Puliyankulam, Mankulam not captured: SLA

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
SLA spokesman Brigadier. Sarath Munasighe said he had not received any reports about the capture of either Puliyankulam or Mankulam while answering questions by journalists this morning at the weekly cabinet press briefing which began about 10.30 a.m. at Sri Lanka's parliament complex.

He told journalists that they can call him in the evening today and he may have some information for them.

sarath_muna_press.jpgThe military spokesman's position on Jayasikurui's third phase confirmed reports that the army has not captured Puliyankulam junction and are still in its outskirts.

Deputy Minister for Finance Prof. G.L Pieris and Media Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera spoke at the conference and answered questions by journalists.

The conference focussed mainly on the budget.

However, when journalists probed the brigadier further about the situation in Vanni warfront, he only said that fighting is going on north east of Mankulam and that there are twenty kilometers to be covered between the army's current positions and Kilinochchi.

Answering another question about the thousands of school children who were rounded up in Batticaloa he said he was not aware of the matter.

When Mr. Mangala Samaraweera accused journalists, during the course of the conference, of putting out inaccurate reports, Rukshan Ratnam of the independent radio station 'Capital Radio' retorted that problems tend to arise because the government often does not give the correct picture of events as in the case of the attack on the Kelanitissa power plant.

Ratnam pointed out that the MoD had denied the incident and had taken a very long time to give journalists the right picture.

Brigadier Munasinghe said that he cannot do anything about this as he has to get his information from the proper authorities.

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