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Srilanka - News And Discussion
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->what about the anti Tamil discrimination, like for example the anti Tamil riots in Colombo in 1983 or the burning down of Jaffna library<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->No idea. I just don't want anymore Sri Lankan Tamils (Hindus) to die through either LTTE or anti-LTTE actions. They have no friends in either party. Don't really know what they can do.

The Tamil Hindus need to start their own representation (not the LTTE) to negotiate an agreement with the Sinhalese, then in the long run this could work out well for them (as well as for the Buddhists). It won't stop the LTTE, but it will question its image as being representative of all Tamils when the Hindus are not on their side. The Sri Lankan govt will then have to build a good rapport with the Hindu Tamils, if it wants to be seen as anti-terrorist and not as anti-Tamil/anti-Hindu. The first problem with this suggestion is that although small Hindu groups and vocal leaders have already done this, they've been targetted by the LTTE who obviously see them as more threatening than the SL govt. So the need is for large numbers of Lankan Tamil Hindus to decide once and for all whether they want the LTTE to represent their rights or whether they'd prefer to start up by themselves (more chance of success with the Sinhalese majority when disassociated from LTTE).
The second problem is the fundamental one plaguing Hindus everywhere: we never organise as Hindus on a significantly large scale. Hindus in Sri Lanka are willing to support or join the Tamil movement where they find themselves in the company of anti-Hindus, ChristoIslamists (the LTTE blows up temples but not churches); but they never form a Hindu organisation that is willing to speak on behalf of their own people and to negotiate terms with others. It's not that the Sri Lankan Hindus are superficial followers of their religion - not at all - it's the usual reasons: Hindus just don't congregate as political groups to claim rights as Hindus. But we're quite willing to do so under other identifiers (Tamil in the case of Sri Lanka) that often don't serve our interests at all.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LTTE and Pakistan are made for each other.
This marriage will give excellent result.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Looking forward to it myself. Got the popcorn ready.
<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Aug 19 2006, 08:32 AM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Aug 19 2006, 08:32 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LTTE and Pakistan are made for each other.
This marriage will give excellent result.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Looking forward to it myself. Got the popcorn ready.[right][snapback]55860[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->What was I thinking? The Pak 'intelligence' (oxymoron), with that big anti-Hindu chip on its shoulder, will probably use the opportunity to point out uninvolved Tamil Hindu communities as being "LTTE or harbouring LTTE terrorists" just to get them wiped out. On the other side, the LTTE would be stepping up its kidnap-kids-to-recruit programme and get more Tamil children massacred. Things can only get worse with Pakistan in the picture.

India should get in there and prevent Pakiland from indirectly causing the murder of large numbers of Tamils. Pak could even use this opportunity to change the religious demographics of the Tamil community and having now got its foot in the door, set up madrassas so that Lanka's sleeper Islamist population turn into the full-fledged Jihadis we see in the rest of the world. In any case, Paki involvement always causes everything to blow up in people's faces. Terroristan has not resolved a single issue ever and has a <i>negative</i> human rights record (its tour-of-genocide in Bangladesh provides overwhelming evidence for this, as does Kashmir). The SL government is playing with the future of their country if they are accepting Paki 'help'. And ultimately the Lankan Tamil Hindu population (since they are the majority among the Tamils), is going to suffer - <i>not</i> the LTTE nor Pak.
Pakistan will be LTTE’s new target. Good thing, there is a big distance between Pakistan and Srilanka. LTTE and Pakistan are very organized terrorist organization. So fight between them will be interesting to watch especially if LTTE move battleground to Pakistan.
Lankan Muslims can now look to India: Hakeem
Meenakshi Iyer (HindustanTimes.com)
New Delhi, August 25, 2006

1.how come Sri Lankan muslims are classified neither as Tamils nor Sinhalese? How come they are a separate 'ethnic' class? Are they not converts from either Tamil Hindus or Sinhalese Buddhists?

2.If Sri Lankan Muslims can look upto "India" for help and can get UPA government actually respond to them favorably... of which country's concern should the problems of Bangladeshi Hindus be??? I never read a news of any high level meeting by Indian government and MPs with representatives of Bangladesh Hindus or Buddhists...did I miss it?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sri Lankan Muslims can now look to India for the protection of their interest because the Indian view of the Muslim question has undergone a sea change since the India-Sri Lanka Accord of July 1987, says Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the island nation's most influential Muslim political party.

After his meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed and National Security Advisor MK Narayanan on Thursday in New Delhi, Hakeem said in an exclusive interview to HindustanTimes.com: "My discussion with Narayanan was very reassuring.

He talked about the need to have a Southern Consensus. The Indian position is that Sri Lanka should decide what it wants. India is willing to help us and Muslims can now look to India."

In its anxiety to please the Tamils, India had ignored the Muslims altogether in the Indo-Lanka accord of July 1987, and it was this which had led to the formation of the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, Hakeem recalled.

"India should not have a tunnelled vision towards the Sri Lankan crisis. The crisis in the nation doesn't just pertain to the Tamils and Sinhalese. There is a Muslim angle to it too. Unfortunately there was nothing for the Muslims in the Indo-Sri Lankan accord," he said.

However, of late, the Indian attitude towards Sri Lankan Muslims has undergone a sea change, Hakeem notes.

India wants to cultivate the Muslims and see that frustration with the Tamils and the LTTE does not drive them into the deadly embrace of the Islamic militants with foreign connections.

"Just like Tamils, the umbilical cord between the Sri Lankan Muslims and India cannot be severed. It is natural for us to look up to India. Not just because it is a regional power, but because it understands us perfectly and India cannot sit quiet when there is a fire in its neighbourhood," Hakeem said.

The suave and articulate Muslim leader, who concluded his New Delhi visit on Thursday, said that India had to put pressure on the LTTE and the government to make them get back to the negotiating table and come out with a solution.

India has offered a devolution formula, based on the Sarkaria Commission's recommendations, which could take care of the interests and aspirations of all sections of the society of the island nation.

New Delhi has suggested that Sri Lanka look at the Indian model of governance, where there is a clear-cut distribution of power between the Centre and the states.

Pondy model preferred

The SLMC, however, has been pitching for a "Pondicherry" model, wherein the Muslims can have various Muslim pockets spread over the East under one Muslim administration.

The Union Territory of Pondicherry has pockets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

"We have been looking at the Pondicherry model and it addresses our issues. Of course we need to make some minor alterations," Hakeem said.

The Muslims, who constitute seven per cent of the nation's 20 million population, have been the worst sufferers in the ongoing shelling between the Tigers and the government military forces.

According to reports, 50,000 people from areas in and around Mutur in Trincomalee district have fled to Kantalai, and places in the Sinhala-dominated Anuradhapura and Polonnaruva districts, which are under government control.

