The Lanka Academic

MAY 9, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 34

Jaffna Peninsula
Jaffna Peninsula
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UN plea for Sri Lankan civilians
BBC, 9 May, 2000, 21:58 GMT 22:58 UK. The United Nations has urged both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict to safeguard civilians, as the government vowed to defend the Jaffna peninsula to the last man.

But UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned that thousands of people were at risk from renewed fighting in the peninsula, on Sri Lanka's northern tip. More..

Bones and Ashes
The Washington Post, April 30. In his first novel since the justly celebrated The English Patient, poet and novelist Michael Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka, the country he left more than three decades ago for Canada. Anil's Ghost is set at a tragic moment in the history of this beautiful island--the cusp of the 1980s-'90s, when civil war is ravaging a land where, it was once said, "every prospect pleases/ and only Man is vile." More.. Purchase books by Michael Ondaatje and other books at the

India to intervene only if asked by Chandrika, LTTE
The Hindustan Times, May 10. The political ramifications of the Vajpayee Government's lending of a commitment to Colombo on "humanitarian assistance" policy, though kept under check for the time being, threatens to spill over once the Sri Lankan Air Force intensifies its bombings on civilians to cover the Army's fight-back. More..

Eelam no threat to India: Vaiko
The Hindustan Times, May 10. MDMK CHIEF Vaiko today said Eelam -- a separate homeland for the Sri Lanka Tamils -- was inevitable, but fears in India of a repercussion in Tamil Nadu on its creation were unfounded. More..

Lankan army's poor performance puzzles analysts
Times of India, May 10. Every soldier realises that his life may go in vain, because when the final political settlement comes Prabhakaran will be the winner. We, the Sinhalas, will not be allowed to go the northern province, though a time may come when the LTTE men can freely roam Colombo,'' Upali Dissanayke, an office worker, said. Most Sinhalas feel that way. More..

Jaffna Tamils caught between devil and deep sea
May 10. According to social organisations here aiding the Tamil refugees and from the information trickling in through the refugees who have landed and through relatives of the refugees, food and other civil supply are fast depleting in the area. The capture of the Elephant Pass by the militants has cut the source of water supply for these people. More..

Report: Sri Lanka Receives Arms
Tuesday May 9 4:05 PM ET. Ambassador Mangala Moonasinghe's comments were the first official confirmation that Sri Lanka had received arms since rebels overran the strategic Elephant Pass causeway two weeks ago and headed toward their former stronghold of Jaffna. The fighting has been the fiercest in years. More..

Chandrika says no to anti-Tamil politics
Hindustan Times. SRI LANKAN President Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga has vowed not to allow the LTTE to re-take Jaffna, even as she made it clear to the Sinhala extremist groups that she would not endorse their anti-Tamil 'communal politics', in return for their support to her war effort. More..

30 countries pledge support to Lanka
More than thirty countries have pledged support to Sri Lanka in its battle against the LTTE separatists, the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Lakshman Kiriella, has told the state owned "Daily News."

In New York, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative in the UN, Mr John de Saram, and the Israeli envoy, were finalising the logistics of establishing diplomatic relations, "Daily News" reported.

India monitoring Jaffna situation
Hindustan Times, May 9. ALTHOUGH INDIA has ruled out intervention in Sri Lanka, its armed forces are closely monitoring the military situation in Jaffna through stepped up surveillance and increased inter-service coordination.

Air Chief Tipnis met Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumara-tunga yesterday. He also met Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte and Army Chief General Srilal Weerasunga. More..

Norwegian team coming
The Hindu, May 10. A Norwegian delegation led by Mr. Erik Solheim, principal interlocutor between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE over the last few months, is arriving here on Thursday for interaction with the Government. More..

Colombo to go ahead with war
The Hindu, May 10, 2000. ``We will fight to the last man,'' the Deputy Defence Minister, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte, told Parliament, which deliberated on the situation after the Elephant Pass military debacle of April 21. ``In a war situation, there may be temporary setbacks. That does not mean that the war is lost altogether. We will not be defeated. We are determined to recoup all our resources in order to achieve success at the end,'' he said. More..

Ground set for bitter battle in Lanka
May 9. Now that the Sri Lankan government has rejected the LTTE's `humiliating' call for withdrawal of troops from the Jaffna peninsula, another bout of bloodletting seems imminent. The timing, however, is uncertain. It could be now or later, depending on the time both sides need to recoup losses and figure out new strategies. More..

