The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 150


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
Sri Lanka freezes NGO funds
hindu, september 3. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has frozen bank accounts of Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), a non-government organisation that operates mainly in the northeast and is seen as an LTTE "front." It is a registered charity with the Government with its head office in Kilinochchi, operational headquarters of LTTE.

Defence spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told The Hindu "it is a follow up to the arrest of eight persons by the U.S. on August 19 on charges of conspiring to provide material support to LTTE as well as legislation by Sri Lanka Parliament last month against money laundering.

There are certain charges against the TRO and if the investigations do not reveal any link, the freeze would be lifted."

In a statement here, the TRO said on August 29 it was informed by several banks that they had been instructed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to "freeze" all TRO accounts. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Sep 3 20:47:01 EDT 2006

Sri Lankan military sees eastern operation winding up, hopes to resettle displaced
Associated Press, Sun September 3, 2006 04:52 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's military said Sunday it was advancing ``slowly but surely'' on a rebel-held enclave in the east, where a week of near-daily shelling and airstrikes has sent hundreds of families fleeing, putting pressure on already overcrowded refugee camps.

A resurgent civil conflict between ethnic Tamil rebels and the Sinhalese-dominated state has forced at least 220,000 people from their homes since April, including 40,000 who fled during a fierce battle for control of Muttur, a mostly Muslim town in the east, in late July, according to the United Nations.

Aid agencies have called for greater access to the displaced, many of whom are living in squalid refugee camps in the north and east with dwindling food stocks and medical supplies.

A second cargo ship carrying 3,800 tons of food and medicine supplied by the Sri Lankan government was expected to leave the capital on Sunday for the besieged northern Jaffna peninsula.

Jaffna has been virtually isolated since Aug. 11, when the Tigers made a major push to reclaim the army-controlled peninsula, which they consider the heart of ethnic Tamil culture. Private air, road and sea transport was cut, leaving hundreds of foreign passport holders and international aid workers stranded.

About 15 international U.N. staff were expected to take a private AeroLanka flight out of Jaffna on Monday morning, a U.N. staff worker in Jaffna who declined to give his name told The Associated Press.

Dozens of international aid workers in Jaffna and eastern Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts _ areas which have seen some of the fiercest fighting since a 2002 cease-fire _ have reported harassment by security forces asking for work permits and other documents, the U.N. humanitarian affairs office said in its latest report on Sri Lanka.

Deteriorating security and mounting restrictions on travel and work has prevented aid reaching those who most desperately need it, including about 600,000 people made homeless by more than 20 years of war and the 2004 tsunami.

The Tigers have been battling the government since 1983 for a separate homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority, who endured decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

The conflict cost the lives of about 65,000 people until Norway brokered a cease-fire, which now appears in tatters after months of fierce fighting along the borders between rebel- and government-held territories.

Last weekend, the military launched a major operation to flush rebels from Sampur, an area in the east, which it said the Tigers were using to fire mortars and artillery at the Trincomalee naval base.

Soldiers have advanced to about two kilometers (1.25 miles) outside Sampur, but have been slowed down by mines and explosive booby traps laid by the rebels, military spokesman Maj. Upali Rajapakse said Sunday.

He said security forces continued to pound Tamil Tiger artillery bases in Sampur overnight. ``We are slowly but surely achieving our aim,'' he said.

The military insists that the operation to reclaim Sampur and four adjoining villages is based on ``humanitarian grounds'' as Muslims there were being threatened by ethnic Tamil rebels.

Insurgents are also accused of forcibly evicting Muslims _ the country's second largest ethnic minority after the Tamils _ from areas under their control.

A military official earlier said that all civilians could return to Muttur by Monday, but Ashok Ahmed, from the international aid agency Muslim Aid, said resettlement was likely to take at least a month.

He said some people have already started to return.

The top government official in Trincomalee, Maj. Gen. T.T.R. De Silva, insisted Muttur was safe.

``There is no fighting, no shelling in Muttur,'' he said, adding that electricity, water and medical facilities have been restored and about 600 families have already returned home.

The military claims to have killed 119 Tigers and wounded 100 more since Aug. 26, when it launched the Sampur operation. It says only 14 soldiers have died, with 92 wounded.

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

Both sides routinely inflate the other's death tolls and independent confirmation is virtually impossible as conflict zones are off-limit to outsiders. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Sep 3 05:44:41 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Military sees eastern operation winding up, hopes to resettle displaced soon  - Associated Press

Dhammananda, chief Buddhist monk for Malaysia and Singapore, dies at 87
Associated Press, Sun September 3, 2006 03:16 EDT . - - Dhammananda left Sri Lanka - in 1952 to serve as resident monk for the small Sinhalese community in Malaysia. He stayed in his adopted country for 54 years, reaching out to the larger Chinese Buddhist community.

``He cultivated many young Buddhist leaders and initiated the Inter-religious Consultative Council, which has contributed to the harmony among the major races,'' Koh Tsu Koon, chief minister of Malaysia's Penang state, was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times newspaper.

The council expressed sorrow over Dhammananda's death. ``He was exemplary in his commitment to building interfaith harmony,'' it said in a statement.

Dhammananda was also a prolific writer, having published more than 50 books on Buddhism that have been translated into several languages and distributed worldwide.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake flew to Kuala Lumpur Saturday to pay his final respects to Dhammananda.

Wickremanayake described the death as a great loss for the people of Sri Lanka - , said the Sunday Star newspaper.
Published: Sun Sep 3 05:44:26 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Sri Lanka concern over Moody exit
bbc, september 4. Sri Lanka are concerned that they could lose national team coach Tom Moody to his native Australia... Back to the top

Painting the Tiger with new stripes
newindpress, September 2. Truth is stranger than fiction! And what better proof of that than the daily accounts our media carry... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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