Sri Lanka launches offensive in Jaffna, curfew imposed in Thenmaradchi
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 04:16 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army has launched ground troop-movement into Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam controlled territory with heavy artillery and MBRL rocket fire since 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, LTTE Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told media. Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was notified by the LTTE on the Sri Lankan offensive, LTTE officials at the Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi said. The offensive, shattering peace hopes, comes few hours after an official announcement by Norway that parties had agreed to meet in Switzerland from 28 to 29 October.
"Sri Lanka Army has been moving ground troops across the Northern Front on two different localities, Muhamalai and Kilali at 6:30 a.m. today. Heavy fighting is going on inside the LTTE territory," Mr. Ilianthiryan said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army from Jaffna SLA Headquaters announced that curfew had been imposed in Allarai, Kachchai, Velakkerni, Thanankilappu and Kovilakandy coastal villages from 8:15 a.m. tlll Thursday 5:00 a.m.
The fishermen in Gurunagar area alleged Tuesday more than 200 boats, confiscated by the Sri Lanka Army, were likely to be used in an offensive towards the Liberation Tigers controlled Pooneryn across the shallow waters of Jaffna lagoon. The heavy SLN boats are not effective on the Gurunagar shallow sea, according to the fishermen.
Tuesday night, announcing the agreement for talks, Norwegian Foreign Ministry said the parties to the conflict were taking a small but important step towards continuing the peace process although the situation on the ground remained difficult.
"It is crucial that the Government [of Sri Lanka] and the LTTE now use this opportunity to cease hostilities as called for by the Tokyo Co-Chairs," Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim was quoted as saying in the Press Release issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.