Blaming the Establishment in Colombo and the Tamil Tigers for the mass exodus of Muslims and the many deaths, Hakeem said that the government and the LTTE only had military objectives in mind.

They cared little for the plight of civilians caught in the crossfire, especially if they were Muslims.

"The Muslim community has undergone sheer neglect. The two warring parties have put civilians in jeopardy. The shelling has not spared even mosques and schools. On one hand we have been let down by the government and on the other, LTTE is subjecting us to torture," a worried Hakeem said.

He further noted that the LTTE never fired on Tamil settlements, and the government forces never fired on the Sinhala settlements, but both had no compunctions about firing on Muslims settlements!

There has always been a perception in certain sections of the Sinhala community that Muslims are as much a threat as the Tamils, the SLMC leader observes.

The relationship between the Muslims and the Tamils took a serious turn in 1990, when the LTTE expelled 90,000 Muslims from Jaffna overnight, and killed 140 Muslims in Kaathankudy mosque in Batticaloa district.

Hakeem maintained that over 100 Muslim civilians, including women and children, were slaughtered by the Tamil militants in the recent military conflict.

Little help from Colombo

He added that no proper transit camps had been established for the refugees and the little help they had been getting were from the aid agencies and not the government.

Even though the government has asked the Muslims to return home, Colombo had to do much more to make it possible, Hakeem submitted.

"I want my people to be resettled with dignity. People will not come until they are given a security assurance. Their livelihood has to be restored. I want the government to provide them with a livelihood and a resettlement package," Hakeem said.

While in New Delhi, the SLMC leader also met Minister of Shipping TR Baalu, who represents the DMK, and Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha K Rehman Khan, among other Muslim MPs.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1.how come Sri Lankan muslims are classified neither as Tamils nor Sinhalese? How come they are a separate 'ethnic' class? Are they not converts from either Tamil Hindus or Sinhalese Buddhists?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Srilankan Muslims are in many cases converts from Tamils or the progeny of intermarriages between Tamils and the Muslim traders, almost all of them speak Tamil but use their religion to carve a separate identity for themselves which is the cause of a lot of resentment between Tamils and Muslims in Srilanka, the LTTE expelled them from Jaffna in a few days back in the day.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->2.If Sri Lankan Muslims can look upto "India" for help and can get UPA government actually respond to them favorably... of which country's concern should the problems of Bangladeshi Hindus be??? I never read a news of any high level meeting by Indian government and MPs with representatives of Bangladesh Hindus or Buddhists...did I miss it? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Don't you know, India is a secular nation and has all the time to look after the problems of Muslims and other minorities all over the world but has no time to spare for the reactionary and communalist Hindus.
<b>SL launches tri services offensive in Trinco</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sri Lankan ground troops supported by the artillery, navy and Air Force launched an offensive early on Monday to capture Mutur East and Sampur in Trincomalee district in Eastern Sri Lanka.

The LTTE's military spokesman, Rasaiah Ilanthirayan told Hindustan Times over phone from Kilinochchi, that Sri Lankan ground troops started a three-pronged attack from Pacchanoor, Thoppur and Mahindapura at 3 am.

Later, the three-pronged attack got reduced to two, with movement from Mahindapura being abandoned, Ilanthirayan said.
<b>Tamil Nadu politicians on the pay roll of the LTTE</b>

DMK ployticians working for LTTE's Christoterrorist Prabhakaran.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Description of a photo: In Vanni, Nedumaran inspecting an assault weapon held by Prabakaran.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Recently P Nedumaran put pressure on the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to send an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss and find a solution to the ongoing ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka and <b>killing of innocent Tamils</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The DMK ploytician is being dishonest there. He should admit he doesn't care about the murder of innocent Tamil Hindus. If he did, he'd be a big hypocrite, as the DMK cares nothing for the Hindus of Tamil Nadu.
And where are his crocodile tears for Christoterrorist LTTE killing Tamils in Lanka?
No surprise. Now refugees are pouring in TN. Same 1980s situation and DMK is playing same old role, supporting and pocketing money to help terrorist and buying land and gold for their own grand children.
Old article I came across, we are only told about how LTTE expelled Muslims so here is the other side:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Matters that should be considered by the Muslim leadership
Point of View
By Niraj David

Presently, there is widespread expressions and sentiments regarding
the distressing situations of the Muslims driven out of Jaffna, and
the imperative need for their re-settlement in their traditional
habitat. Discussions have now become a matter of routine in a
political sense. The mid-nineties saw a wide cleavage in Tamil -
Muslim relationships resulting in the driving out of the Muslims from
the north; there can be no doubt about their re-settlement. But, at
the same time, during the same period, the Eastern Province too
witnessed similar events; the Tamils living in their traditional
regions too were driven out of their homes by Muslims: displacement
to other areas etc. In that context, there is the necessity to take
into consideration the plight of such displaced Tamils too to be re-
settled in their areas earlier occupied by them.

Eelam War II set in motion a calculated series of aggressive attacks
by the Sri Lankan Security Forces against the Tamils of the Eastern
province. The process of genocide of the Tamils' or the 'De-reliction
of the Tamils' by the Security forces received the active support
from both the Muslim militancy as well as the Muslim politicians. In
particular, Ampara District which had a permanent and long-standing
Tamil population of thousands of families, were subjected to all
forms of violence by both the Muslim hooligans and Muslim Home Guards.

When I refer to the word 'Muslims', it undoubtedly refers
specifically attributed to the destructive activities by Muslim Home
Guards, Muslim Hooligans and the Muslim politicians. By this process,
they ensured the compulsory displacement of the Tamils from their
traditional habitat and to strengthen their own positions with
ulterior motives. The fact that the security forces went on the
rampage in Tamil regions in the Ampara District paved the way for the
Muslim forces to plan and carry out calculated activities to achieve
their objectives.

In the process of destruction directed against the Tamils, the
community lost a number of the educated Tamil intelligentsia. Several
Hindu Temples were set on fire and destroyed. The Tamils lost all
their belongings including houses, agricultural lands, movable and
immovable properties. They were compelled to vacate their traditional
villages and move out to safer areas.

