LTTE to launch TV station

Colombo, August 1:

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels will launch their own television station today to reach viewers throughout Asia in an effort to counter state-run “propaganda,” a spokesman for the guerrillas

said. National Television of Tamileelam, or NTT, will broadcast two hours of news, commentary, and Tamil history in Sri Lanka from 1330 GMT every day, said Tiger spokesman Daya Master. The station will also reach India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma and parts of China. “The ability of the (Sri Lankan) state to spread false propaganda through state-controlled media taught us that building a strong media network to disseminate the Tamil point of view locally and internationally was crucial to our progress,” said Master.

The Tigers said their lack of TV broadcasting provided “several hurdles” in keeping people, particularly Tamils, informed about ongoing developments in the conflict. A Norwegian-brokered cease-fire in 2002 halted the civil war, though sporadic violence continues to threaten the truce. Peace talks broke down in 2003.

One killed in blast

Colombo: An unidentified attacker hurled a grenade that killed a man today in Sri Lanka’s volatile east, the military said. Ratnasingham Sivakumar, 30, was at a market in Batticaloa, 220 km east of the capital, Colombo, when the attacker flung the grenade and quickly fled the scene, said military spokesman Brig Daya Ratnayake. The victim was hospitalised and died from his injuries, Ratnayake said. There were no other casualties. — AP