LTTE says war can end if Sri Lankan soldiers surrender
With the LTTE continuing with its claim of attacking
the Palali airbase in Jaffna, it has
now made its first
offer for any solution to end the
present conflict. The
LTTE has appealed to thousands of the
soldiers trapped in Jaffna to
surrender and if they do
-- the violence can end.The call
for surrender is being announced by loud speakers at
different battlefronts in the Jaffna theatre of war and
also by the Voice
of Tigers radio.
Published: Fri May 19 23:03:43 EDT 2000
Tamil Tiger rebels close in on
There is no land route available southwards and if the
airport were disabled the only way in or out of the
peninsula would be two ports, both vulnerable to
by the rebels' seaborne division. The rebel tactics
included ramming naval vessels with boats packed with
explosives. An aid worker returning to London from
town says people there are talking of when, not
Published: Fri May 19 22:59:21 EDT 2000
Meet on May 22 to finalise party stand on Sri
Indian Express, May19.
The BJP President Kushabhau
Thakre would meet top leaders of the Tamil Nadu unit at
Chennai on May 22 to finalise the party's stand on the Sri
Lankan issue,state BJP president Dr S P Kripanidhi said
today, reports PTI. However, the state unit would fully
endorse the stand taken
by the Vajpayee government on the matter, he told reporters
Published: Fri May 19 22:18:31 EDT 2000
Arjun Singh's LTTE, RSS connections -- Dr Subramanian Swamy's book
The nation must move on now to discover those in the 'higher places' in
whom the LTTE had depended all these years for the vicious and sinister
disinformation campaign to try and
get off the hook," says Dr Swamy and adds: "These persons may not be
conspirators in the murder, but they
certainly are guilty of impending the investigation and attempting to
confound the evidence."Dr Swamy says the disinformation campaign was
deliberate to derail first the investigations and then the court
trial and points out that "even after the trial court judgment found the
LTTR guilty, the disinformation
machine began spinning out a new line: LTTE plus who ? -- to mitigate the
LTTE perfidy." The Supreme
Court judgment devastated that attempt.
Published: Fri May 19 22:03:18 EDT 2000
Jaffna may slip out of army
Times of India, May20.
Military officials reached by
telephone said the port was not damaged, but
said it was alarming that it was within the rebels'
artillery range.Military experts said the fall of
Jaffna was likely within the next week. Analysts
say that the sharp fall in the morale of the Sri
Lankan forces and the unplanned retreats taken
by them, may hasten the fall of this
northeastern, capital town.
Published: Fri May 19 20:50:55 EDT 2000
Tigers press attack to cut off
The Age, May 20.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels claimed yesterday to have
control over two strategic roads leading into Jaffna and were
shelling the military's only airport in the region to cut off
supplies for 40,000 troops defending the northern Jaffna
peninsula. At least 102 soldiers have died in the past 24
hours, the Voice
of Tigers radio, monitored in the northern Sri Lankan town of
Vavuniya, said. But the Sri Lankan Government admitted to
only 24 wounded.
Published: Fri May 19 20:46:17 EDT 2000
Sea route to Jaffna blocked, Tamil rebels
Virtual NY, May 19.
Separatist Tamil rebels said Friday they
have blocked the sea route to Sri Lanka's embattled northern Jaffna
peninsula and that they have shelled the sole government military airstrip
in the region.According to reports, rebel shells exploded in the vicinity
of the port
and the sprawling Palaly military base. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
said the Sri Lankan government canceled ships to the Kankesanthurai port in
Jaffna due to security concerns.
Published: Fri May 19 20:42:15 EDT 2000
A journey on the spice
National Post, May 11.
"Sri Lankan is the original curry," says Kumar. "It is
red in colour because we make it with chili. The
curries of China and South India are yellow because
they use a lot of turmeric. "Sri Lankan curry is
you can feel it, but it is a deep heat; it won't
like hot pepper, so you can taste what you eat."
Published: Fri May 19 20:30:58 EDT 2000
Lanka govt denies LTTE claims on Kaithady
COLOMBO, May 19 (PTI).
The Sri Lankan government today refuted the LTTE`s claims that it had
captured Kaithady, a suburb of
Jaffna town, two days ago and asserted that its defence flights carrying
food and weapons supplies to
troops continued to land at the peninsula`s only airbase at Palaly.
The Israel-made Kfir fighter bombers, which fly in high altitude, continued
to maintain vigil to locate LTTE
artillery guns. The army at present has no idea from where the LTTE was
firing the shells. There was also
confusion whether the shells fired by the rebels were from artillery or
mortars. The LTTE is believed to
have one 122 mm artillery gun, captured from the army in one of the recent
Published: Fri May 19 19:42:03 EDT 2000
Press censorship debate hots
up in Sri Lanka
The Asian Age, May19.
As Sri Lanka's Supreme Court rejected an appeal
against press censorship, an office vested with
powers to curb the media served a "final warning"
on perceived violations to a private television
channel.Director of Information Ariya Rubasinghe, who
acts as the competent authority, warned Nimal
Perera, news editor of Teleshan Network Limited,
that his latest warning, his third, would be final. He
would be questioned by the police and subjected
to legal action for any more violations, Perera was
Published: Fri May 19 19:36:37 EDT 2000
Tigers close in on Palali
The Pioneer, May20.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) creeping advance in the
Jaffna peninsula seems aimed at keeping civilian casualties
ultimately using the trapped Sri Lankan troops as a
bargaining chip in
negotiations with Colombo.According to sources in touch
with the situation in north Sri Lanka, the
fighting is likely to drag on for a while, as the LTTE has
Palali and Point Pedro - as its strategic objectives. The
LTTE's gameplan is
tempered by its desire not to trigger panic, or an exodus.
