The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 276


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Headline Summary
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Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels attack Sri Lankan navy vessel, 13 sailors dead
Associated Press, Fri January 6, 2006 23:14 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels rammed an explosives-laden fishing boat into a Sri Lankan navy vessel off the northeastern coast early Saturday, killing 13 sailors, officials said. But Sri Lanka - 's army blamed the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

``In one of the worst Tamil Tiger attacks, LTTE Sea Tigers early this morning ... blew up a Naval vessel Fast Attack Craft,'' a statement posted on the army's Web site said.

The Tamil Tigers carried out several attacks against naval vessels using explosives-packed fishing boats before a cease-fire in 2002 halted the rebels' two-decade independence war.

A similar attack in Trincomalee harbor in 1995 triggered full-scale hostilities, dashing a brief truce.

The chief of the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission, Hagrup Haukland, expressed regret over the incident and said he was awaiting further details.

The insurgents want a separate Tamil state, saying discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, who number about 14 million.

Trincomalee, which has a strategic port and a base for the Sri Lankan navy, has been tense this week after five ethnic Tamils died. The military has said the men accidentally blew themselves up in a botched grenade attack on a military patrol, but the rebels said the men came under attack from government forces.

A formal government inquiry has been ordered into the killings.

The Norwegian official who brokered the 2002 cease-fire, Erik Solheim, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka - in late January to see if talks can start.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns also plans to visit Sri Lanka - to encourage negotiations between the two sides, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday. No date for the trip has been announced.

Violence has worsened in the country since November's election of Sri Lanka - 's new president, Mahinda Rajapakse, who campaigned on a promise to take a tough line in negotiations with the rebels. Rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has warned the Tamil Tigers would intensify their struggle if their grievances were not addressed.

The 2002 cease-fire halted two decades of a civil war that has killed more than 65,000 people since 1983. But last month 45 soldiers were killed and 71 wounded in ambushes blamed on the rebels; government troops killed seven suspected rebels.

The two sides have also traded accusations about the slaying of a pro-rebel lawmaker at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. And in August, former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated by suspected Tiger gunmen.

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Published: Sat Jan 7 00:30:26 EST 2006

Related News Stories
15 Lankan navymen killed in LTTE suicide attack  -
15 killed as Lankan gunboat blown up  - com
Deadly attack on Sri Lanka navy  - CNN
Suspected rebels attack S.Lanka navy, 15 missing  -
Offshore blast heard in Sri Lanka town  - ABC

Colombo gets support from US, LTTE from TN, January 7, 2006. With the ceasefire in Sri Lanka in danger of being broken, the government and the LTTE are seriously looking for support from overseas for their respective cases. While the Rajapaksa regime seems to have the backing of the United States, the LTTE is counting on increasing support across the Palk Strait in Tamil Nadu. The LTTE is also reasonably sure that New Delhi will remain neutral thanks to the influence of Tamil Nadu. This was stated recently by the LTTE's ideologue, KV Balakumaran, in an interview to the Voice of Tigers radio. More...
Published: Sat Jan 7 14:35:46 EST 2006 Back to the top

Army detects powerful anti-personnel mine, avoids casualties
DILIP GANGULY , Associated Press, Fri January 6, 2006 04:38 EST . The Sri Lankan army said it detected and defused an anti-personnel mine Friday, an hour before it might have been used to ambush a passing military convoy in the country's east, the Defense Ministry said.

Elsewhere, suspected Tamil rebels lobbed grenades at the army positions in the northeast, wounding at three soldiers in violence that threatens the country's 4-year-old cease-fire.

``It was a good find,'' said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, the military spokesman, of the Claymore mines found near the eastern town of Batticaloa before they were detonated. ``We alerted out troops and cleared the area,'' he said.

According to the army, the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are increasingly using Claymores - remotely detonated, aboveground anti-personnel mines designed to fire hundreds of steel balls.

In December alone, at least 23 sailors and soldiers were killed in two separate Claymore attacks by suspected rebels.

