The Lanka Academic

JUNE 16, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 71


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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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
Sri Lanka says sinks 5 Tiger boats in new violence
Reuters, June 17. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military said it had sunk five Tamil Tiger rebel attack boats after an attack on a northwest police post on Saturday, while two suspected rebel frogmen were arrested and attempted suicide after landing near the capital.

Sri Lankan government jets hit targets near the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) stronghold overnight in retaliation for an attack on a civilian bus earlier this week that killed 64, the worst incident since a 2002 truce halted two decades of war.

"Five LTTE boats were destroyed," the military spokesman said. "The situation is under control. There was army artillery fire and the navy did the work." More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jun 16 23:24:27 EDT 2006

Sri Lanka says Tigers attack northwest police post
Reuters, June 17. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a police post in the northwest Mannar district by land and sea on Saturday, a defence spokesman said on Saturday, while there were reports of an explosion north of the capital. More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jun 16 23:23:07 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankans Bury Victims of Bus Attack
Associated Press, June 16. KRISHAN FRANCIS and MATTHEW ROSENBERG Associated Press Writer KABITHIGOLLEWA, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Fifty-six men, women and children killed in a suspected rebel attack were buried Friday in mass graves _ each wrapped in a white sari or sarong, red paper flowers in their open palms.

Some 60 miles to the northeast, air force jets and army artillery pounded Tamil Tiger rebels for a second day. The fighting leaves Sri Lanka's future as uncertain as it's been in the four years since a cease-fire ended the grinding battles that marked two decades of civil war in this island nation.

The bombardment was provoked by a bus bombing Thursday that killed 56 people _ the worst single act of violence since the 2002 cease-fire.

Thousands of mourners paid their respects as the bodies _ including those of 15 children and a monk _ were interred in three mass graves at the funeral paid for by the government.

Children carrying garlands of flowers led the procession that carried the bodies to the public cemetery in Kabithigollewa, a town about 180 miles northeast of the capital, Colombo. Policemen and soldiers armed with assault rifles stood guard along the route.

Distraught relatives and friends cried and comforted each other as they looked at their loved ones' bodies for the last time, before lowering the coffins side-by-side into the long pits and each throwing in a handful of soil.

Police fired a gun salute for the victims before bulldozers trundled in to fill the pits. Buddhist monks and Roman Catholic priests led prayers, and white and black flags fluttered in surrounding towns to signify mourning.

The government blamed the Tigers for the bus attack. The rebels countered by insisting the air and artillery strikes near a key rebel stronghold showed the Sri Lankan military was on a war footing.

Friday's bombardment was the latest in a bloody back-and-forth that has many here readily acknowledging the truce is in tatters _ even if the government and rebels insist they are committed to the peace process.

Air force jets dropped bombs and the army lobbed artillery shells around the town of Kilinochchi and at Tiger bases near the eastern ports of Batticaloa and Trincomalee, said Thorfinnur Omarsson, spokesman for the Nordic mission that monitors the truce.

``We don't know if this is just a limited response or if it might be a move to inflict real damage'' on the rebels, Omarsson told The Associated Press.

Tiger leader Seevaratnam Puleedevan said Friday morning that at least eight bombs already had been dropped near Kilinochchi. He could not provide casualty figures.

``I think the Sri Lankan government, by launching the air raids, is showing that they are ready for war,'' he said, adding the insurgents would ``take appropriate action'' in response.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebels' formal name, began fighting in the 1970s for a separate homeland in the north and the east, where most of the country's 3.2 million Hindu Tamils live, because of discrimination at the hands of the 14 million Sinhalese, who are largely Buddhist.

The struggle intensified after anti-Tamil riots in 1983, and more than 65,000 people were killed before the cease-fire.

But peace talks to build on the truce quickly faltered, and sporadic shootings and bombings in and around Tiger strongholds have grown into near-daily violence.

A year ago, Sri Lankans were calling the conflict a ``shadow war.'' Nowadays, many are simply calling it war, even if the country has not returned to the major battles of years past.