Published: Fri May 19 19:22:42 EDT 2000
1500 Army deserters re-join duty
Indian Express, May19.
Sri Lankan army, which has declared yet
another amnesty for its deserters to rejoin the ranks, today
said over 1500 deserters have reported for their duties during
the past few days, reports PTI. The response to the new
amnesty is good, State radio,
quoting army officials, said.
Published: Fri May 19 19:10:56 EDT 2000
Lanka expects psychological boost from
Indian Express, Colombo, May 19.
MOST SRI Lankans expect the coming of Indian "Super Cop" K.P.S.
Gill to give the beleaguered government and people a "psychological
boost". But, experts wonder if the experience of the man who
terrorism in Punjab will be relevant in tackling the LTTE, which
different ball game altogether.
Published: Fri May 19 18:40:30 EDT 2000
Grim situation confronts Jaffna
Indian Express, May19.
With fighting between the Sri Lankan Army
and the LTTE reaching the suburbs, a grim humanitarian
situation confronted the Jaffna town with 75 per cent of its
two lakh civilian population already fleeing to safer areas in
the Peninsula, aid agencies said here today, reports PTI.
Published: Fri May 19 18:34:19 EDT 2000
LTTE 'human waves' repulsed: Colombo
In the latest phase LTTE's `Operation Unceasing Waves-III,' offensives
by the Tigers at Sri Lankan defence positions at Kaithady were
``repulsed'', the Government Situation Report said. ``Terrorists in strength
assaulted defensive positions of the security forces at Kaithady around
noon. Troops fought back effectively to repulse many human waves of the
LTTE.'' Quoting ``ground troops'', the Government said ``eight officers
and 36 soldiers were wounded during the confrontation'' and that terrorists
had suffered ``heavy casualties''.
Published: Fri May 19 18:34:13 EDT 2000
'Role will thrust itself on India'
Hindu, May 19.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman
Kadirgamar, feels that events may force India to play a role in the Sri
Lankan conflict. ``It (India) is gearing itself up for assuming a role,
one that might even be
thrust upon it by events,'' he said in an interview to Outlook, excerpts of
which were put out in a release by the weekly magazine.
Published: Fri May 19 18:24:58 EDT 2000
India, France discuss strife in Sri Lanka
Hindu, May 19.
expanding strategic cooperation, India
and France today discussed the
situation in strife-torn Sri Lanka and
identified common threats to maritime
security in the Indian Ocean area. The exchange of views on Sri Lanka
between the two sides assumes
importance in the light of the France's prominence in the European Union
(E.U.), one of the key players in resolving the Sri Lankan crisis.
Published: Fri May 19 18:22:08 EDT 2000
Human waves assault army lines, Sri Lanka rejects air base
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Friday used human waves to launch an
abortive attack against troops, the
government here said amid reports that the main air base in the region was
being shelled.Security forces repulsed repeated attempts by the separatist
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
rebels to breach military front lines at Kaithady in the Jaffna peninsula,
the government said in a statement.It said eight officers and 35 soldiers
were wounded in fighting since early Friday. The government said
"terrorists suffered a large number of casualties" but did not say how many
were killed or wounded.
Published: Fri May 19 18:06:51 EDT 2000
Renewed LTTE attack repulsed, govt sends in latest
India Today, May 19, 2000, Colombo.
Sri Lankan troops effectively repulsed “waves” of
the LTTE at Kaitdai in Ariyali sector on Friday morning even as four
soldiers were killed and 65 injured in the fighting in Jaffna peninsula,
a government spokesman said.
Published: Fri May 19 16:44:25 EDT 2000
Jaffna defences shored up
BBC, Friday, 19 May, 2000, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK.
New weapons' systems have been sent to beleaguered Sri Lankan
troops at an airbase in northern Jaffna.
A spokesman for the Sri Lankan Government said the systems
would be operational very soon, but gave no details
Published: Fri May 19 14:24:35 EDT 2000
Tamil rebels shell port, ask Sri
Lankan soldiers to surrender
MSNBC, May 19.
rebels shelled the outskirts of Jaffna's
main port today, as the Sri Lankan air
force bombed guerrilla artillery targeting
the only military airport in the northern
peninsula. Two artillery shells fell near the Kankesanturai
three miles west of Palali air base, which has been hit by more
than 10 shells the past two days. Targeting the port broadened
the guerrilla offensive.
Published: Fri May 19 13:23:12 EDT 2000
Tamil Rebels Set To Take Jaffna
KRISHNAN GURUSWAMY, Associated Press Writer, 4:12 PM ET Thursday May 18.
NEW DELHI, India (AP) - Tamil rebels said Thursday they had seized control
of two strategic roads into Jaffna and were attacking the Sri Lankan
military's only airport in the region to cut supplies to 40,000 troops
defending the northern peninsula.
The clandestine Voice of Tigers Radio station said seven Sri Lankan soldiers
were killed in the artillery attack on Palali airport, built by Britain when
they ruled Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon.
``Our fighters are closing in and we will take the decisive action to take
Jaffna soon,'' the station said in the broadcast, monitored in the northern
town of Vavuniya.
If the air base falls, the 40,000 government troops and support staff will
be trapped with nowhere to go in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, which the
Tamils want as part of a homeland.
