The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

31 LTTE cadres, two soldiers killed in Lanka clashes

At least 31 LTTE cadres and two soldiers were killed in fierce clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled northern region where army captured a portion of the rebel-held territory, officials in Colombo said on Wednesday.

As many as ten LTTE cadres were killed in confrontations with security forces as troops brought under their control areas in Mullikkandal, Minnaniranchan and Marattikannadi in Mannar region, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

The army also said it had captured three square kms of area in north of Adampan in Mannar.

Another three Tiger rebels were killed in two different confrontations in Periyamadu in Vavuniya yesterday, the MCNS said.

While three rebels were shot dead in Nedunkandal in Mannar, two others were killed in Anandakulam in the region, the military said.

Two LTTE cadres were killed in Sirimullikulam in Mannar yesterday, the MCNS said, adding another rebel was gunned down in Weerapirayan area in the region.

At least three LTTE cadres were shot dead and 18 others injured in different incidents in Kiriibanwewa in northeast Welioya, the military said.

Separately, troops killed seven rebels and injured nine in confrontations in Welioya, the MCNS said, adding two soldiers also lost their lives.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry said at least 20 civilians fled from the LTTE-held areas in Mullaithivue and Malayanwadu and reached a Sri Lankan army point seeking protection.

"Security forces personnel have provided all the necessities for the escapees and steps have already been taken by the government officials to provide safe shelter for them," it said.

Source: hindustantimes

Karunanidhi, Vaiko protest attacks on Indian fishermen

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over the Sri Lankan navy repeatedly opening fire on Indian fishermen in the waters between the two countries. A copy of his letter was given to the media here by the chief minister’s office.

In his letter, Karunanidhi urged the union government to ensure that the “rights and privileges of the Indian fishermen to carry on their normal occupation of fishing in the waters of Katchatheevu (an island in Palk Strait)) must be recognised and restored”.

Reminding the government of the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and Sri Lanka, Karunanidhi said, “Fishermen were allowed to dry their nets in Katchatheevu but were prohibited from fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters around Katchatheevu following executive instructions”, which, he pointed out “did not flow from the two agreements”.

“…they were executive instructions and cannot supersede the provisions of the legally valid agreement entered into by the two countries”, Karunanidhi said.

The executive orders have caused a great deal of hardship to Indian fishermen over the years as their “traditional rights” in Katchatheevu have been denied them.

“Time and again our fishermen have been arrested, attacked and shot dead in these waters. Each one of these incidents has shocked the people of the state and rocked the legislative assembly,” the note said.

“I urge the Government of India to take necessary steps to protect the precious lives of Indian fishermen and also to ensure their livelihood,” Karunanidhi said in his letter.

MDMK general secretary Vaiko too wrote to the prime minister Tuesday, urging him to boycott the forthcoming SAARC meeting in Sri Lanka because of the attacks on ethnic Tamils in the neighbouring country.

Source: thaindian