The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 24, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 109

Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
LTTE attacks Bandaranayake International airport
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 9.20pm SLT, July 24, 2001. Air force soldiers look at one of the damaged Sri Lankan airlines airbus, which lies on the tarmac of the Katunayaka International airport, 34 kilometers north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Suspected Tamil Tiger guerrillas used guns and explosives to destroy 11 aircraft at Sri Lanka's only international airport when they attacked the Airport and the adjoining Sri Lanka Air Force Base. Nine guerrillas and five military men were killed during the attack. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 11:21:53 EDT 2001
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In pictures: Sri Lanka airport attack  - BBC


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Kumartunga calls meeting to discuss LTTE attack
IndiaInfo, July 24. President Chandrika Kumaratunga on July 24 held a high-level emergency meeting with top security personnel to discuss the security situation in the country following a daring LTTE attack on the country's key Air Force Base, near Bandaranaike International Airport, in the morning. The attack left eight military aircraft and four passenger aircraft damaged. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 21:00:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Chandrika orders probe into LTTE attack  - Indiainfo

Russia condemns rebel attack in Sri Lanka
123India.com, Jul 25 2001 07:44 IST. MOSCOW, July 25 (AFP) - Russia condemned the rebel Tamil Tigers' attack on Sri Lanka's airport and military base, and urged the international community to step up its fight against terrorism, the foreign ministry said".The Tamil Tigers' new attack shows that terrorists are a serious threat in Sri Lanka," the foreign ministry said in a statement issued late Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 23:49:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Join hands to safeguard nation - Mangala
CDN, July 25. "One week ago in an interview with Rupavahini I warned that attempts are being made by the opposition to create instability in the country by presenting the No Confidence Motion against the Government. The instability caused in the South by the opposition had opened an avenue for the LTTE to cause massive damage again. In the past when various attempts were made by the LTTE to create instability in the country, the PA Government under the leadership of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was able to beat them off, he said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 23:25:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Opposition slams government over attack
TamilNet, July 24. Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have appealed to President Chandrika Kumaratunge to reconvene the prorogued parliament immediately. Both parties made this appeal in the wake of Liberation Tigers’ dawn attack on Katunayake airbase in the early hours of Tuesday morning. " The government is in breach of its duty to protect Katunayake international airport," said the UNP leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe, addressing a press conference Tuesday evening. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 22:43:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers: Are they gaining control?
ITN, July 24. Sri Lanka has lost its only air link with the outside world after British tourists and other passengers were forced to flee for their lives during a rebel attack.The military blamed the Tamil Tigers for the mortar attack which left at least 14 people dead.Jimmy Belleini was one of about 80 British tourists caught up in the attack while waiting to catch a plane to London. "We knew something was wrong when we checked in and went upstairs and looked outside and there was a plane on fire after I heard a bang. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 22:45:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Maha Sangha calls to cancel referendum, re-summon Parliament
The Island, July 25. The Maha Sangha on Monday called upon the government to cancel the referendum and re-summon Parliament to protect democracy from dictatorship.Addressing the media yesterday at Abhayaramaya, Narahenpita, members of the Maubima Surakime Viyaparaya (MSV) and the Jathika Sangha Sabha (JSS) claimed that the referendum was a fraud to mislead the people. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 23:34:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Better jaw jaw than war war with the Tamils
The Independent, July 25. The Tamil Tigers, who yesterday blew up 13 civilian and military planes at Colombo airport and killed five members of the Sri Lankan security forces, are a ruthless bunch. Their 18-year fight for an independent Tamil homeland in the north of Sri Lanka has been fanatical and pitiless. Tens of thousands have died in this war. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 22:50:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jaffna fights for economic survival
Asia Times , July 24. The KKS cement factory, Sri Lanka's biggest factory in the north, which once employed more than 3,000 workers, has hit hard times. The government has been paying the salaries of about 100 workers for years despite no production or output, as business has been shut down by the conflict stemming from the Tamil Tigers' armed insurgency for a separate homeland. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 22:58:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Remorseless war that has lasted 18 years and cost 64,000 lives
The Independent, July 25. They are known as the Tamil Tigers or LTTE for short and are led by Velupillai Prabhak-aran, the son of a local government official in the northern Jaffna peninsula who assassinated the Mayor of Jaffna while still a teenager. The Tigers have ruthlessly eliminated all rivals for leadership of Sri Lanka's 3.3 million Tamils. Fanaticism is their trademark. Whether blowing up the Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi (a suicide cadre draped a garland round his neck, then detonated the explosive strapped to her body), throwing themselves heedlessly at Sri Lankan government troops in the north of the island or ramming a lorry loaded with explosives into Colombo's biggest building, the World Trade Centre, they have shown a genius both for grabbing headlines and instilling terror in the enemy. Yesterday's assault was up to par. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 22:57:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UK Urges Peaceful Solution To Sri Lanka's Civil War
Yahoo India, July 25. Britain is ready to help "in any way" toward a peaceful solution of Sri Lanka's civil war, the Foreign Office said Tuesday, after Tamil rebel attacks on the capital's airport and a military base left 20 dead. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw urged the outlawed Tamil Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who have been fighting since 1983 for a Tamil homeland, to give up terrorism. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 20:57:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Britain condemns rebel attack in Sri Lanka  - 123India.com

US warns travelers in Sri Lanka
123India.com, Jul 25 2001 04:26 IST. The US State Department Tuesday warned Americans to defer nonessential travel to Sri Lanka and cautioned those living there to be careful in the wake of a deadly suicide attack. The suicide attack by Tamil rebels against Sri Lanka's tightly-guarded international airport and the adjoining air base, killed 20 people and destroyed 13 aircraft earlier Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 20:55:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Back to Colombo on Wednesday
ChennaiOnline, July 25. Four aircraft bound for Colombo from various foreign destinations, which landed here, and another at Thiruvanathapuram, due to the closure of Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport, are expected to leave for the Sri Lankan capital tomorrow.Air Lanka airport manager Riaz D’Silva said he had information that efforts were on to make the Bandaranaike Airport "operational”. "It is likely to be ready to receive the flights from 1000 hrs tomorrow,” he said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 18:06:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tourists recall terrifying scenes at Lanka airport
Dawn, 25 July 2001. Passengers and tourists spoke of terrifying scenes at Sri Lanka's only international airport as they cowered from bullets during Tuesday's pre-dawn attack by Tamil rebels. Maldivian newspaper editor Ali Rafeeq and his wife were in transit at the airport when they were rudely woken up by the sound of gunfire. The couple was trying to catch some sleep before boarding a connecting flight home to the Maldivian capital Male after arriving in Sri Lanka from Bangkok when the fighting brokeout. "I woke up to the sound of gunfire," said Rafeeq after he managed to dodge the fighting at the tightly-guarded Bandaranaike airport. "Bullets were flying at the airport. There was so much panic. Our passports are still with the SriLankan Airlines counter. We just rushed out of the terminal building as the fighting went on. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 22:35:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SriLankan Airlines says flights to resume Wednesday
123India.com, Jul 24 2001 22:09 IST. SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier which lost five aircraft in Tuesday's Tamil rebel attack against the only international airport, said it would resume flights Wednesday.The airline said flights to London, Dubai, Rome, Zurich, Paris, Frankfurt, Male and Tokyo will resume Wednesday, but did not give the departure timings. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 16:17:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tourism first casualty of attack
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK . The attack on Sri Lanka's international airport happened just as a group of tourists were disembarking from their flight from the Maldive Islands. None of the tourists was hurt, but they had to run for cover and protect themselves from the crossfire. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 18:38:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Air raids on LTTE targets
The Hindu (International), 25-07-2001 . By Nirupama Subramanian COLOMBO, JULY 24. Sri Lanka today said the LTTE had shown its ``savagery'' by attacking civilian aircraft parked on the tarmac of the Bandaranaike International Airport and said it remained undeterred in its resolve to protect the people from terrorism. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 18:43:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka Air Force Destroys Tamil Rebel Base:Defense Min  - Yahoo India