The Muslims who acquired both political as well as economic strengths
utilized the terrific war situation to establish and seize by force a
political platform to suit their needs. Result: Ampara District,
portions of which were once under Tamil regimes over a period of
traditional occupation with a proud heritage overnight became alien
property. Hindu Temples with centuries-old heritage, which
contributed to their moral and religious ways of life, were destroyed
completely leaving no traces. Tamil villages in the District such as
Palamunai, Panama, Meem Odai Kaddu, Oluvil, Nintawr, Samnlanthurai,
Karavalupattu, Deegavapi, Maanthoddam, Kondavedduva, Poorani,
Chemmanilwlam, Thangavelauthaplram, Udumpankulam, are strange lands
to the Tamil community having been converted to Muslim areas.
Moreover, other Tamil villages with a preponderant Tamil population,
namely, Addapallam, Chavalakadai, Thiraaikemi, Sorrikalmunai,
Veeracholai are nay facing eminent dangers of being engulfed by
Muslims using their political and economic machinations. All forms of
destructive activities directed by the security forces against the
Tamil community as well as their economic targets, paved the way for
the Muslims to reap the harvest and strengthen their position. Tamils
were murdered systematically on a planned basis. The remaining Tamils
were strangled economically with no prospects of carrying out farming
activities, marketing their produce or even moving freely without
fear. The sole objective was to drive out the remaining Tamils from
their villages. For that purpose, it was calculated to erase out
their heritage which came under the umbrella of 'Hindu Worship'.
Destructive activities were directed against the Hindu Temples in all
the villages. Here are a few examples:

Sammanthurai - Kali Amman Temple destroyed by the Muslism in 1990.

Karaitivu - Kannaki Amman Temple damaged by the Muslims who
accompanied the forces.

Addaipallam - Meenachchi Amman Temple damaged by the Muslims during
the same period.

Karavalu - A village in close proximity to Kalmunai - An ancient Kali
Kovil completely destroyed by Muslims. At present, a Mosque stands at
that - place.

Meen Odai Kaddu - Pillaiyar Temple completely destroyed by Muslims.
Muslim community settled at that site.

Oddamavadi - Batticaloa District - Pillaiyar Temple taken over
forcibly by Muslim. A Beef Stall stands there now.

The Tamils of Ampara are deeply grieved over the several instances of
the destructions caused to their places of worship as well as other
horrendous acts of violence caused to their kith and kin. Here is an
unforgettable incident: In 1990, Nintavur village was rounded up by
the security forces and Muslim Home Guards; 64 youths males and
females were taken to the Nintavur Murugan Temple. They were slain
and shot. Those killed and the groaning lot were set on fire along
with the temple. The strro1ge thing is that there is no trace of the
existence of a temple at that site which was once a recognised place
of worship. This area, is now one where no Tamils can go into it and
it is now a Muslim region.

Tiraikerui - An incident of aggression by Muslim hooligans in 1990.
Muslim Hooligans armed with swords and knives entered the village and
terrified the villagere. They sough t refuge in their village
Pillaiyar Temple. The hooligans after damaging the temple entrance
door attacked the helpless victims using their destructive weapons
and after they were killed set the temple on fire.

Veeramunai - During the same time, refugees who were accomodated in
the Pillaiyar Temple; they were rounded up by the Security forces and
the Muslim Home Guards.

They selected the educated and the well-built youths numbering 85,
took them inside the temple premises; they were slain and Shot by the
Muslim Home Guards.

This particular incident took place in the presence of the relatives
of those killed - When the security forces were simply watching While
the Muslim Home Guards performed these horrible murders. Ampara
Tamils often tell such similar stories through their experiences.

The Tamils of these regions did not have the courage and the strength
to fight the politically strong Muslim leadership who gave all the
help and assistance to the Muslim, Home Guards and the hooligans to
carry out their plans to destroy the Tamils, the reason being that
the remaining Tamils were economically bad as they were victims in
every sense; and more so because their children were drawn into the
liberation struggle which compelled them to remain silent spectators.
The fact is, the prevailing situation at that time made them a
complete helpless lot unable to voice their sentiments. There is yet
another situation. There were cries for 'separate Muslim
region'and 'Maritime Muslim District' from the strong Muslim
political Leadership. They were not only participant in a Government;
but also held positions to make or unmake governments. With that
strength, they were able to voice their sentiments and make loud
their slogans to receive the active support of the government of the
day. The Tamils of the region were politically bankrupt with no
representation; hence their grievances could not be spotlighted. The
Rights of the Tamils were not only denied nut also prevented for the
very same reasons.

It was the usual practice of the local politicos to release some
reports for the sake of doing it; while waiting for the next
opportunity to receive their favours from the government of the day.
There seems to be no efforts on their part to launch a struggle with
peoples' support or to expose the atrocities to the outside world;
their hands were tied and also tight-lipped.

There is also no record of any effort by anyone to spotlight the
destructions caused to Hindu Temples by the Muslims to the notice of
organisations like the Indian 'Vishva Hindu Parishad', and cause
embarrassment to those concerned as well is the Sri Lankan Govt.

They simply remained silent knowing fully well that their voices will
not be heard; they were concerned only for their own survival. The
only philosophy preached by them was' God will root out'.

We hear of various slogans like: ' Muslims of the North should be re-
settled traditional, lands taken by force to be handed over to the
owners ' - are often heard from both Muslim leadership and reasonable
Tamil leaderships. In that context, it becomes imperative that the
cause of the Ampara District Tamils too should be spotlighted on a
similar footing. With the on-going war situation over a length of
time, the Ampara Tamils who were subjected to all sorts of inhumane
and atrocious activities have suffered immense hardships. Their
traditional lands too were secured either by force or malicious means
by Muslims. Such lands too should be handed over to these who
occupied them.

Summarising the siutation of the Ampara Tamils, the under-mentioned
matters should be considered:

1. Traditional lands of those occupied by them prior to the war and
subsequently taken by force by the Muslims should be handed over back
to the owners.

2. Hindu Temples destroyed should be re-constructed.

3. Those areas which housed the Hindu Temples and presently colonised
by Muslims should be freed.

4. Those involved in violent activities directed against the Tamils
should be identified and brought before Courts for meeting justice.

5. Affected victims should be adequately compensated taking into
account their losses and their extent.

6. Regions which have majority Muslim population with a minority,
Tamil population should be adequately provided with a trusted
security system so as to afford protection to the life and the
households of the minority Tamils.

7. We are the sole representatives of the Muslims. - if the Sri Lanka
Muslim Congress is sincere about this slogan, and, as they are
partners of the Government, they should come forward and strive to
give effect to the above - mentioned matters.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Valiant troops capture Sampur

Amidst applause Mahinda announces
moral-boosting victoryat SLFP convention
LTTE complains re-take to SLMM but
says it’s only tactical retreat
By Easwaran Rutnam

In a morale-boosting victory the government yesterday announced the capture of the strategic Sampur region with the LTTE also conceding defeat although claiming to be still in control of at least 25% of the area.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the capture of Sampur at yesterday’s SLFP convention, a claim confirmed to the Daily Mirror by the military and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).

The LTTE, in a complaint to the SLMM, confirmed that the government has captured Sampur, but claimed to have control of at least 25% of the area, the SLMM told the Daily Mirror last afternoon.

Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said following the forward movement of troops towards Sampur, the remaining LTTE cadres had fled the area via Verugal towards Vakarai.

