The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 27, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 112

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lankan air force bombs Tamil rebels' airstrip deep inside insurgents' territory
Associated Press, Thu July 27, 2006 03:45 EDT . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's air force bombed an air strip that Tamil Tiger rebels were building deep inside their territory Thursday, the military said, as tensions rose over an alleged rebel blockade of a key source of water for government-held villages in the northeast.

The events are the latest to risk the return of a full-scale war between the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the government that was halted by a 2002 cease-fire, which now appears in tatters.

The government said it had information that the insurgents had cleared forests and had already built an unpaved air strip.

``This morning, the security forces conducted a limited air operation against this air facility. The operation was conducted to prevent the construction of this unauthorized air facility, which poses a grave security threat not only to the sovereignty of Sri Lanka but to the entire region,'' a government statement said.

The rebels are outlawed in neighboring India, United States, Canada and in the 25-member European Union.

The pro-rebel Web-site TamilNet reported the air attack, but made no mention of the air strip being bombed.

``Sri Lanka air force Kfir bombers Thursday morning dropped bombs from high altitude near a civilian settlement, Keppapulavu,'' TamilNet said without giving further details.

Thursday's strikes on the runway followed a government air assault the previous day.

On Wednesday, the military launched air strikes on a rebel-controlled area in the northeastern Trincomalee district where insurgents were blocking the flow of water from a plant there. The Tamil Tigers justified their action by saying the government had reneged on a promise to build a water tower for areas under rebel control.

The government said the rebels' water blockade had affected 15,000 families living in government-controlled villages, many of whom are without water to irrigate rice crops. Local television showed some of the villagers calling on the government to take punitive action against the Tigers.

The rebels said Wednesday's air strikes wounded two civilians, and that they were a violation of the country's cease-fire.

``Our position is very simple. The LTTE has no right to stop water flow,'' chief government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told The Associated Press.

``This blockade by the LTTE is against all norms, and a sovereign state like Sri Lanka is not going to tolerate it,'' Rambukwella said Thursday. ``If need arises, we will take suitable military action to see that the people in the area suffer no more.''

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for over two decades for a separate state in the northeast, which they consider to be the historical and cultural homeland of the ethnic Tamils. They already control swaths of the region, but are intent on capturing all of what they refer to as ``Tamil Eelam,'' or Tamil homeland.

About 65,000 people were killed before the 2002 cease-fire halted full scale hostilities. In recent months, however, an escalation of violence has threatened a return to all-out war.

More than 750 people _ half of them civilians _ have been killed since December.

Separately, two roadside bombs went off in northern Jaffna Peninsula on Thursday, killing a newspaper vendor and wounding a soldier and a civilian, Samarasinghe said.

Another civilian was killed in Point Pedro, which serves as a small harbor in Jaffna Peninsula, said an official at the Defense Ministry's Media Unit in Colombo. The victim was shot in the head. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jul 27 04:39:49 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
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Sri Lankan air force bombs Tamil Tiger airstrip, rebel camp, 5 rebels killed  - Associated Press
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Sri Lankan air force bombs Tamil Tiger airstrip, rebel camp, 5 rebels killed  - Associated Press
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Sri Lanka air force bombs rebels over water spat  - reuters.co.uk
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Sri Lanka attacks rebel positions  - turkishweekly.net
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Sri Lankan air force bombs Tamil rebel areas for second day  - Associated Press
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Sri Lanka bombs rebel targets in east to clear way for water tank repairs, military says  - Associated Press
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Sri Lanka military bombs rebel targets in east  - Associated Press
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Sri Lanka bombs Tamil rebel targets in eastern Sri Lanka  - Associated Press

Tamil Tiger calls Sri Lankan airstrikes a 'blatant cease-fire violation'
Associated Press, Thu July 27, 2006 00:47 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tigers on Thursday condemned Sri Lankan air force bombings of a rebel area the day before as violation of the country's cease-fire and said the attacks wounded two civilians. ``This blockade by the LTTE is against all norms, and a sovereign state like Sri Lanka - is not going to tolerate it,'' Rambukwella said Thursday. ``If need arises, we will take suitable military action to see that the people in the area suffer no more.''

Surging violence between government troops and the rebels has threatened to destroy a four-year-old cease-fire and return the island to full-scale civil war.

More than 750 people half of them civilians have been killed since the violence escalated in December.

