2ND LEAD

Sri Lanka continues air strikes violating own announcement - Puleedevan

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 April 2009, 07:45 GMT]
Two Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter bombers continued to bomb civilian targets in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal after the announcement by the Sri Lankan forces that it would not deploy heavy weapons or carry out air attacks as pressure mounted from the International Community. LTTE's Director of Peace Seceratariat, S. Puleedevan, when contacted by TamilNet told that SLAF bombers were attacking civilian targets at Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal at 12:50 p.m. and again at 1:10 p.m. despite the announcement to cease such attacks. He blamed Colombo for "attempting to deceive the International Community, including the people of Tamil Nadu," with the announcement.

S. Puleedevan, Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat
S. Puleedevan, Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat
The SLA was also continuing to fire shells into the civilian zone while engaging the troops to continue to mount ground operations at Valaignar-madam, he charged.

The Associated Press reported earlier that the Sri Lankan government had announced that its troops would "no longer use heavy machine guns, air strikes or artillery" in the battle as the government of Sri Lanka concluded that "combat operations had reached their conclusion."

The area has been surrounded by thousands of SLA troops that are prepared to enter the area for an onslaught.

Commenting on the latest developments, an ex-militant based in Colombo said Sri Lankan military no longer needed air attacks, MBRL or artillery fire to carry on the onslaught as the announcement didn't say that it would not be using heavy mortar fire, RPG fire and the deployment of tanks as it would continue to engage its ground forces in the combat, questioning how Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lankan armed forces defines the term 'heavy weapons'.

Sri Lankan forces launched a ground offensive around 3:30 a.m. Monday aiming to enter the remaining area of the so-called safety zone, an area comprising 8 square kilometres, which is under siege by the Sri Lankan military.


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