The Lanka Academic

JULY 8, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 93


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Suspected Tamil rebels fire on political opponent; 3 soldiers injured in attacks
Associated Press, Sat July 8, 2006 12:35 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and wounded a political opponent and a passer-by and three soldiers were wounded in separate attacks in Sri Lanka - 's troubled north on Saturday, the army said. China has in the past been a major weapons supplier to Sri Lanka - and the Island newspaper said that Colombo was looking to beef up its navy arsenal to combat the Tiger's explosive-laden boats.

The Foreign Ministry dismissed the report and said Samaraweera's Beijing meetings would not focus on defense matters.

Suspected Tigers shot a member of a political party that opposes the rebels while he was walking near a hospital in Jaffna, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo, the army said in a statement on its Web site.

Raja Premkumar was hospitalized with bullet wounds on one hand, the statement said.

A passer-by also was wounded in the attack, the army said.

Premkumar is a member of the People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam, or PLOTE, a former separatist militant group, the statement said.

The PLOTE fought alongside the Tamil Tigers to try to carve out a separate homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils until 1987, when the PLOTE gave up militancy and entered mainstream politics.

The Tigers have since targeted the group, accusing it of collaborating with the military in operations against Tiger fighters.

Later Saturday two soldiers were wounded when suspected rebels hurled a grenade at an army point and another soldier was seriously injured when he stepped on a mine in northern Jaffna, the military said.

Police are recruiting and training 2,500 men to protect people living in majority Sinhalese villages in the northeast, which have been targeted by Tamil rebels, government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Saturday.

In April, suspected rebels stormed a Sinhalese village and killed six rice farmers. In another Sinhalese village last month, suspected rebels targeting a bus detonated a mine, killing 64 civilians.

More than 700 people have been killed since December in escalating violence after a nearly four-year cease-fire brought relative calm. Both the government and the rebels deny responsibility for the violence and blame each other for cease-fire violations.

The Tigers began fighting a separatist war in 1983, and more than 65,000 people on both sides were killed before a 2002 Norway-brokered truce.

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Published: Sat Jul 8 14:00:18 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
Suspected Tamil rebels wound political opponent in northern Sri Lanka , army says  - Associated Press
LTTE cadres open fire at Jaffna hospital entrance  - Munza Mushtaq in Colombo

Report: Sri Lanka 's foreign minister to visit China to discuss arms purchase
Associated Press, Sat July 8, 2006 02:44 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's foreign minister will visit China next week to discuss a possible weapons purchase as the country slides toward a full-scale war with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, a news report said Saturday. China has in the past been a major weapons supplier to Sri Lanka - .

The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

The Island newspaper had earlier reported that Sri Lanka - was considering purchasing Chinese-made 30 mm guns to help its navy quell attacks by the Tamil Tigers' explosives-laden boats.

The rebels, who want to carve out a separate homeland for Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million ethnic Tamils, often attack Sri Lankan navy positions, saying they will not tolerate intrusion into what they call their territorial waters.

The rebels control one-seventh of Sri Lanka - 's land mass in the northeast and say they have the right to use the adjoining sea.

The Tigers would be no match for the Sri Lankan army's firepower in a conventional war, Retired Air Marshal Harry Goonetilleke told The Associated Press. The army is 150,000 to 200,000 strong, while there are only around 10,000 Tamil Tiger fighters, he said.

But the Tigers excel in guerrilla warfare and have the advantage of using suicide bombers, he said.

``You can hardly do anything against suicide bombers,'' Goonetilleke said.

He said the rebels could be getting arms from Cambodia, Thailand and former Soviet republics like Ukraine. The Tigers receive large sums of money, mainly from Tamils living abroad, to make the arms purchases, he said.

