3:00 PM

10,000 Missiles From Slovakia

An arms trade monitoring group has criticised the sale of 10,000 military missiles by Slovakia to Sri Lanka.The missiles are designed to be dispatched from multiple rocket launchers.There are concerns that the sale could constitute a violation of the spirit of the European Union (EU) Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.
The three-metre missiles were due to be shipped to Colombo on Thursday, the BBC said in a news report.Sri Lanka has been engaged in civil war for 25 years, and Saferworld is concerned that the weapons could be used against civilians.
Head of arms exports controls at Saferworld, Roy Isbister said that the EU code of conduct forbids arms exports where there is a danger the weapons could be used against civilians.
“Where there’s a serious risk of human rights abuses,” he said, “or where regional peace and security have been undermined, then the document says the sale should not go ahead. But although the code of conduct is a politically binding document, it is also too loosely-worded, so that countries have lots of wriggle room to justify selling arms.”
There have been reports that the Sri Lankan Army sometimes uses its weapons indiscriminately and that civilians are caught up in the conflict.Analysts say that because the government bans most independent observers from travelling to the war-affected areas, it is impossible to know the full truth.The EU would not comment on this specific case, but Christiana Hohmann, Spokeswoman for Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations, said, “How the code is implemented is up to each member country.”The Slovakian Economy Ministry denies that the sale is in violation of the code.Ministry Spokesman Branislav Zvara said, “The UN Security Council’s evaluation of the situation in Sri Lanka has not led it to declare an embargo on arms shipments to the country.”

3:00 PM

2,500 LTTE Cadres Killed

Security forces have been successful in eliminating about 2,517 LTTE cadres within the last three months, Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told The News-Lanka.
It is estimated that, there were around 5,000 fighting cadres in the LTTE at the beginning of this year. According to Brigadier Nanayakkara, the security forces had killed 834 LTTE fighting cadres in January and another 874 cadres were killed during February, while 678 LTTE cadres were killed last month. Another 131 LTTE cadres were killed by troops by April 4.
Brigadier Nanayakkara however claimed that although they had been successful in eliminating a large number of cadres, it did not mean that they had only a few more cadres to finish off, as there was a huge possibility that the LTTE may have commenced enlisting new recruits to its cadre base.
The total strength of the three security forces, is around 200,000. In addition to this, there are around 70,000 Police personnel in the Police Department. The Army has around 150,000 personnel, while the Navy has a strength of 30,000 members, and the Air Force has a strength of about 20,000.
The basic salary of a soldier is approximately Rs.14,000 plus a ration allowance of Rs.6,374 and cost of living allowance of Rs. 2,125.

2:32 PM

Air Raid on LTTE Communication Center

Air Force jets this afternoon raided an LTTE Communication Center south of Mankulam. The Air Force claimed it had destroyed the target completely.

10:53 AM

Wanni Operations

Fighting ensued between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE despite torrential rains in the Wanni battle theatre on Monday (April 14), where 5 LTTE were reported killed and 20 others wounded.

8:45 AM

Bomb Blast @ Kebithigollewa

LTTE terrorists have triggered off a claymore mine targeting a motor cycle carrying civil security force personnel in Kebethigollewa this morning, April 15.
According to available information the explosion took place at 7.45 a.m while civil security forces personnel on their bike along the Thalgahawewa - Yakawewa road in general area Kebethigollewa. The victims who received injuries were rushed to the Kebethigollawa hospital for immediate medical attention.