So Near, Yet So Far | Khyber Agency: Another Futile Operation | South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR), Vol. No. 10.47
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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 47, May 28, 2012

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South Asia Terrorism Portal


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So Near, Yet So Far
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

As Nepal appeared to be in clutching distance of a permanent solution to its long-drawn conflict, it has been plunged, abruptly, deep into political catastrophe.

With the major parties – Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), Nepali Congress (NC) and the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) – failing to reach consensus on just a few unresolved issues on the Draft Constitution, particularly on the restructuring of the state, the final stipulated deadline, May 27, 2012, came and went. The existing Constituent Assembly (CA) has now become defunct. Indeed, almost all the contentious issues, most prominently including the integration of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cadres into the Nepal Army, had already been resolved.

The 601-member CA, elected in 2008, had been mandated to complete the task of Constitution writing within two years, and to oversee the peace process that began when the conflict ended in 2006. Since then, the major parties reached a number of opportunistic agreements, to keep a tenuous peace process alive, and amended the Interim Constitution, to extend their own mandate beyond the stipulated two year deadline, on four occasions. Following this pattern, on May 22, 2012, the UCPN-M led National Unity Government registered the 13th Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament, to pave the way for a further three month extension of the CA’s term, in complete disregard of the Supreme Court’s (SC) November 25, 2011, verdict, which stipulated that the CA's term was being extended for the last time, and the body would cease to exist if the Constitution was not promulgated within the extended term. In its verdict the SC had also asked the defendants to decide the duration of the extension, after determining whether the Constitution would be promulgated through a referendum, or to elect new CA, if the current CA failed in its task. Not surprisingly, on May 24, 2012, the SC, responding to the writs filed against the Government’s move to seek a further extension for the CA, issued a ruling directing the Government not to proceed with the Amendment to further extend the CA’s term.

In a last bid to salvage the CA, on May 25, 2012, the major parties reportedly agreed to promulgate the Constitution by May 27, 2012, while leaving residual disputed issues for the "transformed legislature parliament" to resolve. According to the agreement reached, the draft of the Constitution was to be issued by the CA within the May 27, 2012, deadline, and the parties would agree on the names and the number of Provinces before that.

Regrettably, however, no consensus could be arrived at on the demarcation of Provinces. With no other legal alternative at hand, on May 28, 2012, the Government called for elections to a new CA. Prime Minister (PM) Baburam Bhattarai declared, “We have no other option but to go back to the people and elect a new Assembly to write the Constitution. Though we were unable to promulgate the constitution, we have decided to seek a mandate through elections for a new Constituent Assembly on November 22.” The PM stated, further, that he would be leading a caretaker Government until the elections scheduled for November 22, 2012.

Meanwhile, the NC, the CPN-UML, and some fringe parties, rejected the Government’s decision to hold fresh elections, and called for public protests. The leaders of these parties met President Ram Baran Yadav and urged him not to approve the ‘unconstitutional decision’ of the Government. NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel claimed, "This is part of a Maoist plan to capture power." Senior CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal stated that the PM’s move was a breach of constitutional provisions, as there was no provision in the Interim Constitution to hold another CA polls. "We are not opposed to going to the polls, but we cannot endorse the Prime Minister's unilateral move that violates the constitutional provision," he argued. “The Prime Minister should have made an attempt to amend the provision of the Constitution before announcing the fresh election by forging consensus," he pointed out.

The CPN-UML vice chairperson Bidhya Bhandari stated, on May 28, 2012, that her party was no more a part of the Government. Earlier, on May 25, 2012, the NC had withdrawn from the Government, opposing the Government's May 22 decision to register the 13th Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament, to pave the way for a further three months extension of the CA’s term.