Earlier Thursday, the Voice of Tigers radio said at least 102 soldiers were
killed in the past 24 hours. The government has said only 24 were wounded.
Details of damage or casualties were not immediately known, and journalists
were barred from the battle areas. But sources close to the rebels said one
shell fell on a military hospital.
Military officials confirmed the attack on the air base, but declined to
Earlier, the rebels said they had captured the strategic Kaithady air base,
two miles east of Jaffna, which the rebels controlled from 1990-1995, when
they lost it after a 50-day war.
``Kaithady garrison town, with its heavily fortified military bases, fell to
the fighting formations of the Liberation Tigers after 12 hours of ferocious
combat,'' the rebels said on their Web site.
There was no independent confirmation of the report.
The rebels also claimed they had won control of two roads leading into
Jaffna, but the government denied it had lost control of the roads.
However, it said security forces had withdrawn their defenses from yet
another area near Jaffna, at Ariyalai about three miles southeast of the
The rapid rebel advance to encircle Jaffna prompted the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees to express concern for the safety of the city's
``The military situation has put civilians at great risk and has already
caused casualties among the people of Jaffna,'' High Commissioner Sadako
Ogata said in a statement from Geneva.
``I am appealing to all parties to ensure that civilians are protected from
the escalating hostilities. They must be allowed to move to areas considered
safe,'' she said.
The Indian Navy has rescued scores of Sri Lankans who fled the fighting in
boats across the narrow Palk Strait that separates Sri Lanka from southern
The UNHCR said in a statement that about 400 Sri Lankan refugees had arrived
in India since the fighting intensified in Jaffna last month. India already
has some 100,000 refugees from Sri Lanka.
The minority Tamils claim they face discrimination from the Sinhalese
majority, which controls the government and the military. The rebels are
trying to establish a homeland in the north and east for the country's 3.2
million minority Tamils. The 17-year war has killed more than 62,000 people.
Published: Fri May 19 12:16:52 EDT 2000
Lankan Govt. seeks Opposition leader's apology
Demanding an apology from the United National Party (UNP)
leader for telling the BBC that the LTTE have entered the town,
even when it was well protected by troops, Media Minister,
Mangala Samaraweera, in a statement said Wickramasinghe's
remarks were aimed at demoralising the soldiers who were fighting
hard to beat back the LTTE offensive in the Jaffna peninsula.
Published: Fri May 19 11:12:58 EDT 2000
Norwegian deputy foreign minister to
visit Sri Lanka
MSNBC, May 19.
to broker a peace accord in Sri Lanka, is
sending senior officials to Colombo next
week for discussions on the escalation in
fighting in the country's north, the
Norwegian embassy in Colombo said on
Friday. The statement said the Norwegian team would meet
President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Foreign Minister Lakshman
Kadirgamar and Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the main
opposition United National party, during the three-day visit.
Published: Fri May 19 10:56:22 EDT 2000
The Battle for Jaffna
Sri Lanka's military has faced its worst setbacks in the last month since
the battle for
a separate Tamil homeland began in 1983. Beleagured troops are engaged in
savage fighting with the LTTE about 30 km from Jaffna, which was wrested
control in 1996. For most of the 1980s, the army was confined to Jaffna
Fort, so if the
town of 50,000 falls, it could be argued this is no more than back to
Published: Fri May 19 08:54:01 EDT 2000
The Anti View: Don't Betray
the Sri Lankan Tamil - A commentry by PANRUTTI S. RAMACHANDRAN
To those who say that the LTTE's recapture of Jaffna will
be a boost to the secessionist elements in Tamil Nadu I
say this is utterly stupid. The LTTE had controlled Jaffna
earlier too. Furthermore to enthuse 6 Crore Tamils in
Tamil Nadu to separate from the Indian Union -- to raise
this bogey is a covert operation by anti-Tamil forces, out
to exploit the situation.
Published: Fri May 19 08:49:10 EDT 2000
I Don't Understand- A commentry by Cho Ramaswamy
But the Government has made one thing very clear: the
creation of Eelam, will be against the interests of India. In
the same breadth it has expressed its determination not
to do anything to prevent an Eelam being born. Then does
the Government plan to ensure the continuance of an
undivided Sri Lanka which it cherishes? I don't
understand. Perhaps the Government is thinking of the
holding of mass prayers across the country, for the
prevention of the division of the neighbouring island
Published: Fri May 19 08:46:10 EDT 2000
Lanka seeks Gill's services to combat
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 Gill, 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 separatist Tamil outfit had
successfully carried out several assassinations and
suicide attacks in the past.
Published: Fri May 19 08:42:32 EDT 2000
Chennai Tamils, even journalists, flock to
the Net for war updates
Saravanan talks authoritatively on 'Operation Unceasing
Waves III', the LTTE's code name for the operation to
wrest Jaffna from the Sri Lanka. It gives him a kick to
know that the LTTE is closing in on Jaffna, much before
the rest of the world will know about it. "I need not wait for
the morning papers to tell me this. By the time I get them,
the ground has changed and they look dated," says
Published: Fri May 19 08:37:55 EDT 2000
Ramadoss against military aid to Sri
High-ranking Canadian diplomats in
New Delhi and Islamabad on Thursday met MDMK chief,
Vaiko for about 75 minutes during which the Sri Lankan
crisis was discussed.'I am convinced that the diplomats went away with better
appreciation of the cause for which the Tamils are
fighting,'' Vaiko said.
