Sri Lanka: March 10, 2003


The navy encountered a LTTE ship off the north coast and a gun battle broke out. The LTTE boat was sunk, 11 rebels killed and four sailors wounded. The LTTE insisted the boat was simply a cargo vessel and in international waters. The navy says the boat was in Sri Lankan waters and had opened fire on the navy vessel after being told to stop and be searched for weapons.  The LTTE said that this incident would have a negative impact on the current peace talks. However, there have been several incidents where the LTTE was caught bringing more weapons in by ship from India, and forcibly recruiting teenagers for their combat units. Both activities were forbidden by the ceasefire agreement the rebels signed. 

Meanwhile, over 25,000 people in the capital demonstrated against the ceasefire and peace negotiations with the rebels. The demonstrators had hoped for more than ten times that many


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