The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 33

Jaffna Peninsula
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'We Must Declare War'
Time Magazine, May 9. The reason for the failure of the war effort in the past has been due to the politicization of the war effort by politicians, to suite their political ends. More..

Tigers Triumphant
Time Magazine, May 9. When Sri Lankans awakened the next morning, they found that it was illegal to criticize the government or hold rallies, that censorship of the local press had been extended to foreign correspondents and that all "nonessential" development spending was to be immediately redirected to the military.

Thanks to Kumaratunga's press censorship, the majority of Sri Lankans didn't even know of the three-week battle at Elephant Pass until the rout was complete. More..

Sri Lanka spurns Tigers' truce offer
The Guardian, May 9. Most analysts believe the offer is a negotiating tactic, prior to a final massive offensive by the Tigers to recapture the town of Jaffna, which they lost in 1995. Although the rebels managed to seize a key military base at Elephant Pass on April 22, and sweep to within 23 miles of Jaffna 10 days ago, they have been unable to continue their advance to heavy resistance from Sri Lankan troops at a crucial naval base. More..

LTTE sympathizers arrested in Tamil Nadu
India Abroad, May 8. The arrests were made after pro-LTTE posters flooded Chennai. K. Rajendran, leader of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) which is said to have put up the posters, has gone underground, as have leaders of most other pro-LTTE groups in the city. Police tore down pro-LTTE posters in Anna Salai, a major artery in Chennai, but new posters were soon up in other areas. More..

Sri Lankan media groups declare war on censorship
India Abroad, May. "Ironically, the People's Alliance (led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga) came to power in 1994 promising peace but the war has only worsened and civil liberties are under threat," a political analyst said. He pointed out that with parliamentary elections due in September or October this year, the regulations could stifle political campaigning. More..

India rules out support for 'Eelam' in Sri Lanka
India Abroad, May 8. Cutting across political divisions, an all-party meeting on Monday reaffirmed support for the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka and ruled out India's support for the carving out of a separate state of "Tamil Eelam" from the island.

"We are not silent," Vajpayee shot back, when asked how India could remain a silent spectator when its neighbor's territorial integrity was threatened by the LTTE, a banned outfit in India. "We are waiting and watching," he said.


Jaffna battle looms after government rejects ceasefire
The Electronic Telegraph, May 9. Diplomats said the president knew that any acceptance of the rebels' terms could lead to the downfall of her government and a possible violent anti-Tamil backlash by members of the majority Sinhalese population in the south of the country. Israelis from Mossad, the state intelligence service, who flew to Colombo on Friday to advise the security forces, recommended that the government should not give in to terrorism. More..

Jaswant's statement raises Tamil hopes in Lanka
Times of India, Tuesday 9 May 2000. How does it deal with the LTTE, a banned terrorist organisation responsible for the killing of an Indian Prime Minister. LTTE leader Prabhakaran is wanted in India to stand trial for murder. His group has killed a number of top Sri Lankan leaders including Ranjan Wijeratne, Lalith Athulatmudali, Gamini Dissanyake and President Premadasa.

Given the Indian government's international campaign against terrorism, can it afford to get involved with the LTTE, is what Western diplomats want to know. More..

Crucial two weeks ahead for Lanka
India Abroad, may 8. "We admit our troops have been sloppy and caught napping (in Elephant Pass). They were partly lulled into complacency by all this talk about peace talks," said a senior Sri Lankan official. More..

Vaiko cautions against Indian involvement
The Hindu, May 9. ``The Sri Lankan Government is seeking India's help only because its army is defeated. Why should the Indian Government get involved now when it did not get engaged in 1995 (when the Sri Lankan army entered Jaffna),'' he asked. More..

Govt, Oppn agree on Lanka agenda
Times of India, May 9. Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee told the Opposition there was no question of India backing the demand for Eelam, according to parliamentary affairs minister Pramod Mahajan. The PM made this clear in response to Tamil Maanila Congress MP Jayanthi Natarajan's suggestion that India should support such a demand. More..

