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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 5, No. 4, August 7, 2006

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal





Blood over Water
Guest Writer: Amantha Perera
Lecturer, Sri Lanka College of Journalism, Colombo

The four year old ceasefire in Sri Lanka is tottering at the brink of collapse as the special Norwegian Peace Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer tries to convince both parties to pull back from mutual hard-line stances and return to negotiations.

The week of July 31 – August 6, 2006, saw the worst few days of violence with Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) engaged in full-blown confrontations south of the eastern Trincomalee harbour. The trouble commenced on July 20 when civilians living in the Government controlled Kallar area complained that water had been cut off from an irrigation canal that flows through territory controlled by the Tigers.

  Also Read
The Peace is a Tool of War - Ameen Izzadeen

Tamil Refugees - Troubling Spillover - Ajit Kumar Singh

The Government accused the Tigers of deliberately closing down the sluice gates at Mawilaru, denying water to 15,000 families and 30,000 acres of paddy land. The two sides exchanged at least two letters on sorting out the water mess, but eight days after the closure, Government troops moved into the area to wrest control of the sluice. Before the operation was launched, hardliners in Colombo, including Buddhist monks, tried to march to the sluice gates. They were prevented by troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Nanda Mallwarachchi, who assured them that water would be provided soon, and then came the military operation.

The operation to reach the sluice, however, has proved much more arduous than first anticipated. Though the distance to the gates from the last Government controlled point is about 5 kilometres, a week after the operation commenced the canal still remained dry and bloody fighting continues.

Military sources said that the Tigers had put up stiff resistance and the open terrain itself made progress difficult. The advancing troops were provided with air cover and artillery fire as well and the latest reports said that two tanks had been moved into the theatre. In fact the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed targets in Tiger areas in the northern and eastern parts of the island, including a political office and a suspected airstrip in an apparent attempt to put pressure on the Tigers.

The latter, on their part, opened up several other fronts. On August 1, 2006, 18 soldiers were killed when the bus they were traveling in was caught in a Claymore mine attack on the access road to the Kallar canal. They were on their way to bolster troop strength.

The same afternoon, a troop transporter with 800 soldiers on board was attacked by a flotilla of Tiger suicide boats numbering into the 20s as it was approaching the Trincomalee harbour. The troop carrier Jet Liner however escaped the attack and reached the harbour safely. Naval crafts providing security for the carrier sunk three Tiger boats and damaged another two. Thereafter, the Tigers shelled the naval base close by from their positions south of the Trincomalee bay. Several 122 mm artillery shells fell on the camp and four naval ratings were killed when the bus they were in caught fire. The exchange of fire lasted for more than three hours.

In the early morning of August 2, 2006, the Army reported that its camps in Kattaparichchan, Selvanagar and Mahindapura had come under attack. The camps lie at the border of Army controlled areas south of the Trincomalee harbour. The Tigers claimed that they were in control of the camps. Later on it transpired that the camps were intact, but that the Tigers had infiltrated the area and were carrying out attacks.

Several hours after the assault on the camps, the coastal town of Muttur came under Tiger attack. Once again, both sides claimed that they were in command. The Tigers had been able to infiltrate into the town and occupied some Government buildings for some time. The Government launched a full blooded assault to reclaim total control and artillery and multi-barrel launchers opened up from the northern side of the harbour. A main Tiger base in Sampur at the southern part of the bay and other areas further east were targeted by a barrage of shelling that continued for three days..

While the two sides fought for the control of the town, civilians fled in hordes. At least 10,000 have been made refugees by the fighting and aid agencies like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that hundreds had been stranded on the roads leading from Muttur and were running low on food and water. At least several hundred were trapped in the town itself. Fifteen died when a shell landed in a school that they had sought shelter in and another 20 were killed due to shell fire while fleeing the town according to ICRC. The entire 24 kilometre stretch of road from Mahindapura to Muttur has suffered damage due to shelling..

