Sri Lanka says offensive against rebels succeeding

COLOMBO Thu Aug 7, 2008 5:34pm IST

Related Topics

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government said on Thursday it was making gains in an offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, as soldiers killed 16 rebels in fresh battles in the north.

Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella also rejected any possibility of a ceasefire or peace talks at this stage, saying this could only happen if the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were to lay down arms unconditionally.

"Surely, definitely, positively we are moving forward and we will not turn at any point," said Rambukwella, who is also minister for foreign employment and welfare.

"Nor we will accept any ceasefire, nor any peace negotiations unless they accept preconditions that have been laid down by the government," he told a weekly defence briefing.

The government is pursuing a strategy to gradually retake the Tiger's northern stronghold and win the 25-year civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.

In the latest fighting on Wednesday, soldiers killed 16 rebels and wounded 64.

Last week the military said it had entered the northern district where the rebels' de-facto capital is located.

The Tigers, fighting for an independent state in north and east Sri Lanka for ethnic Tamils, have made no comment.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

Pharma Deal

Pharma Deal

Sun Pharmaceutical wins U.S. approval to buy Ranbaxy  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia captain left seat before jet lost control - sources  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Romney Opts Out

Romney Opts Out

Republican Romney opts out of 2016 run for president.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Safety Concerns

Safety Concerns

Aviation leaders seek new safety mandate after deadly 2014.  Full Article 

Movie Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage