Lanka Minister's UK visit a quiet affair
Hindustan Times, May 12.
The almost hush-hush and devoid-of-any-diplomatic-bustle visit to
London of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar is
assumed to have been for seeking arms and humanitarian assistance
from the British Government.
India had okayed Israel-Lanka deal
Hindustan Times, May 12.
INDIA HAD acquiesced to the Israeli deal to sell seven of its Kfir
ground attack fighters to the Sri Lankan Government. These planes
had been sold from the Israeli Air Force's own reserve fleet
Pentagon's green signal was given as they are fitted out with
supplied by the United States.
DEADLOCK AT JAFFNA
The Telegraph, May 12.
Douglas Devananda, leader of the Eelam
People's Democratic Party, and a supporter of
the battle against the LTTE, said he had called
up foreign minister Jaswant Singh and
requested "some form of intervention: military,
humanitarian, whatever you call it".
However, the ground situation continued to
belie the rebels' claim. Though the LTTE had
claimed yesterday that Jaffna was "as good as
gone", a political commentator said he had
received a call from Jaffna that suggested life
was normal and no fighting was reported in the
Sri Lankan Army destroys LTTE supply route
The Hindu, May 13.
The Sri Lankan security forces today claimed
that they have destroyed a ``main supply route'' and ``the main
communication tower'' of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) near Pooneryn.
DMK for Tamil Eelam through war or talks
The DMK leader, Mr M Karunanidhi,
says his party is in favour of a separate Tamil Eelam
Lanka, "either through war or through negotiations".
The statement, made in the Tamil Nadu Assembly today, is
bound to embarrass the Vajpayee government, going as it
does against the Prime Minister's stated position.
Is there more to Tipnis' trip?
Times of India, May 13.
Sources at Temple Trees, the President's
official residence in Colombo, say that
Kumaratunga "dropped strong hints seeking
Indian military support" during her tearful
meeting, hour-long meeting with Tipnis.
At his meeting with the President the two are
said to have had a general discussion on
diverse issues such as the Sri Lankan air
capacity and the President's desire to resolve
the conflict and her personal sense of loss at
the present situation.
India can't keep itself aloof
India Abroad, May 13.
When the Sri Lankan crisis erupted, India helped the
LTTE, adding to the burden of the Sri Lankan
government. So India is also responsible for the
problem that Sri Lanka is facing. The BJP should not
narrow-mindedly think that these problems were
created by the Congress government, but keep it in
mind that the issue is concerned with India's future
India can't turn away from the Lankan problem:
A fragmented Lanka spells trouble for India
India Abroad, May13.
If Sri Lanka is fragmented, it is not good for India. It will be highly
dangerous for Tamil
Nadu. If a part of Sri Lanka comes under the control of
LTTE, it is not good even for the
Tamil population there.
That is why whenever LTTE gets an upper hand in Sri
Lanka, many refugees are fleeing
to Tamil Nadu.
India can't turn away from the Lankan problem:
'Parties have no concern for tamils in Lanka'
India Abroad, May 13.
t is not true that the Sri Lankan army is engaged in fighting the Tamils.
The clash in Sri
Lanka is between the army and the LTTE, not an attack on
Tamils. Here slogans are
being raised: "Attacking the LTTE is the same as
attacking the Tamils''. But that is not
If their concern is really for the Sri Lankan Tamils, why
haven't they condemned the murder of Tamil leaders
like Amrithalingam, Padmanaba and leaders belonging
to various Tamil groups by the LTTE?
Navy conducts limited exercises
Hindustan Times, May 12.
THE EASTERN Fleet of the Indian Navy has conducted limited
exercises involving a Kashin-class destroyer, Khukri-class
off-shore patrol vessels and the integral air element off the
It is understood that the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have chalked
out contingency plans keeping in view the intensified campaign
Sri Lankan forces against the LTTE in Jaffna.
Air raids on Tiger positions intensified
Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 12.
Government spokesman Ariya Rubasinghe today dismissed LTTE
claims that the rebels overran two military bases at
Tanankilappu yesterday and were closing in on Jaffna City Centre.
