Tigers sink two navy gunboats: monitors

May 11, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels sank two navy gunboats in separate incidents and were firing at a ferry transporting some 700 troops, a spokesman for the Scandinavian truce monitors told AFP. “They are now attacking Pearl Cruiser and are putting the lives of our monitors in danger,” Olafsdottir said, adding that members of the Scandinavian Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission had three close calls Thursday.

It was not known how many monitors were travelling aboard the ferry transporting troops.

The navy and the Tigers were also engaged in a sea-to-ground battle at Muttur where SLMM monitors had a narrow shave, Olafsdottir said, adding they were awaiting details of casualties on both sides.

“The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have committed gross violations of the ceasefire agreement in recent days by moving at sea with the aim of provoking the Sri Lankan navy,” the SLMM said in a statement.

It said the “offensive operations” against the navy had placed SLMM monitors in grave danger.

“The sea surrounding Sri Lanka is a government-controlled area. This has been ruled so by the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in line with international law.

“Non-state actors c