India express concern over developments in Lanka
Press Trust of India, New Delhi,Tuesday, July 24, 2001. India on Tuesday expressed its concern and disappointment over the latest developments in Sri Lanka and urged all concerned to resume steps for the commencement of talks for a political settlement of the ethnic problem.''There is no room for violence and terrorism in the efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 16:19:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka counts cost of Tigers raid
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK . The Sri Lankan authorities are counting the huge economic costs of a devastating raid early on Tuesday by Tamil Tiger guerrillas on the country's only international airport and an adjacent military base.The national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, says it suffered losses of $350m when three of its Airbuses were completely destroyed in the raid and three others badly damaged. Eight Sri Lankan air force planes were also destroyed. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 16:18:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

$ 18 million worth of military aircraft went up in smoke
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 12.11 AM SLT Wednesday,July 25,2001. The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) had lost $ 18 million worth of aircraft in just under four hours on tuesday,former Air Force Commander,Air Vice Marshal Harry Goonetilleke said.

Giving a breakdown,he said that the two Kfirs which were blown up cost $ 7.6 million;the MIG-27 cost $ 2.8 million; the MI-24 helicopter gunship was worth $ 2.4 million,the MI-17 transport helicopter cost $ 2.2 million and the three K8 jet trainers cost a little less than $ 1 million a piece.

Air Marshal Goonetilleke further said that the SLAF had lost 15% to 20% of its strike capability as a result of the LTTE attack.In his estimation,the destruction of three Airbus aircraft and the damage inflicted on two others Airbuses had reduced the route capability of the Sri Lankan Airlines by 40%.

On the air strikes against LTTE positions in Viswamadu,south east of Kilinochchi,carried out on tuesday afternoon as a retaliation,Air Marshal Goonetilleke said that these served no purpose in the absence of very reliable ground intelligence on LTTE concentrations."LTTE's installations are not housed in brick and mortar structures which can be seen from the air but in thatched places.Moreover,the LTTE keeps shifting base frequently.The targets here are not stationary but moving," the former Air Chief said.
Published: Tue Jul 24 14:09:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers kill 20, destroy 13 aircraft in airport attack
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, July 25 12:46 AM SGT . Tamil rebels Tuesday staged a stunning suicide attack against Sri Lanka's tightly-guarded international airport and the adjoining air base, destroying 13 aircraft and leaving 20 people dead. President Chandrika Kumaratunga summoned an emergency cabinet meeting and ordered an inquiry into lapses that allowed suicide bombers to wreak havoc in the only international airport and base for fighter jets. The president informed the cabinet of ministers that she had ordered a full-scale inquiry into the incident and the strongest action would be taken wherever it was considered necessary," a cabinet statement said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 21:56:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Airforce ignored residents’ warning of mystery bags
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 24/07/01 1705GMT. Airforce officers ignored a complaint by villagers close to Katunayake airbase of some mystery bags thrown in the dark nearby the airbase, eyewitnesses said. Two officers who investigated the place where the bags were thrown by a passing by bus have only found some food and pouches used by the military and ignored the warning of the people. It was only before dawn, after the attack, that the investigators found some cyanide capsules, Walkie Talkies and bomb container boxes form the site. The case is being investigated and five eyewitnesses are being interviewed, Sinhala newspaper "Niveka" correspondent Pillip Dissanayake told BBC’s Sandeshaya.

The attackers had entered the airforce base making a hole in the high security fence around the airbase, one of the most protected places in Colombo. The land mines laid around the air force base have not been able to prevent the suicide bombers from getting in to the high security zone.

Meanwhile, the government has come up with a theory that the suicide bombers entered the area making the use of the opposition demonstrations last week. The government will use this to gain sympathy for the government and the President Chandrika Kumaratunga, analysts believe. Airline sources say that about four thousand tourist are stranded.
Published: Tue Jul 24 13:06:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lankan govt condemns Tiger attack on airport
MSNBC, July 24. The Sri Lankan government lashed out at the country's Tamil Tiger separatists on Tuesday after an attack closed the country's only international airport, saying it showed the savagery of the rebels.''The savagery of the LTTE was shown by the fact that it targeted for attack civilian aircraft that were parked on the runway of the international airport,'' a government statement said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:33:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels attack Sri Lanka's international airport; air force jets strike back
ABC News, 07/24/2001 10:40 am ET . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Air force planes bombed Tamil rebel camps in northern Jaffna Tuesday, hours after rebels attacked Sri Lanka's main airport and an adjoining air base, closing the nation's only international air link. Two Israeli-built Kfir jets and two MiG-27s pounded rebel bases in the north and east of the Jaffna Peninsula, Brig. Sanath Karunaratne, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said. Jaffna is a center of the 18-year separatist war. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:03:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka launches airstrikes on LTTE bases  - The Hindu NUS
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Sri Lanka orders retaliatory air strikes  - Yahoo Singapore

Sri Lankan govt condemns Tiger attack on airport
MSNBC, Tuesday, 24th July 16:28 GMT. COLOMBO, July 24 — The Sri Lankan government lashed out at the country's Tamil Tiger separatists on Tuesday after an attack closed the country's only international airport, saying it showed the savagery of the rebels. ''The savagery of the LTTE was shown by the fact that it targeted for attack civilian aircraft that were parked on the runway of the international airport,'' a government statement said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:26:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Analysis: Tamil Tigers' strategic target
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK . The daring attack by the Tamil Tigers on Colombo's international airport is the latest in a series of strikes on key infrastructure targets. In the past 10 years, prime ministers, opposition leaders, hotels and key electricity installations have all been targeted by the Tigers, who are one of the world's most highly trained and motivated rebel groups. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 11:50:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka orders probe into airbase, airport twin attacks
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, July 24 8:35 PM SGT . Sri Lanka Tuesday ordered an investigation into a major security lapse that led to a suicide attack which devastated a key military base and the country's only international airport. Defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said the government had already launched the probe into the pre-dawn attack against the Katunayake airbase and the adjoining Bandaranaike international airport. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 09:03:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

