SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Every year, on November 27, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ‘chief’, Velupillai Prabhakaran, delivers his annual Mahaveerar Thinam (Heroes’ Day) speech. Billed as the policy statement of the LTTE, it spells out the outfit’s strategy. Year 2006 was no different, with Prabhakaran mounting a scathing attack on Colombo’s intransigence. Claiming that an independent Tamil state was the only solution, he called for international recognition of the Tamil "freedom struggle." "The Rajapakse regime hopes to decide the fate of the Tamil nation using its military power,” he declared, “It wants to occupy the Tamil land and then force an unacceptable solution on the Tamils.” He added, further, that this strategy rendered the truce "defunct."
It is clear that there is a war in Sri Lanka, and all conventional indicators confirm this reality. A staggering 3,920 fatalities in 2006 (till December 1) surpass the earlier highest figure of 3,794 in year 2000 (between March, when mass hostilities commenced, and December 31), according to SATP data.
Fatalities between 2000 and 2006
Source: Institute for Conflict Management database.
2006 had also witnessed a series of LTTE-engineered massacres of civilians, attacks on security force (SF) personnel and Government installations, and the killing of several prominent personalities. Year 2006 saw two rounds of failed talks between the Government and the LTTE and some significant developments on the political front, including the signing of the historical pact between the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party and opposition United National Party; the appointment of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) and its power devolution formula; and the Supreme Court ruling striking down the merger of the Northern and Eastern regions. Overall, year 2006 is set to have decisive impact on just where Sri Lanka is headed.
Fatalities in 2006 were higher than the combined fatalities for the years 2001-2005, and civilian fatalities exceeded the preceding peak in 2000, when the country was reeling under the ferocity of a ‘declared war’. The overwhelming majority of these fatalities have been inflicted after the July 2006 Mavil Aru incident, though sporadic violence was underway even before this date. The preceding attack on Army Chief Sarath Fonseka was the immediate trigger for hostilities. The major incidents of violence in 2006 included:
November 8: More than 45 civilians were killed at Vakarai in the Batticaloa district as a welfare centre was allegedly hit by retaliatory fire of the military. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) spokesperson Hellen Ollafsdottir said that monitors who visited the incident site had counted 23 bodies at hospitals where also 135 injured were treated. However, the LTTE claimed that 50 to 100 civilians were killed when "indiscriminate fire" by the military hit a school building where the displaced are housed.
October 16: At least 98 sailors of the Navy were killed and 100 wounded as suspected LTTE cadres rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a naval convoy at Digampatana in the Habarana area of Matale district.
October 13: The SLA confirms that it lost 129 soldiers in fighting with the LTTE in Jaffna peninsula on October 11. It also confirmed that the outfit buried 196 of its cadres in the uncleared areas (area not under Government control) of Sunokkai, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Omanthai and Mullaithivu. 283 soldiers and 312 LTTE cadres were injured in the confrontation.
October 11: At least 50 SLA personnel, including seven officers, were killed and 214 injured in clashes between Government troops and the LTTE at the Muhamalai and Kilaly Forward Defense Lines (FDLs) of SFs.
October 6-7: At least 60 LTTE cadres are killed and an unspecified number of them injured when clashes between SFs and the LTTE in the Batticaloa district erupted on October 6 when the LTTE cadres launched a heavy ground attack using artillery, mortar and small arms on an Army detachment at Mankerni and Kajuwatta.
September 24: At least 70 LTTE cadres were killed by the SLN as they attacked a flotilla of 24 boats of the LTTE and sunk eight of them loaded with the outfit’s cadres and weapons in a fierce sea-battle off the coast of the eastern town of Pulmoddai.
September 9-10: At least 150 LTTE cadres were killed in the clashes between SFs and the outfit at Muhamalai, the northern gateway to the Jaffna peninsula on the A-9 main supply route, and its surroundings areas. 28 soldiers are killed while 120 others sustained injuries in the incident.
August 31: 119 LTTE cadres and 14 soldiers were killed in the clashes since August 28 in Trincomalee district.
August 29: At least 66 cadres of the LTTE and 13 SF personnel were killed in fighting between troops and the LTTE in the Trincomalee district.
August 16: Troops kill at least 98 LTTE cadres in retaliation when the latter attacked the FDL in the Kilaly area of Jaffna district.
