The LTTE yesterday defended their closure of the
Mavil Arau anicut saying they had done so to show their
disapproval of the ban imposed on them by the European Union.
"We closed the Mavil Aru anicut to show our
disapproval of the European Union ban," Illanchelian, described
as the new LTTE spokesman, said when contacted by The Island
When asked about the damage caused to the LTTE
by Sri Lanka Air Force and Army after the closure of the
irrigation channel, he said eight LTTE cadres in the east had
died in the attacks but refused to give any more details.
Following repeated air strikes on LTTE positions
surrounding Mavil Aru anicut, the Government sent in ground
troops to smash the blockade by the terrorists.
Troops were advancing, but slowly as their path
was littered with landmines, military sources said.
The canal remained closed for the tenth day,
despite protests by farmers of the area. About 15,000 families,
who depend on the water from the canal are deprived of even
water for domestic use, while 30,000 acres of paddy in the area
are also threatened with destruction, official sources in the
The UNP yesterday condemned the closure of the
They accused the LTTE of committing a war crime
and said the prevention of water supply to civilians was a
violation of the Geneva Convention.
The pro-LTTE website ‘TamilNet’ yesterday
claimed the Sri Lanka Air Force was bombing civilian targets in
Eichalampattu. It said "A crucial discussion over the Mavil Aru
water crisis with SLMM and villagers ended abruptly", but
omitted saying the LTTE had closed the anicut depriving a large
number of people of water.