war in Sri Lanka is conducted behind closed doors.
|"Sri Lankan media are subject to
- Voice of America (28 Nov 95)
The Bombing of the Trade Center in Colombo
15, 1997 a massive truck bomb exploded near the financial center in Colombo.
The government and the army officials immediately blamed the LTTE. The international newswires carried news items captioned, "Tamil rebels exploded a bomb in Colombo," as if it was an established fact.
The LTTE denied responsibility [15 October 97].
An Australian tourist who stayed at a hotel situated right next to the Trade Centre, had witnessed the event. She reported to the Melbourne Herald Sun, "It seemed a set up. What I saw was quite strange. I believe it was an army operation."
She said she was sleeping in a room at the Hilton Hotel when she was woken at 6.50 am by the sound of automatic gunfire. From her window she overlooked a car park where the bomb eventually went off and to her right was the World Trade Centre which the government later claimed was the Tigers' target.
She said she saw two soldiers strolling along an open walkway at the Trade Centre. They were looking down at an area less than 100 metres away where heavy firing was taking place, but they kept their weapons pointing up, did not take cover and then wandered off.
She then saw two soldiers with a rocket launcher at the entrance to the hotel's swimming pool car park. "They fired the rocket launcher straight down the road and into the ocean. There was absolutely nothing there. They then threw the launcher away and wandered slowly to the tennis club, absolutely unconcerned with being shot."
Fifteen minutes later the bomb went off.