Trincomalee harbour crucial to India: Kalkat
Tuesday 9 May 2000. While India's foreign policy is committed to Sri Lanka's sovereignity, unity and integrity, the situation in the island also has security implications for India, Kalkat pointed out in an interview to the Times of India. Sri Lanka's request is a ``politial dynamite'' from India's domestic politics point of view, he added. More..

Lankan govt clamps down on democratic rights
Deccan Herald, Tuesday, May 9, 2000. And authorities may requisition houses, cars and even people to work as directed. Anyone who resists faces a trial and the forfeiture of all his property to the government. Some analysts here said the government`s tough line may also be part of a political strategy to control right-wing Sinhalese militants who are calling for an all-out war on the Tamil rebels and oppose the government`s efforts to begin peace talks with the Tigers.


Sri Lankan refugees regret escape to India
May 8. The battle between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army has caused much damage and suffering to the people around Jaffna. To escape the throes of the raging war, they have travelled great distances, risking their lives at sea. But their misery has not ended. More.. 4

Tamil Nadu imposes ban on pro-LTTE rally, 257 held
The Indian Express, Monday, May 8, 2000. P Nedumaran of Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam and his associates numbering 257 were taken into custody here on Sunday when they tried to take out a rally and organise a conference meeting in support of the Eeelam Tamils. Meanwhile, armoured vehicles carrying Air Force personnel were moving towards Rameswaram island, Ramanathapuram district officials said, adds PTI. More..

India not for Eelam, asserts Vajpayee
The HIndu. it was left to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, to categorically state that India was not for a separate Eelam, and that it favoured a solution to the crisis in the island country ``within the framework of Sri Lanka's unity and territorial integrity''. More..

Sri Lanka rejects Tiger truce, President vows to defend Jaffna
Monday, May 8 9:23 PM SGT. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, in an address to the nation to be broadcast later Monday, made it clear that governnment forces had no intention of abandoning the peninsula, which was captured from the rebels in December 1995, and promised a counter offensive.

"We will not allow half a million Tamil people in Jaffna to fall into the hands of the fascist rule of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)," Kumaratunga was quoted as saying in her Sinhalese language text. More.. l

Tipnis meets Lankan counterpart
The Times of India, Monday 8 May 2000. Tipnis also will meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga and will visit the Sri Lankan air base of Anuradhapura outside the island's northeastern areas where Tamil rebels are engaged in their battle for an independent homeland for the country's 3.2 million Tamils. More..

Lankan Army deploys new weapons
The Times of India, Monday 8 May 2000. The weapons were procured from international market to strengthen the new military defense line, 25 km southeast of Jaffna, a city of 500,000 minority Tamil people. The sources declined to identify the countries from where the weapons were brought. More..

Government says No, to LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.05 p.m. SLT Monday May 8. Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera at a press conference today said the government has turned down an offer from the Tigers for a ceasefire until troops are evacuated from the peninsula. Minister Mangala Samaraweera affirmed that government armed forces have consolidated their positions and will not be removed from the northern peninsula where the LTTE have since April 22, inflicted some stunning setbacks to the military. He said government troops will fight to the last to hold Jaffna.

Minister asks media to act with responsibility
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 p.m. SLT Monday May 8. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister for Media today said the draconian government legislation brought into effect last week will only be imposed on journalists who do not act with responsibility and pose a threat to national security. The Minister reiterated that the legislation will not be imposed on balanced and unbiased reports of the security situation. It will however be brought to bear on all media personnel who are biased in their report of the war and the government and who prove to have ulterior political motives in demoralising the government, the constitution, the judiciary and its armed forces.

Creative journalism, Sri Lankan style
If a dog bites a man, they say, it is not news, but if a man bites a dog it certainly is. Well, yesterday this incident actually happened at the Pettah bus stand, Colombo. A man bit a dog. And this is how the different sections of the Sri Lankan press reported the event. More..

No recognition to rebel Eelam Govt, says Vajpayee
JAL News May 8. May 8. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made it ample clear that there was no question of recognising the Eelam government of the Tamil rebels or send the military to help out the Srilankan Government. More..

