The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 25, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 110

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
Tigers play into government's hands
Asia Times, 26 July 2001. Tamil Tiger separatists delivered a crushing blow to the Sri Lankan government on Tuesday, attacking a military airbase and the country's international airport. However, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's worst enemy still remains the main opposition party. "For Kumaratunga, political survival is much greater that anything else at the moment," one analyst said, referring to Kumaratunga's struggle to stay in power after a key ally switched sides last month and left her ruling party in the minority in parliament. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 23:38:32 EDT 2001


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Sri Lanka president pleads for support to end war
Yahoo India, July 25. Sri Lanka's president, facing growing opposition to her rule, appealed on Wednesday for political support to end an ethnic war that a day earlier hit the only international airport.President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who suspended parliament this month before a no-confidence vote in her minority government, said her political opponents should work with her to "end the challenge of terrorism". More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 15:45:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil rebels posed as travelers in attack on Sri Lanka's airport
ABC News, 07/25/2001 2:23 pm ET . Dressed like travelers, the 13 men at the roadside stand drank tea, ate snacks, chatted, read newspapers and waited for 9:45 p.m. That's when the power was scheduled to go out Monday night in Katunayake, where Sri Lanka's only international airport is located, as is a major air base. A tropical island, Sri Lanka depends on rain to generate electricity, and the recent lack of monsoons had forced rolling power cuts. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 16:43:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Tamil Tigers had picnic before raiding airport  - The Hindustan Times
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Baffling security lapse at Colombo airport  - The Hindu (International)
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Sri Lanka Police Arrest Three Airport Attack Suspects  - Yahoo India
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Seven arrested over Sri Lanka airport attack  - 123India.com

Baffling security lapse at Colombo airport
Hindu, 26 July 2001. The Bandaranaike International Airport, which came under attack by the LTTE on Tuesday, is one of the most tightly guarded places in Sri Lanka, but, from the events of yesterday, not sufficiently enough. Hundreds of Air Force personnel are deployed to protect the airport and the adjoining airbase. There are three checkpoints in the final 500 yards to the airport and at least two places where sentries man anti-aircraft guns behind sandbagged fortifications. There are also sentries around the perimeter fencing and check- points on the highways that run parallel to the perimeter on two sides. But at least 13 LTTE men sneaked in and carried out a sensational strike. People are still struggling to find an explanation how such an incident could have occurred in spite of the security blanket. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 23:24:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

WALL STREET JOURNAL: SRI LANKAN REBEL ATTACK IS A SIGNIFICANT ESCALATION
Nothern Light, Wednesday, July 26, 2001 2:55 PM EST . The attack by Tamil rebels on the Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka, which resulted in the deaths of 20 people, represented a shift in the almost two-decade long struggle by ethnic minority Tamils and the government, signaling a new offensive of bolder and more aggressive assaults. The Tamils, who are demanding their own homeland in the northern and eastern parts of the nation, have previously opted for suicide bombing attacks on the southwestern capital city of Colombo. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 19:58:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rebel-hit Sri Lanka airport reopens
Yahoo India, July 25. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's only international airport reopened on Wednesday, a day after a suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed passenger jets and closed the airport, stranding several thousand tourists. The first flight was UL 679 with 160 passengers from Sydney, which had been diverted to Madras in India just before it was to have landed at almost the exact time the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels launched their attack early on Tuesday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 12:11:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Flight operations resume in Lanka  - Deccan Herald
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Security tight in Colombo after airport attack  - Yahoo
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Sri Lanka airport reopens with flight from India  - Yahoo India
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Colombo Airport becomes operational, Air Force orders inquiry  - South Nexus
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Sri Lankan Airport Reopens After Suicide Attack  - ABC News
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Colombo airport becomes operational  - Press Trust of India
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Colombo airport becomes operational  - Press Trust of India
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Sri Lankan Airport Reopens  - Nothern Light

3 Arrested on suspicion, Airport opens up again
Asianage, 26 July 2001. Sri Lanka’s international airport reopened on Wednesday and the police detained three Tamil men as suspects in the rebel attack that had also shut down the country’s main Air Force base.

