Sri Lankan rebels target airport in drive to
CNN, May 18, 2000.
Artillery shells threatened the supply line for
government troops battling Tamil Tiger rebels for the northern Sri
Lankan city of
Jaffna on Wednesday, as the rebel troops bombarded Jaffna peninsula's
Published: Wed May 17 23:41:47 EDT 2000
Sri Lankan Rebels Say Overran Military
Yahoo, Wednesday May 17 9:31 PM ET.
The Tigers said in a statement released in London on
Wednesday night that their commandos had stormed
over defense lines at the Kaithadi military complex,
about three miles from the entrance to Jaffna city.The
LTTE statement also said more than 100 government soldiers had been
killed and several hundreds wounded in the 12-hour long attack on Kaithadi.
Published: Wed May 17 21:47:41 EDT 2000
Times of India.
Indian naval commandos keep vigil at the Forward Observation Post at Land's End
(Aritchalmunai) at the tip of the mainland.
Published: Wed May 17 20:45:14 EDT 2000
Kaithady military complex falls to LTTE, over 100
The Pioneer, May 17.
The LTTE today claimed to have killed over 100 Sri Lankan troops and
overrun the military complex at Kaithady, about five km away
entry point of Jaffna peninsula.
The LTTE said in a statement here that the strategically
garrison town with its heavily fortified military bases came
under its control
after fierce fighting which lasted 12 hours.
Published: Wed May 17 20:32:22 EDT 2000
Dancing with tigers
Mr. Martin and Ms. Minna think the dinner
commemorated the "Tamil New Year" and denied that
the dinner was a FACT fundraiser for the Tamil
Tigers, the terrorist organization that is
fighting for a
separate ethnic state in northern Sri Lanka.
Ms. Minna was nonchalant: "we can't judge if
one or two individuals who may be involved with
This insistence that FACT is a normal,
group dedicated to celebrating the culture and
achievements of Tamil-Canadians is alarming.
Published: Wed May 17 20:30:16 EDT 2000
Tamil Tigers' leader
poised for dramatic
Mysterious mastermind: Fought Sri
Lankan army to a standstill over the
past 15 years
It's said Mr. Prabhakaran used to immerse himself in
sacks of hot chilies to teach himself to
and that he has methodically purged his
of rivals, while ordering the arrest, torture and
execution of Tamils who even mildly criticize
him. By the time he was 19, Mr. Prabhakaran had gained
fame, power and prestige, by assassinating the
of Jaffna and plastering the Jaffna peninsula with
posters proudly proclaiming his personal
responsibility for the killing.
Published: Wed May 17 20:27:10 EDT 2000
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's
(LTTE) international organization
and operations - a preliminary
Peter Chalk, Canadian Security Intelligence Service,
March 17, 2000.
The ZDI incident graphically demonstrates the global reach of the LTTE,
widely recognized to be one of the
most proficient and dangerous guerrilla/terrorist groups in the world. In
large part, this reputation is owed to the
extremely sophisticated international network that has been built by the
organization to sustain its 26 year-long
struggle against the Colombo Government for the creation of an independent
state of Tamil Eelam.(4)
The purpose of this Commentary is to analyze the scope and dimension of
this transnational support
infrastructure. The document will offer insights into the modus operandi of
the LTTE international network, the
main personalities and front organizations behind it, and the various ways
in which it facilitates the LTTE guerilla
and terrorist campaign in north-eastern Sri Lanka.
Published: Wed May 17 20:14:54 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka protests
Martin, Minna speaking
at Tamil dinner
High commissioner asked to
National Post, May 11.
The government of Sri Lanka summoned Ruth
Archibald, Canada's high commissioner in Colombo,
to a meeting yesterday to protest the conduct
ministers, who spoke at the event in Toronto last
Saturday. The $60-a-plate banquet was
organized by the
Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils
(FACT), which was identified in a report by
State Department last week as a "front" for the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Published: Wed May 17 20:11:16 EDT 2000
Lanka to keep scribes off
House session on war
Times of India, May 18.
Journalists will be barred from
covering special Parliament sessions which will
be held every week to discuss the Tamil
separatist war in the north. Unable to censor parliamentary
government agreed to meet once a week to
discuss the war on the condition that even
clerks who take notes of the proceeding for
records are banned.
Published: Wed May 17 20:05:57 EDT 2000
Indian Dilemma - An editorial
Hindustan Times, In Sri Lanka, this time around, India faces a.
Psychologically, there is the memory of a prolonged and
military stalemate even after a politically acceptable accord
stitched up with the formal consent of all parties concerned.
the India-Sri Lanka Agreement (ISLA) of 1987 blew up on our face.
Published: Wed May 17 19:38:29 EDT 2000
Sri Lankan Tamils unhappy at
Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 17.
n Colombo, TULF MP Joseph Pararajasimgham, said perhaps Mr.
Karunanidhi had come under pressure from the Centre which had
expressly opposed the creation of a separate Eelam and had
extended the ban on the LTTE. But the Director of the Centre for
Policy Alternatives, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, felt that Mr.
Karunanidhi's statement could mean that Tamil Nadu's political
ground was being prepared for an Indian intervention in Sri
the situation was conducive to it."
