The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 17, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 133

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Headline Summary
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Week of fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 700 rebels, 106 troops, military says
Associated Press, Thu August 17, 2006 04:29 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka - has claimed the lives of at least 700 rebels and 106 soldiers in less than a week, the military said Thursday.

Since Aug. 11, when rebels launched a major offensive to retake government-controlled Jaffna Peninsula, another 500 to 600 rebels have been wounded, military spokesman Maj. Upali Rajapakse said. He said about 170 government troops have also been wounded in the same period.

Rebels officials were not immediately available for comment, but both sides are known to exaggerate each other's death tolls. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Aug 17 20:20:44 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka troops 'kill 75 rebels'  - BBC News
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Fighting escalates in Sri Lanka 's northern Jaffna Peninsula, hundreds killed  - Associated Press
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Nearly 100 rebels killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - Yahoo News
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50 rebels said killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - New Straits News

US flies in special envoy to push for truce in Lanka
Hindustan Times, Thursday, August 17 2006 - 17:06 EDT. The United States on Thursday sent a special envoy to Colombo to ask the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to immediately cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table.

The Bush Administration sent Steven Mann, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, to deliver the message to President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally.

It was an "unexpected" trip, Mann told the media after meeting the President for two hours.

This was because the US was "deeply concerned" about the hostilities in Sri Lanka.

Hundreds of combatants and civilians had been killed and more than 50,000 civilians displaced in August alone.

Ambassador Mann said that his meeting with the Sri Lankan President and his aides were "detailed" and that the responses he got from the government side were "thoughtful".

Mann said that he told the Sri Lankan side that continuation of the current fighting would only push back the prospect of peace and would benefit no one.

The Sri Lankan government side explained their political and military compulsions which, according to Mann, showed considerable preparation on their part.

Spotlight on the LTTE as well

The US envoy emphasized that the "spotlight" was on the LTTE also because there were two parties in this conflict.

He said that the LTTE would have to abjure violence and return to the negotiating table immediately.

Till it did so, it would remain in the US list of foreign terrorist organisations, he said.

Ambassador Mann called for a "political compromise" on the part of both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE.

He said that US backed a solution within a united Sri Lanka with a guarantee for the legitimate rights of the Tamil minority and human and democratic rights for all Sri Lankans.

He reiterated full US support for the Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer and the Nordic truce monitors.

Mann called upon the government of Sri Lanka to ensure that humanitarian norms were maintained by the armed forces even in combat.

He urged the government to "respect" the Non-Governmental Organisations for the good work they were doing in the conflict area More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 17:05:29 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
U.S. urges immediate end to Sri Lankan fighting  - Associated Press

Fighting going on in Sri Lanka, opposition calls for political solution
People's Daily Online, Thursday, August 17 2006 - 08:26 EDT. The Sri Lankan Army claimed Thursday that the on-going fighting in the north inflicted heavy damage on the Tamil Tiger rebels, as the main opposition party called for a political solution to end fighting.

"The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) directed a heavy volume both direct and indirect fire on forward defense line positions of Kilali in Jaffna around 6:30 p.m on Wednesday", Major Upali Rajapakse of the Media Center for National Security said.

The battle had continued till 4 a.m. (2230 GMT) on Thursday, the Army said, adding that bodies of over 50 LTTE cadres had been recovered by the government troops.

Fighting erupted in the northern Jaffna peninsula on Friday last week with rebels continuously pounding the military positions at the forward defense lines in Muhamalai, Jaffna. Two of Jaffna's islets, Kayts and Mandaithivu were also scenes of heavy fighting.

As the fighting raged, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) on Thursday called for a political initiative to end the present fighting. "The government must come up with at least a skeleton proposal", GL Peiris, a UNP front line spokesman said. Peiris said there was a clear lack of a political initiative to end the impasse through the process of power sharing and the President Mahinda Rajapakse has several attempts made by his predecessors to present a political package aimed at ending the bloody armed conflict.

"The need of the hour is a political solution to end violence", said Peiris, who was the government's chief negotiator in the currently stalled Norwegian backed peace process.

Over 100,000 civilians have been displaced since the beginning of this month as the troops and rebels faced intense military battles.

The rebels closed down an irrigation canal in mid-July, triggering a military advance towards LTTE areas in the northeast, the first time since negotiations began in 2002.

As a result, the LTTE launched an attack on the eastern province town of Muttur evicting Muslims from the area, and then came the Jaffna fighting. Fightings have raised serious fears of full scale conflict hitting the troubled north and east provinces.

More than 64,000 people have been killed in the conflict where the Tamil Tiger rebels waged war against government troops to set up a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community, who they claim are being discriminated by majority Sinhala community led governments in the south of the island.

More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Aug 17 08:26:47 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka slams ICC security consultant after South Africa abondons cricket tri-series
Associated Press, Thu August 17, 2006 05:45 EDT . SANDEEP NAKAI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka's cricket chief slammed ICC security consultants Thursday for failing to visit his country to assess arrangements before submitting a critical report that led to South Africa abandoning a tri-series tournament... Back to the top

South Asian athletes make light of security threat in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu August 17, 2006 09:55 EDT . SANDEEP NAKAI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two thousand athletes from South Asian nations have arrived in Sri Lanka - for the 10th edition of the biannual South Asian Games, making light of security concerns that saw South Africa's cricketers abandon a tri-series cricket tournament this week... Back to the top

Tamil Nadu assembly condemns Sri Lanka killings
Yahoo! India News, Thursday, August 17 2006 - 10:45 EDT. Chennai, Aug 17 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu assembly Thursday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the killing of 61 school girls in Sri Lanka's north by air force jets apparently targeting the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Ceasefire monitors flee heavy shelling in Sri Lanka
Yahoo News, Thursday, August 17 2006 - 08:37 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - Ceasefire monitors in eastern Sri Lanka were forced to flee after they were nearly hit by heavy shelling in clashes between Tamil Tiger rebels and security forces, an official said... Back to the top

100,000 trapped in Jaffna fighting
Dawn, By Our Correspondent JAFFNA, Aug 16. The Tamil Tigers claimed on Wednesday they had hit a radio tower at a military air base in Jaffna... Back to the top

Tigers attack in Sri Lanka north
Reuters, Thursday, August 17 2006 - 08:21 EDT. By Peter Apps

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels launched a new attack overnight on the besieged northern Jaffna peninsula, the army said on Thursday, as a U... Back to the top


Pro-war monks scuffle with anti-war demonstrators in Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Thu August 17, 2006 08:00 EDT . GEMUNU AMARASINGHE - Associated Press Writer - A member of Sri Lanka - 's parliament was addressing the crowd when the monks climbed on stage... Back to the top

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... 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... 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 pulls out of cricket tri-series in Sri Lanka following bomb attack
Associated Press, Wed August 16, 2006 11:43 EDT . SANDEEP NAKAI - Associated Press Writer - 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... 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

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