KATUNAYAKE ATTACK!! Share your thoughts!!
The Lanka Academic, July 24. The Katunayake AirPort has been attacked and Aircraft worth Millions destroyed and lives lost. Express your views on this serious lapse of security and the long term implications to the country by using Letters to the Editor
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:55:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka tourist board strives to control damage
MSNBC, Tuesday, 24th July, 16:27 GMT. COLOMBO, July 24 — Sri Lanka's tourist board was scrambling on Tuesday to limit the damage that a battle between rebels and government forces at the country's only international airport had inflicted on the industry. While no tourists were killed or injured, hundreds of people including many terrified foreign holidaymakers waiting at the airport had to crawl to safety as the battle raged. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:25:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

4,000 tourists stranded in Sri Lanka after airport attack
123India.com, Jul 24 2001 20:12 IST. COLOMBO, July 24 (AFP) - An estimated 4,000 foreign tourists were stranded in Sri Lanka Tuesday after the airport was closed by a Tamil rebel attack that destroyed 13 aircraft on the ground, officials said. The official Ceylon Tourist Board (CTB) said the tourists who could not leave because of the flight cancellations were accommodated in hotels here as well as at the north-western coastal resort of Negombo. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:18:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Thiruvananthapuram Sri Lankan national seeks assistance
The Hindu (Southern States), 25-07-2001 . THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JULY 24. A Sri Lankan national, Ms. Kusuma Ranjini, who was acquitted by the judiciary in 2000 after being arrested in a narcotic case in 1998, today appeared before the State Women's Commission before which she had filed a petition seeking official help and financial assistance to return home. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 17:53:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Situation in Sri Lanka under control
The Hindu NUS, July 24. (PTI). The Sri Lankan Government today said the situation in its Katunayake airbase and adjoining international airport, which were attacked by the LTTE early this morning, had been brought under control. "Everything is now under control. We are now clearing the area completely and the airport may be opened later this evening as soon as the runway is cleared," a defence official said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:00:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SriLankan Air/Resume Flights -2: No Passengers Injured
Yahoo Singapore, 24 July 2001. National carrier SriLankan Airlines said Tuesday it plans to resume services out of Sri Lanka Wednesday, despite the loss of aircraft that were parked at the country's only international airport during a predawn attack by Tamil Tiger rebels. The airline, which is 40%-owned and managed by Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, said final investigations after the six-hour attack on the airport and an adjacent air force base revealed that three planes had been destroyed and another three damaged. The airline has another six planes that weren't at the airport at the time of the attack. "The destroyed aircraft include one A340 and two A330s. The damaged aircraft are two A320s and an A340," the latest statement said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 08:35:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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SriLankan Air To Resume Flights Wed;More Aircraft Damaged  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka Airport To Resume Flights Wed After Assault  - Yahoo Singapore
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Sri Lanka Airport to Reopen After Attack  - Nothern Light
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Sri Lanka airport to reopen later on Tuesday  - Yahoo India

Minister says SriLankan plane attack losses $300 mln
MSNBC, Tuesday, 24th July 9:35 GMT. Sri Lankan Aviation Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said on Tuesday the state carrier suffered $300 million in losses from a rebel attack on the country's only international airport and main airbase. ''In terms of aircraft alone, we estimate the losses at $300 million,'' Fernandopulle told Reuters at the airport, adding three Airbus aircraft belonging to SriLankan Airlines were destroyed. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 05:35:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Airport attack grounds Sri Lanka's tourism hopes  - Yahoo Asia

Tamil Tigers: the world's deadliest guerrillas
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, July 24 8:14 PM SGT . The Tamil Tigers fighting for independence in Sri Lanka are regarded as one of the world's deadliest rebel outfits and have outlaw tags from the United States, Britain and India to prove it. If there was any doubt about their ruthless efficiency, it was removed by Tuesday's stunning assault on the island's heavily guarded main air base and adjoining international airport, which left 18 people dead and destroyed 13 aircraft. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 09:05:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo bound tourists disembark at the Madras airport
Yhaoo, 24 July 2001. Foreign tourists who were aboard a Sri Lankan Airlines flight bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka disembark at the Madras airport Tuesday, July 24, 2001. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 08:43:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Russian flight engineer wounded at Colombo airport
Nothern Light, Tuesday, July 24, 2001 8:13 AM EST . NEW DELHI, Jul 24, 2001 (Itar-Tass via COMTEX) -- Aleksei Goncharov, Russian flight engineer, has been wounded in the hip as a result of Tamil separatists' attack on an Air Force base and international airport Colombo last night. First reports said that none of the foreigners has been hurt in the attack. However, later reports appeared that a Russian citizen had been killed. Members of the Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka accompanied by a Russian doctor urgently went to the airport, passed security cordons to find out that reports about the death of a Russian citizen did not conform to reality. The Russian doctor stated that the Russian citizen got off with a slight wound in the hip. He underwent surgery, and at present, his condition is good enough to walk without help. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 09:18:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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'All hell broke loose'  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka airport attack kills 18
123India.com, Jul 24 2001 15:23 IST. Thirteen Tamil Tiger rebels and five government troopers were killed in a suicide attack against Sri Lanka's main airbase and the country's only international airport Tuesday, the defence ministry said. Ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said they recovered the bodies of 13 men believed to be members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who staged the pre-dawn suicide attack.He said the guerrillas had infiltrated the military complex adjoining the international airport dressed in military-type uniforms. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 06:20:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka airport attack kills 14  - 123India.com

LTTE claims destruction of eight SLAF aircraft: Anaylsts on political fallout of attack
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 1.17 PM SLT Tuesday July 24,2001. The Voice of Tigers (VOT) radio has claimed that the LTTE commandos who attacked the Katunayake airbase this morning had destroyed eight Sri Lankan Air Force planes.The breakup given is as follows: Two Kfir fighter bombers,two MIG-27s,one MI-24 helicopter gunship and three fast trainer aircraft.

The VOT,which gloated over the successful infiltration of a very high security zone,said that the aviation fuel tank was ablaze and the control tower was put out of commission.An aircraft stranded on the runway was burning, it said.The airport has been rendered non-functional,the LTTE boasted.

Speculating on the military significance of the attack,anaylst Dayan Jayatilleka said that it takes away the protective air umbrella for the Sri Lankan ground troops in Jaffna and other parts of the North East.The Kfirs and MIG-27s can take off and land only in Katunayake." The removal of the air umbrella gives scope for a LTTE offensive in the north east even as it demoralises the Sri Lankan ground troops in these areas," Mr.Jayatilleka said.

Attacking such airbases is a standard guerilla tactic,he explained."The Viet Cong did it with devasating effect when it struck the US airbases in Pleiku and Fan Son hut in Vietnam in the sixties.The Salvadorean rebel group FMLN successfully attacked the government's Ilapango airbase in the eighties."