Published: Fri May 19 08:34:08 EDT 2000
Ramadoss against military aid to Sri
S. Ramadoss, founder of the Pattali
Makkal Katchi, a constituent of the ruling National
Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, urged the Union
Government on Thursday to turn down any request for
military assistance from Sri Lanka. In a statement, he said the visit of
Sri Lankan Armed
Forces Chief of Staff Gen Rohana De'Silve Daluvatte to
India when a fierce battle was going on in Sri Lanka, was
intriguing. The purpose of his visit required an explanation,
Published: Fri May 19 08:31:28 EDT 2000
12 arrested in connection with plot to
assassinate Lanka ministers
Sri Lankan police have recovered
120 kilograms of explosives and arrested 12 suspected
Tamil Tiger rebels allegedly linked to an assassination
plot, the state-run daily news reported on Friday."The 12 LTTE suspects
now under police custody have
revealed that they were assigned to assassinate several
cabinet ministers, Tamil politicians and senior police
Published: Fri May 19 08:29:08 EDT 2000
Tamil Rebels Ask Sri Lanka Govt Soldiers To Surrender
Yahoo-AP, May 19.
Tamil Tiger rebels Friday asked government soldiers defending the northern
city of Jaffna
to surrender even as the Sri Lankan air force bombed suspected guerrilla
artillery positions outside the city. The call over their clandestine Voice
of Tigers Radio came a week after the government rejected a rebel
cease-fire offer to allow the withdrawal of nearly 40,000 soldiers
defending Jaffna, the former capital of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Published: Fri May 19 08:25:30 EDT 2000
Tamil Tiger Rebels 'Ethnically Cleanse' Parts of
LA Times, May 19.
As Tamil separatists
sweep toward victory on the
battlefield, they are beginning
to cleanse their land of the people
who were once their
neighbors. The Tigers are bombing
schools, wrecking Buddhist
temples and shooting civilians in a
campaign to force
thousands of ethnic Sinhalese from
their homes."They want us to leave, but we have nowhere to go,"
said Kadirathage Ran Keranhamy, a
Sinhalese rice farmer
whose 21-year-old son was kidnapped
Saturday by Tiger
guerrillas. "We are brothers. Why
are they doing this to
Published: Fri May 19 08:22:30 EDT 2000
Head of LTTE's radio service dead: Sri
India Today, May19.
The head of the LTTE's clandestine
radio "Voice of Tigers" has succumbed to injuries
suffered during the recent bombing of the rebel
communication tower at north-west Poonneryn, Sri Lankan
official media claimed on Friday.ayneshan Sundhakaran reportedly died at
hospital in the LTTE controlled northern Vanni on
Thrursday. However, the LTTE has not confirmed his
Published: Fri May 19 08:19:20 EDT 2000
Jaffna defences shored
BBC, Friday, 19 May, 2000, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK.
New weapons' systems have been sent to
beleaguered Sri Lankan troops at an airbase
in northern Jaffna.Truckloads of pro-government reinforcements
were seen heading for the area, near a town
called Mile 91.
Published: Fri May 19 08:15:39 EDT 2000
Sri Lankan Air Force intensifies bombing on LTTE positions
The Sri Lankan Air Force intensified bombing on suspected Tamil Tiger
today to prevent guerrilla attacks on the Palali
airbase in the northern Jaffna Peninsula.The Sri Lankan government has also
denied reports that it has lost control of the roads, but
admitted that its security forces had shifted their
defences to another area in the vicinity of
Published: Fri May 19 08:11:04 EDT 2000
Karunanidhi meets PM to discuss developments in Sri Lanka
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M Karunanidhi today met with Prime Minster
Vajpayee and reportedly discussed Sri Lankan
developments with him but no details of the
meeting have been made available.
Published: Fri May 19 08:09:30 EDT 2000
Tamil Rebels Mount Fresh Attacks in Jaffna
Tamil Tiger rebels mounted fresh attacks on the army in
northern Jaffna on Friday as Sri Lanka said it had rushed in new weapons
beleaguered troops.A government statement in Colombo said the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) rebels had launched a huge attack on the ''defensive positions''
of the army
at Kaithadi early on Friday.
Published: Fri May 19 08:06:51 EDT 2000
S.Lanka Sends Weapons to Jaffna, Hunts for
The Sri Lankan government on Friday delivered new
weapons to beleaguered troops in northern Jaffna and continued searching for
Tamil Tiger infiltrators after shells were fired at the only air base on
the peninsula.The statement from the Special Media Information Centre did
not detail the new
weapons systems, but said they would ``become operational very shortly.''
Published: Fri May 19 08:04:42 EDT 2000
Malaysian Sri Lankans Urge Govt to Start Peace Talks
Yahoo, Friday, May 19 5:18 PM SGT.
The Malaysian Ceylonese Congress (MCC) has urged the government
to initiate peace talks to end the escalating war in the northern and
northeastern provinces of Sri Lanka. Its president, Dr M Thuraiappah, said
it was about time that the government, with its vast experience in guiding
democracy and peace among its people, showed the way on how people could
live in peace.Thuraiappah also said that third parties, who are aiding the
war machinery on both sides, should stop doing so
immediately and the Sri Lankan government should call for an immediate
cease-fire for the sake of lives and
Published: Fri May 19 07:57:15 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka war proving more costly than ever
Yahoo, May 19.
Sri Lanka unveiled its budget this year banking on peace, but three months
later Tiger rebels have turned the
tables on government troops and busted the balance sheet.
