The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 28, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 113

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

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
Tamil rebels, Sri Lankan troops exchange mortar fire after airstrikes kill six insurgents
Associated Press, Fri July 28, 2006 01:41 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lanka - 's military exchanged mortar fire Friday, a day after the air force bombed rebel-held areas, killing six insurgents and wounding five others, as the country teetered toward full-scale war.

In the latest violence to menace the island nation, the Tigers fired mortar rounds on government positions early Friday, the Defense Ministry's media unit said. The volley came from an area where tensions are high over a rebel blockade of a key source of water for 15,000 people in government-held villages in the northeast.

The army retaliated with its own mortar fire, but no other details were immediately available, said an official who cannot be named because of military regulations.

The pro-rebel Web site TamilNet said six rebels were killed and five others wounded when airstrikes Thursday hit a camp in Kathiraveli 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Trincomalee town close to the water facility.

Three civilians also were hurt in the attack, it quoted rebel official S. Elilan as saying. The report gave no further details.

In a separate air raid on the rebels' unfinished runway, the government said it had acted on information that the insurgents had cleared forests and had already built an unpaved air strip.

On Wednesday, the military launched airstrikes on the rebel-controlled area the scene of the water dispute saying 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.

Meanwhile, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said a foot patrol discovered a 10 kilogram (22 pound) bomb in Trincomalee district late Thursday. Roadside bombs, which can be detonated by remote control, have been the favored weapon of the rebels.

The rebels started their Tamil homeland campaign in 1983, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination. In 2002 a cease-fire halted the conflict, but subsequent peace talks broke down on rebel demands for sweeping autonomy.

In recent months, however, an escalation of violence has threatened a return to all-out war with more than 750 people half of them civilians killed since December. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 28 02:49:56 EDT 2006


Finland, Denmark withdraw from Sri Lanka cease-fire monitoring team amid rising violence
Associated Press, Fri July 28, 2006 12:34 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Finland and Denmark, two of the five countries in the European monitoring mission overseeing the shaky cease-fire between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels, have decided to withdraw because of inadequate security, a spokesman said Friday.

Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission acting spokesman Robert Nilsson said the two countries notified the group that their monitors will withdraw on Sept. 1.

``The foreign ministries back home feel that they don't get proper security guarantees for their monitors, that why they are withdrawing,'' he said.

``This is quite worrying, we will end up with a much smaller SLMM. In the end it's the Sri Lankan people that will be affected by it,'' Nilsson said.

Finland has deployed 12 monitors and Denmark eight, he said.

The 57 members of the mission come from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.

Norway formed the monitoring team after brokering the 2002 truce, which stopped the civil war between the rebels and the government.

The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have opposed the inclusion of European Union members in the team since the EU designated the rebels a terrorist group in May.

At a June 8 meeting, the rebels said they would give the mission one month to withdraw EU members, but later extended the deadline until Sept. 1.

Of the five countries in the monitoring mission, only Norway and Iceland are not EU members.

On July 21, Swedish diplomat Anders Oljelund met with top Tamil Tiger officials but failed to persuade the guerrilla leadership to drop the demand.

The LTTE demand comes amid a surge in violence between the insurgents and the government, threatening the four-year cease-fire and raising the threat of all-out civil war.

The rebels are already banned in the United States, Canada, Britain and in neighboring India.

The LTTE has been fighting for a separate homeland for the minority Tamils since 1983. The conflict left more than 65,000 people dead before the 2002 cease-fire.
Published: Fri Jul 28 13:22:03 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Finland to withdraw from Sri Lanka 's cease-fire monitoring team amid increasing violence  - Associated Press

Death toll from airstrikes rises to six in Sri Lanka ; powerful roadside bomb found
Associated Press, Fri July 28, 2006 00:02 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's air force bombed rebel-held areas, including an unfinished runway and a rebel camp, killing six insurgents and wounding five others, a pro-rebel Web site reported Friday, in the latest violence to menace the island nation.

Tensions also were high over an alleged rebel blockade of a key source of water for 15,000 people in government-held villages in the northeast.

The pro-rebel Web site TamilNet said six rebels were killed and five others wounded when airstrikes Thursday hit a camp in Kathiraveli 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Trincomalee town close to the water facility.

Three civilians also were hurt in the attack, it quoted rebel official S. Elilan as saying. The report gave no further details.

In a separate air raid on the rebels' unfinished runway, the government said it had acted on information that the insurgents had cleared forests and had already built an unpaved air strip.

On Wednesday, the military launched airstrikes on a rebel-controlled area in the northeastern Trincomalee district, alleging 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.

Meanwhile, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said a foot patrol discovered a 10 kilogram (22 pound) bomb in Trincomalee district late Thursday. Roadside bombs, which can be detonated by remote control, have been the favored weapon of the rebels.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for more than 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 the Tamil homeland.

About 65,000 people were killed before a Norway-brokered 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. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 28 00:31:33 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka air raids kill six rebels  - ninemsn.com.au

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... Back to the top

Sri Lanka truce hangs by thread
theaustralian.news.com.au, July 28, 2006. SRI Lanka's ceasefire hung by a thread Friday as Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces traded artillery fire and Finland announced its truce observers would quit before September 1... Back to the top

Record-breaking partnership from Jayawardene, Sangakkara as Sri Lanka seizes control of first test
Associated Press, Fri July 28, 2006 08:59 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara recorded the second-highest partnership in test cricket history, each posting double centuries Friday as Sri Lanka - seized control of the series-opening match against South Africa... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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

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