The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 122


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
Commando chief killed in mine blast
Daily Telegraph, August 7. A TOP police commando officer has been killed in a powerful mine explosion in central Sri Lanka, the head of his unit has said, blaming Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack.

Senior Superintendent Upul Seneviratne was being driven to the Special Task Force (STF) training college when his car was hit by the Claymore mine blast at Digana in the district of Kandy, Deputy Inspector General Nimal Lewke said.

He said the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had carried out the attack against Snr Supt Seneviratne, who had earlier served in the embattled eastern province and is now head of the police commando training school.

"The blast went off as he got on the main road to get to his workplace this morning," Insp Gen Lewke said. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Aug 6 23:44:59 EDT 2006

Sri Lanka continues offensive despite rebel war threat
Reuters, August 7. TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army vowed on Monday to push on with a military campaign to wrest control of an eastern water supply from Tamil Tigers just hours after the rebels warned continued attacks were a declaration of war.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) offered on Sunday to end a fortnight-long blockade of water to government land to defuse the heaviest fighting since a 2002 ceasefire, but the army replied with heavy artillery and multi-barrel rockets. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Aug 6 22:32:27 EDT 2006 Back to the top

15 local aid workers executed in eastern Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, Aug 6th, 2006-08-07. The bodies of 15 local aid workers of a French organization were found, shot dead execution style in the battered eastern town of Muttur, the agency head said on Sunday.

"It's confirmed that they have been killed," said Eric Fort, Sri Lanka mission head of Action Contre Le Faim, or Action Against Hunger.

A team from Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies, a national umbrella group had found the bodies "lying face down after being shot at close range," said CHA chief, Jeevan Thiagarah.

Fort said it was not clear who was responsible for the massacre but its sub-office in Muttur had its flag flying and stickers pasted in prominent places to identify ACF.

The main office in Trincomalee had lost radio contact with its Muttur staff from Friday morning, he said.

"We also have testimony from people in the area, whom we contacted by phone about the killings."

The 11 males and four females, all between the ages of 22-35 were wearing ACF t-shirts when their bodies were discovered. They had gone to Muttur on Tuesday, to assist with the refugee displacement and were unable to return to Trincomalee due to the heavy fighting between the security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels, Fort said.

He expressed hope of being able to retrieve the bodies and hand them over to their families, adding that efforts to access the area had so far failed.

Meanwhile, moves to reopen a contested irrigation channel at Mavil Aru remained deadlocked amid fresh shelling by security forces.

Earlier Sunday, the Tiger rebels following talks with visiting Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Baurer, agreed to reopen the waterway subject to a host of conditions which include lifting all economic embargos on rebel-held areas and ensuring better access to water. The government said it is willing to look at the matter positively but refused to make it a pre-condition to reopen the waterway.

The Tigers had given visiting Hanssen-Bauer three to four weeks to ensure Sri Lanka complies with its demands and also warned that any fresh attacks by the military would be considered a declaration of war.

"The government is not prepared to accept any conditions on the water supply because it's a humanitarian issue, water is not a negotiating tool," said Keheliya Rambukwella, defence spokesman. "The operation by the military to free the water blockade will continue."

Norway's International Development Minister Erik Solheim said, the visiting peace envoy will seek an explanation from the government on his return to Colombo on Monday.

"The government asked Norway to find a diplomatic solution to the water dispute, it was found," he said. "We will ask the government why it retreated."

"If the government wants to solve the water dispute militarily, that's entirely up to the government. But then we must not be asked to solve it diplomatically at the same time," Solheim said.

The Tigers said they were shelled while on their way to the sluice gate, accompanied by international cease-fire monitors.

"We hold the government responsible for instigating today's attacks," said Thorfinnur Omarsson, spokesman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission. He said the firing brings the government's humanitarian mission to open the water supply into question.

The government hit out at the monitors for ignoring protocol and failing to inform authorities that they were accompanying Tigers to Mavil Aru, south of Trincomalee, which has been the scene of heavy clashes for the past 10 days.

Prior to travelling to operational areas, the head of SLMM informs the government's peace secretariat of travel plans which are communicated to the Ministry of Defence. "The ground forces are informed of such travel plans and precautions taken to ensure safe passage for SLMM monitors," the government said in a statement, stressing that this procedure had not been followed.

