Sri Lanka Strife

These images are on assignment for the Associated Press, in 2006, when the Tamil rebel activity was high. On the east coast, near Trincomalee, Sri Lankan soldiers tried to re-establish control over the strategic northeastern town of Muttur that had been the scene of fierce clashes, causing thousands of civilians to be displaced by the fighting.

Sri Lankan army soldiers take protective action against flying dust as a MI-17 helicopter, leaves for a mission near Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, Aug. 3, 2006. Gunfire and heavy weapons shook the northeastern seaside town of Muttur, near Trincomalee Thursday where government soldiers battled Tamil Tiger rebels, with artillery shells slamming into three schools where residents had taken shelter, killing 18 people. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

Thousands of refugees fled the fighting between government soldiers and the Tamil Tiger rebels even as the town of Muttur came under shellfire.

LTTE’s shellfire from Muttur, a village built in a natural depression, gave the rebels immense advantage, inflicting serious casualties on the population of Trincomalee and other inhabitations on this section f the Sri Lankan east coast.

At a funeral, the entire camp, children included, gathered to grieve the death of policeman Gamini Vijayratna, in Serunuwara, near Trincomalee.. Gamini Vijayratna was allegedly killed by Tiger rebels along with counterpart Sushanta when they tried to rescue a youth from the hands of the rebels.

On my return to Colombo, one assumed that I was away from the violence of the Trincomalee, but Sri Lanka was never a quite place. A terror attack, intended on the Pakistan ambassador on the latter’s Independence Day on Aug. 14, 2006, left many killed in the heart of the city.

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