Opposition blames govt for latest army losses
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 September 1999, 14:23 GMT]
Gamini Atukorala MP, the Gen. Secretary of the United National Party, said today that the Sri Lankan Government is not telling the truth about the losses suffered by the army in Operation Rana Gossa 5.
Addressing a press conference this morning at the office of the opposition leader in Colombo, he said that the government's latest military offensive against the Liberation Tigers was a failure.
The UNP Gen. Secretary claimed that 700 soldiers were badly wounded in the Rana Gossa Operation, of whom, according to him, about hundred may not survive. "Who will bear responsibility for this" he asked.
Mr. Atukorala said that Operation Rana Gossa 5 was launched by the government with a political motive and that it had no military objective in mind. It had no planning and direction according to the UNP Gen. Secretary.
"Was the offensive planned by the President or the Deputy Minister of Defence or by the army commander" he questioned.
Mr.Atukorala said that the army is losing a lot of soldiers and many operations have failed in the past and that the UNP has asked for reports from the government about these. The government did not respond he claimed.
The UNP will raise the issue of Operation Rana Gossa 5 in Parliament. Problems cannot be solved by war alone said the UNP Gen.Secretary. While the enemy has to be weakened there should be an effort to negotiate he added.
However, he refused to comment when he was later contacted for his views on the Puthukudiyiruppu bombing.