The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 26, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 111

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
2 Airforce men held over Lanka Airport attack
Asian Age, 27 July 2001. Police detained on Thursday two Air Force men who had been on guard duty when Tamil Tiger rebels carried out a devastating attack on the international airport and adjoining Air Force base. A senior Air Force official said, on condition of anonymity, that the troopers had been detained for questioning as officials try to find out how the 13 rebels , armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons got onto the base without being detected. The police said earlier on Thursday they had seized the minibus they believe the rebels had used, and detained the driver and three other Tamil men in overnight raids. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 21:56:12 EDT 2001


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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
President invites opposition leaders for a meeting tomorrow to discuss the crisis after LTTE attack on air base and international airport
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2125 slt 26.07.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has invited leaders of opposition parties in Parliament for a meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss the crisis after the LTTE attack on the Katunayake air base and the international airport. Meanwhile leaders of the seven opposition parties in Parliament today wrote to President Kumaratunga demanding that parliament be resummoned immediately to discuss the current crisis. In a joint letter signed by leaders of the UNP,SLMC,JVP, Sihala Urumaya, TULF,TELO and ACTC, they demanded that parliament be re summoned "so that it can exercise its sovereign powers entrusted it by the constitution in the present crisis"
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:37:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt. rejects Opposition’s call to reconvene Parliament
Island, 27 July 2001. The government yesterday rejected the joint Opposition’s call for the resummoning of Parliament. General Secretary of the PA Minister D. M. Jayaratne said that the prorogation would stand and Parliament would reopen as originally scheduled. "We will only reopen Parliament on the already scheduled date, September 7. We will not reconvene before that, the decision stands unchanged," the Minister said. Asked whether Tuesday’s attack did not warrant the immediate summoning of Parliament, he affirmed that the prorogation would stand. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 23:23:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika asks Opposition to drop confrontation
The Hindu (International), 27-07-2001 . By Nirupama Subramanian COLOMBO, As Sri Lanka began putting together the pieces from the LTTE attack on its only civilian airport, the President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, reiterated her government's commitment to a peaceful resolution of the ethnic conflict and appealed to the Opposition to join hands with her in the task of nation-building. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:13:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan police arrest more Tamils
Asianage, 27 July 2001. Police said Thursday they have seized a minibus they believe was used by Tamil Tiger rebels who carried out a devastating attack on the international airport and adjoining air force base. Police detained the driver of the minibus, and three other Tamil men in overnight raids. That brought the total number of men arrested to seven in the investigation of the Tuesday attack, which left seven military men and 13 guerrillas dead, and 13 aircraft damaged or destroyed. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 22:05:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

We’ll cover our losses by insurance claims - SriLankan Airlines CEO
Island, 27 July 2001. A team of international assessors arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport on Wednesday evening to assess the damage to SriLankan Airlines fleet, airline sources said yesterday. Of the 12 aircraft in the fleet, six were lost in Tuesday’s attack. "Three of them were totally written off, one A 340 Airbus and two Airbus A 330 aircraft. The other three were damaged, some more than others, but they are repairable, the sources said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 23:28:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chennai IA resumes Colombo flights
The Hindu (Southern States), 27-07-2001 . After suspending flights to Colombo for two days, Indian Airlines today resumed its scheduled services, flying a full complement of 252 passengers, including those stranded in Chennai. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 20:24:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan airline cuts service
BBC, Fri 27th July 2001 00:10GMT. Sri Lanka's national carrier says it will only fly passengers to Dubai and Singapore after it lost half its fleet in an attack this week by Tamil Tiger rebels. From now on, passengers to Europe will have to change on to an Emirates plane in Dubai and the Far Eastern market will be served through Singapore while the airline tries to work out a weekly schedule for flights. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 20:12:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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News Update: CEO's Statement  - Sri Lankan Airlines

Prime Minister says the government would appoint a constitutional commission to get views of the people
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2130 slt 26.07.01. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake announced today that the government would appoint a constitutional commission to get views of the people on a new constitution. He said the commission would not have any powers to draft a new constitution but would forward its recommendations to the President after consulting the people of the country. He was speaking at a inaugural rally in Anuradhapura of the People Alliance campaign to win support for the August 21st referendum end
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:37:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Dept of Foreign Affairs Advises Australia's to Avoid Sri Lanka
Yahoo Singapore, 27 July 2001. The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Australians to avoid travelling to Sri Lanka following a terrorist attack on a major airport near the capital. Although international flights have resumed to Colombo since Tuesday's attack that left 13 people dead, DFAT advises both holiday-makers and business travellers to look at changing their plans. "Following the 24 July terrorist attack on Bandaranaike International Airport Australians should consider deferring all holiday and normal business travel to Sri Lanka," DFAT said in its upgraded travel warning. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 22:07:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

