Sri Lankan troops fighting their way into the Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas in the island’s north have captured a “Black Tiger” camp complex along with a large haul of heavy weapons left behind by the fleeing guerrillas, military said Sunday. The Black Tigers were responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The military said that 58 Division troops have captured the Black Tiger camp complex consisting of administration and logistics compartments at Vishwamadhu area Saturday. Black Tigers were also known as suicide Tigers.
It said nine mortar launchers of five different calibers of 120 mm, 81 mm, 82 mm, 80 mm and 60 mm, six multi-purpose machine-guns (MPMG), two thermo baric launchers, twenty pistols and three rocket propelled guns (RPG) were among the stock of weapons recovered. “A large stock of new LTTE uniforms and twelve dead bodies (of the guerrillas) were also found inside the camp complex,” the military said.
Separately, the troops have recovered a two-storeyed underground bunker with luxurious facilities in the Vishwamadhu area on the same day.
Comfortable rooms, attached lavatories, three soundproof power generators, macadam access paths and two safes were found inside the underground building.
Sri Lanka’s defence ministry in a report said Sunday that the LTTE has failed to allow free movement of civilians in conflict areas in the north of the island within the 48-hour deadline issued by the government. It accused the rebels of continuing to worsen the people’s sufferings.
“LTTE terrorists continued worsening suffering of the thousands of civilians entrapped on the outskirts of Mullaitivu, ignoring the 48-hour ultimatum served for the safe passage of civilians,” the defence ministry said.
Amid mounting international pressure on the safety of displaced civilians in the war-zone, President Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the LTTE to allow free movement of civilians trapped in conflict areas.
The defence ministry said the government would “continue to adhere to the zero civilian casualty policy while engaging in its allout effort to eradicate the terrorists”.
There was no reaction in this regard from the rebel outfit, which has been fighting to carve out a separate state over the past quarter century.
Tamil Nadu government terms as ‘illegal’ pro-LTTE shutdown
CHENNAI, FEB 1 (IANS): The Tamil Nadu government Sunday termed “illegal” the Feb 4 shutdown called by the ‘Lankan Tamils Protection Movement’ (LTPM) and warned it of stern action if the agitation affected the movement of essential commodities and services. “If movement of essential commodities and services are hindered during the illegal shutdown of the state proposed by the Lankan Tamils’ Protection Movement, stern action will be initiated to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities and services,” said a government press release.
The statement also pointed out that the Supreme Court banned all shutdowns while hearing the issue of a similar move attributed to the DMK by the opposition last year.
The shutdown was announced by the Tamil National Movement led by LTPM organiser Pazha Nedumaran, a sympathiser of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during an interaction with reporters Saturday.
Though the LTPM comprises the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) — all open supporters of the LTTE, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that are pressing for political dialogue in Sri Lanka, none of the parties has openly expressed support to the shutdown.
The meet was also attended by BJP Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh S. Thirunaavukkarasar, who hails from the state.