Fighting in the Ariyalai sector has left two officers and seven
killed and 86 wounded.
Sri Lankan troops dent
MSNBC, May 12.
Sri Lanka said on
Friday that its troops had dented the
Tamil Tiger rebels' offensive on the
battle-scarred Jaffna peninsula, cutting off
their main supply route from the island
In a joint operation security forces had
destroyed the jetty at Sangupiddy, which links a spur from
the mainland to the peninsula across the Jaffna lagoon.
It said they had also destroyed a rebel communication
centre in Pooneryn, which lies at the base of the spur.
India extends ban on LTTE
Times of India, May 12.
The ban, imposed in the aftermath of
assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi, was to expire on May 14. Sources
said the ban was extended on the basis of
documents that suggested that the concept of
Eelam, a separate homeland for Tamils,
could become a threat to India too.
DMK for separate homeland for Lankan Tamils
Times of India, May 12.
DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister M. Karunanidhi told the Legislative
Assembly: ``It will be a welcome situation if
Tamil Eelam is formed either through talks or
through a war in Sri Lanka.''
Air Chief meets Jaswant
Indian Express: May 12.
Though, Air Marshal Tipnis was tightlipped, he is likely to
brief the leadership here of the security situtation in Sri Lanka,
fallout of the present fighting in Jaffna and views of Sri
Lankan leaders on outside mediation to resolve the Tamil
To the rescue of Lanka, how much, how far?
Indian Express, May 12.
"Given the 80s experience of the Indian Peace keeping forces
(IPKF), we can't send our forces...But I can't understand
why we can't render military assistance to Sri Lanka, whose
territorial integrity is threatened by an extremist, sectarian and
secessionist organisation, which is banned in India," says Prof
S D Muni, of the School of International studies at Jawaharlal
Nehru University here.
Conditions grim as Sri Lanka war
MSNBC, May 12.
Living conditions in
the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna
have deteriorated rapidly since Tamil
Tiger rebels pushed closer in their
offensive against government troops, an
aid agency said on Friday.
all but a few patients had been discharged
from the city hospital -- which has about 1,000 beds --
because an army camp was nearby, and there was a
shortage of medical supplies such as antibiotics and
Opposition leader says S.Lanka
faces biggest crisis
MSNBC, May 12.
The leader of Sri
Lanka's main opposition party said on
Friday the country faces its greatest crisis
because of the fighting in the country's
north and urged the government to look
after the troops and civilians there.
''There are over 40,000 armed forces and police
personnel stationed in the peninsula. Their families are
concerned not only about their safety but also their welfare
and transportation to and from Jaffna ... It should be our
concern as well.
The Tamil Tigers
The Economist, May 13.
The rumble of a
country about to break up would rock not
just Colombo but also Delhi, India's
It may not come to that. The Sri Lankan
army could pull itself together. The
Tigers' leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran,
will no doubt be tempted to declare
independence if he takes Jaffna, but he
may think better of it.
Sri Lanka: Victories for the Tigers
The Economist, May 9.
The stunning military defeats suffered by the Sri Lankan army in recent
weeks at the hands of Tamil Tiger separatists have pushed this once
ignored civil war back on to the front pages of the world's
newspapers. The spectacle of a supposedly modern, national army on the run
small -- if well-armed -- guerrilla force has exposed a Sri
Lankan military that is ill-prepared and a government that has been
Modern weapons to reach Jaffna in few
Indian Express, May 12.
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga
has exhorted country's army to fight hard to save the Jaffna
Peninsula from LTTE, assuring that the most modern
weapons, equipment and technology to "silence" rebels' guns
will reach Jaffna in a few weeks' time, reports PTI.
Urging the embattled soldiers to fight hard to defend the
Northern Peninsula, Chandrika, who is also the commander
in chief of the armed forces, described the ongoing battle for
the control of Jaffna as the most "Decisive Movement" in the
history of the ethnic conflict.
Sri Lanka Troops Hang on to Jaffna
Yahoo-Reuters, Friday May 12 9:09 AM ET.
