Sri Lanka: November 19, 1999



The new fighting appears to be mainly the result of LTTE troops fighting to get the best positions on high ground or dominating trails as they dug in along the new line dividing them from government troops. 

November 18; Heavy fighting still goes on around some towns and villages. The LTTE does not appear to be advancing again, but merely improving their position along the new front line. However, the latest LTTE moves put them in a better position to move again and take the major town of Vavuniya.

November 17; The LTTE announced that they would not attack and seize the town of Vavuniya, for "humanitarian reasons" (lots of Tamil refugees.)

November 17; SRI LANKA: British laboratories have confirmed that the anti-tank missile used by the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam was an AT5 Spigot (also known as Faggot). This weapon is manufactured in Russia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and North Korea, but it is unclear where the specific missile used originated or how it (and presumably more of them) came to be in LTTE hands.--Stephen V Cole

November 17; Pakistani Junta leader general Pervaiz Musharaff has assured Sri Lanka that his new government will continue to support their struggle against the LTTE rebels and their overall general defenses, and will in fact increase this cooperation by allowing more Sri Lankan officers of all ranks to attend Pakistani military schools.--Stephen V Cole

November 16; Government troops announced they had halted the LTTE offensive in the north and were again attacking LTTE units. The army said they had killed thirteen LTTE troops today alone, in two separate encounters.

November 15; The guns went silent in the north, as the LTTE offensive slowed and stopped after two weeks of fierce fighting. The LTTE troops were most likely exhausted and having supply problems. The Sri Lankans say they have been trying to contact the LTTE to conduct peace talks, but have been unable to do so to date.


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