Three days after the budget was present by President Chandrika Kumaratunga,
treasury chief P. B. Jayasundara
explained the document was designed to push a Norwegian-backed peace
bid.Jayasundara had said the government's allocation of 706 million US
dollars for defence this year was
comparable to the amount spent in 1999, and no new military initiatives
Published: Fri May 19 07:55:03 EDT 2000
Jaffna Bishop asks Lankan President to heed Tiger call
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.20 p.m. SLT Friday May 19.
Thomas Saundaranayagam, Bishop for Jaffna, in a statement issued today, has
asked for President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to heed a rebel
offer for a ceasefire and stop the ongoing offensive in the northern
Bishop Saundaranayagam has reiterated that the government should begin a
dialogue to find a political end to the escalating crisis and thus save
thousands of lives presently endangered by the fire of both, Lankan troops
and Tamil Tiger rebels.
Published: Fri May 19 05:47:39 EDT 2000
Passenger ship to Jaffna cancelled
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.30 p.m. SLT Friday May 19.
Tamil news services today reported that a passenger ship which was to leave
this morning for Jaffna with some 350 on board was stopped from doing so
due to the prevailing security situation in the north.
The ship was prevented from leaving as it was scheduled to berth at
Jaffna's northern Kankasenthurai Harbour (KKS) located within the Palaly
The LTTE have claimed since Wednesday to have fired heavy artillery into
the military base at Palaly and destroyed its main communication tower and
hit the air strip. 8 soldiers are reported to have been killed as a
result. Military spokesman, Brigadier Palitha Fernando however told Lacnet
today that rebel fire fell within the "general area of Palaly but did not
hit the mlitary base."
The last passenger ship to Jaffna sailed on April 1 this year. Several
thousand civilians are reported to be waiting passage from Sri Lanka's
Eastern port Trincomalee to Jaffna's northern harbour at Kankasanthurai.
Published: Fri May 19 05:47:39 EDT 2000
Army denies LTTE claim of hitting Palaly military base
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.40 a.m. SLT Friday May 19 .
Brigadier Palitha Fernando, Spokesman, for The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) today
denied claims by the Tigers last evening which said the rebels had hit the
main communications tower and air strip at Palaly's military base. Palaly
is the biggest armed forces base in the North next to the garrison which
fell at Elephant Pass.
Brigadier Fernando reiterated that the LTTE had fired some mortars into the
general area of Palaly yesterday, but insisted, "none fell within the
The Voice of Tigers in a radio broadcast last evening however said, the
LTTE had fired heavy artillery which hit the main communications tower at
the Palaly military base killing two policeman on duty while artillery fire
also hit the forces northern air strip.
Independent sources asserted that Sri Lanka Airforce flights into Palaly
were suspended for a brief period of time as a result.
Published: Fri May 19 02:09:36 EDT 2000
LTTE claims to have overrun military base at Kaithaday
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.50 a.m. SLT Friday May 19.
The Tigers, Wednesday evening (May 17), claimed to have overrun a strategic
military base at Kaithday, in Sri Lanka's embattled North. The rebel
statement released from its London office said, over one hundred Sri Lankan
troops have been killed and several hundreds injured when heavily armed
commando units of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) stormed into
the defence lines and overran the military complex at Kaithady late evening.
Brigadier Palitha Fernando, Military Spokesman refuted this claim saying
there was no big military base at Kaithaday, "only some troop deployments."
The Brigadier said that as a result of the fighting in this area 8
Officers and 36 soldiers were wounded. "None were killed" he added.
The LTTE meanwhile stated, "Strategically important Kaithady garrison town
with its heavily fortified military bases fell to the fighting formations
of the Liberation Tigers after 12 hours of ferocious combat. Situated about
5 kilometres at the entrance of the Jaffna city, Kaithady formed the buffer
zone with crucial supply routes to the government troops based in Jaffna
city and Palaly airport. The A9 highway linking Navatkuli bridge and the
main Kopay Road that cuts through Kaithady, have been brought under the
control of the LTTE."
Brigadier Fernando said there is no truth to this claim of the rebels that
the Navatkuli bridge is now under Tiger control.
Meanwhile fighting is reported to continue in the outskirts of Jaffna's
coastal areas. The LTTE has also denied accusations by the government
which say the rebels have been pounding artillery and mortar shells on
heavily populated areas.
Published: Fri May 19 02:09:36 EDT 2000
The Hardest of Options - A Commentry
The absurdity of this position has not struck either Atal Behari
Vajpayee or Jaswant Singh. If India will not help Sri Lanka
and if Sri
Lanka does not get any help from outside, why should the LTTE,
which is on the verge of a victory in Jaffna anyway, agree
a peace which falls short of the Eelam for which it has
fought for the
last 20 years? It also does not seem to have struck New
Delhi that the
position it has taken implicitly favours the LTTE, an
the US has branded as terrorist; that planned and carried
assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and whose leaders have arrest
warrants out for them in India. Lastly, while New Delhi's
desire to be
accepted as the regional power is not new, it does not seem
crossed Singh's mind that power can't be divorced from
responsibility. If it ignores Sri Lanka's call for help in
a cause just and
vital to India's own interest, it will forfeit all claim to
Published: Fri May 19 00:01:40 EDT 2000
Is Eelam Inevitable? A commentry By Lasantha Wickrematunga
With a general election due in just five months, this situation could not
have been worse timed for Kumaratunga. With characteristic
impetuosity, under the guise of putting the country on a
she imposed stringent media censorship and draconian
to prevent political activity and criticism of her or her
There is little doubt in the public mind, however, that the
are focused entirely at propping up her failing popularity
the bitter truth from the Sri Lankan people.