PA’s inaugural referendum rally shows divisions in the party
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 26/07/01 1715GMT. Ruling Peoples’ Alliance’s (PA) inaugural campaign rally for the scheduled referendum seem to be unsuccessful as divisions in the party were clearly visible, reports from Anuradhapura say. Absence of Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) secretary general S.B.Dissanayake is seen as a clear "rebellion", according to informed sources. President Chandrika Kumaratunga herself was also absent from the rally and Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake announced that the helicopter carrying the President has been "forced to revert" due to bad weather.
Published: Thu Jul 26 13:18:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's economy reels after raid
BBC, Fri 27th July 00:10GMT. 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. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 20:07:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP advises "political strategy" to business leaders
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 26/07/01 1745GMT. Leaders of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have secretly met the local business leaders to discuss the strategy over the current political turmoil. The JVP, whose refusal to protest the government’s moves to prorogue the parliament has humiliated the joint opposition, is currently playing a " secret political game", according to political analysts. "The essence of the moment is to join hands to protest the referendum than centring attention to the parliament" JVP propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa, MP told BBC’s Sandeshaya. Asked what JVP had to discuss with business leaders, Mr. Weerawansa said the business leaders are also embarrassed with the situation and the JVP "advised" them how to come out from the current deadlock.

The JVP did not take part in last week’s opposition moves to reconvene the parliament ignoring President Kumaratunge’s order to prorogue the session. The United National Party (UNP) led opposition therefore had to satisfy only with an unofficial meeting as they did not have the parliamentary majority without the JVP’s support. Asked whether UNP see this as a barrier, UNP spokesman Karunasena Kodituwakku told Sandeshaya they understand that the JVP has its own difficulties finding solution safeguarding its own identity.
Published: Thu Jul 26 13:48:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Airport attack real damage revealed
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 26/07/01 1700GMT. Tuesday’s devastating predawn suicide attack by Tamil Tigers to Sri Lanka’s only international airport has destroyed and severely damaged many more air crafts than estimated, apart from the three Airbuses and eight Kfir fighter jets, The Lanka Academic reliably learns. Informed sources revealed that Two Bell 412 helicopters were destroyed and two more VVIP Bell 412s severely damaged; One MIG- 27 fighter jet and Two Kfir fighter planes also were destroyed. Four Kfirs and One Bell 412 helicopter were severely damaged. This brings the total number of damaged air crafts to at least 26. All those air crafts have been stored in the aircraft hangers and the real damage therefore is far more than the initial estimate.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Airlines today announced that it is to temporarily shift its operational base to Singapore and Dubai as a part of its attempt to clear the backlog after the attack.
Published: Thu Jul 26 12:58:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Lanka carrier picks up pieces  - The Pioneer