The National Unity Government had been formed on May 5, 2012. While the NC joined the Government on May 6, the CPN-UML, after initial opposition, joined on May 16. Significantly, the National Unity Government was constituted after a Five Point agreement reached between the major parties on May 3, 2012, which stated:
  • All members of the incumbent Cabinet will resign and a new Unity Government will be formed within two days, as per the earlier seven point agreement.
  • All issues of Constitution drafting, including the state restructuring, form of governance, etc., will be resolved in three days.
  • A new Statute for the Constitution will be promulgated before May 27. The present incumbent Prime Minister will leave office before May 27, and a Unity Government would be formed under the Nepali Congress to conduct elections within one year.
  • All outstanding work on the peace process would be completed immediately, as per earlier agreements.
  • Top leaders of the political parties will hold regular meetings to expedite the Constitution drafting process.

As in the past, the sanctity of this agreement could not be maintained. Though the incumbent Cabinet resigned on May 4, 2012, and a new Government was formed within two days, the Prime Minister’s abrupt call for new elections and his assertion that he would lead the caretaker Government, violates the terms of this last agreement.

Significantly, the issue of federalism has divided the nation. The biggest concern is whether to go for single identity based federalism or multiple identity based federalism. While the UCPN-M and its ally UDMF are in favour of single-ethnicity based federalism, the NC and CPN-UML have rejected their option. CPN-UML Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam thus noted that "NC and UML proposed (the) multi-ethnic federal model." Here, the NC diluted its earlier stand of opposing ethnicity based federalism in toto, arguing that state restructuring should be based on "economic and administrative viability" and on geography. The number, size, naming and mapping of the federal States has also evaded unanimity. While the UCPN and its ally UDMF insist that the 14-state model or 10-state model suggested by the Parliamentary Committee on State Restructuring and the State Restructuring Commission, respectively, should be adopted, the NC and CPN-UML proposed a 11 and 12 States model, respectively. Moreover, the Madheshi leaders reiterated their strong opposition to create multiple provinces in the Terai, and stuck to their long standing demand for a 'single autonomous Madhesh province'.

This fractious outcome resulted despite the fact that the major parties had already agreed, on May 15, 2012, on an 11-province federal structure. The names of the provinces were to be determined by the elected State Assemblies themselves. The Federal States were to be carved out on the basis of ethnicity, geography and language. The parties had also agreed to constitute a Commission to determine the boundaries of the Provinces and to go for a ‘mixed system’ of governance, with a directly elected President, who would share powers with a Prime Minister elected from the Parliament.

The optimism which had reigned over the peace process since the CA was established, after declaring Nepal a Republic on May 28, 2008, now appears to have evaporated. The Government has put Security Forces on a high alert, as thousands of protestors have come onto the streets. Riot Police are patrolling the streets of capital Kathmandu. Though, there have been no significant reports of violence, till the time of writing, the failure of the Political classes to reach a consensual solution, have jeopardized the tentative peace in the nascent Republic of Nepal.

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Khyber Agency: Another Futile Operation
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

On May 16, 2012, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Masud Kausar declared that about 90 percent of the seven tribal agencies in Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA) and Frontier Regions (FRs) were under complete Government control, as a result of ‘successful action’ by the Security Forces (SFs): “I must say, apart from North Waziristan Agency and some parts of South Waziristan Agency, the remaining FATA is clear now and the Government writ is being consolidated.”

Governor Masud Kausar’s observations, however, fail to reconcile with the ground realities in FATA. Significantly, a ‘targeted operation’ has been going on in Khyber Agency, a stone’s throw away from Peshawar, KP’s provincial capital, since October 2011. FATA has, in fact, witnessed 1,225 fatalities, including 214 civilians, 133 SF personnel and 878 militants, in just first four months of 2012; as against 977 fatalities, including 125 civilians, 95 SF personnel and 757 militants in the last four months of 2011, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) database. Out of the 1,225 fatalities in 2012 (first four months), at least 928 have been outside the North and South Waziristan Agencies. Since May 1, 2012, FATA has added 240 fatalities, including 61 civilians, 45 SF personnel and 134 militants (all data till May 27, 2012).

