2011–12 Championnat de France Amateur

The 2011–12 Championnat de France amateur season was the 14th since its establishment. Gazélec Ajaccio was the previous season's club champions, while the reserve team of professional club Lyon were the defending reserve team champions; the teams and groups was announced on 18 July 2011 and the fixtures were determined on 28 July. The season began on 13 August 2011 and ended on 2 June 2012; the winter break was in effect from 23 December to 6 January. There were ten promoted teams from the Championnat de France amateur 2, replacing the 12 teams that were relegated from the Championnat de France amateur following the 2010–11 season. A total of 72 teams competed in the league with seven clubs suffering relegation to the fifth division, the Championnat de France amateur 2. All non-reserve clubs that secured league status for the season were subject to approval by the DNCG before becoming eligible to participate in the competition. Teams relegated to Championnat de France amateur Alfortville Bayonne Plabennec RodezTeams promoted to Championnat de France amateur Amiens AC Bordeaux B Concarneau Dunkerque Marseille Consolat Mont-de-Marsan Pontivy Sarre-Union Saumur Valenciennes B On 26 May 2011, following a preliminary review of each club's administrative and financial accounts in the Championnat National, the DNCG ruled that Pacy Vallée-d'Eure, Gap and Cannes would be relegated to the Championnat de France amateur after the organization determined that the clubs were enduring financial difficulties.

The organization excluded Toulon from participating in the CFA and relegated both Agde and Chambéry to the fifth division. On 4 June, the DNCG announced that, for the second consecutive season, Calais would not be allowed to ascend to the CFA. All clubs had the option to appeal the rulings. On 24 June 2011, Pacy Vallée-d'Eure officials confirmed in a press conference that it would accept its relegation to the fourth division in an effort to smooth over its €350,000 debt into next year. Two weeks on 4 July, Grenoble confirmed on its website that the Appeals Board of the DNCG had informed club officials that it will be relegated to the fourth division. Grenoble, entered liquidation on 7 July, which made the club unable to participate in the CFA. On the same day as the Grenoble ruling, the DNCG rejected the appeals of Toulon and Calais. On 8 July 2011, the Appeals Board of the DNCG confirmed that both Strasbourg and Gap would remain relegated after the clubs failed to convince the board of its intent to fix its financial liabilities.

Strasbourg has a deficit of over €4 million, while Gap's debt has exceeded over €80,000. Following the appeal denial, Gap officials announced that the club would appeal to the CNOSF, the National Sporting Committee of France. On 13 July, Agde appealed to the DNCG and was, subsequently, re-instated into the CFA, while Chambéry had its appeal rejected. On 19 July, Cannes had its appeal to remain in the Championnat National rejected by the DNCG. Similar to Gap, following the decision, Cannes announced its intent to appeal the ruling at the CNOSF. On 29 July, the CNOSF gave a favorable ruling for Cannes recommending to the federation that Cannes should remain in the third division. On 3 August, the CNOSF confirmed the demotion of Gap to the Championnat de France amateur; the French Football Federation determined whether Cannes would be allowed to participate in the league on 4 August, one day before the season was set to begin at the federation's annual executive meeting. At the meeting, the Federation re-affirmed its decision to relegate Cannes to the CFA stating it "trust the DNCG and followed its decisions".

On 24 August, the Executive Committee of the French Football Federation announced that RC Strasbourg would be relegated to the CFA 2 after a Strasbourg tribunal ordered the club to enter liquidation. No club was named in Strasbourg's place. Official site Standings and statistics

Second Battle of Elephant Pass

The Second Battle of Elephant Pass, was a battle fought in April 2000 for the control of the Sri Lankan military base in Elephant Pass, Jaffna. In 1991 the Tamil Tigers made their first attempt to take the Elephant Pass base; the attack was a failure, as troops led by Col. Sarath Fonseka held on despite overwhelming odds and the subsequent Operation Balavegaya; the Tigers suffered over 1,000 casualties. Given these circumstances, LTTE leader Prabakaran changed his strategy to take Elephant Pass by encircling and weakening the troops inside, cutting off supplies and, in effect, strangling the base; the idea was to avoid a frontal assault that would have led to the loss of many LTTE lives, since the army had numerical and logistical superiority. The Elephant Pass isthmus is of strategic importance, as it links the northern mainland known as Wanni with the Jaffna Peninsula; the Jaffna-Kandy road, the A-9 Highway and the railway line to Jaffna run through Elephant Pass, making the narrow strip of land in a sense the gateway to Jaffna.

