The Lanka Academic

 
SEPTEMBER 2, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 149

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lankan navy sinks 12 rebel boats, kills up to 100 rebels in high-sea clash
Associated Press, Sat September 2, 2006 06:51 EDT . Sri Lankan navy sinks 12 rebel boats, kills up to 100 rebels in high-sea clash

By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Sri Lanka's navy said Saturday it sunk 12 Tamil Tiger boats, including five suicide craft, and killed as many as 100 rebel fighters during a fierce six-hour sea battle off the country's northern coast.

A Roman Catholic priest who said he witnessed the dusk-to-dawn battle said nearly 500 families living along in the area fled, fearing they would be caught in the crossfire.

The fighting broke out late Friday when about 20 boats belonging to the Tigers' fierce sea wing attacked a navy patrol near Kankasanthurai harbour, to the east of the northern Jaffna peninsula, navy spokesman, Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake, said.

The Tigers have been battling the government for over 20 years for a separate homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese, but in recent months the fighting has escalated, dealing a bitter blow to a 2002 cease-fire.

About 220,000 people have been made homeless by near-daily shelling, airstrikes and artillery fire since April, according to the United Nations.

The navy patrol - including fast attack gun boats - pushed the Tiger boats into the sea off Point Pedro in Jaffna, where the gunbattle lasted until about early Saturday, the military said.

Dassanayake said 12 rebel boats were sunk, including five suicide craft - high-speed attack vessels laden with explosives that the Tigers ram into naval boats with deadly effect. He said between 80 to 100 rebel fighters were killed.

"This is a huge defeat for them," Dassanayake said.

Two navy boats were slightly damaged, and two sailors wounded, he said.

The pro-rebel Web site TamilNet, however, said two navy vessels were sunk and a third damaged. It said about 30 sailors were still missing.

A duty officer at the government's Media Center for National Security said the rebel boats were heading to Kankasanthurai port, which is part of the maritime lifeline for the military's 43,000 troops on the peninsula.

Military supplies and reinforcements are shipped along the east coast of the teardrop shaped island from Trincomalee port in the northeast to Kankasanthurai.

Roman Catholic priest, P. Iruthayathas, said he was inside his church, about 200 metres from Point Pedro beach, at the time of the battle.

"I saw it through the windows of my church - the flames and the guns firing in the sea - and I heard the sound," he told The Associated Press by telephone.

Iruthayathas said around 500 families in the area had taken refuge in nearby churches and schools while the fighting was going on, but had returned home in the morning.

Iruthayathas said rising violence between the government and Tigers was hurting the community.

"People are suffering. They are unable to properly carry out their livelihood, fishing, and so they don't have money. Even the dry rations given free by the government are not sufficient."

In recent months, Sri Lanka has returned to the brink of full-scale civil war with hundreds of fighters and civilians killed in major offensives. However, neither side has officially withdrawn from a 2002 Norway-brokered cease-fire.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the military Friday continued to pound rebel artillery bases in Sampur, south of Trincomalee.

Insurgents in Sampur have been firing artillery and mortars at the Trincomalee port, and the military launched an operation last Sunday to flush rebels from the area. Sampur is a 50-square kilometre area across the lagoon from the Trincomalee naval base.

The military claims to have killed 101 Tigers and wounded 100 more in the combined navy, army and air force operation since Sunday. Only 14 soldiers have been killed, it says.

The rebels reported 82 deaths - 50 government soldiers, 12 rebel fighters and 20 civilians.

The Tigers have fought the government since 1983. The conflict killed more than 65,000 people before the cease-fire.

Distributed by the Associated Press Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 2 10:19:41 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
·
20 LTTE boats sink in Lanka sea battle  - The Hindu
·
Sri Lanka says 12 Tiger boats sunk in naval clash  - Yahoo News
·
Sri Lanka says sinks 12 Tiger boats in naval clash  - Reuters

Sri Lanka Army chief tours northern battle zone
People's Daily of China, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 23:10 EDT. Sri Lanka's Army Commander Sarath Fonseka toured the northern Jaffna peninsula's battle zone Saturday, his first visit to the area since he survived an assassination attempt on him in April, defense officials said.

Fonseka was badly injured on April 25 when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels deployed a female suicide bomber to kill him at the Army headquarters here.

He toured Jaffna in the company of Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshall Donald Perera, defense officials said, adding that the duo had talks with the Army's divisional brigade commanders in Jaffna.

The Tiger rebels started mounting mortar and artillery attacks in Jaffna on Aug. 11 and the fighting lasted almost three weeks before the security forces established their control in Jaffna.

The Army has been successfully holding on to the peninsula since December 1995, when it was controlled by the LTTE rebels.

Heavy fighting broke out in the peninsula on Friday and the military said it had sunk some 12 boats belonging to the LTTE as they launched an attack in the Kankesanturai area.

But by 3:00 a.m. on Saturday (0930 GMT, Friday) the troops had been able to repulse the Tiger attack.

Fonseka returned to duties late July after undergoing medical treatment in Singapore.

The unsuccessful Tiger suicide attack on him came just four months since he assumed office as the Army chief in December 2005.

Source: Xinhua

More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 23:10:27 EDT 2006 Back to the top


FBI accuses Tamils in Australia of helping LTTE
Indian Abroad, Saturday September 0r, 2006 - 11:50 EDT. The Australian police have launched investigations into several Tamil organisations in this country, after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accused the Tamil community here of supporting rebels in Sri Lanka.

The FBI has said that Tamils in Australia have been funding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to carry out terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.

The FBI accusation comes on the heels of the arrest of 13 men in the US last week who were allegedly plotting to buy Russian-made shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles and assault rifles for the Tamil Tigers.