By August 4, when the fighting was at its worst, all aid agencies, including the ICRC, pulled out due to security concerns. Even the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was unable to get in. Its head, Ulf Henricsson, had to turn back the next day as well, when he was warned that the road was full of explosives and there was still the threat of shells. By this time the Army was claiming that it was in control of the town and had killed more than 200 LTTE cadres. The Tigers also claimed that they had killed more than 100 Government troops. Independent verification of the figures was impossible due to lack of access.

The Tiger leadership in Trincomalee announced that it had withdrawn from Muttur voluntarily by August 4 midnight after ‘achieving their objective’ of destroying selected military targets in the town. The LTTE political head, S. Ellilan, asserted that they had also taken into consideration the humanitarian plight of the people as well.

While the fighting was raging on, Henricsson had stated that the ceasefire had in effect been rendered null and void in the areas of immediate conflict. The LTTE had also given an assurance to the Norwegians that the sluice gates would be opened on August 6, but when the SLMM went to monitor the opening of the gates, the area had come under mortar fire from the Army, and there is a continuing delay on this.

That, however, is not the sum of the SLMM’s problems. Hanssen-Bauer is in Kilinochchi to persuade the LTTE to drop a demand that all European Union (EU) nationals serving as monitors should be pulled out by end August. The LTTE’s demand came in retaliation to the EU decision to impose a ban on them as a terrorist organisation. Already, the three EU nations in the SLMM, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, have declared that they would be pulling out monitors by month’s end, unless the LTTE changes its stance. This would deplete the monitoring staff to 20 from it current 57. Henricsson warned that changes in the monitoring mechanism could not be carried out by the August-end deadline, and unless the Tigers scale down their demand, the SLMM would be made dysfunctional. He also stated that no countries were lining up to take up monitoring duties in Sri Lanka.

Hanssen Bauer is expected to spend two days in the LTTE political nerve centre Kilinochchi on August 7-8, 2006, in his attempt to convince the Tigers. Sources indicate that he would impress on the LTTE that a hard-line stance would risk further intentional isolation. In fact, the Japanese have also hinted on a ban if the present status quo continues.

However, there is little optimism regarding the success of these moves, and Norwegian Embassy officials at Colombo warned against expecting any miracles as Hanssen Bauer prepared to leave for Tiger areas .

The peace process notwithstanding, war has returned to Sri Lanka.


Nagaland: Another Bangladeshi Destination
M. Amarjeet Singh
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

Unabated illegal immigration of Bangladeshis into Nagaland is emerging as a major problem in the State, threatening to assume proportions that have already disrupted populations and peace in the Northeastern neighbourhood. Better economic prospects and a shortage of local labour are compounded by a critical absence of mechanisms to prevent such an influx. Despite their serious demographic, economic, security and political ramifications on a tiny state like Nagaland, these developments continue to remain substantially outside the realm of the security discourse in the country.

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Infiltration Woes- Bibhu Prasad Routray & Sandipani Dash

Nagaland does not share a direct land border with Bangladesh, but illegal migrants are infiltrating into the State from Assam, with which Nagaland shares a nearly 500-kilometre-long land border.

Areas around Dimapur town and the foothills along the Assam-Nagaland border have emerged as the prime targets of migration, spreading gradually thereafter into other distant locales. The very cosmopolitan nature of the Dimapur area makes detection of illegal migrants a difficult task. Worse, the illegal migrants are also in possession of valid official documents like ration cards and voter identity cards procured from the States of Assam or West Bengal, where these are available against a small bribe. The fact that Dimapur town and its surrounding areas are not covered under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, which prohibits all non-Naga outsiders (including Indian citizens) to settle in the area, is visibly being exploited by the immigrants before they trickle into other areas of the State.

