The Lanka Academic

APRIL 30, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 24


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Mainstream Tamil rebels overrun breakaway group's camps, killing 15
Associated Press, Sun April 30, 2006 03:00 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Mainstream Tamil Tiger rebels overran three camps of a breakaway faction early Sunday, killing 15 cadres of the rival group, a rebel official and a pro-rebel Web site reported.

The attack happened in the village of Welikanda in the eastern district of Batticaloa, and will likely add further strain to Sri Lanka - 's precarious cease-fire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which accuses the military of backing the renegade group. The military denies the charge.

Pakyaraja Daya Mohan, the LTTE's political head of the Batticaloa office, told The Associated Press that their cadres killed at least 15 members of the rival faction and destroyed three of their camps.

TamilNet Web site, which initially reported 20 fatalities, later lowered its figure to 15.

The Tamil rebel group split in 2004 when a powerful leader from the east, known as Karuna, broke away from the northern group with about 6,000 fighters.

The uprising was ruthlessly suppressed later by the main rebel group, but sympathy for the breakaway leader remains strong among some Tamils in the east.

Dr. Kithsiri Wijetunga of the area's main hospital said nine injured cadres of the Karuna faction were brought to the hospital and five were undergoing surgery.

An official of the breakaway group, speaking on condition of anonymity fearing reprisals from the mainstream rebels, said some of his group's fighters suffered injuries, but there were no fatalities. Talking by phone from Batticaloa, he claimed the breakaway rebels killed eight cadres from the mainstream group.

Batticaloa's senior police officer Maxi Procter confirmed that there had been fighting between the two groups, but declined to give further details.

Relations between the government and the LTTE have sharply deteriorated after a rebel suicide bomber attacked the country's top military general in Colombo on Tuesday. The general survived, but the blast killed 11 people.

The government ordered retaliatory air strikes that killed 12 people and displaced thousands more in the northeast.

The recent violence between the Tigers and the government has raised fears of an imminent return to civil war in this South Asian nation where a two-decade civil war was halted by a 2002 cease-fire. Associated Press writers Krishan Francis and Bharatha Mallawarachi contributed to this report. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Apr 30 03:52:23 EDT 2006

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S.Lanka army says Tigers, breakaway group clash  -

Sri Lankan government hits back at accusations that airstrikes violated truce
Associated Press, Sat April 29, 2006 23:37 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government has dismissed as ``outrageous'' accusations by European peace monitors that it violated a cease-fire by launching deadly airstrikes in Tamil Tiger rebel territory, state-run media reported Sunday, amid fears of an imminent return to civil war in this South Asian nation.

The Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission said Saturday that the air strikes were in clear violation of a four-year-old truce and raised the possibility that security forces may have been involved in extra-judicial killings in Tamil-majority areas.

``We ... fear that government security forces have, in the north and the east, been involved in extra-judicial killings of civilians. This conviction is based on our observation and inquiries on the ground,'' it said, without elaborating.

The government sharply denied the charges.

``We categorically deny ... it is an outrageous allegation,'' government spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella was quoted as saying in the state-run Sunday Observer.

The monitoring mission also criticized the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels for continuing to attack government forces with anti-personnel mines, and said they were putting civilians at risk by placing political and military targets near the general population.

The rebels' Web site had no comment early Sunday.

Late Saturday, a suspected rebel gunman shot and killed a policeman at a railway station in Vavuniya, military spokesman, Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said Sunday. Vavuniya is a government-held northern town near Tiger-held territory.

The government launched two days of airstrikes on rebel positions after a suicide attack in Colombo last Tuesday that seriously wounded the country's top army commander and killed at least 11 others. The airstrikes killed 12 people and displaced thousands more.

The rebels have said the 12 killed in the airstrikes were all civilians.

The government earlier said it would launch no more airstrikes if the guerillas also stopped their attacks.

The LTTE has been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the island's ethnic minority Tamils. More than 65,000 people were killed in the war before Norway brokered a cease-fire in 2002.

The comments by the cease-fire monitors came as the government said it was prepared to travel to Switzerland any time to resume peace talks with the rebels.

The government and the rebels were scheduled to meet in Geneva on April 24-25, but the rebels refused to attend, blaming disputes with the government and attacks against Tamil civilians.

Norwegian peace brokers said in Oslo on Friday that the rebels and government have agreed to meet, but that no date had been set. The two sides held an initial round of peace talks in February. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Apr 30 00:31:46 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan government denies extra-judicial killing allegations; calls claims 'outrageous'  - Associated Press
Monitors Say Sri Lanka Breaks Truce  - Associated Press

Lanka sends senior minister to seek India s support, Sunday, April 30, 2006. With the Sri Lanka peace process under threat due to escalation of violence, the island nation is sending a senior minister here this week to seek India's 'political' support for revival of the dialogue process between the government and LTTE.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will undertake a two-day visit here from May 8, official sources said here on Sunday. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior officials of the government.

