The Sri Lankan Government (SLG) rejected a compromise formula worked out by Norwegian peace brokers to open a canal that has killed 425 and caused a mass exodus saying that it did not want “terrorists” to open the waterway. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had blocked the Mavil Aaru Dam because of the SLG’s refusal to given them drinking water on two canals (Muttu East and Eachchilampattu).
The SLG fired 100 rounds of artillery when they saw the LTTE and Nordic observers approached the dam to open the sluice gates scuttling efforts to defuse the standoff. Earlier, the LTTE had said that additional artillery of air attacks would be considered as a resumption of full-fledged war and the 100 rounds seemed to be the only confirmation that the LTTE needed. To make matters worse, Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella dropped all pretence of wanting peace by asserting that they were not willing to cut any deal with the Tigers over water saying that “Water should not be a negotiating tool.”
Meanwhile, the SLG and LTTE have restarted them blame game accusing each other of killing civilians but no independent confirmation was available. The LTTE’s Tamilnet web site said that Action Contre la Faim (Action against Hunger, ACF) have urged the support of all NGO workers to exert pressure to release the bodies of the massacred Tamil workers in Muthur where fifteen Tamil NGO workers were allegedly massacred by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). The Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) had also previously accused
the SLA of killing civilians seen as inconvenient.
The LTTE also claims that it has assassinated Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Upul Seneviratne, who is the head of the elite counter-insurgency Special Task Force (STF). Earlier, it had exploded a bomb at the house of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Nihala Karunaratne's residence but managed to kill only one security personnel. Suspected LTTE operatives have been very successful infiltrating secure areas housing leaders of the SLA
wounding the Army Chief
killing its deputy chief. However, there is also suspicion that some of these attacks may have been perpetrated by the Janata Vimukthi Peramunna (JVP)