The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 279


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S.Lanka's Jaffna likely Tiger focus if war comes
Reuters, January 10, 2006. COLOMBO (Reuters) - If Sri Lanka's two-decade-old civil war flares again, as many fear it will, Tamil Tiger rebels are likely to launch an assault on northern Jaffna as well as hit-and-run guerrilla attacks on supply lines, analysts say.

The Jaffna peninsula is seen by the rebels as the centre of a future Tamil homeland, but they have held it only intermittently in the past and it is now under government control, albeit surrounded by Tiger territory.

"Jaffna is their main focus," said Janes Defence Weekly analyst Iqbal Athas, referring to the Tamil Tigers.

"Certainly attacks will intensify. If you are looking at conventional warfare, they cannot take it (Jaffna) but we are also talking about guerrilla warfare."

A truce between the rebels and the government has halted major attacks for almost four years, but the peace has been severely strained in recent weeks. More...

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Published: Tue Jan 10 20:13:29 EST 2006

Return to war will be costly,US warns Tamil Tiger rebels
KRISHAN FRANCIS , Associated Press, Tue January 10, 2006 11:26 EST . The United States on Tuesday warned Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels against re-igniting a civil war against the government.

``If the LTTE chooses to abandon peace, however, we want it to be clear, they will face a stronger, more capable and more determined Sri Lankan military,'' U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead said in a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka, according to an embassy statement.

He was referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by the initials of the group's official name.

``We want the cost of a return to war to be high,'' Lunstead said.

The Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the island's 14 million Sinhalese.

The war claimed more than 65,000 lives before a Norway-brokered cease-fire in 2002. Subsequent peace talks have collapsed over rebel demands for broad autonomy in the island nation's northeast, and the government has blamed deadly attacks on the military in recent months on the Tigers, who deny involvement.

Lunstead said the U.S. is helping _ through military training and assistance programs, including counterterrorism measures and blocking rebel funding _ to ``shape the ability of the Sri Lankan government to protect its people and defend its interests.''

He urged the Tigers to abandon violence and return to negotiations.

``There can be a role for the LTTE in future development of Sri Lanka, but only if it returns to the peace table, renounces terrorism in word and deed and become a responsible participant in Sri Lanka's future,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission said Tuesday it has received complaints that 16 Tamil civilians disappeared after being arrested by government security forces in the northern Jaffna peninsula.

``Our Jaffna coordinator has informed us that relatives have complained that they do not have any information regarding 16 civilians arrested by the forces,'' said commission spokesman Mahinda Hattaka.

He said retired High Court Judge T. Suntheralingam will investigate the complaints.

Military and police have stepped up security operations and door-to-door searches amid the recent escalation of violence.

``We have not arrested anybody,'' said military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. ``We have educated our troops on human rights.''

Human rights groups accused Sri Lanka's military of widespread human rights violations during heavy fighting before the cease-fire.

London-based rights group Amnesty International estimated that 540 people, almost all of them Tamils, disappeared after the military took control of the Jaffna peninsula from the Tigers in 1995.

The Human Rights Commission in 2003 confirmed that 248 people were killed or disappeared after the military arrested them on suspicion of involvement with rebels.

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Published: Tue Jan 10 12:34:09 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Address Delivered by Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka  - US Embassy - Colombo
Return to war at high cost, US warns Sri Lanka's Tigers  - afp

Intelligence Watch
upi, January 10. On Monday a secret meeting in Bangkok was held between Sri Lankan militant bosses and Indian Tamil Nadu political party leaders. Sir Lankan security is following details of the meeting with close interest.

Representing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, better known by the acronym LTTE, was Kumaran Pathmanathan or KP, the LTTE's chief arms procurement officer and head of the LTTE's international network. Pathmanathan has established a sophisticated and secretive arms acquisition network, whose ships frequently visit Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Burma, Turkey, France, Italy and Ukraine in their search for arms.

Tamil Nadu political leaders attending the meeting included the Pattali Makkal Kadchchi, founder and president S. Ramadoss and G. K. Mani and R. Thiumavalavan of the Dalith Panthers of India.

The politicians were to collect thadchchanai ("offerings") from the LTTE leaders for their services, with the money to be transferred via hundi hawala dealers from Bangkok.

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Published: Tue Jan 10 15:16:38 EST 2006 Back to the top

Human Rights Commission says, 16 Tamils reported missing after being arrested by forces
Associated Press, Tue January 10, 2006 06:47 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission has received complaints that 16 ethnic Tamil civilians disappeared after being arrested by security forces in northern Jaffna peninsula, a spokesman said Tuesday... Back to the top

LTTE abusing our restraint: Colombo, Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday said his Government "will continue to act with restraint" but would take "all necessary measures" to check "further terrorist attacks... Back to the top

EU mulls ban on LTTE, Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006. NEW DELHI: The European Union is engaged in an intensive internal debate on whether or not to ban the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the wake of mounting attacks by the LTTE in Sri Lanka over the past month... Back to the top