Politically,he felt that the mood could swing in favour of the opposition United National Party (UNP)."The Sinhalese majority might say that the PA regime has bullets for us but cannot defend the nation's premeir air base," Mr.Jayatilelka said.But sources close to the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) said that the attack could be used by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to expose the UNP,which according to her,has been trying to topple her with the help of the LTTE and its cohorts in parliament. A Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP felt that the attack could help the government consolidate support among Sinhala chauvinists and get a sanction for continuing the touch policy towards the LTTE.

The Media Director of the National Peace Council (NPC),Dr.Jehan Perera, said that neither the PA nor the UNP will see much accretion in support."How a person views this attack will depend on which side of the party divide he is on.If he is PA he will think it can help him attck the UNP.If he is UNP,he can exploit the inepteness of the PA," Dr.Perera said." On the other hand,there could be another development.Forces lobbying for an understanding between the PA and UNP could come to the fore," he said.Lobbyist of the National Government concept,particularly in the corporate sector,could intensify their campaign,which has been going in fits and starts.

But there is unanimity on one thing - that the attack has pushed the peace process further down the list of priorities.The peace and the Tamil lobbies see this possbility and feel sorry.Both Dr.Perera and Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham TULF MP said that the government should now put an end to the slide and begin talks with the LTTE.The international community,which has always thought of the possibility of a spectacular strike of this sort,may now tell Colombo to abjure the path of war and confrontation and come to an understanding with the LTTE through the Norwegian brokered peace process.
Published: Tue Jul 24 04:16:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Security tight in Colombo after airport attack
Yahoo, 24 July 2001. In the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, security is tight in the wake of an attack on the only international airport in which at least 12 people have died. The attack by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed five civilian Airbus jets and eight military aircraft. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 06:18:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A thrilling battle in the offing between Lankans and Kiwis
Yahoo India, Tuesday July 24, 7:02 PM. Colombo, Jul 24 (PTI) With two successive victories, a perked up Sri Lanka will try to ensure a berth in the final of the tri-series when they take on New Zealand tomorrow in a one-day league encounter. But the task may not be so easy for the one-day experts as New Zealand have displayed remarkable grit in etching a comprehensive 84-run victory over India after almost upsetting the Lankans in the opening encounter which they went on to lose by a 16-run margin. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 12:08:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India,NZ To Continue Sri Lanka Cricket Tour Despite Risks
Yahoo Singapore, 24 July 2001. India and New Zealand's cricket teams will continue their tour of Sri Lanka despite a Tamil Tiger rebel attack on the island nation's international airport on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board said. "The tour is on, so far as we are concerned," board spokesman Niresh Eliatamby said. "Both teams have gone for practice and there is no reason to think otherwise." More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 09:06:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Cricket-Kiwis caught up in Sri Lanka for third time  - Yahoo India
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Cricket series to go on despite LTTE attacks  - Yahoo India
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Indian players in Lanka safe  - NDTV/MSNBC
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Security beefed up for cricket tri-series in Lanka  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka Rupee Flat Midday;Mkt Focuses On Airport Attack
Yahoo India, Tuesday July 24, 11:41 AM. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The Sri Lankan rupee is unchanged against the dollar midday Tuesday in cautious trade, after the predawn attack by Tamil Tiger rebels on the country's only international airport, traders said. They said volumes are very weak and overall activity is thin. At 0600 GMT (2:00 a.m. EDT), the dollar was at 90.25 rupees, flat from Monday. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 09:23:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

15 killed in pre dawn attack at Katunayake Airport.
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.30 p.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Informed sources said that 15 persons have been killed in the pre dawn attack this morning by Tamil Tiger rebels on the Sri Lanka Air Force base and Airport at Katunayake.

Of the 15 - sources claim that 12 are Tamil Tiger rebels, 2 are Air Force personnel and one civilian died in the fierce fighting that ensued. Eight others are wounded.
Published: Tue Jul 24 03:24:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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LTTE rebels attack airbase, civilian airport near Colombo  - Press Trust of India

Tamil Rebel Raid Paralyzes Sri Lanka Airport
Nothern Light, Tuesday, July 24, 2001 2:18 AM EST . A major pre-dawn suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels closed Sri Lanka's only international airport on Tuesday, forcing passengers to scramble to safety in the dark and leaving aircraft burning on the tarmac. Huge clouds of smoke billowed over the airport after the attack, which began at a nearby military base and came on the anniversary of the 1983 anti-Tamil riots that are considered to mark the start of Sri Lanka's brutal ethnic war. ``I've never been so scared in my life,'' said Astrid de Jong, a tourist from Holland who was waiting for a plane when the gunfire broke out. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 04:52:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Colombo airport death toll climbs to 14  - Yahoo India

Colombo airport bombing strands hundreds of passengers in Dubai
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, July 24 2:42 PM SGT . Hundreds of passengers were stranded Tuesday in Dubai by a daring Tamil rebel raid on Sri Lanka's international airport and airforce base, airline officials said. A SriLankan Airlines overnight flight from London to Colombo was diverted to Dubai and some 300 passengers put up in hotels, the ariline's country manager Kumar de Silva told AFP. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 04:37:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tourists tell of airport attack; 13 dead
CNN, 24 July 2001. Sri Lanka Tourists have given first-person accounts of watching separatist rebels attack Sri Lanka's only international airport and a nearby air force base, killing 13 people.

The pre-dawn attack, which left aircraft burning on the tarmac and sent passengers fleeing, came on the anniversary of 1983 anti-Tamil riots that are considered to mark the start of Sri Lanka's brutal ethnic war.

Some reports said fighting was continuing, with suicide squads holed up in one of the airport buildings. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 03:23:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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SriLankan says rebels destroy 2 planes, damage 3  - Yahoo India

SriLankan flights diverted to India after attack
Yahoo India, Tuesday July 24, 12:54 PM. MADRAS (Reuters) - Five SriLankan Airlines flights bound for Colombo were diverted to southern Indian airports on Tuesday after a pre-dawn rebel attack closed Sri Lanka's sole international airport. Airport Director Sudhir Kumar told Reuters four flights from Sydney, Milan, Riyadh and Dubai landed at Madras airport in the southern state of Tamil Nadu between 5:00 a.m. and 6:15 a.m (1130 GMT-0045 GMT). More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 07:39:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Indian Airlines Flights To Sri Lanka Suspended  - Yahoo India
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Tamil Tiger attack cancels flights from S'pore to Colombo  - Yahoo Singapore
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Flights bound for Colombo land at Indian airports  - NDTV/MSNBC
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Four Sri Lankan Airlines flights take refuge in India  - Yahoo Asia

Tourists dodge bullets as Tamil Tigers attack Sri Lanka airport
123India.com, Jul 24 2001 13:48 IST. COLOMBO, July 24 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's international airport was turned into a battleground Tuesday as panic-stricken passengers ducked bullets and dived for cover from blasts which ripped aircraft apart. One British photographer described the pre-dawn explosions and the massive fires at the Bandaranaike International airport as like "fireworks on Guy Fawkes day" and said he was saved by jumping into a ditch. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 05:23:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Britons flee Sri Lankan raid  - BBC South Asia

Chronology of key dates in Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist campaign
123India.com, Jul 24 2001 13:17 IST. COLOMBO, July 24 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger guerrillas carried out twin attacks Tuesday on Sri Lanka's only international airport and the adjoining military base, destroying 13 aircraft, including five passenger liners. Following is a list of key dates in the conflict: More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 05:24:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka-Air Base-Fuel -2: Intl Airport Fuel Tanks Safe
Yahoo India, Tuesday July 24, 12:01 PM. SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Tamil Tiger rebels hit aviation fuel storage tanks at a Sri Lankan air force base near the capital Colombo during a mortar attack earlier Tuesday, said officials from Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp. "There was some damage, but we don't know the details," an official said More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 04:59:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

12 dead - as battles rage between SLAF and LTTE at Katunayake
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.20 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. The military say that at least 12 people have been killed after fighting broke out between the Sri Lanka Air Force and Tamil Tigers at Katunayake early this morning.