Lankan Air Force to probe attack on airbase
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 26. (UNI). The Sri Lankan Air Force has appointed a special committee to probe Tuesday's assault by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Katunayake airbase and the Bandaranaike international airport even as police have arrested seven suspects. Official sources said the committee would concentrate on checking the possibility of any assistance to the terrorists from within the airbase. The committee would also question personnel who served at Katunayake earlier. A senior Air Force official said the possibility of internal assistance could not be ruled out due to the fact that the LTTE cadres penetrated the high security zone and made a planned entry into the airport. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:16:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Exports To Dip In 2001 -Trade Assoc
Yahoo Singapore, Thursday July 26, 12:52 PM. Sri Lanka's export earnings will dip this year due to slower demand from key markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan, said the Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka. A.S.M. Muzzamil, the association's chairman, said at its annual general meeting late Wednesday that high interest rates and steep energy costs were also eating into exporters' earnings and resulting in several closures of export firms. "I cannot recollect facing a situation such as the one we are facing today where everything seems to be against us - the markets, prices, the country's political and economic stability and costs of production," Muzzamil said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 18:54:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mani Rathnam to shoot his next film in Sri Lanka
Hindustan Times , July 26. Just when the unstoppable Dev Anand confirmed that he was making a film on the Nepal tragedy, pushing people into asking when he will finally retire, comes another news. Known for being adventurous in his choice of themes, director Mani Rathnam's next venture will be set in Sri Lanka.Shooting in Sri Lanka is a different ballgame. The island is strife-torn, and making a film in the country is not the simplest thing to do. But for one to deliver a hit even in a regional film, taking risks has become increasingly necessary. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:33:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Airport Reopens As Police Detain 3 Men
Yahoo Singapore, Thursday July 26, 1:50 AM. Sri Lanka's international airport reopened Wednesday and police detained three Tamil men as suspects in a daring rebel attack that left 20 people dead a day earlier. Soldiers fired at another 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 A340 bringing 180 passengers from Madras, India, where they had been diverted Tuesday by the rebel attack. "We were pretty scared," said Philip Labrooy, an Australian arriving on the flight for a 12-day holiday. Ten minutes before they were due to land in Colombo on Tuesday, their captain said they were being diverted to another airport.

More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:01:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Ceylon Workers Congress says it will oppose the referendum for a new constitution
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2120 slt 26.07.02. The CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman said today all estate trade unions including the CWC have decided to oppose the August 21st referendum for a new constitution. In a live interview with Swarnavahini TV the Minister said he would inform the President of this decision tomorrow. The CWC has four seats in parliament and is the most powerful trade union in the planation sector.
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:37:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka airline cuts service
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK . Sri Lanka's national carrier says it will only fly passengers to Dubai and Singapore after it lost half its fleet in an attack this week by Tamil Tiger rebels. Three Sri Lankan Airline planes were damaged and three others were completely destroyed in a fierce gunbattle at the country's only international airport between the military and suicide rebel attackers. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:52:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muscat flight leaves for Lanka
Yahoo India, 27 July 2001. The Sri Lankan Airlines Muscat-Colombo flight, diverted here after Tuesday’s LTTE attack on the Bandaranaike international airport in Colombo, left here yesterday to complete its original flight schedule with 139 passengers on board. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 23:31:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

S.Lanka intelligence red-faced after airport raid
MSNBC, Thursday, 26th July, 14:11 GMT. COLOMBO, July 26 — Sri Lanka's intelligence community was feeling acutely embarrassed on Thursday after Tamil Tiger guerrillas breached one of the country's tightest security cordons and wreaked havoc at its international airport. As pressure mounted on the defence establishment, two airmen were detained for questioning over allegations they ignored a vital clue to the presence of the rebels around Bandaranaike International Airport hours before the attack. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 10:08:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka bans private aircraft after rebel attack
123India.com, Jul 26 2001 18:07 IST. COLOMBO, July 26 (AFP) - Sri Lanka officials Thursday announced a temporary ban on all private flights and re-fuelling stops at the country's only international airport following a Tamil rebel attack. Civil aviation officials said the measure was taken to give priority to scheduled commercial flights in the aircraft parking area, where space was restricted after Tuesday's attack wrecked several planes. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:46:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition seeks parliament restoration
123India.com, Jul 26 2001 13:39 IST. COLOMBO, July 26 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's combined opposition demanded Thursday the immediate restoration of parliament to discuss the devastating Tamil rebel attack against the island's only international airport. The seven political parties which represent 115 members -- a majority in the 225-member assembly -- called for the immediate summoning of parliament which President Chandrika Kumaratunga has shut down till September 7. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 06:24:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Airline battles backlog as Sri Lanka vows to fight terrorism
Yahoo Singapore, 26 July 2001. Sri Lanka's national airline was Thursday battling to clear a backlog of thousands of passengers, as President Chandrika Kumaratunga described the rebel attack on the international airport as the "most horrendous ever." SriLankan Airlines, which announced it was shifting hubs to Dubai and Singapore, said it was trying to arrange a weekly schedule with its depleted fleet, but warned it will not be able to meet full demand. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:45:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Air traffic picks up at Sri Lankan airport  - Yahoo Singapore
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Colombo airport back in business but chaos reigns  - Yahoo Singapore
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Sri Lanka battles to clear passenger backlog  - Yahoo Asia

