US pulls troops out

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The United States is pulling its troops out of Sri Lanka according to sources in Colombo. The pullout has been prompted by 'security concerns' say the sources. The latest batch of US 'Green Berets' arrived only two weeks ago to train SLA troops.

The arrival of a team of US commandos two weeks ago was reported in the Colombo weekly, the Sunday Times, which also said that this was the third such team to be sent to train Sri Lankan soldiers since March 1996.

The report also said that another three US teams were to rotate through here before the end of the year, to carry out 'joint exercises', quoting the US defence attaché in Colombo. It is not clear if this is still the case.

In June 1996, American newspapers reported that US commandos were training SLA soldiers in combat medevac techniques, radio work and field engineering. The training is said to have been halted ahead of the American Presidential election campaigns, but resumed recently.

A few days ago, the US government expressed the view that the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE should negotiate a solution to the island's conflict, adding that the matter was an 'internal affair'.

 

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