Muslim IDPs in Kantalai
and other areas faced another dimension with the Ramazan fast season, facing hardship in camps and
being unable to return to their homes.

In another twist to the plight of Muslims in Mutur was when a leaflet was circulated on 22 nd
September asking all Muslims to leave the area, resulting in 600 families fleeing and seeking refuge in
Kinniya and others moving to Kantalai.243 Though some were able to leave Mutur, others were


                                                                                                      42
unable to do so with roads being blocked by government forces, buses with Mutur residents being
turned back and boat licenses being withdrawn to stop people taking flight by sea.244 Sadly, their
plight did not end there as the police were ordered to evict the IDPs who were taking refuge in Al-
Aqsa Vidyalaya and Al-Hira Vidyalaya.245 The sad plight of the IDPs was evident when they had to
break fast on the road as it was the Muslim month of fasting, with no one present to assist them. The
above incidents demonstrate the extreme measures taken by the authorities to contain Muslims
in Mutur and reduce displacement, thereby showing to the international community that
displacement was not an issue. It further demonstrates the lack of sensitivity by the authorities to
respect cultural and religious beliefs and practices.

This quarter also witnessed increased attacks on places of refuge.246 12 Muslim IDPs in Al Nuriya
school in Thoppur were killed due to artillery fire by the military, with 5 being wounded.247 Reports
stated that 10-20 people were killed in the Mutur Arab school, with around 50 being injured.248
Similarly, the continuation of air raids in October resulted in the killing of IDPs and civilians, in close
proximity to IDPs camps and hospitals.249 Further, there were also attacks on an ambulance in
Seruvila killing three persons.250 Though the situation is grave and the security situation deteriorating,
a small window of opportunity was created when the military and the LTTE agreed to a one hour
cessation of hostilities in Mutur, so that the wounded could be evacuated.251

Plight in Eachchilampathu, Vaharai and other parts in the North East: While the Muslim IDPs
reached Kantalai, many Tamil civilians from Eachchilampathu were displaced to Vaharai division.252
According to one report there were close to 35,000 Tamil IDPs in Vaharai from Mutur and
Eachchilampathu.253 There were also reports of around 5000 civilians who were trapped in Mutur
during the hostilities in early August with humanitarian actors having no access to the areas due to
the fighting.254 Exacerbating the plight of the IDPs, there was restricted access to LTTE controlled
areas and limited to a few actors, with various restrictions imposed on time limits to provide
assistance and on what items that can be taken to LTTE controlled areas.255 This has resulted in
severe shortages of food, water and medicine and impacting the health and wellbeing of IDPs and
civilians in the area.256

There were also reports of IDPs leaving LTTE controlled areas of Panishshankerni in Batticaloa and
moving to government held areas, with new displacement amounting to 52,685 IDP in Batticaloa.257

Reports have also highlighted the plight of IDPs in LTTE controlled areas such as Eachchilampathu
were about 12,000 IDPs are residing with limited assistance from humanitarian actors due to travel
restrictions imposed on these areas.258 The situation seems to have worsened with severe shortages of
food, water and medicine, with hospitals in the areas not being able to treat the injured and two IDPs
dying as a result.259

Humanitarian access and security of relief workers have been raised with the increasing number
of humanitarian actors who have been targeted and come under attack. While access to certain areas
including Eachchilampathu and Vaharai have been limited, there have also been attacks when
humanitarian convoys have been given access such as the air strikes in Vaharai while a UN and ICRC
convoys were present in Vaharai.260

Dire Humanitarian Situation in the Jaffna Peninsula: The shelling that commenced in August in
Muhumalai resulted in food shortages, curtailment of travel of civilians and I/NGOs, increase in
IDP numbers and human security concerns for civilians, IDPs and humanitarian and relief actors.
Reports stated that due to the A9 road closure and shops being closed, there were shortages of food,
fuel and other essential items. Reports that a litre of gasoline which was Rs80-90 before is now sold
at Rs 500-700,261 with rice having increased to Rs1500, a kilo of garlic increasing to Rs 2000, dhal
increasing to Rs 1600 and flour being sold at Rs 1800 a kilo.262 Many civilians face difficulty


                                                                                                        43
purchasing goods at such a high price, especially as their livelihoods are affected and many do not
have a source of income.263 This has resulted in many relying on dry rations.264

In addition, with difficulties in obtaining funds from Colombo, banks in Jaffna imposed restrictions
on people withdrawing cash. Therefore, with cash restrictions, as well as limited essential items,
the situation in Jaffna was leading to a crisis; concern on whether people would starve without
sufficient food.265 In September, the Government Agent of Jaffna stated that food supplies in the
peninsular would only last for 4 weeks, despite claims by authorities in Colombo stating that food
was available for 3 months, raising concern on humanitarian needs in the area. 266 The shortage of
food items and other essential items has led to many Jaffna residents facing malnutrition,267 with
some reports claiming cases of starvation as well as shortages of medical supplies which impact the
health care system. In addition, there is concern that the food distributed by WFP to the Jaffna
peninsular is being sold by the military for exorbitant prices, highlighting the control and power
wielded by the military and the militariasation of many aspects of daily life in the area.

With the closure of the A9 there have been several initiatives to transport food by sea, but due to
heavy rains and rough seas, questions are raised on the continuation of sea transport and the need to
find alternative methods of providing assistance.268 Further, with LTTE warning that they cannot
guarantee the safety of ICRC ships there was more confusion raised on how to provide essential
items to the North.269

Due to the hostilities in the area, there were around 43,182 IDPs registered with the authorities,
many living in welfare camps.270 Though IDP numbers are rising, there is also concern of people
who are still residing at homes but cannot access essential items due to limited travel and difficulties
faced in accessing towns. Reports further highlighted that due to the curfew and military
restrictions on movement, many residents in Jaffna were unable to leave their homes and move to
safe areas and welfare camps.271 The curfew and restrictions further impacted the livelihood of the
people, and with limited sources of income concern on how to provide for their families.272 There
were also reports of the military preventing people from leaving raising concern whether civilians
were used as human shields.273 With the relaxing of the curfew to a few hours of the day, some of
the hardships were eased, though civilians residing in the islands faced difficulties traveling to the
peninsular due to restrictions imposed by the military.274 As seen in other areas this quarter, there
were reports of government officials deliberately not registering IDPs and providing assistance in
welfare camps, a coercive method to used to ensure they return to their homes and keeping IDP
numbers low in the peninsula.275

Closure of the A9: Impact on Humanitarian Situation: The closure of the A9 and other access
routes to LTTE controlled areas in the North East have had a significant impact on humanitarian
needs, reports highlighting shortages of food, medicine and essential items. With no real movement
by the government to address opening roads for a continuous period of time for humanitarian
purposes, there is a real possibility of a humanitarian crisis waiting to happen.

In Killinochchi district there were food and fuel shortages due to the closure of the A9 in August.
With the closure of Muhumalai check point, 5422 persons who were displaced in Maruthankerny
were being looked after by the Killinochchi GA as there was no access for officials from Jaffna.276
Reports stated that as at 1st September there were 118,770 IDPs who required dry rations in
Killinochchi.277

With the A9 road closure at both Muhumalai and Omanthai many were stranded either in
Government controlled areas or LTTE controlled areas. It was reported that close to 2500 people
were stranded in Vavuniya as a result of the close of the A9,278 and were housed in welfare camps
and provided food by the government agent.279 Due to the fighting there were also Sinhalese lorry


                                                                                                     44
drivers who were trapped in Killinochchi and could not move south of Omanthai. Similarly, people
who had crossed to Jaffna had no way of getting back to Killinochchi. With flights to Jaffna being
cancelled, large numbers were stranded in Jaffna, the numbers including expatriates who are
employed in Jaffna, Sri Lankan expatriates who were visiting relatives, people with medical illnesses
and Sri Lankan nationals who were visiting Jaffna.

There were shortages of essential items in the Wanni due to the closure of the A9. For example, with
the closure of the Omanthai check point in August, essential items could not be transported and as a
result there were fuel and food shortages, the GA of Killinochchi being able to provide dry rations
only for two weeks, as well as facing difficulty in transporting water, food distribution, sanitation and
cultivating due to fuel shortages.280 Health facilities in the Killinochchi area were also affected due to
fuel shortages. Due to the Muhumalai closure, bank managers residing in Jaffna have been unable to
travel to Killinochchi, as a result banks have been closed and creating difficulties with civilians.
Similarly, the military ban on transporting food, fuel and other essential items by private traders to
areas in the North East has created shortages in these items, with increased prices making it difficult
for people to afford such items.281

The increasing insecurity experienced by civilians in the North East is demonstrated not only by
rising IDP numbers but also with many more seeking refugee status in South Asia.282 Many
experienced dangerous conditions in the flight to South India, with reports of several boats capsizing
and killing refugees. Though movement trends demonstrate civilians fleeing the North East to India,
this quarter also witnessed 32 individuals return to Pesalai, Mannar.283

Compensation awarded to IDPs and affected civilians has been a contested issue this quarter, with
disparity in the compensation awarded. For example, while Minister Fowzi paid Rs100,000 per
person killed in the Potuvil massacre, the government had only stipulated Rs15,000 per person killed
in Muttur. This demonstrates the lack of a clear policy on compensation setting out specific criterias
for the awarding of funds, with individuals deciding what should be paid in each given situation
leading to disparity in treatment. Awarding of compensation with other issues of speed of assistance,
quality of assistance, coercion to return in particular situations all demonstrate the lack of a coherent
rights based policy in relation to disasters which has lead to unfair and unjust decisions being taken
by authorities.

Another development in this quarter was the torrential rains, displacing around 70,000 in Puttalam284
and further highlighting the lack of preparedness of the authorities. As raised previously in this
quarter as well as previous quarters, questions of disaster preparedness need to be addressed,
ensuring that there is a speedy and effective response in the future.

Shrinking of humanitarian space: This quarter witnessed increasing attacks on humanitarian
actors and several restrictions imposed by the authorities in carrying out their functions.
Therefore, many actors face not only security issues but also limitations on their work, demonstrating
the various dimensions on the shrinking humanitarian space in Sri Lanka.

Security threats on humanitarian actors continued, with several agencies contemplating pulling out of
the North East.285 This quarter also witnessed increased killings of humanitarian actors including the
killing of 17 ACF staff.286 There were also attacks on offices of humanitarian actors287 and the
freezing of TRO accounts hampering the day to day running of the organizations and the provision
of humanitarian assistance.288 Further, this quarter also witnessed attacks on medical staff and
equipment.289 In such a climate of increasing obstacles faced by humanitarian actors as well as the
exacerbating humanitarian crisis, the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) launched a Common
Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) from September- December 2006 worth US $ 37/5 million for



                                                                                                       45
emergency activities,290 and it is to be seen how the IASC and partner agencies would be able to
proceed with emergency work especially in the rebel controlled areas.

With the escalating violence in the North, all foreign nationals working with international and
national organizations were evacuated from Jaffna,291 with organizations having to close office as
military orders had specified that no organization could operate without the presence of foreign staff.
A few international organizations were requested by the military to hand over their equipment before
leaving, the rationale being that if the equipment falls into LTTE hands that they would be misused.
There was no assurance given that the military will not be misusing the equipment. Jaffna having
become increasingly militarized, with no one able to question the decisions of the security forces, this
demonstrates the difficulties faced by humanitarian actors in carrying out their functions.

The problems and delays faced by I/NGOS in obtaining work visas has somewhat been addressed
this quarter with many agencies receiving work visas for their expatriate workers, although
restrictions were imposed in the geographic areas of operation with a time limit for the duration of
the visa. Though many received their work permits, several were denied permits, certain government
officials going to the extent of saying that they are acting as mercenaries in the North East.292 Such
statements by government officials including the Defense Spokesperson raises concern on how
I/NGOs are perceived by the government and the cooperation received to carry out their
operations.

Security threats and the lack of action by the government to address these issues were further
highlighted when the Government claimed that NGOs cannot expect security to be provided by the
government.293 In addition, with the ban on building material to certain parts of LTTE controlled
areas there is a standstill on work in such areas, impacting overall development in the North East.294
A new development in this quarter was the introduction of a travel permit that is required for travel
of vehicles295 originating from the North East to the rest of the country, with concern being raised to
the effectiveness of the rule and rationale behind the introduction of the travel permit.296

The killing of 17 local staff members of Action Contre le Faim (ACF) in Mutur in early August
highlighted the security concerns faced by humanitarian actors, as well as highlighting major flaws in
the justice system. While both the Government and LTTE are pointing fingers at each other on the
massacre, a hard-hitting SLMM report stated that evidence showed that military forces were
responsible for the killing.297 The measures taken by the government on carrying out the post
mortem when media personal in the vicinity of the Trincomalee hospital were threatened,
transferring of the inquest from Trincomalee to Anuradhapura, and subsequently retransferring it to
Kantalai by the Secreatary to the Ministry of Justice, appointing the magistrate of Anuradhapura to
hear the inquest raises concern on the impartiality and neutrality of the case. Though the
government requested the assistance of Australian forensic experts,298 due bureaucratic delays which
extended to November and the Australian experts returning to Australia,299 the bodies were exhumed
only in mid October.300 In addition, the refusal of visa to an international observer of the
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) further raises concern on the measures taken by the
government to interfere with the case. In such a climate, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan
Engaland issued a strong statement requesting for more security for aid workers, and that it would be
difficult for the UN to operate without no security.301

This quarter also witnessed developments from the Parliamentary Select Committee on NGOs with
district secretaries of the areas being summoned before the committee to inquire on the activities of
organization and ascertain their work,302 raising issues on the slow speed of tsunami
reconstruction,303 and the legality of persons working for NGOs.304




                                                                                                     46
The clamping down and attacks on I/NGOs were further exacerbated by attacks by RADA on slow
implementation of tsunami programmes. RADA head Shanthi Fernando has accused certain
I/NGOs of slow delivery saying that though pledges were made to build over 70,000 houses and
agreements were signed for 19,600 only 2,900 were constructed with 18 months.305 Attacks have
spilled over to comments made by the head of RADA to lifestyles and high salaries enjoyed by
I/NGO staff and implying that funds collected to tsunami reconstruction have been misused.306
Such inferences and attacks on I/NGOs demonstrate the stance taken by the present regime and the
attitude towards I/NGOs and foreign funds received by many of them. With increased attacks on
I/NGOs, it is of interest to highlight the shortcomings of the authorities, including RADA which
was the key agency responsible for tsunami reconstruction with a slogan stating „build back better‟.
Questions need to be raised on why there is such a large shortfall of houses, though certain districts
seem to have more MOUs signed than needed. Issues of transparency and accountability of
RADA officials have also been raised, raising questions on salaries and allowances of high officials of
RADA even though RADA seems to have failed in the primacy of their key objective.307

With the increasing hostilities in the North East, this quarter witnessed growing numbers of IDPs,
refugees as well as civilians affected by the violence; humanitarian assistance affected and their plight
exacerbated by the poor disaster preparedness; the weak coordination among actors; coercive
methods used to return IDPs in the face of insecurity and lack of infrastructure in their places of
residence; and limited and restricted access to humanitarian actors to certain parts in the North East.
A significant development this quarter is the limited availability of essential items, raising concern of
malnutrition and possible cases of starvation, a humanitarian crisis that has grave consequences to all
actors and creating a space through sheer desperation for Indian intervention. While the
humanitarian plight exacerbated, the next quarter potentially witnessing large scale human rights and
humanitarian violations, neither the government nor the LTTE seemed be able to agree on a
modality to ensure regular and sustained assistance to the civilians in the North East. The gloomy
outlook for the future is exacerbated by the increasing control exerted on I/NGOs by the
authorities, and directly impacting humanitarian assistance and the reconstruction and development
work in the entire country; with several actors pulling out of certain parts in Sri Lanka. With
increasing restrictions and the growing control by the authorities, coupled with security of
humanitarian actors, the next quarter has the potential of many more actors pulling out or curtailing
their activities in Sri Lanka, raising concern on long term development in the country. But more
importantly, there is alarming concern on who and how to provide for the civilians and IDPs, with
clear signs the authorities being unable and in certain cases unwilling, to assist with humanitarian and
relief needs.




