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|Thursday, April 19, 2001, updated at 14:37(GMT+8)|
Tamil Rebels Set Up Journalist to Tarnish Govt Image: NewspaperPreliminary inquiries have revealed that London-based US woman journalist Marie Catherine Colvin was set up by Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels to be killed in order to tarnish the government's image, the official Daily News said on Thursday.
The paper said that rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who took Colvin, 44, journalist for Britain's Sunday Times newspaper through a secure route to their jungle hideout escorted her back to government controlled territory deliberately along an unsafe path.
It is also believed that the LTTE rebels had duped her not to disclose her whereabouts either to the Sri Lankan authorities or her own newspaper.
She had obtained her visa from Sri Lanka's High Commission in London on the grounds that she wanted to write about the political situation here and later enjoy a holiday. At no stage had she indicated her desire to visit rebel-held areas.
At her request an interview was arranged with Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar which she did not keep. Efforts to trace her failed and her whereabouts came to be known only on Monday when she was injured in the shootout between government forces and LTTE rebels in the north of the country.
Following the gunbattle government soldiers discovered Colvin during a search operation and she was sent to a local hospital for first aide treatment. Later she was airlifted to the National Eye hospital in capital Colombo for immediate surgery. Her condition is stable.
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