Soldiers fired at a man in a field near the airport, but he escaped, a few hours before the first flight landed. It was a Sri Lankan Airlines airbus A-340 bringing 180 passengers from Chennai, India, where they had been diverted on Tuesday by the rebel attack. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 23:16:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Indian envoy among first passengers to return to Sri Lankan airport
Yahoo, July 25. Indian envoy Gopalkrishna Gandhi was one of 180 passengers who stepped out of a SriLankan Airlines flight from Chennai Wednesday, the first since Tamil Tigers attacked the international airport here.The airport, the scene of a bloody battle between Tamil Tiger rebels and government troops Tuesday, reopened for business with travelers flying in from India Wednesday. The Indian envoy was returning after flying out to New Delhi on Sunday, informed sources said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 14:08:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Stranded Air Lanka flights leave  - Yahoo India

PEACE PROCESS LIES IN RUINS AFTER ATTACK
Asianage, 26 July 2001. Sri Lanka’s deadlocked peace process lies in ruins after ltte rebels inflicted a severe blow on the country’s economy, tourism potential and air power with an audacious suicide strike on its main military airbase and only international airport on Tuesday. The government was quick to accuse the LTTE of carrying out the attack to destroy prospects of peace and disrupt “constitutional processes,” while the media, both state-controlled and anti-government, too, joined the government in undermining peace initiatives. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 23:20:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

'National Govt. only solution'
Hindu, 26 July 2001. The attack by the LTTE on the Bandaranaike International Airport and the adjoining airbase on Tuesday has prompted renewed appeals to the two main political parties in Sri Lanka to join hands in a national government. In a front-paged editorial today, the daily Island said a national government was the only answer to the problems facing the country, but if that was an impossibility, asked the two parties to at least arrive at a ``working arrangement''. ``Sri Lanka is once again in a desperate situation, mainly due to the confrontational and aggressive politics of the PA and the UNP. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 23:33:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Constitutional imbroglio in Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, July 26. THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Sri Lanka's President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, that Parliament would be prorogued and a national referendum would be held on August 21 to ascertain whether the people desire a new Constitution took the country, to say the least, by surprise. The question that would be posed to the people in the referendum would be: ``Are you in agreement with the proposal that the country needs a new Constitution, which is nationally important and an essential requirement?'' More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 18:14:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

International condemnation mounts against Tiger airport attack
123India.com, Jul 25 2001 12:00 IST. The United States Wednesday led international condemnation of the Tamil Tiger rebels for their latest attack targeted at Sri Lanka's airport which left 21 people dead. Britain and Russia joined the criticism of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the suicide raid that devastated a key military airbase and the adjoining Bandaranaike International airport Tuesday. "The attack demonstrates the (rebels') ability and willingness to select targets without regard for the safety of civilians, including tourists," the State Department said in Washington. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:21:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Russia condemns rebel attack in Sri Lanka  - 123India.com
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Britain condemns rebel attack in Sri Lanka  - 123India.com
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UK Urges Peaceful Solution To Sri Lanka's Civil War  - Yahoo India
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India expresses concern over developments in Lanka  - The Hindu NUS
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India concerned over Sri Lankan airport attack  - Yahoo India

Raid leaves Colombo dazed
The Hindustan Times, July 25. THE STUNNING raid on the Colombo airbase and international airport by the LTTE on Tuesday has thrown the Chandrika Kumaratunga government into confusion. In the days to come, it is going to find it hard to choose between war and peace; between co-opting the cantankerous opposition in a national effort and confronting it head on; and between facing an angry parliament and shying away from it. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 18:02:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

July 25 (23 :43) Sri Lankan president criticized over major rebel attack - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, july 25. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has come under criticism for security lapses in the wake of Tuesday's devastating Tamil Tiger rebel attack on the main air force base north of Colombo and the country's only international airport, local media reported Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 11:53:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Opposition slams government over attack  - TamilNet

Airport attack deals body blow to Sri Lanka peace
Yahoo Singapore, Wednesday July 25, 6:14 PM . COLOMBO (Reuters) - An audacious suicide attack by Tamil Tiger guerrillas on Sri Lanka's only international airport may have put the final nail in the coffin of a Norwegian peace bid, analysts said on Wednesday. "The peace process is now officially non-functional," said Jehan Perera of the National Peace Council after fireballs set off by rebel explosives consumed a dozen military and commercial aircraft on Tuesday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 07:25:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Airport attack shatters Norway peace bid -- again  - 123India.com
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Sri Lankan Rebel Attack Is Significant Escalation  - Nothern Light
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Airport attack derails Sri Lankan peace process  - The Hindu NUS
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LTTE attack leaves peace process in tatters  - Press Trust of India

