2ND LEAD (CORRECTION, UPDATE)
LTTE Defence Council discusses military situation - Ilanthirayan
[TamilNet, Friday, 06 October 2006, 09:05 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army troopers, engaged in a new offensive, have moved north of Mankerni into Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled area in an offensive drive towards Panichchankerni, according to Tigers. "The Sri Lankan offensive has disregarded the assurances of ceasing all violence acts and the call by the International Community for talks," LTTE's Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan said. The Tigers have called on the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission to ensure monitoring access to the border areas where Sri Lankan forces were engaged in offensive acts. The Defence Council of the LTTE has been summoned to discusss the current development, he further said.
Military Spokesperson of the Tigers, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan (Marshall)
"The defence council of the LTTE forces has been summoned. The future course of action would depend on the outcome of the meeting," Mr. Ilanthirayan further said.
"If the monitors did not ensure monitoring access to disputed areas such as Muhamalai in the North, Vaharai in the East, and elsewhere, there is a real danger of escalation of military hostilities," the military spokesman of the Tigers warned.
All the three armed forces of the Sri Lanka Army were engaged in the offensive move Friday morning when Sri Lankan troops inside the LTTE controlled area in an attempt to capture the village of Panichchankerni, LTTE's spokesman said.
There were civilian casualties as the bombs fell on civilian settlements, according to residents who have fled to Vaharai across the Panichchankerni bridge in LTTE controlled area.
A large number of SLA troops had entered the area early in the morning, civilian sources said. The civilians, expressing fear of escalating battle, said the Sri Lankan troops were seen 5 km inside the LTTE territory.
The civilians further said fighting was going on in Kovilkudiyiruppu village. Fleeing civilians had seen SLA troopers advancing from Kajuwatte SLA camp.
Meanwhile, civilian sources in Valaichenai, north of Batticaloa, said that the SLA troopers were seen transporting dead bodies of the soldiers in tractors towards Valaichenai.