The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India helps Lanka patrol the seas

Colombo, June 15 (PTI): Sri Lankan security forces are receiving help from India to track down Tamil rebel gun running following the latest sinking of a Tiger ship, a media report here said today.

Indian reconnaissance aircraft were deployed to help track Tamil Tiger shipping movements following yesterday’s incident in which a rebel merchant vessel was blown up, the Sunday Island newspaper said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the Indian involvement in yesterday’s operation.

Sri Lanka has also sought the help of a retired Indian admiral, P. J. Jacob, to prepare a plan to prevent clashes between the LTTE and the navy. However, he is yet to make recommendations.

There were conflicting accounts of what happened at high seas yesterday, with the navy saying the Tigers blasted their own vessel and the Tigers accusing the navy of attacking them.

LTTE warning

Meanwhile, the LTTE today warned of “grave consequences” in response to the sinking of their “oil tanker” yesterday in international waters.

The Tigers also accused the navy of arresting 12 men aboard the ship. “If any harm were to befall the crew of the LTTE vessel then the sole responsibility for the events lay with the Sri Lanka navy and that this incident would have very grave consequences,” the LTTE said.

The fate of the 12 remained unknown following yesterday’s clash off the north-eastern coast, where a rebel boat exploded and sank.

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