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

Sri Lanka's economy reels after raid
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK . By BBC News Online's Jeremy Scott-Joynt At best, the attack on Sri Lanka's only international airport and a military base next door by separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas has cost the impoverished country $350m. At worst, it could set the economy back years, Sri Lankans fear. The $350m is the sum the government estimates it will cost to replace the eight military jets also lost in the attack. Three brand-new Airbus jets belonging to state flag carrier Sri Lanka Airlines, were burnt to cinders, while a further three were badly damaged. But the country is trying to get new loans from international donors to counter an economic collapse, which has seen reserves of foreign currency fall to dangerous levels, which the attack could put in jeopardy. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 12:15:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka Rupee Flat Midday;Mkt Focuses On Airport Attack  - Yahoo India
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Analysis: Tamil Tigers' strategic target  - BBC South Asia
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Sri Lanka's war-battered economy reels under double blow  - Yahoo

Sri Lanka has fewer people than expected
123India.com, Jul 25 2001 18:27 IST. COLOMBO, July 25 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's first census in 20 years has shown that the island has 3.5 percent fewer people than the authorities had originally thought, census chief A. G. Nanayakkara said Wednesday. The July 17 census showed the island's population was 18.66 million, down from an original estimate made at the end of last year of 19.35 million. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 12:14:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SriLankan Airlines scrambles to keep flying after attack
Yahoo Singapore, July 25. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's national carrier was scrambling on Wednesday to keep its operations going and meet existing schedules after half of its fleet was destroyed or damaged in a Tamil Tiger rebel attack. "We have full insurance cover, but at this moment we are more concerned with meeting the needs of passengers," a spokesman with SriLankan Airlines said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 12:16:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
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Anti-Chandrika campaign stepped up  - Dawn

United left calls for a Left-Peace movement
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 25/07/01 1730GMT. United leftwing parties have called all progressive movements to get together to build a "Left-Peace movement" which fights for the protection of the living standards and the welfare of the masses and truly work towards equality, national and regional sharing of political power and general freedom. Prominent Figures of Sri Lanka Communist Party (CP), Lanka Sama Samara Party (LSSP), Nawa Sama Samara Party (NSSP) and Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP) urged the authorities to call a Constituent Assembly and after the referendum to finalise a workable solution to national question, establish independent commissions, work out a new electoral system and for the abolition of the executive presidency.

"This Constituent Assembly could start with the present MPs, but called at a separate place. The Constituent Assembly should also have representations from all political parties and organisations of both the North and the South, including those who are outside the parliamentary democracy. Racist oppressive forces should be countered and defeated. Whether it arises in the work place, or in the streets or in conspiracy, we should defeat this menace" a statement signed by Welfare Minister of Western Province Mahesh Almeda (CP), LSSP national organiser Ananda Tissa Perera, NSSP Gen. Sec. Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne and SLMP’s Renuka Perera stated.

"It is clear that the suppression of minority agitation, break up of Left forces and the smashing of campaigns of working masses constituted the agenda of this chauvinist oppressive "National" Government. The inability to arrive at a political solution to the national problem and the dreadful mititarization of the entire society and the inability to mobilise the masses to challenge the unfavourable conditions placed by the imperialist system led by the World Bank, created the present crisis"
Published: Wed Jul 25 13:32:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Lanka developments not to affect SAARC meet next month
Yahoo India, 25 July. Notwithstanding the developments in Sri Lanka, the meeting of SAARC Foreign Secretaries will be held in Colombo next month as scheduled.''There is no change,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told reporters in response to questions on the situation in Sri Lanka. She said all the 18 Indian nationals transiting through Colombo when the airport came under attack are safe. India had yesterday 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,'' the spokesperson had said in response to a question. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 12:11:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Indo-Pak. talks likely in Colombo  - The Hindu

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

Related News Stories
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Airport attack grounds Sri Lanka's tourism hopes  - Yahoo Asia
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Tourists tell of escape from Colombo airport battle  - MSNBC
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Tourists wait to fly home as Sri Lanka opens airport after attack  - Yahoo Asia

Airport to be opened
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1 p.m. SLT Wednesday July 25. The Bandaranaike International Airport is to be opened this afternoon. Sri Lankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Peter Hill said that the airline is adopting a contingency plan to begin operations this afternoon.

