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India rules out military intervention in Sri Lanka
NEW DELHI, MAY 3. India today firmly.
ruled out military intervention in Sri Lanka
but said it was ready to render
humanitarian assistance to the strife-torn
India says ‘No’ to Lankan request
for military intervention in Jaffna
INDIA EXPRESS, 03rd May 2000.
India has set at rest speculation of military
northern Sri Lanka and made it clear on May 3 that the
responsibility of evacuating the trapped soldiers in
the Jaffna peninsula lay with the island nation's government.
India holds security council meeting on Sri Lankan crisis
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.50 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 3.
The Indian Prime Minister today held a security council meeting on the Sri
Lankan crisis at his residence. Following a written request made by
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to the Indian Prime Minister
today, he is meeting with three armed service chiefs to discuss the Sri
Lankan President's urgent request for military assistance. Indian External
Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh is expected to brief reporters in India
soon after the security council meeting this evening.
President Kumaratunge meanwhile is reported to have also asked for the
Indian Navy to help evacuate some 35,000 troops in the northern peninsula
as the Tigers advance along the strategic A9 highway towards Jaffna has cut
off the military's escape routes.
Local TV stations today said that President Kumaratunge has also asked
Pakistan to help Sri Lanka in her battle to hold the country's northern
Following an emergency cabinet meeting held this morning the President and
Ministers unanimously decided to place the entire country on a war footing.
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) today quoted Minister Mangala
Samaraweera saying that all development projects deemed not urgent will be
put on hold for a period of three months and the money diverted instead to
the National Defence Fund.
The President meanwhile has denied rumours that Sri Lankan troops do not
have enough arms to face the Tiger advance in the northern peninsula.
LTTE leader, Danu killed
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 3.
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation said today that government troops in
repulsing Tiger attacks in the north have killed Danu, the rebel leader who
led the attack on Elephant Pass. Danu, leader of the LTTE's Shell Unit,
SLBC said, was killed together with 153 other rebels.
President Kumaratunge asks for military assistance from Indian Prime Minister
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo,6.30 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 3
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge in a letter to the Indian
Prime Minister dated today has asked if the Indian Air Force can assist Sri
Lankan ground troops fighting a heavy battle in the country's northern
peninsula against the LTTE.
Reliable sources confirmed that the President in her letter to Mr. Vajpayee
has requested for India to help Sri Lanka militarily by sending Indian
airforce fighter planes to Sri Lanka's besieged northern peninsula. The
President has asked if Indian fighter planes can come in from Trivandrum's
Southern Airforce Base and Taparam Air Base. President Kumaratunge's
letter to the Indian Prime Minister states such assistance will be needed
with immediate effect.
Tigers claim to take Kilali
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1.30 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 3.
The LTTE claimed last night that it taken 12 kilometeres of the road that
lies along the Jaffna lagoon between Elephant Pass and Kilali. The Voice
of Tigers in its night news broadcast yesterday claim that 21 kilometeres
of the A9 highway from Elephant Pass is now under Tiger control and that
the Tiger offensive continues to push towards Jaffna.
Brigadier Palitha Fernando however denied that Kilali has in fact fallen to
the rebels. "I can assure you that Kilali is still under military
control," he told Lacnet.
Meanwhile unconfirmed reports in the South allege that the military has
recommended to the government that troops be withdrawn from the Jaffna
Peninsula. Brigadier Fernando vehemently denied this rumour saying those
with vested interests are spreading the story. "There is absolutely no
truth to this rumour, such stories are probably being spread by the Tigers"
13 bodies of soldiers handed over to the ICRC today by the LTTE, Brigadier
Fernando said are those from the battle at Pallai and not Kilali.
Good response from reserve officers
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1.50 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 3.
The government today said there has been a favourable response from retired
service personnel who responded to a call made by President Chandrika
Bandaranaike Kumaratunge on April 28 asking that all retired military
officers report for service. Many officers though employed in private
companies have contacted the defence ministry to make arrangements to join
forces with the military. The defence ministry said that the retired
service personnel will be stationed in low intensity areas.
Indian intervention not confirmed
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2. p.m. SLT Wednesday May 3.
Speculation that the government may ask India to help with the country's
present military crisis has not been confirmed. Ven. Sobitha Thero at a
press conference yesterday said that he met with the Indian High
Commissioner two days ago and asked that India help the country which is
now facing a serious crisis with the ongoing war. He says however that the
Indian HC in Colombo did not commit himself other than to say he would
convey such an appeal to the Indian government. Ven. Sobitha Thero
maintains that the help they are seeking from India is not to send troops
as they did in 1987 but as a member of SAARC to assist Sri Lanka in a time
The Buddhist monk was not specific in what manner such aid should come
other than to say that one of the components in the SAARC charter was to
unite to fight against terrorism. He asserts that Sri Lanka could request
assistance from India with which it has had a long established relationship.
Other political parties too have today urged the government to seek
military assistance from India, Pakistan and China to help crush the
ongoing rebel offensive in the peninsula.
Meanwhile India's Janata party leader Subramaniam Swamy has suggested that
Sri Lanka should pass a resolution in parliament to merge with India in a
confederation as a way out of the ethnic crisis. He has been quoted as
saying that Sri Lanka has become non viable because of its "untenable
adherence to the concept of a unitary state.'