20 Reports

Colombo plays down Indian deaths

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
On Monday, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry denied its security forces had fired on Indian fishing craft as described by the Indian High Commission here. According to the Indian government, Sri Lankan gunboats and aircraft had fired on fishermen from Tamil Nadu on July 14 and 17 respectively. Sri Lanka denied what it called 'monstrous allegations'. However, the Foreign Ministry's feigned innocence is in sharp contrast to the regularity of attacks on Tamil and Indian fishermen carried out by the Sri Lankan military.
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TULF MP Briefs US Decision Makers

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingam, the MP for Batticaloa district and the Parliamentary Group Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), is currently in the United States on a three week visit to brief US officials on developments on the island. His visit is being sponsored by a US-based NGO.
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Wishful thinking - or simply deceptive lies?

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Last Thursday, the Sri Lankan army spokesman, Brigadier Sarath Munasinghe, claimed that the Tigers were being defeated and that victory was in sight. Paradoxically, his comments were made as the SLA's biggest offensive remained stalled following fierce LTTE counter attacks. However, the moral boosting claims also come at a time when the SLA is desperately trying to recruit more troops and to coax thousands of deserters back into service.
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Smear campaign by fax?

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
According to a report carried by a Sri Lankan weekly, a western embassy in Colombo received an unusual fax last week. The message claimed to originate from the Tamil Tigers and said that a Sri Lankan arms shipment had been interdicted. When the embassy queried the claim with the Sri Lankan military, they were told that an arms shipment was indeed 'missing'. However, the fax had not originated from the LTTE.
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Tamil-Muslim alliance being targeted

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Attempts are being made to break the alliance between the Tamils and the Muslims. A Muslim opposition MP, Mr. Mohammed Mahroof was assassinated on Sunday. In another incident, a gunman was said to have been 'arrested' attempting to get close to a ruling Muslim MP. The government has promptly blamed the LTTE for both. However, the violence against Muslim officials comes at a time when the alliance between the LTTE and the leaders of Muslim people is paying off for both sides.
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Arrests not ethnic: LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Seven out of the 39 Muslim villagers arrested on suspicion of abducting an unarmed Sea Tiger squad have been released, the LTTE said in a press release on Thursday. The other 32 suspects are still in custody pending an LTTE investigation. The statement also stressed that the arrests were not indiscriminate and not based on ethnic grounds but were based on information received on specific individuals.
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Sri Lanka desperate for more troops

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government is still desperately trying to recruit soldiers for its war in the Tamil homelands. Casualties sustained in the war against the LTTE, natural wastage, and above all, desertions are frustrating Colombo's attempts to wage an all out war against the Tamils. Last Thursday, the Sri Lankan government declared yet another amnesty for deserters.
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LTTE throws down a gauntlet

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Tamil Tigers have unequivocally said that they will target Sri Lankan ships supplying the Sri Lankan forces occupying the Jaffna peninsula. In a press release distributed by its London office, the LTTE has said it will do 'its utmost' to interdict Sri Lankan supply lines.
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Stop the offensive: TULF

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
A Tamil political party allied to the Sri Lankan government has called for an end to the Sri Lankan military offensive in the Tamil homelands and for negotiations with the LTTE. Sri Lankan Church leaders also appealed for talks with the Tigers last week. The Sri Lankan government has not responded.
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An unconvincing charade - and a plan?

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan police claim to have arrested 3 men suspected of assassinating the TULF MP, Mr. A. Thangathurai at a Trincomalee school. The Sri Lankan government claims the trio are Tamil Tigers. However, the government's zealous claims are being viewed with increasing skepticism by friends and foes alike.
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UN flag draws Sri Lankan fire

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Last week, Tamil residents of Puthur (Puthuvilankulam), in the Vanni region, were surprised to see a new flag flapping above them. The pale blue and white colours of the United Nations had been raised over the parched scrub of the area. The residents were even more surprised when they heard that they were now living in a UN "safe haven." And it wasn't long before the Sri Lankan army found out as intense artillery fire soon slammed into the area.
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Morang Bong's Crewmen Released

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The 37 North Korean crewmen of the Sri Lankan supply vessel, Morang Bong, captured by the LTTE have been released, according to the Red Cross (ICRC). The crew were detained last Monday night. The captain is said to have been surprised on seeing the other side of the island's ethnic conflict.
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Tigers target sea bridge

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The LTTE confirmed yesterday that they had detained a Sri Lankan supply ship off the Jaffna peninsula on Monday and had taken it to Mullaitivu. The Tigers also said that one of the 38 North Korean crewmen was killed when the ship ignored orders to stop and was fired on. This second attack on a Sri Lankan supply ship within a week could indicate that having drastically reduced Sri Lankans' aerial supply capability, the Tigers are now turning their attention to the sea lines.
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Public anger breaks out over food siege

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
As the Sri Lankan government's restriction on food and medicine into the Vanni causes untold suffering in the Vanni, frustration is building within the Tamil populace. A series of mass demonstrations are taking place in the area. Aid workers are also condemning the deliberate starvation of a people and government interference in their work.
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Tamils mark Black Tigers' Day

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Across the Vanni, Tamil people marked Black Tigers' day by with traditional religious ceremonies, lighting oil lamps in prayer. Black Tigers are one of the LTTE's elite fighting units, whose members execute missions which carry a high degree of risk and in some cases certain death.
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Trincomalee TULF MP assassinated

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Mr. A. Thangathurai, MP and four other people died when a grenade was thrown at them yesterday, as they were leaving a meeting held at a school in Trincomalee. The Sri Lankan government, as always, has immediately blamed the Tamil Tigers. However, there are other parties who may benefit significantly from the MP's death, including the local organised crime and political rivals.
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Sri Lanka disbands irksome human rights group

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government created the Human Rights Task Force (HRTF) to appease international alarm over widespread violations. Toothless and under-funded, the organisation was meant to be a charade for the world. However, following its recent critical reports on the deterioration of human rights situation in Jaffna, the Sri Lankan government has swiftly disbanded it, and replaced it with an even weaker organisation, the Human Rights Commission (HRC).
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Sinhalese reporters aid war effort

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The predominantly Sinhalese Sri Lankan government is manipulating information about the war in the Tamil homelands by banning reporters from the area and issuing false reports about events occurring there. The government is assisted by the fact that most agency reporters are Colombo based, Sinhalese and on its side.
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Sri Lanka spreads rumours

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
With the Sri Lankan military's Operation 'Jaya Sikuru' bogged down amid fierce Tamil resistance, morale amongst the ranks is slipping. As in previous military crisis,' the Sri Lankan government is fabricating rumours in an effort to shore up morale. The latest claim is that the Tamil national leader, Mr. V. Pirabakaran is about to flee the island.
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Sri Lankan police desert combat posts

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 July 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lankan policemen, pressed into combat duty in the island's north are deserting their posts en-masse, according to local newspapers and travelers from the area. The desperate shortage of troops is forcing the Sri Lankan military to use unwilling policemen to protect the operation's rear.
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