The national carrier has already informed local travel agents that UL 505 for London is scheduled to depart Colombo at 1500 hrs today. Six other flights to Rome, Frankfurt, Dubai, Male and Tokyo are also scheduled to depart Colombo thereafter this evening.

Hill, reiterated that he is awaiting the return of the airlines six other Airbus carriers which were diverted to India yesterday, when Tiger rebels attacked the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Chandana de Silva, Manager Colombo/Maldives for Sri Lankan Airlines told Lacnet News that while 'Apron A' on the tarmac is non operational, they are awaiting clearance from the Director for Civil Aviation to resume in bound and out bound flights that could be positioned on 'Apron B and Apron E.'

Sri Lankan Airlines cockpit and cabin crews have already been positioned to board the air crafts the moment clearance is secured from civil aviation.

The civil aviation authorities meanwhile are battling to open the airport, and resume flights that can carry out of the country some 4000 foreign tourists who have been stranded as a result of last mornings pre dawn attack by the LTTE.

The national carrier owns 12 air crafts of which three have been reduced to ashes. Sri Lankan Airlines is now left with five A330s two A340s and two A 320s. An A330 and two A340s were destroyed beyond any redemption yesterday.
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:19:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka International Airport to Re-Open  - VOA

Three suspects of the airport arrested
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.05 p.m. SLT Wednesday July 25. Three youths were arrested last night when Wennapuwa police conducted a lightening raid to flush out possible Tamil Tiger rebels who may have assisted in last mornings devastating attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport and the Katunayake Air Force Base Camp.

Police say that they have been unable to glean any information from the Tamil youths yet who are in their early twenties and are residents of Nawalapitiya and Kandy.

Meanwhile, the Kotahena police have taken into custody the bus that was believed to have been used by the Tigers to reach Kurana, northeast of the Airport, from which point they entered via a paddy-field the northern point of the Air Force base.

Cutting through a barbed wire fence, the Tigers were immediately in the precincts of the Air Force camp. This area was unguarded except for a few land mines laid along its perimeter. The rebels had avoided the land mines when moving into position inside the base camp during a one and a half hour power cut imposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board in the area.
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:19:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Tamil Tigers stopped for picnic before raid on Sri Lanka airport
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, July 25 3:37 PM SGT . A busload of Tiger Tamil rebels enjoyed a picnic near a tightly-guarded international airport and adjoining military air base before launching a devastating attack which left 21 people dead, police sources said Wednesday. The revelation that the guerrillas could gather right under the nose of a military checkpoint has compounded the embarrassment for the defence establishment, airport sources said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 05:50:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Arnold, Perera shape sensational Sri Lankan victory
Yahoo India, Wednesday July 25, 8:31 PM. Colombo, Jul 25 (PTI) Riding on a 91-run unbeaten knock by all-rounder Russel Arnold and his unbeaten 103-run stand with Suresh Perera for the fifth wicket, Sri Lanka pulled off a sensational five-wicket victory over New Zealand in a one-day league match of the triseries here today. Set to score 237 off 50 overs, Sri Lanka, who were tottering at 27 for 4 in the 9th over, made a superb comeback through brilliant efforts of Maravan Atapattu (66), Arnold and Perera (56 not out) and romped home to 240 for 5 with nine balls to spare. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 12:57:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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A thrilling battle in the offing between Lankans and Kiwis  - Yahoo India
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Cricket-Astle shines as New Zealand post solid total  - Yahoo India
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New Zealand post 236 for 8 against Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India
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India must bridge gap between performance and potential  - Yahoo India
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Cricket-Rumesh Ratnayake is Sri Lanka's new manager  - Yahoo India
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Cricket-Arnold leads Lanka to five-wicket win  - Yahoo India

Lankan civil aviation authorities battle to reopen airport
Yahoo India, Wednesday July 25, 1:25 PM. Colombo, Jul 25 (PTI) As police investigated the deadly attack by LTTE on Sri Lanka's only international airport and the adjacent military air base, authorities today struggled to resume the international flights as half of the national air carrier's fleet has been damaged. Officials here said police has identified the vehicle used by the LTTE cadres to carry out the yesterday's attack which left 21 people dead, including seven security personnel and 14 rebels, and 14 aircraft were destroyed. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 05:54:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka Attempts to Recover After Tamil Rebel Attack  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka to reopen airport as tourists await flights home  - Yahoo Asia

