COLOMBO Feb. 28, Reuter: President Junius Jayewardene on Sunday vowed to crush Marxist rebels in Sri Lanka’s eastern province,

“The government has controlled terrorism in the south. We will do the same in Ampara district in the next few weeks”, Jayewardene said after opening a Buddhist shrine at Ampara.

Security was tight during Jayewardene’s first visit in five years to this district which has been hit by both Tamil separatist violence and Marxist rebel activity.

Jayewardene said his offer of an Amnesty to the outlawed Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP — People’s Liberation Front) was available only if they renounced violence.

The JVP opposes last July’s peace accord between India and Sri Lanka aimed at ending a separatist rebellion by the island’s Tamil minority.

The JVP operates largely in the south and in some predominantly Sinhalese areas in Ampara where Tamils and Moslems also live.

The Marxist group has been blamed for killing government and opposition politicians who supported the pact.

In eastern Batticaloa, Indian troops ringed a Hindu temple on Sunday where two women are in the ninth day of a death fast to press demands for an end to fighting between troops and Tamil rebels.

About 50,000 Indian soldiers have been sent to Sri Lanka to disarm the main rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who rejected July’s accord.

Doctors who examined the women Davi Annamma, 58, and Vadivel Nesamma, 50 said they were very weak, unable to speak and may lapse into a coma in three or four days  according to Batticaloa residents.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 4, 1988