Tigers vow retaliation in Sri Lanka’s east

COLOMBO, April 13, 2007 (AFP) – The Tamil Tigers vowed Friday to hit back against an advance by government troops in the east of Sri Lanka, accusing the military of “genocidal activities” there. The rebels denied military claims they were retreating in the face of an onslaught in the Eastern Province, where they were ejected from a coastal stronghold in January, and said they would retaliate “very soon.”

“As far as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is concerned we have adjusted our tactics according to the needs and we have not withdrawn from the east,” LTTE’s political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan said.

“I believe only our actions in the coming period will answer the propaganda (of the government) whether the Sri Lankan military has won a stable victory,” he said in an e-mail interview with AFP.

With the escalation of fighting in April last year and the collapse of a 2002 Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreement, the government has blocked journalists travelling to rebel-held areas in the island’s north, where the LTTE has its military and political headquarters.

The LTTE’s Thamilselvan, who is also the group’s top peace negotiator, said the military was “behaving l