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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In pictures: Sri Lanka airport attack  - BBC

Sri Lankan board assures team safety after security threat
Cricinfo, 25 July. The Sri Lankan cricket board confirmed this morning that the Coca Cola Cup would not be disrupted by the pre-dawn attack on an Air Force Base by the Tamil Tigers. The Tiger cadres had infiltrated the security cordon around the base, which adjoins the international airport just outside Colombo, and used rocket propelled grenades and small arms to attack Air Force equipment and two civilian air craft. No civilians were injured in the attack, but the airport has now been closed until further notice and a curfew has been placed on all the surrounding areas.The incident led to board chairman Vijaya Malalsekera calling an emergency meeting this morning at the board headquarters with the team managers and the match referee Cammie Smith. They concluded that there was no danger to the players.A Sri Lankan board media release states: "Officials in charge of security have given assurances that precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of players and officials, which is of the highest priority." More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 07:01:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Toll in LTTE attack on airbase 20
Press Trust of India, Wednesday, July 25, 2001. Two more Sri Lankan Air Force personnel succumbed to injuries, taking the death toll in Tuesday's attack by the LTTE on the Katunayake Air Base and international airport to 20. Military spokesman Brig Sanath Karunaratne said the toll among the security forces had gone up to seven - five Air Force men and two Army soldiers. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 05:45:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tourists turn a blind eye to war
Guardian, 25 July. British holidaymakers are attracted to Sri Lanka in their thousands by its beautiful beaches and wealth of ancient history. Around 60,000 Britons visit the island every year, despite the protracted and bloody conflict. Tricia Barnett, director of the pressure group Tourism Concern, called yesterday on travellers to countries with mixed human rights records to consider where the money they spent might be going. "When we go on holiday we turn a blind eye - the marketing side of the holiday airbrushes everything out. "Most people when they are going to Sri Lanka don't have the slightest idea, and don't want to know, they are going into a war area." She urged would-be travellers to read up about their intended destination before making a decision. Suthaharan Nadarajah, editor of the London-based Tamil Guardian, which broadly reflects Tamil opinion, said: "People who go there and spend money are effectively funding the Sri Lankan war machine." But a spokesman for the Sri Lankan high commission in London described criticisms as "the propaganda of terrorists". More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 04:04:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Heavy security presence as airport returns to normal
Anaova, 25 July 2001. Police with automatic weapons have been posted in Colombo's roads as Sri Lanka's airport and main air base limped back into operation. Sri Lanka's only airport had been attacked by Tamil Tiger rebels, forcing hundreds to run for cover. Only employees were allowed into Bandaranaike International Airport, and flights are not expected to resume until the afternoon. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:10:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Remorseless war that has lasted 18 years and cost 64,000 lives
Independent, 25 July. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who blew up three Airbuses and seven military aircraft yesterday, are arguably the most effective guerrilla force in the world. 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: Wed Jul 25 04:39:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka airport reopening delayed for clean-up
Yahoo India, 25 July 2001. The reopening of Sri Lanka's only international airport was delayed on Wednesday as officials continued investigating and clearing up following a devastating suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels a day earlier. "A decision (on when the airport would reopen) is still pending," said an official. Officials had hoped to open the airport on Wednesday morning, but said there were delays as debris cannot be cleared until assessments were done by insurance companies. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:16:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lankan International Airport Ready for Flights  - People's Daily
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Sri Lanka struggles to reopen airport after Tamil attack  - 123India.com
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Sri Lanka's airport 'returns to normal'  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka attacks rebel positions
The Times, UK, 25 July. EVEN as the wreckage of its military and civilian air fleets lay smouldering on the tarmac, Sri Lanka last night launched airstrikes against Tamil Tiger positions in retaliation for yesterday’s devastating attack on Bandaranaike International airport. Two Israeli-built Kfir jets and two MiG-27s hit targets in the Jaffna peninsula after the dawn assault in which at least 18 people died, including 13 suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) rebels and five soldiers or airmen. The attacks will do little to answer critics who question how 15 or 20 suspected Tiger rebels managed to infiltrate heavily guarded Katunayake, Sri Lanka’s main air force base, and the adjoining civilian airport. Although no one has yet claimed responsibility, the attackers are widely believed to be Tigers. Wearing military fatigues and carrying rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank weapons, 40mm grenade launchers and general purpose machineguns, they are thought to have sneaked in through the northern end of the civilian airport under cover of darkness between the hours of 3.30am to 3.50am. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 04:10:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Setback to ailing tourism industry
The Times, UK, 25 July. WEDNESDAY JULY 25 2001 BRITISH tourism to Sri Lanka had just been picking up again after a spate of suicide bombings. The number of Britons visiting the island had tailed off over the past four years in the wake of a series of attacks on tourist destinations, including the town of Kandy. The Tamil Tigers killed 17 people in an attack in 1998 on Sri Lanka’s holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth, which is visited by thousands of Britons every year. While Sri Lanka will now have to develop a campaign to re-establish itself as a holiday destination, tour operators at home could face a court battle over compensation. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 04:17:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Tourists dodge bullets as Tamil Tigers attack Sri Lanka airport  - 123India.com
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Britons flee Sri Lankan raid  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lankan aircraft lost in a day's attack
123India.com, Jul 25 2001 11:34 IST. Sri Lanka lost its largest number of military and civilian aircraft in a single attack in the assault by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), officials said Wednesday. Tuesday's attack on Bandaranaike International Airport and an adjoining military airbase resulted in 14 aircraft being destroyed or badly damaged. Details of the aircraft are: SriLankan Airlines aircraft Completely destroyed: One Airbus A-340, two Airbus A-330. Damaged: Two A-320 planes and one A-340. SriLankan Airline remaining fleet: Two A-340 planes and four A-330 aircraft. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 02:41:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Probe ordered into attack on Colombo airport
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 24. (UNI). President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered an inquiry into today's LTTE attack on the international airport, saying the Government was committed to save the public from violence. Briefing the Cabinet on the situation, the President said ``the capacity of the Air Force to defend the territorial integrity of the country remained unimpaired despite today's attack.'' Meanwhile, the total loss due to the LTTE attack on the airbase at Katunayake and Bandaranaike International Airport is estimated to be Rs 30 billions. The loss due to the damage of the five Sri Lankan Airline aircraft alone is estimated to be Rs 27 billions while the damage to the eight military aircraft is to the tune of Rs 3 billions. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 01:24:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Chandrika orders probe into LTTE attack  - Indiainfo
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Kumartunga calls meeting to discuss LTTE attack  - IndiaInfo

