The Lanka Academic

APRIL 26, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 20


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Tamil rebels vow reprisal; at least 16 killed, thousands displaced in Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 26th, 2006. Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday warned that their response to Sri Lankan air strikes would be devastating, after 16 people were killed and thousands displaced as the island verged on the edge of war.

"We are in a state of readiness and are awaiting for the instruction from our leadership to respond with a force that will be catastrophically disabling and devastating to the enemy," said S.Elilan, the rebels' Trincomalee district political head was quoted on the pro-rebel TamilNet Website.

He said that the Tigers had not yet retaliated against strikes by government forces and is "keen not to disturb the peace process."

"However we are waiting for the instruction from our leadership," Elilan sa id.

Sri Lanka began air attacks, supported by the navy and army on Tuesday, hours after a suspected female rebel suicide bomber disguised as a pregnant woman blew herself up at the military headquarters killing at least 10 people and wounding some 28, including the army chief.

Israeli-built Kfir jets and Ukranian MiG-27 aircraft launched fresh air raids on Wednesday, along with naval gun-boats and army artillery units on Sampoor, an eastern area controlled by the rebels following a brief overnight respite.

"The bombings are targeting civilians and we found 12 bodies this morning," said Daya Master, rebel spokesman. He said "a large number" were injured but did'n't disclose figures.

The Sampoor area, in Trincomalee is under the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE control.

"The strikes targeted a cluster of LTTE boats and their positions," said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, military spokesman, denying civilian targets.

He said retaliatory fire by the guerrillas had killed four civilians in a government-controlled Muslim village nearby.

But the Tigers blamed air-force bombings for the deaths.

Nine civilians, including one woman and a three-year-old were admitted to the eastern Trincomalee hospital. The victims had been treated for shrapnel wounds and were not in critical condition, hospital officials said.

Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, remained on a ventilator on Wednesday at the intensive care unit in the main hospital in Colombo.

"The surgeons feel his condition is stable even though he sustained serious injuries to his chest and abdomen," said Hector Weerasinghe, the hospital director.

Nine others were also receiving treatment following the attack, he said.

The LTTE has denied it carried out Tuesday's blast.

"We are not responsible for the suicide attack and deny the government's accusations," Master said. "So far, we have not withdrawn from the cease-fire agreement and still uphold it."

The High-Security Zone Residents Liberation Forces has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's blast. The group _ largely believed to be a front organization of the Tigers _ threatened more attacks.

The government meanwhile, vowed to pound Tamil rebel positions in retaliatory strikes.

"If the LTTE continues attacking, there will be coordinated retaliation in the form of defense," Plan Implementation Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. "This will continue as long as the LTTE targets the security forces."

He stressed however, the government was fully committed to the 2002 Norwegian-brokered truce and urged the LTTE to "stop its terror," and resume peace talks.

The main A-9 highway which links northern Jaffna with the rest of the country and runs through a large swath of rebel territory, remained closed on Wednesday.

There has been wide-scale international condemnation for Tuesday's suicide blast, including from Washington and the United Nations.

The U.S., Japan, the European Union and Norway, known as the co-chairs to Sri Lanka's peace process were to meet on Friday to review the situation.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that tens of thousands of people were fleeing the volatile eastern areas.

Initial indications are that 43,000 people from 30 villagers in the Muttur area had fled, said Geevan Thiagarajah, head of the Consortium for Human Rights.

"The whole purpose of the cease-fire, was to address the cost of the conflict, not to add to it," Thiagarajah said.

Discuss this story
Published: Wed Apr 26 12:47:06 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
LTTE vows reprisals as Colombo turns up heat  -
Sri Lanka Bomb Kills 9 and Wounds Army Chief  - Shimali Senanayake - NYT
Sri Lanka Tigers say govt to blame for violence  -
Tigers vow reprisals as Sri Lanka launches new strikes  -

Sri Lanka Fighting Kills 100, Displaces Thousands, UN Says, Wed 26th Apr, 19:55GMT. Fighting in Sri Lanka during the past two days has killed at least 100 people and driven thousands from their homes, the United Nations said after the Indian Ocean nation's military bombed Tamil Tiger positions again today.

