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The Situation Report

19th July 1998

Sauce for the State media is no sauce for us

By Iqbal Athas

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We regret

The Sunday Times regrets it is unable to publish the Situation Report in full in these columns today.

The Army Censor has deleted the substance of the copy leaving the remaining paragraphs meaningless.

The Sunday Times regrets that it has been discriminated by the Army censor in the approval of copies submitted for his consideration.

Last week, the Situation Report which dealt with some military changes were deleted by the Army Censor. However, details of the same changes appeared in the front pages of a state-run Sunday Sinhala newspaper.

The same changes were incorporated in the Situation Report copy for today. However, it has once again been rejected by the Army Censor.

And this is all that remains

As the ongoing "Operation Jaya Sikurui" (or Victory Assured) completed its fourteenth month, troops in the battle areas were going through manoeuvres to ensure their defences did not come under attack. This was whilst there is a lull in the battlefield with both sides taking stock of the situation.

Although intense security arrangements for the upcoming SAARC summit is pre-occupying the Government's attention, it has not lost track of the war in the Wanni.

Several changes in the military leadership for the continuation of the war are on the drawing boards.


Defence Ministry officials expect these changes to go into effect from next month in order to facilitate a major military push, firstly for the strategic Mankulam junction and thereafter for a link-up at Kilinochchi. Already Deputy Defence Minister, General Anuruddha Ratwatte has set November, this year, as the deadline by which he hopes to conclude "Operation Jaya Sikurui" and thus link the Jaffna peninsula to the rest of the country.

In addition to the personnel changes, the security establishment has geared itself to ensure the security forces had all their resources for the stepped up military campaign. This includes a wide variety of military hardware.


PLOTE Parliamentarian, Saravanapavan Shanmuganathan alias Vasanthan was killed in a claymore mine attack last Wednesday night.

Intelligence sources say there has been a marked increase in LTTE infiltration into the Vavuniya District.


the laying of the claymore mine that killed the PLOTE parliamentarian were the result of this fact.

These sources said they estimated anything between 100 to 150 LTTE cadres to have infiltrated the area. A substantial number were moving around in the areas that encompassed the Vavuniya- Mannar road which was opened after the successful conduct of "Operation Edibala".

Even if the focal point of attention turns to the SAARC summit in the coming weeks, a greater attraction thereafter would be the stepped up "Operation Jaya Sikurui" to achieve the latest deadline.

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