LTTE seen buying time with ceasefire offer
May 9. COLOMBO: The rebel Tigers may not be in as strong a position as the recent military victories suggest. Monday's offer of a ceasefire, analysts here say, shows that the LTTE needs time to prepare for the final assault. More..

Tension in Tamil Nadu mounts as refugees stream in from Sri Lanka
May 9. There's tension along the Tamil Nadu coastline as security forces expect more and more Tamil refugees to come in from Sri Lanka. More..

Sri Lanka willing to accept Indian mediation in LTTE conflict
May 9. Sri Lanka today said that its army has begun to beat back the LTTE, but that it would accept a ceasefire based on existing ground positions. ndia has it's own domestic compulsions as to how it should handle the situation and I feel as the High Commissioner to India that I should co-operate with India on this issue. The IPKF had come once and we're sorry that they had to leave because of the stupidity of one of our previous governments," remarked Mr. Moonesinghe. More..

Sri Lanka says war against Tigers showing results
The Indian Express, May 9. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga said her drastic measures to place the country on a "war footing" has prevented a Tamil rebel advance on the northern peninsula of Jaffna. More..

No change in India's stand on Lanka: PM
The Statesman, May 9. There is no shift in India's policy on Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister told Opposition leaders today that New Delhi respected Sri Lanka's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and that it would not send troops to help the Lankan government. More..

Navy on alert
The Statesman, May 9. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have intensified vigil in the Palk Strait, fearing a refugee influx from Jaffna. A high alert has been sounded at all coastal checkposts in the south and patrolling has been intensified along the coastal villages. More..

India's stand on Sri Lankan crisis welcomed
May 9. Former Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, whose Government had ordered Indian troops out of the country in 1990, said under the present political and military conditions Indian mediation was the best way to work out a political settlement to end the conflict. More..

Deputy Defence Minister pledges to fight for Jaffna
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. 1835 Sri Lanka Time 09.05.00

Deputy Minister of defence Anurudha Ratwatta admitting that the fall of Elephant Pass was major military setback told parliament today that the government would use all its resources to defend Jaffna. Speaking at debate to extend the state of emergency in the country the Minister said 337 soldiers and 21 officers were killed in the battle in fighting in Jaffna peninsula since March 27th while 346 soldiers and 03 officers were missing in action. 2240 soldiers and 128 officers were injured.

The Minister said the draconian regulation introduced last week which bans any kind of protests and imposed heavy handed censorship on the media the Minister said that the regulation were not aimed at repressing the people. The Opposition members criticised the government for imposing the regulations saying they were aimed at establishing a dictatorship in the Country. Opposition speakers said most of the regulations were not connected with the security situation and were not necessary to fight the war.

Fresh fighting break out in Jaffna Peninsula after three day lull
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. 18.45 Sri Lanka Time 09.05.00

Fresh fighting has broken out in Northern Sri Lanka this morning after a three day lull in the fighting.A communique issued by the newly formed Special Media Information Centre said that the rebels launched two attacks on troops manning defaces north Pallai using small arms,machine guns ,RPGs and mortars. "The first assault lasted approximately 30 minutes while the second attack was repulsed within about fifteen minutes" the communique said without giving casualty figures.

Opposition leader welcomes India's offer to mediate a peaceful settlement to the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. 1850 Sri Lanka Times 09.05.00

Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe last night welcomed a statement by the Indian Foreign Minister that his government was ready to negotiate a immediate ceasefire and a lasting solutions to Sri lanka's ethnic crisis if the Sri lankan government and the LTTE invited them to do so. The Opposition leader said the move is a welcome one."There is no military solution to this problem. We have been saying that for sometime" Mr.Wickramasinghe told a press conference last night. He said it was not possible for the government to accept the LTTE offer of a ceasefire to withdraw troops from Jaffna. " The government should have made counter proposals to de escalate the fighting and have a ceasefire before peace talks' Mr.Wickramsinghe said.


Lanka troops hit back at Tigers
Times of India, Sri Lanka said on Tuesday its. troops had repulsed two attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels on the Army's defence lines in the northern Jaffna peninsula. More..

Peril from Sri Lanka
Outlook, May 9. I first learned what those could be in March 1991, and my mentor was none other than the Sri Lankan plantation Tamil leader, the late Thondaman. "Eelam is inevitable," he told me. "It can't be stopped." I thought he was referring to Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, but he soon disabused me. "Eelam will consist of a single nation made up of the north and northeast of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu". More..

'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..

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