                                                                                                      47
                VII. PUBLIC PERCETPIONS AND ATTITUDES CLUSTER

7.1      Rationale
This section examines the trends in public opinion regarding issues related to the peace process. The
analyses herein are primarily based on the Peace Confidence Index (PCI), an island-wide household
survey conducted amongst approximately 1600 individuals using a semi-structured questionnaire
during the period from October 23rd to November 06th 2006. However, it is important to note that in
this particular wave of the PCI the fieldwork was conducted in two stages. The first half of the
fieldwork was conducted before Geneva Peace Talks (hereafter referred to as „Geneva Peace talks‟).
The second half of the fieldwork was conducted after Geneva peace talks. Further, this wave of the
PCI does not cover the opinion of all the communities in the North and East and the Tamil
community outside the Up-Country Tamil community due to the escalation of violence during the
last few months.

7.2      Overview of Public Opinion Related to the Peace Process
Public opinion is highly pessimistic of the situation and an overwhelming majority among all three
communities believe the war is about to start again and that the situation is not close to a permanent
settlement when compared to a year ago. A majority in all three communities do not believe that the
CFA stands today. In comparing whether the government and the LTTE is committed and capable
of going to talks there are similar support levels between July and after Geneva, with more positive
figures, not surprisingly, immediately before Geneva. It should be noted that the changes in opinion
before and after Geneva tend to be more dramatic among the Up-Country Tamil, then the Muslims
and lastly the Sinhala community. It is striking that those who believe in the Up-Country Tamil
community that the government and the LTTE attend the Geneva talks due to commitment to talks,
as opposed to international pressure or to buy time increases after the talks. The difference in
opinion among the ethnic communities is clearest with regards to the question whether the
government should expand military operations: a majority in the Sinhala Community agrees with this
statement (54.5%), an overwhelming majority in the Up-Country Tamil Community disagrees
(88.2%) and the Muslim Community is divided (46.4% agrees, 42% disagrees). This three-way split is
also seen with regards to the ACF and Pottuvil killings: the Sinhalese believe the LTTE is
responsible, the Up-Country Tamil believe it is the Government and the Muslims do not know. The
impact of the Geneva Talks on the three communities as to whether to expand operations is telling
with the Sinhala community‟s opinion unchanged while the level of disagreement in both the
minority communities increases. Similarly, there is a difference in opinion between the majority and
minority communities over whether Norway should continue its role as facilitator with the former
disagreeing and the later approving. Between the Up-Country Tamil and the other two communities,
there is disagreement, especially over the situation in the North East, with the former believing there
is not enough access to food and medicine. All three communities however support the SLFP-UNP
national government.
                                                                  Ref 1: Important Issues
Important Issues: When asked
to rate five national issues                             9.1
                                                                                     27.5
according to their order of                 Muslim                           21.4
                                                                                                           The Tsunami Recovery

importance, all the three                                         16.2
                                                                                    25.9                   The peace process in Sri Lanka

communities give high priority to                        9.5                                               Conflict betw een different ethnic
the peace process followed              Up-Country
                                                                                               34.0        groups
                                                                                                            Law and Order
closely by the economy. When               Tamil
                                                               12.8
                                                                      16.5

compared to the PCI findings of                                                      27.2                  The Economy

July 2006, the priorities remain                         9.4
                                                                                            30.8
the same amongst the three                 Sinhala                15.8
communities. Ref 1                                                15.9
                                                                                      28.0

                                                     0   10             20             30             40
                                                                  %


                                                                                                                                          48
Solutions: Prior to Geneva peace talks, a majority of the Sinhala (60.9%), Up-Country Tamil (97.1%)
and Muslim (92.1%) communities state that peace can be achieved through peace talks. However, the
support for peace talks is higher amongst the minority communities. The Geneva peace talks have
not led to a significant change in this trend.

Commitment and Capability of Parties to the Peace Process: A majority of the Sinhala (76.6%),
Up-Country Tamil (44.1%) and Muslim (63.2%) communities agree that the Government is
committed to find peace through talks. However, after Geneva peace talks, the agreement amongst
the Muslim (Before - 63.2%, After - 52.6%) community has decreased while the agreement amongst
the Up-Country Tamil (Before Peace Talks- 44.1%, After Peace Talks- 52.3%) community has
increased and with little change in the Sinhala Community. Ref 3

A majority of the Sinhala (56.3%), Up-Country Tamil (42.9%) and Muslim (72.2%) communities
                                                                                    agree that the Government is fully
             Ref 3: I think the Government is committed to find peace               capable of finding peace through
             through talks. - After Peace Talks in Geneva (28th & 29th
                                      October 2006)
                                                                                    talks. Interestingly, the majority of the
                                                                                    Up-Country Tamil community has
                              23.7                                                  swing from the opinion after Geneva
          Muslim              23.7                             Don't know /Not sure
                                                                                    peace talks. The agreement has
                                          52.6                 Disagree
                                                                                    decreased by 8% (Before-42.9%,
                           18.2
                                                               Agree
                                                                                    After- 34.9%) while the disagreement
 Up-country Tamil                29.5                                               has increased by 7.6% (Before-
                                          52.3                                      34.3%, After- 41.9%)
                               9.3
                                                           A majority of the Sinhala (70.4%)
          Sinhala              11
                                    79.7
                                                           community disagree that the LTTE is
                                                           committed to find peace through
            0     20   40    60    80    100               talks. On the contrary, a majority of
                          %
                                                           the Up-Country Tamil (64.7%)
                                                           community agree that the LTTE is
committed to find peace through talks. The Muslim community has a divided opinion (Agree- 33.3%,
Disagree- 36.1%, Don‟t know/Not sure- 30.6%). However, after Geneva peace talks, the
disagreement (Before - 70.4%, After - 77.2%) amongst the Sinhala community has increased while
the opinion of the Up-Country Tamil and the Muslim communities remains the same. Ref 4

          Ref 4: I think the LTTE is committed to find peace through talks.                               A majority of the Sinhala (39.5%)
             - After Peace Talks in Geneva (28th & 29th October 2006)
                                                                                                          community disagree that the LTTE is
                                             29.7
                                                                                                          fully capable in finding peace through
           Muslim                              35.1                                Don't know /Not sure   talks. A majority of the Up-Country
                                               35.1                                Disagree               Tamil (55.9%) and Muslim (61.1%)
                                                                                   Agree                  communities agree that the LTTE is
                                          25
  Up-Country Tamil               13.6
                                                                                                          fully capable in finding peace through
                                                               61.4                                       talks. However, after Geneva peace
                                                                                                          talks, the disagreement amongst the
                                      20.5
                                                                                                          Sinhala (Before - 39.5%, After -
           Sinhala                                                    77.2
                         2.3
                                                                                                          52.2%) community has significantly
                                                                                                          increased.
                     0               20         40        60          80     100
                                                      %
                                                               Inclusion in Negotiations: When
asked who should be involved in negotiations, a majority of the Sinhala (38.3%) community state that
only the Government and the LTTE should be involved. Amongst the Up-Country Tamil
community, 22.4% state that only the Government and the LTTE should be involved in negotiations


                                                                                                                                             49
while 27.8% state that an international third party should also be. A majority of the Muslim (63.2%)
community state that the Government, Opposition, LTTE, Tamil and Muslim parties and an
international third party should be involved in negotiations. When compared to the July PCI
findings, amongst the Up-Country Tamil community, 21.3% think that only the Government and the
LTTE should be involved in negotiations while 39.3% think that the Opposition, Tamil and Muslim
parties and an international third party should also be included. Amongst the Muslim community,
support for the Government, Opposition, LTTE, Tamil and Muslim parties and an international
third party in negotiations have increased by 9.1% since July 2006. Strikingly, a majority of the
Sinhala (56%), Up-Country Tamil (44%) and an overwhelming majority of the Muslim (93.1%)
communities state that there should be a separate Muslim representation at the peace talks.

Likelihood of War: A majority of the Sinhala (64.3%), Up-Country Tamil (65.7%) and Muslim
(71.8%) communities believe that it is
                                                 Ref 5: Likelihood of War - After Peace Talks in Geneva (28th &
likely a war will resume. Interestingly,                               29th October 2006)
7.5% of the Sinhala community also
state that the war has already started.                       8.1
However, after Geneva peace talks,            Muslim
                                                           5.4
                                                              8.1                                 War has already started
those who believe that the war will                                             35.1
                                                                                     43.2         Don'y know / Not sure

resume has increased amongst the                                                                  Very unlikely
                                                                  17
Up-Country Tamil (Before - 65.7%, Up-Country Tamil 4.3 10.6                                       Somew hat unlikely

After - 68.1%) and the Muslim                                          23.4
                                                                                      44.7
                                                                                                  Somew hat likely
                                                                                                  Very likely
(Before - 71.8%, After - 78.3%)                              7
communities. Interestingly, those                        2.6
                                                                        24.7

who believe that it is likely a war will
                                              Sinhala
                                                             7.4
                                                                             30
resume has decreased amongst the                                           28.2

Sinhala (Before - 64.3%, After -                      0            20             40           60

58.2%) community. Ref 5. A majority                                        %


of the Sinhala (44.2%) and Up-Country Tamil (47.1%) communities state that Sri Lanka is „not close
at all‟ in approaching a permanent settlement to the ethnic conflict when compared to the situation
of the peace process a year ago. Nevertheless the Muslim community has a mixed reaction in this
regard (Close- 32.4%, Remains the same- 27%, Not close at all- 35.1%, Don‟t know/not sure- 5.4%).
However, after Geneva peace talks, those who state „not close at all‟ has increased amongst the Up-
Country Tamil (Before - 47.1%, After - 54.3%) and Muslim (Before - 35.1%, After - 44.7%)
communities. With regard to the security situation in the country, a majority in the Up-Country
Tamil (86.8%) and in the Sinhala (43.1% as opposed to 34.5% who think it has improved)
communities thinks that the security condition has turned bad. Amongst the Muslim community,
40.8% think that it has improved while 34.2% think that it has turned bad.

A majority of the Sinhala (54.5%) community agree with the statement that “The Government
should expand its military action including even to all out war in order to weaken the LTTE.” A
majority of the Up-Country Tamil (88.2%) community disagree with the statement. Amongst the
Muslim community 46.4% agree while 42.9% disagree with the statement. However, after Geneva
peace talks, the disagreement amongst the Up-Country Tamil (Before - 42.9%, After - 51.9%) and
Muslim (Before - 88.2%, After - 92.3%) communities have increased while the Sinhala opinion
remains the same.

Ceasefire Agreement: A majority of the Sinhala (48.6%) and Up-Country Tamil (68.2%)
communities state that the CFA does not stand anymore. Nevertheless, a majority of the Muslim
(44.6%) community state that the CFA still stands while 28.6% feel otherwise. Of those who are
aware of the CFA, a majority of the Sinhala (52.9%) community state that the CFA has not benefited
the ordinary citizen. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (68.9%) and the Muslim (87.3%)



                                                                                                                     50
communities state that it has. When
                                                           Ref 6: Changes of opinion of Sinhala, Up-Country Tamil and Muslim
compared to the PCI July 2006, those                                                  communities
who believe that the CFA has not                                                                                         1.8
benefited has increased
                                                          100%                                             4.8    4.9
                                                                                      7.7    6.9    6.7
                                                                        12.2   14.0                                      10.9
                                                                 18.4                                      7.1    9.8
amongst the Sinhala community while                        80%
                                                                                             13.8
                                                                                                    24.4                        Don't know /Not sure

those who believe that the CFA has                               35.8   48.6
                                                                                                                                No, they have not

benefited has decreased amongst the Up-                    60%                 52.9                                             benefited
                                                                                                                                Yes, they have benefited
Country Tamil community. Ref 6                             40%                               79.3
                                                                                                           88.1   85.4   87.3

                                                                                      65.4          68.9


Of those who think that the CFA has                        20%
                                                                 45.8
                                                                33.1
                                                                        39.1

benefited the ordinary citizen, a majority
                                                0%
of the Sinhala (63.5%) community think             May    July  Nov  May   July    Nov May  July  Nov

that ending of killing in the country is the        '06    '06

                                                        Sinhala
                                                                 '06 '06    '06    '06

                                                                      Up-Country Tamil
                                                                                       '06   '06

                                                                                           Muslim
                                                                                                  '06


most important benefit of the CFA.
When compared to the PCI findings in
July 2006, the Up-Country Tamil response with regard to „peaceful environment in the country‟ (July-
86.5%, November- 79.6%) and „freedom of movement‟ (July- 94.5%, November- 76.4%) has
significantly decreased. Amongst the Muslim community too, the response with regard to „freedom
of movement‟ which is regarded as the most important benefit (July- 89.2%, November- 75.7%) has
significantly decreased.

A majority of the Sinhala (83.5%), Up-Country Tamil (55%) and Muslim (79.3%) communities are
satisfied with the Government‟s commitment to the CFA. However, after Geneva peace talks, the
satisfaction amongst the Muslim (Before - 79.3%, After - 63%) community has decreased. There is
also a shift in the Up-Country Tamil opinion. Before peace talks, a majority of the Up-Country Tamil
(55%) community are somewhat satisfied. However, after peace talks, a majority of the Up-Country
Tamil (60%) community are not satisfied. A majority of the Sinhala (90.3%) and the Muslim (60.7%)
communities are not satisfied with the LTTE‟s commitment to the ceasefire agreement. A majority
of the Up-Country Tamil (68.4%) community are satisfied with the LTTE‟s commitment to the
ceasefire agreement. However, after Geneva peace talks, the Muslim dissatisfaction has increased
(Before - 60.7%, After - 66.6%) while the satisfaction amongst the Up-Country Tamil community has
decreased (Before - 68.4%, After - 61.5%).

Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM): Of those who are aware of the involvement of foreign
monitors, a majority of the Muslim
                                                Ref 7: Changes of opinion amongst the Sinhala, Up-Country
(88.5%) and Up-Country Tamil (93.2%)                             Tamil and Muslim communities
communities think that it is essential to
have a monitoring mission for the CFA       100%
                                                  13.7 12.0 12.8 9.5
                                                                           4.3    2.3
                                                                                  4.5
                                                                                      2.6  2.9
                                                                                           8.8 11.5
to succeed. The Sinhala community has        90%
                                             80%                                                     Don't know /Not sure
a divided opinion (Is essential- 42.3%,      70% 32.9 39.7                                           Not essential
Not essential- 44.8%). When compared
                                                               44.8
                                             60%                                                     Is essential
                                          %
to the PCI findings of July 2006, those      50%
                                             40%
                                                                    90.5
                                                                          95.7 93.2 97.4
                                                                                           88.2 88.5

who think it is essential amongst the        30%
                                                  53.3 48.3
Sinhala community has decreased (July-       20%               42.3

48.3%, November- 42.3%) while those          10%
                                              0%
who think it is not essential have                May July Nov May July Nov May July Nov

increased (July- 39.7%, November-                  '06   '06    '06  '06   '06    '06 '06   '06  '06


44.8%). Ref 7                                          Sinhala       Up-Country Tamil     Muslim




A majority of the Sinhala, 59.8% and 59.6% respectively, community disagree with the statements
that the SLMM is impartial and effective in its monitoring of the ceasefire agreement. A majority of
the Up-Country Tamil (70.7% and 53.7%) and Muslim (51.9% and 46.2%) communities agree with


                                                                                                                                                51
the statement that the SLMM is impartial in its monitoring of the ceasefire agreement. When
compared to the PCI findings of July 2006, the disagreement amongst the Sinhala (July- 55.9%,
November- 59.8%) community has increased. When compared to the PCI findings of July 2006, the
disagreement over its effectiveness amongst the Sinhala (July- 50.6%, November- 59.6%) community
has increased.

