The Lanka Academic

 
SEPTEMBER 5, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 153
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
SPECIAL
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WEATHER CENTRAL
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Where is MIR today?
 
VOICES OF THE HEART: DREAM MAKERS BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Chulie Kirtisinghe de Silva, LAcNet. This story relates the realization of a dream of a dedicated virtual community of globally dispersed volunteer Sri Lankan academics, who mobilized Sri Lankan Diaspora for funding; and then formed horizontal partnerships with local and international agencies to set up a computer center in rural Sri Lanka. It also relates the metamorphosis of an out of work teacher to be the Digital Ambassador for Sri Lanka through training and empowerment. It is the story of two communities coming together; one virtual in cyberspace, the other a land based poor rural community; one the haves, and the other the have nots; - the empowered, empowering and bridging the digital divide. More...
US GREEN CARD LOTTERY
DV-2002
US State Department. Colombo, 4 August 2000 - The U.S. State Department announced on July 31 that the mail-in period for the next U.S. Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program (DV-2002) will run from noon, October 2, through noon, November 1, 2000. There is no application fee and no special application form is required. The application with the necessary information can simply be typed on a blank sheet of paper. More...
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
431 killed in Sri Lanka fighting: media
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on September 5, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 5 (PTI): The latest Sri Lankan Army offensive to push back LTTE guerrillas from the outskirts of northern Jaffna town has claimed 431 lives on both sides, the official media said today. State-run newspaper the Daily News reported that while the death toll for the Army had gone up from 114 to 132, a total 299 rebels perished in the latest fighting. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 08:56:03 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Sporadic fighting as Sri Lanka death toll mounts  - 123India.com
·
S.Lanka rebels strike back, toll rises  - MSNBC
·
Around 37 dead Tiger bodies handed back to LTTE  - PRIU
·
Costly SLA operation back to square one  - Tamilnet
·
Hundreds Killed As Sri Lanka Ends Jaffna Push  - Yahoo
·
Lankan troops repulse rebels, win back key areas  - Times of India (Breaking News)
·
Heavy bloodletting mars Sri Lanka polls drive, toll hits 344  - 123India.com
·
Sri Lanka counts the dead in hundreds after fresh fighting in Jaffna  - 123India.com
·
Hundreds die in Sri Lanka offensive  - BBC South Asia

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Fighting stops, stalemate persists in Jaffna
The Hindu, Wednesday, September 06, 2000. COLOMBO, SEPT. 5. After the bloodletting in the Jaffna peninsula over two days in which over 300 combatants were killed and more than 1,000 wounded, the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam today got down to the business of counting the dead and exchanging bodies through the International Committee of the Red Cross. The fighting ceased today. The LTTE claimed over the clandestine radio, Voice of Tigers, that it had repulsed the army advance, killing over 100 soldiers. ``We are in occupation of Colombuthurai on the outskirts of Jaffna town. We have got where we wanted to be and we will be releasing a video-tape soon to show where we are,'' said a senior military official. A government release said its troops were in the process of ``constructing defences and are consolidating in the newly captured areas''. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 16:57:17 EDT 2000

Jane's Sentinel examines the success of the LTTE in resisting the Sri Lankan forces
Janes Sentinel, september 4. The sudden renewed outbreak of violence in the northwestern Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka in September 2000 provided the Sri Lankan armed forces with another reminder of the potency of their opposition. Despite the numerical and technological superiority of the army, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) met their offensive with customary ferocity, causing hundreds of casualties and repelling wave after wave of attack. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 20:39:52 EDT 2000

The government's gameplan
BBC, september 4. Critics of President Chandrika Kumaratunga - who also holds the defence portfolio - say the latest offensive was in part started to boost her Peoples' Alliance coalition in the run-up to general elections that are to be held on 10 October. President Kumaratunga has denied this, pointing out that her strategy has always been to defeat the Tigers militarily before beginning any peace negotiations.Now that the most recent fighting in Jaffna appears to have come to an end, much attention will be paid to what was achieved in return for the lives of more than 100 soldiers who were killed. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 22:09:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's next battle
Frontline, september 2. WHEN Chandrika Kumaratunga won the Sri Lankan presidential elections in December 1999, the strategists of the People's Alliance (P.A.) advised her to dissolve Parliament and hold general elections immediately. Their expectation was that the P.A., led by Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), would win a bigger majority than it had obtained in the 1994 parliamentary elections. The President did not heed the advice. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 22:23:53 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka polls: Violent start to campaign
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, September 06, 2000. COLOMBO, SEPT. 5. With the filing of nominations over, the campaign for Sri Lanka's October 10 general election took off today, but was marred by violence even before it began. A supporter of the United National Party (UNP) was killed and five were wounded in a clash with supporters of a rival group in Amparai on Monday. In protest, shops and establishments in Akkaraipattu, where the killing occurred, remained closed. At a press conference today, Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, estranged brother of the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, held the Government responsible for the killing. ``She must immediately disarm all those who have been issued with weapons by the Government to attack opposition supporters.'' More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 17:00:39 EDT 2000

