IS E. Anbarasan, 'Deal could save Sri Lanka truce', BBC News, 24 Feb. 2006, south_asia/4746068.stm, accessed 24 February 2006.73International Affairs 83: I, 200oo7? 2007 The Author(s). Journal Compilation @ 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/The Royal Institute of International AffairsThis content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:23:55 UTCAll use subject to
Chris SmithThe second round of Geneva peace talks, scheduled for 24 April, waspostponed by the LTTE on the grounds that the leadership was unable tohold consultations with regional commanders in the east. The talks wereaimed at strengthening the CFA and could have acted as a useful confidence-building exercise but, again predictably, this proved not to be the case.The postponement of the talks was certainly a consequence and possibly also a causeof further severe deterioration of conditions in the north and east, notably Trinco-malee; in the week beginning io April more than 60 people were killed in dailyattacks. The military across the north had hitherto been the main targets, but on 12April for the first time civilians were attacked when a market bomb in the easterntown of Trincomalee killed 16 people. The government blamed the LTTE, whichissued the standard denial; but it was widely believed that the attack was carried outby a pro-government paramilitary group. The bombing led directly to communalviolence and to the killing of Tamil civilians and the destruction of Tamil homesby Sinhalese extremists. Thereafter, limited local attacks on the Sri Lankan forcesby the LTTE continued. In response, Sri Lankan forces and paramilitary groupscontinued to target LTTE members and Tamil civilians suspected of being sympa-thetic to the LTTE, allegedly executing seven innocent students in the clear view ofbystanders, only one of whom dared to report the details of the incident to a humanrights organization.'6 Behind the scenes, the LTTE has been working persistentlyto recruit new cadres, largely on the basis of sheer terror in both the 'uncleared'areas and the so-called 'cleared' areas where its influence remains significant.On 25 April a female suicide bomber penetrated the security cordon protectingthe army chief of staff, Lt General Fonseka. The resulting explosion, detonatedjust as Fonseka was leaving the secure compound, killed eleven people, includingthe bodyguards providing close support protection. Fonseka was badly injuredbut recovered and has now returned to work. On 26 June the third most seniorranking Sri Lankan army officer, Major-General Parami Kulatanga, was lessfortunate and was killed in a Black Tiger suicide attack on his way to work.The government's retaliation to the Fonseka attack was swift. The arterial A9 routeto Jaffna was closed and all permissions to enter the 'uncleared' areas were denied.