Elephant Pass was thought to be an impregnable military complex. Before the battle the LTTE seized the southern defenses around the base and severed the sea link to it by capturing the area around Vettilaikerny and cutting the main northern highway, threatening to isolate the base; the first stage of the LTTE campaign to take control of the peninsula was launched on 11 December 1999. The camps at Vettilaikerny and Kattaikadu on the east coast and Pullaveli to the north of Elephant Pass were taken in a joint land/sea operation. Meanwhile, the 53rd Division of the Sri Lanka Army was brought in to relieve the pressure on the 54th Division deployed in the Elephant Pass sector; the 53rd was an elite force, trained by the United States and Pakistan. It had a series of commanding officers, including Brig. Gamini Hettiaratchy, Gen. Sisira Wijeysinghe, Brig. Sivali Wanigaseker and Brig. Egodawela. On 22 April 2000 the LTTE attacked the twin complexes of Iyakachchi and Elephant Pass, pounding the government positions.

The LTTE's veteran Black Tiger units stormed into the Iyakkachchi military base in the early hours of the morning in a multi-pronged assault and overran the well-fortified camp after several hours of intense fighting. LTTE rebels penetrated the central base, destroying several artillery pieces, armored vehicles and ammunition dumps. With the fall of Iyakachchi and the collapse of the command structure of its defending troops, LTTE combat units moved swiftly and stormed into Elephant Pass from different directions. By late evening Army Command decided to evacuate all of its positions in Elephant Pass and ordered a new defensive line further to the north; the defense establishment's decision to move the troops out of the Elephant Pass base was, forced on it by a shortage of drinking water. The camp was equipped with machinery for desalination of water, but it had broken down and not been repaired; the LTTE captured three long-range 152 mm artillery pieces, two 122 mm artillery pieces, 12 120 mm heavy mortars, one 25 mm cannon, several.50-caliber machine guns, hundreds of rocket-propelled grenades and thousands of automatic rifles.

The Tigers captured several armored vehicles, military trucks and high-tech communication systems. The Battle of Elephant Pass will be remembered as the largest military débacle in the history of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. In the end 204 soldiers and 150 rebels were killed. Another 357 soldiers were wounded. Among the top army officers killed were Brig. Percy Fernando, Col. Bhathiya Jayatilleka, Col. Rohitha Neil Akmeemana, Col. Harish Hewarachi and Lt. Col. Hewage Hewawasam. On the Tigers' side, the women's brigade chief, Lt. Col. Lakshiya, was reported killed. Fighting continued until mid-May for control of the Jaffna peninsula, by 9 May the Deputy Defence Minister reported that 758 soldiers had been killed, 2,368 had been wounded and 349 were missing since the battle for Elephant Pass started on 22 April; the progress of the LTTE raised concerns about the future of around 35,000 troops in the Jaffna peninsula. The fear was that the Tigers, with their rapid mobility and artillery firepower, could take over the entire peninsula.

With the possibility of the army facing an irreversible catastrophe in Jaffna, President Kumaratunga requested India to help evacuate the army from Jaffna, but India declined. Days before the fall of the Elephant Pass base, President Chandrika Kumaratunga made some abrupt changes in the defense structure; the LTTE pushed towards Jaffna, but in the following large-scale battles along defense lines that offered little tactical leverage, they suffered heavy casualties at the hands of Sri Lankan forces that were well equipped with heavy artillery, air support and commitment. Despite gaining footholds in the areas of Chavekachechri and Ariyalai, the LTTE was forced to retreat to the Muhamalai and Nagarkovil defensive lines after suffering heavy losses from artillery and air strikes. Although the fall of Elephant Pass was seen as a great triumph, a series of setbacks highlighted LTTE's weakness against conventional military forces in regular conflict. On 3 September 2000 the army mounted a massive counteroffensive, named "Agni Keila", to retake some of the LTTE-held territory to the south of its defensive lines, but after advancing a few kilometers the troops met heavy resistance.

The army was hampered by the presence of two narrow strips of