Foreign Involvement: A majority of the Sinhala (32.9%), Up-Country Tamil (79.3%) and Muslim
(76.6%) communities think that an international third party is essential and will have a positive
impact on the peace process. The Sinhala community who believes that an international third party is
essential and will have a positive impact on the peace process is lower compared to the Up-Country
Tamil and Muslim communities.

When asked about the level of satisfaction with the Norwegian role as facilitator, a majority of the
Sinhala (53.2%) community are not satisfied. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (69.5%) and
Muslim (64.1%) communities are satisfied. The Geneva peace talks has not led to a significant change
in this trend. When asked if they approve or disapprove of Norway continuing to facilitate the peace
process, a majority of the Sinhala (66.9%) community disapproves. A majority of the Up-Country
Tamil (69%) and the Muslim (64.5%) community approves. The Geneva peace talks has not led to a
significant change in this trend.

Asked as to the most suitable country that should play the role of facilitator to the peace process,
21.2% of the Sinhala community says that the United States is the most suitable country to play the
role of facilitator. Amongst the Sinhala community another 19.4% says India is the most suitable
country while 41.2% has no opinion in this regard. Amongst the Up-Country Tamil community,
49.4% think India is the most suitable country to play the role of facilitator to the peace process
while 21.7% think Norway is the most suitable country. Amongst the Muslim community, 27.4%
says India is the most suitable country while 19.2% says Norway. When compared to the July PCI
findings, the Sinhala support for India has decreased (July-26.7%, November- 19.4%). Amongst the
Up-Country Tamil community, support for India has increased (July-40.6%, November- 49.4%)
while the support for Norway has decreased (July-37.5%, November- 21.7%). Amongst the Muslim
community support for Norway has significantly decreased (July-38.9%, November- 19.4%) while
support for India has increased (July-22.2%, November- 27.4%).

When asked about the need for India‟s involvement in the peace process, a majority of the Sinhala
(49.6%), Up-Country Tamil (83.8%) and the Muslim (57.3%) communities think that India‟s
involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process will have a positive impact. The highest percentage level
continues to be the Up-Country Tamil community.

Geneva Talks: When people were                         Ref 8: Why do you think the Government is willing to start
                                                       talks? - After Peace talks in Geneva (28th & 29th October
asked as to why they think the                                                     2006)
Government is willing to start talks, a
majority of the Sinhala (66.4%) and                               13.3
                                                                                                       Don't know /Not sure

Muslim (50%) communities state that           Muslim              13.3
                                                                                                       Other
                                                                  13.3
it is because of their commitment to                                                       60

the peace process. A majority of the                               15.4
                                                                                                       Because the Government
                                                                                                       w ants to buy more time
Up-Country         Tamil       (57.7%)    Up-Country                                                   Because of the international
                                             Tamil                                                     pressure
community state that it is because of                                       38.5
                                                                                   46.2                Commitment to the peace
international pressure. However, after                           10.8
                                                                                                       process

Geneva peace talks, there has been an                      2.4
                                                           1.5
interesting shift in the Up-Country          Sinhala
                                                                 12.1

Tamil opinion. Those who believe that                                                           73.1


the Government is willing to start                     0            20     40             60      80
                                                                           %




                                                                                                                                      52
talks because of the international pressure have significantly decreased (Before - 57.7%, After -
38.5%) while those who think that it is because of their commitment to the peace process have
significantly increased (Before - 19.2%, After - 46.2%). Ref 8


When people were asked as to why                    Ref 9: Why do you think the LTTE is willing to start talks? - After
they think the LTTE is willing to start                      Peace talks in Geneva (28th & 29th October 2006)

talks, a majority of the Sinhala (40.1%)                           13.3
community think that it is because the         Muslim
                                                             6.7
                                                                         20                        Don't know /Not sure
LTTE wants to buy more time.                                             20
                                                                                         40
Amongst the Up-Country Tamil
                                                                                                   Other

                                                                    14.3
community, 42.3% think it is because       Up-Country
                                                                                                   Because the LTTE w ants to buy
                                                                                                   more time
of their commitment to the peace              Tamil
                                                                                     35.7          Because of the international
                                                                                                   pressure
process while 34.6% think that it is                                                         50
                                                                                                   Commitment to the peace process

because of the international pressure.                         8.4
                                                                          22.3


The Muslim community has a mixed               Sinhala
                                                                                29.3
                                                                                        39.3

opinion in this regard (Commitment                       0.7

to the peace process- 28.6%,                           0               20             40        60

International pressure- 25%, LTTE                                              %

wants to buy more time- 17.9%, Don‟t
know/not sure- 25%). However, after Geneva peace talks, those who believe that the LTTE is
willing to start talks because of their commitment to the peace process have significantly increased
amongst the Muslim (Before - 28.6%, After - 40%) and the Up-Country Tamil (Before - 42.3%, After
- 50%) communities while the Sinhala opinion remains the same. Ref 9

When asked about the sincerity of the Government in going for peace talks, a majority of the Sinhala
(87.8%), Up-Country Tamil (58.3%) and the Muslim (78.5%) communities think that the
Government is sincere. However, after Geneva peace talks, those who say that the government is
sincere amongst the Up-Country Tamil (Before - 58.3%, After - 46.7%) and the Muslim (Before -
78.5%, After - 66.7%) communities have decreased while the Sinhala opinion remains the same.

When asked about the sincerity of the LTTE in going for peace talks, a majority of the Sinhala
(78.7%) community think that the LTTE is not sincere. The Sinhala opinion did not change due to
Geneva peace talks. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (68%) and the Muslim (50%) communities
think that the LTTE is sincere in going for peace talks. However, after Geneva peace talks, those
who believe that the LTTE is sincere has significantly decreased amongst the Up-Country Tamil
(Before - 68%, After - 53.3%) community. Interestingly, the Muslim opinion has shifted from its
earlier stand. Prior to Geneva peace talks, a majority of the Muslim (50%) community think that the
LTTE is sincere in going for peace talks. On the contrary, after peace talks, a majority of the Muslim
(46.7%) community think that the LTTE is not sincere at all.

When people were asked as to what should be the talks between the Government and the LTTE be
about, a majority of the Sinhala (Core political issues- 24.6%, Amending the ceasefire- 9.5%, Both-
26.8%), Up-Country Tamil (Core political issues- 32%, Amending the ceasefire- 12%, Both- 28%)
and Muslim (Core political issues- 24.1%, Amending the ceasefire- 13.8%, Both- 17.2%)
communities have a mixed opinion.

Situation in the North & East: A majority of the Sinhala (41.1%) and Muslim (47.7%)
communities think that the people in the north and east are getting adequate food and medical
supplies. However, a majority of the Up-Country Tamil (58.2%) community think that the people in
the north and east are not getting adequate food and medical supplies. A majority of the Sinhala
(67.5%) community think that the actors responsible are doing enough to ensure the adequate supply


                                                                                                                              53
of food and medicine. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (65%) community think that the actors
responsible are not doing enough to ensure the adequate supply of food and medicine. The Muslim
community has a mixed opinion in this regard (Yes- 28.8%, No- 25.8%).

Karuna Group: With regard to the LTTEs allegations on the Government of assisting the Karuna
group, 23.2% of the Sinhala community think that the Government and the Karuna group have no
relationship while 58% don‟t know or not sure. Amongst the Up-Country Tamil community, 18.8%
think that the Government is assisting the Karuna group and carry out joint military operations with
them while 57.5% don‟t know or not sure. Amongst the Muslim community, 16.9% think that the
Government is not assisting the Karuna group but allowing them to operate freely in Government
controlled areas while 61% don‟t know or not sure.

With regard to the recent news reports that indicate Karuna‟s willingness to participate in future
talks, a majority of the Sinhala (47.8%) community think that it is important to have Karuna faction
representation in future talks while 16% think that it is not important. 36.2% of the Sinhala
community don‟t know or not sure. Amongst the Up-Country Tamil community, 36.6% say it is not
important while 54.9% don‟t know or not sure. Amongst the Muslim community, 32.5% think it is
important while 48.1% don‟t know or not sure.

UNP & the Government: A majority of the Sinhala (78.7%), Up-Country Tamil (64.6%) and
Muslim (65.8%) communities believe that the consensus between the UNP and the SLFP will have a
positive impact on the peace process. A majority of the Sinhala (71.5%), Up-Country Tamil (57.3%)
and Muslim (67.1%) communities believe that the consensus between the UNP and the SLFP will
have a positive impact on the country at large.

The JVP and the Government: Of the people who are aware of the JVP politburos claim that the
Government agreeing to unconditional talks with the LTTE is a violation of the mandate given to
the president by the people at the last presidential elections, 28.6% of the Sinhala community
disagree while 22.9% of the Sinhala community agree. However, the majority of the Sinhala (48.5%)
community don‟t know or not sure. The Up-Country Tamil community has a divided opinion
(Agree- 25.3%, Disagree- 25.3%, Don‟t know/not sure- 49.4%). Amongst the Muslim community,
35.5% of the Muslim community disagrees while 15.8% agree. However, 48.7% of the Muslim
community don‟t know or not sure. Of the people who are aware of the collapse of talks between the
Government and the JVP in forming a political alliance, a majority of the Sinhala (48.7%) and the
Muslim (51.9%) communities think that it will have a negative impact on the country at large. The
Up-Country Tamil community has a mixed opinion (Positive impact- 44.4%, Negative impact- 37%).

This wave of the PCI has ascertained the public opinion on four of the 20 points put forward by the
JVP. The responses are as follows:
Abrogate the CFA: A majority of the Sinhala (43.8%) community has no opinion. Nevertheless,
29.2% oppose while 27% support this demand of the JVP. However, a majority of the Up-Country
Tamil (59.5%) and the Muslim (69.7%) communities are opposed to the idea of abrogating the CFA.
Removing Norway from the peace facilitator role: A majority of the Sinhala (46.9%) community
support it. However, a majority of the Up-Country Tamil (57.5%) and the Muslim (58.7%)
communities are opposed to it.
De-merge the North East: a majority of the Sinhala (48.6%) community has no opinion.
Nevertheless, 28.6% support it while 22.8% oppose this demand of the JVP. However, a majority of
the Muslim (57.3%) community are opposed to it. The Up-Country Tamil community has a divided
opinion in this regard (Oppose- 48.7%, Support- 48.7%).
Reduce the cabinet to 30 members: a majority of the Sinhala (62.3%) community shows their
support. However, a majority of the Up-Country Tamil (43.8%) has no opinion. A majority of the
Muslim (42.7%) community are opposed to it.


                                                                                                 54
Supreme Court ruling on de-merger of North and East: Of the people who are aware of the
Supreme Court ruling on the 16th of October 2006, that merger of North and East is invalid, a
majority of the Sinhala (39%) community think that it will have a positive impact on the peace
process. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (82.8%) and Muslim (51.7%) communities think that it
will have a negative impact on the peace process.

Human Rights Responsibility: A majority of the Sinhala (62.1%), Up-Country Tamil (72.1%) and
the Muslim (62.2%) communities think that the Government of Sri Lanka has the responsibility for
the protection of human rights. A majority of the Sinhala (54.7%) community think that the actor
responsible for protecting human rights has done enough to protect human rights. A majority of the
Up-Country Tamil (77.3%) community think the actor responsible for protecting human rights has
not done enough to protect human rights. The Muslim community has a mixed opinion in this
regard (Yes- 43.8%, No- 37.5%). Answering to the President‟s call for a national commission to
investigate into the recent killings with an international panel of observers, a majority of the Sinhala
(51.6%) and the Up-Country Tamil (53.2%) communities express that they don‟t have an opinion in
this regard while a majority of the Muslim (44.3%) community demand for an international
commission of observers.

Recent fighting in Muhamalei: When asked about the media reports which indicated that the Sri
Lankan armed forces are committed to battle in Muhamalei without the knowledge of the political
leadership, a majority of the Sinhala (51.8%) community do not believe it. A majority of the Muslim
(54.8%) community believe it. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (58.8%) community don‟t know
or not sure. Of the people who believe the media reports which indicate that the Sri Lankan armed
forces are committed to battle in Muhamalei without the knowledge of the political leadership, a
majority of the Sinhala (56.8%), Up-Country Tamil (85.7%) and the Muslim (64.7%) communities
disapproves of it.

Human Rights Abuses: A majority of the Sinhala (43.3%) and the Up-Country Tamil (82.5%)
communities believe that the recent confrontation with the LTTE has resulted in a large number of
civilian killings. Amongst the Muslim community, 48% believe it while 46.7% don‟t know or not
sure.

With regard to the number of abductions of Tamil civilians in Colombo, 41.5% of the Sinhala
community says that the LTTE is responsible while 54.3% don‟t know or not sure. A majority of the
Up-Country Tamil (58.5%) community says the government of Sri Lanka is responsible for the
abduction. A majority of the Muslim (71.1%) communities don‟t know or not sure.

A majority of the Sinhala (59.2%) community think that the LTTE is responsible for the recent
killings of the 17 aid workers in Mutur. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (44.4%) community
think that the Government forces are responsible for the killings. A majority of the Muslim (64%)
community don‟t know or not sure.

A majority of the Sinhala (65.2%) community think that the LTTE is responsible for the recent
killings of the 10 Muslims in Pottuvil. A majority of the Up-Country Tamil (61%) and the Muslim
(56%) community don‟t know or not sure.




                                                                                                     55
                                       VIII. MEDIA CLUSTER

8.1     Context
The last report looked at the issues of the EU Ban of the LTTE, the claymore attack on
Kebetigollewa and the attack in Pessalai and how the media reported on these key issues, particularly
looking at the similarities and variations between the trilingual media.

8.2     The Mavilaru “WATER” Crisis

The situation in the country has deteriorated to such an extent that even humanitarian issues can be
politicised. An issue that hit the headlines in the current quarter was Mavilaru, the issue was
sensationalized by relevant actors for mere political gains which invariably threatened the volatile
Cease Fire Agreement which was observed for the past four years between the GOSL and LTTE.
“WATER” became the source of conflict when the Mavilaru sluice gates were closed by the LTTE
depriving 15000 families and 30000 farmland of the essential supply of water on the 20th July 2006.
The closure of the waterway affected all three communities living in the government controlled areas
of Seruwavila. The peaceful efforts taken by the head priest of Seruwavila and farmers to reopen the
waterway and the intervention of political elements of the South escalated the issue in to armed
conflict, creating one of the largest clashes between the two parties after the signing of the CFA in
2002. The issue received wide media coverage in the year 2006, which clearly demonstrated the ability
of the media to represent an issue and with it to influence public support for war.

The Mavilaru sluice gates were closed on the 20th July; however, the media did not carry any news on
the issue until the 24th July. The issue clearly demonstrated triggers of the trilingual media. The
English press covered the issue after the SLMM‟s involvement (24th July)The electronic media
activated itself only after the intervention of a Buddhist monk and the SLMM(25th July); Sinhalese
press after the chief priests fast to death protest(25th July). The Tamil media published one editorial
the 26th on the issue and awaited the aerial bombardment of LTTE controlled areas (27 th July) to
cover the issue extensively.

The coverage of the issue was polarised from its commencement. The issue clearly demonstrated that
the media was not really concerned of the humanitarian crisis in Mavilaru until it became a political
battle, hence reiterating the local media‟s biasness in the lines of political and language allegiances.
Further, the reportage of the issue was contradictory based on the language allegiances, which
attempted to sensationalize the issue in order to sustain support from each language base
constituency. The content and viewpoints of the trilingual media reassured the well established media
cleavage and polarization in the local media based on language and ownership. The reportage of the
issue clearly showcased lapses of clarity and professionalism, seriously questioned the role of media
in a conflict situation. Further, questions need to be asked on how the media played a major role in
the escalation of the issue in to an armed conflict that resulted in the loss of lives in both sides.

