The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 4, 2000 IN COLOMBO
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 28
 

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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 island nation.

The Hindu More ...


India says ‘No’ to Lankan request for military intervention in Jaffna

INDIA EXPRESS, 03rd May 2000. India has set at rest speculation of military intervention in 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. More...


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 territory.

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" he said.

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 of crisis.

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.'


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