Skirmish in Valaichenai
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A confrontation took place this morning between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), which was on a patrol at Navatkadu, 3 km west of Batticaloa, said sources in Batticaloa. The SLA was accompanied by the ex-Tamil militant paramilitary unit, known as the Mohan Group.
The SLA route covered Thimilatheevu and Puthoor and went further south west accross the Batticaloa lagoon to Navatkadu, where they were engaged by the LTTE.
The skirmish took place from 7.30 a.m. to around 12.00 noon.
There were no casualties, though a few houses were damaged in the crossfire.
Sources said that these patrols were not put together to ambush the LTTE, but plunder the farmers of their harvest which is an annual occurrence at this time of the year.
The ex-Tamil militant groups operating in Batticaloa with the SLA enter areas in the LTTE controlled paddy rich western hinterland which are close to the Vavunathivu army camp to demand paddy from farmers or to forcibly harvest paddy fields.