Death toll rises in Lanka airbase attack
NDTV/MSNBC, 25 July 2001. Two more Sri Lankan Air force personnel succumbed to injuries, taking the death toll in yesterday's attack by the LTTE on the Katunayake Air Base and Internation Airport at 20. Military spokesperson Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said the toll among the security forces had gone up to seven, five Air Force men and two Army soldiers. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:01:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

'Gunfire was getting closer. We ran, we didn't know where to go'
Guardian, 25 July. Deborah Amaning, 29, from London, was returning home from Sri Lanka, where she had been maid of honour at the wedding of her friend Martina Bellieni, when she found herself caught up in the battle with Tamil Tiger rebels at Bandaranaike international airport. She spoke to the Guardian from the Hotel Lanka Oberoi last night. "I was leaving with the wedding party. We checked in and got upstairs to the duty free lounge, where the windows were shaking. "It was just mayhem. Nobody told us anything for a while. We were wondering what the hell was going on."Then they suddenly said: 'Everybody out - go, go, go'. There was no organisation. It was just panic. "Nobody cared what was happening to us. We asked the staff: 'Where do you go and what do you do ?' "We didn't know what to do and the gunfire was getting closer. We ran, we didn't know where to go. "We came to a fence and the boys ripped More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 04:00:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Britons tell of rebel attack ordeal at airport  - Ananova

Press slams Sri Lanka airport security after attack
123India.com, Jul 25 2001 11:16 IST. Sri Lanka's press united Wednesday in criticising authorities for serious lapses that led to a twin attack against the island's international airport and an adjoining military base. Separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas penetrated the defences of the tightly-guarded Katunayake air force base and destroyed eight military aircraft before moving on to Bandaranaike International airport, the country's only international air link. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 02:46:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka's media lash out following airport attack  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka witness describes 'nightmare' ordeal
Yahoo, 25 July 2001. British tourist Pippa Hutchings witnessed Tuesday's attack on the Sri Lankan air force base and international airport. The following is an edited transcript of an interview she gave to CNN describing her experience.