Commencement of the media coverage
The issue was reported and given prominence only in SLRC/ Sirasa and Shakthi TV news bulletins
on the 25th July, which placed the news item at the third slot. However, the focus of the government
and private bulletins differed; Sirasa/Shakthi quoted the SLMM spokesperson on the exchanges of
communiqués between the government and the LTTE regarding the negotiations to reopen the
sluice gates. SLRC focused the attention only on the protest carries out by the Seruwavila high priest
and the farmers in Seruwavila paying no attention to the discussions between the LTTE and GOSL.
The issue received attention from all the main news bulletins in the country on the 26th July after the
defence spokesperson Kehaliya Rabukkwella declared the act to be a gross violation of the Geneva
Convention and termed it as a violation against humanity. The term “Violation against humanity” set


                                                                                                     56
the tone for all the electronic media bulletins in the South. All the news bulletins on the 26th captured
visuals of the dried fields and waterways, which accompanied farmers and villagers visuals in
desperation without water.

The reportage of the issue in electronic media showed signs of polarization. The government media
avoided giving coverage to the LTTE and its statements. The government statement on the
retaliatory air attacks on LTTE controlled areas were featured in all the news bulletins. However, the
privately owned Swarnavahini Maharaja TV channels were the only bulletins to quote the LTTE
spokesperson S.Elilan regarding the retaliatory air attacks, and the demands that were put forward by
the group to reopen the culvert308.

The signs of polarization in the print media reporting were visible from the commencement of the
issue, which was reported in the respective language based papers on three different dates capturing
three different incidents. The incident was first reported on the 24th July in Daily News quoting the
SLMM, divisional secretariat and the Seruwavila chief incumbent as sources on the closure of the
sluice gates. The incident was reported a day later in the Sinhalese media which was limited to an
editorial on the closure of the water way309. The Sinhalese media activated itself only after a priest of
Seruwavila temple went on hunger strike against the closure of the waterway. However, the issue did
not raise much attention or enthusiasm in the beginning even from the Sinhalese press. The
reportage was limited to few articles that were short in length. The Tamil newspaper coverage of the
issue was limited to an editorial published in Sudar Oli on the 26th310, however the issue was widely
covered by the Tamil press only after the retaliatory air strikes were launched in the surrounding
areas of Mavilaru and the LTTE controlled areas on the 27th July311. The Sinhalese and the English
press accused the LTTE for the closure of the sluice gates; contrastingly, the Tamil press stated that
the waterway was closed by the villagers of the area in protest to the bans imposed by the
government on the LTTE controlled areas312. Further, the villagers of the area had laid down 4
conditions to reopen the water way to the SLMM313, which was not reported in any of the other
language papers.

 The stance taken by the Sinhalese press was quite interesting after the intervention of the JHU. The
press initially mentioned Seruwavila high priest‟s intervention to resolve the issue but did not give
much coverage. However, after the JHU‟s intervention, the Sinhalese media covered the issue in a
sensational manner, sidelining the priest who started the protest initially314. Lankadeepa p1 “priest
marching forward to open the Mavilaru sluice gates” carried a caption with a colour photograph of
several monks with two army soldiers. The stance of the JHU and their actions were reported in the
Tamil papers through out the issue315. The English papers were quite critical of the JHU and the
Government for taking up a military option. The chief prelate of Seruwavila criticised the actions
taken by the JHU in escalating the tension in the area and the government for adopting a military
solution316. However these sentiments were reported only in the English press.

Humanitarian disaster

“The English media got activated only when SLMM got involved. But as usual all the English media reported the
incident based in Colombo. No one went in to the frontlines to get first hand information. Our past experiences in war
reporting are that every one is interested only in the two main parties involved and that every one forgets the civilians
caught in the middle. The English papers have realized this fact and now they are attempting to capture the plight of
the civilians in the respective areas” Amantha Perera “ The Sunday Leader”

“I am very sad to say the Tamil media just follow the events and that too if they impact on the Tamil or Muslim
people. The Tamil press might have ignored the Mavilaru agitation because it was a Sinhala affair”:
Kodeeswaran317



                                                                                                                     57
The focus differed drastically based on the language divide. Sinhalese press focussed on the
humanitarian crisis, paying attention to the destruction of 30,000 acres of paddy cultivation due to
the shortage of water, with an especial emphasis on the 15,000 the Muslim, Tamil and the Sinhalese
families that were affected by the issue in the government controlled areas. The offensive that was
carried out in Mavilaru was a Humanitarian war not a war against the LTTE318, this was the line that
was continuously taken up by the government and the Sinhalese media. Amidst the accusations that
were mounting against the LTTE by the government and the media in the South for creating a
humanitarian crisis in the Mavilaru area, the Tamil media defended the LTTE stance highlighting the
humanitarian crisis in the LTTE controlled area due to the government‟s actions319.
The offensive to reopen Mavilaru was based on the humanitarian disaster due to the closure of the
waterway, which was extremely sensationalized by the Sinhalese media320. The Sinhalese media fell
short in covering the greater disaster, which was caused as a result of the aerial bombardment and the
military offensive in the Mavilaru. Even though the issue was termed as humanitarian crisis and the
media coverage of the humanitarian aspects of the military campaign was limited and polarized.
Sinhalese papers reported no information on the plight of people living in the LTTE controlled areas
who were suffering from economic embargoes and the military offensive.The Sinhalese papers
featured quite a number of feature articles on the issue giving the historical background of the area
reiterating the human tragedy of farmers and villagers living in the government controlled areas.321
However, all of these articles took a humanitarian headline with a defence content, which only used
individuals to justify the offensive but fell short in covering broader issues concerning the civilians in
the area322. The English press featured several feature articles on the historical background of the area
and the humanitarian aspect of the battle, which captured the humanitarian crisis due to the
offensive, which left thousands of civilians, devastated in both sides of Mavilaru323.

The government print and electronic media attempted to gain political mileage from the issue, which
gave extensive coverage to the Minister S.M. Chandrasena‟s visit to the area. The visit victims of the
conflict and the governments‟ relief programmes, which were focused only on the government
controlled areas received wide coverage from the both the government and private Sinhalese
media324. The bias treatment by the government, only to provide relief and compensation for the
Mavilaru farmers were criticized by the Tamil media325 but was not questioned by the Sinhalese or
the English press.

Negotiations or War?
The Sinhalese editorials from the outset demanded a military action to resolve the situation. The
Sinhalese papers advocated a war settlement to the issue, which was quite visible in all the editorials
prior to the military offensive326.The editorial hailed the government for the commencement of the
military operation. The Tamil Editorial questioned the motive of the Sinhalese press which over
sensationalised the humanitarian crisis paying emphasis only on the Sinhalese communities327.
Overall sentiments of the Tamil papers were towards a negotiated settlement instead of a military
approach. The Tamil press continuously featured the LTTE‟s willingness to resolve the issue at the
negotiating table but the government‟s willingness to go for war328. The Government owned
Thinakaran featured the government‟s sentiment in its editorial, which requested the LTTE to
compromise to reach to a solution329. The English press criticized the fact that the government was
pushed into war under the pressure of the racial elements of the country, whilst seriously questioning
government‟s decision to go to war330. However, after the reopening of the waterway the private
owned Sinhalese editorials, contradicting to the nationalistic sentiment that was building up in the
Sinhalese constituency changed the stance of a war solution and cautioned the government involving
itself in full-fledged war with the LTTE331.

Whether the CFA was in place, was a question that was raised as the government went in the
offensive, by the LTTE332. The government‟s response reiterated that it was not a war but a battle for
humanitarian purpose, which received front-page news coverage in the Sinhalese and English


                                                                                                       58
papers333. However, this news item was published only in the inner pages of the Tamil media334. The
air force attacks made against the LTTE areas were limited to one column small articles in the front
pages of the Sinhalese press, which continued in to the inner pages of the paper335. contrastingly the
issue was the headline news in the Tamil media336.The English papers gave more attention for the
coverage of the issue by publishing headlines in the cover page337.The Sinhalese and the Tamil media
switched gears as the ground offensive continued, the headlines from the 29th depicted the
allegiances of the media to the respective ethnic communities. The general tone of the Sinhalese and
Tamil media was victorious.


“The Sinhalese papers were in a victorious tone from the start of the issue, they produced headlines and content that
would fuel the Sinhalese sentiment in the south”: Sunanda Deshapriya at the CPA media forum

The Sinhalese headlines attempted to increase the moral of the Sinhalese constituency of an
imminent victory whilst the Tamil media justified the LTTE stance. As the ground battle continued
the Sinhalese and Tamil media provided headlines that depicted the progress of the battle from both
perspectives. The Tamil papers avoided directly publishing the losses to the LTTE, instead they
employed the strategy which was commonly used by the Tamil media in the past by reproducing
Sinhalese article in the Tamil papers338. However, the English media did not publish many head lines
regarding the military offensive in comparison to the other language based papers. The Island
published a headline on the 1st August that LTTE had closed the sluice gates in protest of the ban,
which was not covered or verified by any other newspaper. The Sinhalese media quoted the defence
spokesperson on the news that the government is ready to stop the offensive “if the tigers reopen the
sluice gates we will bring military operation to an end: Kehaliya Rabukkwella339. Interestingly this
statement was published only in the first page of Thinakkural340; the government owned Thinakaran
did not give much prominence to the news, which published it in the inners pages of the newspaper.


The military operation in the headlines:
As the military offensive continued, the trilingual media featured headlines, which depicted the
progress of the military offensive:

        29th July Virakesari “ Sri Lankan army move towards Mavilaru”
        29th July Sudar Oli “Shells and rocket attacks from both sides: clashes at Mavilaru”
        29th July Thinakkural “Fierce fighting between both parties: armed forces attempts to reopen
         Mavilaru anicut”
        29th June Lakbima lead story “31 Tigers dead: Karuna fights for the reopening of the sluice
         gates”

        30th Sunday Times “ LTTE base bombed: 40 feared dead, Banu wounded”

        31st July Lankadeepa “Army, one kilometre away from Mavilaru sluice gates”
        31st July Dinamina “Provincial tiger leader Bhanu in critical condition : 35 Vanni Tigers
         dead from Kaffir attacks”
        31st July Lakbima “Tiger North base destroyed by air strikes”
        31st July Divaina “ 35 Vanni Tigers killed by Kaffir attacks: 100 wounded, 40 in critical
         condition. Sources military intelligences

        31st July Sudar oli “ Troops moving towards Mavilaru but no direct confrontation “




                                                                                                                 59
        31st July Virakesari “ We won‟t open Mavilaru sluice gates until the air strikes and shelling
         stop : S.Elilan
        31st July Thinakkural “ There is the danger of a larger confrontation near the Trincomalee
         Vriugalaru anicut”
        31st Daily Mirror “Mavilaru anicut, watershed for Elam War iv?”

Fresh Fighting

The retaliatory attacks by the LTTE on the 11th August were front page news in all the Sinhalese and
Tamil media. The news of the attacks was reported contrastingly. The Sinhalese papers depicted a
victory for the forces whilst the Tamil media depicted a victory for the LTTE clearly demonstrated
their reliance one side for their news .

Lakbima “fierce fighting near the sluice gates again”
Diwaina “fresh fighting yesterday:65 tigers dead in Mavilaru”
Dinamina “LTTE abandons Mavilaru”
Lankadeepa “fresh fighting near Mavilaru: 25 tigers killed: 6 soldiers sacrifice their lives: 41 injured”

Sudar Oli “Heavy fighting between the LTTE and the Army, 41 army personnel killed 98 were
injured. LTTE spokesperson stated that 10 LTTE carder were killed and 20 were injured.”
Thinakkural “SLA troops were advancing towards Mavilaru anicut heavy fighting between the
between the LTTE and the troops. The sluice gates were open by the civilian representative and the
LTTE but the army claims they opened it.”


Confusion
Reporting on this issue demonstrated a significant level of confusion within the media‟s reporting of
what was taking place on the ground and behind the scenes. The statement made by the government
on the 28th July was reported in a contradictory manner in the electronic media. Sirasa and Shakthi
TV channels quoted Kehaliya Rabukkwella as saying: “that the government does not want to waste
time to negotiate the demands laid down by the LTTE, instead it had the responsibility to take quick
action to safeguard the rights of the people, hence the aerial bombardment of LTTE areas would
continue until the issue was resolved”. SLRC quoted Kehaliya as stating that the “talks had failed and
this was a humanitarian effort taken to reopen the sluice gates and it was not an act of war”
presenting a different point of view of the same statement.

Further, the Tamil media stated that the civilians in the area closed the waterway. However the Tamil
media was not constant on the rational for the closure which differed from the shortage of drinking
water/ the ban imposed by the government on the LTTE areas and the stoppage the ADB water
project which was to be implemented in the LTTE areas341. As the battle continued the local media
was in confusion on the military advancement towards the anicut 342 and whether the Mavilaru sluice
gates were open or not or by what party was it open343. The LTTE and the SLMM came to an
understanding on the 7th of August that the anicut would be reopened, however the government
spokesperson lashed out against the LTTE and the SLMM agreement to reopen the water gates. The
Sinhalese newspapers featured the news item that the government would not accept the conditions
laid down by the LTTE to reopen the waterway and would continue its offensive344. Further The
Sinhalese media reported that the waterway was under government‟s control and it would be opened
soon345. The Tamil papers were backing the statements made by the LTTE that the water way was
open by the LTTE and the SL army was not able even to come close to Mavilaru346.The Sinhalese
press reported the statement of the LTTE that the gates were open by them on the 9th August347.




                                                                                                        60
However, the media was in confusion so as to who reopened the gates: the Sri Lankan army or the
LTTE.




                                                                                            61
1
  Tamilnet, “SLMM Head, villagers discussion abruptly ends following aerial strikes,” July 29 2006
2
  The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August 6
2006, page 11
3
  LTTE Press Release, “Battle for water or something else,” August 7 2006
4
  LTTE Press Release, “Battle for water or something else,” August 7 2006
5
  SCOPP, “Security Forces continue „Operation Watershed‟,” August 6 2006
6
  A Norwegian was appointed as Acting Head of SLMM, Major General Lars Johan Solvberg ( Statement
by the Government of Iceland, “Iceland to Increase Its Presence in SLMM,” August 18 2006; Royal
Norwegian Embassy, “ Acting Head of Mission for SLMM Appointed,” August 21 2006)
7
  Briefing to the Diplomatic Corps by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, “Three Nordic Countries
Leave Because the LTE withdrew Security Guarantees,” August 3 2006
8
  Keheliya Rambukwella (The Sunday Leader, Dilrukshi Handunnetti, “Offensive to provide water, not to
gain territory,” August 6 2006, page 15)
9
  S.P. Thamilchelvam at a meeting with Norwegian Facilitator Hanssen-Bauer on October 3 2006
(Tamilnet, “SLAF bombs Vanni as Special Envoy meets Thamilchelvan,” October 3 2006
10
   The President also noted that the Security Forces are “conducting purely defensive operations since the
LTTE is carrying out offensives in these areas. (SCOPP, Media Release, “President tells UN Secretary
General Govt Committed to Peace and Negotiated Political Settlement,” August 19 2006
11
   The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August
6 2006, page 11
12
   SCOPP, “Government Seeks Clear Commitment to Truce by LTTE-President Briefs Co-Chairs,” August
22 2006
13
   SCOPP, “Government Seeks Clear Commitment to Truce by LTTE-President Briefs Co-Chairs,” August
22 2006
14
   The Sunday Island reported SCOPP Head Palitha Kohona claimed that the LTTE told the SLMM that
they want talks and that he responded positively to the offer. (Tamilnet, “Sri Lankan says „talks offer‟ as
fighting continues,‟ August 13 2006)
15
   SCOPP, “Blair interrupts Holiday to Meet President Rajapaksa” September 1 2006
16
   Co-Chair Meeting on September 15 2006
17
   Rambukwella interview to AFP (Tamilnet, Sri Lanka denies „unconditional‟ talks with Tigers, September
12 2006)
18
   SCOPP Media Release, “Statements by the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process,” September
13 2006. Also as a press release noted: the government “is highly disturbed with regard to the statement
made by Norwegian facilitator, as the government neither agreed to unconditional talks nor was consulted.”
(“Unconditional Talks Between the Government and LTTE – Government of Sri Lanka Neither Agreed
Nor was consulted by the Norwegian Facilitator, September 13 2006). Government Spokesman noted “The
government has not been consulted on any future discussions. Norway, or anybody, can‟t announce dates
and venue.” (Tamilnet, Sri Lanka denies „unconditional‟ talks with Tigers, September 12 2006).
19
   The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya, “Peace talks won‟t be „unconditional,‟” September 17 2006,
page 4
20
   Palitha Kohona to AFP and Daily News Report on meeting on September 14 th between the Government
and Norwegian Ambassador.
21
   Rambukwella stated that “we need concrete positive commitments from the leader of the LTTE to
resume talks. He has given that.”
22
   Tamilnet, “Sri Lanka sets new conditions for talks- reports,” September 30 2006
23
   Tamilnet, “Sri Lanka sets new conditions for talks- reports,” September 30 2006
24
   Tamilnet, “SLAF bombs Vanni as Special Envoy meets Thamilchelvam,” October 3 2006
25
   Keheliya Rambukwella quoted in the Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya, “Peace talks won‟t be
„unconditional,‟” September 17 2006, page 4
26
   The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya, “Peace talks won‟t be „unconditional,‟” September 17 2006,
page 4
27
   Tamilnet, “Co-Chairs‟ Ambassadors meet Sri Lanka‟s President,” October 9 2006