More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 2 11:48:50 EDT 2006 Back to the top


4 civilians killed in Jaffna
The Hindu, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 18:30 EDT. B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Army said four more civilians were killed in the Jaffna peninsula by the LTTE in the last 24 hours... Back to the top


Selective Timing of SLMM Ruling Extremely Questionable
SCOPP, September 2. Members of the legal fraternity commenting in the media on the recent ruling by SLMM on the killing of 17 Aid Workers attached to Action Against Hunger (ACF) in Muttur have stated that the Head of SLMM has based his ruling on speculation and innuendo in an unfortunate attempt to bring disrepute to the Sri Lankan Security Forces... Back to the top

Colombo, London to pursue peace plan
The Hindu, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 12:00 EDT. B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom have agreed to take "necessary follow up action" on the peace process in the island nation... Back to the top


Aid agencies warn of catastrophe if Red Cross, U.N. pull out of Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sat September 2, 2006 06:47 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Aid workers on Saturday warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if the United Nations and Red Cross pull out of Sri Lanka - , where agency staff are facing mounting restrictions and threats to their safety amid a worsening two-decade civil conflict... Back to the top

We have no Pak pilots, Lanka tells India
Times of India, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 12:00 EDT. NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka has categorically told India that no Pakistani pilots are involved in Colombo's military campaign against the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Sri Lanka sends more supplies to Jaffna
Yahoo News, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 07:40 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - A second cargo ship was loaded here to take vital supplies to increasingly desperate residents of Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, where authorities lifted a rebel siege a week ago... Back to the top

"It's state-sponsored terror in Sri Lanka"
The Hindu, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 12:10 EDT. CHENNAI : The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) always stood for unity and integrity of the country and its support to Lankan Tamils was for their fight against the "state-sponsored terrorism" unleashed on them, said the party's general secretary, Vaiko, here on Friday... Back to the top

Abductions in Lanka cause of concern
Hindustan Times, Saturday September 02, 2006 - 12:00 EDT. Abduction of Sri Lankan media persons and some businessmen and the disappearance of a clergyman, all belonging to the minority Tamil community is causing concern not only locally, but internationally also... Back to the top

``I was a RAW target''
hindu, September 2. ISLAMABAD: The former Pakistan High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bashir Wali Mohammed, has alleged that the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) was behind an attempt to kill him last month in Colombo... Back to the top

Bullet-proof jackets new weapon in Sri Lanka export armory
afp, September 2. MAHARA, Sri Lanka (AFP) - Sri Lanka, which carved a global niche with its exotic lingerie, has penetrated an even more lucrative market -- body armour, flak jackets and bullet-proof vests for foreign troops... Back to the top

New controls on foreign aid workers in Sri Lanka after killings
afp, September 2. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka has enforced new controls on foreign aid workers after 17 local employees of a French charity were murdered, allegedly by security forces, aid officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka navy and Tamil rebels in fierce clash off northern sea
Associated Press, Fri September 1, 2006 12:53 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A fierce naval clash erupted Friday between government patrol boats and Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka - 's northern sea, the military said Friday, as the rebels vowed to retain a key northeastern enclave in the face of air and artillery attacks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Army denies hand in vandalising statue
hindu, September 2. COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka Army on Friday said its personnel were not involved in vandalising the statue of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M... Back to the top

Colombo, London to pursue peace plan
hindu, September 2. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom have agreed to take "necessary follow up action" on the peace process in the island nation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Fighting Continues as Ceasefire Monitors Leave
VOA News, Friday September 01, 2006 - 10:35 EDT. By Patricia Nunan New Delhi 01 September 2006

The Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebel leaders are battling for control of what is now a rebel enclave in the east of the country... Back to the top


Red Cross says it would halt Sri Lanka operation if aid staff attacked
Associated Press, Fri September 1, 2006 11:23 EDT . FRANK JORDANS - Associated Press Writers - GENEVA (AP) The international Red Cross would halt its humanitarian work in Sri Lanka - if its aid workers there were to be attacked, the organization's top official for the region said Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Tamil rebels vow to keep government forces out of Sampur
Associated Press, Fri September 1, 2006 03:25 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday vowed to hang on to a key northeastern enclave, after the military pounded the area for a fifth day with airstrikes and artillery... Back to the top

Sri Lanka prepares to resume flights to embattled northern peninsula
Associated Press, Fri September 1, 2006 06:24 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan airlines on Friday said they are preparing to resume commercial flights to the northern Jaffna Peninsula, which has been cut off for almost a month by fighting between ethnic Tamil rebels and security forces... Back to the top

Sri Lanka mounts offensive for key territory
Yahoo News, Friday September 01, 2006 - 06:40 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army mounted an offensive to capture rebel-held territory south of the strategic northeastern harbour of Trincomalee on Friday... Back to the top

Five soldiers wounded in Sri Lanka mine blast
Yahoo News, Friday September 01, 2006 - 06:40 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - A powerful Claymore mine explosion in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula wounded five soldiers, the defence ministry said... Back to the top

New controls on foreign aid workers in Sri Lanka after killings
Yahoo News, Friday September 01, 2006 - 06:40 EDT. Local and foreign non-government organisations were told to obtain work permits for expatriate staff by Friday, before the deadline was extended by a week, the officials said... Back to the top

Bullet-proof jackets new weapon in Sri Lanka export armory
Yahoo News, Friday September 01, 2006 - 06:40 EDT. The South Asian nation has no major defence-related industry despite being mired in a decades-long battle with Tamil Tiger guerrillas, but a former Sri Lankan marine engineer is hoping to change that with his life-saving venture... Back to the top

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