Mankulum takes a pounding

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 August 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lankan artillery has been targeting the Tamil town of Mankulum. The SLA is believed to be trying to disrupt LTTE plans to fortify the town, in the light of continued stiff resistance at Puliyankulum. Much of Mankulum had been blasted into rubble in earlier SLA shelling, but the latest shelling is pounding the ruins yet again.

According to reports from the government held town of Vavuniya, Sri Lankan troops attacking Puliyankulum say they advanced 100 meters yesterday, with heavy aerial support. The Tigers are said to be raining mortar shells on the advancing troops, but casualties are not known.

map_puliyankulam.gifSLA units located south of Puliyankulum launched a fierce assault to capture the town this morning. Thousands of troops backed by tanks, helicopter gunships and artillery advanced from their positions two miles south of the town. Heavy fighting followed when the Sri Lankans ran into LTTE defences.

The SLA is said to be attributing the continuous Tiger resistance in this small town to LTTE reinforcements brought up from elsewhere, but most observers simply put the resistance down to ample defensive preparations.

The LTTE have deployed artillery and mortars in nearby jungles and established a series of bunkers within Puliyankulum village to house a small, but well armed force which has successfully held up several thousand Sinhalese troops backed by tanks, artillery and air power.

Mankulum is the next major town on the Vavuniya-Kilinochchi road which the current Sri Lankan offensive is attempting to capture. Mankulum is much larger than Puliyankulum, and fearful that the Tigers are fortifying it with similar defences to Puliyankulum, the SLA has been shelling it while the SLAF have launched harassment raids.

However, travelers who arrived in Vavuniya from Mankulum a few weeks ago say that the LTTE units had completed most of their preparations in the area several months ago, before the anticipated Sri Lankan offensive began.

Tens of thousands of displaced Tamil civilians are living in makeshift refugee camps in the vicinity of Mankulum. Shells and bombs are exploding in these areas but its not known if there have been any casualties. Thousands of Tamil civilians have been killed and wounded in Sri Lankan shelling and bombing of Tamil population centres.

The LTTE intensified its campaign for independence following the island wide pogrom against Tamils in July 1983. Over 50,000 Tamil civilians have been killed in the government's attempts to crush the Tamil struggle. In the 1977 elections, the Tamil people of the island voted overwhelmingly for parties supporting independence from Sri Lanka.

 

Latest 15 Reports
03.12.19 23:27  
Challenging 2006 EU ban on LTTE, next step of legal activism on principled grounds: Mendis
02.12.19 23:24  
China, Pakistan send top diplomats to meet Gotabaya in Colombo
01.12.19 23:46  
Gotabaya seems to have bought 5 years from India to wage ‘development’ genocide in North-East
30.11.19 23:51  
India strengthens defence ties with Japan
29.11.19 18:45  
New Delhi appeases Colombo as Eelam Tamil leaders fail to demand international mediation
28.11.19 07:59   Photo
Collective message from Tamils on Heroes Day: Rajapaksas can’t kill Tamil Eelam dream
27.11.19 10:46   Photo
University students, Shivaji brave SL restrictions on veneration of Tamil Eelam Heroes in Jaffna
26.11.19 23:28   Photo
Colombo attempts to officially block students from marking Heroes Day at Jaffna University
25.11.19 23:32   Photo
People mobilise in resolute to mark Tamil Eelam Heroes Day amidst Rajapaksas return
24.11.19 19:59  
Demand Tokyo Co-chairs, India to bring international mediation between Tamils and GoSL
23.11.19 22:58   Photo
US, Indian think-tanks call for deepening of Indo-Pacific ties ahead of 2+2 meetings
22.11.19 23:13  
Russian naval vessel visiting Hambantota coincides with return of Gotabaya Rajapaksa
21.11.19 23:41  
Former IFS diplomat advises New Delhi to embrace Rajapaksas trading off rights with interests
20.11.19 23:04  
US ambassador-turned-consultant hints at capitalising on ‘shared interests’ with Gotabaya
19.11.19 22:50   Photo
Indian FM visits Gotabaya to ensure Colombo’s conformity to US-India geopolitics in Indian Ocean
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=58