News In Brief
[TamilNet, Friday, 10 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Heavy fighting is taking place in the Vanni. The Jaffna satyagraha protests are to continue and several Tamil Nadu fishermen have been arrested allegedly for assisting the LTTE. A Sinhala paper says a Buddhist priest raped 4 teenagers.
Vanni fighting ongoing
Sources in Vavuniya confirmed yesterday that the Liberation Tigers had isolated a large column of Sri Lankan troops at Karippatta Murippu on the Mankulam-Ottisuddan road.
They said that fierce fighting had erupted when the Sri Lankan army attempted to push its way towards its troops surrounded by the LTTE at Karippatta Murippu on Wednesday.
The Liberation Tigers have claimed in the Vanni that they had beaten back the Sri Lankan troops which tried to save their isolated collegues.
Meanwhile the Sri Lankan army spokesman in Colombo told the press that the LTTE had launched a surprise attack on a SLA camp near Kanakarayan Kulam on Wednesday night to capture its artillery positions.
He said that the fighting was still on.
Jaffna protests to continue
"People feel that many persons who were arrested by SL army and went missing in the peninsula may be buried in filled up wells in Ariyalai and Navatkuli near the Jaffna town. "
"Therefore action has to be taken to dig up the wells in the area that have been filled" said the Organization for the arrested and the missing in Jaffna in a memorandum submitted to the Sri Lankan government's National Human Rights Commission Wednesday evening (oct.8).
The memorandum further states "We have lost faith in the board of inquiry appointed by the Sri Lankan MoD. We eagerly awaited its report. But not a singe detail of the 720 persons who went missing in Jaffna has been made known. "
"We will continue our non-violent struggle if we do not get a favourable response to our demands."
Buddhist priest raped teenage girls - paper
The 'Ravaya', a popular Sinhala weekly broad sheet carried banner headlines today about the seventy year old chief incumbent monk of Vadacitykanda in Kadirgamam who has raped four teenage girls.
The paper said that the Buddhist priest has been arrested and produced in courts. The paper is edited and published by Victor Ivan, an ex catholic who was a Sinhala Marxist revolutionary leader in 1971.
Today's headline is seen as attempt to bring disrepute to the Buddhist clergy which is divided on the question of granting autonomy to the Tamils.
It may further exacerbate the sensitive situation that has arisen over the Sinhala Commission report and the adverse remarks made by bohemian ex-fashion designer turned politician Mr.Mangala Samaraweera who is a cabinet minister in the PA regime.
More Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested
Four fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested in the sea off Mathagal(in Jaffna) on Wednesday. The Sri Lankan military accused them of bringing supplies to the LTTE.
Three more Tamil Nadu Fishermen who had been caught in the seas off Kayts were remanded the same day by the Sri Lankan Police in Jaffna.
Meanwhile twenty fishermen from Tamil Nadu who have been held in the Mirihana detention camp(near Colombo)for more than eight months have begun a fast demanding their release.
Delhi generally turns a blind eye to the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen who are regularly picked up by the SL Navy due to the tacit understanding it has with Colombo on curbing what it thinks are supply lines to the Liberation Tigers from a sympathetic coastal population in its southern state, where sixty millions Tamils live.
Delhi's pro-Colombo policy on this issue has been cause for much anger and disaffection in the politically powerful coastal communities of Tamil Nadu.