Nominations for October 10 general election reveal decay of official politics in Sri Lanka - A News Analysis
World Socialist Web Site, september 5. An article entitled “Political somersaults and the voter” in last weekend's Sunday Times commented: “So, the scramble for nominations is on to try and become members of what the editorialist of this newspaper referred to last week as the ‘New Aristocracy'. This aristocracy of the new millennium is an elite class of people with power, privileges in the form of vehicle permits, telephones, meals, and overseas trips all paid for or subsidised by the state and of course, the unspoken potential to make quite a few millions on the sly, with a lifelong pension thrown in for good measure!” More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 20:45:45 EDT 2000

Lankan army, rebels exchange bodies
Times of India, 6 September 2000 . COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan army and Tamil rebels planned to exchange bodies of soldiers and guerrillas killed in heavy fighting in the northern part of the country as clashes subsided in the region, military sources said on Tuesday. A journalist based in the northern Jaffna town said by telephone that sounds of heavy gunfire between the two sides had ended by noon Tuesday. Military sources said the number of soldiers killed had increased to 200 from the 114 that was released officially Monday evening by the government. However, the military had not yet confirmed the new death toll of 200. A total of more than 450 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded in fighting between the two sides in the past three days. Fighting broke out on Sunday after security forces launched an offensive against the Tamil rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 16:58:31 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Army, LTTE rebels to exchange bodies  - The Hindu NUS
·
Hundreds killed as government repels Tamils near Jaffna  - Yahoo

Sri Lanka raises salaries ahead of polls
123India.com, Sep 05 2000 17:41 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 5 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga announced Tuesday a 10 percent salary increase to all government servants as political parties scrambled to offer sweeteners to win votes at the October elections. President Kumaratunga, who is also finance minister, said she was ordering the salary increase -- subject to a minimum of 1,000 rupees (12 dollars) -- to go into effect 10 days before the parliamentary polls next month.The sudden government move came three days after the main opposition United National Party (UNP) announced in its election manifesto that all employees will be paid an additional 2,000 rupees pending a review of salaries. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 12:04:16 EDT 2000

Sunday Leader Editor convicted
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 5. Lasantha Wickrematunge, Editor for The Sunday Leader was today convicted to a two year suspended jail term by the High Court of Colombo. The jail term suspended for a period of five years was handed down in a judgement which found Wickrematunge guilty of criminally defaming President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge.

The criminal defamation charges were filed after Wickrematunge carried a report in 1995 titled 'The Promises of the President,' in The Sunday Leader.

Meanwhile Lal Wickrematunge, Publisher, for the The Sunday Leader newspaper and brother of the Editor, was accquitted of all charges.

Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunge soon after the judgement was handed down told the press, that he would be appealing against the decision of the Colombo High Court within the next few days.
Published: Tue Sep 5 11:20:09 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
·
Lankan editor gets 2-yr jail term for defaming president  - Times of India (Breaking News)
·
S.Lankan editor sentenced for defaming president  - ABC News
·
Lankan editor sentenced for defaming President  - The Hindustan Times

Sporadic Fighting As Sri Lanka Sides Swap Dead
Altavista, Tuesday Sep 5, 08:40:21. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sporadic fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels continued on Tuesday as both sides prepared to exchange bodies of the dead from the fiercest fighting in months on the northern Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 08:46:39 EDT 2000

At least two Sri Lankan Tamil candidates quit after death threats
123India.com, Sep 05 2000 19:23 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 5 (AFP) - At least two minority Tamil candidates have withdrawn from standing in Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections following death threats from rivals, party officials here said. The two members of the moderate Tamil United Liberation Frontannounced that they were pulling out the race in the northern district of Jaffna where 14 political parties and six independent groups are in the fray. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 12:14:32 EDT 2000

IGP bans election cuts-outs
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.50 a.m. SLT Tuesday September 5. The Inspector General of Police, Lucky Kodituwakku yesterday ordered his men to remove all election posters and cut-out of politicos from city walls, lamp-posts and other public areas.

As the poster war intensified in Colombo and her suburbs, the police yesterday began removing the images of election contestants in the Kalutara district, South of Colombo.

