08 January 2009

SRI LANKA AT WAR Sri Lankan military says its troops have captured another key Tamil Tigers base in the Jaffna peninsula [news story]

TODAY'S NEWS from Sri Lanka

Article: "Sri Lankan troops capture Tiger town"
Source: PressTV.ir
Link to Original Story: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=81186&sectionid=351020406
Picture from PressTV, originally captioned: "The Defense Ministry said troops were now heading toward Soranpattu."
Full Article: The Sri Lankan military says its troops have captured another key Tamil Tigers base in the Jaffna peninsula after intense overnight battles. The rebel-controlled town of Pallai on the edge of the Jaffna peninsula was reclaimed by troops advancing southwards from Muhamalai on Thursday morning, the Defense Ministry claimed in a statement. Air force jets pounded the rebels as they fled from Pallai and the Elephant Pass battlefields late Wednesday. The government forces are now heading towards Soranpattu, the next Tamil Tiger stronghold in the peninsula, the statement added. Following a decision by Sri Lanka to nullify a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreement penned in 2002 last year, Colombo began a fresh offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, vowing a complete crack down on the rebels by the end of 2008. The militant Tamil movement has been fighting to create a sovereign socialist Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for the ethnic minority of Tamils since the late 1970s.

IN THE NEWS ONE YEAR AGO (prev. posted on humanbeingsarefree)

Article: "Tiger suicide attack kills 27 in Sri Lanka"
Source: Agence-France Presse
Link to Full Story: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20081006/twl-srilanka-unrest-blast-4bdc673.html
Excerpt(s): A Tamil Tiger suicide bomber triggered a blast inside offices of the main opposition party in Sri Lanka on Monday, killing at least 27 people, including a retired senior general, officials said. The attack in the northern town of Anuradhapura came as the Sri Lankan military appeared on the verge of capturing the Tigers' key headquarters as part of a major offensive in the drawn-out ethnic conflict... The army said at the weekend that its troops are within two kilometres (1.25 miles) of the northern rebel headquarters in Kilinochchi. Losing control of Kilinochchi would be a major blow to the Tigers, who took up arms in 1972, demanding minority rights. In 1976 they raised the stakes, demanding a separate Tamil state. As the political capital of the LTTE's northern mini-state, Kilinochchi is where the rebels have hosted visiting foreign dignitaries and peace brokers. The Tigers, who are known for their suicide attacks, have put up only intermittent resistance to the military advancing on several fronts in the north of Sri Lanka... Fighting across the northern frontier on Sunday left at least 13 Tigers and two soldiers dead, the defence ministry said Monday. Since the Colombo government formally revoked a moribund truce in January, 7,196 Tigers have been killed, according to the military, which places its own losses at 704 soldiers. The casualty figures cannot be independently verified.

DOCUMENTARY FILM (highly recommended)

Circle of Violence - Sri Lanka (~27 min.):

YouTube description: Sep 2007 - This moving report looks back through 30 years of bloodshed in Sri Lanka to place today's violence in its proper context. Why did the ceasefire, agreed two years ago, falter? In 1956, an ambitious politician used the race card to be elected. He promised to make Sinhala the official language. Tamils who weren't fluent were dismissed, sparking a backlash that contributed to the emergence of the Tigers. In the war that followed, an estimated 40,000 disappeared. "We live in a country where anyone can take away another person, and nobody can do anything to stop it." From: Journeyman Pictures.

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