August 15: At least 250 LTTE cadres were killed and another 300 injured in continued fighting in the Jaffna peninsula during the past 72 hours.
August 11: At least 128 people, including 28 army and navy personnel, are killed in the battle between the SLA and the LTTE in the east and north.
August 4: The LTTE massacres over hundred civilians in the Trincomalee district who were fleeing fighting from the Muttur town. Troops foil a major LTTE attack on a strategic jetty in the Muttur area of Trincomalee district, killing 152 cadres of the outfit.
June 15: At least 64 civilians, including 15 children, were killed and 86 injured when a state-run passenger bus carrying 150 passengers was destroyed in a twin side-charger claymore mine explosion triggered by the LTTE in the Anuradhapura district.
May 11: At least 17 SLN sailors and 50 LTTE cadres were killed as the SLN successfully repulsed an attempt by a cluster of the outfit's suicide boats to destroy a heavy troop-carrying vessel - the 'Pearl Cruiser' - with 710 troops on board off the coast of Vettilaikerni.
25: Army Commander Lt. General
Sarath Fonseka is critically
injured while at least eight
persons are killed when a female
suicide cadre of the LTTE, disguised
as a pregnant woman, blew herself
up in front of the military
hospital inside the Colombo
LTTE Casualty – 01.12.2005 to 24.11.2006
Source: Media Centre for National Security (Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order, Government of Sri Lanka)
Year 2006 also witnessed the assassination of several important personalities, including Kethesh Loganathan, Deputy Secretary-General of the Government's Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process and a former Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front member, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen near Vandervet in Dehiwela Colombo on August 12. On November 10, unidentified assailants shot dead the Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, Nadarajah Raviraj, and his personal security officer near his home at Borella in Colombo. TNA is widely regarded as a proxy party of the LTTE.
For the first time since the 2002 truce, Sri Lankan troops have initiated an aggressive military strategy to force the LTTE out of areas under its control. The recapture of Sampur, controlled by the LTTE since 1997, was a crucial success in this conext. Further reverses inflicted on the LTTE at Mavil Aru, Muttur, Muhamalai, Sampur and Panichankerni boosted the military’s morale, as the LTTE was clearly pushed onto the defensive. Since hostilities began in July 2006, the rebels have lost at least 1,930 cadres, and a total of 2,219 cadres in 2006.
Critical to Colombo’s current strategy is support from the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP), the irregular militia of Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias ‘Colonel’ Karuna. The military has gained immensely vis-à-vis local intelligence of the breakaway LTTE leader, and the ‘Karuna factor’ has been critical in the East. In 2006, 827 LTTE cadres were killed in the three Eastern Districts, including 518 in Trincomalee alone. The Karuna faction, after breaking ranks with the LTTE in April 2004, has also killed several senior LTTE leaders in the East. These included Kaushalyan, the former LTTE eastern political wing leader and the highest-ranking LTTE leader to be killed in the factional violence since the truce, who was shot dead in February 2005
On the peace front, the two sides held talks twice in 2006, at Geneva, on February 22-23 and on October 28-29, under sustained international pressure and the urgings of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). The SLMM, however, itself lost considerable credibility, with its neutrality being challenged by both parties. The LTTE questioned SLMM’s neutrality in the aftermath of the EU ban on the LTTE on May 31, 2006, while the Government explicitly criticized the monitors’ repeated accusations of atrocities against Government Forces. In what appeared to be a conclusive judgment on the Norwegian role, President Rajapakse stated, on December 1, 2006, “We must thank Norway for trying to facilitate this peace process. They also have tried to settle this for so many years, but they have failed miserably.”
Both rounds of the dialogue in 2006 failed to make any headway. While the February talks revolved around the LTTE’s demand of disarming the ‘Colonel’ Karuna group, the October talks got stuck on the issue of reopening of the A9 highway, a road linking Jaffna to the rest of the country, which was closed by the Government after August 12, when fighting erupted in the peninsula. The dialogue collapsed because
Meanwhile, violence engineered by the LTTE continues, “even as it (the LTTE) seeks to secure the goals on the negotiating table, having failed to achieve these through a vicious campaign of terrorism over the decades.”