Published: Wed May 17 19:34:24 EDT 2000
UNICEF chief deplores use of child
soldiers in Sri Lanka
Orientation, 17 May 2000 23:25 GMT.
he head of the UN Children's Fund hit out
Wednesday at the use of children as
"instruments of war" in conflict-plagued
Sri-Lanka.Despite a commitment by the rebels of the separatist Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) not to recruit
children under 17 years, the practice appeared to be continuing, the
Published: Wed May 17 19:28:29 EDT 2000
ground in Sri
Sri Lankan troops,
battling to keep control of the northern
Jaffna peninsula, lost some ground in
fierce attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels,
military officials said on Wednesday.THEY SAID by
Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
rebels pressed on with
attacks on army
troops back in several
places after launching
what the LTTE said was its "decisive battle" for
Jaffna on Monday.
Published: Wed May 17 19:22:05 EDT 2000
Health Crisis Exists in Sri Lanka
Yahoo, May 17.
The health situation of the civilian population in
war-torn northern Sri Lanka is under severe threat and has reached alarming
proportions, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Published: Wed May 17 19:18:10 EDT 2000
23 killed in Batticaloa temple
Times of India, May 17.
At least 23 people were killed and
over 70 injured in a suspected LTTE bomb
attack near a Buddhist temple in eastern
Batticaloa Wednesday even as fighting raged on
in Jaffna. The powerful blast ripped through a crowded
pandal where people were celebrating Vesak, a
Buddhist festival, officials said. The dead
included six children and three policemen.
Published: Wed May 17 17:38:56 EDT 2000
India has a key role in Sri Lanka, says Inderfurth
Hindu, May 17.
Laying out the administration's view of the current crisis in
Sri Lanka, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Mr. Karl F.
Inderfurth, made categorically clear in a conversation at his office
the United States would not at all entertain any notions such as that of the
LTTE of a separate state of Tamil Eelam. ``We would not, nor do we believe
that the international community would, recognise a unilateral assertion of
Published: Wed May 17 17:35:25 EDT 2000
Tigers zeroing in on Palaly airbase
Hindu, May 17.
In a combined show of firepower and urban
terror-bombing, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today stepped
up pressure on security forces in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.
While in the north the rebels trained their field guns at the Palaly air-base
around noon today, in the east, at least 17 persons were killed and 63
when a powerful explosion ripped the coastal Batticaloa town this evening.
Information reaching Colombo indicates that the Tigers are zeroing in on
Palaly, with three shells reportedly landing within close reach of the Army's
high-security zone. The airfield, however, remained out of the range of rebel
fire with the Government denying reports that the Palaly runway was hit.
movement is normal from Palaly,'' a senior Government officer said. ``No
damage has been caused to the airfield.''
Published: Wed May 17 17:32:55 EDT 2000
LAcNet launches 'The Lanka Academic'
Ceylon Daily News, May 17, Colombo.
Lanka Academic Network, a non-profit organization based
in the United States, and composed of a virtual community of
Sri Lankans has launched the first ever Internet-Sri Lankan
newspaper with 24 hour news updates. The Lanka Academic
is freely accessible to anyone with Internet facilities, and will
carry news reports updated instantaneously round the clock by
international and Sri Lankan reporters.
Published: Wed May 17 13:44:35 EDT 2000
Islamabad reaffirms support to Colombo
Dawn, May 17.
"The charter of the United Nations as well as the SAARC make it incumbent upon
all members (States) to respect the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of other
States" and added "interference in internal affairs is
Published: Wed May 17 13:25:06 EDT 2000
Daily Press Briefing
US State Dept., Tuesday, May 16, 2000.
QUESTION: How much interest is the US taking in solving the
bloody war in Sri Lanka and also if anybody from this
Department is in touch with the Sri Lanka Government?
Published: Wed May 17 13:19:39 EDT 2000
Curfew imposed in Batticaloa
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
The State today imposed an indefinite curfew at Batticaloa, in Sri Lanka's
East. The curfew came into effect soon after a bomb exploded in the heart
of Batticaloa's town area. The explosion took place around 5.45 p.m. this
evening. Sources are unable to say who is responsible for the bomb.
Published: Wed May 17 12:11:13 EDT 2000
17 killed, 63 injured in bomb explosion in Sri Lanka's East
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.25 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
Seventeen people including children were killed when a bomb exploded close
to the Batticaloa police station this evening. A crowd had gathered at the
spot to view a vesak pandal at the temple nearby when the explosion
occured. Sixty three other persons are reported injured including nearly
two dozen security personnel. The Chief of the Batticaloa police station
is also reported killed. The bomb is believed to have been fixed to a
Published: Wed May 17 11:35:11 EDT 2000
Buddhist holiday blast kills 23, Sri Lanka resists Jaffna
Yahoo, Wednesday, May 17 10:39 PM SGT.
Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a Buddhist feast in eastern Sri Lanka Wednesday,
killing 23 and wounding 75
people as security forces resisted a rebel advance in the island's north,
the government said.
The blast occurred near a Buddhist temple in the town of Batticaloa where
people were witnessing an
illuminated coloured structure to mark the Buddhist feast of Wesak which is
the most important Buddhist
holiday, officials said.
International aid officiasl who rushed to the main hospital in Batticaloa,
300 kilometres (187 miles) east
of here, said 15 people had died on the spot and among them were five
children below the age of eight
Published: Wed May 17 11:26:28 EDT 2000
Bombing at Buddhist celebration kills 14 in Sri Lanka
Yahoo, Wednesday, May 17 9:26 PM SGT.
