Ratwatte explains SLA activity in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 May 2000, 20:10 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Deputy Defence Minister, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte, who returned from Jaffna Wednesday after directing military operations there told state run TV that he has ordered the Sri Lanka army not to pull back any further in Jaffna. He said that the Liberation Tigers had shelled Palaly and the army had to counter it. The Minister urged the public to persuade deserters and soldiers who have not reported to duty after going on leave to go back to the front if they happened to see them.

He briefly lambasted the TamilNet for its reporting on the military situation in Jaffna. Gen.Ratwatte said morale among troops in Jaffna is high after modern weapons were sent there. He explained, with the aid of a map, the positions currently held by the SLA in Jaffna.

The program was telecast in Sinhala. The Minister said that he had met troops at all levels and found out what their problems were. The chairman of Independent Television Network, the state run TV station, posed questions that facilitated the minister's explanation about the crisis in the north. The aim of the Tigers is to cut off supplies to the army in the peninsula through Kankesanthurai and Palali the Minister explained.

 

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