Meanwhile, the ‘targeted operation’ in Bara was launched four days after Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants attacked a SF convoy in the Akkakhel area of Bara tehsil (revenue unit) of the Khyber Agency, on October 17, 2011, killing nine personnel. 14 terrorists were killed in retaliatory fire by the SFs. Since then, the Agency has witnessed 598 fatalities including 211 civilians, 50 SF personnel and 337 militants. The Agency has, in fact, recorded a total of 2,582 fatalities, including 678 civilians, 188 SF personnel and 1,549 militants since 2008, notwithstanding Governor Kausar’s claims of the ‘Government writ’. During this period, the Agency recorded 190 major incidents (each involving three or more fatalities), including, among the most prominent, since January, 2012:

May 14: Eight LI militants were killed and two soldiers were injured in a clash with SFs at Qamberabad Chowk in Bara tehsil.

May 9: At least 10 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants were killed and several others were injured when Army helicopter gunships heavily pounded suspected hideouts in Tirah Valley.

April 29: Ten persons, including five militants, were killed and 14 were injured in a clash between LI militants and volunteers of Akkakhel Peace Committee in Bara tehsil.

March 2: 25 people were killed and another 18 were injured in a suicide attack targeting a mosque after Friday prayers in Tirah Valley.

23 LI militants and 10 Army personnel were killed in fresh clashes in Lakaro Baba area of Tirah Valley.

February 18: At least nine members of Zakhakhel lashkar were killed and four others injured when a bomb planted by militants exploded at the Stana Checkpoint in the Nari Baba area of Tirah Valley.

January 4: At least six LI militants and a volunteer of the Zakhakhel lashkar were killed in renewed clashes between LI and the Zakhakhel lashkar in the Bazaar-Zakhakhel area of Khyber Agency.

Fatalities in Khyber Agency: 2008-2012

Source: SATP, *Data till May 27, 2012

The uneven pattern of fatalities visible in the table is attributable to the four ‘operations’ that have been conducted by the SFs since 2008. While no militancy related fatalities was recorded in Khyber Agency before 2008, the activities of local militant groups like LI and Ansarul Islam (AI) had been a major cause of concern in the region. A total of 27 persons, including 25 civilians and two militants had been killed before June 27, 2008. On June 28, 2008, Operation Sirat Mustaqeem (Righteous Path) was launched in the Bara tehsil, after the abduction of 14 Christians from Academy Town in Peshawar, by LI terrorists, on June 21, 2008. The Operation was halted on July 9, 2008, as the political administration and LI signed an agreement making it binding on the banned group to accept the Government’s writ in the Bara tehsil. 12 persons, including seven civilians and five militants, were killed during the operation, and 87 militants were arrested.  

A second operation, codenamed Daraghlam (Here I Come), was launched in Bara on December 29, 2008, with an aim to root out militancy from the area. The operation was, however, halted after a few days, as militants retaliated massively. Again on March 30, 2009, the Khyber Agency Political Agent, Tariq Hayat Khan, announced that Operation Daraghlam-II had been launched in the Khyber Agency. There was, however, no subsequent official statement or media report about the fate of this operation. However, in the period between the announcement of this operation and the following Bia Daraghlam (Here I Come Again) Operation, a total of 220 persons, including 117 civilians, 25 SF personnel and 78 militants were killed. Another operation, the Bia Daraghlam, was launched on September 1, 2009. Details of its course and outcome remain unknown. 

The strategic location of the Khyber Agency, which borders Afghanistan to the east, the Orakzai Agency to the south, Mohmand Agency to the north and Peshawar District to the east, has always attracted the militants. The Agency provides a buffer zone between Afghanistan and Peshawar. Moreover, in recent times, it has provided safe heaven to militants escaping from the adjacent Agencies, when they are targeted by major ‘military operations’. Thus, Operation Koh-i-Sufaid (White Mountain) was conducted in the Kurram Agency between May 2, 2011, and August 17, 2011; while Operation Brekhna (Thunder) has been in progress in the Mohmand Agency since April 6, 2011, pushing significant numbers of militants towards the Khyber. Crucially, no operation was conducted in Khyber Agency between June and September 2011.

