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Sri Lanka to probe Indian report of LTTE regrouping and ‘strengthen security’ across island

Sri Lankan military have been heavily deployed to the capital, Colombo as anti-government protests and violence continues on the island. ​

The Sri Lankan defence ministry has said it is taking further steps to strengthen the security in the country, after a report that the ex-LTTE cadres were planning to regroup in India.

Following a report published in The Hindu, which noted that Indian intelligence services had shared information internally, Tamil Nadu had stepped up coastal surveillance. The report had noted that “some erstwhile cadres” had entered Tamil Nadu to “plan and execute” attacks in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence initially denied the claims, calling the report “baseless”.

“We have received no intelligence warning of such security threat”, a Ministry spokesman told The Hindu.

Despite denying the report, the defence ministry today said it will “duly investigate” information flagged by Indian Intelligence that ex-LTTE were “regrouping to launch attacks” and “strengthen security”, despite the armed conflict ending 13 years ago.  

The announcement comes as Sri Lanka has been gripped by protests across the South calling for the resignation of the Rajapaksa's, last week the relatively peaceful protests turned violent as pro-government supporters and anti-government supporters clashed. Numerous residences of MP's aligned with the Rajapaksa's were burnt and hundreds were injured in clashes across the south. 

The Sri Lankan military have been heavily deployed to the capital, Colombo as anti-government protests and violence continues on the island. 

Armoured military tanks and armed soldiers were seen patrolling the capital after being ordered by the Defence Ministry to shoot anyone "looting public property or causing harm to others".

Tamils across the homeland have been commemorating Tamil Genocide Week. Last week Tamils across the North-East marked Mullivaikkal Remembrance Week by boiling and serving kanji to commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils killed by the Sri Lankan state 13 years ago.

Kanji - a porridge of rice and water - was the only food available to Tamils trapped in the Sri Lankan government declared 'No Fire Zones' as food, medicines and other necessities were heavily restricted from entering the Vanni during the final phase of the armed conflict. 

The Sri Lankan government denied the delivery of food into the conflict zones, to use starvation as a weapon of war. Even as Tamils stood in long queues to get a bowl of kanji, the Sri Lankan military continued their daily bombardment, slaughtering many. 

As the organisers began making the kanji in Mullivaikkal, over 25 Sri Lankan police investigators arrived at the site and photographed those in attendance. Photographing participants at Tamil memorialisation activities is a common intimidation technique used by the state's forces to suppress such events in the North-East. 

In the run up to May 18th, Sri Lankan forces are known to increase surveillance and harassment of the Tamil civilian populace.  Sri Lanka forces have arrested numerous Tamils over the years on trumped-up charges which include, forming groups aimed at reestablishing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Critics have noted that the arrests were part of an ongoing crackdown in the North-East to appease the Sri Lankan government's Sinhalese voters and to keep the threat of the LTTE regrouping alive in their imaginations in order to distract from problems in the South. 

Read more at The Hindu 

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