June 19, 1990 |
Heavy fighting between Tamil rebels and government security forces in northern Sri Lanka left at least 68 people dead yesterday, including 60 guerrillas, a military source said. The violence shattered an unconditional cease-fire that had been slated to begin Saturday evening. It raised to more than 600 the total number of dead since fighting erupted a week ago, the military source said. The Tigers have been fighting for nearly 20 years for an independent state for minority Tamils, many of whom feel discriminated against by majority Sinhalese who control the top ranks of the government.
July 3, 1986
Congratulations to Inquirer staff writer C.S. Manegold for her informed and sensitive June 15 article in which she captures the human interest aspects of the current tensions prevailing in Sri Lanka. One point that the reader may misunderstand, though, is her brief historical statement that ends with: "Tamils ultimately won back the use of the English language. " Tamil dominance in the colonial administration had nothing to do with English being the language of the administration.
June 15, 1986 |
There is no war zone in this city. No way to tell which bus carries the time bomb, which briefcase the plastic explosives, which hotel lobby the luggage that in a single flash could blow the place into a tangle of brick and bodies. There is no line to cross, no demilitarized zone, no war. Just a restless fear. Everyone here is waiting. On Thursday, when a bomb scare gripped the city's central business district, several people were hurt as hundreds fled the area, tripping over each other, not knowing which way to run. Shopkeepers pulled closed shutters, locked up tight and joined the agitated throngs in the street.
October 20, 1987 |
India has airlifted up to 6,000 troop reinforcements to Sri Lanka, airline and defense sources said today. Several domestic Indian Airlines flights were canceled or rescheduled to release a Boeing 737 to ferry troops to Sri Lanka, where Indian forces are battling Tamil rebels for final control of their Jaffna stronghold, an airline source said. A defense spokesman in New Delhi denied an airlift to Trincomalee in eastern Sri Lanka was continuing, but military sources in Madras said several flights were being operated from the south Indian city.
September 3, 1989 |
Before the bad times began, tourists by the jetload flocked to this beautiful tropical island. They came for the sun, for the palm trees, for the crashing surf and friendly people. But six years of ethnic violence and civil war have reduced the tourist flow to a trickle and nearly emptied the newly built five-star hotels. "How can we attract tourists when we are always being disrupted with strikes?" the manager of a large resort in the coastal town of Hikkaduwa said sadly last month.
August 18, 1987 |
One legislator was killed, and the prime minister, five other Cabinet ministers and nine legislators were injured today when hand grenades were tossed into Parliament in an apparent assassination attempt against President Junius R. Jayewardene. Jayewardene, who was not hurt, blamed Sinhalese terrorists for the attack, which occurred just before the governing party was to discuss a new Tamil peace plan. Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi signed an agreement on July 29 to end the island state's ethnic conflict.
June 13, 1986 |
Security forces arrested 50 Tamil rebels suspected in bus and rickshaw bombings this week that killed 23 people and injured 68, a military official said yesterday. For a second straight day, authorities imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in an effort to stop a stepped-up series of terrorist attacks that began May 3. The authorities accused the 50 rebels of placing time bombs on two buses that blew up Wednesday near Trimcomalee, 155 miles northeast of the capital of Colombo, killing 22. Later Wednesday, an explosion in a rickshaw killed one person and injured 35 people at Kotahena, a suburb of Colombo.
March 1, 1992 |
Cherry Hill pediatrician Jerry Ehrlich didn't see too many patients in his office last month, but in December, he treated 50 children with malaria, diagnosed 27 cases of pneumonia and survived a military ambush. All that happened not in Cherry Hill but in Sri Lanka, where Ehrlich recently finished a four-month stint as a medical volunteer. "There were 100, 200 government troops on the road, and they were going to blow out this straw hut village," Ehrlich recalled. "All these guys were in the ditch loading up their guns; I'm in shorts with a New York City Marathon T-shirt.
March 6, 1988 |
Once each month, when the moon rounds its edges into a perfect sphere and a shadow of a rabbit appears on its glistening surface as a sign of the Buddha's presence, all of Sri Lanka takes the day off. Poya Day, or Day of the Full Moon, is observed as a sacred national holiday here. Banks and offices close, bars and hotels may not serve alcohol, cinemas and casinos shut down, and soap operas and Western television shows are supplanted by religious programming that features shrill songs and orange- robed monks.
November 27, 1988 |
A bomb goes off downtown and the air fills with the smell of blood and gunpowder. A man on a motorcycle levels his pistol at a pedestrian and a politician in the south falls dead. A jeep hits a land mine and the lives of six Indian soldiers shatter in a shower of asphalt. A demonstrator raises one fist among 1,000 and he is shot in the face by an army bullet. The government warns the tourists to leave. The communists warn the bus drivers to strike. The army warns the people to stay off the streets.