The SLMM meanwhile said the LTTE had not made any threat of withdrawing from the Ceasefire Agreement (CA) after the fall of Sampur despite the rebels earlier making such threats.Brigadier Samarasinghe said the threat posed by the LTTE to the Trincomalee harbour and the adjoining naval base was no more following the successful operation involving the three forces.

“Civilians in Mutur and Thopur can now safely resettle in their original homes. There is no threat anymore,” the military spokesman said. He said civilians who fled the once rebel-controlled Sampur could also resettle once the area was cleared.

“There were no civilians in Sampur. They fled because of the fighting. Once we clear the area they will be able to resettle within the next few days,” he said.

Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, in an interview with the Daily Mirror last week, vowed to capture Sampur within days and spoke of little resistance from the rebels following intense clashes, while the LTTE warned of “serious consequences” if Sampur fell.

* The situ is beginning to ease with the resumption of flights to jaffna and more aid ships being sent to the peninsula.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Karuna faction overrun LTTE camps
Ranil Wijayapala

COLOMBO: The Karuna faction yesterday overran six LTTE camps in an uncleared area in Ampara inflicting heavy casualties on the Vanni cadres, sources from Ampara said.

According to sources six LTTE Vanni faction camps including Kanchikudichchuaru, Pavata, 73 Camp were overrun by hundreds of Karuna faction cadres in a major strike.

The attack was launched around 6.30 last morning.

Karuna faction Military Wing leader Pillayan has commanded the battle against the Vanni faction cadres under the direct orders from Karuna, sources added.

According to sources a large number of weapons have also been detected by the Karuna faction cadres. A large number of Karuna faction cadres who were injured in the battle were admitted to several hospitals.

Unable to face the attack launched by the Karuna faction cadres, the Vanni faction cadres have fled the area leaving their weapons, sources added.

http://www.dailynews.lk/ <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->200 killed as fight for Jaffna peninsula continues

Colombo, Sept 10: The Sri Lankan military captured LTTE's Forward Defence Line (FDL) at Muhamalai in the Jaffna peninsula in a fierce battle that killed at least 28 soldiers and 150 Tamil Tigers.

A Sri Lankan military spokesman said they had advanced 600m into the LTTE held territory since the latest clashes broke out in the Muhamalai area. The military launched a fresh operation in the peninsula after the LTTE continued firing mortars at the security forces' bunker line.

"The limited defensive action was directed at neutralizing the mortar positions which constantly damaged the security forces bunkers and was a threat to the forward defence positions," military spokesperson Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said.

Twenty-eight soldiers were killed in the operation, while another 119 were injured and admitted to hospital, Brig. Samarasinghe reported, adding that more than 150 LTTE cadres have also been killed during the offensive.

However, Brig. Samarasinghe said that the offensive "was a limited operation to neutralise LTTE's artillery bases".

Meanwhile, Tigers have refuted the claims of the Lankan military and have put the toll to only 6.

LTTE also denied of their bunkers being destroyed by the military.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another of Ramanan's actions which caused much resentment was the destruction of nine Hindu temples in the region. These temples were owned by some  feudal upper - class "Vannakkar" families. Ramanan in his zeal for social reform demolished these temples and erected other buildings in their place. In one place a fish market came up on temple premises. This caused much heartburn and finally Ramanan had to be restrained on direct orders from Pirapakaran.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sri Lanka Census by Religion from 1881 to 2001

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Eleven Muslims massacred in Sri Lanka
B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: At least eleven Muslims were reported killed allegedly by the LTTE in Ampara district in the east on Sunday/Monday, the Sri Lanka military said.

In a brief preliminary statement on the incident the Media Centre for National Security claimed that LTTE cadres massacred eleven Muslim civilians who had gone to repair an anicut in Raddella about four km from the Rasaweli Special Task Force (STF) camp. There was no word yet from the Tamil Tigers on the charge.

The Government statement said the local community comprising mainly of Muslims, Tamils drew their water needs from the anicut, and it required repairs. A group of Muslim civilians had gone to the site on Sunday and did not return.

"When some villagers went to the site in search of the workers they found dead bodies of eleven persons and one injured person. This act by the Tiger terrorists indicate that not only are they out to obstruct and sabotage the reconstruction or repairing of infrastructure which will help the poor farmers but are also prepared even to massacre those are engaged in any humanitarian work", the Government said.

The latest alleged incident coupled with the announcement by the military on Sunday that it has sunk a huge vessel carrying LTTE weapons has come close on the heels of the announcement by Co-Chairs of Sri Lanka that both sides have agreed for unconditional talks.

Sections within and outside the Government have been arguing ever since the September 12 Brussels statement of the Co-Chairs that talks should not commence without guarantees from the Tigers as well as international community that the LTTE would not utilise the new round of negotiations to strengthen itself militarily and honour all the previous commitments.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000...181201.htm<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Sri Lankan civilians found dead
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The BBC's Dumeetha Luthra in Ampara says that locals say there has been friction between the Muslim community and the Sri Lankan security forces.

Our correspondent says that many in the town accuse the Special Task Force (STF) of the killings, and now want the local police unit transferred immediately, along with a full investigation.

The STF have denied the allegations.

<b>14 Muslims hurt in Lanka firing</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Following the massacre, which the Muslims blamed on the STF and the STF blamed on the LTTE, the Muslim and Tamil towns in South East Sri Lanka had been observing a hartal and demanding the transfer of the local STF chief.
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> HindustanTimes.com » Lankan Peace in Peril » Story

Lanka most militarised in South Asia: Study

PK Balachandran

Colombo, September 21, 2006
The twenty-five year long military conflict between the Tamil insurgents and successive Sri Lankan governments has made Sri Lanka the most militarised country in South Asia.

In this respect, Sri Lanka has dwarfed the much larger India and military-ruled Pakistan, says a study conducted by the Mumbai-based Strategic Foresight Group (SFG).

Published in January 2006, the SFG monograph says that Sri Lanka will continue to hold this "dubious" position between now and 2010, given the absence of any clear signs that the military conflict is going to taper off.

Successive governments and the LTTE are both to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs, as both sides have continually raised the scale and technological sophistication of the war.

A major contributory factor in the high militarisation of Sri Lanka has been the nature of the LTTE.

In military terms, the LTTE is unmatched in the South Asian region. No other insurgent group here has, or has ever had, the equipment and military capabilities that the LTTE has.

No other country has faced the kind of challenges that the LTTE has posed to the Sri Lankan government.

Presenting comparative data for 2004, the SFG's report says that Sri Lanka was the most militarised among the South Asian countries with 8,000 military personnel per one million population.

The figures for other South Asian countries were: Pakistan, 4,000; Nepal 2,700; India, 1,300; and Bangladesh 1,000.

In terms of military expenditure as percentage of GDP also, Sri Lanka spent the most.

The figure was 4.1 per cent in the case of Sri Lanka; 3.5 per cent in the case of Pakistan; 2.5 per cent in the case of India and Nepal; and 1.5 per cent in the case Bangladesh.