The pre-dawn attack on the Sri Lanka Air Force base at Katunayake finally left 12 persons killed and eleven aircraft damaged. The military say that of the 12 dead, eight are believed to be Tamil Tiger rebels. It is not clear if the other four are from the SLAF or civilians.

Mayhem broke out at the Katunayake International Airport when fighting broke out at around 3.50 a.m. today. An attack allegedly by the LTTE was launched on the Sri Lanka Air Force base at Katunayake. It is believed the Tiger attack is to commemorate 18 years since thousands of Tamils were killed and persecuted in race riots that rocked the country in July 1983.

Eyewitness accounts today said that they felt they were under attack by the rebels inside the airport. Every man had to more or less fend for himself, and foreign tourists were seen running for cover along the main Katunayake highway.

Tourists have now been booked into surrounding hotels at Katunayake. The British High Commission has requested all its nationals to book into the nearest hotel and contact their local agent. Foreign tourists cannot be moved to central Colombo as a result of the prevailing curfew in the area.
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:33:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Rebels attack Sri Lankan airport  - BBC South Asia

Suicide bombers devastate Sri Lanka airbase, international airport
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, July 24 12:10 PM SGT . Tamil rebels staged a daring suicide attack against Sri Lanka's main airbase and the only international airport Tuesday, destroying eight military aircraft and five civilian jets, officials said. At least three airforce men and nine rebels of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) perished in the pre-dawn attack, the defence ministry said. The rebels destroyed military aircraft, including two Israeli-built Kfir jets, a Mi-24 helicopter gunship and one Ukrainian MiG-27. An ammunition dump and fuel storage tanks were also blown up. Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines which is partly owned and fully managed by Emirates of Dubai, lost five Airbus aircraft that were parked on the apron of the airport.At least one Russian crewmember of an unidentified airline was wounded and evacuated to hospital together with a state television journalist who was shot and wounded while troops conducted a search of the terminal. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 01:10:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Smoke rises from a plane on fire on the tarmac of Colombo's international airport
Yahoo/AP Photo, 24 July 2001. Smoke rises from a plane on fire on the tarmac of Colombo's only international airport, at Katunayake, 20 kilometers northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka Tuesday, July 24, 2001, after a major predawn attack on a military airbase by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base, adjoining the International Airport. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:42:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels close airport with anniversary raid
Yahoo India, July 24. A major predawn attack by Tamil Tiger rebels closed Sri Lanka's only international airport on Tuesday, leaving aircraft burning on the tarmac, military officials said. Huge clouds of smoke could be seen after the attack, which began at a nearby military base and came on the anniversary of 1983 anti-Tamil riots that are considered to mark the start of Sri Lanka's brutal ethnic war. Military officials said eight Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres had been killed, including one suicide bomber who blew himself up about four hours after the attack began about 4 a.m. (2200 GMT). More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:15:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka Rebels Close Airport, Passengers Flee  - yahoo
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Five civilian jets hit in Sri Lanka attack  - Yahoo Asia
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LTTE set Bandaranaike airport ablaze  - Yahoo India
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Nine rebels killed in Sri Lanka suicide attack on air base  - Yahoo Singapore

State television reporters hit by cross fire at Katunayake
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.40 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. A reporter of the state television was hit on the leg in a cross-fire between the army and the Tamil rebels in the Katunayake International Airport.

The crew was taken in by helicopter to cover the attack on the Sri Lanka Air Force air-base and the Colombo airport.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Airlines said that four of its Air Bus planes have been completely destroyed as Tamil Tigers fired rocket propelled grenades into the air crafts.
Published: Mon Jul 23 23:40:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Another loud explosion at the Colombo International Airport
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 0900 slt 24.07.01. Another loud explosion rocked the Colombo International Airport around 0830 Sri Lanka time amidst reports that a crack Army Commando unit was trying to clear the Airport terminal building. Unconfirmed reports say upto four Tamil rebels are suspected to be holed up in the terminal. One Tamil suicide bomber has already exploded himself inside the terminal. Reports say at least three Sri Lankan Airline aircrafts; one Airbus 330 and two Airbus 340's have been damaged. The daring attack on the Air Force base adjacent to the International Airport came on the 18th anniversary of the of the black July riots. Hundreds of Tamils were killed on the 24th of July 1983 when the Sinhalese went berserk after rumours that Tamil rebels were attacking the Colombo Fort. This was five days after the infamous 83' riots had started. The Air Force has lost two Kafirr supersonic ground attack aircrafts, one MI24 helicopter gunship and three trainer aircrafts. Casualty figures on both sides are not known yet. end
Published: Mon Jul 23 23:14:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tourists tell of escape from Colombo airport battle
MSNBC, 23 July 2001. Tourists stranded at Sri Lanka's only international airport were forced to crawl to safety in the dark as gunfire ringed overhead and bombs went off during an attack by Tamil Tiger separatist rebels. Hundreds of people scrambled out of the airport in the predawn attack that began on the military airport and then spread to the adjacent Bandaranaike International Airport. There were no reports of civilians injured, but frightened passengers said they fled the airport in panic. ''We ran out of the terminal and were on our own. We crawled along the ground down a road. It was chaos,'' said Ali Rafeeq, the editor of the Haveeru Daily in Male, the capital of the Maldives. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 01:14:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Pandemonium at Lanka airport, flights diverted  - NDTV/MSNBC
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Bullets fly at Sri Lanka airport leaving tourists in a panic  - Yahoo Singapore
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Sri Lanka Airport-3: 8 Rebels Killed, 11 Aircraft Damaged  - Yahoo Singapore

Suicide bomber explodes himself inside airport terminal
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. A Tiger suicide bomber exploded himself inside the airport terminal of the Katunayake International Airport this morning.