Samaraweera is likely to ask India to step up its 'political support' to the peace process which has been threatened due to spiralling violence by LTTE and the military.

The Lankan government and LTTE were to hold Norwegian-brokered peace talks in Geneva on April 24. However, the Tamil group backed out a few days before the parleys.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner C R Jayasinghe said on Friday that his country it looked forward to India's "continued support in the political domain, in the arena of diplomacy, to the peace process" and to ensure attainment of a "negotiated peaceful political solution within the undivided Sri Lanka." More...
Published: Sun Apr 30 11:58:54 EDT 2006 Back to the top

ICC announces next three Cricket World Cup, first Twenty20 venues
Associated Press, Sun April 30, 2006 11:03 EDT . - - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka - and Bangladesh will co-host the 2011 tournament, Australia and New Zealand have the 2015 edition, and England 2019... Back to the top

India, Pak, Lanka, Bangla to be joint hosts for World Cup 2011, APRIL 30. In the end, it was a 10-wicket win for Asia. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were today declared co-hosts of the 2011 cricket World Cup with 10 of the 13 members of the ICC executive board voting in favour... Back to the top

Tamil rebels shell army positions, overrun breakaway group's camps
Associated Press, Sun April 30, 2006 11:03 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels shelled army positions and launched a deadly raid on a breakaway faction they say is backed by the Sri Lankan government, while a Tamil civilian was shot dead, officials said Sunday, heightening fears of a return to civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka calls off May Day rallies fearing suicide bombings, Sunday, April 30, 2006 : 1640 Hrs. Colombo, April. 30 (PTI): Sri Lanka today called off the main May Day rallies tomorrow amid fears that Tamil Tigers could carry out suicide bombings against large crowds. A government spokesman said that all political parties which met with President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday agreed to cancel their main public rallies marking May Day, a key celebration that allows political parties in the island nation to display their strength... Back to the top

EU divided, may not ban LTTE
NewKerala, April 28. By M.R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi: The European Union is sharply divided over outlawing Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas, and indications are a ban is not immediately in the offing despite this week's suicide bomb attack blamed on the insurgents... Back to the top

Sri Lanka facing dangerous propaganda war: president
AFP/ Yahoo, Sat 29th Apr 9:10GMT. Sri Lanka is facing a propaganda war more dangerous than the recent violence in the country, the president said, as newspapers accused foreign journalists of biased coverage... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government says it is ready to resume peace talks, two rebels die in mine attack
Associated Press, Sat April 29, 2006 07:34 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) European peace monitors said Saturday the Sri Lankan government had violated a cease-fire agreement when it launched deadly airstrikes on Tamil Tiger rebel territory, as the administration said it was prepared to resume peace talks in Switzerland... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tigers, army exchange fire, Sat 29th Apr 12:50GMT. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers and the military exchanged fire across front lines on Saturday, overshadowing efforts to return to long-delayed peace talks amid fears the country could slip into a renewed civil war... Back to the top

European monitors say they fear extra-judicial killings by Sri Lankan forces
Associated Press, Sat April 29, 2006 12:25 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) European peace monitors said Saturday the Sri Lankan government had violated a cease-fire agreement by launching deadly airstrikes against Tamil Tiger rebel territory, and that security forces may also have conducted extra-judicial killings in the country's Tamil-majority north and east... Back to the top

For Lanka, India matters, April 29, 2006, 19:40 EDT. Two decades of bloodshed, truce violations, mass displacements and peace parleys going on and off the platter has left little hope for Sri Lanka -- a nation battling for peace... Back to the top

Lankan Govt says it is ready to resume peace talks, Sat 29th Apr 12:50GMT. The Sri Lankan government said today it was prepared to travel to Switzerland any time to resume peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels, amid fears that the country may be slipping back toward a civil war... Back to the top

Masked gunmen bring death to a Sri Lankan village, 27 April 2006 16:02:52. SERUVILA, Sri Lanka, Apr. 27 (AFP) - The two men who came to kill her and her family wore masks and spoke Sinhalese, a wounded Josep Devi, wincing in pain, said from her hospital bed in this northeastern Sri Lankan town Thursday. "I managed to save my baby by rolling on her as I fell when a bullet hit me," Devi, a Tamil speaker, told AFP through an interpreter... Back to the top

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