The military pointed out the absurdity in foreign donors helping an LTTE front organisation, engaged in mine clearing operations in areas under the group`s control, amidst a wave of mine attacks in government held areas.
Among the donors are Norwegian People`s Aid, British Mine Advisory group, Swiss Foundation for Mine Action and Danish De-Mining Group. Financial and technical assistance are made available to the Humanitarian De-Mining Unit (HDU) which functions as the implementing arm of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), a key LTTE front organisation.
The United Nations Development Project is deeply involved in the mine action programme in the northern and eastern provinces.
The military said that the LTTE continued to receive overseas aid through various sources. The organisation receiving funds would not carry the eelam tag but the LTTE was the ultimate beneficiary, a senior official said.
A knowledgeable source, involved in the mine clearing project , admitted that the ongoing wave of attacks mar the internationally backed efforts to clear the two provinces of mines. An overseas expert yesterday said that all recent attacks were carried out by using claymore mines directed at a particular target. `Unlike what we remove in the north and east claymore mines are not buried to be activated by the intended victims,` he said, acknowledging the attackers have to be physically present at the scene to trigger the blast.
Fielding questions, the expert said that newly installed claymore mines were recently used. Since last Saturday`s attack at Neerveli on Point Pedro-Palaly road where a soldier and a bystander suffered injuries, the LTTE mounted two attacks. Army headquarters said that a fragmentation mine was used against a vehicle carrying a dozen soldiers at 4.45 pm.
The second blast at Mirusuvil on the Kodikamam-Muhamalai road on Monday claimed the lives of five soldiers and two civilians. The afternoon claymore blast killed two Commandos, two soldiers of the Vijayaba Infantry Regiment and a volunteer also of the same Regiment. Two civilians Pathmanadan (55) and Pradeep employed by Jaffna-based HUDEC Caritas, an NGO engaged in tsunami rehabilitation work were killed while two Tamils were seriously wounded in the blast.
Since President Mahinda Rajapakse`s election the LTTE carried out a series of claymore attacks claiming the lives of about 100 security forces personnel. Two blasts directed at navy Fast Attack Craft claimed over 25 personnel. Army headquarters placed the number of the wounded officers and men at 200 during the same period.