Tamil rebels have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for ethnic minority Tamils.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the Norway-brokered cease-fire in 2002 that halted the fighting. But subsequent peace talks broke down, and escalating violence has killed more than 700 people since April, threatening a return to full-scale war. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jul 8 03:25:55 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Rebels war with Sri Lankan forces no longer in the shadows
com, July 08, 2006 - 08:50 EDT. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka -- Gunfire echoes nearly every night across the lagoon that rings this fishing town. Bodies turn up nearly every day in the jungles beyond, some riddled with bullets, others bound and gagged with a single shot to the head. A year ago they called it a "shadow war." Not anymore. "Our war is again coming out in the open," said Tevanayagam, a 44-year-old fisherman, who like many here uses only one name. Four years after a cease-fire raised hopes for peace between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka is teetering on the brink. The brink of what remains the question. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jul 8 08:51:23 EDT 2006 Back to the top

INTERVIEW-S.Lanka monitors say not peacekeepers, still useful, 07 Jul 2006 12:29:30 GMT. By Peter Apps COLOMBO, July 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's unarmed ceasefire monitors are no peacekeeping force, their head said on Friday, but they are helping reduce violence in the island nation and an attempt by Tamil rebels to cut them back could be harmful... Back to the top

Sri Lanka takes security measures to protect civilians in some ..., 17:00, July 08, 2006. A special security program has been launched to ensure the safety of civilians living in some areas in the north central province bordering the Tamil Tiger region, defense officials said on Saturday... Back to the top

Fresh bid to resolve Lanka crisis collapses, July 08, 2006 - 09:00 EDT. COLOMBO: A fresh attempt to hammer out a bipartisan approach to Sri Lanka’s drawn out Tamil separatist conflict ended abruptly with the defection of an opposition legislator, officials said yesterday... Back to the top

India should pressure LTTE to give up arms
com, July 08, 2006 - 08:55. “The Sinhalese can probably be brought round to accepting the special status for the Tamil areas”... Back to the top

Rift between UNP, Rajapakse widens
Hindu, July 8. COLOMBO: The rift between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and the main Opposition party United National Party (UNP) is widening... Back to the top

Sri Lanka permits India, China to explore oil off Mannar, July 08, 2006 - 09:05 EDT. Sri Lanka has decided to permit India and China to explore oil along the northwestern sea belt with the first phase of exploration scheduled to begin in the Gulf of Mannar in August 2007... Back to the top

Immigrant told to raise English son in Sri Lanka
Telegraph, july 8. A Sri Lankan who entered Britain illegally at the age of 15 has been told that he is likely to be deported and will have to take his English wife and baby son with him - or otherwise run the risk of not being allowed back to see them... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Tokyo Cement s net profits surge 89%, July 08, 2006 - 09:00 EDT. July 5, 2006 (LBO) – Tokyo Cement Ltd., the island’s biggest cement maker, said Wednesday that its group net profits had jumped 89 percent for the 12 months to March, boosted by sustained demand in the construction industry. The 22-year old company which operates a cement making plant in Cod Bay, Trincomalee, has benefited a lot from post-tsunami rebuilding and a surge in condominiums coming up in and around Colombo... Back to the top

UNESCO chief deplores murder of Iraqi, Sri Lankan journalists, 7 July 2006. 7 July 2006 – Once again defending freedom of the press as a vital ingredient in democracy, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of journalists in two of the world’s crisis flashpoints – Iraq and Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Lanka to let India, China explore oil along its coast, July 08, 2006 - 08:50 EDT. Colombo, July 08: The Sri Lankan government has decided to allow India and China to explore for oil along its coast, a news report said on Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka tax to hit all foreign films, including Bollywood, July 7. Colombo, July 7. (PTI): Sri Lanka has introduced a new entertainment tax that will hit all foreign films, commericals and serials, including those produced in India, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka eyes national database on citizens to ensure 'security'
Associated Press, Fri July 7, 2006 02:50 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - plans to register citizens living in government-held areas in an electronic database for security reasons amid surging violence that has threatened a return to all-out civil war, a police official said Friday... Back to the top

Political defection hits Lanka bipartisan move, July 07, 2006 - 22:35 EDT. Colombo, July 8 (PTI): A bipartisan move to try and end Sri Lanka's ethnic bloodshed has hit the wall with the defection of an opposition legislator... Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition says bipartisan peace bid fails, 7 july. COLOMBO (XFN-ASIA) - A fresh attempt to reach agreement on a bipartisan approach to the island's separatist conflict ended abruptly with the defection of an opposition legislator, a spokesman for the opposition United National Party (UNP) said... Back to the top

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