However, images of President Chandrika Kumaratunge, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Justice Minister G. L. Pieris continue to adorn the grubby city walls of Colombo. The leading politicos claim that it is their supporters who are guilty of breaking the Election Act which bans the display of posters, and that the matter is out of their control.

Editorial comment in a leading daily newspaper today has stated that it will be interesting to watch if the police will be brave enough to remove the posters and cut-outs of the President and the Justice Minister which are splayed not only in Colombo but in the country's rural districts as well.

Before each election the police continue to insist that they will not allow the breaking of the law against posters, but have consistently been ignored in their pledge, as political parties and their mass of supporters continue to blissfully break the law.
Published: Tue Sep 5 09:30:36 EDT 2000


Government says LTTE is attempting to disrupt October 10 polls
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Tuesday September 5. As the battle increased in Sri Lanka's North between government forces and the LTTE, the Government maintains that the entire attack on the military is an exercise by the rebel forces to disrupt the General Elections in October this year.

Armed forces launched an offensive on Tiger strongholds in the North after 14 Airmen were killed in a landmine attack at Vavuniya on Friday September 1. The military attack followed two days later which has resulted in heavy casualties for both sides.

Striving to gain ground while facing stiff resistance from the LTTE, the armed forces lost nearly 500 men(190 killed and the rest injured) from its fighting forces in the first 12 hours of battle. Another 800 were injured while the death toll for the military had risen to 340 by Monday September 4.

According to the Ministry of Defence some 230 Tigers were also killed in battle while over 300 rebel combatants had been injured.

The ferocious battle, the worst since a lull in fighting for four months, has restrained armed forces from conquering the Tigers, who though unable to penetrate Forward Defence Lines (FDL) of government troops, nevertheless held the security forces back from advancing towards Chavakachcheri. The Tigers launched a two pronged counter attack on the military's FDL positions at Columbothurai while armed forces backed by air power continued to pound Tiger bases. Editor's Note Story was recast with clarification of the number of dead and injured during the first 12 hours.
Published: Tue Sep 5 09:30:36 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
·
Tamil Tigers eyeing Sri Lanka polls: report  - 123India.com
·
Govt mulls implications of LTTE proxies fighting polls  - NewIndpress

Unprecedented number of hopefuls for October polls
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday September 5. Sri Lanka yesterday saw over 5400 political hopefuls register their candidature for the forthcoming General Elections as nominations closed by 12 noon Monday. The unprecedented number of political parties and independent groups superseded the 1994 General Elections which registered only 1,449 political parties and independent groups.

Jaffna meanwhile had the highest number of nominations handed in next to Colombo with 18 political parties and 4 independent groups handing in their nominations. The nominations for the war torn northern peninsula were registered despite an increase in warfare between the LTTE and government forces.

The political groups will vie for 225 seats in Parliament while contesting parties will woo voters in 22 electoral districts in the Island nation.
Published: Tue Sep 5 09:30:36 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
·
Lanka registers unprecedented number of poll candidates  - India Abroad
·
Lanka's Oct 10 polls has the highest-recorded contestants ever  - 123India.com

Kumaratunga must get majority to avert crisis
India Abroad, September 05, 2000 16:25 Hrs(IST) . Colombo: Sri Lanka will face a major constitutional crisis if President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling People's Alliance (PA) fails to get an absolute majority in Parliament after next month's general election. If the opposition wins more than half the seats in the 225-member Parliament, a clash between Parliament and the all-powerful executive presidency will be imminent. Under the system of executive presidency adopted in 1978, the executive president, as head of state and government, will select the prime minister and the cabinet from among elected members of Parliament. The prime minister is merely the senior-most minister. The president heads the cabinet and takes all decisions. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 09:00:22 EDT 2000

S.Lanka Buddhist monks vow to stop poll violence
MSNBC, 18.00 hrs (IST) on September 5, 2000. Sri Lanka's powerful Buddhist clergy stepped into the political arena on Tuesday vowing to use their influence to prevent more violence from marring an already bloody parliamentary election campaign.''We will ensure that the election is both fair and violence- free,'' Muruththettuwe Ananda, a leading Buddhist cleric told the gathering. The monks have been given permission by the Elections Commissioner to monitor the October 10 elections, although they will not be permitted to enter polling booths. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 09:24:05 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Two killed as Sri Lanka election campaign begins  - MSNBC

