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Sri Lanka Revolts

NEWS
May 19, 2000 | Associated Press
Calling captured rebel leader Foday Sankoh "a very vicious man," Sierra Leone's attorney general said Thursday that the government is nonetheless determined to resist pressure from angry citizens to take drastic action against him. Many Sierra Leoneans want Sankoh harshly punished for wreaking havoc on the country during more than eight years of civil war. His Revolutionary United Front rebels recently plunged the nation into renewed crisis and were holding hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers captive.
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NEWS
May 19, 2000 | DEXTER FILKINS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
May 18, 2000 | From Associated Press
Tamil rebels shelled the Sri Lankan military's only airport in Jaffna on Wednesday, threatening the supply line for thousands of government troops. The international relief organization Doctors Without Borders said it was planning to move its base out of Jaffna if large-scale fighting breaks out in the city of 500,000 people.
NEWS
May 17, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
Ending a three-day lull in their separatist fight, rebels in Sri Lanka resumed an assault on their former stronghold of Jaffna, while the island's government said it was time to talk peace. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar acknowledged that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were fighting a "good battle," but he said it was time to come to the table after 17 years of war.
NEWS
May 15, 2000 | DEXTER FILKINS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As the Sri Lankan army reels before an onslaught of rebel fighters, the people urging it to fight harder are the men in the saffron robes. Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy, long an influential force in national politics, are stepping forward to rally the nation in its darkest hour. The string of defeats suffered by the army at the hands of separatist rebels, which has stunned and demoralized this island nation, has also drawn the monks out of their temples to try to hold the country together.
NEWS
May 13, 2000 | DEXTER FILKINS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
May 12, 2000 | From Associated Press
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.
NEWS
May 11, 2000 | DEXTER FILKINS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Led by waves of suicide bombers, Tamil Tiger guerrillas in Sri Lanka reached the gates of Jaffna on Wednesday, squeezing thousands of government troops and setting the stage for a climactic battle in the country's long civil war. The rebels, who are seeking an independent homeland, claimed to have captured an important bridge that is within artillery range of the government's Palali air base near Jaffna.
NEWS
May 10, 2000 | From Associated Press
A day after the Sri Lankan government rejected a temporary cease-fire offer from separatist rebels, Tamil Tiger forces attacked troops defending the northern Jaffna peninsula. It was the first fighting there in nine days. The Parliament also extended emergency rule for another month, giving the military sweeping powers to seize property, ban publications and rallies and make arrests.
NEWS
May 9, 2000 | DEXTER FILKINS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sri Lanka's leaders spurned a cease-fire offer Monday that would have allowed them to evacuate thousands of government troops under siege by separatist guerrillas on the Indian Ocean island. The rejection came hours after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who are battling for a separate homeland, proposed a halt in the fighting to allow Sri Lankan troops to retreat from the city of Jaffna with "dignity and honor."
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