Vajpayee: India To Work For Peace In Sri Lanka
Yahoo-AFP May 8. Monday, May 8 3:40 PM SGT. "We will continue to work for a peaceful negotiated settlement, within the framework of the Sri Lankan constitution," Vajpayee told reporters after the meeting. There will be "no military intervention," he added. Vajpayee's reference to the constitution was indirect support for Colombo's position against partitioning the island into separate Tamil and Sinhalese states, as demanded by the rebels. More..

Sri Lanka rejects rebel offer of ceasefire
Yahoo-AFP May 8. Monday, May 8 8:10 PM SGT. "We will not accept the LTTE offer. This is another of their examples of psychological operation," the government information director Ariya Rubasinghe quoted Media Minister and Cabinet spokesman Mangala Samaraweera as saying. More..

India to mediate only if Sri Lanka, LTTE ask
The Hindu May 8. "...we are ready for some kind of helping hand or negotiating hand only if the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government ask for it," he said after the consensus-building meeting of 20 parties in Parliament. More..

Sri Lankan rebels offer truce
The Hindu May 8. The Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have offered a truce to allow beleaguered Government forces to withdraw from the northern Jaffna peninsula. More..

PM seeks consensus on Sri Lanka crisis
NDTV May 8. Monday, May 8 (New Delhi):. The Prime Minister called an all-party meeting to try and evolve a consensus on India's participation in the Sri Lankan crisis. More.. 1

Lanka rejects Tigers' offer of safe passage for troops
Times Of India May 8. Tamil Tiger rebels offered a temporary cease-fire Monday to allow the evacuation of 40,000 Sri Lankan government troops from the northern city of Jaffna but officials said it would be rejected. More..

Cease fire offered by LTTE?

Unconfirmed reports say that the LTTE has offered a temporary cease fire in Northern Sri Lanka.-- Editor

India could negotiate in Lankan conflict: Indian Foreign Minister
The Indian Express, May 8. India could try to broker a truce between the forces of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said Sunday. More..

Partition looms as Sri Lanka faces losing Jaffna to Tigers
Independent News UK, May 7. The Sri Lankan state and the LTTE cannot be seen as morally equivalent. Against the flawed but not failed secularism of the Sri Lankan state is ranged a "liberation" army which can fairly be described as demonic. It is led by Velupillai Prabhakaran, who began his career by lobbing bombs at moderate Tamil politicians while still a teenager.

An indication of how an LTTE regime would perform if peace was obtained is the way it gave Jaffna's 40,000-strong Muslim population 24 hours to clear out the last time the Tigers took control of the peninsula. Now they are rolling towards Jaffna town with a long list of Tamil "collaborators" and no one doubts that all those whom they find will be executed. With similar decisiveness, they have murdered all moderate political voices within the Tamil community. More..

War weary Sri Lankans forced to ask for Indian help
NDTV, May 7. Mr. K Nanda Godage, a former Sri Lankan diplomat said, "What is unfortunate is that you all have not taken a stance against terrorism. This is terrorism, using the gun, using terror and military force to carve out a separate state. Does India condone this? No. India has stood against this, but in this particular instance what is India doing? I understand that India cannot come in with people. But just imagine if as a token, she sends in two ships to Trincomalee. What is the message the LTTE gets? More..

Jayalalitha urges Centre to find political solution to Lanka crisis
The Asian Age, May 7. Only a political solution obtained through negotiations would solve the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka and India should use its good offices with Colombo to achieve that the AIADMK general secretary Ms Jayalalitha said on Sunday More..

Cold moon over Lanka
May 8. The government is dithering, says S.D. Muni, of the Centre for International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He wants India to extend all assistance to Sri Lanka short of sending troops to fight the rebels. More..

India adopts wait and watch policy
May 8. One thing is clear: No one except the lunatic fringe wants another IPKF - they want it to help the LTTE instead. Posters have appeared in Madras, eulogizing Tamil victories in Sri Lanka. Another thing is also clear. The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) alone with additional fire power can save Jaffna. More..

India ready to supply Jaffna by air
The Electronic Telegraph, Monday 8 Colombo. Twenty-four hours after India refused to offer military help last week, Colombo suddenly restored diplomatic relations with Israel after a 30-year break. Four officials from Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday to make a preliminary assessment of the precarious military situation. More..

