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LTTE reinforces defence lines • After last week’s confrontation with army

July 19, 2006

The LTTE has begun to reinforce its forward defence lines (FDL) in Vakaneri and the surrounding areas after last week’s confrontation with the army.

Visitors from the area said that bunker lines on the main Chenkaladi-Maha Oya highway too were being strengthened. The main line near the Black Bridge where the handover of bodies took place last week too was being strengthened on the day the exchange took place.

LTTE offices in Karadinyanaru confirmed that work was being done on the bunker lines but eastern political head Daya Mohan was not available for comment.

Twelve soldiers and four LTTE cadres were killed in the confrontation on July 15. The Tigers have accused the army of infiltrating 5 km into their areas while the army has refuted the charges saying that the troops were on a routine clearing patrol.

The LTTE has been building new bunker lines at Vavunathivu as well, west of Batticaloa. The LTTE eastern intelligence head Ramanan was killed while inspecting the new bunkers and camps at Vavunathivu.

Soon after last week’s attack the LTTE wrote to the SLMM warning against future attacks if the army forays into their areas.

"Hostile forays by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) into Liberation Tigers controlled territory in Batticaloa district are serious acts of military aggression and have the potential to trigger a major destructive war," Daya Mohan said in the letter.

"SLA soldiers have been firing mortar and artillery rounds indiscriminately from Thursday night into residential areas of Vadamunai and Vakaneri inside the areas of LTTE control. A group of SLA soldiers have Thursday night clandestinely entered into villages past Vakaneri further towards Kulathumadu into LTTE controlled areas and mounted attacks.

"Residents have fled these villages due to fear of further violence. We regard the hostile action by the SLA not only as a serious violation of the Cease Fire Agreement, but more critically as an act of provocation to trigger a major war. This incident exposes Sri Lanka’s President’s reliance on advancing his military agenda while initiating a duplicitous All Party Talks on power sharing to placate the international community.

"We urge the SLMM to take immediate and urgent efforts to prevent the SLA from entering Tamil homelands in the future and to work towards bringing normalcy to people’s lives in affected areas.

"We again strongly condemn the SLA attacks and point out that SLA has seriously violated the CFA," the letter added.

The Morning Leader

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