The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 2, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 118

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lanka fighting rages, aid workers cannot help
Reuters, August 2. Assessing casualties is almost impossible. The army says it killed dozens of rebels on Wednesday for the loss of six servicemen. But diplomats say the government is likely talking up rebel losses and may also talk down its own casualties.

Overall, diplomats say the government may have bitten off more than it can chew in launching an offensive and the Tigers, whose ultimate goal is a homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east, are doing better than expected although they may have lost more fighters than the army.

On Tuesday, the rebels were able to shell the Trincomalee naval base with howitzers, surprising some experts. But the fire did not resume on Wednesday, raising the prospect the Tiger artillery had either been destroyed or moved out of range. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 2 18:05:21 EDT 2006


LTTE takes war deep into govt territory
indianexpress.com, August 03, 2006 at 0000 hrs . TRINCOMALEE, August 2:Sri Lanka’s civil war appeared to have resumed in all but name on Wednesday as Tamil Tigers attacked three army camps and pushed into government territory while the military said dozens of rebels were killed. A 2002 ceasefire between the two sides still holds on paper, but a battle last week over a rebel-held water supply has spread to nearby areas in the northeastern Trincomalee district, with both sides exchanging artillery fire and fighting on the ground.

‘‘This is a war,’’ said a policeman at a heavily-defended government roadblock just west of the conflict area. ‘‘They are attacking our soldiers and people and we are attacking them.’’ More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 2 21:19:08 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Worst fighting in Sri Lanka since cease-fire leaves 40 rebels, five soldiers dead
Associated Press, Wed August 2, 2006 06:06 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan Defense Ministry said its forces have repulsed Wednesday's attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels around a strategic northeastern port, killing 40 insurgents and wounding 70 others.

The latest fighting raised fears that Sri Lanka was heading for a full-scale war.

The rebels said earlier that they had overrun four Sri Lankan army camps around the strategic port of Trincomalee, a day after the guerrillas laid siege to the area, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting in years.

The port is an important lifeline for thousands of troops stationed in the northeast, where the rebels want to carve out a separate homeland for the country's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority.

Trincomalee _ with its natural harbor _ is of strategic importance to the military and the rebels. The area falls within the envisioned Tamil homeland. Trincomalee town and surrounding urban areas are controlled by the government, but the surrounding villages and jungle are under rebel rule. During World War II, Trincomalee served as a base for Allied forces.

Meanwhile, there was no independent confirmation of the ministry's claim, but the administration acknowledged that five soldiers were killed in Wednesday's rebel attacks.

In a statement, the ministry said troops had inflicted ``heavy casualties killing over 40 Tiger cadres and wounding 70 other terrorists.'' The statement said the insurgents retreated, leaving bodies behind.

Earlier, witnesses in Muttur, near Trincomalee, said they saw the bodies of five rebels. The witnesses spoke on condition that they not be identified out of fear of violence.

If the Defense Ministry's claim proves to be true, the death toll in recent days will rise to 128 on both sides.

The army Director of Operation, Brig. Athula Jayawardena, denied that rebels overran the army camps.

``They attacked three of our camps, still fighting is going on. But we are 100 percent stable,'' he told The Associated Press.

But local officials reached by the telephone in Muttur said the rebels were trying to advance to take over a jetty in the seaside town.

Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake said navy has not withdrawn from the area. ``We are there, but the Tamil Tigers are continuously firing mortars.''

Four mortars fell near two hospitals in the area, wounding four hospital workers and civilians.

The government has however said that it is committed to a 4-year-old cease-fire deal that one Tamil Tiger rebel commander has described as over.

``The government reaffirms its commitment to the cease-fire agreement,'' the government said in a statement, adding that it would continue its offensive against the rebels as long as they continued ``acts of terrorism and violence.''

No immediate comment on ending the clashes was available from the rebels, who have accused the government of starting the latest round of fighting.

Around 2 a.m. Wednesday, the rebels began an artillery barrage of army and police posts, TamilNet said.

``Fighting formations of the (Tamil Tigers) ... have overrun four key locations in Trincomalee district after fierce artillery shelling ...'' TamilNet said.

The battle Wednesday seemed to be focused on Trincomalee port, which is the only reliable resupply point for Sri Lankan troops based in the area.

The previous few days of fighting centered on a government push to capture a key reservoir in rebel territory that feeds government-controlled villages near Trincomalee.

The Tamil Tigers surrounded the reservoir near Trincomalee _ which is in guerrilla-controlled territory but supplies about 60,000 villagers in government-run areas with water _ last month.

The military responded with four days of airstrikes on rebel bases in the area before deploying ground forces on Sunday. It has insisted its offensive is not a cease-fire violation, describing it as a humanitarian mission to secure the area's water supply.

The reservoir's canal gate has remained closed.

But a rebel commander said Monday the Tigers considered the cease-fire void.

The rebels took up arms in 1983 to fight for a homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic Tamils, who had faced decades of discrimination from the country's 14 million Sinhalese.

The civil war killed about 65,000 people before the 2002 cease-fire, which left wide swaths of the north and east under rebel control.

But in recent months the cease-fire has nearly collapsed, and renewed fighting has killed more than 850 people _ half of them civilians _ since December, according to cease-fire monitors.

___

Associated Press writer Bharatha Mallawarachi contributed to the report. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 2 06:22:03 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Tamil Tigers attack Lanka army camps  - bangkokpost.com

Tamil Tiger rebels overrun Sri Lankan army camps near key port
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ICRC deeply concerned about humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka
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Sweden says willing to work for peace in Sri Lanka
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Tigers started it, says Army
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Sri Lanka: Monitors Departure Leaves Void in Protection
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5 Sri Lankan military personnel, 40 rebels killed in fighting+
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Stop training to Lankan cops: Vaiko
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Norwegian mediators: Sri Lanka government willing to consider Tamil Tiger demands for port area
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Army-LTTE combat continues in Lanka
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Norway says to keep truce monitors in Sri Lanka
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EU condemns fighting in northeast Sri Lanka between government forces and Tamil Tigers
Associated Press, Wed August 2, 2006 07:27 EDT . The rebels took up arms in 1983 to fight for a homeland for Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million ethnic Tamils, who had faced decades of discrimination from the country's 14 million Sinhalese... Back to the top

Muslims flee Sri Lanka fighting
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Four killed in Sri Lanka s navy base
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Pulmoddai battle on but Sri Lankan ship `safe
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LTTE cadres attack passenger vessel carrying 854 unarmed soldiers, successfully repulsed.
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Fighting deepens in Sri Lanka
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24 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka
hindu.com, August 01, 2006 - 20:17 EDT. COLOMBO: At least 24 personnel of the Sri Lanka Army and Navy were killed late on Monday night and Tuesday in presumed LTTE reprisal attacks involving the blast of an army bus and the main naval base in Trincomalee... Back to the top

New initiative for peace in Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka rebels attack army camps near eastern port
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Sri Lanka military presses offensive to break rebel blockade of reservoir
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LTTE shells Trinco harbour triggering artillery duel
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Tamil Tiger rebels say they killed 14 sailors in clash with Sri Lankan navy
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Senior Tamil leader says cease-fire is over
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Sri Lanka military presses offensive to break rebel blockade of reservoir
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4 killed in rebel attack on Sri Lanka 's eastern naval base+
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Sri Lankan Rebels Claim Boat Destroyed
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Foreign Minister: Sweden also to pull peace monitors from Sri Lanka by Sept. 1
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India needs to do something about Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka military launches new offensive on Tamil rebels to break reservoir blockade
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Sri Lanka says Tigers attempting ethnic cleansing
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