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Archive for January 1st, 2009

Major developments in Sri Lanka’s conflict:

• 1975: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group forms. The group demands a separate state for minority ethnic Tamils in the island’s north and east.

• 1983: Civil war begins.

• 1987: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayawardena sign a pact.

• 1991: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber assassinates Gandhi, apparently in revenge for sending Indian peacekeeping troops who ended up fighting the rebels.

• 1993: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber kills Sri Lanka’s President Ranasinghe Premadasa after his government’s failed peace efforts.

• February 2002: Sri Lankan government signs a cease-fire agreement with Tamil Tigers, ending 19 years of civil war, which left more than 65,000 dead.

• June 2005: Relations between the government and Tiger rebels deteriorate over the issue of sharing international tsunami aid.

• August 2005: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, an ethnic Tamil who opposed a separate state for the minority, is assassinated in a killing blamed on the Tigers.

• December 2005: Tiger rebels launch first major attack since truce, killing at least 12 Sri Lankan navy sailors. A series of attacks follows.

• Feb. 22, 2006: Government and rebel officials meet in Switzerland for peace talks and agree to de-escalate violence. A second round of peace talks a few months later is postponed as the two sides argue over transport and security.

• June 8, 2006: Talks in Norway aimed at restoring peace collapse.

• July 20, 2006: Tamil Tigers close sluice gates of an eastern reservoir, cutting water to over 60,000 people, prompting the government to launch its first major offensive on Tiger territory since the 2002 cease-fire.

• Nov. 2, 2007: Tamil Tigers’ political wing head S.P. Thamilselvan, believed by many to be the second-in-command of the group, is killed in a government air raid.

• Jan. 2, 2008: Government says Tamil Tigers must disarm before any future peace talks, a day after the authorities decide to withdraw from an internationally brokered cease-fire.

• Jan. 16, 2008: Sri Lanka‘s cease-fire deal ends.

• Feb. 13, 2008: The Red Cross says civilian casualties have reached “appalling levels” in the civil war.

• July 21, 2008: Tamil Tigers say a new round of peace talks is impossible as long as the government presses ahead with a military offensive.

• Aug. 2, 2008: Sri Lankan military says troops enter the district housing the Tamil Tiger rebels’ de facto capital for the first time in 11 years.

• Aug. 29, 2008: Sri Lanka urges civilians living in Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas to flee to government-controlled territory.

• Nov. 10, 2008: Sri Lanka’s government says Tamil separatists must lay down their arms before cease-fire negotiations can begin.

• Jan. 1: Military says Sri Lankan forces will seize the guerrillas’ de facto capital within two days.

(Associated Press )

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January 1st morning’s capture of ‘notorious’ IRANAMADU junction area by heroic troops of the 57 Division ends months of speculation about the LTTE’s fabricated stories regarding their military might, the Army Headquarters declared.

Troops commanded by Major General JAGATH DIAS went ahead past the much spoken IRANAMADU junction, about six km south of KILINOCHCHI town center as the first light broke heralding the New Year. The capture, regarded as a significant breakthrough in the last leg of the WANNI humanitarian operations, came as the troops were nearing the southern perimeter of the Tiger fortress, KILINOCHCHI after Wednesday’s fall of the adjoining PARANTHAN town on A-9 Highway.

Troops of the 8 SLLI (Sri Lanka Light Infantry), commanded by Major IPSITHA DISSANAYAKA and 16 SLSR (Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment), commanded by Major DHAMMIKA DISSANAYAKA operating under 574 Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel SENAKA WIJESOORIYA conducted those offensives along the A-9 to triumphantly reach the IRANAMADU junction area. This will open easy capture of the IRANAMADU town at any moment from now onwards.

Ground sources said LTTE resistance to those troops was astonishingly weak most probably due to their declining morale and physical strength.

(SL Army)

(more…)

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Paranthan fell to troops today following a surprising pre-dawn strike led by 2 Commando, 10GR etc. troops of the 58 Division. By this evening, the entire area was cleared.

Several successive waves of attackers, led by LTTE’s Kilinochchi Military in-charge Velavan was beaten back. The open terrain and Villu that lay between troops and the well defended LTTE fortifications were suddenly crossed in the darkness of the morning.

The last attack came this evening. 8 bodies of Tigers were recovered. The attackers were mainly from the Imran Pandian unit, which is led by Velavan.

With this latest defeat, Muhamalai will become untenable for the LTTE. Troops now have the opportunity to attack Kilinochchi from the north and the northeast. That town too is expected to fall in January.

(more…)

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