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New European satellite dedicated to Arthur C. Clark
The European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (EUTELSAT) has
dedicated its latest communication satellite to Sir Arthur C. Clark in
recognition of his visionary theories and pioneering role in the
development of global network communications.
Launched on the night of April 18, the 'Clark Satellite' now 36,000
kilometers above the Earth will go into service in June this year. The
satellites 18 Ku-band transponders will be used for a full range of
services including data and video broadcasting, internet backbone
connections, high speed internet access, distance learning and transfer of
software. A press release said that it will also be used for messaging and
positioning services for mobile telephones.
Heavy fighting in northern Jaffna.
At least 20 soldiers including two officers were killed and over 200
wounded when heavy fighting erupted in northern Jaffna today between the
government troops and the Tiger rebels.
Fresh fighting erupted when Tiger rebels thrust towards Iyakachi, a sleepy
farming village located north of Elephant Pass. The main objective of the
rebel action is to isolate the camp and mount pincer-attacks. The complex
is houses two military divisions.
On Thursday afternoon there were speculations in the military circles that
the government may withdraw its soldiers from the military complex to avoid
losing men and material. The camp had been under attack since March 28 by
the Tigers, who unleashed a fresh offensive code-named "Unceasing Waves-111
to re-capture Jaffna".
LTTE continues fighting as key highway remains blocked
Tiger rebels say they initiated a fierce battle against government forces
and blocked a key highway Wednesday April 19. The day is significant in
that it marks the fifth anniversary of Eelam War III when the LTTE broke a
100 day truce on April 19, 1995.
The LTTE claimed that they captured a four-mile stretch along the strategic A-9
highway in the Jaffna peninsula where intense fighting has continued over the
last three days.
A statement from the LTTE's London office said the Tigers scored a major
military victory when several security forces camps in Massar and
Soranpattu area were overrun. The LTTE further claimed that the battle left
"scores of dead soldiers and huge quantities of modern weapons." The Tigers
however did not reveal rebel casualty figures.
However, the rebels clandestine Voice of Tigers radio, said 26 Tiger cadres
had been killed in clashes in the northern peninsula since fighting erupted
The defense ministry claims, that 12 government soldiers were killed and 43
wounded repulsing the rebel onslaught which began on Tuesday. The ministry
said the rebels also suffered heavy casualties.
India to support a united Sri Lanka
Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh told Opposition Leader Ranil
Wickremasinghe in New Delhi April 19, that India fully supports a united
Sri Lanka. The United National Party said in a statement issued on Mr.
Wickremasinghe's visit to India that Indian leaders while stressing on the
need for consensus before devolving power had however stated India is
totally opposed to any division in Sri Lanka.
A new political party to protect the rights of the Sinhalese
A new political party 'Sihala Urumaya' (meaning the heritage of this
Island) was formed today, April 20, with the prime objective of protecting
the lost rights of the Sinhalese. President of the newly formed party S.
L. Gunasekera refuted charges that the party has been formed with racist
Mr. Gunasekera also an eminent Attorney-at-Law says, that despite the fact
two of Sri Lanka's main political parties are Sinhala dominated, "there are
none in parliament today willing to stand up and defend the rights of the
Sinhalese." Mr. Gunasekera asserted the party membership is open to all
casts, creed and races which will include Muslims, Burghers and Tamils if
they wish to join. Asked if Tamils too have lost rights which need
defending, Mr Gunasekera answered firmly "No."