November 21, 1999 |
Artillery shells fell around an ancient Dutch-built church filled with refugees in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least 35 villagers and injuring 80, amid fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, a church official said. Bishop Raiaippu Joseph said more than 3,500 people had taken shelter in the church compound to escape the fighting. Sri Lankan troops had launched an offensive to retake parts of the Madhu church area that rebels had seized.
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 19, 1999 |
Wailing mothers and sobbing fathers filed past scraps of clothing and two human skeletons displayed on tables in a police station Friday to determine if the remains belonged to about 300 people who disappeared while in military custody. The skeletons--one blindfolded and bound--were exhumed Thursday at a site in northern Sri Lanka where a former soldier said he helped bury bodies in mass graves. The remains will be sent to experts for further examination. The skeletons were identified as R.S.
October 1, 1998 |
Sri Lanka's military claimed a major battlefield prize Wednesday, but reports of the staggering cost of the victory--nearly 1,400 soldiers and Tamil rebels dead--underlined how difficult it will be for either side to win their 15-year war. The battle occurred along a strategic highway that links Colombo, the capital, to the government-held northern town of 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.
June 6, 1998 |
Separatist Tamil Tiger rebels claimed to have killed at least 100 soldiers in the latest fighting in northern Sri Lanka, and army officers said more than 400 soldiers were wounded. President Chandrika Kumaratunga ordered that all news reports on Sri Lanka's civil war be cleared by military censors. Earlier, the guerrillas' clandestine radio said they had lost 20 fighters as they beat back a government offensive Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1998 |
Charging excessive zeal in U.S. efforts to thwart terrorists, human rights activists filed suit in Los Angeles on Thursday, challenging a 1996 law that criminalizes virtually any kind of aid to foreign groups that the State Department labels terrorist organizations. "I believe this is a modern version of McCarthyism," said Ralph Fertig, president of the Los Angeles-based Humanitarian Law Project, a nonprofit rights group that is the lead plaintiff.
February 24, 1998 |
Tamil rebel gunboats attacked a 12-ship convoy carrying soldiers to northern Sri Lanka, the military said. One ship sank, another was lost, and up to 80 people were killed. Separatist rebels in about 25 boats clashed with navy warships escorting the convoy a few miles off the northern coast and about 200 miles north of the capital, Colombo, officials said. The rebels, who maintain information offices in Europe, released no immediate statement on the fighting.
February 7, 1998 |
A suicide bomber blew herself up in downtown Colombo on Friday just hours after Prince Charles ended a visit to the Indian Ocean island nation. The blast killed eight others and wounded five. There was no indication that the attack was aimed at Prince Charles, who had used his four-day visit to appeal for an end to Sri Lanka's ethnic violence. The bomber, believed by authorities to be a rebel with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, struck six hours after Charles left.