                                                                                                        62
28
   Tamilnet, “Geneva Talks II begins,” October 28 2006
29
   Opening Statement by Honourable Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Geneva October 2006 Talks:
October 28 – 29 2006
30
   Opening Statement by Honourable Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Geneva October 2006 Talks:
October 28 – 29 2006
31
   The Sunday Leader, “LTTE calls for full implementation of CFA,” October 29, page 1
32
   Daily Mirro, Yohan Perera, “Inappropriate format reasons for talks failure: Anit War Front,” October 31
2006, page 3
33
   Daily Mirror, Jehan Perera, “Geneva failure calls for new negotiation approach,” October 31 2006, page
8
34
   SCOPP Media Release, “Statement by the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process,” 13 September
2006
35
   LTTE Press Statement at Geneva, October 29 2006
36
   As the LTTE Press Statement stated “The LTTE agreed to fix a date for next round of talks and asked the
A-9 high way is opened before that date. However, the GOSL did not respond positively. The LTTE has
requested the facilitators and the SLMM to use their good offices to have A-( opened before fixing a date
for the next round of dates.” (LTTE Press Statement at Geneva, October 29 2006 )
37
   Government Media Release, “Geneva Talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE,”
October 28 – 29 2006
38
   Concluding remarks of Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva quoted in the Daily Mirror, Gihan De Chickera,
Kelum Bandara and Easwaran Rutnam, “Norway: Don‟t draw hasty conclusions,” October 31 2006, page 1
39
   LTTE Press Statement, “Geneva talks October 28-29 2006,”
40
   Island, “Govt. rejects LTTE call for referendum,” October 31 2006, page 4
41
   Government, “Geneva Talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE,” October 29 2006
42
   Daily Mirror, Gihan De Chickera, Kelum Bandara and Easwaran Rutnam, “Norway: Don‟t draw hasty
conclusions,” October 31 2006, page 1
43
   Daily News, “Switzerland hopes pledges would be honoured,” October 31 2006, page 1
44
   The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
45
   At the meeting, the Government was represented by the President, Ministers Nimal Siripla De Silva,
Susil Premajayantha, and Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapakse and the JVP delegation included
Somawansa Amerasinghe, JVP Secretary Tilvin Silva, Party spokesman Wimal Weerawansa, and
Parliamentarians K D Lalkantha and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. (The Morning Leader, “JVP Norway out
to join Government,” August 2 2006, page 1)
46
   The Morning Leader, “JVP Norway out to join Government,” August 2 2006, page 1; Daily Mirror,
Gagani Weerakoon,”Nullifying CFA, ousting Oslo not possible now: SLFP tells JVP” August 23 2006,
page 1
47
   Statements made by JVP Leader Somawanse Amerasinghe at a press conference on August 6 at SLFI.
(Daily News, Chandima Edirimanna, “JVP to strengthen President‟s hand-Somawansa,” August 7 2006,
page 1)
48
   Amerasinghe went onto say “Today, there is a sharp three dimensional conspiracy machinated by local
and foreign elements who support the LTTE and their separatism.” (Daily News, Chandima Edirimanna,
“JVP to strengthen President‟s hand-Somawansa,” August 7 2006, page 1)
49
   The proposals formulated by the SLFP Central Committee were handed over to the JVP at Temple Trees
by Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Susil Premajayantha, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Parliamentarian
and Presidential advisor Dullas Alahapperuma. The JVP delegation comprised Tilvin Silva, Wimal
Werawansa, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, and KD Lalkantha. (The Morning Leader, Mandana Ismail
Abeywickrema, “SLFP submits counter proposals to JVP,” August 23 2006, page 1 )
50
   The Morning Leader, Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, “SLFP submits counter proposals to JVP,”
August 23 2006, page 1
51
   “In the proposals, the SLFP has said that the abrogation of the CFA would be disadvantageous to the
country under the present circumstances. The party has also maintained that ousting Norway from the role
of peace facilitator would also be unwise at the moment. As for de-merging the North-East, the SLFP has
said that the party too did not approve of the merger, but said that it would await the outcome of the court



                                                                                                         63
decision.” (The Morning Leader, Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, “SLFP submits counter proposals to
JVP,” August 23 2006, page 1)
52
   JVP Spokesperson (Daily Mirror, Gagani Weerakoon, “Four key demands” August 31 2006, page 4)
53
   The JVP informed the SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena in writing on Wednesday (30 th
August) that they would withdraw from further negotiations on joining the government. (Sunday Standard,
Suranga Gamage, “JVP, SLFP no deal,” September 03, 2006, page 3)
54
   The Morning Leader, Sonali Samarasinghe, “Ray of hope for UNP-SLFP unity,” September 13 2006,
page 8
55
    The Daily News, Shirley Wijesinghe, “JVP no longer “ internal partner,” October 5 2006, page 3
56
    Daily Mirror, “JVP threatens to dethrone Mahinda,” November 2 2006, page 1
57
   The Morning Leader, Editorial, “The JVP-SLFP embrace” September 13 2006, page 8
58
   The JVP leader was reported to have made these comments at a political rally in Polonnaruwa on
September 22 (Sunday Times, “War of words between SLFP and JVP,” September 24 2006, page1, page 1)
59
   The Sunday Times, “Striking unions to be banned,” September 24 2006, page 1
60
   The Sunday Times, “Govt. wants ADB‟s $ 30 m. loan for CEB,” September 24 2006, page 3
61
   Thondaman was appointed Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development and
Chandrasekeran was sworn in as Minister of Community Development and Social Equity Eradication.
62
   From the CWC Muthu Sivalingam as Deputy Minister for Estate Infrastructure Development and, M.
Sachithanandan as Deputy Minister of Education were appointed while from the UPF P. Radhakrishana
was appointed as Deputy Minister of Vocational training.
63
   The JHU accused that the CWC and the UPF of being “anti-Sinhala communalist parties who suppressed
the rights of the Sinhala community in the Central Hills and wished to drive them away from those areas.”
(The Island, Dasun Edirisinghe, “JHU slams Mahinda over CWC, UPF,” August 30 2006, page 1)
64
   Sunday Island, Shamindra Fernando, “UNP slams CWC‟s treachery over switching allegiance,” August
27 2006, page 1
65
   The Island, “Five more cross political borders,” August 26 2006, page 1
66
    The Sunday Times, Political editor, “Government-JVP disagree on CFA,” August 27 2006, page1
67
    The Island, Shamindara Ferdinando, “Ranil offers to co-operate, leaves for India” September 1 2006,
page 1
68
   Daily Mirror, Kelum Bandara, Yohan Perera and Gagani Weerakoon, “Opening talks positive,”
September 12 2006, page 1
69
   Daily Mirror, Kelum Bandara, “President‟s request: UNP to respond this week,” September , 8, 2006
page 1
70
    Daily Mirror, Kelum Bandara, Yohan Perera and Gagani Weerakoon,, “Opening talks positive,”
September 12 2006, page 1
71
    The Morning Leader, Kumudu Amarasingham, “SLFP-UNP deal can avert election says President,”
September 13 2006, page 1
72
   A special two-person sub committee was created to discuss the issue consisting of General Secretary
Maithripala Sirisena and Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne from the SLFP and Malik
Samarawickrema and Prof. G L Peiris from the UNP. (See also “Joint Statement by the SLFP and UNP,”
September 19 2006)
73
   The three rounds of talks between the two seven person delegations were held on September 15,
September 19 and October 3
74
   At this meeting it was also decided to create six two-person subcommittees to devise common principles
and a three-person subcommittee to examine modalities for collaboration. (Daily Mirror, “SLFP-UNP talks
make further progress,” September 20 2006, page 1)
75
   Is this from the MOU
76
   Daily Mirror, Kelum Bandara, “Bravo, they did it,” October 24 2006, page 1
77
    The Daily Mirror, Kelum Bandara, “UNP top-level 7-member team named,” September 15 2006, page 1
78
   The Morning Leader, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, “A powerful partnership with tremendous
responsibility,” October 25 2006, page 8
79
   Article 7 of the MOU:“Both parties agreed to the establishment of a high level committee headed by his
Excellency the President and the Leader of the opposition ( including an equal number of representatives of
the two parties ) to oversee the implementation of the above agreements arrived at between the two parties


                                                                                                        64
and to cooperate with each other in regard to the resolution of any disagreement which may arise in the
course of implementation of this agreement and the policies and programmes set out in clauses 1 to 8
above, and the fulfillment of the agreed national agenda, so as to achieve just and durable peace, good
governance and sustainable development in Sri Lanka.”
80
   COMMITTEE GOVERNMENT?
81
   As the article stated “The basic assumption underlying an equitable framework for power sharing is that
the central government would be invested with all powers, functions and responsibilities essential for the
effective conduct of national policy in all fields( principally including but not limited to defense and
national security, foreign relations, the national budget, monetary policy, elections, immigration and
emigration, national planning, shipping and navigation and related matters), while other matters will fall
within the purview of regional administrations, the policy paper states.”
“The document also states that particular attention will be paid to fiscal considerations and care will be
taken to ensure that the regional administrations will have access to adequate resources to enable effective
discharge of the functions and responsibilities attributed to them. The policy paper also states that the
eventual solution to the ethnic issue has to be political in character.”
(The Morning Leader, “SLFP-UNP decide on power sharing as a solution to ethnic conflict,” October 4
2006, page 1)
82
   Daily Mirror, Champika Liyanaarachchi, “Finally at peace?” October 25 2006, page 8
83
   Daily Mirror, Yohan Perera, “Mahinda invites UNP to join cabinet,” Friday 13th October 2006, page 1
84
   President at a meeting on September 11 2006. (The Morning Leader, Kumudu Amarasingham, “SLFP-
UNP deal can avert election says President,” September 13 2006, page 1)
85
   Daily Mirror, Yohan Perera, “Mahinda invites UNP to join cabinet,” Friday 13th October 2006, page 1
86
   Daily Mirror, Champika Liyanaarachchi, “Finally at peace?” October 25 2006, page 8
87
   Indications?
88
   The letter was dated August 25th and Rajapakse gave a press conference on September 5th explaining his
invitation to the UNP
89
   The Nation, Ravana, “India wants political solution, not war,” September 10 2006, page 9
90
   The President gave his assurances on October 12 2006 (Daily Mirror, Yohan Perera, “Mahinda invites
UNP to join cabinet,” Friday 13th October 2006, page 1)
91
   See The Sunday Leader, “Makings of the SLFP-UNP MoU,” October 29 2006, page 6
92
   The Sunday Leader, “Govt. ready to accept UNP high jumpers,” October 29 2006
93
   The Sunday Leader, Mandana Ismail Abeywickremea, “UNP to function as opposition in parliament,”
October 29 2006
94
   The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August
6 2006, page 11
95
   The Nation, Ravana, “India wants political solution, not war,” September 10 2006, page 9; The Sunday
Leader, Suranimala, “UNP takes the lead role as UNP gets set to deal with MR,” September 3 2006, page
11
96
  The history of the dispute lies in a part of the larger struggle for land and water in the area. There
have been accusations that water from Kantale Allai irrigation scheme were used for largely Sinhala
farmers downstream in Serunuwara and Mutur. In 2002 the dispute took a new turn following a
proposal where the Asian Development Bank proposed to provide drinking water from the Kantale
Allai irrigation scheme while the LTTE demanded that people in its area also receive access to water
which the ADB acceded to. According to the LTTE the North East Development Ministry
announced it would implement the scheme only in government controlled areas thus leading to the
closure of the anicut. Following the closure of the anicut the LTTE put forward conditions1) Security
of civilians traveling between LTTE controlled and Government controlled areas 2) removal of the ban on
items imposed by the army 3) incorporate drinking water supply to the area. The government stated that
it would go ahead with negotiations but also launched military operations (The Sunday Leader,
Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August 6 2006, page 11)
97
   The Sunday Leader, Amantha Perera, “The heavy price of water,” August 6 2006, page 12-3
98
   Keheliya Rambukwella (The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the
battle for prestige,” August 6 2006, page 11)



                                                                                                          65
99
   The Sunday Leader, Amantha Perera, “The heavy price of water,” August 6 2006, page 12-3
100
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Heavy casualties in battle for Sampur,” Senpathi, September 3 2006, page 5
101
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Heavy casualties in battle for Sampur,” Senpathi, September 3 2006, page 5
102
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
103
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
104
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Simmering east set to explode,” September 10 2006, page 12
105
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Simmering east set to explode,” September 10 2006, page 12
106
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
107
    The Sunday Leader, “Army eyes Sampur,” September 3 2006, page 14; The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur
– a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
108
    The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August
6 2006, page 11
109
    Quoted in the Tamil net (The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the
battle for prestige,” August 6 2006, page 11)
110
    The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August
6 2006, page 11
111
    LTTE Peace Secretariat, “Humanitarian measures for civilians of Mutuur East”
112
    The Sunday Leader, Suranimala, “Politics of waging war over water and the battle for prestige,” August
6 2006, page 11
113
    The Sunday Leader, Amantha Perera, “The heavy price of water,” August 6 2006, page 12-3
114
    University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), Special Report Number 22, “Hubris and Humanitarian
Catastrophe,” August 23 2006
115
    The Morning Leader, Arthur Wamanan, “8000 families seek refuge in Kanthale,” August 16 2006, page
7
116
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Army advances as Sampur battle enters new phase,” September 3
2006, page 12
117
    The Sunday Times, “42,000 refuges back in Muttur,” September 10 2006, page 1
118
    Sunday Times, “Govt. reassures panic-stricken Mutur Muslims,” September 24 2006, page 1
119
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Simmering east set to explode,” September 10 2006, page 12
120
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
121
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Heavy casualties in battle for Sampur,” Senpathi, September 3 2006, page 5
122
    The Morning Leader, Arthur Wamanan, “It was a military site – Govt.” August 16 2006, page 1
123
    The Morning Leader, Arthur Wamanan, “It was a military site – Govt.” August 16 2006, page 1
124
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
125
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
126
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
127
    The Nation, Dharisha Bastians, “Army in fresh offensive,” September 10 2006, page 1; The Sunday
Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
128
    Military Spokesman Prasad Samaraisnghe, (The Sunday Island, Fighting along Jaffna FDL,” September
10 2006, page 1)
129
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
130
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
131
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11
132
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Muhamalai debacle: The shocking story,” October 15 2006, page 11
133
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11
134
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Muhamalai debacle: The shocking story,” October 15 2006, page 11
135
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Muhamalai debacle: The shocking story,” October 15 2006, page 11
136
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Muhamalai debacle: The shocking story,” October 15 2006, page 11
137
    Compare the defence columnists Iqbal Athas who refuses to comment as to whether the LTTE was
preparing to launch an offensive or the Sunday Island defence correspondent who points to an LTTE build
up (The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Muhamalai debacle: The shocking story,” October 15 2006, page 11;
The Sunday Island, Defence Correspondent, “Muhamalai – Sri Lanka‟s Valley of Death,” October 15 2006,
page 12
138
    The Island, Shamindra Fernando, “Forces thwart fresh sea-borne attack in north,” August 14 2006, page
1