The blast occurred near a Buddhist temple in the town of Batticaloa where
people were witnessing a
coloured structure to mark the Buddhist feast of Wesak which is the most
important Buddhist holiday,
officials said.Police said they suspected that the powerful bomb may have
been planted inside the portable freezer of
an ice cream vendor in the town of Batticaloa, 300 kilometrs (187 miles)
east of the capital Colombo.
Published: Wed May 17 11:22:30 EDT 2000
Bomb explodes at Batticaloa
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
A bomb exploded in the heart of Sri Lanka's Eastern city Batticaloa, at
5.45 p.m. this evening. The explosion took place close to the Batticaloa
police station. It is believed that children were among 6 soldiers killed
in the blast. Exact casualty figures are not yet known. Sources said that
shooting too was heard after the explosion.
Published: Wed May 17 11:18:42 EDT 2000
Chandrika discusses autonomy proposals
Hindu, May 17.
Amid heavy fighting in northern
Jaffna, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and
leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe held talks to
reach a consensus on providing constitutional guarantees to
autonomy proposals to be submitted to the LTTE at a later
Published: Wed May 17 11:17:08 EDT 2000
Bomb blast in Sri
At least 17 people have been killed in a bomb
explosion in eastern Sri Lanka.
Details are still coming in, but officials say the
bomb went off during a Buddhist religious
celebration in the eastern town of Batticaloa.
A senior police officer was reported to be
among those killed.
It is not known who carried out the attack,
although previous such attacks have been
blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels.
Published: Wed May 17 10:52:42 EDT 2000
Jaffna civilians run the gauntlet of Tigers and troops
Yahoo, May 17.
The nearly half a million Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka run the
gauntlet of government troops and
Tamil Tiger rebels battling for control of the key town of Jaffna,
according to aid officials.
People queued outside shops to stock up on food supplies Tuesday during a
brief break in the curfew in
Jaffna, where thousands of government soldiers are resisting a fresh
offensive by the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The government insists that no food or medicine shortages exist in the
peninsula but aid workers say
prolonged fighting could disrupt the distribution system and cause serious
shortages for the civilians.
"Residents can hear firing and at the same time there is no exodus of
people from the area," said an aid
official who is in radio contact with staff in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250
miles) north of the capital
Published: Wed May 17 10:46:51 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka says Tiger drive on Jaffna stalled with air, sea attacks
Sri Lankan aircraft and tanks beat back waves of Tamil rebel assaults by
killing at least 39 Tiger
guerrillas who tried to breach army defences near the town of Jaffna, the
government said Wednesday.
Troops backed by aircraft and artillery guns pounded formations of the
separatist Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Columbuthurai and Kaithady overnight, the government
said in a statement.
"Troops manning defences observed over 30 terrorist dead bodies ahead of
the defences," the statement
said adding that another nine rebels were killed when troops smashed a
rebel bunker near Navatkuli.
Published: Wed May 17 10:44:12 EDT 2000
Terror on Sri Lankan
The victims lay buried
in the soil. They were
farming folk. And the
same tools they lived
by were used to
The survivors are
traumatised. They are
from the majority
ethnic group in Sri
Lanka, the Sinhalese,
but found themselves
on land claimed by the Tamil guerrillas and
have now paid the price.
Tee Manike lost three of her four children.
"They were cut up," she said, "and the men
who did this must be destroyed."
Published: Wed May 17 10:38:24 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka seeks K P S Gill's services
Hindu, May 17.
Haunted by the LTTE onslaught on
Jaffna, the Sri Lankan Government has invited former Punjab
police chief K P S Gill to advise it on anti-terrorist measures,
particularly in Colombo.
While the super-cop, credited with crushing terrorism in
Punjab, declined to divulge the exact nature of the new
assignment, Colombo is believed to have sought his assistance
in strengthening security measures for VVIPs in Colombo,
where the LTTE had successfully carried out several
assassinations and suicide attacks in the past.
Published: Wed May 17 10:22:43 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka repulses several LTTE attacks
A day after Tamil Tiger rebels launched a fresh offensive near Jaffna,
the Sri Lankan army is claiming that
it has effectively repulsed several
LTTE attacks. The army says it managed
to push back the rebels with
the help of artillery fire, helicopter
gunships and Israel-made fighter
Published: Wed May 17 10:15:37 EDT 2000
Sri Lankan troops face fresh
pressure in Jaffna
MSNBC, May 17.
Sri Lankan troops,
battling to keep control of the northern
Jaffna peninsula, were staving off fierce
attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels on
Wednesday. The rebels said on Tuesday they had overrun military
positions at Navatkuli and Thatchantoppu, just east of
Jaffna city, and were advancing north to Kaithadi after
launching a huge artillery and mortar bomb attack on the
army base there.
The government, meanwhile, accused the LTTE of
shelling heavily populated areas in a bid to push out the
city's 100,000 civilians.
Published: Wed May 17 10:08:38 EDT 2000
Artillery shells fall on main Sri
Lankan military airport in Jaffna
rebels fired artillery at the Sri Lankan
military's only airport in embattled Jaffna
today, threatening the supply line for
government troops in the peninsula,
Meanwhile, authorities blamed the
rebels for an explosion today that killed
17 in an eastern Sri Lanka town. The shells were from a 122
mm artillery gun, which
can hit targets within a range of 10 miles, military officials
reached by telephone said.
Published: Wed May 17 10:06:46 EDT 2000
Tamil rebel attack
BBC, Wednesday, 17 May, 2000, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK.
successfully repulsed an attack by Tamil Tiger
rebels just east of Jaffna Town.