Tamil Tiger rebels began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for the country's minority Tamils, claiming they can only prosper away from the domination of majority Sinhalese.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the 2002 cease-fire.

Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jul 27 02:30:38 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lankans to stay in Lebanon
turkishweekly.net, 26 july. Sri Lanka is advising its citizens trapped in Lebanon by Israel's military assault to stay where they are.

Labour relations minister Athauda Senevirathne said most Sri Lankans in Lebanon wanted to remain, and urged relatives not to press them to leave.About 90,000 Sri Lankans are in Lebanon, the largest contingent of foreign workers. At least one has already died.

About 300 Indian nationals are due to be evacuated from Lebanon on Wednesday.

Millions of South Asians work abroad, mainly in the Gulf. Foreign remittances bring hundreds of millions of dollars into Sri Lanka's economy every year. More...

Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jul 26 03:53:20 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Cyprus says it cannot keep welcoming evacuees from Lebanon without Europe's help  - Associated Press

Indian Oil s Sri Lankan Unit to Get Guarantee Against Losses
bloomberg.com, July 28. July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Indian Oil Corp.'s Sri Lankan unit said it may get a government guarantee this month against losses from keeping fuel prices below production costs, ending shortages at one-third of the island's gas stations. Lanka IOC Ltd... Back to the top

Century stand from Sangakkara, Jayawardene gives Sri Lanka lead in first test
Associated Press, Thu July 27, 2006 09:04 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene cracked half centuries and shared an unbeaten 114-run stand for the third wicket Thursday to place Sri Lanka - in the lead at stumps on the first day of the first cricket test against South Africa... Back to the top

Roadside bombs kill 1 civilian, wound 2 in northern Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Thu July 27, 2006 01:03 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two roadside bombs went off in northern Sri Lanka - on Thursday, killing a newspaper vendor and wounding a soldier and a civilian, the military said... Back to the top

Collateral damage: Sri Lanka caught in Israel-Lebanon war
khaleejtimes.com, 26 July 2006. THEIR jobs bombarded and their future shattered, the first batch of some 260 Sri Lankans the largest expatriate community in Lebanon after the Palestinian refugees arrived in Colombo early Saturday on a special SriLankan Airlines flight from Damascus... Back to the top

LTTE will soon give up, says KPS Gill
hindustantimes.com, July 26, 2006. Extolling the Sri Lankan government for its efforts to control the present crisis in the island nation, India's super cop and counter-terror expert, KPS Gill, says that the LTTE will soon give up its fight... Back to the top

International efforts to revive Sri Lanka-rebel talks underway
people.com.cn, July 26, 2006. A flurry of international activity was underway in order to revive Sri Lanka's stalled peace bid with the Tamil Tiger rebels, a government minister said here Wednesday... Back to the top

UN discusses Sri Lanka refugees
bbc.co.uk, Wednesday, 26 July 2006. The UN high commissioner for refugees is in north-east Sri Lanka to assess the needs of the growing number of internally displaced people... Back to the top

Sri Lanka decision on bank accounts stirs a row
hindu.com, Wednesday, Jul 26, 2006. The Sri Lankan Government's decision to deem all bank accounts lying dormant or inactive for over 10 years as `abandoned property' has stirred a controversy... Back to the top

Sri Lanka head into first Test without Vaas
cricinfo.com, July 26, 2006. Sri Lanka will have to make do without their most experienced fast bowler, Chaminda Vaas, who misses tomorrow's first Test against South Africa at Colombo with a hamstring injury... Back to the top

Denial of Water to Civilians by the LTTE- Blatant Contravention of International Law
SCOPP, 26 July 2006. The Government of Sri Lanka, at the highest levels, has repeatedly called upon the LTTE, through the Norwegian facilitators and the SLMM, to restore the water supply to over 1,500 people in the Trincomalee District who have been deprived of water since the LTTE forcibly closed the Mawilaru Anicut on Thursday 20 July 2006... Back to the top

Norwegian envoy to visit Sri Lanka in attempt to revive peace monitoring
Associated Press, Wed July 26, 2006 06:34 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Norwegian envoy will visit Sri Lanka - next week in an attempt to resuscitate peace monitoring efforts after Tamil Tiger rebels demanded the withdrawal of European Union members, an official said Wednesday... Back to the top

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