``If it is dangerous for me to go on the bus to visit my family in Jaffna'' _ a northern, largely Tamil city controlled by the government _ ``then maybe we are at war,'' said F. Prasanna, a 32-year-old shopper in Colombo.

The peace monitors say violations by both sides have spiked in recent months, and nearly 700 people, more than half of them civilians, have died since December, when the Tigers killed 12 sailors in the first major attack since the truce.

``The cease-fire exists only in name because the two sides say there is a cease-fire,'' said Jehan Perera of the independent National Peace Council.

``I would call this an undeclared war _ but it is also not a full-scale war,'' he said. ``There is no attempt to change the boundaries, to move the lines of control.''

During the declared war, the Tigers carved out large swaths of territory in the north and east, effectively creating an independent state complete with courts, medical clinics and even police speed traps. They finance their state with taxes collected from residents and donations from the Tamil diaspora in Western Europe and North America. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jun 16 14:38:58 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka air force attacks Tamil rebels for second day; bomb victims mourned  - Associated Press
56 victims of Sri Lankan bus bomb attack buried in mass graves  - Associated Press

Lanka air force continues strikes on Tamil rebels, June 16, 2006 - 22:35 EDT. COLOMBO, June 16:Sri Lankan fighter jets and artillery pounded Tamil Tiger rebels in the country’s north and east for the second day on Friday, peace monitors said, even as President Mahinda Rajapakse vowed to press on with peace efforts following a bus bombing that killed 64 people yesterday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Military Attacks Rebels in Response to Fatal Bus Blast
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, June 16th, 2006. By SHIMALI SENANAYAKE and SOMINI SENGUPTA COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, June 15 NYT =97 The Sri Lankan military pounded rebel posts in the northern and eastern parts of the country by land, sea and air on Thursday, independent monitors and guerrilla officials said, after a land mine explosion ripped through a crowded passenger bus on Thursday morning in northern Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Norway warns of full civil war in Sri Lanka, June 16, 2006 - 22:20 EDT. Sri Lanka's ceasefire broker Norway warned Friday that the spiral of worsening violence is bringing the Indian Ocean island towards full civil war... Back to the top

Send MPs delegation to Sri Lanka : Vaiko, June 16, 2006 - 22:30 EDT. MADURAI: The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko has appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to direct the armed forces along the coastline of Tamil Nadu to help Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stranded at sea to reach the shores... Back to the top

Sri Lanka launches second day of strikes on Tigers
Reuters, June 16. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, June 16 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's air force dropped bombs near the Tamil Tiger rebel headquarters in Kilinochchi on Friday, opening a second day of strikes in retaliation for an attack on a civilian bus that killed 64... Back to the top

Karuna blames Tigers for bus blast
BBC, June 16. Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan also known as Karuna Amman has denied that they are not a paramilitary organisation... Back to the top

EU condemns Sri Lanka bus bombing
Associated Press, Fri June 16, 2006 17:22 EDT . - - VIENNA, Austria (AP) The European Union on Friday condemned the bombing of a bus in Sri Lanka - that killed 64 people, including women and children, calling it an ``abhorrent act of violence... Back to the top

Sri Lanka president remains committed to negotiated peace+
Associated Press, Fri June 16, 2006 02:53 EDT . COLOMBO, June 16 (Kyodo) Sri Lanka - President Mahinda Rajapakse has reiterated his commitment to a negotiated peace with ethnic Tamil rebels in the immediate aftermath of a claymore mine attack on a civilian bus Thursday that claimed 64 lives and left dozens injured... Back to the top

Explosion on Bus in Sri Lanka kills at least 63
Shimali Senanayake for NYT, June 15th, 2006,. NYT June 15 - A landmine ripped through a passenger bus Thursday morning in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least 63 people and wounding 71 others, in the most serious attack on civilians since the government and its ethnic rebel foes signed a ceasefire agreement four years ago... Back to the top

