The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 156


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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Eleven Sri Lankan soldiers killed in battle with Tamil rebels, military says
Associated Press, Sat September 9, 2006 08:34 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan soldiers backed by air strikes and artillery fire launched a fresh attack on ethnic Tamil rebels in the country's embattled north, leaving 11 troops dead and 53 wounded, a defense official said Saturday, as the country edged closer to all-out war.

The fighting in northern Jaffna comes less than a week after the army claimed to have routed Tamil Tigers from Sampur, a rebel-held village in the northeast, and despite a 2002 cease-fire.

While neither side has withdrawn from the truce, weeks of escalating battles along borders separating rebel- and government-held territory in the northeast have left it in tatters.

The Tigers have threatened retaliation and a resumption of war unless the army withdraws from Sampur.

The military pounded rebel-held territory in the north with air strikes and artillery after Tamil Tigers stepped up their attacks on government troops, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said Saturday.

``The (rebels) began attacking us with artillery fire on Thursday. We have been retaliating since then. This is a limited operation to neutralize their artillery bases,'' Samarasinghe said.

He said 11 soldiers had been killed and at least 53 wounded. He had no details about rebel casualties.

The government's Media Center for National Security said air strikes and multi-barreled rocket fire took out the rebels' heavy artillery bases before ground troops moved in early Saturday.

The pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said the military has been shelling rebel bunkers in Muhamalai, at the base of the army-controlled Jaffna peninsula for two days. It said there were no rebel casualties.

Jaffna has long been a flash point for violence in Sri Lanka's 19-year war between the Sinhalese-dominated state and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who claim it as the cultural homeland of the country's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority.

The Tigers want to carve out a separate state for predominantly Hindu Tamils, citing decades of discrimination by the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese majority.

The conflict _ one of Asia's longest running _ cost the lives of about 65,000 people before the truce, which most here now say exists on paper only.

Hundreds of combatants and civilians have been killed and about 220,000 displaced since April, when the military launched air strikes on rebel territory in northeast Trincomalee in retaliation for a failed suicide attempt on the life of a top-ranking general.

Clashes broke out again in late July in Trincomalee over a water source blocked by the rebels, sparking three weeks of fierce fighting and an army ground offensive.

Then, on Aug. 11, the Tigers made a major push to retake Jaffna.

Although the government claimed to have beaten back the rebels in 11-days, sporadic artillery fire across the northern border and government airstrikes on rebel bases have continued.

Transport to and from the peninsula also remains cut, stranding thousands of people, including foreign aid workers, students and businesspeople, and leaving the region short of food, medicine and other basic goods.

A naval ship carrying 795 civilians from Jaffna reached the northeastern port of Trincomalee late Saturday, the military said.

The ship was not flying the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as a previous ferry evacuating foreign nationals had, and TamilNet accused the government of using civilians as ``human shields'' to move military goods to Trincomalee.

Four fast attack navy craft escorted the ship as it traveled from Jaffna down the northeastern coast of Sri Lanka, the Web site said.

The Tamil Tigers have said they cannot guarantee the safety of sea or air transport to and from Jaffna in light of the military's ongoing operations. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 9 09:27:54 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
11 soldiers killed in Jaffna battle  - The Hindu
Sri Lanka troops take Tiger territory, troop death toll hits 20  - Yahoo News
26 dead in fresh Sri Lanka clashes  - RTE News

Phone links with LTTE-held area snap
Hindustan Times, Saturday September 09, 2006 - 16:00 EDT. As part of the on-going military operations, telephone links with Kilinochchi, the headquarters of the LTTE, have been cut.

The town is currently without electricity too.

The cutting of the phone lines on Thursday, has adversely affected news gathering by media organisations based in Colombo and Jaffna.

In Jaffna, fixed lines are still working, but mobile phones are dead.

Meanwhile, the pro-LTTE Tamilnet More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 9 16:00:49 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka says no withdrawal despite Tiger threats
Reuters, Saturday September 09, 2006 - 13:20 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government said on Saturday there was no question of withdrawing from a rebel stronghold it captured five days ago, despite threats of retaliation and renewed fighting in the north of the country.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have threatened to strike back if the army does not immediately withdraw from territory near the strategic Trincomalee harbour in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation.

Senior rebel leader S. Puleedevan told Reuters on Friday the seizure of Sampur, the first major capture of territory by either side since a 2002 ceasefire, was "tantamount to a declaration of war".