                                                                                                       66
139
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
140
    The Sunday Leader, Arhur Wamanan, “Jaffna civilians face death by starvation,” September 10 2006,
page 3
141
    The Sunday Leader, Jamila Najmuddin, “Aid workers seek guarantees,” September 10 2006, page 16
142
    The Sunday Times, “Fresh battles in north,” September 10 2006, page 1 (At least three large food
shipments were sent over to Jaffna)
143
    The Sunday Island, “Navy moves civilians out of Jaffna,” September 10 2006, page 2
144
    The Morning Leader, “LTTE warns against sea and air movements to Jaffna,” September 10 2006, page
2
145
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Simmering east set to explode,” September 10 2006, page 12; The
Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
146
    This was claimed by Pilliyan of the Karuna Groups in the Asian Tribune and the the Karuna
Spokesperson Thuiyavan (Sunday Leader, “Karuna faction tracking down LTTE cadres,” September
10 2006, page 17)
147
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
148
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Simmering east set to explode,” September 10 2006, page 12
149
    The Sunday Leader, “Karuna faction tracking down LTTE cadres,” September 10 2006, page 17
150
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
151
      There were reports that the LTTE pulled out of four jungle bases in Karadiyanaru but not
substantiated (The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12)
152
    The Morning Leader, “ „Banned‟ newspapers to complain to Media Minister,” August 16 2006, page 4
153
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11
154
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11
155
    An inshore patrol boat, a coastal patrol boat, a non-operational sub chaser in addition to two oil tanks
and two buildings in the base were damaged (The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock
heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11)
156
    The Sunday Times, Malik Gunatilleke and Gamini Mahadhura, “Aftermath of the Galle incidents,”
October 22 2006, page 4
157
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11
158
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Real heroes and mock heroics,” October 22 2006, page 11
159
    The Sunday Standard, “Tiger attack beaten back,” September 3 2006, page 3
160
    The Sunday Times, “Dawn clash in Delft, six killed,” October 22 2006, page 1
161
    The Sunday Times, Chandani Kirinde, “Attack on arms ship exposes LTTE‟s desperation,” September
24 2006, page 11
162
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Lanka at crossroads of war and peace,” October 29 2006, page 11
163
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Lanka at crossroads of war and peace,” October 29 2006, page 11
164
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Lanka at crossroads of war and peace,” October 29 2006, page 11
165
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Lanka at crossroads of war and peace,” October 29 2006, page 11
166
    The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas, “Lanka at crossroads of war and peace,” October 29 2006, page 11
167
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Sampur – a feather in the cap,” September 10 2006, page 5
168
   Claims of desertions with seven LTTE cadres surrendering to the security forces on October 28
to the pilice check point at Kallar and a further sixteen cadreson October 30 to Sevanagar and
Mahindapura army camps (Daily News, Ranil Wijayapala, “Desertions hit LTTE in the East,” October 31
2006, page 1; Daily Mirror, “More LTTE cadres surrender to military,” October 31 2006, page 1)
169
    The Nation, Senpathi, “Heavy casualties in battle for Sampur,” Senpathi, September 3 2006, page 5
170
    The Sunday Observer, Ranga Jayasuirya “Winning Formula,” September 17 2006, page 12
171
    Home for Human Rights quoted in Daily Mirror, Gihan de Chickera, “Certainty of death by violence on
the increase,” October 30 2006, page1
172
    The Nation, “Timing of SLMM ruling questionable – Peace Secretariat,” September 3 2006, page 2
173
    The Sunday Leader, “Top UN official arrives to study human rights situation,” September 3 2006, page
1
174
    The Morning Leader, Sonali Samarasinghe, “Fall out of a full blown war,” August 16 2006, page 8




                                                                                                           67
175
    Keheliya Rambukwella quoted in The Morning Leader, Arthur Wamanan, “It was a military site –
Govt.” August 16 2006, page 1
176
    The Morning Leader, Amantha Perera, “Violence intensifies in north-east,” August 16 2006, page 9
177
    The Morning Leader, Warren Balthazaar, “No evidence of a military camp,” August 16 2006, page 1
178
    Ramukwella insisted that “the LTTE has taken the monitors to the wrong place and we presume that
they were not war experts.” (The Morning Leader, Arthur Wamanan, “It was a military site – Govt.”
August 16 2006, page 1)
179
    The Morning Leader, Raiss Wickrematunga, “ „A former children‟s home,‟ UNICEF,” August 16 2006,
page 1
180
    The Sunday Times, N. Dilshath Banu, “Pottuvil massacre: SLMC calls for independent inquiry,”
September 24 2006
181
    The Sunday Times, Chris Kamalendran, “Abductions unlimited,” September 24 2006, page 4
182
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Tamil Catholics perturbed over missing priest,” September 3 2006,
page 16
183
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Tamil Catholics perturbed over missing priest,” September 3 2006,
page 16
184
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Tamil Catholics perturbed over missing priest,” September 3 2006,
page 16
185
    The Sunday Leader, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Tamil Catholics perturbed over missing priest,” September 3 2006,
page 16
186
    The Morning Leader, “Annan condemns attacks in the country,” August 16 2006, page 2
187
    Keheliya Rambukwella in The Morning Leader, Attack on Pakistan HC, act of desperation, August 16
2006, page 2
188
    The Sunday Leader, Jamila Najmuddin, “LTTE and Karuna faction guilty of child recruitment,”
September 10 2006
189
    UNICEF Official Statistics of Recruitment of Underage Children, December 2006
190
    The Sunday Leader, Jamila Najmuddin, “LTTE and Karuna faction guilty of child recruitment,”
September 10 2006
191
    United Nations, Statement from the Special Advisor on Children and Armed Conflict, November 13
2006.
192
    The Sunday Leader, Dilrukshi Handunnetti, “Enter the goni billas,” September 10 2006, page 4
193
    The Sunday Times, Chris Kamalendran, “Abductions unlimited,” September 24 2006, page 4
194
    The Nation, “UNP MP‟s niece freed,” September 3 2006, page 2
195
    The Sunday Leader, Dilrukshi Handunetti “Enter the goni billas,” September 10 2006, page 4
196
    Statement of Deputy Minister P. Radhakrishnan (UPF (The Nation, Vindya Amaranayake, “Fifty Tamils
abducted in August,” September 3 2006, page 3); Letter from Mano Ganeshan (WPF) and S.B.
Dissanayake (UNP) citing abductions and state failure to Norwegian Embasy (The Nation, Wilson
Gnanadass, “Amazing disappearance of businessmen in Colombo,” September 10 2006, page 10). The
Sunday Times, Chris Kamalendran, “Abductions unlimited,” September 24 2006, page 4
197
    The Sunday Times, Chris Kamalendran, “Abductions unlimited,” September 24 2006, page 4; The
Sunday Leader, Dilrukshi Handunetti “Enter the goni billas,” September 10 2006, page 4
198
    The Sunday Standard, “Are abductions work of LTTE?” September 3 2006, page 2
199
    The Island, Norman Palihawadana, “Mother, son arrested obver extortion racket,” October 31 2006,
page 1
200
    The Sunday Times, “Policemen suspended over alleged bribery at checkpoint,” Setpember 24 2006,
page 2
201
    The Sunday Leader, Dilrukshi Handunetti “Enter the goni billas,” September 10 2006, page 4
202
    The Sunday Leader, “Tamil parties allege govt. responsible for Colombo abductions,” September 10
2006, page 4
203
    The Sunday Observor, Hartal against abductions,” September 17 2006, page 1
204
    The Sunday Times, Chris Kamalendran, “Abductions unlimited,” September 24 2006, page 4
205
    The Sunday Leader, Jamila Najmuddin, “Aid workers seek guarantees,” September 10 2006, page 16
206
    Daily Mirror, Champika Liyanaarachchi, “Finally at peace?” October 25 2006, page 8

ENDNOTES


                                                                                                      68
LEGAL CLUSTER
207 Kesara Abeywardena, Dharisha Bastians and Vindya Amaranayake, „The Anatomy of a De-Merger‟ The

Nationan, Sunday October 22,2006. p.7
208
    S.S. Selvanayagam, „Three more against JVP‟s demerger of North East‟, Daily Mirror, 9th September
2006. pg.3.
209 Rohan Edrisinha interviewed by Javed Mansoor, Apply „Rule of Law‟ Consistently, The Nation, Sunday

October 22,2006, p.6.
210 Lanka out of Human Rights Commission? Daily Mirror e-edition,

www.dailymirror.lk/2006/09/19/news/04.asp
211 Kumutu Amarasingham, „NGO‟s denied visas on grounds of foul play‟ The Morning Leader 4, October

2006 pg.2.
212 Kumutu Amarasingham, „NGO‟s denied visas on grounds of foul play‟ The Morning Leader 4, October

2006 pg.2.
213 Yohan Perera, “NGOs against state control” Daily Mirror, 7, Nov 2006, pg.2.
214
    „INGO‟s come under flak for anti-social activities‟ The Nation.
215 „INGO‟s come under flak for anti-social activities‟ The Nation.
216 He explained that people have a right to come together and build organizations to find solutions to their

problems. “ These organizations which people set up are NGOs and controlling them is a violation of human
rights,” he said.
217 Yohan Perera, “NGOs against state control” Daily Mirror, 7 , Nov 2006, pg.2.
218
    Yohan Perera, “NGOs against state control” Daily Mirror, 7, Nov 2006, pg.2
219
    www.icj.org/news.php3?id_article=4004&lang=en
220
    www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=19902
221
    Central Bank Statement, Susitha R. Fernando „Court orders freezing of TRO accounts for six months‟
Daily Mirror 6September 2006 pg 1 and 6.
222 Kelum Bandara, „TNA, EPDP hail postponement of Local Govt. elections‟ Daily Mirror 25th September

2006. pg A3.
223 According to the draft interim report which is yet to be formally adopted, the country will be divided into

150 single member constituencies to return 150 MP‟s on the first past the post system. Out of the remaining 75
MP‟s 72 will be elected by the respective party secretaries on the basis of a district proportional representation
system accounting only the votes polled by the defeating candidates. The balance three seats are to be reserved
for the minor parties who have polled a national vote exceeding 1% but have not qualified for a seat under the
first past the post and/or district representation system.
224 Kelum Banadara, „Electoral reforms irk SLMC‟ Daily Mirror, 11, September 2006. pg. A3.
225 Kelum Bandara, „New Electoral Reforms Delayed‟ Daily Mirror, 14, October 2006. p.A3.
226 The Island,8th Nov. 2006. p.1




                                                                                                               69
ECONOMIC CLUSTER

                  Table 1: Summary of Economic Indicators – 3rd Quarter 2006
                                     July      Aug        Sep          1st          2nd             3rd
                                                                    Quarter       Quarter         Quarter
Growth – GDP (%)                                                     8.3 >         7.6 <           7.5 <
Agriculture (%)                                                      7.3 >         6.4 <           4.5 <
Industry (%)                                                         5.9 <          6.7 >             7.4 >
Services (%)                                                         9.5 >          8.3 <             8.5 >
Agriculture Production
Tea (million kgs)                    23.7      21.9       28.0       77.5 >        87.0 >            73.6 <
Rubber (million kgs)                  8.5       9.7        8.0       29.2 >        27.0 <            26.2 <
Coconut (million nuts)              235.9      256.2     219.7      625.3 <        662.0 >           711.8 >
Tea Auction Price (USD per kg)       1.82      1.88       1.91       1.83 <        1.79 <            1.87 >
Industrial Production
Private Sector IPI (1997=100)       137.8      151.0     136.5      145.8 <        149.4 >           136.5 <
Public Sector IPI (1997=100)         101.2     105.8      89.2      103.8 >        100.6 <           89.2 <
Industrial Exports (USD million)    394.3      581.6     462.0     1,166.2 <      1,301.9 >      1,437.9 >
Interest Rates (last week)
Prime Lending Rate                  12.65      12.80     14.70      11.97 <        12.63 >           14.70 >
Treasury Bill Rate                   10.51     10.70      10.71     10.38 >        10.45 >           10.71 >
Repurchase Rate                     9.125      9.125     9.625       8.75 =        9.00 >            9.625 >
Reverse Repurchase Rate             10.625    10.625     11.125     10.25 =        10.50 >        11.125 >
Inflation (SLCPI)
Point-to-Point Inflation rate         9.9      10.9       11.5       6.4 >         10.7 >            11.5 >
Annual Average Inflation rate         6.1       6.3        6.8       9.6 <          6.1 <             6.8 >
Public Debt
Domestic Debt (LKR billion)          17.1      12.8        5.0       63.1 >        62.2 <            34.9 <
External Debt (LKR billion)           7.8     (-) 10.4    12.3       23.6 >        34.2 >             9.7 <
Total Debt (LKR billion)             24.9       2.4       17.3       86.7 >        96.4 >            44.6 <
International Trade
Exports X (USD million)              515        734       608      1,519.0 <      1,643.0 >      1,857.0 >
Imports M (USD million)              863        993       806      2,302.8 <      2,652.2 >      2,662.0 >
Trade Balance X–M (USD million)     (-) 348   (-) 259    (-) 198   (-) 783.8 >   (-) 1,009.2>    (-) 805.0 <
International Reserves
Gross Official Reserves (USD mil)   2,522.8   2,558.8    2,383.7   2,793.3 >      2,508.8 >      2,383.7 <




                                                                                                70
Net Private Remittances (USD           161    168        156       557 >        510 <          485 <
million)
Tourism
Number of Tourists                 55,400    52,900     38,500   159,700 >    137,500 <    146,800 >
Income (USD million)                40.3      38.6       28.1     116.4 >      100.4 <      107.0 >

Capital Market (last week)
All Share Price Index (ASPI)       2,206     2,200     2,355     2,263 >       2,112 <       2,355 >
Milanka Price Index (MPI)          2,835     2,798     2,963     2,876 >      2,714 <        2,963 >
Average Daily Turnover (LKR mil)    319       272       608       321 >         198 <         400 >
Source: http://www.centralbanklanka.org/socio_econ_ind.html Please note that these data are
provisional.
Note: N.A = Not Available. >, =, < are greater, equal, and lesser than the preceding quarter
respectively.

                                      Table 2.1
                                   Commodity Prices
                                      July 2006
Commodity                    Ampara      Batticaloa              Jaffna       Vavuniya

Rice Rs/kg                      29               29               45             32
Wheat flour Rs/kg               34               35               35             32
Mysore dhal Rs/kg               72               71               80             79
Sugar Rs/kg                     61               60               66             61
Milk powder Rs/400g             154              154              160            154
Bread Rs/450g                   18               18               26             20
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg              1050             1040             1250           1020
Kerosene Rs/litre               40               39               47             45
Diesel Rs/litre                 59               58               65             62
Petrol Rs/litre                 89               88               104            94
Cement Rs/bag                   570              568              788            600
TOTAL                          2,176            2,160            2,666          2,199




                                      Table 2.2
                                   Commodity Prices
                                     August 2006
Commodity                    Ampara      Batticaloa              Jaffna       Vavuniya

Rice Rs/kg                      25               26               54              31
Wheat flour Rs/kg               30               31               44              34
Mysore dhal Rs/kg               71               71               94              82
Sugar Rs/kg                     62               61               69              63
Milk powder Rs/400g             154              154              167             154
Bread Rs/450g                   18               18               28              21
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg              1050             1040             1443            1020
Kerosene Rs/litre               46               46               48              45


                                                                                          71
Diesel Rs/litre                      65                64             69              62
Petrol Rs/litre                      97                96             106             94
Cement Rs/bag                       570                565            871             600
TOTAL                              2,188              2,172          2,993           2,206
Note: Jaffna prices are at the Multi Purpose Cooperative Societies (MPCS). The black market prices
are several folds higher than indicated in the table.