At least 39 rebels were said to have been
killed in their latest attempt to capture their
former stronghold in the north.
There are no independent confirmations of
the report as journalists are banned from the
The BBC's Susannah Price says that
although Tigers said last week they would
launch their final assault on Jaffna, they have
so far failed to make any significant impact
inside the town.
Published: Wed May 17 10:00:25 EDT 2000
Tamil conflict at India's doorstep
t's been called India's Vietnam. And as Sri Lanka's civil war
continues to escalate off India's southern coast, the 17-year
conflict threatens to draw in its larger neighbor once again.
For the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Elam (LTTE), the tiny
Jaffna Peninsula at the tip of the teardrop-shaped island
symbolizes the collective desire for an ethnic homeland. The
mainly Hindu Tamils say they are fighting discrimination by the
majority Buddhist Sinhalese. United since British colonial rule,
tensions between them increased after independence in 1948.
Published: Wed May 17 09:53:17 EDT 2000
Rebels Attack Sri Lanka Airport
Tamil Tiger rebels fired three
artillery shells at the Sri Lankan military's only
airport in Jaffna
today, threatening the supply line for government troops
peninsula, military officials said.
The shells exploded at the Palali airport, the main ammunition and petroleum
storage facility in the peninsula.
The shells were from a 122 mm artillery gun, which can hit targets within
a range of
10 miles, military officials reached by telephone said.
There was no immediate report on casualties or damage.
Published: Wed May 17 09:51:27 EDT 2000
President vows peace in her Vesak Day message
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.30 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge in her message to the nation
to commemorate Vesak said she would abide by Buddhist principals to bring
about a peaceful resolution to the ethnic conflict. She further lauded a
United Nations gesture to recognise Vesak internationally as a day of
religious significance. The President's message was made in the wake of
fresh fighting between Lankan troops and the LTTE that began yesterday and
continued to rage at Jaffna's coastal belt in Sri Lanka's North.
Published: Wed May 17 03:20:19 EDT 2000
Heavy fighting in outskirts of Jaffna's municipal city
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.50 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
The Tigers in a press release issued yesterday claimed that the battle for
Jaffna resumed with great intensity as heavily armed combat formations of
the rebels opened up two frontal offensive assault last night in the
coastal belt of Jaffna city and in the Chavakachcheri sector.
The LTTE statement said, "The advancing LTTE forces engaged the Sri Lankan
troops in a bloody battle at Pasaiyur and Kurunagar in the municipal
outskirts of the city. The Tiger combat units have smashed through the
defence lines of the government troops causing heavy casualties to the
enemy. Heavy fighting is still raging in that sector."
The Tigers further claim to have overrun military positions at Navatkuli
and Thatchanthoppu in the Chavakachcheri sector last night.
The LTTE says that it has also since 5 p.m. last evening launched an attack
on the main military base situated at Kaithady junction.
The operation code-named 'Unceasing Waves 3' resumed around 5p.m yesterday
after a respite of three days.
Brigadier Palitha Fernando, military spokesman denied tha the LTTE have
gained ground in the north. He said there have been "general attacks
launched on defense positions at Kaithday last evening," but asserted that
there is no main military base at Kaithady junction as claimed by the rebels.
Brigadier Fernando added the Tigers have not advanced beyond Colombothuria
East, a position the rebels secured last week.
Published: Wed May 17 03:20:19 EDT 2000
Foreign Minister warns UN
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
Lakshman Kadirgamar, Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday warned that any
action by the United Nations to set up refugee camps to protect Tamils in
case of a backlash in Colombo would be unforgivable.
The Minister added, "We will not tolerate it. Not only would it be
interference, it would be needlessly alarmist and unforgivable."
The Minister however reiterated that the UN had not consulted the foreign
ministry about such a proposal.
Speculation has been rife that in the event Jaffna were to fall to the
rebels it is possible a fall out of the situation will be witnessed in Sri
The Minister further countered a statement issued by the European Union
yesterday which called on the government to lift restrictions on the media,
initiate a cessation of hostilities and to ensure the protection of the
civilian population in conflict zones, in particular the Jaffna area.
Kadirgamar responding said "the EU comes out with these declarations from
time to time. The language is usually a little quaint, but strongly
objectionable. For instance, there is suddenly a reference to
'commonwealth'. I don't know if the EU is firmly grounded on the soil."
Published: Wed May 17 03:20:19 EDT 2000
Hundreds of Lankan Tamils waiting to cross to India
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 17.
Hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils are reported to be stranded at Talaimannar in
the country's war torn north, waiting to cross the Palk Strait to India.
The refugees are however prevented from doing so by Indian naval ships
maintaining a strict surveillance between Sri Lankan and Indian territorial
waters. It is reported that desperate civilians trying to escape the fire
of Lankan troops and the LTTE have paid upto Rs. 15,000/- per boat and are
begging to be allowed passage to India's southern coast.
Published: Wed May 17 03:20:19 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka's Tamils trapped between
law and war
Trapped between a brutal guerrilla group, tough
anti-terrorism laws and a threat of communal violence,
minority Tamils in Sri Lanka are battling apprehension.
''Tension, anxiety, fear...would best characterise the
mood in the Tamil community at the moment,'' Pakiasothy
Saravanmuttu, himself a Tamil and head of the Colombo
based think-tank Centre for Policy Alternatives, told
Lingam summed up his people's dilemma perfectly.
