4TH LEAD (ADDS CORRECTION)

SLA troopers shot in Kilali no go zone

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 February 2005, 15:26 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) trooper was reported killed and another was injured when the Liberation Tigers fired on them in the no man's zone when the SLA soldiers had advanced to within 40 meters of the LTTE Forward Defence line in the lagoon between the SLA held Kilali, Jaffna and the LTTE controlled mainland around 5 p.m. Wednesday. LTTE women cadres in the forward defence line opened fire when they spotted SLA soldiers taking aim at them, sources in Kilinochchi said. A similar incident took place at the same location in February 2003.

SLA sources identified the soldier killed as Private J.H.U Priyadharshana and the injured soldier as Lance Corporal W.M. Wijesundara.

No go zone extends to 600 meters between the Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) of both parties and soldiers from either party are allowed to wander only within 50 meters from their own FDL, according to the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA).

LTTE sources said the two SLA soldiers had advanced more than 560 meters from SLA's FDL when the incident took place. Sources added that the SLA soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission and were spotted by the women cadres manning the defence posts at the Liberation Tigers' FDL. LTTE cadres opened fire when one of the SLA soldiers took aim at the LTTE defence posts, sources further said.

The soldier who was killed had a pair of binoculars and a hand grenade in his possession. The injured soldier had a rifle, according to sources.

Liberation Tigers handed over the body of the soldier to the SLA officers inside the no go zone late evening Wednesday with the members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission supervising the transfer, sources said.

Meanwhile, sources in Colombo said that Lt. Gen. Shantha Kottegoda, Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

 

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