According to the SFG, Sri Lanka's defence expenditure is also higher than other comparable conflict-ridden countries such as Colombia, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Sudan, the Philippines and Uganda.

According to Indian army personnel, the Sri Lankan army is well-equipped. Against the LTTE, which is its only target, the 150, 000 man army uses Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers, long-range artillery, mortars, battle tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

The Navy is much smaller with 20,000 personnel. It uses Fast Attack Craft with 23 mm guns, Inshore and Offshore patrol vessels, landing craft etc.

The Air Force uses Kfir supersonic fighter bombers, MIG-23, and choppers, including MI-24s.

The defence expenditure, which is now about $ 700 million per annum, could go to about $1 billion, if current plans to increase the size of the armed forces and to give them better equipment and more ammunition are implemented. Aerial bombs and artillery shells cost a lot.

"Sampur was captured by 2,000 soldiers, but to hold it, the army needs 20,000," a retired Air Marshal told Hindustan Times.

LTTE too spends a lot

"The military arsenal of the LTTE is highly sophisticated," the SFG says.

And being a military outfit essentially, expenditure on weapons and the maintenance of a war economy gets topmost priority in the LTTE.

It does precious little for the economic well being of the people under its control, despite running a few social and economic organisations.

The LTTE has no functioning Air Force and no anti-aircraft defences (at least now), but it is said have acquired two to five small aircraft, and built one or two airfields.

But its ground forces and navy are very well equipped for an insurgent group.

The ground forces have long-range artillery pieces, captured from the Sri Lankan forces, and a variety of mortars. But there are no tanks or armoured personnel carriers.

The LTTE's Sea Tiger navy has home-made but fast moving craft fitted with double barrel 23 mm guns and radar.

The boats have speeds from 10 to 45 knots. The outfit has several ocean going vessels, which indulge in commercial activity besides gun running.

But the LTTE is outnumbered. In comparison with the Sri Lankan's army's strength of 150, 000 men, the LTTE has only 10, 000.

The LTTE's navy has about 2,000 in contrast with the Sri Lankan Navy's 20,600.

The LTTE's annual expenditure on its cadres and military-oriented networks, both in the island and abroad, is estimated to be in the range of $8 million annually.

But given the fact that the outfit's annual income is anywhere between $175 million and $385 million, the expenditure on cadres and the informer networks is "insignificant," the SFG says.

"The LTTE spends a minimum on its cadres and the maximum on sustaining a war economy and its support base internationally."

It is believed that of the total income, $100 million to 250 million comes from drug trafficking, though there is yet no direct evidence of the LTTE's involvement in this trade.

Local taxation and extortion is said to contribute about $30 million; human smuggling and funds siphoned off from NGOs gives $3 to 5 million; contributions from the Tamil expatriate community fetches $40 to 50 million; and profits from businesses from $35 to 50 million.

The recent fighting showed that the LTTE has no answer to Sri Lanka's air power.

It had been trying to buy SA-18 shoulder held missiles but unsuccessfully. Like the Sri Lankan army, the LTTE has been spending its artillery shells liberally. Replenishment needs are urgent.

The LTTE's Sea Tigers had conducted impressive operations, but they have not been able to stop Sri Lankan shipping of late.

The LTTE would therefore be shopping for naval equipment.

Last week, a ship, allegedly with a heavy load of artillery shells and missiles, was sunk by the Sri Lankan navy and air force off the South Eastern coast of the island.

With both the government and the LTTE hell bent on increasing their military capability, the former to keep what it had captured, and the latter to recapture what it had lost, a lessening of military expenditure is not on the cards. On the contrary, hefty increases are.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Sri Lankan Armed Forces have paid a heavy price for their over-confidence. Their offensive---which was in blatant violation of the cease-fire agreement of February,2002-- in the Muhamalai area near Jaffna has been beaten back by the cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commanded by Col.Theepan, the LTTE's Special Commander, on October 11,2006, inflicting the heaviest casualties the Sri Lankan military has suffered since the cease-fire agreement.

2. As is its wont, the Sri Lankan Government initially tried to play down the fatalities suffered by it and exaggerate the fatalities inflicted by it on the LTTE. Subsequently, it had to admit that at least 129 of its soldiers were killed after the LTTE disseminated pictures of the dead bodies of the soldiers killed, handed over 74 dead bodies to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and published the identifying particulars of the Sri Lankan military personnel killed.

3. While the Government has reportedly admitted that 129 of its soldiers were killed, independent reports say that the number of Sri Lankan fatalities might increase to 200 when many of the over 200 seriously injured succumb to their injuries.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->103 Lankan sailors killed in LTTE suicide attack

PK Balachandran

Colombo, October 16, 2006

At least 103 Sri Lankan naval personnel were killed and nearly 150 were injured, when a truck laden with explosives rammed into a convoy of 15 buses carrying the servicemen at Diganpathana near Habarana in North Central Sri Lanka on Monday.

The Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat attributed the suicide attack to the LTTE.

The military spokesman, Brig Prasad Samarasinghe, said that the explosives laden truck had swerved from a side road and rammed into the naval convoy on the main road.

Thirteen buses were wrecked in the blast. The injured were immediately rushed to nearby hospitals in five buses.

The dead and injured were unarmed sailors, the Presidential Secretariat said in a statement.

The carnage was yet another example of the LTTE's "cowardly use of extreme violence against unarmed services personnel," the statement said.

It was further proof of the LTTE's "unmitigated commitment to violence to achieve its ends."

It was in total disregard of the international demand that the LTTE abandon violence and seek a peaceful way of achieving its goals, the statement said.

"It was significant that this attack took place as envoys from Japan, the US and Norway were arriving here to discuss progress in the peace process and the up coming talks in Geneva," the statement pointed out.

It also said that the place of attack was not in the war-zone.

Habarana is a tourist spot, 143 km from Colombo and 80 km from Trincomalee.

But it is near Minneriya, a major army base charged with the task of defending Batticaloa district. In the light of the blast, the efforts of US official Richard Boucher, the Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi, and the Norwegian envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer over the next few days might not bear fruit, political observers feared.

Significantly, thee carnage coincided with a judgment of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court on Monday declaring the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces into a single Tamil dominated province as "invalid".

The judgment was expected to trigger resentment among the Tamils and the Tamil Tigers, as the merger of the North and East to form a single Tamil province had been one of their cardinal and long standing demands.

Lanka hits back at LTTE after suicide attack
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->COLOMBO: Sri Lankan jets pounded Tamil Tiger areas in the wake of the rebels' deadliest-ever suicide bombing, officials said on Tuesday, amid heightened international moves to keep next week's scheduled peace talks on track.

The defence ministry said its Israeli-made Kfir war planes hit targets in the north-east of the island, destroying a rebel base.

