Sri Lanka blames rebel split for killings, praises Tigers “restraint”

Sri Lanka’s government blamed splinter factions of the Tamil rebel movement for the slaying of a top guerrilla leader and praised it for the “restraint” it had shown since the killing. Sri Lanka’s government blamed splinter factions of the Tamil rebel movement for the slaying of a top guerrilla leader and praised it for the “restraint” it had shown since the killing. Accusing “factions” of the killing, the government said the splinter groups oppose a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire between the government and the Tigers.

“There are factions working to sabotage the ceasefire agreement between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),” government spokesman Mangala Samaraweera told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Friday.

“It’s the work of those who want to see the ceasefire agreement come to an end. In a way, the ceasfire has been violated by such people.”

A senior Tamil Tiger leader, E. Koushalyan, a former Tamil legislator and four other rebels were gunned down Monday in the eastern Batticaloa district in a government-controlled area.

There has been no claim of responsibility but Tamil Tigers have blamed rebel renegades working with