May 19, 2000 |
As Tamil separatists sweep toward victory on the battlefield, they are beginning to cleanse their land of the people who were once their neighbors. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who have won a series of victories against Sri Lankan forces in recent weeks, are stepping up attacks against ethnic Sinhalese civilians living in the region that the rebels claim as their homeland.
May 13, 2000 |
Tamil Tiger rebels rolled into the city of Jaffna on Friday, forcing government troops to retreat and marking a tenuous but dramatic victory in this island nation's long civil war. Troops with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils since 1983, entered their cultural capital and met little resistance from government soldiers.
May 12, 2000 |
Tamil Tiger rebels said Thursday that they were closing in on Jaffna, while Sri Lankan jets stepped up bombing sorties on guerrilla positions. "Sri Lankan soldiers! You are occupying our land," Voice of Tigers rebel radio broadcast. "Our cadres are advancing. We will capture Jaffna. You must surrender or withdraw." The broadcast, monitored in the northern town of Vavuniya, said the rebels had captured Kolombuthurai and Maniyathotam, barely half a mile from Jaffna.
September 29, 1998 |
Fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels has left 237 combatants dead in the past two days, the military said. "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has confirmed 194 of their cadres [were] killed," the military said in a statement Monday. Forty-three soldiers were killed and 110 wounded in the fighting. The fighting began Sunday morning when Tamil Tiger rebels attacked soldiers near the military-controlled town of Paranthan.
August 7, 1998 |
All that separates the army from a decisive victory in this country's civil war is 19 miles of desolate road and one of the world's fiercest guerrilla armies. So short a distance, the generals say, never seemed so far. "We are learning the hard way," said Maj. Gen. Lionel Balagalle, commander of Sri Lankan forces here.
February 3, 1996 |
For Gami Dharmapale, who missed being at the site of this capital's huge truck bombing Wednesday by just 10 minutes, the explosion vaporized any remaining confidence he had in the government. "Yes, there is a way to stop such things," the tour guide said, nodding at the charred ruins in which 76 people are known to have died and more than 1,270 were injured. "But to do it, you've got to stop sitting on the fence.