The pro-rebel website Tamilnet.com said the planes had hit a civilian settlement.

The raids were a response to the embattled island's worst suicide bombing, in which Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters detonated a truck packed with explosives next to a convoy of buses packed with sailors.

At least 103 people were killed and 150 others wounded in Monday's attack, according to hospitals in the area.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LTTE attacks Galle harbour, Navy camp

Colombo, Oct. 18: Suspected cadres of the LTTE have attacked the Galle harbour and Sri Lankan Navy camp Dakshina at 7.45 a.m. on Tuesday adding to the confusion on the possibility of talks between the Government and the Tamil Tigers on October 28 and 29.

"Three explosions have occurred in this attack. Naval troops are retaliating the LTTE attack and the exchange of fire is still on. Few casualties have also been reported and they were rushed to the teaching hospital in Karapitiya", a statement issued by the Sri Lanka Navy said.

A spokesperson of the Navy told The Hindu that suspected LTTE cadres attacked the facility from three boats and so far, the forces have been able to destroy one of the boats. The spokesperson said reinforcement are being sent to the location.

The latest attack came even as the country is yet to recover from the attack near Habarana two days ago in which 130 navy personnel were killed and 100 others injured.

LTTE appears to have stepped up its offensive against the Sri Lanka military ahead of the talks scheduled in Switzerland in the last week of October.

On the day of Habarana, the LTTE military spokesman told the TamilNet, "When Sri Lanka Air Force bombers continue to bomb targets in Tamil homeland, far off the defence line localities where the Sri Lankan ground troops engage in frontal assaults, how could anybody expect the Tigers to refrain from targeting military installations".

Special envoys of Japan and Norway are currently here to persuade the Government and the LTTE to cease hostilities and return to the dialogue table. US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher is arriving here on a two day visit on October 19.

"Ambassador Boucher will discuss the peace process, human rights and access to conflict areas with government ministers, civil society leaders and non-governmental organizations", a statement said.

Separately, warning against a renewed civil war in Sri Lanka between the Government and Tamil separatists after the latest "appalling" suicide bombing of a convoy of military buses, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the sides to return to the negotiation table.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan deplored the escalation of violence in the past several months, including today's bombing. "The Secretary-General stresses once again that a return to civil war will not resolve the conflict," the statement said. "He calls upon all parties to refrain from the use of force and to return to the negotiation table at the end of this month, as tentatively agreed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Naval base in Galle attacked, mob riots in port city

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 03:25 GMT]
A 15-member attack team in five vessels entered the Sri Lankan naval base Dakshina, in the southern most port city Galle attacking the Sri Lankan naval vessels and installations. At least three explosive laden attack vessels, destroyed naval crafts anchored inside the port base around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. Attackers in two boats went on shore and launched RPG rocket attacks on naval installations in the base. The navy has suffered 22 casualties, according to initial reports. Meanwhile, Sinhala mob in the JVP stronghold began attacking shops owned by Tamils in the port city. Dakshina naval base is located 105 km southeast of Colombo.

Senior Superindent of Police in Galle, Keerthi de Silva, has clamped down a curfew in the entire district.

Colombo Galle Road has been closed down.

RPG rocket fire and exchange of gunfire was reported for more than two hours.

21 wounded sailors were admitted at Karapittiya hospital and a naval trooper was reported killed, according to initial reports.

Two Sri Lankan attack crafts, anchored inside the naval base port, were destroyed in the attack.

Galle, regarded as a JVP stronghold, is one of the three major harbours in the island, with tourist attractions.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Special Task Force (STF) reinforcements were rushed to the naval base.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Day of the Tiger in Northern Fighting

October 15th, 2006

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Last Wednesday was the day of the tiger in the Northern theatre of war!

The “defensive” offensive launched on October 11th by the Sri Lankan armed forces of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) headed by President Mahinda Rajapakse was repulsed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) led by Velupillai Pirapakaran in a day of fierce fighting from dawn to dusk in the Kilaly - Puloppalai region of Jaffna peninsula.

The Sri Lankan Army commanded by Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka suffered what was easily the single biggest debacle in recent times after the GOSL began its series of “Defensive Offensives” against the Liberation Tigers. At least 133 soldiers were killed and 519 wounded while the LTTE suffered 23 deaths and 101 injured cadres. Both sides have now returned to their earlier positions and are engaged in sporadic, low - intensity artillery fire.

The military advance was not unexpected as preceding events pointed to a high military build - up in the area. There had been intermittent exchange of artillery fire for many days between both sides along the Forward Defence Line (FDL) axis of Kilaly - Eluthumattuvaal - Nagar Kovil axis in the lower peninsula. There was also aerial bombardment of areas described as LTTE positions by the GOSL for many days.

The past few days had also seen a massive increase in military preparations by the GOSL.The tigers protested at this visible military build - up to Norway. At the same time the LTTE also began strengthening its defences.The GOSL denied that it was planning an offensive. It re-iterated that the armed forces would only defend themselves or enhance defence by “neutralising” LTTE positions. Since this has been the usual excuse of the GOSL in justifying military operations it was a foregone conclusion that a “defensive offensive” was on the cards.The real aim of the GOSL security forces was Elephant Pass.

Originally the operation was to commence on Monday Oct 11th. Protests made by the LTTE of an imminent offensive were denied by the GOSL. So the planned offensive was delayed by two days to stave off possible international pressure. Another reason was heavy rain on Monday.

The night of Tuesday October 10th saw the intermittent artillery fire escalating. The morning saw military movement on ground. Troops first broke out before dawn from the Nagar Kovil camp in Vadamaratchy East along the Peninsula’s eastern coast. Troops from Kilaly along the South - Western coast of the Peninsula commenced moving out at first light. Troops from the Eluthumadduvaal base in the Peninsula’s South started out after daybreak. All advancing troops had a pre - dawn breakfast of rice, fish and dhal before breaking out.

By 6. 30 am there was forward movement by troops on all three fronts. K- fir jet bombers and Mi 24 helicopter gunships engaged in aerial bombardment to help facilitate troop movement on ground. The weather however turned nasty with heavy ,dark clouds proliferating. The Air Force could only fly one major sortie that morning due to climatic conditions.

Naval gunboats fired from the sea at coatal points between Nagar Kovil and Thalaiyaddy on the Eastern coastal sector.

The LTTE also began firing their artillery. By 7. 30 am the Nagar Kovil troops called it a day and turned back. It was an apparent manouevre to divide enemy attention. Naval gunboats however continued to patrol the coast along Vadamaratchy east and Pachilaipalli engaging in occasional shelling. The navy aim was to prevent reinforcements from Chundikulam and Challai tiger sea bases from landing inside the peninsula.

