The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 16, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 132

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Tigers attack in Sri Lanka north
Reuters, Aug 17. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers launched a new attack overnight on the northern Jaffna peninsula, the army said on Thursday, as a U.S. envoy visited the island but the worst fighting since a 2002 truce showed no sign of abating.

The military said it had few details but that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had launched a new offensive around Kilali, at the western end of the peninsula's front line. Since the Tigers launched attacks toward Jaffna last week, telephone communication with the area has been virtually cut off.

"There is an attack in Jaffna, that is all we can say," said an army spokesman. An aid worker reported heavy overnight artillery fire, although damage could not be assessed. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 16 23:20:43 EDT 2006


Peace doors still open, Sri Lanka 's president says+
Associated Press, Wed August 16, 2006 10:43 EDT . COLOMBO, Aug. 16 (Kyodo) The Sri Lanka - government is still keeping the doors open for peace talks despite ongoing battles between government forces and the rebel Tamil Tigers, President Mahinda Rajapakse told national newspaper editors and heads of electronic media Wednesday.

''There is no war on,'' he asserted. ''What we have done is to take defensive action when we have been attacked. If there is a war, we should be on the offensive,'' he added.

The government has a responsibility to respond to any threat to national security and that was ''what it was doing,'' he said.

''What else can I do,'' he asked. ''I can't hand Jaffna over to the (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) on a platter and withdraw troops to Colombo. I will not do that under any circumstances.''

Newspaper editors and directors of television and radio stations were shown video clips of the site of an air force bombing in northeastern Mullaitivu earlier this week where the LTTE claim more than 60 school girls had been killed.

The film showed the facility that was bombed in an unpopulated area with a tree canopy, bunkers and an extensive parapet wall.

The government claims it was an LTTE training or transit camp for inducting teenage fighters into battle.

Rajapakse pointed to vehicles rushing the injured to hospital and said the air force could have easily attacked them.

''But we didn't do that, though that is what they do,'' he charged. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 16 12:06:01 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Big NGOs gone missing during Sri Lanka's crisis
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, August 16, 2006, 9.40 p.m.. A week has passed and not a single officer attached to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has gone to Muttur to verify the actual fate of the estimated 100 to 200 Muslims who were reportedly slayed by the LTTE for their alleged links to an Islamic organization named Jihad, a newspaper report in the Sunday Standard (www.standardnewspaperslk.com) newspaper said.

Senior Muslim Minister A.H.M. Fowzie who had just returned to Colombo from Kantale told the Sunday Standard that he was absolutely mystified as to why none of these 'big-time INGOs' had not visited the crisis zones.

"I don't understand why they haven't gone. Even Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapakse phoned the ICRC head in Sri Lanka and assured security protection to all ICRC staff who go to Muttur courtesy the Army, but they still haven't' gone," the minister said.

He further noted that although no official number was available it was estimated that at least 100 Muslims were massacred by the LTTE, and the bodies may still be strewn across the onetime battle areas.

Meanwhile, the government's main Muslim ally's deputy leader Abul Kalam has slammed non Muslim political parties, international non-governmental organizations, and other 'big time' groups for differentiating between the hardships faced by the Muslim civilians and failing to issue even a statement expressing concern on the plight of their community.

Mr. Kalam, representing the National Unity Alliance (NUA) noted that it was shocking to note that the majority of these parties and INGOs had come out and expressed their condemnation and shock over the slaying of the 17 aid workers attached to the non-governmental organization Action Against Hunger, while not a single of these organizations had made any statements with regard to the situation faced by the Muslims in the East, where an estimated 100 reportedly been killed and some 35,000 are displaced.

"Not a single Tamil party or any other democratic party has openly condemned the situation which has befallen the Muslims. Why is everyone communalizing this, Why isn't anyone looking at this problem from a 'national issue' perspective ?" the NUA deputy leader queried.

He also noted that reaching out to the Islamic international community in hope of solace for the Sri Lankan Muslims would be an utter myth, when taking into consideration that this same Islamic international community has failed to open its eyes and react in the most ethical manner with regard to the Lebanon crisis.

"The Muslims who have been victims due to the battle between security forces and LTTE are frustrated even in the manner the international community, including the co-chairs and the European Union and even the United Nations has reacted to their plight. Everyone seems to be only interested in the 17 dead aid workers. There is absolutely no mention about the plight of the Muslims, which includes the killing of more than 30 and an estimated 100 still missing," Mr. Kalaam stressed.

Meanwhile, social service workers currently based in Kantale demanded to know where all these 'so called big organizations and their representatives' are. "Not a single authoritative officer representing INGOs in the capacity of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a plethora of bodies coming under the United Nations have visited these camps. It is only smalltime NGOs such as Muslim Aid, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Jamiatul Ulama, Muslim Foundation for Culture and Development and Jama'at-e Islami who are active in these crisis areas," sources said.