Sri Lanka's air force and navy fired missiles at rebel-held areas in Muttur following a suicide attack yesterday in Colombo that wounded the army commander, and Tamil Tiger attacks on the navy. The rebels told international truce monitors to ask the government whether it has begun a ``full-scale war'' on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, according to their Web site.

``The UN and other aid agencies are still able to cater to the needs of the people, but their activities are being disrupted by the insecurity,'' Stephanie Bunker, spokeswoman for the UN's emergency relief office, said. She said the 100 deaths included 60 civilians. More...

Discuss this story
Published: Wed Apr 26 15:54:18 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Outrageous attack -Editorial
Hindu, April 27. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has once again shown that it is not interested in a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Sri Lanka. If anything, the LTTE suicide attack on the Sri Lankan Army commander is further evidence that it actually fears the prospect of such a settlement — fears for its own survival and future in a North-East Sri Lanka that has made its peace with the rest of the country. This is why it is reluctant to participate in peace talks and instead repeatedly attempts to provoke the Sri Lankan Government into a military response that will shatter the four-year-old truce. The LTTE hopes to then portray the Sri Lankan Government as a military machine that mercilessly crushes Tamil aspirations. Holed up in the Vanni, the LTTE leadership believes the international community will ignore its ruthless terrorist record, its recruitment of child soldiers, and its intolerance of dissent and democracy, and, above all, recognise it as a legitimate force fighting for Tamil rights. More...
Published: Wed Apr 26 21:13:31 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Whither Sri Lanka's peace process? Opinion
Hindu, Apr 27, 2006. SRI LANKA's faltering peace process suffered another blow on April 25 when a woman suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) blew herself up inside the Army headquarters in Colombo... Back to the top

Lanka burning... again?, April 26, 2006, 19:40 EDT. Is Sri Lanka heading back to war? The question hangs heavy over the island nation in the wake of the suicide bomb attack on the Sri Lankan army headquarters in Colombo, which killed several people and seriously injured army chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka defends air strikes
Hindu, April 27. COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Government on Wednesday said it had the "right to self-defence" and asserted that "co-ordinated operations" by its armed forces, including air strikes on "selected targets" in areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), "will continue" as long as rebel attacks take place... Back to the top

Ground strikes against LTTE possible, April 26, 2006. Even as air strikes continued against the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India on Wednesday hinted that ground operations could also be carried out against the Tigers, if necessary... Back to the top

Lankan peace: A turbulent ride, April 26, 2006, 19:30 EDT. Wednesday, April 26, 2006 (Colombo): The Sri Lankan peace process has seen many ups and downs over the past few years, and finds itself at the rock bottom yet again with Tuesday's attack... Back to the top

Sri Lanka politics: Spiralling violence threatens return to civil ..., April 26, 2006, 19:40 EDT. A sharp increase in violence in Sri Lanka in recent weeks has raised fears that a four-year-old ceasefire between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will soon collapse... Back to the top

India may have to play a role in Lanka too, April 26, 2006, 19:30 EDT. NEW DELHI: A decision on India's role in the present crisis in Sri Lanka will only be taken once Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns on Thursday... Back to the top

Caritas Calls for Urgent International Mediation in Sri Lanka, April 26, 2006, 19:30 EDT. Vatican City –As violence in Sri Lanka escalates, Caritas Internationalis, through its local member Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC, has called upon the international community to take a mediation role between the rebel forces and the Sri Lankan government as a matter of urgency... Back to the top

SLMM chief rushes to Trincomalee
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, April 26, 2006, 5.49 p.m.. Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) head Ulf Henricsson today rushed to the trouble prone district of Trincomalee in an attempt to defuse the rising tensions there after security forces launched air and artillery strikes against Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military pounds rebel bases; rebels say 12 dead, 15,000 flee
Associated Press, Wed April 26, 2006 10:04 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The military unleashed airstrikes and mortar attacks Wednesday at areas controlled by Tamil Tiger insurgents, who said that 15,000 people had fled the second day of violence sparked by a suspected rebel suicide bombing... Back to the top