''We are trapped by this war'' he said. ''When we live
in LTTE controlled areas we do what the LTTE wants.
And when we come to government-controlled areas we do
what the government wants.''
Citing National Crisis, Sri Lanka
Blanks Out Freedom of the Press
May 17 Paris.
Mrs. Kumaratunga ordered the censorship measures -
unequaled in Sri Lanka's half-century of parliamentary
democracy except for a brief exception in 1998 - on May
3 after separatist Tamil rebels captured a major northern
army base in a stunning setback for the military.Some
papers have found creative ways to challenge the
ban and attack the rules as politically motivated. The
Sunday Leader last week submitted two nearly identical,
fictitious articles to Mr. Rubasinghe criticizing the war
effort. The first one, blaming the opposition party, was
allowed. The second, blaming Mrs. Kumaratunga, was
intervene in Sri
Lanka - An editorial
terrorism, India cannot
afford to be seen to be
weak against the LTTE.
The LTTE is rightly a
banned organisation in
India, in keeping with
our own campaign, we
have to ensure it is
eliminated if it persists
in its violent activities.
Here, we can take a leaf
from the Israel book —
for that country,
terrorism anywhere as a
threat to be crushed; if
India wishes to be seen
as a major voice in the
global fight against this
menace, it must stand up
and be counted
Chandrika firm on new devolution package
Hindustan Times, May 16.
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga told the all-party
conference here on Monday that she was determined to table in
Parliament by August the new Constitution embodying devolution of
power to the provinces. A Tamil leader told The Hindustan Times
after the meeting
that a former Presidential candidate, Mr Harishchandra, and the
leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Mr Dinesh Gunawardene,
drew flak from the Tamil representatives when they described the
LTTE as "Tamil terrorists" who should be crushed. A TULF leader
said that even the
LTTE could not be dubbed as terrorists because, rightly
the Tamils believed that it was because of the LTTE that the
government was talking about a settlement of the Tamil question.
Why DMK had to distance itself from LTTE
Chennai, May 16.
THE MDMK and the PMK now stand completely isolated within the
NDA following Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi's categorical
remarks that he would not prefer the LTTE to preside over a Tamil
Eelam since it was not the ideal representative of Sri Lankan
By coming out openly in the state Assembly that the DMK had always
kept its distance from the LTTE and viewed it with trepidation
its penchant to bump of fellow Tamil leaders, Mr. Krunanidhi has
made his strongest statement against the Tigers.
India, Lanka try to talk through crisis
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, May 16.
t seems as if the two countries have embarked upon a novel
diplomatic course: talking through media interviews and
statements. On May 9, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New
Delhi, Mr Mangala Moonasinghe, reacted in an interview to Star TV
on Mr Singh's public offer on mediation. But he did not say
about a direct offer through normal diplomatic channels.
'India and Lanka discussing joint naval
Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 16.
Sri Lanka and India are discussing the possibility of jointly patrolling
the seas around north and east Sri Lanka to prevent the LTTE from
bringing arms by sea, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman
Kadirgamar said here today. The Lankan Foreign minister said
that he would "outrightly reject" the
theory that India and the LTTE were in cahoots and that New Delhi
had told the Tigers that they could take the Jaffna peninsula,
the Palaly air base, whose capture would threaten India's shores.
Sri Lanka admits to receiving direct foreign
NDTV, May 16.
The Sri Lankan government has for the first time
admitted that it is receiving direct
assistance on the battlefront. Sri
Minister Laxman Kadirgamar today
Israeli military trainers and
supporting troops on the front
line to fight the LTTE.
Fears grow for
BBC, Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK.
Aid agencies in Sri Lanka say more
civilians are leaving the northern
town of Jaffna because of heavy
fighting between Sri Lankan
government troops and Tamil Tiger
rebels.The medical group
said in a
attacks in the
Jaffna area had
Start dialogue, E.U. tells Colombo, LTTE
Hindu, May 16.
In the first substantive international reaction to
the current crisis in Sri Lanka, the European Union has called on
Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to stop fighting and
start talking. The Government is carefully scrutinising the European
position on Sri
Lanka, but is unlikely to associate itself with the statement issued by
the E.U. presidency last night in Brussels.
Some Tigers may have sneaked into Jaffna
Hindu, May 16.
Despite stiff resistance by Government troops,
some cadres of the LTTE may have slipped into Jaffna town, further
restricting Colombo's military options.
According to highly-placed Government sources, some Tigers have
breached the Sri Lankan defence line in a few places around Jaffna in
the last couple of days, and could be present in small numbers inside
the town. Consequently, the presence of the LTTE in populated areas is
negatively affecting Sri Lanka's military options.
Fighting spreads to east of Jaffna
Hindu, May 16.
Breaking a ``somewhat steady'' situation which
prevailed on the northern military front for the past few days, the LTTE
today stepped up its offensive on the east of Jaffna in which at least 40
LTTE militants and six Sri Lankan soldiers were reportedly killed.
Strongly disagreeing with a questioner on whether India had prevailed
upon the Tigers to contain their Jaffna offensive, Mr. Kadirgamar said,
``I reject absolutely and totally that the Indian Government has anything
to do with the LTTE behind our back.'' The Minister also said, ``We
are totally convinced'' that India does not want a separate state in the
North and East of Sri Lanka.
TALKS OFFER GREETS TIGER
Sri Lanka observers in New Delhi said the
attack signalled a shift in the Tigers' strategy.
