SLA spokesman briefs press

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 October 1998, 11:18 GMT]
Six army personnel were killed and 18 wounded when the Liberation Tigers attacked Forward defense Lines (FDL) in the southern sector of Paranthan said the SLA spokesman Brigadier Sunil Tennekoon, presenting a review of the security situation in the north and east of the island at the weekly cabinet press briefing today at the People's Bank Training Centre at D.R Wijewardene Mawatha in downtown Colombo.

The military spokesman in his review of the week said -

" Troops of Operation Jayasikurui are consolidating captured areas and are involved in dominating patrols. Nine Tigers were killed by the patrols which also recovered 5 claymore and 37 anti-personnel mines. The Liberation Tigers attacked the troops with mortars wounding seven soldiers. LTTE bunkers were attacked in limited operation to the west and east of Paranthan. Twenty seven Tigers were killed during the operations."

"Troops conducted limited and small group operations in Valaichenai, Santhiveli and Jayanthipuram in the Batticaloa district killing two Tigers. Six soldiers were wounded and troops recovered 2 T56 rifles, 4 grenades, 1 APLM, 1 Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and some small arms ammo during these operations."

"In Punguduthivu (an island close to Jaffna), the Navy arrested some key LTTE leaders and recovered 6 grenades, a large quantity of explosives and some military hardware."

"Dry rations, a radio set, medical equipment and medicines were recovered in search opeartion in Murungan and Periyakallar in the Mannar district. A large quantity of small arms ammo, 4 'Arul' rifle grenades and 6 hand grenades were captured by army upon information received in Jaffna."

"422 Tigers surrendered to the army this year. They are in three rehabilitation centres in Bandarawela, Gangodawila and Tellippalai. Of the surrendees 87 are in Bandarawela, 8 in Gangodawila and 16 in Tellippalai."

"Brigadier Tennekoon also claimed that the army is engaged in rehabilitation and development work in the Batticaloa district."

The SLA's claims cannot be verified independently because the army does not permit the press to visit the war zone except on guided tours. The SLA has also banned journalists from going to areas under the control of the Liberation Tigers.

Reporting the LTTE's views or related matters prohibited by government regulation could lead to confiscation of property and imprisonment for 7-15 years without judicial review under a draconian law introduced by the Sri Lankan government in January called the Prohibition of the LTTE Act.

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