Once in Nagaland, the illegal migrants manage to get absorbed in widely available occupations, including agricultural labour, domestic helps, rickshaw pullers, manual labourers in construction sites and shop attendants. Besides, a section among the locals patronize them by providing land for cultivation and temporary settlements. Bangladeshis, providing cheap labour, have become the preferred option, rather than the relatively expensive and inadequate pool of local workers.

Accurate estimates of the numbers of illegal migrants staying in Nagaland are not easy to come by. Available estimates vary between 75,000 and 300,000. Despite the absence of a precise figure, these estimates underscore the magnitude of the crisis in this tiny State, which has a total population of barely two million. Surprisingly, the Dimapur area alone is believed to have more than 100,000 illegal migrants. Way back in February 1999, the former Nagaland Chief Minister and currently the Governor of Goa, S.C. Jamir said that there were about 60,000 Bangladeshis illegally staying in Dimapur.

The continuing influx of illegal migrants has created a serious threat of destablisation in the State, with migrants progressively usurping the economic base of the Nagas. In major marketing areas of the State like Dimapur, they have already secured considerable influence in trade and commerce and this is expanding rapidly. Muslim migrants today run almost half of the shops in Dimapur, the biggest commercial hub of the State. In 2003, a local newspaper editorial noted succinctly, “There is no denying the fact that on any Muslim religious day, at least half of the shops in Kohima and some seventy five per cent in Dimapur, remain closed. The point is that this is a clear indication of how much the migrants have been able to make an impact on trading.”

A survey conducted by the Nagaland State Directorate of Agriculture in 2003 revealed that about 71.73 per cent of the total business establishments in the State were controlled and run by ‘non-locals’ including both legal and illegal migrants. According to the report, out of the 23,777 shops in the State, the local people own only 6,722 shops (that is 28.27 per cent). While the report made no effort to separately identify illegal migrants among the shop owners, there is a large body of supplementary evidence that suggests their sizeable presence. Illegal migrants are also acquiring land and other immovable properties in collusions with their local sympathizers. .

The impact of Bangladeshi migrants is also visible in the unstable demographic profile of the State. With a population of 19,88,636 under the Census of 2001, Nagaland recorded the highest rate of population growth in India, from 56.08 per cent in 1981-1991 to 64.41 per cent in the decade, 1991-2001. Significantly, the population growth was been uniform throughout the State. Several areas in the Dimapur and Wokha Districts bordering Assam have recorded exceptionally high population growth. Wokha district, bordering the Golaghat District of Assam, recorded the highest population growth of 95.01 per cent between 1991 and 2001, the highest figure for any district in the entire country. Evidently, the silent and unchecked influx of illegal migrants in the District, has played a crucial role in this abnormal growth.

Migrants marry locals to secure legal and social acceptability for their stay in the State. As a result, a new community locally called ‘Sumias’ has emerged in some parts of the State. These ‘Sumias’ are estimated in the several thousands and are concentrated mainly in the Dimapur and Kohima Districts. There are rising fears among locals that voters’ list are now being doctored to accommodate the “Sumias” as well as other migrants. These apprehensions have been further reinforced by the fact that, as the Census 2001 records, the population of Muslims in the State has more than trebled in the past decade, from 20,642 in 1991 to more than 75,000 in 2001. Illegal migrants are widely believed to account for an overwhelming proportion of this recorded increase.

Worried by such developments the vocal Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has sought to impose restrictions on Naga girls marrying illegal migrants. On August 10, 2003, a Naga student leader said that the NSF has already imposed a ban on Naga girls marrying illegal migrants from Bangladesh. However, he also regretted the fact that the ban could not be strictly implemented. On some occasions, the student body also claimed to have ‘deported’ illegal settlers from the State. Unfortunately, those deported reportedly came back after a brief stay in neighbouring Assam. The State Government has also claimed to have deported about 20,000 infiltrators between 1994 and 1997, but most of them were again reported to have come back. In any event, such claims of ‘deportation’ have little meaning as they involve nothing more than dumping the illegal migrants from one Indian State to another.