Lanka minister beaten up by own men
The Asian Age, Colombo, Sept. 4 . A Sri Lankan minister was assaulted on Monday by a supporter of a senior member of his own party, hours before campaigning for parliamentary elections formally began, senior aides said. They said tourism minister H.B. Semasinghe had been attacked with a knuckle duster by a supporter of Berty Dissanayake, northcentral province’s chief minister. The incident occurred in Anuradhapura, 200 km north of the capital Colombo, where Mr Semasinghe and Mr Dissanayake are spearheading the ruling People’s Alliance campaign for the October 10 parliamentary elections. Mr Semasinghe was injured and taken to hospital before returning home several hours later. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 00:26:49 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka minister hurt in poster war  - 123India.com
·
With friends like these  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lankan and Indian lovers to be flogged for adultery
123India, september 5. A Gulf court has sentenced a Sri Lankan woman to 100 lashes and a year in jail and her Indian lover to 90 lashes and 10 months inside for adultery, a newspaper said Tuesday. The Islamic Sharia court in the emirate of Fujairah delivered the sentences on Monday to Fatima Mohammad Raoof after finding her guilty of committing adultery with Mohammad Koya. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 10:58:05 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka gays mark five years with 'visible' ball
123India.com, Sep 04 2000 09:32 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 4 (AFP) - Homosexuality is illegal in conservative Sri Lanka where offenders can be jailed for 12 years, but the country's most active gay group is set to mark its fifth anniversary with a ball. The gay rights movement, the so-called Companions on a Journey, is planning a gala on Friday to turn their birthday into an annual ritual with music and dancing at a resort hotel here. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 01:11:08 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka gays mark anniversary with ball  - Times of India

Sri Lanka polls campaign off to bloody start
Yahoo, Tuesday Aug 5, 08:33:12. COLOMBO, Sept 5 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's electioneering began in earnest Tuesday as nominations for the October polls closed with a record number of candidates entering the fray in what is feared to be a blood-splattered campaign. A man was shot dead when rival parties clashed in the eastern district of Ampara Monday and raised to five the number of people killed in poll-related violence since parliament was dissolved on August 18, police said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 08:39:28 EDT 2000

Iran Reviews Sri Lanka's Proposal to Purchase Oil
Asia Pulse, september 5. Sri Lankan Minister of Commerce Kingsley Wickremarante said here Monday that Iran is reviewing a proposal put forward by Sri Lanka to grant the country a six- to twelve month credit for purchasing Iranian oil. He told IRNA that during his recent visit to Iran, he had discussed the matter with the Iranian oil ministry officials and Iranian oil minister, adding that the proposal is currently under discussion with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 11:00:47 EDT 2000

Army in Sri Lanka claims to have won back key areas from rebels
NDTV/MSNBC, Tuesday,September 5,2000. The Sri Lankan army says it has won back key areas from Tamil rebels in the troubled northern Jaffna peninsula. Fighter jets pounded the region, as government troops claimed to have repulsed a Tamil rebel counterattack. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 02:58:22 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Sri Lankan Troops Repulse Rebels  - Yahoo

Heavy bloodshed mars Sri Lanka polls drive, toll hits 344
Yahoo, Tuesday, September 5 1:35 AM SGT . Ferocious fighting gripped Sri Lanka for a second straight day Monday, leaving at least 344 people dead as the military mounted a major offensive ahead of crucial parliamentary polls, officials said. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched two counter-attacks against military positions at Columbuthurai in the northern peninsula of Jaffna Monday, but were repulsed, the defence ministry said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 01:36:22 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Heavy fighting mars Sri Lanka nominations, toll hits 317  - ExpressIndia.com
·
Over 5,400 vie for Sri Lanka parliament amid bloodshed  - 123India.com

Bomb-toting Sri Lanka prisoner shot in freedom bid
MSNBC, Tuesday,September 5,2000. A Sri Lankan prisoner was shot dead by prison guards after threatening to blow himself up if he was not released, local media reported on Tuesday. The remand prisoner held at Negombo jail, some 40 km (25 miles) north of the capital, brandished a hand grenade on Monday as guards prepared to move him to a court house for his trial, the independent Daily Mirror said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 02:55:12 EDT 2000

Former Sri Lankan army commander's house ransacked
123India.com, Sep 4 2000 13:00 IST. Colombo, Sep 4 (UNI)- In a daring Act, six armed men broke into former Army Commander Tissa Weeratunga's house but left without taking any valuables, after ransacking the place. General Weeratunga, who was the Army Commander between 1981 and 1985, said the 'break in' had taken place on Saturday night while he and his family members were visiting a friend.He said six armed men, who were also carrying torches, were dressed in black shirts and slacks with black hats and dark glasses. More...
Published: Mon Sep 4 23:57:32 EDT 2000

230 rebels killed - over 300 injured
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.20 p.m. SLT Monday September 4 . The Ministry of Defence this evening said that in the ongoing battle in the Northern Peninsula the armed forces have killed 230 rebels and injured over 300.

