SLA offensive thwarted in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Monday, 12 March 2001, 13:28 GMT]
Heavy fighting erupted along the Eluthumadduval -Nagarkovil axis in Jaffna from around 10 p.m. Sunday night to 2 a.m. Monday morning when columns of Sri Lanka army infantry backed by armour and heavy artillery attempted to overrun and break through the Forward Defence Localities of the Liberation Tigers, sources in Jaffna said.
Eleven SLA soldiers who were wounded in the fighting were rushed to Amban, a village close to Jaffna's south eastern coast, and were flown from there to the military hospital in the Palaly base, residents here said. The fighting stopped in the early hours of the morning when the Tigers, according to the sources, thwarted the SLA's offensive thrust.
The Sri Lankan government has vowed to relentlessly continue military offensives against the Liberation Tigers, rejecting three ceasefires unilaterally declared and extended by them since December 2000.
The Sri Lanka army utilized the LTTE's ceasefire to pull out a large number of units from the strategic Nagarkovil-Eluthumadduval-Kilaly axis between the Jaffna lagoon and the Bay of Bengal for much needed retraining, rest and recreation for its war weary, inadequately trained troops.
A few SLA battalions hold this axis now. When the Tigers unilaterally declared a ceasefire in December last year, a SLA division was concentrated along this line of defence, as a bulwark against the LTTE's military power in the southern sector of the peninsula which became an extension of the Vanni following the fall of the Elephant Pass base.