                                          Table 2.3
                                      Commodity Prices
                                       September 2006
Commodity                       Ampara       Batticaloa            Jaffna           Vavuniya

Rice Rs/kg                        25               26               95                33
Wheat flour Rs/kg                 27               29               98                35
Mysore dhal Rs/kg                 70               70               120               85
Sugar Rs/kg                       60               61               143               61
Milk powder Rs/400g               154              154              170               154
Bread Rs/450g                     17               17               28                22
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg                1080             1064             1900              1020
Kerosene Rs/litre                 48               48               57                54
Diesel Rs/litre                   67               67               74                68
Petrol Rs/litre                   101              100              110               103
Cement Rs/bag                     570              570             1683               614
TOTAL                            2,219            2,206            4,478             2,249



                                           Table 3.1
                                 Commodity Prices in Ampara
                                   January - September 2006
Commodity                 Jan     Feb    Mar      Apr    May        Jun       Jul      Aug      Sep

Rice Rs/kg                 30       28      25     28       26      28        29        25       25
Wheat flour Rs/kg          31       31      34     35       35      35        34        30       27
Mysore dhal Rs/kg          70       61      68     70       65      70        72        71       70
Sugar Rs/kg                49       55      56     60       59      60        61        62       60
Milk Powder Rs/400g       151      147     150     154      154     154      154       154      154
Coconut Rs                 22       21      18     19       18      15        14        17       17
Potato Rs/kg               94       84      76     80       74      88        96        83       60
Red Onion Rs/kg            90       81      57     59       68      73        72        78       35
Green Chillie Rs/kg        77       66      60     67       54      66        61        48       35
Cabbage Rs/kg              54       51      41     45       48      60        61        55       46
Carrot Rs/kg               81       86      80     71       74      92        82        52       46



                                                                                               72
Aubergine (Brinjal)     63     68     58     50      72     86       66        64            62
Pumpkin Rs/kg           35     35     35     39      29     30       30        30            26
Drumstick Rs/kg          -      -      -     77      125    156     138       132           116
Coconut oil Rs/litre    86     77     67     67      71     75       75        75            78
Bread Rs/450g           18     18     18     19      18     18       18        18            17
SUB TOTAL               951   909    843     940     990   1106    1,063      994           874
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg      950    986    1018   1042    1050   1050    1050      1050          1080
Kerosene Rs/litre       31     31     31     34      40     40       40        46            48
Diesel Rs/litre         51     51     51     52      59     59       59        65            67
Petrol Rs/litre         81     81     81     82      89     89       89        97           101
Cement Rs/bag          569    570    570     570     571    570     570       570           570
TOTAL                  2633   2628   2594   2720    2799   2914    2,871     2,822         2,740

                                      Table 3.2
                           Commodity Prices in Batticaloa
                              January – September 2006
Commodity              Jan   Feb    Mar      Apr    May   Jun     Jul      Aug       Sep

Rice Rs/kg              29     28     27     26     26       28     29       26    26
Wheat flour Rs/kg       33     33     34     35     35       35     35       31    29
Mysore dhal Rs/kg       76     69     68     70     70       70     71       71    70
Sugar Rs/kg             48     55     55     56     58       60     60       61    61
Milk Powder Rs/400g    152    149    150    159    154      154    154      154   154
Coconut Rs              21     19     18     18     17       17     18       19    18
Potato Rs/kg            94     90     74     72     74       84     91       86    61
Red Onion Rs/kg         74     78     60     51     64       77     77       61    41
Green Chillie Rs/kg     80    104     70     66     54       50     51       48    39
Cabbage Rs/kg           58     66     41     31     48       58     60       50    47
Carrot Rs/kg            72     87     80     72     68       84     83       67    45
Aubergine (Brinjal)     82     70     56     42     76       94     87       74    70
Pumpkin Rs/kg           23     27     28     29     29       30     30       30    28
Drumstick Rs/kg          -      -      -     78    132      154    150      137   131
Coconut oil Rs/litre    79     78     65     65     73       75     75       75    78
Bread Rs/450g           17     17     18     18     18       18     18       18    17
SUB TOTAL              938    970    844    888    996     1088   1089     1008    915
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg      950    980    1008   1035   1040    1040   1050     1040   1064
Kerosene Rs/litre       31     31     31     33     39       39     40       46    48
Diesel Rs/litre         50     50     50     52     58       58     59       64    67
Petrol Rs/litre         80     80     80     82     88       88     89       96   100
Cement Rs/bag          563    567    570    570    570      570    570      565   570
TOTAL                  2612   2678   2583   2660   2791    2883   2897     2819   2764


                              Commodity Prices in Jaffna
                               January – September 2006
Commodity              Jan    Feb    Mar      Apr    May   Jun    Jul      Aug       Sep

Rice Rs/kg             32      36     53     48     51     56     45       54        95
Wheat flour Rs/kg      32      33     34     36     36     37     35       44        98


                                                                                          73
Mysore dhal Rs/kg       80     83     81     82     80     83      80     94    120
Sugar Rs/kg             52     57     61     66     64     67      66     69    143
Milk Powder Rs/400g    157    160    158    158    160    165     160    167    170
Coconut Rs              17     18     20     18     19     19      17     28     30
Potato Rs/kg            94     61     59     79    100     87      86    158    350
Red Onion Rs/kg         77     43     33     50     40     58      55     36     30
Green Chillie Rs/kg     97     81     32     39     40     79      72     77     53
Cabbage Rs/kg           57     45     28     53     43     97      73     81    115
Carrot Rs/kg            60     47     53     62     43     56      80     80     80
Aubergine (Brinjal)     79     70     39     49     70     42      43     66     80
Pumpkin Rs/kg           34     30     27     36     30     37      27     30     40
Drumstick Rs/kg          -      -      -    106    300    200     107     94    205
Coconut oil Rs/litre    98    103    109    110    110    110     103    114    250
Bread Rs/450g           23     23     25     26     26     26      26     28     28
SUB TOTAL              989    890     812   1018   1212   1219   1075   1220   1887
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg      1150   1246   1255   1235   1250   1268   1250   1443   1900
Kerosene Rs/litre       36     34     35     43     46     50      47     48     57
Diesel Rs/litre         57     56     56     59     60     65      65     69     74
Petrol Rs/litre         91     90     93     96    100    102     104    106    110
Cement Rs/bag          660    606    606    670    650    800     788    871   1683
TOTAL                  2983   2922   2857   3121   3318   3504   3329   3757   5711


                                     Table 3.4
                           Commodity Prices in Vavuniya
                             January – September 2006
Commodity              Jan  Feb    Mar      Apr    May  Jun      July   Aug    Sep

Rice Rs/kg              30     29     28     31     32     30     32     31     33
Wheat flour Rs/kg       29     29     29     31     32     32     32     34     35
Mysore dhal Rs/kg       76     79     78     77     80     78     79     82     85
Sugar Rs/kg             47     52     56     60     60     60     61     63     61
Milk powder Rs/400g    154    154    154    154    154    154    154    154    154
Coconut Rs              17     16     16     17     18     16     17     16     16
Potato Rs/kg            73     63     60     68     72     70     73     74     79
Onions Rs/kg            68     51     36     43     54     60     40     46     36
Chillies Rs/kg          79     56     43     51     51     55     60     71     68
Cabbage Rs/kg           42     36     32     40     50     71     66     54     50
Carrot Rs/kg           109     70     70     77     78     79     86     73     61
Aubergine (Brinjal)     44     21     29     43     44     40     30     43     56
Pumpkin Rs/kg           30     24     20     20     29     30     27     30     26
Drumstick Rs/kg          -      -      -    130    137    110     70     40     31
Coconut oil Rs/litre    78     80     80     80     80     86     85     89    102
Bread Rs/450g           17     17     17     17     19     19     20     21     22
SUB TOTAL              893    777    748    939    990    990    932     921    915
LP gas Rs/12.5 kg      910    1055   1065   1020   1020   1020   1020   1020   1020
Kerosene Rs/litre       31     31     31     34     40     43     45     45     54
Diesel Rs/litre         50     50     50     54     58     60     62     62     68
Petrol Rs/litre         81     81     81     84     88     92     94     94    103


                                                                                  74
Cement Rs/bag              550     565     580      596     600      600     600     600      614
TOTAL                      2515    2559    2555     2727    2796     2805    2753    2742     2774




                       Table 4: Public Expenditures by Selected Ministries
                                             2005 – 2007
                                                                           Public Expenditure
                                                                             (LKR billion)
                                                                       2005       2006       2007
1. Ministry of Defence                                                  86         96         140
2. Ministry of Education                                                20         34         43
3. Ministry of Samurdhi & Poverty Alleviation                           15         18         18
4. Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition                                   35         36         51
5. Ministry of Public Administration & Home Affairs                     48         44         69
6. Ministry of Power and Energy                                          8        10.5        52
7. Ministry of Transport & Railways                                     15         21         31
8. Ministry of Highways & Road Development                              15         36         48
9. Ministry of Finance                                                  383        54        51.5
10. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Lands & Irrigation              14         21         33
11. Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Government                  73         88         104
12. Ministry of Urban Development & Water Supply                        16         27         36
Total (LKR billion)                                                     805        570        805
Source: Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Annual Reports, various years, & Appropriation Bill, October
2006.
Note: (a) While 2005 data are actual expenditures, 2006 and 2007 are earmarked expenditures.
      (b) All the figures are rounded to nearest billion rupees.
      (c) Total public expenditure (last row) and Ministry of Finance (row 9) figures for 2006 & 2007
do not
           include public debt repayments.



     Table 5: Public Spending by Selected Ministries as a proportion of the Total Public
                                     Expenditure 2005 – 2007
                                                                  As a % of Total Public
                                                                       Expenditure
                                                                2005      2006      2007
1. Ministry of Defence                                           11         17       17
2. Ministry of Education                                          2          6        5
3. Ministry of Samurdhi & Poverty Alleviation                     2          3        2
4. Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition                             4          6        6
5. Ministry of Public Administration & Home Affairs               6          7        9
6. Ministry of Power and Energy                                   1          2       6.5
7. Ministry of Transport & Railways                               2          4        4
8. Ministry of Highways & Road Development                        2          6        6



                                                                                                  75
9. Ministry of Finance                                                   48        9.4         6
10. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Lands & Irrigation                2         4          4
11. Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Government                    9       15.5        13
12. Ministry of Urban Development & Water Supply                          2         5          4
Total (LKR billion)                                                     100       100        100
Source: Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Annual Reports, various years, & Appropriation Bill, October
2006.
Note: (a) While 2005 data are actual expenditures, 2006 and 2007 are earmarked expenditures.
      (b) All the figures are rounded to nearest billion rupees.
      (c) Total public expenditure (last row) and Ministry of Finance (row 9) figures for 2006 & 2007
do not
           include public debt repayments.

                                             GRAPH 1

                     Cost of selected food items in the conflict region
                                     January - September 2006


     2000
     1900
     1800
     1700
     1600
     1500
     1400
     1300
     1200
     1100
     1000
      900
      800
      700
               Jan      Feb      Mar       Apr      May      Jun       July     Aug      Sep

                            Ampara          Batticaloa       Jaffna        Vavuniya
                                 Note: Derived from Tables 3.1-3.4




                                                                                                  76
                                                  GRAPH 2

                Cost of selected food & non-food items in the conflict region
                                             January - September 2006


      5800
      5600
      5400
      5200
      5000
      4800
      4600
      4400
      4200
      4000
      3800
      3600
      3400
      3200
      3000
      2800
      2600
      2400
                   Jan       Feb        Mar         Apr       May         Jun        July       Aug        Sep

                                  Ampara             Batticaloa           Jaffna          Vavuniya
                                      Note: Derived from Tables 3.1-3.4


228
    Higher price fetched by tea exports during the quarter under review was mainly because of drop in
tea production in Kenya.
229
    Private and public sector industrial production indices were higher during the third quarter 2006
compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Besides, industrial exports were also higher in value
terms (almost 9%) during the third quarter this year in comparison to the same quarter last year.
230
   Please note that there was an error in the gross official reserve data at the end of the second quarter as
reported in the previous quarterly report. According to Central Bank correction, the correct figure was USD
2,508.8 and not USD 2,905.3 as reported in the last quarterly report.
231
    Net private remittances have been declining from USD 557 million in the first quarter to USD
510 million in the second quarter (8% drop), and to USD 485 million in the third quarter (5% drop).
232
    ASPI (2,399) and MPI (3,171) were higher during the last week of the third quarter last year
compared to the same period this year. Further, average daily turnover during the last week of the
third quarter was LKR 400 million, which was double the amount during the last week of the second
quarter (LKR 198 million). However, average daily turnover was higher during the last week of the
third quarter last year (LKR 533 million).
233
      Because the A9 is in fact open from Omanthai to Muhamalai for public and vehicular traffic.

RELIEF, REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION CLUSTER
234
    UNHCR, 27th November 2006.



                                                                                                          77
235
    The numbers merely reflect IDPs who are living in welfare camps and registered with the authorities
and does not consider IDPs with host families, the night time displaced and others who are unregistered.
Further, these numbers merely reflects the recently displaced and does not account for IDPs who have been
displaced prior to 2006, both by the conflict and tsunami.
236
    Daily Mirror, 12th August 2006
237
    UNHCR demands access to war affected civilians- Daily Mirror, 19th August 2006
238
    Daily Mirror, 7th August 2006
239
    Kantalai Field Report, 25th August 2006
240
    Kantalai Field Report, 25th August 2006
241
    „Government‟s IDP relief not enough‟- Daily Mirror, 4th September 2006
242
    Ill winds add to refugee woes- Sunday Times, 3rd September 2006
243
    „Starvation the other option- The Morning Leader, 27th September 2006
244
    „Mutur civilians to face backlash?‟ The Morning Leader, 27th September 2006. There were also reports
where boards saying „No entry for refugees from Mutur‟ were erected in Trincomalee demonstrating
measures taken by the authorities to forecibly return IDPs. „Trincomalee; the IDP hotspot where politics
rules the day‟ Daily Mirror, 2nd October 2006
245
    Protests over police eviction of Muslims‟ Daily Mirror, 28 th September 2006
246
    STF were accused of attacking a tsunami camp in Amparai causing injury and destroying property. „STF
shells Tsunami transit centres in Thandiyady, Amparai. TamilNet 28 th September 2006
247
    TamilNet, 3rd August 2006
248
    LankaTruth, 3rd August 2006
249
    UNHCR Protection Report: October 2006; Bombing in Killinochchi on the 2 nd November killing 5
civilians and damaging the Killinochchi District Hospital and rsulting in many patients fleeing. TamilNet
3rd November 2006
250
    TamilNet, 3rd August 2006
251
    TamilNet, 3rd August 2006
252
    According to reports around 600 Tamil families fleeing Eachchilampathu fled to Vaharai and were
continuously on the move due to aerial bombardments, having no secure place to remain and seek refuge.
TamilNet 8th August 2006.
253
    TamilNet 9th August 2006
254
    ICRC unable to reach refugees- Sunday Leader, 9th August 2006
255
    There were also incidents where humanitarian assistance was refused to LTTE controlled areas
including Vaharai and convoys turned back by the military. TamilNet, 11 th August 2006
256
    A joint UN team that visited in October stated that due to travel restrictions and attacks in the Vaharai
area, the there was a situation where food was not distributed for 40 days, impacting the people in the area
especially pregnant and lactating women and young children. Two hospitals in the area, the LTTE hospital
in Kathiraveli and a government hospital in Vaharai lacked essential medicine and is understaffed. Schools
do not function as teachers living outside the area are unable to report to work. UNHCR protection report,
October 2006.
257
    UNHCR protection report, October 2006. Over 500 civilians from uncleared area in Sri Lanka‟s east
cross into government held areas- ColomboPage News Desk, 17th August 2006
258
    Eachchilampathu IDPs face dire shortage of food- TamilNet 21st August 2006.
259
    UNHCR protection report, October 2006
260
    UNHCR protection report, October 2006
261
    With fuel shortages, reports state of limited services and possible stopping of public transport, not
selling diesel to government offices and private vehicle owners and limited supply of electricity. „Fuel
crisis cripples Jaffna‟ TamilNet 30th October 2006
262
    „Jaffna on the verge of starvation‟ Sunday Leader, 22ns October 2006. Further, people queue up at 4am
each morning to purchase bread, demonstrating the hardships faced by the civilians. „The 4am queue for a
loaf…..‟ Sunday Leader, 8th October 2006
263
    For example, fishermen are unable to fish due to military restrictions and are unable to feed their
families nor have sufficient money to buy food. Reports suggest that they have exhausted all their financial
resources, including pawning jewelry are totally dependent on dry rations. Livelihood of farmers have been
affected as they are unable to purchase essential seeds and fertilizers and have no means of transporting
their goods out of the district. Other sectors have also been affected including masons who cannot work


