May 5, 2000 |
A stunning string of victories by Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels appears to have brought Asia's longest-running war to a decisive moment. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a ruthless guerrilla army fighting for independence for a portion of the island nation, are on the brink of the biggest triumph in their 17-year struggle.
April 24, 2000 |
Government troops Sunday girded for what was expected to be a bloody battle for control of Jaffna, a strategic stronghold that rebels are determined to recapture. State-run radio here in the capital appealed to people to donate blood, apparently fearing heavy casualties in the fight for Jaffna, which the military captured from the rebels 4 1/2 years ago. The report said 500 people had already lined up to donate blood.
April 23, 2000 |
Rebels fighting for an independent homeland said they captured a key military complex Saturday after a furious two-day battle and inflicted heavy casualties on government troops. Military spokesman Brig. Palitha Fernando said he could not confirm or deny the rebels' claim to have seized the vital Elephant Pass base, which houses at least 10,000 troops, and the adjoining Yakachchi camp. "We are unable to say either way at present," Fernando said. "We are trying to get in touch with the north."
March 12, 2000 |
With anti-terrorist commandos closing in, four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hiding in an apartment killed themselves Saturday after failing in an apparent bid to assassinate the country's defense minister and armed forces chiefs. The men appeared to have used explosives to blow themselves up just as security forces were preparing an assault on their hide-out, officials said.
February 21, 2000 |
In a land where women are prized for their quiet passivity, one of the world's most ruthless guerrilla groups is riding toward victory on the strength of its female fighters. The women of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, rebels waging a war for an independent homeland in this island nation, are emerging as the movement's most important weapon after thousands of men have died in battle.
December 20, 1999 |
In Asia's bloodiest and longest-running war, the fighting doesn't halt for the casting of ballots. A spectacular suicide bomb attack here at a weekend campaign rally in advance of Tuesday's presidential election failed to kill the country's leader but underlined a larger point: After 16 years and 61,000 deaths, the country's savage ethnic war hasn't even begun to exhaust itself.
December 12, 1999 |
In the government's first military success since a major rebel offensive last month, Sri Lankan troops repulsed a land-and-sea attack Saturday by hundreds of Tamil rebels. Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Sunil Tannekoon said 230 rebels and eight soldiers were killed in the fighting near a strategic northern military base. Afterward, the military reinforced its positions there, Tannekoon said. "We are fully prepared to face any new threat," he said.
November 6, 1999 |
Army helicopters and buses carried hundreds of Sri Lankan soldiers to the northern front lines, a senior officer said, as the military struggled to hold off a major rebel offensive. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which is seeking an independent state, captured a broad stretch of territory in the island nation's northern jungles. The army has abandoned post after post, and hundreds of soldiers have been killed or have disappeared in surrounding jungles.
September 18, 1999 |
Tamil Tiger rebels attacked three villages in southeastern Sri Lanka today, massacring at least 47 Sinhalese villagers, authorities said. About 50 people were injured, police said. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fighters attacked the villages, mostly inhabited by Sinhalese, before dawn. The rebels demand a separate homeland, accusing the Sinhalese majority of oppressing the Tamil minority.
June 3, 1999 |
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels, blamed for several political assassinations in their quest for an independent homeland, on Wednesday denied reports that they were plotting to kill Indian politician Sonia Gandhi.