The rebels' political chief, S.P. Thamilselvan, said it had brought an end to the ceasefire agreement. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 9 13:22:04 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers get claws into young refugees
Sunday Herald, September 10. THE boys playing cricket with a home-made bat and an old tennis ball in Thiramadu refugee camp pack up promptly at dusk these days... Back to the top

``Sri Lanka issue should be resolved soon''
The Hindu, Saturday September 09, 2006 - 16:00 EDT. Udhagamandalam: The north-east issue in Sri Lanka should be resolved as soon as possible by the Government keeping in mind the grievances and aspirations of the Tamil people, said Sri Lankan Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development Arumugan Thondaman... Back to the top

Aussie abuse made me stronger: Murali
afp, September 9. LONDON • Muttiah Muralitharan (pictured right) has said one of the reasons for his recent fine form has been the way he coped with the abuse he received from crowds during Sri Lanka’s tour of Australia earlier this year... Back to the top

EU for stringent enforcement of ban on LTTE
Hindustan Times, Saturday September 09, 2006 - 09:50 EDT. PK Balachandran

Colombo, September 9, 2006

Stung by the LTTE's refusal to accept truce monitors from the European Union (EU) countries, the EU parliament on Thursday called upon member states to enforce the ban on the Tamil militant organisation in a stringent manner... Back to the top

2 soldiers killed, 15 injured in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Sat September 9, 2006 05:47 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sept. 9 (Kyodo) Two soldiers were killed and 15 injured when Sri Lanka - 's army launched a fresh military offensive against Tamil rebels in the north of the country on Saturday, a military source said. More than 1,500 people have reportedly been killed and tens of thousands displaced by fighting in Sri Lanka - 's northern and eastern provinces this year... Back to the top

Minister underscores rising anti-Indian feeling in Sri Lanka
hindu, September 9. Colombo, Sept. 8 (PTI): A Sri Lankan Minister's outburst against Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao accusing her of meddling in the island nation's affairs is seen as a sign of simmering anti-India feeling here. Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike told the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday that Rao should mind her own business and stay away from dabbling in internal politics, a charge outrightly rejected by India... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's opposition to support president's peace effort
Xinhua, September 9. Sri Lanka's main opposition, the United National Party (UNP) said Friday it is willing to extend support to the rival President Mahinda Rajapakse in his efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to the country's separatist armed conflict... Back to the top

Moody vows to remain in Sri Lanka
BBC News, Saturday September 09, 2006 - 10:00 EDT. Coach Tom Moody insists he will stay with Sri Lanka despite safety fears for foreign nationals in the country... Back to the top

Press cheers minister for India bashing
afp, September 9. Colombo • Sri Lankan media yesterday joined the tirade against Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao who was accused of meddling in the island nation’s affairs by a senior minister even as the government here was yet to make its stance known on the issue... Back to the top

British-Sri Lankan out of race for U.N.'s top post
Reuters, September 9. UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Fiji said on Friday it never intended to sponsor a British member of the European Parliament as a candidate for U... Back to the top

Lankan state media slams peace brokers
afp, September 9. COLOMBO • Sri Lanka’s peace broker Norway came under a scathing attack from the media here yesterday amid diplomatic moves to inject new life to a collapsing ceasefire... Back to the top

'Vacate our land or it's war' - Tamil Tigers
Reuters, September 8. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have told the government to immediately withdraw from a rebel stronghold it seized this week or face war... Back to the top

2 separate bomb blasts in Sri Lanka kill 1, wound 11
Associated Press, Fri September 8, 2006 05:36 EDT . SANATH PRIYANTHA

Associated Press Writer

VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Two separate bomb blasts in Sri Lanka's embattled north and east on Friday killed one soldier and wounded 11 people, including four school girls, witnesses and the government said... Back to the top

U.N. envoy visits Sri Lanka amid deteriorating humanitarian situation
Associated Press, Fri September 8, 2006 09:23 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A top U... Back to the top

U.N. refugee agency concerned about the return of displaced Sri Lankans
Associated Press, Thu September 7, 2006 10:35 EDT . - - GENEVA (AP) The U.N. refugee agency said Thursday it was concerned about the safety of thousands of people in eastern Sri Lanka - who have started to return to the homes they fled during rebel-government fighting... Back to the top

Wind-borne pesticides downs 70 schoolgirls in Sri Lanka
afp, September 8. COLOMBO -- At least 70 schoolgirls and three of their teachers were hospitalized with breathing problems in eastern Sri Lanka Friday following the over-spraying of pesticides at a neighboring farm, doctors said... Back to the top

Report: Female immigrants earn less, but send more home
Associated Press, Thu September 7, 2006 18:21 EDT . JULIANA BARBASSA - Associated Press Writer - Individual country studies cited in the report reveal aspects of women's roles in this larger phenomenon... Back to the top

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