Tamil Nadu parties acting as LTTE's proxy
Monday, May 8, 2000, New Delhi. While the fringe parties sport their pro-Tiger stripes openly, the mainline parties like the MDMK and PMK are covert canvassing agents for the LTTE. MDMK chief Vaiko's public speeches invariably have references to the brave battle being waged against Sinhala chauvinists. More..

India denies mediator’s role
The Hindustan Times, Colombo May 7. THE INDIAN High Commission here has categorically denied reports in the Sri Lankan press and in an international wire service, that India is poised to air drop “humanitarian aid” or “non-military logistical help” to the Lankan troops in Jaffna. “The reports are not correct,” a ranking diplomat told The Hindustan Times. More..

High hopes in Sri Lanka of India's assistance
The Hindu, May 8. Majority Sinhalese thinking is along the lines that the ``Tigers would have to be finished or else we are finished'', while minority Tamils see the LTTE advances as taking the challenge into the Sinhala polity. More..

'Sri Lanka's unity should be kept in mind'
The Hindu, May 8. The dominant view in political circles was that the nature of Indian help should be such as to facilitate a ``democratic'' solution of the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka, and nothing should be done to encourage what the former Prime Minister, Mr. I.K.Gujral, called forces of ``extremism and disruption'' without directly mentioning the LTTE. More..

Tipnis' arrival fuels speculation in Lanka
Monday 8 May 2000 . Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis arrived here on Sunday on an official visit to speculation of a larger role for New Delhi in Sri Lanka's ethnic problem. More..

India breathes easy as Lanka situation stabilises
Monday 8 May 2000 . The Indian advice to Sri Lanka was the same that it was receiving from its own generals: To redeploy remaining forces in the Jaffna peninsula further south near Vavunia. More..

Top army official says India should stay away from Sri Lankan crisis
Sunday, May 7 1:52 PM SGT . Kalkat said "Sri Lanka double-crossed the IPKF" by supplying weapons and explosives to the Tamil Tiger rebels, the Times of India said, adding that the lieutenant general claimed these weapons "were used against us." More..

Censor mauls Sri Lankan media
Sunday, May 7 8:56 PM SGT . Even though the government initially said the censorship was primarily aimed at the ongoing separatist war in the island's north, reports of political activities were also heavily censored. More..

Indian air chief arrives in Sri Lanka amid rebel offensive
Sunday, May 7 9:08 PM SGT . India's air force chief Anil Yaswant Tipnis arrived here Sunday on five-day official visit that coincided with heavy fighting between government troops and Tamil rebels in the island's north.More..

India should help Sri Lanka: Gujral
The Hindu, 20.00 hrs (IST) on May 7, 2000 . Stating that the fall of Elephant Pass to LTTE posed a grave challenge to the Sri Lankan security, the former premier said it demanded serious attention from Indian strategists and policy makers. More..

LTTE enrolling children, claims Govt.
The Hindu, 22.30 hrs (IST) on May 7, 2000 . ``It has been reported that the LTTE is conscripting school children in the uncleared areas in the east and Vanni, forcing them to undergo training to make up for their depleted strength,''More..

Tamil Nadu bans pro-LTTE meet, arrests Nedumaran
The Hindu, 22.30 hrs (IST) on May 7, 2000 . The Tamil Nadu Government today banned a meeting of an organisation considered to be pro-LTTE and arrested its leader P Nedumaran for attempting to hold the meeting in defiance of prohibitory orders at Chidambaram in Cuddalore district. More..

Tamil groups want India to broker peace
Time of India, Sunday 7 May 2000 .

`India must step in and play a positive role here,'' says Joseph Palarajasingham, parliamentary leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front, one of Sri Lanka's oldest Tamil parties. No, he does not want Lankan troops rescued in Jaffna, he wants India to broker with the LTTE. More..

Whose war is it anyway?
Time of India, Sunday 7 May 2000 . The Lankan soldier is literate, reads newspapers and thinks for himself. He can turn round and question an order. More..

Lanka bombs rebel targets
Time of India, Sunday 7 May 2000 . Sri Lanka's air force bombed Tamil Tiger guerrilla positions to blunt a rebel advance on the northern Jaffna peninsula, state media reported on Sunday. More..

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