The presence of large number of foreign nationals has also created a vulnerable constituency for exploitation by hostile Bangladeshi and Pakistani Intelligence services. The threat has been further compounded with the emergence of several Islamist extremist groups in the region, who secure support from Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and the Bangladeshi Directorate General of Forces Intelligence.

The debate on migration from Bangladesh has been politicized in the past, contributing directly to demographic destabilization in Nagaland and the wider Northeastern neighbourhood. Successive Central and State Governments have proved ineffective in formulating workable measures to stop the flow of illegal migrants into the country in general and the Nagaland in particular, and this neglect is extracting an increasing price in social, economic and security terms as time goes by, and threatens to secure the dimensions of a major internal security crisis in the foreseeable future.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
July 31-August 7, 2006

Security Force Personnel






     Jammu &


     Left-wing Extremism






Total (INDIA)



 Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Jharkhand bans the Communist Party of India-Maoist: On August 6, 2006, the Jharkhand Government proscribed the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and all its frontal organisations in the State. Home Secretary J. B. Tubid said in Ranchi that the ban on the Maoist outfit became necessary as most of the cadres were either drawn from the erstwhile Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) or People’s War Group (PWG) before their merger with the CPI-Maoist. This was learnt from most of the recently arrested extremists, he said. The Hindu, August 7, 2006.

Property worth Rs.116.7 million destroyed in Maoist violence in 2006: According to Home Ministry officials, property worth Rs.116.7 million was damaged by Maoists in the first six months of 2006, almost double the figure for the whole of 2005. A detailed break-up of the list of Maoist-related incidents, compiled by the ministry, reveals that Chhattisgarh was the worst affected among the 10 States with property alone worth Rs.92.3 million destroyed. "Of the 806 Maoist-related incidents till June this year, Chhattisgarh witnessed 360 incidents, in which 190 civilians and 54 security personnel were killed. The unfortunate part is that violence is steadily increasing," said a senior ministry official. Jharkhand witnessed 169 incidents, Andhra Pradesh, 104, and Bihar, 63. In all these states, property worth Rs.15 million was destroyed till June in 2006. In 2004, property worth Rs.64.7 million was destroyed due to Maoist violence across the country and in 2005, the figure was Rs.57.1 million. Navhind Times, August 4, 2006.

52 terrorist camps in Pakistan and PoK, says Union Minister of State for External Affairs: The Union Minister of State for External Affairs, E. Ahmed, informed the Lower House of Parliament on August 2, 2006, that at least 52 terrorist training camps are operating in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). He also said insurgent groups continue to misuse Bangladesh territory for sanctuary, training camps, transportation or arms and transit and was being supported by intelligence agencies, both civil and military, of Bangladesh. A list of 172 Indian insurgent group camps and 307 criminals and insurgents was handed over in the Director General level talks between Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles in 2005, but Dhaka continues to maintain a "policy of complete denial", the Minister added. Times of India, August 2, 2006.

Union Government and NSCN-IM extend cease-fire in Nagaland by one more year: The Union Government and National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) extended the ongoing cease-fire in Nagaland by another year following a meeting between the representatives of the two sides in Bangkok on July 31, 2006. The current spell of the truce ended on July 31. The agreement for the cease-fire was signed by the interlocutor for the Naga talks, K. Padmanabhaiah, and NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah. The NSCN-IM and security forces in Nagaland have been observing a truce since August 1997, when they agreed to a cease-fire. The Hindu, August 1, 2006.


