7:02 PM

Britain plans to prosecute Karuna precursor to crackdown on Prabhakaran's associates

The Crown Prosecution Service of Britain is looking to charge the controversial former LTTE leader, Karuna Amman of war crimes, torture and hostage-taking, it is reported.

Karuna Amman, whose defection was the biggest split that the LTTE has suffered, was arrested in Britain last month on suspicion of immigration offences. He led the LTTE in the East until March 2003, when he left the terrorist organization and formed his own group, the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). The TMVP has since split with Pilliyan taking over the leadership after Karuna left the island.

2:38 PM

Prabhakaran won't allow amicable solution

Holding talks with the Tigers' shadowy leader would be a blunder and there will be no peace unless he is killed, Sri Lankan militant-turned-minister Douglas Devananda has warned.Social Services and Welfare Minister Devananda, who is vehemently opposed to the Tigers, says he has escaped more than a dozen assassination attempts.

The last was on November 28, when a female bomber officials say was sent by Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran made her way into his ministry in central Colombo.Devananda was watching closed-circuit TV footage of visitors in the ministry's offices and hallways when the woman blew herself up, killing one of his aides.

"Prabhakaran ... is anti-human," Devananda told Sri Lanka's Foreign Correspondent's Association late on Thursday, after showing journalists a recording of the attack. "You have to compare (him) with Pol Pot or Hitler ... He has to die.""As long as Prabhakaran is alive, he won't allow anyone to solve the problem (conflict) amicably," he added. "If the President goes again for talks, it's a blunder."

Prabhakaran is infamous for his use of suicide attackers as part of his campaign to create a separate state in the island's North and East.Devananda himself took up arms against the state with other militant groups in the late 1970s and 1980s. He remains at the top of the Tigers' hit list.

"I have the right to be the chief minister of the North and East," Devananda said.He also wants the Government and other political parties to decentralise power to provincial councils, rather than wait for divided parties to try to reach an elusive consensus on devolution."The Tamil people have grievances. They should be dealt with with a political package," he said.Devananda, who adopted the alias Douglas because it was his karate teacher's name, laughs as he recalls a series of attempts on his life.

He was once forced to dive into the Palk Strait separating Sri Lanka from India in 1996 to escape a Tiger attack and spent the whole night in the sea.

The minister, who founded the militant Eelam People's Revolutionary Front (EPRLF), which later morphed into his political party, has no regrets about his own violent past.

10:29 AM

**** Security News *****

  • Troops defuse 198 AP mines and 06 booby traps

Troops yesterday (December 21) defused 198 anti-personnel (AP) mines and six booby traps during a search and clearing operation conducted at general area Nedunkulam in Vavuniya, MCNS reported.Meanwhile, security sources report that a soldier has received injuries due to an LTTE mortar attack at general area Parikariperiyakulam, yesterday at 6.30p.m.

  • Six terrorists killed: 38 detonators found

Six terrorists were killed said security forces, during a SLA launched attack at an LTTE bunker construction site yesterday (December 21) at general area Palamoddai in Mannar.According to security sources, no damages were caused to own troops during the assault at around 6.15p.m.Meanwhile, troops acting on civilian information in Shanthipuram, Mannar yesterday (21) found 38 non-electrical detonators, security sources said.

  • Suspected LTTE gunmen kill two Tamil civilians

Suspected LTTE gunmen had killed two Tamil civilians in Jaffna and Batticaloa on Friday (December 21) said the police sources.Former UNP candidate for Provincial Council Election in Jaffna, year 2001 was killed by motorbike riding gunmen at Chulipuram, Jaffna around 5 last evening. The victim identified as Muthukumaran Sivapalan was a resident of Central Chullipuram, in Vaddukoddai. Civilian sources said that the victim was also a well known businessman and a political activist who used to condemn terrorism of LTTE at open forums.

Meanwhile, a Tamil youth identified as Ramachandran Navaratna was killed by suspected LTTE gunmen at Thalavi, Batticaloa around 8 last night. It is suspected that the youth was killed as he had repeatedly refused to involve with LTTE activities in the area.