Troops moving out from Eluthumadduvaal did not focus on Muhamaalai and Pallai as expected. The army had already advanced about 800 metres into LTTE controlled Muhamaalai and reached the outer perimeter of LTTE lines. Instead of pressing home this advantage further the armed forces veered South - Westwards and continued their march.

The troops moving along the coast from Kilaly also changed course. These personnel moved inwards in a South - Eastern direction.

Both columns were now spreading out and advancing in the Puloppalai region between Muhamaalai and Kilaaly. If this advance was succesful the troops could circumvent Muhamaalai and Pallai . By adopting a semi - circular route they could reach the A- 9 highway or Jaffna - Kandy road at a point close to Puthukkaadu Santhi or junction. An east bound road from the junction through Massar and Soranpattru reaches Thalaiaddy on the east coast.

The Puthukkaadu junction on the A - 9 highway is between Pallai and the Iyakkachi road junction about 3 miles way from Elephant pass. If the troops reached Puthukkadu junction and then the Iyakkachi junction, it would have been only a “short, short way” from there to elephant pass.

There were about 5500 combat and logistical support troops involved.The Air mobile brigade as well as the 3rd infantry brigade of the 55th division (533) comprised the main assault force. The 533 brigade consisted mainly of Gemunu Watch battalions. The mechanized units were also deployed heavily. Troops from the 55th division provided logistical support.

The troops relied heavily on the mechanized personnel and were using a lot of battle tanks, armoured cars, armoured personnel carriers and heavy vehicles like bull dozers to clear the way. Three companies oh highly specialised commandos numbering about 250 - 260 were in the vanguard. They belonged to the Air Mobile brigade and were known as Special Infantry Oriented Teams (SIOT).

The SIOT function was essentially that of pathfinding and trail blazing. Being in the vanguard the SIOT was expected to monito enemy position and gauge artillery and machine gun emplacements. They were required to direct covering artillery and mortar fire extended by personnel to their rear.

After pathfinder troops advanced the tanks , armoured cars andAPC persnnel carriers would follow establishing a safe route through the underbrush . Then troops would dismount from APC’s and other armoured vehicles and advance on ground.The main formations of infantry troops then advanced along ground cautiously. Once conditions were comparatively safe bull dozers cleared and flattened the area as far as possible to help consolidate captured areas.

The LTTE resistance to these rapidly advancing columns was carefully calculated. Initially tiger resistanceseemed feeble. The artillery fire seemingly lacked vigour. Earlier attempts to advance through Muhamaalai via the A - 9 axis had seen the LTTE deploying innumerable claymores and anti - personnel mines along the route. This time during the early hours of advance , the mines and booby traps were conspicuously scarce. LTTE cadres from the first and second lines of defence also fell back after a while.The troops were on the upbeat. It looked like the army was going to repeat its Maavilaaru, Muthur, Sampoor, Muhamaalai successes.

8.00 am was the H- hour for the army to commence a heavy onslaught of MBRL’s, heavy artillery and field artillery. Even as the armed forces began this tiger artillery across the Jaffna lagoon in Poonagary began firing 122mm and 130mm artillery. There is also suspicion among military circles that 155mm guns were also used.

Despite LTTE artillery counter -fire the troops continued. With the 1st and 2nd LTTE defence lines having fallen back the troops backed by artillery went forward. the advance was slowed down to some extent by tiger artillery as well as mines. Two MBT’s were hit by anti - tank “monster” mines. After the first tank was hit the second overtook it and proceeded to be hit in turn. A third moved in a different direction and fell into a well - camoflaged deep, pit. It was a tiger trap.

Despite these difficulties the army continued its advance as the LTTE had not offered stiff resistance, By 9. 30 am the GOSL troops seemed to have penetrated nearly 2 - 3 miles deep into tiger territory in the Puloppallai - Pallai region. Some vanguard SIOT troops were even further up from the main advancing body.

It was around this time (9.30 am) that the tiger roaring tiger pounced. The advancing troop formations were breached in three points.

The vanguard troops were was attacked at a certain point and pressured to retreat sideways. The troops found a chain of deadly mines being triggered like some gigantic firework. LTTE cadres virtually surrounded these troops and intensified firing.. A whole company was virtually wiped out while the other two sustained much damage.

The main advancing body was attacked frontally . Tigers also attacked the military in the rear. It was a virtual encirclement of GOSL troops.

The LTTE’s Victor anti - tank and armoured unit went into action. Despite losing its founder - commander Lt. Col Akbar to a random army shell on Oct 7th members of the unit fought fiercely. In addition to the earlier losses of three tanks to “monster” mines and an ambush a further three Armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) were hit by anti - tank RPG”s and destroyed. Six AFV’s comprising 5 Czhech built T - 55 ’s and two Russian built BMP’s were put out of action.

The Victor anti - tank and armoured unit also fired at Chinese built Armoured Personnel carriers with success. Three APC’s were totally destroyed while another three were partially damaged . The Victor unit had put six armoured fighting vehicles and six armoured personnel carriers out of action within a few hours of fighting.The armed forces have never sustained such massive losses in this manner before.

The infantry troops as well as the SIOT personnel to their credit did not turn around and run at the sight of strong tiger resistance. They tried to both hold on to territory and also advance. The fighting was intense from 9. 30 am to 11. 30 am. Troops found themselves attacked by tiny, mobile tiger groups who closed in and fired ruthlessly.

The LTTE also fired RPG’s , mortars and 60mm portable artillery. Troops were forced at times to move sideways. Very opften they found themselves victims to well - laid Johnny anti = personnel and also claymore mines. It appeared that the LTTE had planted them carefully in select locations and allowed troops to advance up to those places easily.

Another problem for troops was the placement of LTTE machine - gunners in well concealed fox holes. Some of these foxholes were behind GOSL column lines. These tigers inflicted much damage from their foxholes. The LTTE also engaged in sniper fire from tree-top positions.

By 11. 30 GOSL troops abandoned the idea of proceeding to Elephant Pass via Puthukaadu and Iyakkachchi junctions. They began withdrawing taking back as many as possible of the dead and injured.The fighting too transformed itself into artillery and mortar firing. The LTTE kept up an intense barrage. The total withdrawal of GOSL troops was complete by 2.00 - 2. 30 pm.

The entire battle was over in about six to six and a half hours. The tigers had triumphed in beating back troops.

[The President sat in the pilot seat of the Kfir jet when he paid a visit to the Air Force Base in Katunayake on October 10th - Pic by Sudath Silva, Courtesy of Daily Mirror.lk]

The Air Force which flew only one sortie in the morning could not help troops later.Weather conditions were bad for aerial attacks. Also the Pakistani and Ukrainian pilots flying the Air Force planes were unable to engage in customary indiscriminate aerial bombardment due to fear of hitting GOSL troops. Helicopter Gunships could have flown low and targetted tigers but were worried about getting hit by LTTE’s surface to air missiles. Naval gumboats were off the peninsulas eastern coast and useless to fighting in the western sector.The army therefore was all alon at its hour of need..