Published: Thu May 18 23:50:12 EDT 2000
'Eelam won't harm India'
A London-based LTTE spokesman speaks to Outlook
Even as it gains militarily, the LTTE isn't willing to spell out its
post-military agenda. While refusing to give a formal
senior LTTE functionary in London spoke to Outlook about
role:"The battle has reached a crucial stage.
The Norwegian intervention has brought
hope. This has also helped lend credibility
to the LTTE. We're hoping India will
recognise the legitimacy of our struggle.
Published: Thu May 18 23:50:07 EDT 2000
Arms yes, men no
A cagey Islamabad is only prepared to go thus far
It's certainly not the best way for two states to come
together, but for decades Pakistan and Sri Lanka seem to have
worked on the "your enemy is my enemy" principle. But
rather strange confluence of interests and Pakistan's
the anti-India sentiments prevailing on the emerald island,
events in Sri Lanka have evoked little public interest.Many
observers here see the present threat to Colombo as being the
result of continued Indian assistance to the LTTE. Says former
defence secretary, Lt Gen (retd) Talat Masood, "This
the backbone of the LTTE. But Colombo's mismanagement has also
played a role in the rebel gains."
Published: Thu May 18 23:50:03 EDT 2000
The compulsion of being a part of the NDA forces
the pro-Eelam DMK to turn back refugees
Outlook, May 22, 2000.
Contingencies of national politics have conspired
to force the DMK, a Dravidian party, to take a
position that contradicts and completely
undermines its long-held and much-cherished
pro-Eelam stance. "The DMK is now seen by Tamil groups as a
pro-Delhi party which has reneged on its commitment to Eelam.
Published: Thu May 18 23:49:57 EDT 2000
Tamil gangs on rise:
Blamed for 40 shootings
National Post, May18.
The police brief says an estimated 155,000 Sri Lankan
Tamils live in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and
"as these communities have grown, Tamil criminal
elements have also taken root."Tamil criminal
groups are involved in ... extortion,
home invasion, thefts, sales of contraband
the importation and trafficking of brown heroin,
trafficking of other drugs, arms trafficking, fraud,
production and sale of counterfeit passports,
migrant smuggling and attempted murders, bank and
casino frauds and money laundering.
Published: Thu May 18 23:49:49 EDT 2000
Page One News
LTTE enters Jaffna town, Lanka defence chief returns
after secret India mission
The Statesman, May19.
Small LTTE groups have entered
some Jaffna suburbs, the Sri Lankan government admitted
late tonight. But troops had repulsed the major wave
trying to break into the town, it said. Four soldiers
died in the
A government press release said a small group had managed
to infiltrate into populated areas of Valikamam East on
Jaffna's fringe. "Troops began a search operation ...
the early hours ... This operation is in progress ...
soldiers were killed and 21 wounded."
Published: Thu May 18 22:13:57 EDT 2000
Shelled airport between Tigers and prey
The Telegraph, May19.
Tamil Tiger guerrillas claimed to have taken
control over two strategic roads leading into
Jaffna and are pounding the Pallali airbase to cut
off supplies for 40,000 soldiers defending the
peninsula. The Sri Lankan government denied the
claim. With the battle for Jaffna intensifying
by the day,
the United States has decided to send its
under-secretary of state for political affairs,
Thomas Pickering, to Colombo. The decision
comes close on the heels of an American
willingness to mediate in the ethnic conflict.
Published: Thu May 18 22:01:57 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka in search and destroy drive as Tigers shell Jaffna air
Yahoo, LONDON, May 18.
Sri Lankan troops mounted a search and destroy mission against separatist
Tamil rebels who shelled a
strategically important air base for a second straight day Thursday,
diplomatic sources said.Government forces in the Indian Ocean island of Sri
Lanka launched the seach operation against the
separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamin the Jaffna peninsula located
in the north of the country,
sources said.In a statement issued in the capital Colombo, the government
said a "small group of terrorists" had infiltrated
the suburban Jaffna areas of Walikamam East, where there was heavy fighting.
Published: Thu May 18 21:34:55 EDT 2000
LANKA: THE WAR WITHIN
The battle for Jaffna has reached a decisive stage with the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launching a high-intensity offensive against
the Sri Lankan army. Emboldened by its recent victories, especially the
capture of the crucial Elephant Pass, the LTTE has decided not to seek
political negotiations until the capture of Jaffna. The guerrilla group
knows pretty well that if it wants to negotiate from a position of
strength, it needs to have Jaffna in its kitty. The morale of the Sri
Lankan army is at an
all-time low, as its five-year long 'war for peace' strategy failed to
achieve any strategic advantage.
Published: Thu May 18 18:42:48 EDT 2000
Jaffna: Testing time
for New Delhi
If the Sri Lankan forces
manage to push back the
advancing LTTE cadres,
well and good. The
Government of India
will gain breathing time.
Still, its responsibilities
and obligations as, first,
the big neighbour of Sri
Lanka, second, as the
decision-maker for the
Tamils of Tamil Nadu,
and third, as a regional
power in this part of the
world, will not have
Published: Thu May 18 18:32:31 EDT 2000
Navy gears itself for Jaffna fallout
Even as Southern Naval Command prepares itself for all contingencies that
might arise due to the
ongoing fight in Sri Lanka, a ''quiet`` visit of the Sri Lankan Chief of
Defence Staff Gen Rohan De
Silva Daluvatte to India has sparked off intense speculation.