State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation said in a
news bulletin monitored in Colombo that Sri Lankan air force
jets had destroyed a rebel communication center in Pooneryn,
which lies across a lagoon south of the Jaffna peninsula.
The leader of the main opposition party branded the intensifying war as the
island nation's ``greatest crisis'' since independence in 1948 and urged the
government to protect the 500,000 civilians on the battle-scarred peninsula.
Jaffna: the pride, prestige and prejudice
There is no great economic or geographic significance in
Jaffna, but psychologically it is the centre of Eelam, Tamil
intellectuals here say, adding that the loss of Jaffna in 1995
was a serious blow to the rebels. The guerrillas have now
vowed to make amends and retake the region.
Energy Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte vowed in parliament
Tuesday that soldiers would defend Jaffna to the last man and
would also mount a fresh offensive to retake the Elephant
Pass base located at the entrance to the peninsula. "We will
fight to the last man and defend Jaffna," said Ratwatte who is
also the junior defence minister.
Battle for Jaffna intensifies in Sri Lanka
Friday, May 12 (Colombo):.
The Sri Lankan government spokesman and chief censor, Mr. Ariya Rubasinghe,
said in a
statement, "Terrorists in strength attacked the newly
constructed defences in Ariyalai and
directed a heavy volume of mortar fire on the troops.
Due to this attack, troops had to readjust
their defences temporarily."
Mr. Rubasinghe also said that the army had launched a
counter-attack causing heavy
casualties among the rebels. The government has cut off
telephone services in Jaffna to
prevent supporters of the LTTE from giving them
Tipnis concludes visit to Sri Lanka
The Hindu, 18.00 hrs (IST) on May 12, 2000.
Briefing Colombo-based Indian reporters last night about his
visit to Sri Lanka, Tipnis reiterated that his visit to Sri Lanka
was a routine one and denied speculation that his stay had
anything to do with the fighting between the Sri Lankan Army
and the LTTE.
Govt. denies report of LTTE advance
18.00 hrs (IST) on May 12, 2000.
Reports of rebel advance towards
the Jaffna City Centre has been denied by the Government,
which has been forced to readjust its defences temporarily in
Ariyalai sector after heavy fighting.
Tamil Rebels Close on Jaffna
Friday May 12 4:53 AM ET.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels
warned civilians today to flee the northern city of Jaffna,
where their fighters advanced to the edge of their former
capital and the government retreated from its latest
Jaffna's fall to Tamil rebels will destabilize
CBS-UPI, May 11, 2000 20:02.
The formidable Tamil Tigers
guerrillas looked set Thursday to inflict a catastrophic military defeat on
the Sri Lankan government by capturing the key stronghold of Jaffna
peninsula. If they succeed, the entire island nation will be dangerously
destabilized and the political shock waves look certain to be felt
throughout South Asia.
Sri Lanka troops "re-adjusted" defence lines in Ariyali
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo,
1440 Sri Lanka Time 12.05.00.
Sri Lanka troops have "re-adjusted" their defence lines in Ariyali after
fierce five hour gun battle. A media communique issued by the Special Media
Information Unit said that the rebels attacked the newly constructed
defences in Ariyali around 1.30 pm yesterday. " Terrorists directed a heavy
volume of mortar fire on the troops. Due to this attack troops had to
re-adjust their defences temporarily towards Colombuthurai East" the
communique said. It said that subsequently troops launched a counter attack
causing many casualties among the rebels. The rebels have also launched a
simultaneous attack on Tanakillapu sector. " troops supported by MI-24
helicopter gunships and artillery fought back causing casualties among
terrorists" the communique said.
Two officers and seven soldiers have been killed and 86 injured in the
fighting. The communique said rebels have suffered heavy casualties but
gave no details
Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka say advance units are
Australian Broadcasting Corp, May 12.
Tamil Tiger forces are only a few kilometres from Jaffna
town, the government says it's not under siege and has
halted what the rebels called, a lightning offensive.
Adding to the exchange of claim and counter-claim, the
defence ministry's released a video showing life on
Jaffna's streets continuing as normal. Other reports say
tensions are rising in the town.