The extent of the damage to the terminal is not yet known. Reports say that up to ten aircraft - seven military planes and three planes belonging to Sri Lankan Airlines were damaged when fierce fighting broke out early this morning between the Sri Lanka Air Force and suspected Tamil Tiger rebels.
Published: Mon Jul 23 22:03:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka's key air base, airport under attack, jets destroyed
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, July 24 9:05 AM SGT . Suspected Tamil rebels launched a massive attack against Sri Lanka's main air base and the only international airport Tuesday, destroying a civilian jetliner and six military aircraft, officials said. Six military aircraft, including two Israeli-built Kfir jets, a Mi-24 helicopter gunship and one Ukranian MiG-27 were believed to have been damaged in the pre-dawn raid on the airforce complex at Katunayake, 35 kilometresmiles) north of here. The defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said six military aircraft and a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A-330 passenger jet were hit by in the heavy fighting. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 22:43:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Key Sri Lankan air base attacked  - BBC

Sri Lanka mourners demand Kumaratunga ouster over bloodshed
123India.com, Jul 23 2001 20:39 IST. Sri Lanka's opposition parties Monday united to demand the resignation of President Chandrika Kumaratunga as they paid their last respects to a pro-democracy activist shot dead by police. The Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, urged Kumaratunga to accept responsibility for the killing of Manjula Prasad, a 26-year-old activist of the right-wing United National Party (UNP) on Thursday. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:11:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE has betrayed Sri Lankan Tamils: Swamy
The Hindu (International), 24-07-2001 . India would never forgive the LTTE for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. ``For us, Rajiv's assassination is a challenge to our sovereignty,'' the Janata Party president, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, said in New York today. He was addressing a meeting of Sri Lankan Tamils from the U.S. and Canada. The meeting was attended by persons holding high positions in various professions and had been convened to form a group that would struggle non-violently for the human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:13:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Separatist rebels shell Sri Lankan airports, force closure of nation's only international air link
ABC News, 07/23/2001 10:05 pm ET . Separatist rebels with mortars attacked Sri Lanka's international airport and adjoining air force base Tuesday, damaging several aircraft and shutting down the nation's only air link to the outside world, the military said. Incoming flights were diverted to other countries as authorities rushed passengers and workers out of the airport. But the fighting forced some to remain behind. The bold attack near the capital of Colombo left seven military aircraft and three Sri Lankan Airlines planes damaged. Three of the guerrillas were killed and troops were searching for more, said military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne. A government statement said the attack had been "contained," but military officials and witnesses said fighting still appeared to be going on as dawn broke Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 00:16:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka Rebels Attack Main Airport  - Nothern Light
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Flights to Sri Lanka diverted to India amid rebel attack  - Yahoo Singapore
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Fighting/Sri Lanka Airport -2: Flights Diverted  - Yahoo Singapore
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Fighting in Sri Lanka Spreads to Civilian Airport  - Yahoo

LTTE attack marks Black July,1983
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.48 AM SLT Tuesday July 24, 2001. The daring attack on the Colombo military airport at Katunayake this morning seemed to be the LTTE's way of marking the July 24, 1983 anti-Tamil riots,Tamil sources said.

The riots,which were a watershed in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka,started at midnight July 23 and became a major conflagration on July 24,the sources said.Since the LTTE became a force in the second half of the eighties, it has been regularly staging attacks,whether against military or civilian targets,to mark what has come to be known as "Black July" in Sri Lankan politics and history.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:49:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Fighting spreads to airport perimeter as LTTE attackers withdraw
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.20 AM SLT Tuesday July 24,2001. Fighting has spilled over to the outer perimeter of the Katunayake airport,as the LTTE infiltrators are apparently withdrawing,according to Wing Com.Ajith Wijesundera of the Sri Lankan Air Force.

He said that the LTTE infiltrators were using small arms,grenades and shoulder held rockets.He had no idea if any suicide bombers were involved.About of the damage caused to aircraft, whether military or civilian, he said that some aircraft were on fire,but could not give details.As regards the number of attackers he said that it was difficult to say, given the fact that the attack took place in total darkness.All lights had gone off.

Meanwhile,CNN said that six military aircraft,including MIG-27 and Kfir fighter bombers and MI-24 helicopter gunships, were destroyed and two Sri Lankan Airlines planes were damaged.

The Bandaranaike International Airport,which adjoins the military airport,has been closed.Morning flights to Paris and London have been cancelled and all incoming flights have been diverted to India.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:21:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Tamil rebels attack air force base near Sri Lanka's capital  - ABC News
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Sri Lanka's key air base under attack  - Yahoo Singapore

Indefinite curfew in areas surrounding Colombo Airport
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.30 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. An indefinite curfew has been imposed with immediate effect on all areas surrounding the Katunayake International Airport in Colombo.

The curfew is in place in Ja-ela, Peliyagoda, Wattala, Seeduwa and Katunayake.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:28:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka Declares Curfew Around International Airport  - People's Daily

Sri Lankan Airlines A330 damaged
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Sri Lankan Airlines staff this morning confirmed that a Sri Lankan Airlines A330 airbus was hit when fierce fighting broke out between the Sri Lanka Air Force and suspected Tamil Tiger rebels at Katunayake early this morning.

Chandana de Silva, Senior Manager for Sri Lankan Airlines confirmed that two planes had been hit early this morning when the fighting broke out. "We do not yet know the extent of the damage to the Airbuses," he said.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that at least seven military aircraft at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base adjoining the Katunayake International Airport are on fire.

Fighting ended about one and a half hours after the attack was launched at around 3.50 a.m. this morning. Air Force spokesman are unable yet to confirm the extent of the damage or give casualty figures.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:14:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Attack at Katunayake under control
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.45 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Wing Commander, Ajith Wijeysundera of the Sri Lanka Air Force said that the attack on the Sri Lanka Air Force Base at Katunayake is now under control.

Wijeysundera confirmed that an attack from suspected Tiger rebels was launched at around 3.50 a.m. this morning at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base. The adjoining Katunayake International Airport has been closed as a result and all incoming flights to Colombo diverted to India.

Wijeysundera confirmed that aircraft at the military base had been attacked and set on fire.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:45:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top


LTTE attacks Colombo airbase
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 5.15 AM SLT Tuesday July 24,2001. Heavily armed LTTE cadres today attacked the Colombo military airbase at Katunayake about 35 kms not of the capital early this morning.Reinforcements were rushed,and the battle was on,said the military spokesman,Brig.Sanath Karunaratne.He had no information on the casualties or the damage to aircraft.