Q: How are you doing?

A: We are fine now. We are safe in a hotel.

Q: What did you see when you were at the airport?

A: We got out of our car, and the guard said you are in great danger, madam. We were then led (away), we couldn't get into the departure lounge, it'd been sealed off -- we had to get to the arrival terminal. (There) we were told to get on the floor and lie down and keep still. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 03:06:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Tigers check in with death, destruction
Yahoo India, 25 July 2001. IN one of their most daring strikes since the fledgling peace process fell by the wayside eight months ago, about 20 LTTE suicide bombers attacked the military airbase here and the adjacent Bandaranaike International Airport 20 miles north of the capital. At the end of a fierce six-hour battle that began minutes before dawn, 13 rebels and seven security personnel lay dead and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aircraft smouldered on the tarmac-from fighter jets to expensive Airbus passenger planes. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 02:34:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Air Lanka flights to leave for Colombo
NDTV/MSNBC, Wednesday, July 25, 2001 (Colombo). Four aircraft bound for Colombo, which had landed in India are expected to leave for the Sri Lankan capital today. The flights landed in Chennai and Thiruvanathapuram due to the closure of Colombo's Banderanaike International Airport. The attack by LTTE rebels had led to the closure of the Colombo airport, forcing flights, which were already airborne, to land in Indian cities. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 00:14:12 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

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
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U.S. warns citizens about travel to Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India

British Embassy Warns Against Travel To Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, 25 July 2001. The British High Commission in Colombo issued a warning Wednesday urging potential visitors to Sri Lanka postpone their trips until further notice. This comes a day after the country's only international airport was attacked by Tamil Tiger Rebels. "Those intending to visit Colombo should seriously consider postponing their visit until the situation returns to normal," a statement issued by the high commission said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 02:37:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE attacks focus attention on insurgency
NDTV/MSNBC, Wednesday, July 24, 2001 (Colombo). The LTTE's stunning attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport and the adjoining air force base on Tuesday, has focused international attention on the long-running insurgency in Sri Lanka. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the ethnic conflict ever since it began 18 years ago and the latest violence is a big setback to peace efforts. After the defeat last year of the LTTE offensive to capture the Jaffna peninsula along with increased army firepower, the rebels were forced to the negotiating table. The Sri Lanka government, under pressure from India and western countries, accepted the LTTE pre-condition of foreign mediation. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 00:22:21 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

Indian cricketers in Lanka safe: Muthiah
Yahoo India, 25 July 2001. The BCCI president A C Muthiah on Tuesday said there was no need for anxiety about the Indian cricketers' safety in Colombo as he had discussed their security aspect in the wake of the LTTE attack on Lanka's military airbase. Muthiah said that he had spoken to team manager A N Mate and coach John Wright besides captain Saurav Ganguly about the developments there, adding that the team had their usual four-hour practice session on Tuesday afternoon. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 01:57:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-New Zealand win toss, elect to bat vs Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, 25 July 2001. New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat on Wednesday in the fourth one-day international of a triangular tournament also involving India. The Kiwis went into the match without their captain Stephen Fleming, who was suffering from food poisoning. Craig McMillan is leading the side in his absence. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 02:00:14 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

Diverted aircrafts to return to Colombo
Yahoo India, 25 JULY 2001. Four aircrafts bound for Colombo, which were diverted to Chennai, and another to Thiruvananthapuram, are expected to leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday, reports CNBC India. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 02:01:12 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

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

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

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


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
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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

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

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Sri Lanka Declares Curfew Around International Airport  - People's Daily
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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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SriLankan says rebels destroy 2 planes, damage 3  - Yahoo India
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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

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

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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Smoke rises from a plane on fire on the tarmac of Colombo's international airport  - Yahoo/AP Photo
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Sri Lanka-Air Base-Fuel -2: Intl Airport Fuel Tanks Safe  - Yahoo India
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Suicide bombers devastate Sri Lanka airbase, international airport  - Yahoo Asia
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Rebels attack Sri Lankan airport  - BBC South Asia

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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Chronology of key dates in Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist campaign  - 123India.com
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Separatist rebels shell Sri Lankan airports, force closure of nation's only international air link  - ABC News
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Sri Lanka Rebels Attack Main Airport  - Nothern Light
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Pandemonium at Lanka airport, flights diverted  - NDTV/MSNBC
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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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