                                                                                                          78
because there is no cement, carpenters because there is no timber and business because they cannot move
their goods out of Jaffna. UNHCR protection report, October 2006.
264
    Dry rations are distributed by the government under a circular formulated in 1995 which has not been
revised and therefore outdated. As a result families face hardships coping with the limited relief provided
by dry rations.
265
    Food Shortage Leaves 150,000 starving- The Morning Leader, 30th August 2006
266
    „Jaffna food stock enough to last only four weeks- GA- TamilNet 23rd September 2006
267
    Reports state that children are the worst affected, many suffering malnutrition and fainting in school. It
has also lead to low levels of school attendance. „Jaffna faces humanitarian catastrophe‟ TamilNet 24 th
October 2006
268
    Ship Carrying essential items travels to Sri Lanka‟s conflict town North- Colombo Page News Desk,
20th August 2006
269
    Tigers warns ICRC on use of sea route- The Morning Leader, 13th September 2006
270
     UNHCR, 27th November 2006. In welfare camps there are concern of sanitation and hygiene as there
are no proper facilities in these welfare camps, with no separate toilets for women and privacy being an
issue.
271
    TamilNet, 12th August 2006
272
    Foe example, with restrictions on fishing, the fishermen have been unable to go fishing, impacting their
livelihood and livelihood of others who are dependent on the fishing trade. Likewise, the curfew,
restrictions on movement, shortages in fuel and electricity have impacted other livelihoods. IDP meeting at
UNHCR, 2nd November 2006.
273
    Reports stated that the military had blocked 2000 families leaving areas of Varani, Vatralai, Thaavalai,
Idaikuichchi and Karambaikurichchi to Vadamarachchi- SLA blocks 2000 families fleeing Thenmaradchi-
TamilNet 13th August 2006
274
    Jaffna Humanitarian Crisis growing- Daily Mirror, 21st August 2006.
There were reports of civilians fleeing the islands in Jaffna due to security concerns. „Civilians flee Jaffna
islets of Velanai- TamilNet, 7th September 2006
275
    „Jaffna faces humanitarian catastrophe‟ TamilNet 24th October 2006
276
    Situation Report as at 1st September 2006, Killinochchi District
277
    Ibid.
278
    Vavuniya Stranded to be sent to Jaffna in November, 27 th October 2006
279279
       Reports stated that around 500 civilians from Jaffna were stranded in Vavuniya due to the closure of
the A9- Jaffna bound civilians stranded in Vavuniya for 11days- TamilNet 21st August 2006.
280
    Situation Report as at 1st September 2006, Killinochchi District
281
    This was evident in LTTE controlled areas in Mannar with the restrictions being imposed at the
Uyilankulam check point since 11th August. „Mannar villagers face acute food shortage‟. TamilNet 7 th
September 2006
282
    Present numbers of refugees who arrived in 2006 number at 16,000.
283
    UNHCR protection report October 2006
284
    Seventy thousand displaced by floods in Puttala, Daily Mirror, 9 th November 2006
285
    INGOs moving out of North- Morning Leader, 30th August 2006. A case in point is the situation of
Medicine sans Frontier (MSF) which was requested by the Ministry of Health to provide assistance in the
North but have been not allowed to fully operationalise their activities with government canceling thie
work visas and ordering them to leave the country. They are currently „under investigation‟ by the
government. „MSF withdraws from Jaffna peninsula‟ Daily Mirror 26 th October 2006.
286
    A tamale woman working with Red Cross Society was killing in Vavuniya, Lanka Truth, 22 nd August
2006; an employee of UNOPS was killed in Ampara, TamilNet 24th August 2006; an employee of World
Concern was killed in Trincomalee, The Island, 13 th September 2006; an employee of Sewalanka was killed
in Jaffna, TamilNet 2nd September 2006
287
    Equipment of TRO office in Jaffna were destroyed with the building being set on fire- „Armed men
destroy NGO office in Jaffna‟ TamilNet 24th August 2006. Additionaly, a grenade exploded in front of the
ICRC office in Jaffna, damaging the building. „ICRC calls for worker safety, unhindered access to victims‟
TamilNet 1st October 2006
288
    „CB extends freeze on TRO accounts by 6 months‟ Daily Mirror 29 th September 2006



                                                                                                           79
289
    Three persons were killed when an ambulance was attacked in Seruvila- TamilNet 3rd August 2006.
Furhter, 5 persons were killed and an ambulance destroyed due to a claymore in Pandarakulam-TamilNet
9th August 2006.
290
    OCHA press release, 30th August 2006
291
    Foreign nationals free Sri Lanka‟s north as shelling in the East leaves 5 soldiers wounded-
LankaAcademic, 28th August 2006
292
    MSF France, MSF Spain, MDM France, Doctor of the World USA, M Medicos Du Mondo and
Solidarities were refused work permits. „NGOs denied visas on grounds of foul play‟ Morning Leader 4 th
October 2006
293
    NGOs cannot expect Government security: Minister- Daily Mirror, 25th August 2006
294
    SLA ban on building materials to Vaharai stays-Basil Rajapakse- TamilNet 30th September 2006. The
ban on agricultural material and fuel was lifted in September following a meeting between Mr. Rajapakse
and TNA parlimentarians.
295
    Exceptions include vehicles belonging to the government, the UN and SLMM.
296
    Persons traveling from the North East state that though several copies are issued to be handed over at
several check point, most times these are not collected. Many also raised concern on the amount of time
that is spent on issuing a permit which has resulted in people spending considerable amount of time at the
police station.
297
    Sri Lanka accused of killing of 17 aid workers- The New York Times, 30th August 2006
298
    Minister assures transparent probe into aid workers deaths- Daily News, 10th August 2006
299
    The Australian forensic experts left Sri Lanka after several weeks due to the delay in the investigation.
„Forensic experts leave due to slow progress‟- The Morning Leader, 27th September 2006
300
    Mutur aid workers bodies exhumed, Tamilnet, 19 th October 2006
301
    „UN wants safety guarantees for aid staff in NE‟- Daily Mirror, 1st September 2006
302
    „Dist. Secys put NGOs under PSG microscope‟- Daily Mirror, 22nd August 2006
303
    The committee raised that 256 NGOs have collected Rs.40billion for the tsunami with no substation
work being done after 20 months. „Errant NGOs to be expelled‟ Daily News 3 rd September 2006
304
    „INGO head deported for equating state with LTTE‟ The Sunday Times, 27 th August 2006
305
    Individual organizations such as CARITAS, World Vision have been named by RADA for slow
delivery. „The great INGO tsunami money grab‟ Sunday Observer 27 th August 2006
306
    „RADA points at extravagant lifestyles of NGOs‟ Sunday Standard, 10 th September 2006
307
    Reports have highlighted that former CEO Saliya Wickramasuriya received a remuneration package
amounting to Rs 375,000 with other key officials receiving packages over Rs.200,000. With the 2 nd year
anniversary of the tsunami fast approaching, questions need to be raised why RADA and other actors have
failed in constructing the necessary 68,914 houses with only 2,895 having been completed. The Nation, 27 th
October 2006

MEDIA CLUSTER
308 27 July 2006 Sirasa lead story main bulletin
30th July main news bulletin Sirasa and Shakthi TV and Swarnavahini channels
309 25th July Divaina p10
310 26th July Sudar Oli p4
311 27th July Virakesari “LTTE activities are against human rights: Kehaliya ”

Thinakkural “ closure of Mavilaru is against international law: govt peace secretariat (The Tamil paper quoted the defence spokes person
and the government peace secretariat, LTTE spokes person as sources in covering the issue)
312 27th July Thinakkural p2
313 28th July Thinakkural p1
314 29th p1 Lankadeepa “in protest to the closure: JHU priest go to Kallar” Dinamina “large protest by JHU in Serunuwara. Lankadeepa

“Rathana thero and villages surrounds the Kallar army camp”
31st Lankadeepa feature article of the JHU protest with 5 b/w photos.
315 29th July Virakesari p9

   31th July p1 Virakesari
316 3rd August p9 Dialy Mirror “people and their lands starved of water”

2nd September p9 The Island” Mavilaru dispute continuation of the same saga”
2nd August p8 Morning Leader “the search for peace: are they sincere”
317 CPA media Unit organized media forum on 6th September 2006 at SLPI on the topic “Mavilaru water crisis and media”. Following

are three quotes from the guest speakers on the media reportage of the issue:




                                                                                                                                    80
318 29th July Dinamina “ we are in the offensive not to start a war with LTTE :Kehaliya Rabukkwella ”
319 27th July Sudar oli/ Thinakkural p1 “Kaffir jets bomb Echalanpatthu: LTTE”
28th July Thinakkural p1 Two days of jet attacks in North East”
320 27 July

             Divaina “ thousands of families are deprived of water: Tigers closed the Vriugalaru sluice gates”
             Dinamina “against International conventions: closure of Mavilaru sluice gates by the LTTE‟s is a war crime” Kehaliya
              Rabukkwella
321 30th Silumina p7 ½ page, “tigers closed the sluice gates to capture traditional lands”

Divaina p8 ½ page “Air strikes to rescue Mavilaru from the LTTE. P14 full page “Mavilaru and LTTE war crimes”
26th July Divaina p10article “closure of the Seruwavila water way and the construction of roads in Killinochchi
322 6th August Divina p3 “ the battle on behalf of 15000 hostages: Mavilaru water war” accompanied a multi barrel rocked photograph.

6th August Lakbima “ army soldiers sacrifice their lives :Mavilaru offensive
Lankadeepa p 12 “ the battle of Mahavali stream”
323 3rd August Daily News “ Mavilaru Villages recount ordeal”

3rd August Daily Mirror p8 “ 1991 and 2006 battle for Mahaweli waters of Mavilaru”
324 31st July Dinamina p1. “ the government will provide quick relief for the residents of Mavilaru: army check post will be instilled near the

sluice gates: S M Chandrasekara
24th August p1 Lakbima “25000 per acre for destroyed farmland”
1st August Thinakaran p1 water browsers sent to Seruwavila by the Trincomalee GA”
5th August Lankadeepa p1 Due to the battle between LTTE and Forces 3700 families displaced . the news item was a one column news
item.
5th August Lakbima p2 14000 villages of 17 villagers displaced
325 31st July Virakesari p4 Editorial
21st August Sudar Oli p4
326 26th July p10 Divaina in its editorial accuses the LTTE of employing a new strategy to kill people which is by the means of inflicting

              hunger by closing up the water way and requested the government to take action to had the waterway back to the farmers.

29th July Lakbima editorial found fault with the government for the delay in taking action, and taking time to commence the ground
            operation justifying the military actions. The editorial ends by “ the government should not stop from here but make sure all
            the important places in the country are secured” hinting the actions for a full fledge war .

1st August . Divaina p10 the editorial stressed the responsibilities of the government to protect its civilians and the right to pressurize the
            government to act in behalf of the citizens, praising the army for the bravery exhibited in the Mavilaru offensive.

The Sunday Divaina editorial clearly highlighted the priorities of the government “ first the government should curtail terrorism, secondly
          create an environment for the displaced to return to their homes”
327 31st July Virakesari editorial July reiterated the need to halt military operations and get back to the negotiation table to resolve the issue.
              The editorial questioned the “against humanity” aspect which was not extended for the Tamil community which had been
              affected the by war, who are still in makeshift shelters.
1st August Virakesari the editorial reiterated that need to all parties to stop the 4th Elam war.
328  30th July Thinakaran “ we will discuss the conditions later, first we reopen the water way: Kehaliya ”
329 4th August Thinakaran since the government would not stop the offensive until the waterway is reopen. The editorial requested the
LTTE to reconsider the opening of the water way in order to put an end to the conflict.
26th July Sudar oli Tamil editorial “the media in the south are vocal about the reopening of the anicut but they seems to forget that there is
              a economic ban imposed upon the Tamil people, which they are suffering from.
330 4th August Friday p7 “Impasse again”
331 13th August p13 editorial “the length of the tigers tale”
332 3rd August Lankadeepa P4 “ has the government resigned from the CFA” S.Elilan


333 2nd August p1 Lakbima “ we have not moved away from the CFA” Kehaliya
3rd August p9 Divaina /p1 Dinamina “ we have not resume the war: the operation in mavilaru is to safeguard the rights of the people:
Prime minister
334 04th August Virakesari p5
335 27th July Lankadeepa p1/Dinamina p1
336 27th July Thinakaran p1/Sudar Oli p1 “ air strikes on Vriugalaru”

28th July Sudar Oli lead story/
337 28th /29th July Dinamina p1/

29th July Daily News p1 “ limited operation to free Mavilaru and Vriugalaru”
31st July Daily News p1 “ forces set to free Mavilaru”
338 2nd August Virakesari p2 Re produced from Lankadeepa “ there were more that 40 LTTE bodies near the sluice gates”
339 4th August Dinamina p1 / Lankadeepa p 17/ Divaina p1/Lakbima p1
340 2nd August p1
341 31 July p1 Sudar oli /31st July Virakesari p1 statement made by S.Elilan
342 31st July Lankadeepa p1 “forces are one kilometer away from mavilaru”

1st August Lakbima “forces are near Mavilaru”
2nd Dinamina “forces reach the anicut”
              1 August The Island “We closed Mavilaru to protest against EU ban:LTTE”



                                                                                                                                              81
          1st August Divaina “Final destination has been reached in order to reopen the sluice gates: 30 tigers dead in Mavilaru fighting
           7 soldiers scarifies their lives ”
          1st August Lakbima “ Fierce fighting near the sluice gates between the army and tigers”
          1st August Lankadeepa “Fierce fighting near Mavilaru sluice: more than 35 tigers killed: 9 deaths in the army: 13 injured.

          343  1st August Thinakkural “Sri Lankan army troops advance from to sides to capture Mavilaru but withdraw due to the
            retaliatory attacks of the LTTE”
           1st August Virakesari “Forces moving towards Mavilaru from three sides, they were defeated by the LTTE”
           1st August Thinakaran “ troops advanced towards Mavilaru yesterday: 35 LTTE / 7 soldiers killed.
           1st August Sudar Oli “Clashes at Mavilaru border: 12 soldiers and 3 LTTE carders killed”
344 7th August Lankadeep lead story.
345 7th August Lakbima “ sluice gates are in army control: preparations made to reopen it

Dinamina “the forces have gained victory are ready to reopen the sluice gates”
10th Lakbima “forces reopens the sluice gates”
Dinamina “19day humanitarian operations reopens the waterway”
346 The Tamil media reported on the 9th August

           Sudar oli “ yesterday LTTE opens Mavilaru sluice gates: as a good will gustier to the Norwegian request ”
           Virakesari “ 5p.m. yesterday LTTE re opens Mavilaru sluice gates”

10th August p13 Virakesari/ Thinakkural “soldiers were attempting to approach the Mavilaru anicut but we defeated them: S.Elilan
347 9 August 9th Lankadeepa p6 “LTTE claims they have reopen the gates / Divaina “Mavilaru gates reopen by LTTE. The reopening of

the water gates received the attention of the Sinhalese ,media a large colour photograph the waterway with a army solider standing on the
culvert was cover pages news in the Dinamina 10th August




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