On October 16, the Supreme Court declared the temporary merger of the northern and eastern provinces, effected in 1987 and extended annually, "null and void and illegal." The Court ruled that the President had no powers to effect a merger of provinces under Emergency Regulations, and only the Parliament could decide on the subject. This also vitiated the atmosphere, as the LTTE alleged that the decision was part of a nefarious design of the ‘majority Sinhalese’.
President Rajapakse and the leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on October 23, 2006, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on six points pertaining to crucial issues facing the country. The lack of a ‘Southern consensus’ had always been a stumbling block for Colombo in its political strategy, and the Memorandum put the Government in a much stronger political position, allowing it to consider translating its military advantages into concrete political gains in the foreseeable future. The consensus among the Experts' Panel of the All Party Conference constituted by the APRC on the devolution proposals was another point of relief in an otherwise bleak year.
There are sufficient indications that the military would continue with its relatively successful pro-active strategy. Army Chief Sarath Fonseka asserted in Washington on December 1, 2006, that there “could be no chance for peace in the country unless LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was militarily weakened.” While placing faith on a political solution to the ethnic conflict, Fonseka stated: “the search for peace must not allow the LTTE to strengthen its military capability thereby weakening the defence of Sri Lanka.” He disclosed that, during the four-year truce, “Artillery pieces had risen from 10 to 100, from two 122 mm guns to 20 and from 20 heavy mortars to 80. In effect, the four year’s of ceasefire had helped the Tamil Tigers to become a stronger fighting force." Consequently, “it was imperative that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) checks his military capacity, at least to ensure that he does not grow stronger militarily to the extent that he sees no reason to seek a political solution.”
Responding to Prabhakaran’s speech in an interview, President Rajapakse summed up the mood of the country, “He can kill some Presidents, presidential candidates, he tried to kill Chandrika Kumaratunga. But do you think any Government will surrender to a terrorist leader or terrorist organisation in this world? No government will do that. And no government will ask me to surrender myself to a terrorist.”
Given the current level of hostilities and violence, a pervasive instability can be expected to continue in Sri Lanka in the foreseeable future.
On October 23, 2006, 809 Bru Liberation Front of Mizoram (BLFM) militants surrendered at Naisingpara relief camp in Kanchanpur sub-division in the North Tripura District. Three days later, amidst great fanfare, State Home Minister Tawnluia, State Home Secretary C. Ropianga, Chief Secretary Haukhum Hauzel, Director General of Police (DGP) Lalngheta Sailo and Assam Rifles (AR) officials formally received the BLFM cadres at Tuipuibari in Mizoram’s Mamit District. The surrendered rebels deposited 70 firearms, including AK series rifles, grenades, a mortar and explosives. Home Minister Tawnluia declared that the State Government would provide INR 40,000 to each of the surrendered BLFM militants besides free rations for one year in transit camps at Damparengpui and Tuipuibari villages of Mizoram. He further declared, "Mizoram is one of the peaceful States of the country and our Government must protect the image at any cost”.
The event was hailed as an epoch making event for the State. Following the equally dramatic accord with the Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) of April 26, 2005, the main provisions of which, till date have remained unimplemented, the treaty with the BLFM was described as a major achievement in various circles, till the senor-most police official of neighbouring Tripura, the State that had hosted the Bru refugees since the October 1997 upheaval that had forced them out of Mizoram, made a sensational revelation. Director General of Police G.M. Srivastava, on November 4, disclosed that the surrender of the BLFM was a 'stage managed' affair. He said that some Mizoram officials in league with a section of Assam Rifles officials had enacted the drama by picking up some Bru youth from the relief camps. “The Assam Rifles is doing a commendable job in Tripura, but the Assam Rifles battalion in Kanchanpur is responsible for the surrender drama," he said. AR’s 18th Battalion is based in Kanchanpur.
Srivastava was only reiterating the obvious. Seven months earlier, on March 29, 2006, Mizoram Home Minister, Tawnluia, had made similar allegations against the AR battalion posted in North Tripura. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, he asserted that the AR battalion was helping BLFM militants. The BLFM is known to be no more than a breakaway faction of the dominant Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF), that signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mizoram Government on April 26, 2005, when some 150 of its cadres laid down arms. The BLFM is not known to possess more than a handful cadres. An unidentified Mizoram intelligence official in November 2006 estimated the total cadre strength of the BLFM to be in the range of 100, and only a fraction of the foot soldiers were known to possess arms. Interestingly, the BLFM’s entire top leadership, ‘president’ Vanlalliana, ‘vice-president’ Vanrama, ‘army chief’ Romawia Meska and ‘lieutenant’ Lallawma, had been arrested in April 2006.
