"Offensive against Tigers will continue" - P.M

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 December 2000, 14:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka, told reporters in Colombo Friday that military offensives against the Liberation Tigers will continue and that a response to the month long cease-fire declared by them unilaterally Thursday night could be considered only after President Kumaratunga returns to the island. Meanwhile the massive three pronged offensive launched Friday by the SLA barely 8 hours after the cease-fire offer by the Tigers faced fierce opposition south west of Madduvil but another prong from Nunavil has advanced close to the Kaithady bridge east of Jaffna town sources said.

Areas held by the Tigers north-east and south-east of Jaffna town were pounded by heavy artillery, multi-barrel rocket launchers and fighter jets from the early hours of the morning Friday.

An SLA official in Jaffna said that the army will press on operations against LTTE positions in the peninsula as planned despite the LTTE's cease-fire announcement Thursday night.

Sources in Jaffna said that the fighting had died down by evening although the army in Colombo claimed that the operation is still on. Jaffna army sources said that 27 soldiers were killed in today's offensive and more than 50 were wounded.

 

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