RealNews

Fighting Erupts Among Rebels in Sri Lanka

Fighting began Friday in eastern Sri Lanka between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and a breakaway faction of the group, posing a new threat to the country’s stability and its stalled peace process. Several thousand civilians were reported to have fled their homes in the area. The Tigers, who have been fighting for a Tamil homeland in majority Sinhalese Sri Lanka for more than two decades, split last month when the eastern regional commander, Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan, known as Karuna, said he wanted his own administration in the east. The Tiger leadership is based in the north, and Karuna accused them of discrimination against the east. The Tigers are among the world’s most fearsome and disciplined guerrilla organizations, and their leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, is not known for his tolerance for dissent. It was widely expected that the northern Tigers would take action against Karuna once the country’s parliamentary elections, which were held April 2, were over. In March they had issued what amounted to a death warrant for Karuna, saying, “To safeguard our nation and our people, it has been decided to get rid of Karuna from our soil.” Full Story

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