It also said the Tigers had brought artillery guns to the area and security forces were responding with similar fire to neutralize the rebels' gun positions. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Aug 6 16:17:36 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka aid workers executed  -

Sri Lanka Military Launches New Attacks, Sunday, August 06, 2006 -19:25 EDT. Colombo, Aug 06: Sri Lanka appeared headed towards full scale war on Sunday as troops shelled Tamil Tiger positions in the North-East, holding up a deal worked out by the rebels and peacebroker Norway to open a canal at the root of intense fighting that killed 425 people and led to a massive exodus... Back to the top

Lanka slides towards war as Norway bid on water dispute fails, Sunday, August 06, 2006 -19:25 EDT. Colombo, Aug 06: Sri Lanka appeared headed towards full scale war on Sunday as troops shelled Tamil Tiger positions in the North-East, holding up a deal worked out by the rebels and peacebroker Norway to open a canal at the root of intense fighting that killed 425 people and led to a massive exodus... Back to the top

Bid on Lankan president’s life foiled: papers
Dawn, Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 09:05 EDT. An attempt on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s life was thwarted after police detected a huge cache of weapons and explosives hidden in a lorry proceeding to a southern town where the President was due to make a public appearance, according to newspaper reports... Back to the top

Government Press Statement
SCOPP, 06 August 2006. The Security Forces continue to be engaged in “Operation Watershed” which commenced last week to restore water supplies to over 50,000 people and 30,000 acres of paddy land in the Seruwila, Muttur and Ichchalampattu areas... Back to the top

Rebels Say They Will Retreat From East in Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, Aug. 5th, 2006. By SHIMALI SENANAYAKE COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, NYT =97 After days of heavy fighting, the Tamil Tiger rebels said on Saturday that they had ended their offensive against Sri Lankan security forces in the east and were retreating to their original positions... Back to the top

S.Lanka troops resume firing on rebel positions, Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 09:05 EDT. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said on Sunday they would lift a blockade on water supplies to government areas and that a 2002 ceasefire still held, but warned further attacks by the military would mean war... Back to the top

Fresh peace talks a distant prospect in Sri Lanka
Dawn, Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 09:05 EDT. As Sri Lanka slides deeper into a new chapter of a two-decade civil war, fresh peace talks are a distant prospect until either the Tamil Tiger rebels or the military gain the upper hand, analysts say... Back to the top

Sri Lanka shelling continues, Norway meets rebels
Reuters, August 6. TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Government artillery pounded Tamil rebel positions in northeast Sri Lanka on Sunday as a Norwegian peace envoy was due to meet the guerrillas in the hope of ending days of new fighting... Back to the top

Sri Lanka takes stock of 11-day battle, death toll tops 400+
Associated Press, Sun August 6, 2006 04:17 EDT . - - The Nordic Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission monitoring the cease-fire currently in tatters was attempting Sunday to reach Muttur in a convoy of vehicles... Back to the top

“Govt will not succumb to LTTE blackmail – Bernard ..., Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 09:05 EDT. Two English Dailies today (5 August 2006) stated that In an interview with Hongkong based CNN International, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the USA, Bernard Gooetilleke “clarified the position of the Sri Lankan government on the current situation in the northeast of Sri Lanka due to the cutting off water supplies to 60,000 civilians by the LTTE”... Back to the top

Norwegian peace envoy to meet Sri Lankan rebel leaders in bid to halt violence
Associated Press, Sat August 5, 2006 23:20 EDT . KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A Norwegian peace envoy planned to meet Tamil Tiger rebel leaders in their northern stronghold Sunday in an effort to prevent Sri Lanka from sliding back into full-scale civil war... Back to the top

Over 100 civilians 'slaughtered' by Sri Lanka rebels: gov't+
Associated Press, Sat August 5, 2006 07:42 EDT . COLOMBO, Aug. 5 (Kyodo) Over 100 civilians including women and children have been ''slaughtered'' by Tamil Tiger rebels near the eastern town of Muttur where there was intense fighting in the last three days, the Defense Ministry said Saturday on its website. According to the report, displaced families were fleeing the fighting in the government-held town when the Tigers blocked them at Pachchanoor on Friday night and killed over a 100 ''including women, youth and children... Back to the top