Sources suggest that Gen Daluvatte is in India ''shopping`` for several
items on the wish list of Sri
Lankan armed forces including communication equipment.Minesweepers, landing
tank ships and Kashin class destroyers have been positioned around the east
coast near Chennai. Contingency plans include using LSTs for establishing
beachheads for ground
troops or for evacuating people trapped along the coast.
Published: Thu May 18 18:23:29 EDT 2000
Lankan chief of defence on
secret visit to India
Asian Age, May19.
While no official version was available about the
purpose of the general’s visit, which included a
quick hop to Bangalore, Cochin and
Thiruvanathapuram, the media was led to believe
that he was on a pilgrimage with his family to seek
the blessings of Satya Sai Baba at Whitefield
near Bangalore —- which is hard to believe
considering the crisis in Sri Lanka due to its civil
war with the LTTE.
Published: Thu May 18 18:16:42 EDT 2000
Tamil refugee-free week declared
with the setting up of the forward observation post, the boatmen,
ferrying the refugees, started dropping them on the sixth island in Sri
Lankan territorial waters. This created problems as Indian Navy and
Coast Guard personnel could not cross the international border. When
this was reported to the higher- ups, the Navy was given permission to
open fire at fleeing boatmen. This brought the refugee arrival to a halt.
As the LTTE is advancing towards Jaffna, the Tamils who helped the
Sri Lankan Army have also started moving towards Thalaimannar to
move into the Indian territory, according to highly placed sources.
Published: Thu May 18 18:10:29 EDT 2000
We are willing to talk: Kadirgamar
We are prepared to start talks even tomorrow morning if the LTTE
is willing to do so. We have said that and we do not go back on the
stand at all,'' the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman
Kadirgamar told Aaj Tak in Colombo.
Published: Thu May 18 18:07:45 EDT 2000
Jaffna precariously poised
The Sri Lankan forces may soon find the
pressure on Jaffna town unbearable, highly-placed sources in the
Government said today. According to these sources, some LTTE
cadres have already entered Jaffna in the last few days and a major
assault on the town may not be far away. In fact, defending Jaffna may
become untenable beyond ``a couple of days'', according to a
source.India, on its part, is ready with contingency plans. Indian
ships are set
to evacuate trapped Sri Lankan soldiers or Tamil refugees in case of an
LTTE thrust into Jaffna. Meanwhile, the combined Navy and Coast
Guard surveillance exercise, code- named `Tasha', gathered further
momentum with another Coast Guard ship joining the vigil around
Published: Thu May 18 18:05:31 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka resists incursions
Hindu, may 18.
With the rebels maintaining a multi-pronged attack on key Army
positions in Jaffna, simultaneous fighting is being reported from
several theatres of war. At stake in the north are the Jaffna town, the
Palaly base complex, Point Pedro and Kankesanthurai. The Palaly
airfield is considered the ultimate target as control over it would
seriously impair troop and supply movement to the peninsula.
Published: Thu May 18 18:01:22 EDT 2000
India keeping a close watch on Sri Lanka,
Chennai, May 18.
THE BJP general secretary Venkaiah Naidu today said India was
keeping a close watch on the ground realities in Sri Lanka.
None of the allies in the NDA government at the Centre, especially
from Tamil Nadu, are dissatisfied with the government's decision not
to extend military support to the island nation, he said, adding
allies would not do something to force the Centre to intervene
Lanka. Meanwhile, senior Canadian officials today met MDMK
chief Vaiko to
discuss the Sri Lankan crisis, particularly to understand the
from the standpoint of the Tamils.
Published: Thu May 18 17:49:46 EDT 2000
Censorship makes scribes
read between lines
The government's lines on "strategic
repositioning", "effective relocation" and
"change of line of attack", may well, imply,
that the Tigers have had their day of triumph
in the heavy exchange of mortar in the
Published: Thu May 18 17:41:48 EDT 2000
Tight security in Sri
BBC, Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK.
Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Tight security in Sri
Security has been tightened after the blast
Security has been tightened across
Sri Lanka following Wednesday's
bomb attack in the town of
Batticaloa, which killed 23 people and
injured 75. A curfew has been declared in
Batticaloa and all reports of the
bombing have been censored. The government said that it had
censored the news in order to prevent
a backlash from the majority Sinhala
Published: Thu May 18 17:26:26 EDT 2000
Ethnic crisis in Lanka: EU statements
Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 18.
Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told reporters here on
Tuesday that he found some of the recent statements emanating from
the EU "quaint and fanciful, and not being grounded in facts,
objectionable." Indian officials privately wonder what the EU is
especially intrigued the timing of the latest statement released in
Brussels on Monday. "It is weird," an official, who did not want
named, said.The Indians as well as the Sri Lankans have noticed
that the latest
statement does not mention the LTTE, while there has been no
compunction about mentioning the Sri Lankan government and
rapping it for imposing restrictions on Press freedom and civil
liberties as part of the war effort.
Published: Thu May 18 14:25:47 EDT 2000
LTTE set to take Jaffna,
Army's supply line under fire
Times Of India, May 18.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels
Thursday said they had control over two
strategic roads leading into Jaffna and were
pounding the military's only airport in the
region to cut off supplies for 40,000 troops
defending the northern Jaffna peninsula.The clandestine Voice
of Tigers Radio said
seven Sri Lankan soldiers were killed in the
attack on Palali airport where between six to
10 artillery shells were fired. "The fighting
formation of the Liberation Tigers attacked
the Palali airport with artillery today killing
seven Sinhalese soldiers," said the broadcast
monitored in the northern town of Vavuniya,
according to residents reached by telephone.