Katunayake airport,adjoining the Bandaranaike International Airport,is the base for the Kfir jet fighter bombers of the Sri Lankan Air Force,which have been effective in blunting the LTTE's fighting capabilities in recent times.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:21:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Indo-Pak. talks likely in Colombo
The Hindu, 24-07-2001 . Less than a month after the Agra summit, India and Pakistan are expected to re-establish high-level official contacts at Colombo. The Foreign Secretary, Ms. Chokila Iyer is expected to meet her Pakistani counterpart, Mr. Inamul Haq, on the sidelines of the two-day special session of the SAARC standing committee which begins in the Sri Lankan capital on August 9. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 01:54:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Two Sri Lankan Airlines planes hit at Katunayake
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Two Sri Lankan Airlines planes were hit at around 5 a.m. this morning when gun fire between the Sri Lanka Air Force and unidentified gun men believed to be from the LTTE intensified at the Katunayake International Airport in Colombo today.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:08:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Military aircraft destroyed in suspected LTTE attack on Katunayake Air Force base
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 0455 slt 24.07.01. War planes are reported to have been destroyed in suspected LTTE attack on Sri Lanka Air Force base in Katunayake adjoining the international airport. Eye witnesses said military aircraft were burning on the ground. Fighting is continuing at the moment while the area has been cordoned off by the military. The Colombo international airport has been closed with no flights taking off or landing. Air Force's advance super sonic ground attack aircraft such as MIG-29s and Kefir jets as well as the helicopter squadron is based at the Katunayake base. end
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:04:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

All Colombo bound flights diverted to India - as fighting rages
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. All Colombo bound flights into Sri Lanka have been diverted with immediate effect to India. As fighting broke out a short while ago at the Katunayake Air Force Base adjoining the Katunayake Airport, between the Air Force and unidentified gun men, the Colombo airport has been sealed and all staff are being evacuated.

Chandana de Silva, Senior Manager Sri Lankan Airlines told Lacnet News that the airline has already effected its emergency operations and all staff at the Colombo airport will be pulled out and brought to the airlines head office at the World Trade Center in Fort - Colombo.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:01:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka cancels order for ship from India
The Hindu (International), 24-07-2001 . Sri Lanka has cancelled an order for a second Sukhanya class off- shore patrol vessel (OPV) from India due to paucity of funds, officials said.The first OPV was bought late last year at an estimated cost of about $ 20 millions to bolster the navy's capability to police the island's northeastern waters, used by the LTTE to bring in weapons. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:38:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Gun fire reported from Katunayake Air Force Base - near Airport
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.45 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Gun fire was reported a short while ago from the Katunayake Air Force Base adjourning the Colombo airport. The Sri Lanka Air Force are reported to be shooting at an alleged ground attack on the Air Force Base in Katunayake, placing a MIG Aircraft and a Helicopter on fire.

There are no further details. The enter area meanwhile has been sealed and the airport closed.
Published: Mon Jul 23 18:51:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Military aircraft reported burning in Sri Lanka
MSNBC, Tuesday, July 24 6:43 AM SGT . Military planes were burning after a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel attack at an airbase early on Tuesday morning, closing Sri Lanka's only international airport next door, officials said. ''There are military aircraft burning on the ground,'' said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne. ''It looks like a very major attack.'' The predawn attack was at an airbase right next to the international airport about 30 km (20 miles) north of Colombo. ''Operations at the international airport have been suspended,'' Karunaratne said. Passengers at Bandaranaike International Airport also reported seeing the attack. ''We can see a huge fire burning and hear heavy gunshots,'' said one traveller who was on his way to the airport when he was turned back by the authorities. There was one flight arriving from Male in the Maldives at about the time the attack began at 4 a.m. (2200 GMT) with the next scheduled departure not until 5:30 a.m. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:55:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka main air base under attack  - Yahoo Asia

Cracks in anti-Chandrika coalition
The Hindustan Times, Tue 24th July 2001 00:00GMT. SEVERAL POLITICAL parties which had pledged support to the opposition United National Party's campaign for the impeachment of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the unseating of her Peoples' Alliance (PA) government are now having second thoughts. any of these parties opts out, the UNP will not be able to carry through a no-confidence motion or get the speaker to accept a motion to impeach the president. With 115 MPs in a total of 225, the combined opposition has a thin majority. A no-confidence motion as well as an impeachment motion requires the support of at least 113 MPs. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 18:46:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Presidents says last years draft constitution will not be used
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 p.m. SLT Monday July 23. President Chandrika Kumaratunge has reiterated that the draft constitution presented last August to Parliament will not be used again this time when she plans to bring in a new constitution.

Kumaratunge has vowed that after ascertaining the peoples mandate at the August 21, referendum she will consult with the Mahasangha, clergy, minor political parties and intellectuals to discuss clauses to be included in a new constitution.

Her Justice Minister, Batty Weerakoon however asserts that the President will refer to her original draft thrown out of parliament last year and discuss various amendments suggested at the time to be included in a final new constitution this year.

The President yesterday asserted to PA party members that she is determined to implement the new constitution even without a two third majority in Parliament.
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:39:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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I have a 'secret formula' to overcome crisis: Kumaratunga  - The Hindustan Times

Kumaratunga tells government dissidents to leave
yahoo, July 23. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, under siege from a joint opposition move to oust her, ticked off ruling party dissidents and told them if they were dissatisfied they could leave. Kumaratunga told members of the ruling People's Alliance and its main constituent, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, that "if they were not content, they were most welcome to leave immediately without causing sabotage or destruction from within," the state-run Daily News said Monday. Kumaratunga summoned supporters for a powwow on Sunday, three days after six opposition parties and several trade unions staged a pro-democracy march in the capital Colombo against the suspension of Parliament. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 15:35:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Anti-Chandrika campaign stepped up
Dawn, COLOMBO, July 23. Sri Lanka's main opposition on Monday stepped up a campaign to oust beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga as she said she had a "secret formula" to overcome the country's unprecedented political crisis. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was joined by 70 smaller political parties, trade unions and professional organizations in demanding the restoration of parliament. More...
Published: Tue Jul 24 01:33:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Referendum may prove divisive  - Yahoo India

UNP charges that cops used old tear gas
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2 p.m. SLT Monday July 23. The United National Party today accused the government and the police of using tear gas canisters that were at least 12 years old to quell a massive anti government demonstration last Thursday July 19.

The UNP says that the tear gas when old, turns toxic, and as a result a large number of demonstrators including innocent bystanders and school children were seriously affected.

Two people were killed and over 60 injured last Thursday when police acting on orders from the government, used tear gas, rubber bullets and 'live' ammunition to stop thousands of people from protesting against the decision of President Chandrika Kumaratunge to prorogue parliament and call a referendum.
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:39:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Does JVP have a tacit understanding with PA ?
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 8.00 PM SLT Monday July 23,2001. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP),which could play a pivotal role in the coming weeks,is clearly distancing itself from the opposition United National Party (UNP).And it may well be having a tacit understanding with the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) even while denouncing it from public platforms across the island.

The JVP says that it will sign the motion of impeachment against President Chandrika Kumaratunga only if (a) the motion is based on valid grounds (b) it had been signed by all the members of the opposition.

" Firstly,we have to study the motion before we agree to support it.Secondly,we will not sign it unless every opposition MP had signed it.We will be the last to sign it.This is because we do not want a repetition of the motion against the Chief Justice which did not have the signature of the UNP leader Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe and a few others," top JVP leader,Mr.Nandana Goonetileke said.

The JVP is opposed both to the Peoples' Alliance (PA) government and President Kumaratunga and would want both to quit.But at the same time,it is not overly enthusiastic about toppling either of them and installing the UNP." We believe that the problems of the country will not be solved till a socialist government is established," Mr.Goonetileke said.

Asked if this meant that the JVP would topple a UNP government too,he said that it would depend on the policies and peformance of that government." At any rate,the JVP would never join any government.It would be in the opposition,giving support to the pro-people policies and opposing anti-people policies," Mr.Goonetileke said.