Instead of pushing forward further from near
Colombuthurai east on the outskirts of Jaffna,
as was on the cards for some time, the rebels
had unleashed an offensive on the
Tanankillappu sector by firing from Pooneryn
north, southeast of the city across the lagoon.
Pakistan voices sympathy for Sri
MSNBC, May 16.
Pakistan on Tuesday
voiced sympathy for Sri Lanka in
Colombo's fight against separatist Tamil
Tiger rebels and said there should be no
interference in the strife-torn country's
internal affairs. ''The government of Pakistan is concerned at the
intensification of rebel attacks on the forces of the government
of Sri Lanka in Jaffna peninsula and extends its sympathy to
the government and people of Sri Lanka in their struggle to
maintain the unity of their country,'' a Foreign Ministry
UNICEF says children being caught
in Sri Lanka war
MSNBC, May 16.
being caught up in the battle in Sri Lanka
both as victims and as combatants, the
head of the U.N. Children's Fund said
Tuesday. Bellamy said that despite commitments by the main rebel
group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, not to recruit
children under the age of 17, the practice appeared to be
continuing. She also expressed alarm at reports that government
forces were restricting the supply of vaccines and drugs to
children and families in rebel-held areas of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka increases defence
budget to fight Tamil Tigers
Ananova, Tuesday 16th May 2000.
The Sri Lankan government has increasing its defence
spending by $180 million to $880 million in its fight against
Tamil Tiger separatists.
Prabhakaran's mom fights paralysis in TN
Rediff.com, May 16, 2000.
Her son is holding an island nation to ransom, threatening to overrun one of
its most populous towns. But Parvathi Ammal, mother of the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, lies unaware of this in a
siddha hospital in Musiri near here.
Chandrika rejects ceasefire offer
Hindu, May 16.
Recovering from the initial shock
after the Army lost control of Elephant Pass last month, Sri
Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has now outright
rejected any ceasefire agreement with the LTTE.
But, she said, her Government was ready for talks with the
militant group provided LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran was
brought to the negotiating table.
Indian ban on LTTE no hurdle to mediation:
Hindu, May 16.
India's decision to renew the ban on
LTTE is not a "fatal impediment" to chances of New Delhi's
mediation in the ethnic conflict in northern Sri Lanka and it is
a "good time" for rebel tigers to come to the negotiating table,
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has said.
Briefing reporters here today about his India visit, Kadirgamar
said the Sri Lankan Government welcomed the Indian decision
to extend the ban on LTTE. "At the same time, the ban would
in no way prevent India from playing a role to end the Sri
LTTE claims decisive battle on for Jaffna
Indian Express, May 16.
The LTTE today claimed that the "decisive
battle" for Jaffna resumed with great intensity as its
heavily-armed combat formations opened up offensive
onslaught on two fronts last night in the coastal belt of the city
and in the Chavakachcheri sector, reports PTI.The Tiger
combat units have smashed through the defence lines of the
government troops resulting in heavy causalties to the army, it
Fresh LTTE attacks on
Jaffna Govt appeals for peace talks
Times of India, May 16.
Tamil rebels today launched a
fresh attack on the besieged Sri Lankan town of
Jaffna after a three-day lull even as the
government appealed to the LTTE to talk
S.Lanka tells rebel leader to step
back from brink
MSNBC, May 16.
Sri Lanka appealed on
Tuesday to the reclusive leader of the
Tamil Tiger rebels to spare his war-weary
people further suffering after 17 years of
fruitless battle for a separate homeland.
''Is it not time now to put aside the rationale that drove
you to war?'' Kadirgamar said, when asked at a news
conference what message he would like to send to Velupillai
Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
''Is it not time to say I have fought a good
to an end and seek a political solution?'' he added.
MSF worries over civilian casualties
in S.Lanka war
MSNBC, May 16.
organisation said on Tuesday that the
escalation in fighting in northern Sri
Lanka was putting civilian lives in danger
and making their medical care difficult. Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement that
recent attacks in Jaffna peninsula and its vicinity had caused
civilian deaths, and the location of potential military targets
next to hospitals further endangered patients.
LTTE lose 400 frontline cadres following air raids
Deccan Herald, May 16.
With the LTTE losing nearly 400 frontline cadres following air force raids
in the embattled Jaffna peninsula, the
intensity of fighting has dropped drastically during the past four days.
Since fresh fighting broke out on May,
military sources said.Troops have inflicted heavy casualities on LTTE
cadres in Nagarkivil, Ampan, Kovilakandy and Cololbuthurai,
LTTE launches fresh attack on army positions in Jaffna
NDTV, May 16.
Speaking in Colombo, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman
Kadirgamar said that
there's been a gradual shift in the fighting in favour
of the army. "I would say that in the last 4 or
5 days, there is a discernible evidence of the
stiffening of resistance being offered by the
army to the LTTE in the peninsula. Correspondingly
there is an indication of the LTTE
standing off. Now if its doing that to regroup or plan
its moves I don't know, but it is my
impression that we are now at the turning corner in the
current situation," informed Mr.
Heavy fighting continues in northern Sri Lanka.(Exclusive)
Roy Denish in Colombo, 18.55, SLT Tuesday..
Sri Lankan government claimed that at least 45 persons including six
soldiers were killed in confrontations in northern Jaffna peninsula during
the past 24 hours. A government news release said that six soldiers
including an officer were killed at Thanankillapu sector.