Published: Thu May 18 14:10:49 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka Govt. debunks LTTE claim
Hindu, May 18.
The Sri Lankan Government has
debunked the LTTE claim that fierce onslaught by its cadres
forced government troops to abandon a military complex at
Kaithadi in Ariyali sector, saying that the Army has no major
base in the area and that only defence lines have been
re-adjusted. Military sources in Colombo said there is no
base at Kaithadi as claimed by the LTTE yesterday. Kaithadi
lies five-kms from the entry point to Jaffna. In the face of this
denial comes another claim by the rebels that they fired six
artillery shells today at Palay air base.
Published: Thu May 18 14:00:46 EDT 2000
Rebels strafe Palaly airport, Army Garrison
Hindu, May 18.
Tamil rebels pounded a strategically
important Palaly airport and nearby Army Garrison in Jaffna
peninsula for a second straight day today, though the Sri
Lankan Government said that troops continued to push back
LTTE guerrillas.Reports reaching here from the fighting zone said
carried out the long-range attacks either with an 81-mm mortar
bomb or a 122-mm artillery gun.
Published: Thu May 18 13:52:15 EDT 2000
S.Lanka takes steps to avert
''backlash'' after bomb
Sri Lanka said on
Thursday it feared an ''ethnic backlash''
against the Tamil minority after a bomb
blast that killed 22 people, and called on
the country to protect them from
extremists of the majority Sinhala
community. The Special Media Information Centre said in a
statement that the government was calling on all citizens to
protect innocent Tamils after Wednesday's blast near a
Buddhist temple. It blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the
and said it appeared to have been timed to cause ethnic
Published: Thu May 18 11:18:24 EDT 2000
Ghosts and spirits
are everywhere - A book review
Irish Times, May 18.
Novelist Michael Ondaatje has been haunted all his
life: by his father's alcoholism, his Sri Lankan
roots, and childhood dreams. Now his new work -
appropriately titled Anil's Ghost - cannot escape
the spectre of its famous predecessor, The
but wrote about
it anyway: The
coffin was too
small, 'so they
had to build a
new one in the
couldn't get out,
'so they had to
break the doors
down' - a
Published: Thu May 18 09:54:56 EDT 2000
Sri Lanka Buddhist festival blast toll reaches 29
Yahoo, Thursday, May 18 4:21 PM SGT.
The powerful bomb blast that ripped through a Buddhist feast in eastern Sri
Lanka killed 29 people and
wounded 80, doctors said Thursday.
The explosion occurred near a temple in Batticaloa on Wednesday where
people were witnessing an illuminated
coloured structure to mark the Buddhist feast of Wesak, the holiest day in
the Buddhist calendar, officials said.
Almost all the victims were members of the minority Tamil community who
were witnessing the Buddhist
structure which is generally associated with the majority Sinhalese
Published: Thu May 18 09:17:32 EDT 2000
More rebel shells hit Sri Lanka
MSNBC, May 18.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger
rebels on Thursday fired at least six shells
at an air base which provides a lifeline for
tens of thousands of troops in the war-torn
Jaffna peninsula, officials said by phone.
They said details were not
immediately available, but initial reports
suggested some people may have died in
the artillery attack.
Published: Thu May 18 09:14:38 EDT 2000
Tamil rebels claim capture of
strategic Sri Lankan military base
MSNBC, May 18.
rebels said today they had captured a
strategic military base outside Jaffna city,
threatening the main supply route for
government troops defending the northern
peninsula. ''The strategically important Kaithady garrison
its heavily fortified military bases fell to the fighting
of the Liberation Tigers after 12 hours of ferocious combat,''
the rebels said in a statement posted on their Web site.
Published: Thu May 18 09:13:27 EDT 2000
Sri Lankan general on secret trip to
MSNBC, May 18.
Sri Lanka's chief of
defence staff is on a secret visit to India
that may include asking New Delhi for
logistical support for troops fighting Tamil
Tiger rebels, the Indian Express
newspaper said on Thursday. The newspaper quoted defence
experts in the Indian
navy's southern command as saying Daluwatte could be trying
to get logistical support for troops trapped on the Jaffna
''All possibilities minus a direct involvement by India
might be discussed,'' the paper quoted defence experts as
Published: Thu May 18 09:11:33 EDT 2000
Army says it repulsed fresh rebel attack in Jaffna Peninsula
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 17.15 Sri Lanka Time 18.05.2000.
The Media unit said today that the Army had repulsed fresh attacks by tamil
rebels. )7 soldiers have been injured in the last 24 hours of fighting the
communique which was issued this morning said.
Published: Thu May 18 08:46:16 EDT 2000
Rebels fire artillery at Palali
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 17.18 Sri Lanka Time 18.05.2000.
Tamil rebels have fired seven rounds of artillery at the Palali air force
base killing 08 soldiers and wounding 28 others senior military officials
in palali said. The officers said it was the second attack on palali in 24
hours. Last night the rebels fired three artillery shells at Wasavilan
adjacent to the Palali base.
Published: Thu May 18 08:46:16 EDT 2000
What Sri Lanka Crisis??
Published: Thu May 18 00:56:36 EDT 2000