Political circles here sense the emergence of a tacit understanding between the PA and the JVP.The JVP is still keeping its options open in the matter of the no-trust motion;it has not committed itself on the impeachment motion against the President,and it did not participate in the UNP led rally of last week.On sunday, it told the Inspector General of Police that its anti-referendum public rallies in several places in the island on monday would be entirely within the bounds of the law.There are rumours that Somawansa Amarasinghe,the shadowy supremo of the JVP who is said to be living in London, favours a tacit understanding with the PA.

The JVP's stance has its basis in its past relations with the UNP.In the late eighties ,the UNP regime had ruthlessly crushed its violent movement.Not surprisingly,minister S.B.Dissanayake has suggested that the PA should exploit the contraditions between the JVP and the UNP.At the meeting of PA leaders at the Race Course here on sunday,President Kumaratunga had reportedly exhorted them to contact JVP supporters.Clearly,the ground is ready for exploitation.

The other sign of the government's softening towards the JVP is the absence of any anti-JVP propaganda in the state media in recent weeks.Earlier,the government had had no hesitation in recalling the JVP's violent past in all its gruesome detail.It had even organised a public exhibition of pictures of JVP terror.
Published: Mon Jul 23 10:11:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Opposition demands ouster as Sri Lanka President vows "secret formula"
Yahoo Singapore, Monday July 23, 7:32 PM. Sri Lanka's main opposition Monday stepped up a campaign to oust beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga as she said she had a "secret formula" to overcome the country's unprecedented political crisis. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was joined by 70 smaller political parties, trade unions and professional organisations in demanding the restoration of parliament which Kumaratunga has shut down until September 7. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 09:43:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Kumaratunga has "secret formula" to sidestep constitution  - Press Trust of India
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Sri Lanka president has "secret formula" to sidestep constitution  - Yahoo Asia

Sri Lankan Opposition vows more protests
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 23. (Reuters). Sri Lanka's Opposition vowed today to press ahead with a protest campaign against the suspension of Parliament despite bloody clashes that marred demonstrations last week. Two people were killed and 80 injured as police used live ammunition, teargas and rubber bullets to quell protests against the suspension of Parliament on July 11, just before a no- confidence vote in the President Chandrika Kumaratunga's minority Government. "The protests will continue," Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference in Colombo as the capital braced for the funeral of one of the slain protesters. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 14:36:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka opposition campaign goes on  - BBC South Asia

Lankan police gives new spin to Indian defeat
NDTV/MSNBC, july 23. Every cricket fan will have a theory on why India lost by six runs to Sri Lanka in a nail-biting finish last night, but a police inspector here blames two political activists who invaded the pitch during the Indian innings.Inspector S A Suraweera told a magistrate's court that the two opposition United National Party activists had "frightened" the Indian batsmen so much they may have ultimately lost the match because of the interruption. Asked about this later, he replied with a chuckle, "it was only my suggestion." More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 14:30:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka police gives new spin to Indian defeat  - Yahoo Asia
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Ganguly's Indians are under pressure to deliver  - Yahoo India

23 incidents of LTTE Pistol group firing reported so far in the East.
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.40 p.m. SLT Monday July 23. The military today said that one Policeman and a Home guard were killed by the LTTE pistol group in the general areas of Kattankudy, about 04 Kms. South of Batticaloa and Kalmunai in the Ampara district on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July respectively.

So far there have been twenty three incidents of killings in the East, allegedly by the LTTE's pistol gang. Batticaloa and Kalmunai Police are reportedly making inquiries into the murders this last weekend.
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:39:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka releases second batch of Indian fishermen
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 23. (UNI). Sri Lanka today released a second batch of 16 Indian fishermen from custody, taking the total to 38 out of the 66 languishing in a Jaffna prison for almost three months for poaching in their territorial waters. Indian High Commission officials said these fishermen would be taken by the Sri Lankan Navy to the International-Maritime line boundary and handed over to the Indian Coast Guard. The first batch of 22 fishermen, who were released on July 10, was handed over to the Indian Coast Guard. A Jaffna Magistrate, who heard their petition, ordered their release on humanitarian grounds. But the 18 boats in which they had entered Sri Lankan waters have not been released. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 14:35:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

VIRUS WARNING!!
Chennaionline , July 23. This worm arrives as an e-mail message with a random subject. This could be the same as the attachment in the e-mail. The Message would start as "Hi! How are you?" and ends with "See you later. Thanks." The worm picks up a random document from the "My Documents" directory, Appends itself to it, Adds any one of the following extension - .BAT, .EXE, .COM, or .PIF (eg. Financials.DOC.EXE). This new file is then mailed to all the addresses that the worm collects from the Address book and .HTML files found in the system. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:11:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo's street people stand up to be counted
Asia Times , july 23. A beggar walks up to Punyasiri Manawaduge and asks him, "Sir, can you count me?" After his initial surprise, the young law undergraduate gathers his wits and responds, "Of course ... come let me get some details." Manawaduge is at the Town Hall in the heart of the Sri Lankan capital on census night, July 17, with a group of 12 enumerators, dubbed "the outdoor team" collecting details of Colombo's street people and the homeless. The response to the survey has been surprising, because many expected reluctance, hesitance, indifference, apathy and most of all ignorance. None of this happened. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 10:57:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

United States finances US$ 8 Million loan to Sri Lanka
US Embassy , July 23. The United States of America and Sri Lanka today signed an agreement by which the U.S. will make available an additional US$8 million in concessionary loans to allow Sri Lanka to import approximately 60,000 metric tons of high-quality U.S. wheat over the next twelve months. The United States Embassy Chargé d' Affairs W. Lewis Amselem and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning signed the formal agreement today. Under the program, known as "PL480, Title 1," the Commodity Credit Corporation of U. S. Department of Agriculture agreed to finance US$8 million in wheat sales to Sri Lanka during the current fiscal year. The wheat provided under this agreement or the funds generated by the sale of this wheat can be used, according to the terms of the agreement, "to improve food security, alleviate poverty, and promote broad based equitable and sustainable agriculture in Sri Lanka, including measures to foster the growth forage, feed and livestock industries." This amount of wheat - 60,000 metric tons - represents about 7% of total annual Sri Lankan consumption of wheat, all of which must be imported. Last year Sri Lanka received 37,205 metric tons, valued at $4,725,00, under this PL 480 Food for Peace program. Since 1950, the United States has now provided Sri Lanka with a total of nearly US$1 billion in such concessional wheat sales.
Published: Mon Jul 23 11:27:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition promises more protests
MSNBC, 23 July 2001. Sri Lanka's opposition vowed on Monday to press ahead with a protest campaign against the suspension of parliament despite bloody clashes that marred demonstrations last week. ''The protests will continue,'' opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference in Colombo as the capital braced for the funeral of one of the slain protesters. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 06:17:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka Opposition Parties Demand Pres' Ouster  - Yahoo India

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