The news release added that fresh fighting broke out when terrorists
simultaneously fired a barrage of artillery and mortars on troops and the
heavy fire was directed from north of Ponneryn, an area now under control
"Due to the concentrated artillery and mortar fire, the senior ground
commanders shifted the defences to prepared positions towards the northeast".
Elsewhere at Wanni separatist Tiger rebels in their clandestine radio, the
Voice Of Tigers requested the civilians not to enter the
army-controlled areas until May 19.
"There had been reports of heavy concentration of rebels in Wanni during
the past few days and it may be the reasons as to why the civilians have
been barred from entering the control areas", a military officer told this
Meanwhile reports reaching Colombo said that the Sri Lankan air force planes
were dropping leaflets ordering civilians in Mullitivu district to vacate the areas immediately.Mullitivu is the stronghold of Tiger rebels.
Norway envoy says high hopes for
Sri Lanka peace
MSNBC, May 16.
A Norwegian peace broker
for Sri Lanka said on Tuesday he was not
discouraged by a new offensive by Tamil
rebels but warned that peace was still far
Erik Solheim, who leads Oslo's peace
initiative to the war-torn country,
acknowledged that the Tamils' offensive
in the northern city of Jaffna had
worsened the situation.
''This is a long-term and difficult process with steps
forward and steps back. But we are hoping that there will be
always be two steps forward and one step back and not the
opposite,'' he said.
Tamil tiger chief masterminds terror
CBS, May 15.
Vellupillai Prabharakan, the brilliant,
reclusive mastermind of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, is virtually unknown
outside South Asia and is a personal mystery even in his own country. But
he leads one of the world's most formidable and successful
movements, which he has shaped in his own implacable image.
As his Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eetam hammer away at the beleagured Sri
Lankan army troops cut off in the city of Jaffna, Prabharkan looks closer
than ever to achieve his lifelong dream of an independent Tamil ethnic state
carved out of Sri Lanka, the former British colony of Ceylon.
But many fear that his dream could become his own people's nightmare.
Sri Lanka to get 'technical experts' from Israel and ups defence
Israeli "technical experts" may help Sri Lanka's military operate new
weapons, Foreign Minister Lakshman
Kadirgamar said Tuesday as the two countries formalised their diplomatic
ties after 30 years.
Kadirgamar told reporters here that he did not expect Israelis to get
involved in any combat role in the
government's battle against Tamil Tiger rebels, but technical help could be
"But I must say that there will be no combat role for them."
UPDATE 1-Arms for war
derail S.Lanka's defence
ABC News, May 16.
Sri Lanka said on Tuesday that
emergency purchases of arms to
fight Tamil Tiger rebels in the
north of the country would lift
this year's defence budget to
$880 million from around $700
The defence budget for 2000 was set at 52.4
billion rupees ($701.6 million), or just less
than five percent of gross domestic product.
Gunmen kill lawmaker in northern Sri Lanka
Indian Express, May 16.
Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a Tamil
lawmaker in Jaffna, the northern city besieged by thousands
of Tamil guerrillas preparing for a final assault, military
Santhanam Kandeepan, a member of the Jaffna city council,
was killed yesterday in Jaffna's Arasadi neighborhood in the
first political assassination since Tamil rebels intensified their
offensive last month to recapture their former capital.
The Colombo Crisis
Outlook, May 22.
Coming from the head of state, it was a
remark that spoke volumes about the acute threat Colombo is
When Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga met opposition
leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to brief him on the military
the Jaffna peninsula, she had to confess that "the
situation is critical".
Indeed, since April 21, when Tamil separatist rebels
strategically crucial Elephant Pass military complex-the
the peninsula-the island nation is facing an unprecedented
and political crisis.
Sri Lanka Talks Peace, Norway Says No Easy Road
Yahoo, May 16.
Sri Lanka has again called for
negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels as Norway, which is
attempting to broker peace between the warring sides, cast
doubt over an early end to the ethnic war.
State media reported in Colombo on Tuesday that President
Chandrika Kumaratunga told a meeting of all political parties that her
was prepared to negotiate peace with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
But she reiterated that the government would not withdraw its troops from the
country's north and east, where the LTTE has been fighting for a separate
homeland for minority Tamils since 1983.
Fresh fighting erupted in Sri Lanka's
northern Jaffna peninsula after a lull of three days when
Tiger rebels launched an attack on army positions at
Tanankillappu, just east of Jaffna town, the government said
It said in a statement that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
attack on Monday and fired a barrage of artillery and mortar fire at the
Sri Lanka, India wait for mediation offer to be made official
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, told journalists today
that India has made no official intimation of seeking to mediate Sri
Lanka's present conflict. The Minister maintained that speculation so far
was on the basis of media reports which claimed Indian Premier Atal Behari
Vajpayee and India's External Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh, had offered
to mediate Sri Lanka's conflict if invited to do so by both, the Sri Lankan
government and the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka's north
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
Fresh fighting broke out today at Tanakillapu in the northern peninsula.
The government media information centre confirmed that hundreds of rebels
launched fierce attacks on the military forcing troops to relocate forward
defence lines closer to Jaffna's north east.
Lankan foreign minister says no link between India and LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.30 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister for Sri Lanka at a press conference
today with local and foreign media said there is no link between India and
the Tamil Tigers fighting for a separate state in northern Sri Lanka. The
Minister asserted that India did not want to see a divided Sri Lanka and
have urged both parties to the conflict to seek a negotiated settlement.