The sources also pointed out that it was 'absolutely appalling' to witness these so-called INGOs who claim to be working for the people peacefully traveling in their plush four-wheel drives and holidaying in expensive resorts, while civilians who are in need of their assistance are languishing.

Reports reaching the Sunday Standard disclosed that the sufferings of these IDPs are much worse than the victims of even the 2004 December 26 tsunami. Sources claimed that the situation was so bad that although many days have passed since they came to Kantale, most of them are still 'utterly confused'.

Citing reasons for their claim, sources pointed out that most of the camps housing these civilians were overflowing and was so bad that in many instances people were sleeping on top of each other.

"A small school in Parathweli in Kantale which taught some 1000 students is now overflowing with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) numbering a whopping 10,000 to 12,000 civilians. Kantale simply cannot cope with this sudden requirement, while lodging spaces and even basic facilities needed for these displaced persons are grossly inadequate," sources said.

They also stressed that in comparison with the tsunami victims, they always had the possibility of going back to their homes after the catastrophe ended, and most of them were relocated in close proximity to their original homes unlike in the case of these nearly 50,000 displaced, who have been temporarily sheltered some 50 kilometres away from their homes.

"The most important factor was that the tsunami victims had absolutely no security threat unlike what has befallen these Muttur IDPs," sources added. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 16 12:13:32 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka's displaced Muslims demand security guarantee to return
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, August 16, 2006, 1.58 p.m.. The nearly 50,000 displaced civilians from Muttur, Thoppur and surrounding villages have laid down tough conditions if they are to return to their original homes... Back to the top

Sri Lanka taking only defensive action: Rajapakse
Hindustan Times, Wednesday August 16, 2006 - 08:45 PM. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that his troops were only taking defensive action against aggression by the Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeastern conflict zones, officials said on Wednesday... Back to the top

Send MPs delegation to Sri Lanka: Vaiko to PM
NewKerala.com, Wednesday August 16, 2006 - 15:15 EDT. Tiruchirappalli, Aug 16: Describing as "a total lie" the claim of Sri Lankan Government that the air-strike which killed many children, only targeted an LTTE training camp, MDMK leader Vaiko today said he had requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send a delegation of MPs to the neighbouring country to find out the truth... Back to the top

Attack on Pakistan envoy may impact Sri Lanka conflict
Yahoo! India News, Wednesday August 16, 2006 - 08:45 PM. New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) The near assassination of Pakistan's envoy to Sri Lanka in a bomb blast blamed on the Tamil Tigers is likely to complicate an already bad situation in a country where he played a key role in cementing military ties between Islamabad and Colombo... Back to the top

8 Tamil Tiger rebels killed in Sri Lanka , official says
Associated Press, Wed August 16, 2006 06:15 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government forces killed eight separatist Tamil Tiger rebels during a gunbattle in northern Sri Lanka - , officials said Wednesday, as air strikes and exchanges of artillery continued to threaten the country's fragile cease-fire... Back to the top

South Africa abandons tri-series cricket tournament in Sri Lanka due to security concerns
Associated Press, Wed August 16, 2006 09:01 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The South African cricket team Wednesday announced it will abandon the tri-series limited-overs cricket tournament in Sri Lanka - due to security concerns, a Sri Lankan cricket official said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka planes bomb rebel positions, country on alert
Khaleej Times - Online, Wed., August 16, 2006 - 08:15 EDT. COLOMBO - Sri Lankan war planes bombed Tamil Tiger positions Wednesday as troops hunted rebel infiltrators in northern Jaffna peninsula after resisting a guerrilla advance, officials said... Back to the top

Lanka again
Hindustan Times, Wed., August 16, 2006 - 08:25 EDT. Sri Lanka is on the brink again as violence threatens to unravel the nation’s 2002 ceasefire agreement between Colombo and the LTTE... Back to the top

Troops and rebels clash in Jaffna
BBC Sport, Wed., August 16, 2006 - 08:35 EDT. Sri Lankan forces and Tamil Tiger rebels continue to clash in northern Jaffna peninsula... Back to the top

Sri Lanka fighting puts investments on ice
Reuters, 16 Aug 2006 06:20:07 GMT. By Simon Gardner COLOMBO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - As Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers traded artillery fire again on Wednesday, analysts and executives say the worst fighting since a 2002 truce is delaying investments in the $23 billion economy... Back to the top

Lanka conflict: CPI (M) urges restraint
NDTV.COM, Wed., August 16, 2006 - 08:15 EDT. Wednesday, August 16, 2006 (New Delhi): Condemning the killing of school children in air raids in Mullaitivu, the CPI (M) asked Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to observe restraint... Back to the top