Although some reports indicated a measure of increasing sophistication in BLFM ranks, it remains rather incredible that the outfit could increase its cadre strength eight fold. BLFM’s activities give no suggestion of such an augmentation of force. The outfit, which wanted to negotiate a separate peace deal with the Mizoram Government after the BNLF agreement, had engaged in a single incident of abduction in 2005 and three incidents, including an abduction, an attack on a Mizoram Armed Police (MAP) camp and an encounter with the Mizoram Police in 2006. Interestingly, till the first half of 2006, the Mizoram Government was adamant about not entering into any negotiation with the BLFM, which it considered only of ‘minor nuisance value”.
In May 2006, an indication of the impending surrender by the BLFM had been provided by a ‘circular’ distributed by the outfit among the refugee youths. It said that two former BLFM cadres, A. Toisarai and Lalrinkima Molsoi, were in charge of ‘recruiting’ members solely for the purpose of making them surrender before the Government to get the benefits of rehabilitation package. The circular demanded a ‘contribution’ of INR 3,000 each for such ‘recruitment’, in addition to an ‘entry fee’ of INR 200. The recruits had been promised INR 90,000 as the rehabilitation package that would be provided by the Mizoram Government.
A further indication of the fraud that has been orchestrated was provided by a Mizoram Police official. On October 26, Mizoram Superintendent of Police (Crime Investigation Department) Lal Dhina disclosed, “Initially there was a list of 757 BLFM militants, who were willing to shun the path of violence, but finally the number rose to 802.” State Home Secretary C. Ropianga, on November 1, stated at Aizawl, “We earlier thought the BNLF to be a 100-member group, but it turned out to be an 800-plus outfit.”
It is not clear whether the recent ‘drama’ by the Mizoram Government is intended at pushing forward the unimplemented April 2005 deal with the BNLF that was supposed to have paved the way for the repatriation of the 40,000 Bru refugees from the six relief camps in North Tripura. On April 5, 2006, the Mizoram Government had informed the Union Government that it would initiate repatriation of Bru refugees only after the BLFM lays down arms and eschews violence. The State Government, it appears, had managed to convince New Delhi about the actually missing-link between the repatriation issue and supposed threat arising out of BLFM activities, a gross exaggeration of the capability of the BLFM.
There are indications, however, that the move to repatriate the Brus has already provoked some opposition in Mizoram. On November 15, 2006, the influential Young Mizo Association (YMA) and Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), passed a resolution in Aizawl that said that, unless the credentials of the members of the BLFM were verified, both the organisations would not accept these people as bona fide citizens of Mizoram. It is highly unlikely that the State Government will be able to go ahead with its proposed deal with the BLFM, until it finds a way to placate organisations like the YMA and MZP.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reaction to the apparent fraud in Mizoram has, typically, been silence. Each ‘surrender’ is an achievement for New Delhi, and it matters little whether or not such events contribute in any manner to the resolution of conflicts in the region.
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
November 27-December 3, 2006
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.
Supreme Court upholds death sentence on six JMB militant leaders:The Supreme Court, on November 28, 2006, upheld the death sentences passed on the six militant leaders of the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for killing two judges in Jhalakathi. A seven-member full bench headed by Chief Justice J. R. Mudassir Hossain rejected the appeal of the militants seeking permission to appeal against a High Court judgment upholding the death sentences. The convicted militants, including JMB chief Abdur Rahman, his deputy, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Majlish-e-Shura (the highest decision-making body) members Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal, and Khaled Saifullah, and suicide bomber Iftekhar al Mamun, will have to petition the President for mercy. In the absence of the mercy petition within the stipulated time, the jail authorities will issue death warrants fixing dates for their executions.
Senior assistant judges, Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed, were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in the Jhalakathi town on November 14, 2005, in the wake of a series of bombings by the militants across the country. The Daily Star, November 29, 2006.