In separate attacks blamed on the rebels, three army units came under fire within a span of one hour in the port city of Trincomalee on Thursday night. Three soldiers were wounded, the Defense Ministry said.

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Published: Fri Jan 6 07:41:34 EST 2006 Back to the top

LTTE testing the waters in Tamil Nadu? - Editorial, January 06, 2006. AT A critical juncture when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been violating the ceasefire at will and trying to provoke the Sri Lankan Army into a retaliatory strike in Tamil areas, there appears to be an orchestrated campaign in Tamil Nadu in its support... Back to the top

Govt showing restraint despite LTTE provocation: Samaraweera, JAN 7. The Sri Lankan government is showing great restraint and patience in spite of all the provocations of the Tamil Tiger rebels, visiting Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said... Back to the top

Lanka appreciative of India s support, JAN 7 . Lauding India's role in supporting its territorial integrity and sovereignty, Sri Lanka has said the bonds between the two countries have further strengthened as a result of recent visit of its new President Mahinda Rajapakse to New Delhi... Back to the top

Sri Lankan security forces conduct massive sweep of Tamils in ..., 2006-01-07. In a flagrant violation of basic democratic rights, calculated to inflame communal tensions, Sri Lanka’s security forces launched a massive cordon and search operation against Tamil residents of the capital Colombo on December 31... Back to the top

Suspected Tamil rebels attack Sri Lankan army, wounding three soldiers
Associated Press, Fri January 6, 2006 00:31 EST . Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels lobbed grenades at Sri Lankan army positions in the northeast, wounding at least three soldiers in violence that threatens the country's 4-year-old cease-fire, the Defense Ministry said Friday... Back to the top

Associated Press, Fri January 6, 2006 13:58 EST . QUESTION: Could you touch a bit on the secretary's meeting with the Sri Lankan foreign minister yesterday and the ominous prospect of return of civil war in Sri Lanka - ? MCCORMACK: They had a good meeting yesterday... Back to the top

Embassy of Sri Lanka, january 6. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who met US Secretary of State Dr... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s growing war fears, January 06, 2006 - 12:10 EDT. With still no sign of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels, many people in the country fear the delay could lead to increased violence and possibly even full-scale war... Back to the top

Ominous signs of war returning in Sri Lanka, January 06, 2006 - 12:10 EDT. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels make a daily change to the note at the top of their website... Back to the top

Sri Lanka calls on US peace help, Fri 6th Jan 12:45GMT. Sri Lanka's foreign minister has called on the United States and other nations to help persuade the Tamil Tigers to return to peace talks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka in diplomatic push as attacks stoke war fears
Simon Gardner,, Fri 6th Jan 12:45GMT. One person was killed and six were wounded in sporadic attacks in Sri Lanka's troubled eastern region overnight, the military said on Friday, as the government sought U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Rebuilding the fishing industry and people s hopes, January 06, 2006 - 12:10 EDT. Sri Lanka: Rebuilding the fishing industry and people's hopesAfter the tsunami devastated villages along the coastline of the Indian ocean, CBM was able to start relief measures early, both for the affected people with disabilities and for the general population... Back to the top

Sri Lanka safe for visitors: Tourism Ministry, Fri 6th Jan 12:45GMT. Sri Lanka is launching a fresh publicity blitz to entice more tourists to spend their vacation in the island country following an outbreak of fresh violence in the northeast of the country, Daily News reported Friday... Back to the top

Cricket: One-day international Sri Lankans get their heads read, January 06, 2006 - 12:10 EDT. Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody has called in a sports psychologist to help with the morale of his embattled team as they eye the last two one-dayers against New Zealand... Back to the top

industry response report on issuing Sri Lanka’s first commercial ..., January 06, 2006 - 12:10 EDT. Next G 6 January 2006 17:02 hours An industry response report on issuing Sri Lanka’s first commercial 3G mobile license is expected before end January... Back to the top

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