Civilians killed in Sri Lanka attack, govt hopes on peace process, April 26, 2005, 12:04 EDT. Colombo - At least three civilians were killed and 13 others injured in north-eastern Sri Lanka by mortar fire from Tamil rebels as government forces continued to pound rebel targets in the area, officials said Wednesday... Back to the top

Lanka rebels deny attack on Army Chief, April 26, 2006. NDTV Correspondent
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 (Colombo): Rajpakse refuses to bow down to terror The Sri Lankan government is threatening tough action against the LTTE who it believes is responsible for the attack on army chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka... Back to the top

Thousands flee Sri Lanka raids, April 26, 2006, 11:00 EDT. Thousands of people have fled their homes in north-eastern Sri Lanka as the military launched fresh air strikes on Tamil Tiger targets... Back to the top

Humanitarian Situation Report - Sri Lanka: 13 - 26 Apr 2006, 26 Apr 2006. According to media, a suicide bomber pretending to be pregnant made her way into the Sri Lankan Army head quarters on 25 April, then blew herself up in front of a car carrying the Sri Lankan army commander, killing eight people and wounding the officer and 26 others... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gov't says cease-fire still intact
Associated Press, Wed April 26, 2006 06:36 EDT . The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday that the 2002 Cease-Fire Agreement with the Tamil Tiger rebels is intact and urged the rebels to renounce violence and return to peace talks ''even at this stage... Back to the top

Sri Lankan peace on the ropes
http//, April 26. Yet another suicide attack in the Sri Lankan capital and the government has responded by unleashing air strikes on Tamil rebel positions in the east... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s President Vows to Fight Terrorism After Bomb Attack, Wed 26th Apr, 04:35GMT. Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse said his government will fight terrorism after a suicide bombing blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels wounded the army commander and prompted air and sea attacks on rebel-held areas... Back to the top

Stop negotiating with the LTTE: Swamy, April 26. Chennai, April 26 (PTI): The Janata party has condemned the assassination attempt on the Sri Lankan Army Chief by a suspected woman suicide bomber of the LTTE... Back to the top

Washington condemns attack on army headquarters in Sri Lanka
Yahoo News/ AFP, Wed 26th Apr, 04:55GMT. The United States condemned the attack against an army headquarters in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo and called the suicide blast a provocation by the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Secretary-General strongly condemns Sri Lanka suicide bombing, Wed 26th Apr, 04:35GMT. The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s atrocious suicide bombing at a military installation in Colombo that claimed the lives of several army personnel and civilians, and seriously wounded the Head of Sri Lanka’s army, Lt... Back to the top

Australia condemns Sri Lanka bombing, April 26. Australia has condemned the suicide bombing attack on the Sri Lankan army headquarters in Colombo... Back to the top

Sri Lanka cease-fire unravels as air force strikes rebel bases
International Herald Tribune, April 26, 2006, 07:28 EDT. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka's air force struck Tamil rebel bases Wednesday after navy craft came under attack, and a pro-rebel Web site reported at least 12 people killed as the country went to the brink of returning to civil war... Back to the top

"Don't try to scare me off" President Rajapakse tells LTTE
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, April 25, 2006, 10.37 p.m.. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse today sent out warning bells to the LTTE declaring that he would not bow down to any form of pressure... Back to the top

Sri Lanka drops bombs after Tamil rebel suicide attack injures army chief
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 25th, 2006, SLT 7:00 pm. Air force fighter jets dropped bombs on an area controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels in eastern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, hours after a suspected female suicide guerrilla pounced on the vehicle carrying the island's army chief, wounding him critically and killing at least 10 others... Back to the top

Army chief seriously injured in noon attack by suicide bomber
TamilWeek, April 26. Sri Lankan army commander Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka sustained serious injuries in a suicide bomber attack on Tuesday April 25th that killed at least eight persons and wounded another twenty - seven... Back to the top