Foreign airlines return as Sri Lanka vows to fight terrorism
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, July 26 10:10 PM SGT . International airlines Thursday resumed flights to Sri Lanka's rebel-hit airport which banned private aircraft and refuelling stops in a bid to clear a backlog of stranded passengers, officials said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga described Tuesday's daring Tamil Tiger assault on the island's only international airport as the "most horrendous ever" against an economic target in the island. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:47:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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International airlines return as Sri Lanka vows to fight terrorism  - 123India.com

Tiger attack at airport - an inside job?
Island, 26 July. The Airforce has appointed a special committee to investigate the Tiger attack on the Airforce camp and the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake last Tuesday.This committee will concentrate on checking the possibility of any assistance to Tigers from inside the Katunayake Airforce camp. The committee will also question those of the Airforce who served at Katunayake Airport earlier, Wing Commander, Ajith Wijesundare said.He further said that the possibility of inside assistance to Tigers could not be ruled out due to the fact that the Tiger cadres entered the high security zone without any fear and had made a planned entry to the airport. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:00:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Crippled SriLankan airline shifts hubs to Dubai, Singapore
Yahoo Singapore, 26, July. Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, Thursday announced it was shifting operations to Dubai and Singapore after a Tamil rebel attack knocked out half its fleet.Sri Lankan Airlines, which is partly owned and fully managed by Emirates of Dubai, said it was struggling to work out a weekly schedule after Tuesday's Tiger rebel attack on Sri Lanka's international airport put six of their planes out of service.Peter Hill, the airline's Chief Executive Officer, said they would not be able to operate direct services to Europe and the Far East and would be using Dubai and Singapore as new operational hubs.The airline's 40 percent equity partner Emirates will pick up Sri Lankan passengers from Dubai and Singapore to onward destinations, Hill said.He said SriLankan would also be banking on other airlines out of Singapore to carry their passengers to other destinations."We hope to establish hubs in both Dubai and Singapore and mount regular services between those two centres to enable us to feed customers from Colombo through the Middle East and onto Europe." More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 03:19:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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SriLankan Airlines crippled by Tamil attack  - Yahoo Singapore

President can go directly to the people - CA
Island, 26 July. Why ask the question posed in the referendum from the representatives of the people when the President can go direct to the people. Justice Asoka N. de Silva President of the Court of Appeal observed yesterday when the referendum case came up for hearing before a two member bench panel which also comprised Justice Gamini Amaratunga. The sovereignty of the people are inalienable the Judge noted. He was responding to submissions made by Attorney-at-Law Dharmadasa Gomez that a fundamental charge in the constitution has to be approved first by a two thirds majority in Parliament prior to consulting the people in a referendum. The Lawyer is seeking a Writ of Prohibition to prevent the Commissioner of Elections from holding the referendum on grounds that the proclamation was made under a wrong provision and as such the Commissioner was not bound to act. He said the Commissioner has to exercise discretion in such instances. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:06:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Siege of Colombo
TOI-Editorial, 26 July 2001. The devastating attack on Sri Lanka's only international airport and the air force base by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a horrendous reminder that things could get a lot worse in the island republic before they get any better. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 06:17:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

Emirates Air-SriLankan Schedule-Attack -2:Fully Insured
Yahoo India, 26 July 2001. SriLankan Airlines said Thursday that Dubai's Emirates Airlines, which holds a 40% stake in the national carrier, will help it meet schedules after half its fleet was damaged or destroyed in a rebel attack on the islands' only international airport Tuesday. "...we will be looking to count on our investor partner Emirates to support us in a very big way with their hub in Dubai," SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Hill said in a statement. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 01:25:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Air traffic increasing at Sri Lanka airport
MSNBC, 26 July 2001. Flights at Sri Lanka's only international airport picked up on Thursday, but schedules were still in tatters two days after an attack by Tamil rebel fighters destroyed three airplanes and left thousands of tourists stranded. Airport officials said flights from airlines other than the national carrier had started to arrive. ''We had a Qatar Airlines flight this morning and a PIA (Pakistan International Airline) flight will land later today,'' said an official at the airport duty manager's office. ''So far most of them are SriLankan Airlines flights,'' he said, adding schedules were still being put in place after the suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels that left 20 dead. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 01:27:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
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Sri Lankan president appeals for unity to fight terrorism  - Yahoo Asia
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Sri Lankan President Calls for Joint Fight Against Terrorism  - People's Daily

