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Ethnic cleansing: Colombo

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan military on Thursday alleged at least seven persons were killed in "ethnic cleansing raids" by the LTTE in Vavuniya district.

In a statement, the Defence Ministry said the LTTE terrorists killed six women and one man. It said the armed terrorists stormed the village around 4:30 p.m. and executed two families at two houses.

"[The] LTTE is a ruthless terror group who fights for a mono-ethnic separate homeland for the Tamil living in Sri Lanka since 1983. It has been the outfit's strategy since its inception to flush out Singhalese and Muslim people from north and east by bloody ethnic cleansing raids. Thousands of civilians, mostly women and children were perished in the most ruthless massacres during its 20 years of terror campaign," said the military.

TamilNet said armed men, alleged to be paramilitary cadres working for the army, shot dead three persons and injured two in Vavuniya on Wednesday.

There have been at least five similar killings where 10 persons died in the villages surrounding the Veppankulam military camp.

Propaganda

The Defence Ministry said the Washington-based Intelsat cooperation had assured Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Washington DC, Bernard Goonetileke, it would take all possible steps to stop the LTTE from broadcasting its propaganda over their satellite. It said there had been a controversy on the company beaming LTTE propaganda, while the State Department considers it a foreign terrorist group.

The New York-based www.tothecenter.com website published a lengthy article pointing out the fact.

The Ministry quoted the Intelsat as saying, "Intelsat does not tolerate terrorists or others operating illegally on it satellites. Since we first learned of the LTTE's signal piracy, we have been actively pursuing a number of technical alternatives to halt the transmissions. We are clear in our resolve to ending this terrorist organisation's unauthorised use of our satellite."

The Ministry claimed that Intelsat's General Counsellor Phillip Spector had promised to do "every possible thing to turnoff the LTTE [sponsored national Television of Tamil Eelam and Voice of the Tigers radio programme] as soon as possible" from their satellite.

Mr. Spector maintained the position of the corporation that the LTTE was pirating an empty transpondence frequency of their Satellite 12.

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