Three major Islamist terrorist groups currently operate in the Khyber Agency – LI, AI and TTP. While LI and AI are local outfits, the TTP is trying to consolidate its base in the area. LI is the most active group locally, and is presently led by the warlord, Mangal Bagh. AI is now led by Maulana Gazi Mehboob ul-Haq. TTP, which is a new player in the region, is under the local command of Tariq Afridi. Turf wars between these three groups have contributed to a great deal of disturbances and violence. In the latest of series of such clashes, at least 13 persons, including eight LI militants, were killed, and another four were injured, when a TTP suicide bomber blew himself up at Dars Jumat Mosque in Sandapal area of Bara on March 23, 2012.

Frustrated by the persistent violence in the region, a jirga (tribal council) comprising elders of Bara tehsil reportedly met LI chief Mangal Bagh on March 28, 2012, to persuade him to abandon violence. The jirga reportedly failed to convince Mangal Bagh. Earlier, on March 7, 2012, a jirga of the Kukikhel tribe had asked all armed groups to vacate their areas in Bara immediately, threatening action against those who provided shelter to militants in the region. The effort of the jirgas failed to have any impact on extremist depredations.

Meanwhile, on May 4, 2012, the SFs decided to open a new front in the Sholabar area of Bara tehsil, following reports that the Sholabar tribes are giving refuge to militants escaping the Bara ‘targeted operation’. The expansion of current operations into Sholabar is expected to further aggravate the problem of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). IDP camps in Jalozai, Peshawar, Nowshera and Kohat are already running short of basic amenities, and a further influx of IDPs will make conditions even more chaotic. Significantly, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on May 2, 2012, estimated that, out of more than a quarter million IDPs from the Khyber Agency since January 2012, 50 per cent are children, of which 12 per cent are less than two years old and 28 per cent are younger than five.

More worryingly, there is every possibility of militants leaving the operational areas in the guise of civilian IDPs, only to return at the appropriate time. Indeed, this has been the trend in almost all past operations, where IDP movement have provided an ‘escape route’ to the militants.

The latest operation in the Khyber Agency, consequently, is likely to be just another ill-conceived and futile effort to contain the rising graph of militancy in FATA and its adjoining areas. 


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
May 21-27, 2012



Security Force Personnel







Jammu and Kashmir


Left-wing Extremism


Andhra Pradesh




Madhya Pradesh






Total (INDIA)








Khyber Pakhtunkhwa





Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


HuJI-B conducting meetings to recruit women, says report: The Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) which operates largely in Bihar, West Bengal and the north eastern states of India has been conducting meetings to recruit women. The recent busting of the various modules of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in those areas has also added to the problem for the HuJI-B as there appears to be a lot of scrutiny of the activities on the border. Hence, the HuJI -B decided to change its game plan and has decided to recruit women and also train them in order to carry out terror activities in India. The HuJI already has a lot of camps in India. Rediff, May 24, 2012.


India and Pakistan vow to fight terrorism: India and Pakistan on May 25, pledged to fight terrorism together, calling it "a continuing threat to peace and security" and a block to the full establishment of normal relations. The talks were led by the Home Secretary of India, Raj Kumar Singh and the Interior Secretary of Pakistan, Siddiq Akbar, and also included security experts from both countries. The neighbouring countries also agreed to enhance cooperation on terrorism, human trafficking, narcotics, counterfeit currency and cyber crime. Dawn, May 26, 2012.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cement border security ties with Myanmar: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will travel to Myanmar for a two-day visit from May 27 and 28 will hold talks with Myanmar's President Thein Sein for a joint initiative on tackling drug money used by Indian militant outfits for purchase of weapons to wage terror campaign against India. This issue was discussed threadbare when Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh met with Myanmar's Deputy Home Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Zan Myint in Yangon in January, 2012. Nagaland Page, May 25, 2012.