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
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Tamil Tigers had picnic before raiding airport  - The Hindustan Times
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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

Go for it boys!
Yahoo India, Thursday July 26, 3:04 PM. WINNERS are never quitters. The Sri Lankans proved so, continuing their winning march in the competition by literally grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat. With defeat staring them in the face, the young Lankan brigade of Marvan Attapatu, Russell Arnold and Suresh Perera showed tons of courage, tough character and superb temperament to overcome what at one stage looked an impossible total. With the Sri Lankans tottering at 27-4 with all their frontline batsmen cooling their heels in the pavilion, it seemed only a miracle could save them from losing the match. A fantastic partnership to start with, between Attapatu and Arnold, saw them building a platform for the young lion, Perera, to launch an offensive not seen often these days in international cricket. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 07:18:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indians humiliated again in Colombo
NDTV/MSNBC, Thursday, July 26, 2001 . India lost their third successive league match of the Coca Cola tri-series today when they went down to New Zealand by 67 runs chasing a modest target of 201. The Indians were all out for 133 in 39.4 overs, the last six Indian wickets falling in the space of just 34 runs. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 09:17:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Nash, Oram star in New Zealand's win over India  - Yahoo India
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Cricket-New Zealand beat India by 67 runs  - Yahoo India
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Team for Test series to be picked on Aug 2  - Yahoo India

Re-open parliament before country disappears in chaos, says Colombo Archbishop
Island, 26 July 2001. Archbishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando in a statement issued yesterday with regard to the LTTE attack on the Katunayake airport, called upon the government to summon parliament to solve the crisis. The statement added: "Every Sri Lankan today is facing the dilemma of a referendum that has been foisted on the people so suddenly. Consulting the people at the grass roots level looks like democracy. But when the subject of the referendum is veiled in mystery, it is tantamount to taking the people for a ride. It can be likened to the bait that hides the hook which the dumb fish is expected to swallow. How many of us want to be dumb fish? More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 00:07:34 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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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
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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

JVP to file case in courts against referendum
Island, 26 July 2001. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna will take its protest against the proposed referendum to courts today when it files a plaint claiming that the plebiscite is against the constitution, a party spokesman said yesterday. The JVP, in a plaint to the Appeals Court, will also point out that Parliament has not approved the release of funds for the exercise and will call on courts to reject the referendum, said Anura Dissanayake, JVP parliamentarian. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 00:07:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Rupee Higher Late As Exporters Sell Dollars
Yahoo India, Thursday July 26, 3:46 PM . COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The Sri Lankan rupee was higher against the dollar late Thursday mainly due to dollar selling by some exporters, traders said. They added that the absence of import bills in the market in the past few days has also pulled the U.S. unit down. At 1005 GMT (6:05 a.m. EDT), the dollar was at 90.05 rupees, much lower than LKR90.15 at Wednesday's close. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 07:20:54 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
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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

Cricket-India hit back after early onslaught by New Zealand
Yahoo India, 26 July 2001. Opener Matthew Sinclair and pinch hitter Jacob Oram shared a 64-run stand before India hit back to restrict New Zealand to 111 for four after 25 overs in a one-day international on Thursday. The triangular tournament match was reduced to 48 overs after the start was delayed due to dew on the pitch. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:49:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

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
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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

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
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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

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

Tourists wait to fly home as Sri Lanka opens airport after attack
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, July 25 8:42 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's only international airport reopened Wednesday after a 36-hour closure following a Tamil rebel suicide attack that destroyed three jet liners and left 21 people dead, officials said. "The airport is fully operational now," an air traffic controller said shortly after the first aircraft -- a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A-340 aircraft which had been diverted Tuesday to neighbouring India -- landed. More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 10:07:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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
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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
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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

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
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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

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

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
Related News Stories
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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

U.S. warns citizens about travel to Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, 25 July 2001. The United States has urged Americans to put off travel to Sri Lanka and for those that do go to exercise extreme caution after an attack on the island's international airport by separatist rebels. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas attacked an air force base and the adjoining international airport on Tuesday. Twenty people were killed in the raid and many terrified foreign tourists had to scramble away from the airport as the battle raged. The U.S. State Department urged Americans to "defer nonessential travel to Sri Lanka". More...
Published: Wed Jul 25 01:59:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

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

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