The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 29, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 145

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lankan Army Offensive Will End Truce Agreement, Rebels Say
Bloomberg.com, Tuesday Augudt 29, 2006 - 22;00 EDT. Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's 2002 cease-fire accord will collapse unless the army stops its offensive near the northeastern port of Trincomalee, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said.

``If the Sri Lankan military aggression continued, it would set a full stop to the February 2002 cease-fire agreement,'' Irasaiah Ilanthirayan, an LTTE military spokesman, said yesterday, according to TamilNet. Tamil Tiger forces have contained the army's advance on areas held by the rebels at Sampoor, he said.

More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Aug 29 22:00:22 EDT 2006

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Sri Lanka continues offensive, rebels issue warning  - Reuters

Military offensive in northeast Sri Lanka leaves 95 combatants dead
Associated Press, Tue August 29, 2006 07:57 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Three days of clashes between security forces and ethnic Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east has killed at least 95 people, the military said Tuesday.

The military launched a major assault on Sunday to retake a Tiger-held enclave in the east, which it claimed posed a threat to a strategic naval base in Trincomalee district.

The military said 79 combatants had been killed in the combined army, navy and air force operation. The rebels said 82 people, including 20 civilians, were killed in intense shelling and airstrikes.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said another 16 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed Tuesday morning when they fired on an army check point in northern Vavuniya district. The soldiers returned fire, killing the 16. He did not say if any soldiers were killed or wounded in the attack.

Also Tuesday, air force jets bombed a rebel naval base in Tiger-controlled Mullaithivu district, in the northeast. No casualty figures were available.

Both sides routinely inflate the other's death tolls, and independent confirmation is virtually impossible as conflict zones are off limits to outsiders.

The push to retake Sampur, in northeast Trincomalee district, opens a new front in the more than two-decade conflict between ethnic Tamil rebels and the Sinhalese-dominated government, which was temporarily halted by a 2002 cease-fire.

Samarasinghe said the goal of the operation was to loosen the rebels' hold on the area south of Trincomalee naval base and specifically to destroy their fire power.

``Our aim is to neutralize (rebel) artillery and heavy mortar bases. Yesterday we destroyed a minimum of three artillery bases,'' Samarasinghe said Tuesday.

``These bases are a very big threat. The (rebels) have been firing at the naval base and also at civilians in the area,'' he said.

Thirteen soldiers and 66 insurgents have been killed since Sunday, the military said. The rebels' political leader for the east, S. Elilan, said that 50 government soldiers, 12 rebel fighters and 20 civilians had been killed.

``They tried to advance into our areas from two directions yesterday and when we counterattacked, they stopped before the forward defense lines,'' the de facto frontier between rebel and government-held territory.

``Today they started moving again and we have halted them,'' he told The Associated Press from Trincomalee.

An officer at the National Media Center for Defense said troops are advancing slowly toward Sampur and that heavy fighting was ongoing.

Elilan said the rebels would never cede Sampur to the government.

``If the government attempts to come into our territory we will continue to attack them .... These are people's homes. We will not let the enemy invade,'' he said.

The country's top-ranking military official, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, told The Associated Press on Monday that the operation was intended to safeguard the strategic Trincomalee harbor and navy base.

He said the insurgents have been using four villages south of Trincomalee to fire artillery and mortars at the base.

``If the (rebels) continue to attack the harbor it will paralyze the Trincomalee-to-Jaffna supply route,'' the general said.

The Sri Lankan military is reliant upon the Trincomalee port to supply its more than 43,000 troops on Jaffna Peninsula, since the road link passes through rebel territory.

The Tigers took up arms in 1983, claiming that the country's 3.2 million Tamils needed a separate homeland away from the discrimination of the majority Sinhalese.

The resulting conflict cost the lives of at least 65,000 people before the 2002 cease-fire halted large-scale fighting.

In recent months, however, Sri Lanka has returned to the brink of full-scale war, with both sides launching major military offensives, although neither has officially withdrawn from the cease-fire.

Hundreds of combatants and civilians have been killed since late July, and 204,000 people have been displaced by near-daily airstrikes and shelling. Discuss this story
Published: Tue Aug 29 08:51:47 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Sri Lankan military says 16 Tamil rebels killed in fresh fighting in north  - Associated Press
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Fighting dies down, death toll over 100 in Sri Lanka  - OUTLOOK India.COM

Lanka President makes surprise visit to London
Zee News, Tuesday Augudt 29, 2006 - 21;57 EDT. Colombo, Aug 29: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday made an unannounced visit to London, leaving even some of his top aides unawares. Rajapakse was due to hold discussions with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, official sources said, adding the two leaders were expected to discuss the collapsing peace process in the former British colony. There was no immediate statement from the British High Commission or the Sri Lankan government. Rajapakse has a son who is studying in Britain. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 21:57:09 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Canadians stand against Terrorism
Roy Edwards from Toronto., August 28. A Canadian Tamil group says that a Majority of Tamil Canadians do not support terrorism and criticized the LTTE front organizations in Canada for misleading the Tamils living in the country... Back to the top

Tigers feted on campus
National Post, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 15:00 EDT. WATERLOO - Martyrdom celebrations that praised Tamil Tiger soldiers and suicide bombers were held openly in the student centre of the University of Waterloo, where the FBI alleges a "procurement cell" for the terrorist organization was centred... Back to the top

Scores dead in Sri Lanka fighting
The Hindu, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 14:40 EDT. Scores of government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels were killed on Tuesday, the second day of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces' offensive to capture Sampur and Mutur East overlooking Trincomalee harbour... Back to the top

Sri Lanka army battles rebels in northeast
Reuters, 29 Aug 2006 03:29:19 GMT. -
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India calls for immediate truce, Sri Lanka says no
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Aid workers targeted in Sri Lanka 's resurgent conflict
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FEATURE-Sri Lankans displaced by war face bleak future
Reauters, 29 Aug 2006 01:03:09 GMT. -
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Ethnic Tamil journalist abducted in Sri Lanka , says media rights group
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Military offensive in northeast Sri Lanka leaves at least 28 dead
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HL:University reviews Tamil group after arrests linked to Waterloo, Ont. campus
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Norway, India discuss Sri Lanka situation
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S.Lanka rebels say 20 civilians killed by air force
Yahoo, Aug 28. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said at least 20 civilians were killed and 26 wounded in air force raids on Monday in the eastern part of the country, near the strategic port of Trincomalee... Back to the top

UNP 'rejects' national govt.
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Sri Lanka fighting kills 31, 105 wounded
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2 Sri Lankan soldiers killed, 12 wounded in battle with Tamil Tigers
Associated Press, Mon August 28, 2006 02:51 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in a fierce battle with Tamil Tiger rebels in northeast Sri Lanka - on Monday, the military said... Back to the top

War not the answer, say weary Sri Lankan troops
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India committed to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Lanka
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Foreign nationals flee Sri Lanka 's north as shelling in the east leaves 5 soldiers wounded
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