LTTE says operations ‘to defend civilians’

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 August 2006, 06:53 GMT]
The LTTE said Wednesday that its recent military activities in Trincomalee, including the operation against Sri Lankan military camps in the early hours were intended to disrupt Sri Lanka’s indiscriminate onslaught against Tamil civilians. The LTTE’s military spokesman, I. Ilanthirayan, said that amid the indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilian areas by the Sri Lankan armed forces as part of their offensive in the Mavil Aru region, there was an "urgent humanitarian need" that had compelled what he described as "defensive actions."

Military Spokesperson of the Tigers, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan (Marshall)
For several days Sri Lankan forces had unleashed indiscriminate bombardment of civilian targets, prompting the Tigers to take proactive defensive measures, Mr. Ilanthirayan said.

“There was an urgent humanitarian need to neutralise the Sri Lankan military’s attacks on civilian targets,” he said.

As such, the LTTE had targeted the Sri Lankan military’s artillery bases as well as the supply lines to troops massed in the Mavil Aaru area, he said.

Wednesday’s operations against several Sri Lanka Army bases along the A15 main supply route (MSF) from Muttur to Mavil Aaru were also essentially defensive actions, Mr. Ilanthirayan said.

The LTTE had attacked the Trincomalee naval base Tuesday as it was the rear base for the Sri Lankan offensive in Mavil Aaru, he added.

The naval clashes that erupted in the seas of Trincomalee Tuesday were also part of efforts to disrupt Sri Lanka’s offensive, he said.

The SLN vessel ‘Jet Liner’ had got caught up in the LTTE’s such efforts. “It was not a specific target but entered the LTTE’s theatre of defensive action,” he added.

Mr. Ilanthirayan slammed the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse for launching a military offensive on the pretext of a dispute over water – a dispute, he added, which had been in the process of being resolved before Colombo’s military intervention.

Mr. Ilanthirayan also confirmed that the Sea Tigers had clashed Tuesday with the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. and later from 9:00 p.m. till 3:30 a.m. in the seas off Pulmoddai.

He characterised these as ‘defensive operations’ to disrupt SLN supply lines into Trincomalee.

Two Dvora Fast Attack Crafts (FACs) of the SLN were damaged in Pulmoddai Tuesday evening, he said. Another Dvora FAC was severely damaged during the night clash off Pulmoddai.

The LTTE said two Black Tigers and seven Sea Tigers were killed in the seas off Trincomalee harbour on Tuesday.


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