Kadirgamar meanwhile re-affirmed government claims in the last 36 hours,
which states that heavy fighting in the north has abated, with the LTTE
suffering heavy loss of cadre. The Minister confirmed that international
assistance has been gained in order to purchase arms for Lankan troops but
declined to define the type of arms being received by the government.
Minister Kadirgamar reiterated that the government is committed to finding
a political solution to Sri Lanka's present crisis, but maintained the LTTE
is not interested in a negotiated settlement.
Diplomatic deal sealed with Israel
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.35 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
Sri Lanka officially signed a diplomatic pact with Israel yesterday. The
deal was sealed by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United Nations, John De
President speaks with 27 political parties
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge yesterday met with
representatives of 27 political parties. At the discussion she briefed the
members on her government's strategy to meet the increased military threat
by the LTTE and vowed that her administration would not commence peace
talks with the rebels unless they call a halt to all violence. She
asserted that the government would not withdraw troops from the northern
peninsula and that armed reinforcements as well as personnel have been sent
to soldiers deployed in the conflict areas. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
(JVP) annoyed at being kept waiting by the President for a near two hours
left the meeting fifteen minutes before she arrived. The meeting was
scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. but only got off the ground two hours later
due to the President arriving late.
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) objected to a suggestion that all
political parties should unite to defeat the LTTE. The President however
welcomed this proposal put forward by the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and the
Sinhala Mahasammata Bhoomiputra party.
Justice minister sets out peace strategy
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs at a
briefing with members of the diplomatic community which included
representatives of multilateral financial institutions, the United Nations
and Heads of Missions of donor countries last Thursday set out in detail
the Government's thinking with regard to the evolving political and
In order to meet additional expenditure of Rs. 12 billion for the armed
conflict, a restructuring of priorities with regard to the economy and
foreign relations is necessary, he said. Non-essential capital expenditure
would not be incurred. A sense of balance had to be achieved with regard to
safeguarding human rights in the context of extraordinary measures under
emergency regulations essential for national security. Prof. Peiris also
said that while the government would prosecute the war that was thrust upon
them, it was also committed to the fundamental values underpinning the
devolution process, strengthening civil society and empowerment of the
The government, he said, was also conscious of the need to extenuate the
adverse effects of political polarization and to this end the talks with
the United National Party (UNP) would continue with an expanded ambit.
The Minister stressed that an integrated strategy was needed with regard to
the peace process - the military strategy, the process of discussions with
political parties and the role of other nations in the capacity of
facilitator to help negotiate talks with the LTTE.
EPDP member shot in Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.20 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
A member of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) was shot dead
outside the Jaffna Hindu Ladies College yesterday allegedly by the LTTE's
pistol gang. The body has been handed over to the Jaffna Teachers College,
while police conduct investigations. The deceased was a member of the
Valikamam South Pradeshiya Sabha.
MSF cautions State on aerial bombing
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.35 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 16.
Foreign wire services yesterday said Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF),
Holland, a humanitarian agency working in the country's north, has
cautioned the government on aerial bombardment which the organizations
claims could pose a serious hazard to the civilian population in the area.
MSF says it will issue a statement calling on all warring sides in the
north to respect the safety of the civilian population. This call is
issued in the wake of claims by pro LTTE news services that five civilians
including two children were killed and 10 injured at Pooneryn last Friday,
May 12, when Israeli built Kifir jets bombed a fishing village in the area.
Media censorship imposed in Sri Lanka for security reasons
NDTV, Tuesday, May 16 (Colombo):.
Media Minister, Ms. Mangala Samaravira says the
government fears that
exaggerated media reports could lead to a repeat of the
that shook Sri Lanka in late July 1983. According to
Ms. Samaravira, "It is
in that context that we decided to impose the
censorship regulations very
strictly, because we found that certain newspapers were
casualty figures and they were carrying word for word
Official intimation required before India can mediate: Kumaratunga
NDTV, May 16.
At the all-party meeting called to discuss the ongoing
conflict between the LTTE and the Sri
Lankan army in
Jaffna, the Sri Lankan President, Ms.
Kumaratunga said that she would take a
the offer made by India to mediate
government and the LTTE only after
EU asks Sri Lanka to lift curbs on
MSNBC, May 15.
The European Union on
Monday urged the government of Sri
Lanka, locked in a bitter war with Tamil
guerrillas, to lift restrictions imposed
earlier this month on civil liberties and
freedom of the press.
The Sri Lankan government imposed tough public
security regulations on May 4, putting both local and foreign
media under a blanket censorship. It has also banned live
broadcasts of all television and radio programmes.
The laws, which also ban public meetings, trade union
action and criticism of the president and allow the government
to seize property and vehicles, were introduced as the country
was put on a war footing to battle a guerrilla offensive.
Sri Lanka, Israel restore diplomatic
MSNBC, May 15.
Sri Lanka and Israel
on Monday restored diplomatic relations,
broken off by Sri Lanka in 1970 and again
The restoration, announced earlier
this month, was formalised in a joint
communique signed by Israeli Foreign
Minister David Levy, now visiting New
York, and Sri Lanka's United Nations
ambassador, John de Saram.
Diplomatic sources said the two countries were not
expected to open embassies but that Sri Lanka's ambassador
in Jordan would also be accredited to Israel, while Israel's
ambassador to India would be accredited to Sri Lanka.