COLOMBO Dec. 25, Reuter: Indian peace-keeping forces launched a land and air search for Tamil separatists at Vavuniya in Northern Sri Lanka on Christmas Day, residents said.
One thousand soldiers were dropped by helicopters and searched rice fields and jungles 30 kms. South of Vayuniya town where Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam guerrillas were said to be hiding.
Residents said farmers reported straffing by either Indian or Sri Lankan planes of Iranaillupaikulam village but were unable to say whether people were injured in the attack.
They said the operation began before dawn when soldiers sealed off three villages and asked farming families to stay indoors during a house to house search.
The powerful Tigers, who reneged on their earlier acceptance of the IndoSri Lanka peace accord, have been fighting up to 35,000 Indian troops sent to disarm them and implement the pact.
The group and four others launched their bloody rebellion five years ago for an independent homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east.
Police lifted a night curfew on ‘Thursday in the eastern five years ago for an independent homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east.
Police lifted a night curfew on Thursday in the eastern Batticaloa district enabling Roman Catholics to. Attend midnight mass, residents said.
A spokesman for Bishops house at Batticaloa said by telephone that churches were full during Christmas with many priests asking the people to pray for peace and an end to the unrest,
Article extracted from this publication >> January 1, 1988