Odisha has withdrawn cases against 9,110 tribals, says State Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh: The Odisha Government on May 24 said it has withdrawn minor cases against tribals a day after Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to free those innocent from the community in jails of the state. "The state government has already withdrawn cases against 9,110 tribals booked for minor offences," Environment and Forests Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters, responding to the suggestions made by Ramesh. IBN Live, May 25, 2012.

Internal security situation improving, states Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh on May 22 stated that internal security situation is improving. "Internal security scenario has been by and large satisfactory," the PM said. On Naxal (Left wing extremism) problem he said, "The scourge of Naxalism, however, continues to be a major problem and I seek the cooperation of the concerned state governments to tackle this menace". He also referred to peaceful conduct of Panchayat (village level local self-government institution) election in Jammu and Kashmir and the high voter turnout, saying it showed that things were changing in the State. NDTV, May 23, 2012.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi renews call to ULFA-ATF 'Vice president' Paresh Barua for talks: Myanmar has granted autonomy to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, paying homage to former Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi, on May 21 renewed appeal to anti-talks faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-ATF) leader Paresh Barua and others to abjure violence and sit across the table to solve their problems through democratic means. Shilong Times, May 22, 2012.


Existing CA becomes defunct: The existing Constituent Assembly (CA) has now become defunct, with the major parties - Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), Communist party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), Nepali Congress (NC) and the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) - failing to reach consensus on just a few unresolved issues on the Draft Constitution, particularly on the restructuring of the state, before the final stipulated deadline of May 27. On May 28, 2012, the Government called for elections to a new Constituent Assembly. Nepal News, May 27-28, 2012.


55 militants and four civilians among 59 persons killed during the week in FATA: US drone strike killed at least seven militants in Sokhel area of Mir Ali in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on May 27.

Six militants were killed and two others injured in a gunfight with Security Forces (SFs) in Gandi Tal area of Orakzai Agency.

A US drone attack early on May 26 killed at least four militants in Miramshah, the main town of NWA.

Eight militants were killed when a US drone attacked a militant hideout and a mosque in the Mir Ali tehsil (revenue unit) of NWA on May 24.

As many as 12 militants were killed after gunship helicopters pounded several hideouts in Mamozai, Sama Bazaar and Manzar Taap areas of the Orakzai Agency on May 23.

Meanwhile, three militants and a peace volunteer were killed and one was injured in a clash in Tirah valley in Khyber Agency.

At least 10 militants were killed in a US drone strike on a militant compound in the Tabai area near Miramshah, the main town of NWA on May 22.

At least four militants and one volunteer of a peace committee were killed while several others were injured in clashes with Security Forces in Bukarh area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency on May 21. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune, May 22-28, 2012.

41 civilians and one militant among 42 persons killed during the week in Sindh: At least seven passengers on a Swabi-bound bus were shot dead three others were wounded when armed militants opened fire on the bus on National Highway at Rinn Shakh, near Qazi Ahmed Taluka town in Shaheed Benazirabad District on May 25.

Three people, including an activist each from the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were killed here on May 25 in separate incidents of violence in Karachi.

Six persons, including two political activists, were killed in separate acts of violence in Karachi on May 24.

At least five more people were killed over a dozen others injured in the ongoing in Karachi on May 23 due to a strike call by Awami Tehreek (AT) President Ayaz Latif Palijo.

A rally opposing creation of Mohajir Province in Sindh, titled 'Mohabbat-e-Sindh' (Love of Sindh), organised by the Awami Tehreek (AT), a Sindh-based nationalist party, was attacked by unidentified armed militants at Napier Road in Karachi killing at least 13 people and injuring 35 others on May 22. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune, May 22-28, 2012.