Sri Lankan town deserted and devastated by battle
Reuters, August 5. MUTUR, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - After days of heavy fighting in this eastern town, jumpy Sri Lankan soldiers are almost the only signs of life on streets littered with fallen power lines, spent cartridges and dead animals... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Troops Retake Northern Town
Associated Press, Sat August 5, 2006 10:58 EDT . RUWAN WEERAKOON - Associated Press Writer - MUTTUR, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers retook control of a key northeastern town Saturday after six days of fighting Tamil rebels there, and the military urged thousands of displaced civilians to return... Back to the top

LTTE quits Mutur, peace returns to Lanka, Colombo, August 5, 2006|21:30 IST. PK Balachandran Combat units of the LTTE quit the Eastern Sri Lankan Muslim town of Mutur at midnight on Friday, bringing to an end three days of military operations in which 40 Sri Lankan soldiers, 32 LTTE cadres and 40 civilians were killed, and 35,000 were displaced... Back to the top

Soldiers seize town captured by LTTE, Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 19:53 EDT. MUTTUR: Sri Lankan soldiers on Saturday said they re-established control over a northeastern town that had been the scene of fierce clashes in recent days, and urged the thousands of civilians displaced by the fighting to return... Back to the top

EXCLUSIVE - Sri Lanka rebels halt offensive - Tiger source
Reuters, August 5. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have halted an offensive on government-held town in eastern Sri Lanka and are pulling back to their original positions, a Tiger source said on Saturday... Back to the top

Military claims total control of embattled northeastern town, wants people to resettle
Associated Press, Sat August 5, 2006 06:55 EDT . MUTTUR, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's military said on Saturday that it has taken control of an embattled northeastern town, and urged civilians displaced by six days of fighting between security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels to return... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Says Troops Gain Control of Muttur, Kill 152 Rebels, New York, Aug 05 04:42. Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Government troops gained control over the embattled town of Muttur in northeastern Sri Lanka, killing at least 152 rebels, a Sri Lankan military spokesman said today.

Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst violence since the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam agreed in 2002 to a cease-fire... Back to the top

India should intervene to avert Civil War in Sri Lanka: NIA
com, Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 07:23 EDT. Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, August 05, 2006 – As per Sri Lankan military sources, they have defeated a major Tamil Tiger rebel attack, killing over 40 insurgents, even though the efforts are not yet abandoned by the Norwegian peace envoy, who is trying his best to avert the conflict from being turned into a full fledged civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says it killed 35 rebels; Norway envoy travels to rebel stronghold
Associated Press, August 5. RUWAN WEERAKOON Associated Press Writer TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan military said Saturday its forces thwarted a major Tamil Tiger rebel attack on a strategic jetty in Muttur, killing 35 insurgents, as a Norwegian peace envoy traveled to the northern rebel heartland in an effort to prevent the country from sliding back into full-blown civil war... Back to the top

UN appeals for cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka, Aug 5.. New York, Aug 5. (PTI): Voicing "deep concern" over the plight of civilians in Sri Lanka caught in the crossfire between Government troops and Tamil Tigers, the UN has sought an immediate cessation of hostilities and unimpeded access to humanitarian agencies to enable them to take care of thousands of people who have fled to escape the conflict... Back to the top

Sri Lanka struggling as Ntini rips through top order
Reuters, August 5. COLOMBO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - South Africa's Makhaya Ntini ripped through Sri Lanka's top order to leave the hosts struggling on 98 for five at lunch on the second day of the second test on Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Battles Rebels as Displaced Flee
Reuters, August 5. RINCOMALEE (Reuters) - Tamil Tigers and troops exchanged mortar and artillery fire on Saturday on the 11th day of fighting in Sri Lanka's restive east, as the military sought to move thousands of displaced civilians out of harm's way... Back to the top

South Africa bowlers still on top
Associated Press, Sat August 5, 2006 06:24 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Dale Steyn and Nicky Boje claimed a wicket apiece in the middle session Saturday after Makhaya Ntini's pre-lunch demolition of Sri Lanka - 's top order, setting South Africa on course for a first-innings lead in the second cricket test... Back to the top

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