US praises Colombo’s restraint
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Tues 10th Jan 18:30GMT. The United States has appreciated the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to peace despite the LTTE’s spate of provocations to drag the country back to war... Back to the top

JVP condemns LTTE attack
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Tues 10th Jan 18:30GMT. THE Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) condemned the LTTE attack on the Navy Dvora craft on January 7 in a press release issued to the media... Back to the top

Rameshwaram ferry service
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Tues 10th Jan 18:30GMT. THE Nation Building and Development Ministry has focused special attention on resuming a ferry service between Talaimannar and Rameshwaram during the early part of this year to transport at least 60,000 Sri Lankan refugees currently seeking asylum in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers: Tamils in northern Sri Lankan seeking haven in rebel-held areas
Associated Press, Tue January 10, 2006 00:26 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Army operations in northern Sri Lanka - have terrified hundreds of ethnic Tamils who have fled government-controlled areas to seek haven in territory controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels, the guerrillas said Tuesday... Back to the top

Rajapakse deplores LTTE hits, Tuesday, January 10, 2006. Expressing his deep concerns “over the callous disregard shown by the LTTE to the ceasefire agreement”, Mr Rajapakse has reiterated that his government was prepared to commence direct talks with the LTTE to strengthen the effective implementation of the shaky truce... Back to the top

S.Lanka people suffer as violence rises-monitors, January 10, 2006, - 08:00 EDT. COLOMBO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Ordinary people in Sri Lanka's north are suffering and are fleeing their homes as Tamil Tiger rebels and the government blame each other for rising violence, the head of a Western truce monitoring group said on Tuesday... Back to the top

Downer condemns Sri Lanka violence, January 10, 2006, - 08:00 EDT. The Australian government has condemned the rise in violence in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Pakistan provides $20 million credit line to Sri Lanka, January 10, 2006, - 08:00 EDT. Colombo: Pakistan has agreed to provide a line of credit of $20 million to Sri Lanka, media reports said Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka will avoid verbal jousts, says Moody, January 10, 2006, - 08:00 EDT. Tom Moody is keen on Sri Lanka avoiding a war of words in the VB Series © Getty Images Tom Moody, the Sri Lanka coach, says his side will not get involved in any verbal jousting with Australia and South Africa in the upcoming VB Series... Back to the top

SLMM seeks explanation from LTTE
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Mon 09th Jan 13:00GMT. In response to numerous denials by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that it carried out any armed attacks on security personnel and civilians in the North-East, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) had called the group to identify those whom they describe as “people” responsible for the attacks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka briefs foreign diplomats on sunken vessel
Associated Press, Mon 09th Jan 13:00GMT. Lanka's president Monday complained to western and Asian diplomats that Tamil Tiger rebels sunk a naval vessel, the government said... Back to the top

Vigilante Killings Fuel Cycle of Violence
IPS- Amantha Perera, January 09, 2006. COLOMBO, Jan 9 (IPS) - As the funeral procession carrying the coffins of five Tamil students, victims of Thursday's alleged vigilante killings, wound through the streets of the port town of Trincomalee, there were whispers among the mourners that retaliation would be swift... Back to the top

LTTE s New Year Message, Jan 09. In the first maritime terrorism incident of 2006, one or two suspected suicide naval bombers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed an explosive-laden boat, resembling a small fishing vessel, against a Dvora fast attack vessel of Israeli design belonging to the Sri Lankan Navy outside the Tricomalee harbour in the early hours of January 7, 2006... Back to the top

Latest clash kills one soldier, two rebels in Sri Lanka 's northeast
Associated Press, Mon January 9, 2006 03:09 EST . Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels opened fire on a government military patrol in northeastern Sri Lanka, killing one soldier and starting a gunbattle that also left two rebels dead, the Defense Ministry said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan MP seeks India s involvement in peace talks, Jan. 9. Chennai, Jan. 9. (PTI): India should directly involve itself in the peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE, Upcountry Tamils Front of Sri Lanka, a party of Sri Lankan Tamils of Indian origin, has said... Back to the top

DaimlerChrysler sold 2,019 Mercedes in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh last year
Associated Press, Mon January 9, 2006 08:33 EST . - - NEW DELHI (AP) DaimlerChrysler India sold 2,019 Mercedes cars in India, Sri Lanka - and Bangladesh in 2005, the most since it started operations in the region 10 years ago, a company statement said Monday... Back to the top

Officials urged to use foreign aid judiciously
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Mon 09th Jan 13:00GMT. PRESIDENT Mahinda Rajapakse said the government has to pay over Rs 9bn to people whose lands were acquired by the state for various purposes and ordered officials to speed up these payments... Back to the top

Presidential panel inquiry into Navy chief's deals
Sinha Ratnatunga,, Mon 09th Jan 13:00GMT. President Mahinda Rajapakse will appoint a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate military procurement deals entered into by former Commander of the Navy and now Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Daya Sandagiri... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Resume Peace Talks Without Delay, Mon 09th Jan 13:00GMT. THE visit of Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapakse, to India took place in the background of rising apprehensions about the continuance of the ceasefire and the danger of war looming ahead in that country... Back to the top

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