Hundreds of civilians died during weekend fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil rebel fighters, the United Nations reported Monday. “Verification is, of course, the part of the problem, because humanitarian agencies are denied access to the region,” U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss said from the capital, Colombo.
Sri Lankan officials on Sunday disavowed rebel claims that government troops had indiscriminately shelled a no-fire zone, killing many civilians Saturday night and Sunday morning. The accusations came after the government announced Thursday that it had “re-demarcated” the no-fire zone to encompass a new area 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and 1.5 kilometers (0.9 mile) wide
Sri Lankan authorities on Saturday detained a British news team that produced a report about allegations of abuse and ill-treatment of Tamil refugees. Three journalists from Channel 4 were seized and handed over to Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department for interrogation, police spokesman Ranjih Gunasekera told reporters. The report, aired Tuesday on Channel 4, chronicled the alleged abuse of Tamils in internment camps in the city of Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka, where fighting has raged between government and rebels
Tamil Tiger rebels have been pinned down by Sri Lankan government troops in a small section of the country’s north, the Ministry of Defense claimed Tuesday. “Security forces have now cornered the remaining [rebels], including its most wanted terror chiefs,” the ministry’s Web site reported, saying the rebels are confined to less than 2 square miles (4.5 sq
Sri Lankan officials rejected a proposed cease-fire from the Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday, warning instead that government troops intended to continue a new offensive until the group surrenders, a senior government official said. “The government is firm that (the rebels) lay down their arms and surrender. We do not recognize this so-called offer,” said Lakshman Hulugalle, director of Sri Lanka’s Media Center for National Security.