EU condemns Sri Lanka suicide bombing
Associated Press, Tue April 25, 2006 14:05 EDT . VIENNA, Austria (AP) : The Austrian presidency of the European Union on Tuesday condemned a suicide bombing in Sri Lanka and expressed its condolences to the government and relatives of the victims... Back to the top

Taj Hotels plans makeover in Sri Lanka, April 25, 2006, 16:50 EDT. MUMBAI: Taj Hotels and Resorts is planning a makeover in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

India condemns suicide bombing attack in Lanka, April 25, 2006, 16:50 EDT. New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) India today strongly condemned the suicide bombing attack in Colombo which seriously injured the Sri Lankan Army Commander and killed five people... Back to the top

Human Rights Watch pulls up Lanka over Trincomalee ethnic violence, April 25, 2006, 16:50 EDT. New York, Apr 25 (UNI) The Human Rights Watch today said Sri Lankan government had failed to ''respond adequately'' to the recent attacks by armed groups on ethnic Tamils and their homes and businesses in eastern Trincomalee district... Back to the top

Co-Chairs call on LTTE to cease all suicide attacks and other forms of viol ence
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, April 25, 2006, 10.44 p.m.. The Co-Chairs condemn absolutely the attempted assassination this afternoon of Lt General Sarath Fonseka, head of the Sri Lankan army... Back to the top

India slams suicide bombing in Sri Lanka
com, April 25, 2006, 14:25 EDT. New Delhi: Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday spoke to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and conveyed India’s strong condemnation of the suicide bombing incident in Colombo... Back to the top

Bomb blast could jeopardize any possibility for future talks - Monitoring Mission
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, April 25, 2006, 8.51 p.m.. The Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) today declared that today's incident was likely to see very negative effects on the relationship between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and could also jeopardize any possibility for future talks... Back to the top

At least 8 killed 27 wounded in Tamil rebel suicide attack targeting Sri Lanka's army chief
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 25. 2006, 4:20 pm. At lest eight people were killed on Tuesday and 27 wounded, including Sri Lanka's army commander in a suspected Tamil Tiger rebels suicide bomb attack at the military headquarters in the capital Colombo... Back to the top

Army Commander out of surgery - Condition Stable - President holds meeting with Defence Authorities
Munza Mustaq, April 25. Brig. Tissa Jayawardena stated that the surgery of General Sarath Fonseka has been completed and his condition is stable... Back to the top

Suicide bomber attacks Sri Lanka's top military commander, 2 dead, general hurt
BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI, Associated Press, Tuesday, 25th Apr 09:57 GMT. A female suicide bomber, believed to be a Tamil Tiger rebel and pretending to be pregnant, exploded a bomb in front of a car that was taking Sri Lanka's top military general inside the army headquarters in Colombo on Tuesday, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka army chief seriously wounded in Tamil rebel suicide bombing
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 25. 2006, 2:15 pm. Sri Lanka's army commander was seriously injured on Tuesday in a suspected Tamil Tiger rebels suicide bomb attack in the capital Colombo, the military said... Back to the top

Bomb attack on S.Lanka army chief kills 8, April 25, 2006, 10:27 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber disguised as a pregnant woman blew herself up inside Sri Lanka's army headquarters on Tuesday, critically wounding the army commander and killing at least eight... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Army Chief Hurt as Bombing Threatens Peace Process, April 25, 2006, 08:20 EDT. April 25 (Bloomberg) -- The chief of Sri Lanka's Army was among the casualties when a woman blew herself up at the military's headquarters in an attack the government blames on Tamil Tiger separatists opposed to the nation's peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president vows to pursue peace despite Tiger attacks
Associated Press, Tue April 25, 2006 03:23 EDT . COLOMBO, April 25 (Kyodo) Despite provocation by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who are accused of killing 110 members of Sri Lanka - 's armed forces and police since he assumed office five months ago, President Mahinda Rajapakse expressed determination to bring the LTTE to the negotiating table, newspapers reported Tuesday... Back to the top

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