The LTTE meanwhile has not yet confirmed these figures, neither has the rebel force approached the International Committee of the Red Cross in a bid to accept or hand over the bodies of dead combatants.
Published: Mon Sep 4 22:33:03 EDT 2000


War dead rise - as battle continues
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.50 p.m. SLT Monday September 4. The death toll rose for the military as fierce battles continues in Sri Lanka's embattled North. By afternoon today, military sources said that 116 government troops have died since the military began an offensive at 4.30 a.m. on Sunday September 3.

Over four hundred troops have been injured while government forces were pushed back the one kilometer which ground they had gained in yesterday's offensive. The military are reportedly attempting a two pronged attack, advancing from Puttur to the area of Chavakachcheri. Rebel casualty figures are not known.

The LTTE meanwhile in a statement issued from its London Secretariat on Sunday said that "over one hundred Sri Lankan soldiers have been killed and several hundreds injured as fierce fighting flared up between the government troops and the Liberation Tigers in the Jaffna and Chavakachcheri sectors.

The rebels claim that the SLA together with the Sri Lanka Air Force launched a massive offensive assault simultaneously on five fronts (Colombuthurai, Ariyalai, Madduvil, Sarasalai and Meesalai) in the Jaffna and Chavakachcheri sectors in the early hours of the morning, Sunday.

Under the barrage of heavy artillery shelling and multi-barrel rockets, government troops attacked the Tigers forward positions in the eastern sector of the Jaffna town and in Chavakachcheri. Heavy fighting is still continuing. The rebels reportedly are putting up a heavy resistance to the armed forces offensive.

The LTTE further claim that hundreds of civilians have been forced to flee their homes in these areas due to the military onslaught. Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne however repeatedly denied this claim telling 'Lacnet' that the forces have been careful in civilian areas and that the population in and around these areas are sought fleeing their homes.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) maintain that due to a lack of access to the areas in which fighting is predominant the humanitarian organization is unable to assess the civilian casualty rate.
Published: Mon Sep 4 22:37:11 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
·
Major military operation launched in Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
·
Over 300 killed in Sri Lanka  - The Hindu
·
Lanka fighting claims at least 316 lives  - The Hindu NUS
·
LTTE kills 71 Sri Lankan soldiers  - IndiaExpress.com

Rajiv Gandhi's assailant takes a swipe at Lankan polls
IndiaExpress.com, 03rd Sept 2000 17.15 IST . An ex-Sri Lankan naval rating, who served a three-year jail term for assaulting former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, will contest the October 10 Parliamentary elections on the Sihala Uurumaya party ticket. Wijemuni Wijithamuni Rohana, a member of Naval Guard of honor, hit Mr. Gandhi with his rifle before the Indian and Sri Lankan security men overpowered him at the airport in July 1987. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 00:30:18 EDT 2000

Lanka launches its indigenous patrol vessel
Yahoo, Colombo, Sept 3 (ANI). In a step towards indigenisation of its efence products, Sri Lanka has launched its first domestically uilt patrol vessel, state-controlled media said today.The Sunday Observer newspaper said the inshore patrol craft had been built at the navy's new construction yard at Welisara, a few ilometres away from here."It is an advantage for the country's economy because we have een able to save 89,000 dollars by completing this project on ur own," the newspaper quoted navy commander Vice Admiral Cecil issera as saying. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 00:34:50 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers take pounding from army's big guns
Yahoo, september 5. The Sri Lankan army says that its forces have launched a counter-offensive in the north, using new heavy artillery and other weapons to give "a real pounding" to positions held by the Tamil Tiger rebels in the Jaffna peninsula. Tamil Tigers take pounding from army's big guns

Alastair Lawson-Tancred in Colombo Tuesday September 5, 2000

The Sri Lankan army says that its forces have launched a counter-offensive in the north, using new heavy artillery and other weapons to give "a real pounding" to positions held by the Tamil Tiger rebels in the Jaffna peninsula.

A military spokesman said that 106 soldiers and eight officers were killed yesterday and Sunday in operations around the town of Jaffna. Critics of President Chandrika Kumaratunga - who also holds the defence portfolio - say that the army's new offensive was in part started to boost her People's Alliance coalition before parliamentary elections on October 10. President Kumaratunga has denied this, saying that her aim has always been to defeat the Tigers militarily before beginning any peace talks. More...
Published: Tue Sep 5 17:02:16 EDT 2000


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