S Africa abandons Lanka tour
NDTV.COM, Wed., August 16, 2006 - 08:21 EDT. South Africa has decided to pull out of the Unitech Cup tri-series in Sri Lanka, according to sources on Wednesday... Back to the top

Violence rages in Sri Lanka as the country appears to be back at war
Associated Press, Tue August 15, 2006 12:00 EDT . MATTHEW ROSENBERG - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Was it a children's home or a rebel base? Perhaps more importantly, is there a difference? Jayawardana's words may seem callous, but the sentiments like his are becoming more the rule than exception on either side of the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka - , where intense fighting in recent weeks looks increasingly like an outright renewal of civil war... Back to the top

Fighting rages in the northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue August 15, 2006 04:00 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels traded artillery and mortar fire in northern Sri Lanka - on Tuesday, an official said, as schools closed over fears that civilians could be targeted by the insurgents... Back to the top

Intensity Dwindles As LTTE Decomposed Bodies Buried
SLArmy, August 15. JAFFNA: INTENSITY OF LTTE (Tamil Tigers) attacks on JAFFNA peninsula has drastically dwindled as dawn was breaking Tuesday (15) after troops of the Sri Lanka Army trounced the enemy forcing many of them to run away... Back to the top

UN disputes Sri Lanka raid claims
BBC, August 15. UN officials and truce monitors in Sri Lanka have rejected government claims that children killed in an air force raid on Monday were child soldiers... Back to the top

Pakistan's Envoy Nearly Killed in Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, Aug. 14th, 2006. By SHIMALI SENANAYAKE COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, NYT =97 Pakistan's ambassador to Sri Lanka escaped injury from a roadside bombing here on Monday but seven people were killed, the police said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: heavy fighting causes more displacement
Reuters, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 08:20 EDT. Continued heavy fighting in the north and east of Sri Lanka has sent several thousand more civilians fleeing their homes in search of safety in the last few days... Back to the top

Envoy avoids assassination in Sri Lanka - but bombs kill 61 girls
The Star, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 01:00 EDT. Colombo - Pakistan's top envoy has escaped a bomb attack which killed seven people in the Sri Lankan capital... Back to the top

South Africa to await security evaluation after blast in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue August 15, 2006 08:06 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) South Africa will await an independent security evaluation before deciding whether to withdraw from a tri-nation cricket series in Sri Lanka - , following a bomb blast near the team's hotel, a cricket official said Tuesday... Back to the top

'LTTE orphanage was a military camp'
Hindustan Times, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 08:05 EDT. The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday rebutted the Tamil Tigers' allegation that the Air Force had bombed an orphanage called Chencholai killing 61 young girls and wounding 155... Back to the top

Arms deal made Pakistan envoy target for Sri Lanka rebels
Dawn, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 08:45 EDT. Arms deal made Pakistan envoy target for Sri Lanka rebels COLOMBO, Aug 15 (AFP) - A bid to assassinate Bashir Wali Mohmand, Pakistan's envoy to Sri Lanka, was triggered by plans for Islamabad to ship new arms to the island to battle Tamil rebels, a government spokesman said Tuesday... Back to the top

Wet outfield delays start of troubled Sri Lanka tri-series
Associated Press, Wed August 16, 2006 04:51 EDT . SANDEEP NAKAI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The start of the tri-series opening match between Sri Lanka - and India was delayed by a wet outfield Wednesday, compounding the woes of the organizers who are still unsure of South Africa's participation in the limited-overs cricket tournament... Back to the top

Schools closed in Sri Lanka after attack
The Hindu, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 08:05 EDT. Colombo, Aug. 15. (PTI): Sri Lanka today tightened security in the wake of a mine explosion in the capital targeting the top Pakistani envoy that killed seven people, even as schools were closed ahead of schedule amid fears of attacks by LTTE to avenge the killing of 61 school girls in the northeast... Back to the top

Suicide attack in Colombo
The Hindu, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 01:16 EDT. COLOMBO: At least seven persons, including four soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), were killed in a claymore attack allegedly by the LTTE targeting Pakistan High Commissioner Bashir Wali Mohamad in the heart of the national capital on Monday afternoon... Back to the top

43 children killed in Sri Lankan raid, says LTTE
Hindustan Times, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 01:16 EDT. The LTTE has alleged that 43 Tamil school girls were killed and 60 wounded when the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed a first aid training centre in the LTTE- controlled northern district of Mullaitivu on Monday... Back to the top

Annan expresses 'profound concern' over violence in Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Mon August 14, 2006 16:24 EDT . - - NEW YORK, Aug. 14 (Kyodo) U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed concern Monday over the ongoing violence in northeast Sri Lanka - that reportedly killed dozens of students... Back to the top

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