Sri Lanka: The Hidden War
ChanelOne.com, May 11, 2000.
In the beautiful tropical island nation
of Sri Lanka, off the southern tip of
India, thousands of people are dying
in a vicious civil war -- many of them
teens. At first glance, Sri Lanka looks
like an island paradise. But a
long-running ethnic war -- like the
ones that have torn apart Chechnya,
Bosnia and Kosovo -- is taking place
in the northern and eastern parts of
the country. And the foot soldiers in
this war are young boys and girls,
ready and willing to die at any
Fighting nears Jaffna
BBC, Thursday, 11 May, 2000, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK.
With the battle for Jaffna in northern
Sri Lanka intensifying, the
International Committee of the Red
Cross has called on both sides to
Civilians have been moving into
Jaffna town from outlying areas to
escape the fighting and movement in
the city is restricted, including access
to the local hospital.
A peace that neither side in
The Times of India, May 12.
The Tigers realise that before serious
negotiations begin they need to prove their
military superiority. ``The LTTE knows they
can get concessions from Colombo only
when they talk from a position of strength,'' a
source close to the Tigers said. For President
Kumaratunga it is equally important to do the
same.``A country cannot make peace on
bended knees,'' a senior Lankan official said,
echoing the general consensus in government
LTTE positions pummelled
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 11.
SRI LANKAN troops
Tamil rebel positions
today as fighting near the
town of Jaffna killed at
least 131 people on both
sides, the government
Israeli jets for Sri Lanka
The Hindu, Friday, May 12, 2000.
While the LTTE continues its ``all-out''
offensive on Jaffna, Sri Lanka has acquired new fighter jets from Israel
and is awaiting a shipload of arms from Pakistan, highly placed
Government sources here said.
Sources pointed out that seven Israeli Kfir fighter jets had already
arrived in Sri Lanka. Besides, Israel has also landed 24 containers of
arms and equipment in Colombo.
Solheim meets Indian Minister
The Hindu, 20.00 hrs (IST) on May 11, 2000.
reiterating offer to mediate between the
Sri Lankan Government and LTTE if
approached, India today said there is
general appreciation that any solution to
the ethnic crisis would require New
Lankan Tamils get ready to
flee war zone
Times of India, 12 May 2000.
Rameshwaram and other
coastal towns bordering Tamil Nadu may
soon become home to many of the 500,000
Tamilians settled in Jaffna.
Sources said the constant booming of
artillery and mortar within a five km range
around Chundukulai, Pasaiyur and Ariyali
had sent panic signals among the local
people, who were now getting ready to sail
Sri Lanka seeks foreign mediation to bring Tigers to the table
AFP-Yahoo, Thursday, May 11 8:28 PM SGT.
Sri Lanka Thursday said it was ready to accept foreign help to end the
Tamil separatist war as parliament was
told the country's sovereignty was threatened by the ongoing heavy fighting.
Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the government of President
Chandrika Kumaratunga was
prepared to consider help, including from neighbouring India, but there was
no formal offer.
"If any country is willing to mediate to bring the LTTE (Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam) to the negotiating
table, we welcome it," Kiriella told parliament.
UNP legislator Karunasena Kodituwakku said the country had reached a
decisive stage with Tamil Tiger
guerrillas increasing pressure on government troops in the northern
peninsula of Jaffna.
"We are at a critical stage when the country's sovereignty and territorial
integrity is challenged," Kodituwakku
said adding in parliament that the government must seek a peaceful end to
the conflict without further
Tamil rebels give ultimatum to
HongKong Standard, May 11.
TAMIL Tiger rebels making fierce assaults on Sri
Lankan forces as they close in on the northern city of
Jaffna warned the soldiers yesterday to surrender or
``Sri Lankan soldiers, you are occupying our land,'' the
Voice of Tigers radio said in a broadcast in Sinhala, the
language of Sri Lanka's majority ethnic group and most of
the country's soldiers.