14 police personnel killed in landmine explosion in Jharkhand: On December 2, 2006, fourteen Jharkhand Police personnel were killed and three injured in a landmine blast triggered by suspected cadres of the Communist Party of India – Maoist (CPI-Maoist) at Kanchkir in the Bokaro District. Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Anil Palta, said, “Two vehicles carrying security personnel were returning from patrolling. While the first one crossed the spot safely, the second, carrying at least 16 personnel, hit the landmine planted on the road.” The Hindu, December 3, 2006.
Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed use Bangladesh and Nepal for anti-India activities: The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are using territory and elements in Bangladesh and Nepal for movement of terrorists and finances in India, according to a paper prepared by the Union Home Ministry on the internal security situation. Their modus operandi includes recruitment of Indian youth by the LeT and Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI-BD) for training in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), and then sending them back to India for sabotage and subversive activities. "These outfits are well organised, interlinked and have the latest hardware and communication equipment," according to the paper.
Investigations into recent terrorist attacks, including the 7/11 Mumbai blasts, Varanasi serial blasts in March 2006 and the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in December 2005 have indicated increased use of Bangladeshi territory by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed terrorist groups and the growing terror networking of Bangladeshi fundamentalist groups with the LeT and JeM. According to intelligence sources, in all these attacks, suspected terrorists had infiltrated from across the India-Bangladesh border. The current strategy of these groups, according to the paper, is to maintain a continuous flow of finances to sustain terrorist networks, target vital installations and economic infrastructure, recruit and train local modules and attack soft targets like market places, public transport systems, places of worship and congregations. Their strategy also includes provoking communal tensions to create a wedge between communities and supplying hardware through land and sea routes. The Home Ministry indicated that the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and PoK is yet to be dismantled and it is being used by Pakistan-based and ISI-sponsored groups such as the JeM, LeT, Al-Badr and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM). Times of India, December 3, 2006.
Significant decline in violence in J&K and NE, says Union Government: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Sriprakash Jaiswal, said on November 29, 2006, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) that there was a significant decline in violence in Jammu and Kashmir and that the overall security situation in the Northeast had shown signs of improvement. He said, “In comparison to that in the corresponding period in 2005, there has been a significant decline both in terms of incidents and casualties of civilians and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir till October-end this year.” While adding that the overall security situation in the Northeast had also shown signs of improvement, he added, “In Naxal (left-wing extremism)-affected States, while the number of incidents has shown a marginal decline, civilian casualties have slightly increased."
The number of incidents in Jammu and Kashmir till October 31, 2006, was 1,442 as against 1,736 in 2005. As many as 131 security force (SF) personnel and 240 civilians were killed in 2006 as compared to 168 security personnel and 490 civilians in 2005. 818 terrorists were killed in 2005 and 516 in 2006. In the Northeast, the number of incidents had come down from 1,113 in 2005 to 1,106 in 2006 and the number of civilians killed in 2006 was 238 as against 331 during 2005, Jaiswal disclosed. In 2006, 64 SF personnel were killed as compared to 55 in 2005. Maoist-affected States such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra have witnessed 1,233 incidents in 2006 as against 1,318 in 2005. 125 Police personnel were killed in 2005 whereas, in 2006, 122 police personnel were killed. The civilian killings, however, went up from 440 in 2005 to 467 in 2006. Hindustan Times, November 30, 2006.
ULFA in the grip of ISI, says Prime Minister: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is under the grip of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He told a 12-party delegation from Assam, led by former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Mahanta, which met him in New Delhi on November 28, 2006, that he was ready to re-start talks with the ULFA but the group would first have to shake off the ISI yoke guiding its actions. The delegation had urged Dr. Singh to resume "unconditional" talks with the ULFA. Mahanta said after the meeting, “The PM said Centre is ready for talks (with ULFA) as and when they come out of the clutches of ISI.” Times of India, November 29, 2006.
1.5 lakhs Bangladeshi nationals in India, says Border Security Force: The Director General of Border Security Force (BSF), A. K. Mitra, disclosed on November 28, 2006, that at least 150,000 Bangladeshi nationals who came to India in the last five years with valid documents have not returned. Mitra said around 11,000 infiltration attempts were intercepted in 2005. He mentioned that the figure for 2006 so far was 8,000. According to official figures, between January 2005 and November 2006, 26 foreign nationals were arrested on charges of espionage, including 24 Pakistanis, and one each from Nepal and Bangladesh. Indian Express, November 29, 2006.