Pervez Musharraf murdered my mother, alleges Benazir Bhutto's son and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the son of slain Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto said on May 24 that ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf "murdered my mother," as he vowed to play a bigger political role in his homeland "in any way I can". Bilawal Bhutto said that Musharraf sabotaged his mother's security when she returned to her homeland in 2007, and said he is confident of his own security in Pakistan. "I'm confident that the Pakistani Government will provide me with the adequate security, unlike the Government at the time that sabotaged my mother's security in Pakistan," he told the media. The News, May 25, 2012.

Treatment with Doctor Shakeel Afridi who helped to find al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden 'unjust and unwarranted', says US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 24 denounced as "unjust and unwarranted" the treatment with the Pakistani doctor, Shakeel Afridi, who was jailed on May 23, 2012 for 33 years for helping the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the hunt for slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, reports Dawn. "We regret both the fact that he was convicted and the severity of his sentence," Clinton told a joint press conference with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully. Dawn, May 25, 2012.

US shows concern over extrajudicial killings and religious intolerance in Pakistan: The United States (US) on May 24 voiced concern over extrajudicial killings and religious intolerance in Pakistan, including in the restive province of Balochistan. In an annual report on human rights, the US State Department said that the "most serious human rights' problems" in Pakistan included extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances by both Security Forces and terrorists. "Lack of government accountability remained a pervasive problem. Abuses often went unpunished, fostering a culture of impunity," the report read further. Daily Times, May 25, 2012.

If PM fails to act on Balochistan emergency would be declared, says CJP Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on May 23 said constitution was being violated in Balochistan and if the Prime Minister (PM) says he is not responsible for restoring law then the constitution will take its way and emergency could be declared. The Chief Justice ordered registration of a case against Balochistan Home Minister Mir Nasirullah Zehri. Daily Times, May 24, 2012.

Communication Ministry proposes USD 1,000 fee per NATO container: The Communication Ministry has proposed charging NATO forces USD 1,000 per container to offset the PKR 100 billion in damages caused to the road infrastructure in the past 10 years, said Communications Secretary Anwar Ahmad Khan. "According to our conservative assessment, the NATO containers caused Rs100 billion in damages to the road infrastructure and have not paid a penny in return," said Communications Secretary Anwar Ahmad Khan while briefing the Public Accounts Committee on May 22. Tribune, May 23, 2012.

No large pullout possible without Pakistan help, says NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen acknowledged on May 21 that there could be no large drawdown of troops from Afghanistan without Pakistan's help as both sides also expressed the desire to stay engaged with each other despite differences. "We count on Pakistan's commitment to support ISAF and NATO efforts in Afghanistan," Mr Rasmussen told a briefing at the NATO summit in Chicago after a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari. Dawn, May 21, 2012.


Major human rights problem in Sri Lanka in Tamil areas, says US Department of State report: The 2011 country reports on human rights practices published by the United States (US) State Department claimed that unlawful killings by Security Forces (SFs) and Government-allied paramilitary groups are a major human rights problem in Sri Lanka, often in the predominantly TAMIL areas. In addition, attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, persons suspected of being Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathizers, and journalists, by persons allegedly tied to the Government created an environment of fear and self-censorship, the report says. Colombo Page, May 25, 2012.

Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka released on an unconditional presidential pardon grant: Former Army Commander General (retired) Sarath Fonseka was released on May 21 on an unconditional presidential pardon granted by President Mahindra Rajapaksa. He was discharged from the private Nawaloka Hospital where he was receiving treatment since April for a respiratory ailment. He was later brought to the Supreme Court where his counsel withdrew two appeals pending in court, where a five-judge bench granted permission for Fonseka to withdraw the appeals filed by him, against the verdict on the White Flag case and a Writ Application filed related to the verdict on second court martial case, ahead of the release. Colombo Page, May 22, 2012.

The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and the South Asia Terrorism Portal.


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