Sri Lankan Rebels Storm Into Jaffna Town
Thursday May 11 3:12 PM ET.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels closed in on
the heart of their former stronghold of Jaffna town on Thursday
after a lightning strike against government troops, the
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said in a statement
from their office in London that they were only half a mile
administrative center of the city, hub of the battle-scarred
Indian role in Lanka vital--Norway
Times of India, May 11.
Eric Solheim, on Thursday held discussions with external
affairs minister Jaswant Singh on the situation in the island and
later said no solution to the ethnic conflict was possible without
India's "positive role".
"In no way can the problem be solved without India playing a positive
role," he told reporters after the meeting but parried queries on what
specific role New Delhi should play to end the crisis in Jaffna.
Solheim, who has been trying to facilitate a dialogue between Sri
Lankan government and LTTE, was here on a day's visit to discuss with
India the situation arising out of the ethnic conflict. He also held a
meeting with foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh.
BBC Sinhala & Tamil service suspended
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Thursday May 11.
The Government today suspended its contract with the BBC's Sinhala
Sandeshaya Service and its Tamil News Service which is broadcast over the
Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. The Government also detailed that under
Section 14 of the present Emergency Regulations all night radio and TV
broadcasts are to be suspended with immediate effect.
The government Information Department further stated today that all
computer, audio and visual reports being sent abroad are to be first
presented to the Government Competent Authority for censorship before such
reports are sent out of the country. The State further ordered that all TV
programs including chat shows which fall under regulations of the present
emergency are to be sent to the Competent Authority before being telecast.
India rules out policy change
if Jaffna falls
Times of India, May 11.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee on Thursday ruled out any change in
India's policy in the event of fall of Jaffna to
LTTE, which has launched an all out offensive
against Sri Lankan troops to wrest control of
the northern Sri Lankan peninsula.
"If Jaffna falls to LTTE it will not be the first
time (such a development would take place),"
Vajpayee said in an informal chat with
Tigers say they are about to
The Times of India, Thursday 11 May 2000.
Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday said
they were ready for a final assault on Jaffna after
seizing a vital bridge five km (three miles)
outside the city, but the government said its
soldiers fought back repeated rebel attempts to
capture the bridge.
The rebels said they were now "posing a
serious threat to government troops occupying
However, government spokesman Ariya
Rubasinghe said in a statement received in New
Delhi, "Troops in strength continue to hold the
bridge at Navatkuli. Troops have repulsed many
attempts of the terrorists to get closer to the
Many takers for Indian peace bid
Asia Times, May 11, 2000.
A section of political observers agreed that New Delhi's
offer, made Monday, had opened a ''window'' of
opportunity for ending the bloody conflict in northern Sri
Lanka that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1983.
''There is a window of hope. The situation is not bad after
all,'' noted one of them, adding that the offer was likely to
get broad support. ''This is a very good offer and we
support it,'' said member of parliament Joseph
Pararajasingham of the moderate Tamil United Liberation
Sri Lanka volunteers outgunned
in rebel onslaught
Electronic Telegraph, May 11.
When senior officers and politicians visit the wounded
soldiers, they sing in chorus "we will take back
Pass". When alone, some have a different story to
speak of ammunition shortages, lack of air
support and most
of the army's heavy armour being rendered useless
shortage of batteries and parts.
Norwegian Envoy Talks Sri Lanka Peace in India
AFP-Yahoo, Thursday May 11 4:50 AM ET.
A Norwegian envoy, hoping to help broker a peace deal for war-torn Sri Lanka,
arrived in New Delhi on Thursday and said his country would assist in
finding a solution to the conflict.
Domestic news agencies quoted Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as
reiterating that India could intervene only if both
the Sri Lankan government and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) pressed for it.
Vajpayee ruled out any change in the Indian
government's policy if Jaffna town fell to
Sri Lanka fighting near Jaffna kills 104
AFP-Yahoo, Thursday, May 11 3:59 PM SGT.
Israeli-built Kfir jets were bombing bunkers of the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam at Ariyalai, Thanankilappu
and Pooneryn from dawn Thursday, the government said in a statement.
