The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 3, 2000 IN COLOMBO
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 27
 

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    LTTE to hand over 14 more bodies of soldiers to the ICRC today

    Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Wednesday May 3. Harsha Goonewardena, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombo said today the LTTE will hand over 14 more bodies of soldiers believed to have been killed at Pallai. The LTTE will hand over the bodies to the ICRC at Killinochchi today. The 14 bodies of soldiers will be handed over today to the military base at Vavuniya by the ICRC, Mr. Goonerwardena said.

    The ICRC yesterday at 7 p.m. handed over to the military base in Vavuniya 42 bodies of troops which had been handed over to the ICRC by the rebels in Akkaran. Military sources say that today an identification of the 42 bodies will he held at Vavuniya after which they will be handed over to next of kin. According to the military, unidentifiable corpses will be cremated at the Base with full religious rites performed. The bodies are believed to be those of troops who tried to repulse the LTTE at Pallai.


    LTTE to hand over 14 more bodies of soldiers to the ICRC today

    Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Wednesday May 3. Harsha Goonewardena, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombo said today the LTTE will hand over 14 more bodies of soldiers believed to have been killed at Pallai. The LTTE will hand over the bodies to the ICRC at Killinochchi today. The 14 bodies of soldiers will be handed over today to the military base at Vavuniya by the ICRC, Mr. Goonerwardena said.

    The ICRC yesterday at 7 p.m. handed over to the military base in Vavuniya 42 bodies of troops which had been handed over to the ICRC by the rebels in Akkaran. Military sources say that today an identification of the 42 bodies will he held at Vavuniya after which they will be handed over to next of kin. According to the military, unidentifiable corpses will be cremated at the Base with full religious rites performed. The bodies are believed to be those of troops who tried to repulse the LTTE at Pallai.


    Indian helpline for besieged Chandrika?

    By Seema Guha, The Times of India. NEW DELHI: Indian officials admitted on Tuesday to the Vajpayee government's growing concern over the spiralling crisis in Sri Lanka even as an Associated Press report, quoting a private Lankan television channel, said President Chandrika Kumaratunga had sought New Delhi's assistance to evacuate at least 40,000 troops trapped in Jaffna. More...


    President summons cabinet as military situation gets worse

    Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.05 a.m. SLT Wednesday May 3. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge has summoned an emergency meeting of cabinet today to discuss the tense military situation in the country's north. The emergency summons from the Head of State comes in the aftermath of the President and Ranil Wickremesinghe having met yesterday (2nd) to discuss troop withdrawal in sections of the northern peninsula since the fall of the strategic Elephant Pass garrison two weeks ago. The cabinet of ministers will meet with the President today at 10 a.m. at Temple Trees.


    "The situation is Critical" President Kumaratunga tells the UNP

    Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 5.30Pm Sri Lanka Time 2 May 2000. The Sri Lankan President today briefed a delegation from the main Opposition United National Party on the ground situation in Jaffna peninsula where troops are engaged in bitter fighting with Tamil rebels."The President told us that the situation was critical" a member of the UNP delegation told Lacnet news. The UNP delegation was given a one hour briefing by the President accompanied by Deputy Minister of Defence General Anurudha Ratwatta. The UNP delegation was headed by Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and included General Secretary Gamini Athukorale and Karu Jayasuriya.


    LTTE advances towards Jaffna.

    Roy Denish in Colombo, 16:45. Tiger rebels took control of a strategic military base along the A9 highway after killing over 60 government troops and wounding an unknown number in the continuing fighting in northern Sri Lanka.

    The Tigers took control of Pallai after punching corridors through military defence lines and were steadily advancing towards Eluthumatuval, a village located a few Kilometers south of army's artillery base at Kodikamam.

    The army's official arm, the Operational Headquarters admitted loosing Pallai but did not provide further details. Against the back drop of the setback at Pallai, government today decided to withdraw its troops from Kilali amidst reports that a column of Tigers backed by heavy artillery and Armour was moving towards Kilali, the base of Sri Lankan Navy's Special Boat Squadron.

    "There are no reports of casualties, but we are closely monitoring the situation at Kilali", a Navy spokesman told Lacnet. The renewed fighting begun in the early hours of Sunday, just 12 hours after President Chanadrika Kumaratunge concluded an urgent meeting with her cabinet ministers at Temple Trees.


    President meets opposition leader for crisis talks

    Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 4.00 PM Sri Lanka Time 2 May 2000. President Chandrika Kumaratunga began crisis talks with Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe today. The meeting at her official residence the 'Temple Trees' was scheduled begin at 3.00Pm Sri Lanka Time. The President was expected to discuss the deteriorating military situation in the Jaffna Peninsula where the army is coming under increasing pressure by the tamil rebels.


    Tamil rebels launch attack on Kilali

    Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 4.05 Sri Lanka time 02 May 2000. Tamil rebels have launched a major attack on military positions in Kilali in the Jaffna Peninsula after capturing Pallai on Monday. The Army admitted that they lost Pallai saying the Army suffered heavy losses in intense fighting. Jaffna town is about 36 kilo meters north of Pallai. The defence Ministry said that 14 soldiers were killed and 236 others were injured in the battle Pallai. However The International Committee of the Red Cross said the rebels have communicated to them that they would like to hand over 50 bodies of soldiers killed in Pallai.


    Buddhist monks calls for the country to be placed on a war footing.

    Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 4.10 PM Sri Lanka time 2 May 2000. The National Sanga Sabaha has called on the government to place the country on a war footing. The Head of the organisation Rev.Maduluwave Sobitha Thero said the government should place the country on a war footing immediately and give priority to the war, "Everything else is secondary. We must first have a nation before we can do anything" the Thero told Lacnet news. He said the problem has been that the war has been politicised from the beginning and this has discouraged the soldiers." We must appeal for international help immediately. Sri Lanka is the head of SAARC. WE must ask SAARC countries or any other friendly country for help,whether direct involvement or by giving us weapons and advice" the thero said. The Rev Sobitha along with other leaders of the National Sanga Sabaha met with the Indian High Commissioner In Colombo on Friday to appeal for assistances.


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