There was practically no close combat or face to face fighting. The bulk of the fighting consisted of tank and anti - tank firing, artillery shelling and mortar fire. The GOSL usually fires artillery barrages indiscriminately and intensely against perceived LTTE positions. Superior firepower is used to its advantage.

This however did not work out in this instance as the GOSL troops had advanced and were widely scattered. It was not possible to fire from Kilaly or Eluthumadduvaal at random for fear of hitting their own troops. The army was therefore restricted intitially to field artillery and mortars. The LTTE apparently advanced to comparatively close quarters and fired RPG’s and 60 mm shells from portable artillery.

The LTTE at one point advanced beyond original FDL’s into army controlled areas. They turned back after a while and began clearing operations. The heavy fighting subsided after 2. 30 pm. Intermittent artillery fire of low intensity continued throughout the night. It continued even on Thursday 12th.

The armed forces had incurred heavy losses. About 20 privately owned vans and mini - buses were commandeered by the armed forces to supplement army vehicles in transporting dead and injured back from the frontlines. Troops suffering major injuries were taken to the Varany camp in the Thenmaratchy sector. Three helicopters then air lifted them to Palaly . Thereafter they were flown to Colombo and Anuradhapura for treatment. Vehicles also took those with minor injuries and dead bodies along the road in Jaffna to Palaly.

The military hospital in Palaly was already overflowing with patients recovering from injuries sustained in previous rounds of fighting along the Kilaly - Eluthumadduvaal - Nagar Kovil axis. The GOSL had kept as many injured as possible in Palaly to prevent the actual truth about army casualties emerging.

With troops sustaining heavy damage on Oct 11th the military hospital was unable to accommodate all victims. So a hangar at Palaly Airport was converted into a makeshift hospital.

Initially GOSL and defence services spokespersons tried to obscure the truth. They gave ridiculously low casualty figures. Later the various security force websites began increasing casualty figures. Different news agencies quoting unnamed defence sources began giving out comparatively accurate figures. By Oct 12th /13th an accurate picture began emerging.

[74 dead bodies of Sri Lankan military being handed over to the ICRC by the LTTE, LTTEPS.org]

At least 133 soldiers had been killed.Of these 55 bodies were retrieved by security forces themselves. 75 were retrieved by the LTTE. 74 of these bodies were handed over to the Red Cross at the Kilinochchi playground on Oct 12th by the LTTE’s Paavannan who usually interacts with international organizations. One of the bodies retrieved by the LTTE was not given to the Red Cross on time due to a transport problem.

Later the LTTE said it was returning that body along with three other bodies of soldiers they had discovered later. According to LTTE defence affairs spokesperson Ilanthiraiyan there were 43 other bodies the tigers had located later. These were decayed and mangled. They were not in a condition to be transported and returned. The tigers themselves crenated them with military honours claimed Ilanthiraiyan.

The Defence ministry accepted the bodies returned through ICRC red Cross at Omanthai. But they refused to accept the LTTE claim that the 43 bodies found later by the LTTE were those of soldiers. The Defence ministry officially stated that three of the injured soldiers had died later. The official figure therefore was 133 dead.

The Defence ministry also said that all 78 persons first declared as missing in action were accounted for.Yet an internal Defence ministry circular stated that rwo officers and thirty - five men were yet “missing”. 12 officers were among the dead.

The official figures for wounded soldiers was 283. Yet the truth was that of 519 soldiers being injured. Of these 323 were brought to Colombo and 54 to Anuradhapura. Colombo residents saw and heard ambulances and sirens throughout night and day. The rest of the injured soldiers, many of them walking wounded, are in the Palaly hospital.

LTTE’s Ilanthiraiyan also said that there may be more dead soldiers whose bodies are yet to be located. Some of the injured soldiers also could succumb to their wounds. He said the final tally of dead soldiers could be over 200.

Interestingly enough some GOSL and Defence spokespersons are saying that the LTTE suffered more than 200 deaths. Defence spokesperson Brigadier Samarasinghe said that 196 tigers were killed and 312 wounded.

One newspaper has put the LTTE casualty figure at 400. One journal which usually goes to town with stories of security force victories remained silent. There were no stories from the battlefront. News Agencies which initially wrote about “contradictictory” claims of casualties on both sides had after 48 hours concluded that the armed forces had suffered a major debacle.

According to Ilanthiraiyan there were ten LTTE deaths at the end of October 11th. With some of the seriously injured dying the toll had risen to 22 on 12th and 23 on 13th. . There is a strong possibility that the tiger casualty figure could go up in the coming days. The number of injured LTTE was placed as above “muppathu” (thirty) by Ilanthiraiyan. It is learnt reliably that the number of LTTE injured is 101.

Among those killed the most senior tiger so far is a woman Capt. Isaichelvi. Of those killed at least four were from the auxiliary force known as “Makkal Sirappu padaiani”.They are also given Great Hero or “Maaveerar” status. The LTTE’s Imran - Pandian regiment. Sothia and Malathy womens brigades, Victor unit and auxiliary forces were engaged in the fighting.

At least one soldier was taken alive by the LTTE. Samantha Weerasinghe of the 4th Gemunu Watch is now undergoing treatment at the Kilinochchi hospital. The ICRC has inspected the 18 year old youth. According to Colombo based diplomatic sources about five to ten soldiers have been taken alive as unacknowledged prisoners of war by the LTTE.

At this point of time it is difficult to assess the exact number of losses and casualties on both sides. Perhaps the actual figures may never be known. There is however no doubt that in a conflict of see-saw fortunes the “victor” on Oct 11rh was the LTTE. It was truly the day of the tiger

<b>SRI LANKA: North East De-merger-At What Cost? Update No.107</b>

Today they are claiming breakthrough.????
<b>Outspoken Tamil MP shot dead in Colombo </b>
Colombo, November 10, 2006
<b>Nadarajah Raviraj, an outspoken Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament belonging to the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA), was shot dead in the Sri Lankan capital on Friday. </b>

The Tamil MP, who was a former Mayor of Jaffna, was shot by a motorcycle-borne assassin with a T-56 assault rifle as his vehicle was turning at the Matha Road-Elvitigala Mawatha junction at about 8.45 am.

The assassin fired several shots through the shut window of the air conditioned vehicle, threw the bag containing the weapon and the ammo on to the sidewalk, and sped away.
<b>Though closely identified with the political line of the LTTE, Raviraj was popular among all the communities in Sri Lanka, including the majority Sinhalas. He helped people irrespective of their religion or ethnicity.

Given the gift of the gab, Raviraj was the foremost advocate of the Tamil cause among the majority Sinhalas as he spoke Sinhala fluently and participated in TV and radio debates on the ethnic issue fequently. </b>

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