Sri Lankan FM wants rebel leader tried for war crimes: report, 15 June 2006 23:46:06. OSLO, June 15, 2006 (AFP) - Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday said Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran should be tried for war crimes, Norwegian news agency NTB reported... Back to the top

Bus attack: Only US names LTTE, June 16, 2006 - 06:30 EDT. In its reactions to the massacre of 64 people, including many children, at Kebetigollawa in north central Sri Lanka on Thursday, the international community, has generally refrained from pointing an accusing finger at the LTTE... Back to the top

Civilians main victim of Sri Lanka carnage
Dawn, June 16, 2006 - 06:30 EDT. The crowded bus was ferrying mothers and children to a free medical clinic in central Sri Lanka, but many ended up in a make-shift morgue after a landmine blast by Tamil rebels... Back to the top

Bombs fall near Sri Lanka rebel HQ: witness, June 15, 2006 - 14:30 EDT. KILINOCHCHI (Reuters) - Aircraft dropped bombs near the Tamil Tiger rebel headquarters of Kilinochchi on Thursday night, a Reuters witness said, in a new series of retaliatory strikes after a suspected rebel attack on a bus... Back to the top

Bombing Pushes Sri Lanka Closer to War
Associated Press, Thu June 15, 2006 13:57 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - KABITHIGOLLEWA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil separatists attacked a crowded bus Thursday, triggering a pair of hidden bombs that killed at least 64 people the worst violence since a 2002 cease-fire began unraveling in recent months... Back to the top

India prepares for possible Sri Lanka war
UPI, June 15. NEW DELHI, June 15 (UPI) -- Ruling out the possibility of a military intervention, India has said it is studying a number of scenarios as Sri Lanka inches closer to war... Back to the top

Claymore mines: Ingenious and deadly
BBC, June 15. Claymore mines - like the one thought to have been used to blow up a bus in Sri Lanka - are deadly explosive devices widely used around the world... Back to the top

Sri Lankan bus bombing leads to retaliatory airstrikes as island skids toward war
Associated Press, Thu June 15, 2006 11:48 EDT . ERANGA JAYAWARDENA - Associated Press Writer - KABITHIGOLLEWA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tiger rebels attacked a crowded bus Thursday in northern Sri Lanka - , triggering a pair of hidden explosives that killed at least 64 people in the worst violence since a 2002 cease-fire, officials said... Back to the top

Timeline of the recent upsurge in violence in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu June 15, 2006 14:04 EDT . The Associated Press Major developments in Sri Lanka - 's conflict... Back to the top

Sri Lankan air force bombs rebel-held areas after explosion kills 62
Associated Press, Thu June 15, 2006 04:06 EDT . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A powerful land mine ripped through a packed bus in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, killing at least 64 people in the worst act of violence since a 2002 cease-fire, the army said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bus blast kills dozens
BBC, June 15. At least 61 people have been killed after a civilian bus was struck by a mine in northern Sri Lanka, police say... Back to the top

Panicky Tamils scan skies for air raids in Sri Lanka, 15 june. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Listening to a radio broadcast of the deadliest suspected Tamil rebel attack on Sri Lankan civilians since a 2002 ceasefire, visibly-shaken housewife Pathmavathy Kandasamy scoured the skies in panic... Back to the top

Ranil asks Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to bring peace to Sri Lanka
IANS/Telugu Portal, June 15. Bangalore, June 15 (IANS) Former Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Thursday flew in here and urged spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to help bring peace to his island nation... Back to the top

Colombo sees Norway plea to LTTE as ‘undiplomatic’, 13 June, 2006. COLOMBO: The government has expressed surprise and regret over the Norwegian communication that urged the LTTE to guarantee diplomatic immunity to the truce monitors when it could only be done by a legitimate government of a sovereign state... Back to the top

Pro-LTTE website attacks Karunanidhi, 15 jun. NEW DELHI: A website that supports Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas has come out with a stinging attack on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi over his government's alleged support to the breakaway faction of Karuna... Back to the top

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