Maharashtra Police claims solving Malegaon blasts case: The Maharashtra Director-General of Police (DGP), P.S. Pasricha, said on November 27, 2006, that the Malegaon bomb blasts case had been solved. The DGP said that two Pakistani nationals, including one Muzammil, had manufactured the improvised explosive devices and assembled the four bombs. "The conspiracy was hatched in Malegaon on May 8 this year on the occasion of the wedding of Noor-ul-Huda, one of the accused. All eight persons arrested in this case are former SIMI [Students Islamic movement of India] members. The RDX was transported from Mumbai to Malegaon in the third week of July (after the 7/11 train bombings), and the bombs were made there", Pasricha said. He added that while eight SIMI activists had been arrested in connection with the blasts, an equal number were still at large. Both the Pakistani nationals are also to be arrested. Pasricha further said that while one of those arrested, Zahid Ali, planted the bomb at Mushawerat Chowk, Huda and his accomplice Raees Rajjab Ali planted bombs in the cemetery.
At least 38 people, including many women and children, died and 297 sustained injuries in the serial bomb explosions at Malegaon in the Nashik District on September 8, 2006. Times of India, November 28, 2006.
Government and Maoists sign arms management accord: After five days of deliberations, the Government and the Maoists signed a deal on management of arms and armies on November 28, 2006. Coordinator of the Government talks’ team, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Situala, and Maoist chief negotiator, Krishna Prasad Mahara, signed the ‘Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies’ at a Press Conference in the capital, Kathmandu.
According to the agreement, the Maoists would be allowed to keep 30 arms for the security of each of the seven main camps and 15 arms for 21 satellite camps. The agreement has also ended the controversy over the categorization of the Maoist military, deciding to name the People’s Liberation Army structure simply as main camp and satellite camp. The two sides have also agreed to form a nine-member Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee comprising three members from the Maoists, the Government and the UN, each, which will oversee the monitoring process.
The 12-page agreement states that the People’s Liberation Army men would be allowed to conduct light military drillings inside the camps, without using of ‘heavy fireworks’, while the Nepal Army would be allowed to conduct its regular military exercises. According to the agreement, up to 12 percent Maoist combatants would be allowed to take leave at a time. Regarding the verification of the combatants, those recruited prior to the signing of the ceasefire code of conduct (May 26), and those who reached 18 years of age by then, would be kept in the camps. Nepal News, November 29, 2006.
US court charges Pakistani with conspiring to fight with Taliban: A 29-year old Pakistani, with an expired student visa, and a US citizen have been charged in Texas with conspiring to train with firearms to fight with the Taliban against coalition forces in the Middle East and providing $350 to support terrorist groups. The detained Pakistani was identified as Adnan Babar Mirza, while the 33-year old American has been identified as Kobie Diallo Williams a.k.a. Abdul Kabeer. The four-count indictment was returned by a Houston grand jury on November 22 and unsealed this week after the appearance of both men before a US magistrate judge. “While these subjects did not operate at a high level of sophistication in comparison with the 9/11 hijackers, the expressed goal was to aid the Taliban by training for jihad against coalition troops in the Middle East,” according to FBI Special Agent Roderick Beverly. Daily Times, November 30, 2006.
LTTE chief accuses Sinhala leaders of duplicity: On November 27, 2006, in his annual Heroes’ day statement delivered at an undisclosed location in the northern part of the country, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief Velupillai Prabhakaran accused the Sinhala leaders of "duplicity" and said this left the Tamils with no choice but to strive for "political independence." According to copies of his speech made available to the media, Prabhakaran said, “Both our liberation movement and our people never preferred war to a peaceful resolution. We have always preferred a peaceful approach to win the political rights of our people. We have never hesitated to follow the peaceful path to win our political rights. That is why we held peace talks, beginning in Thimpu right through to Geneva, on several occasions, at various times, and in many countries.” He asserted that the LTTE will continue the ‘freedom struggle’, and claimed that President Mahinda Rajapakse had rejected his final call in his Heroes’ Day statement in 2005 to find a resolution to the Tamil national question with urgency. Tamil Net, November 28, 2006.