Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July 29th, 2008

LTTE units in north Pooneryn, launched a barrage of artillery fire at Muhamalai Army FDL, which senior officers believe could be to test the Army’s newly acquired Electronic Weapons Locating Systems. These systems were not used to return the random harassing fire of the LTTE today.

Damages were caused to a few abandoned bunkers and minor injuries were received by two soldiers in the vicinity of the area. The attacks were launched using 130mm guns from a location in Kalmunai Point in Pooneryn.

Troops have come close to the LTTE strong-point at Vellankulam. Small groups of Commandos are spearheading the attack. The Thevampiddi Church to where the Our Lady of Madhu statue was moved for ‘safekeeping’ is also situated at Vellankulam.

Special discussions were held today between Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph and Major General J. Jayasuriya Commander, Security Forces Headquarters-Wanni, ahead of the Madhu Pilgrimage starting next month. As a result, the church will be open to devotees and the Army would move out of the premises.

Meanwhile troops from Task Force two, who commenced their operations from Madhu have come close to the A-9 road. The 56 Division is also to the east of the A-9. Both divisions are dangerously close to Puliyankulam, northeast from which is Mullaitivu. The 57, if it reaches Mankulam, will be dangerously close to Kilinochchi.

(Defence Wire)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

President Bush on Monday approved the first execution by the military since 1961, upholding the death penalty of an Army private convicted of a series of rapes and murders more than two decades ago.

As commander in chief, the president has the final authority to approve capital punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and he did so on Monday morning in the case of Pvt. Ronald A. Gray, convicted by court-martial for two killings and an attempted murder at Fort Bragg, N.C., the White House said in a statement.

Although the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty in the military in 1996, no one has been executed since President Ronald Reagan reinstated capital punishment in 1984 for military crimes.

The last military execution was ordered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957, although it was not carried out by hanging until 1961. President John F. Kennedy was the last president to face the question, in 1962, but commuted the sentence to life in prison.

“While approving a sentence of death for a member of our armed services is a serious and difficult decision for a commander in chief, the president believes the facts of this case leave no doubt that the sentence is just and warranted,” the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, said in a statement after the decision was first reported by The Associated Press. “Private Gray was convicted of committing brutal crimes, including two murders, an attempted murder and three rapes.”

Mr. Bush, a supporter of the death penalty, approved the sentence after Private Gray’s case wound its way through the Army’s legal bureaucracy and the military’s courts of appeal. The secretary of the Army sought Mr. Bush’s final approval.

There are six people on the military’s death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. but Private Gray was the first whose sentence went to the president. Unlike in the civilian courts, where the president can overturn or commute a sentence, in the military system, he is required effectively to approve it.

It can still be appealed, which the White House suggested was all but certain, meaning an execution is not expected to occur soon, possibly not during Mr. Bush’s remaining months in office.

The military death penalty has been dormant for so long that it was also unclear what the method of execution would be.

Ms. Perino declined to discuss the decision further, citing the potential for appeals. She added that Mr. Bush’s “thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous crimes and their families and all others affected.”

Private Gray was accused of four murders and eight rapes from April 1986 to January 1987 while serving at Fort Bragg.

According to the White House’s chronology of the case, he pleaded guilty to two murders and five rapes, among other offenses, in state court in North Carolina and was sentenced to life in prison.

He separately faced court-martial in two murders and an attempted murder, involving three women, two of them Army soldiers, the other a civilian taxi driver whose body was found on the post.

In 1988, he was convicted, and his sentence has since been approved by his command, the Army Court of Military Review, and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. In 2001, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear his case.

Mr. Bush’s decision clears the way for a new round of appeals in civilian courts, beginning with the Federal District Court, said Eugene R. Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, a nonprofit organization in Washington. Among the issues, Mr. Fidell said, was the fact that Congress has since required capital cases to be considered by a 12-member jury, not the smaller ones that previously decided cases.

(NewYork Times)

Read Full Post »

Thirty four LTTE cadres were killed and thirty five injured in confrontations with troops in the Vavuniya, Weli Oya and Mannar fronts up to yesterday morning, Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Three soldiers died and eleven were injured, he said.

In the Vavuniya theatre nine Tiger cadres were killed and four injured in the areas of Navathikulam, Vilakkavettikulam, Uttimulai and Navvi.

Three soldiers were injured.

In Mundappidi Adampan in the Mannar front, north of recently captured Iluppakadavai 14 LTTE cadres were killed and five injured with one soldier sustaining injuries.

In confrontations in the areas north of Janakapura north and Kiriibbanwewa north and Kokkuthuduwai north eleven Tiger cadres were killed and 26 injured with three soldiers being killed and seven sustaining injuries.

Troops also recovered a motorcycle used by the LTTE in the Vavuniya front, Nanayakkara said.

(The Island)

Read Full Post »

Sri Lankan troops have killed at least 34 Tamil Tiger rebels and lost three of their own in the latest reported clashes in the island’s north, the defence ministry said Tuesday.

Security forces fought with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the northern Wanni region where they have been trying to advance into rebel-held territory for weeks, the ministry said.

It said an estimated 37 guerrillas were also wounded in the clashes on Monday while security forces suffered another 11 wounded.

However, the LTTE said they beat back an army offensive on Monday, killing five soldiers and injuring seven others. The rebels did not give their own casualties.