Islamabad cannot take a U-turn on Kashmir issue, says Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Salahuddin: Urging Pakistan to intervene militarily to resolve the Kashmir issue, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) chief Syed Salahuddin asserted that no political solution was possible since India and the international community had "wasted the opportunity by not responding to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's CBMs," reported UNI. "On the Kashmir issue, Islamabad cannot take a U-turn. Kashmir is an indigenous movement. Pakistan is a party to it. It is Pakistan's responsibility to provide every kind of support to the movement – although until now it has been giving it diplomatic, moral and political support. We want Pakistan to initiate a military intervention in Kashmir," he said, in an interview to The Friday Times from Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

He claimed India has realised that militancy could spread to other parts of the country if the Kashmir issue is not resolved soon. "One year, five years, ten years or hundred years... Time doesn't matter in freedom movements. India has realised that if Kashmir is not resolved soon, militancy will spiral out of Kashmir and spread to other parts of the country," he said. However, Salahuddin denied the group's involvement in the Mumbai serial blasts of July 11, 2006. Terming India's demand to Pakistan to hand him over as "absurd," he said that "no law in the world can make anyone extradite me" and it was impossible for the Musharraf Government to take a "u-turn" on him. Daily Excelsior, August 7, 2006.

US intelligence agent testifies in court on existence of terrorist training camp in Balakot: A US intelligence agency expert told a US Court during the last week of July 2006 that Pakistan is still running a terrorist training camp at Balakot in the North West Frontier Province. Eric Benn, a terrorism expert for Defence Intelligence Agency, told the District Court in California that there was 70 per cent ‘probability’ that satellite images of a place near Balakot were that of a militant training camp. Benn showed the jury satellite images taken between 2001 and 2004 but he claimed that the facility in question seemed to have expanded since then. “It may have become less temporary and more permanent,” he testified. The images showed a three kilometer trail linked to the main road and dotted with several structures that seemed to reflect a guard house, barracks with a tin roof and perhaps some mud houses as well, the reports said. The Court is hearing terrorism charges against two Pakistani-Americans, 23-year old Hamid Hayat and his father Umer Hayat. Hamid’s sentencing has been postponed by four months to November and his father Umer Hayat, charged with lying to Federal authorities, is being retried after the first round ended in a hung jury. However, in Islamabad, the Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, said the report was absurd. Dawn, August 2, 2006.


480 people killed in escalating violence: At least 480 people were reported to have died during various incidents of violence during the week in Sri Lanka. Most of the violence has occurred in the Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Jaffna Districts.

Fierce fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occurred near the disputed Mavil Aru sluice gates in the Kallar area of Trincomalee District, in which 40 LTTE cadres and seven SLA personnel were killed. SLA launched a military operation targeting LTTE positions as the outfit kept the sluice gate of the Mavil Aru anicut (irrigation channel) closed without allowing water to flow into thousands of Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil villages since July 20, 2006. The campaign, named 'Mission Watershed', launched by the security forces supported by air cover began on July 28, 2006.

Meanwhile, the LTTE killed over hundred civilians who were fleeing the fighting in Muttur on August 4. Other reports said over 100 bodies of civilians lay scattered in Pachchanoor, where the LTTE installed a road block until August 4-night.

Troops repulsed LTTE firing in the Kattaparichchan, Selvanagar and Mahindapura areas of Trincomalee District on August 2, killing 40 LTTE cadres and injuring 50 others. Troops also foiled another LTTE attack on a strategic jetty in the Muttur area of Trincomalee District, killing at least 152 of the outfit’s cadres on August 4. Intercepted LTTE radio transmissions have reportedly revealed that the outfit has lost 330 cadres during fierce fighting through August 2-6.(Source: Reportage from the English language media)

Sweden announces withdrawal of peace monitors from SLMM: Sweden announced on August 1, 2006, the withdrawal of its monitors from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), joining Finland and Denmark, who announced their withdrawal on July 28. The Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson told Swedish Radio that he saw no other option but for the Swedish observers to leave the island, where fighting between Government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has escalated. He stated, "The Tamil Tigers have stayed staunchly at their position not to have citizens of EU countries represented in the observer mission. Unfortunately I reached the conclusion that, when one of the partners no longer accepts the presence of Nordic EU countries, it would be very difficult to remain there." Reuters, August 1, 2006.

The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

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