"The pilots confirm that the terrorists bunker line at Ariyalai was
completely destroyed," the statement said.
Ariyalai is located just five kilometres away from the strategically
important Jaffna town.
12 billion needed to bridge government's war effort
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.40 p.m. SLT Thursday May 11.
Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister for Justice & Constitutional Affairs today
told parliament that an additional Rs. 12 billion is required to bridge the
government's defence deficit. Rs. 6 billion will be taken from monies
allocated for various development projects which are not "top priority"
while 2.5 billion will be gathered from the government having increased
taxes on cigarettes and liquor. This week the price of a cigarette went up
by .50 cents each and a bottle of liquor by Rs. 10/=. The government will
further raise its defence levy by 1 percent. Prof. Peiris said that the
Goods & Services Tax (GST) on all food and other essential items will not
be raised. Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, MP for the United National Party
addressing the Minister in parliament said that while he agrees certain
measures have to be adopted in order to meet the present military
expenditure "the people should not be taxed as a result," he said.
India receives hijack threat as crisis in Sri Lanka escalates
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.30 p.m. SLT Thursday May 11.
The Aviation Commodore at India's southern based airport in Trichy today
received a letter from an organization calling itself the Tamil Nadu
Liberation Front threatening to hijack a plane travelling from Trichy to
Colombo. The letter stated that the hijack would be carried out if India
continued with lending Sri Lanka assistance to resolve its bloody war.
Security has been beefed up as a result at Trichy airport and all
passengers are being heavily scrutinized.
Foreign arms aid for Lankan Troops
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Thursday May 11.
Indian news reports today claim that Lankan troops fighting Tiger rebels in
the Islands northern peninsula are now being boosted by a fresh supply of
arms sent from Pakistan, Israel, and South Africa. In view of the fresh
arms supply, reports suggest, that it will not be possible for the rebels
to gain ground. Soldiers suffered heavy setbacks recently after facing
fierce onslaughts by the LTTE and lost a large number of armaments to Tiger
rebels who overran key base camps of the Sri Lanka Army.
In addition to the renewed supply of arms, It is believed that troop morale
will be strengthened by the fact that Indian naval vessels are reported to
be keeping a discreet surveillance on Sri Lanka's northern coastline.
LTTE press release claims to advance towards Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.45 a.m. SLT Thursday May 11.
An LTTE press release issued late last night claimed that the Tigers in a
meticulously planned offensive operation captured vital strategic locations
in the proximity of the Jaffna town Wednesday.
The LTTE statement says, "In a multi-pronged offensive thrust the Tamil
Tiger commando units stormed into the Sri Lankan army’s defence positions
in the early hours of the morning at Navatkuli, Ariyalai and Thanankillapu
villages in the outskirts of the Jaffna town inflicting heavy
casualties on the enemy forces. A two-kilometre stretch of A9 highway
(Kandy Road) inclusive of the strategically important Navatkuli bridge has
come under the control of the LTTE fighters. At Thanankillappu, the LTTE
fighting units have advanced 2 kilometres interior and have launched a
massive assault on the main Sri Lankan military base at Kovilkandy
junction. At Ariyalai the advancing Tiger troops have occupied
Maniyanthoddan after chasing away a detachment of government troops
The government denies that the Tigers captured the Navatkuli bridge.
The Tigers further claim to have called upon the Tamil civilians residing
close to battle areas to move to safer areas and that the people are
The army meanwhile has moved in reinforcements and heavy fighting continues
to rage in this area.
An Information Department press release also issued late last night said
that "Around 3 a.m. on May 10, 2000 terrorists in large numbers launched a
major attack on the troops manning defences at Ariyalai and Thanankillapu
salients in Jaffna."
"Terrorists continue to fire a heavy volume of artillery and mortars.
Troops fought back effectively repulsing a number of human waves of the
attackers. Although there were a large number of casualties among the
attackers, LTTE human waves continued to assault without any respect for
the lives of junior LTTE cadres."
The Government statement maintains that ground troops are supported
effectively by the Sri Lanka Air force. The official release admits that
casualties are heavy on both sides as a result of the fighting.