The rebels also accused the military of firing heavy artillery and rockets into areas under their control on Sunday and Monday, despite the LTTE offer of a 10-day truce in place ahead of a South Asian meeting that began here Sunday.

Monday’s fighting raises the number of rebels killed by government troops since January to 5,366, while 471 soldiers have died in combat in the same period, according to a tally of defence ministry claims.

However, the ministry blocks access for journalists to visit frontlines, making it difficult to independently verify casualty numbers.

Meanwhile, foreign secretaries of SAARC member states opened their formal talks at a tightly-guarded conference venue here ahead of a two-day summit on August 2.

The meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will draw more than 1,000 delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Read Full Post »

38 LTTE cadres killed during Tiger ceasefire

The military took over an LTTE base in Welioya in the North over the weekend, adding that 38 LTTE cadres and two soldiers were killed so far during the period of the unilateral ceasefire by the LTTE which took effect on Saturday.

According to Defence Ministry sources the military seized total control over ˜Sugandan base” a satellite base of the LTTE. “One-Four-base” complex located North of Kiriibbanwewa inside the thick jungles of Mullaitivu.

Earlier, on May 30- troops captured the ˜Munagam base” the main logistic link between the LTTE strongholds in Wanni and cadres in the east, across the Mullaitivu jungle, followed by the capture of ˜Michael base” one of the strategic satellite bases of the ˜One -Four base complex˜on July 4.

“Troops are now consolidating the defences,” the ministry said.

Detailing the incidents, the military said that nine LTTE cadres were killed in Welioya along with a soldier on Sunday and another nine LTTE cadres and two soldiers were killed in Vavuniya on the same day.

They said an LTTE area leader identified as ˜Veandan” was reported to be seriously wounded during a failed offensive attempt targeting troops operating North of Janakapura yesterday.

Five cadres were killed and similar numbers injured including a senior cadre ˜Maranâ”during fighting in the area.

Troops have also recovered a body of a slain LTTE cadre along with a communications set, during a subsequent search operation conducted in the area.

Last week, the LTTE declared a 10-day unilateral ceasefire in view of the SAARC summit that is being held in Colombo. However, the LTTE said that it would take defensive action if the military tried to attack them.

Read Full Post »

38 LTTE cadres killed during Tiger ceasefire

The military took over an LTTE base in Welioya in the North over the weekend, adding that 38 LTTE cadres and two soldiers were killed so far during the period of the unilateral ceasefire by the LTTE which took effect on Saturday.

According to Defence Ministry sources the military seized total control over ˜Sugandan base” a satellite base of the LTTE. “One-Four-base” complex located North of Kiriibbanwewa inside the thick jungles of Mullaitivu.

Earlier, on May 30- troops captured the ˜Munagam base” the main logistic link between the LTTE strongholds in Wanni and cadres in the east, across the Mullaitivu jungle, followed by the capture of ˜Michael base” one of the strategic satellite bases of the ˜One -Four base complex˜on July 4.

“Troops are now consolidating the defences,” the ministry said.

Detailing the incidents, the military said that nine LTTE cadres were killed in Welioya along with a soldier on Sunday and another nine LTTE cadres and two soldiers were killed in Vavuniya on the same day.

They said an LTTE area leader identified as ˜Veandan” was reported to be seriously wounded during a failed offensive attempt targeting troops operating North of Janakapura yesterday.

Five cadres were killed and similar numbers injured including a senior cadre ˜Maranâ”during fighting in the area.

Troops have also recovered a body of a slain LTTE cadre along with a communications set, during a subsequent search operation conducted in the area.

Last week, the LTTE declared a 10-day unilateral ceasefire in view of the SAARC summit that is being held in Colombo. However, the LTTE said that it would take defensive action if the military tried to attack them.

Read Full Post »

TMVP leader Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman said yesterday he welcomed Indian investments to develop infrastructure projects in the Eastern Province.

In the backdrop of sharp attacks by the JVP, JNP and other parties on India’s alleged plans to get a foothold in the Eastern Province, Karuna told Daily Mirror investments whether from India or elsewhere should be directed through the central government.

India has invested heavily in the Trincomalee oil farm, coal power and other projects

Karuna who was recently deported from Britain after serving a prison term there for illegally entering that country, said as a first step towards rehabilitating TMVP cadres, some 200 would be recruited to the Civil Defence Force by the end of next month and documentation had been completed in this regard.

“If there are people with required qualifications, they will be absorbed into the Sri Lanka Police Service later. We had negotiations on this with the Defence Ministry,” he said.

Referring to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), Karuna said his party was currently preparing its devolution proposals to be handed over to the Committee and noted that he would not insist on police powers for the province, but would demand adequate powers for education, lands and development work.

“I am planning to meet various ministers to discuss development activities in the eastern province.

Recently, I had talks with Provincial Health Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah,” he said and added that he would be making arrangements to resolve the paddy lands issue between Tamils and Muslims as communal harmony was vital for the development of the east.

Referring to the teacher shortage in the East, Karuna said Education Minister Susil Premajayantha handed over appointments to 480 graduates in Batticaloa yesterday and he assured that 125 voluntary teachers in the area would be made permanent soon.

(Daily Mirror)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Advertisements