The Lanka Academic

 
SEPTEMBER 17, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 164

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Headline Summary
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Investigators exhume slain Sri Lankan aid workers as killing continues in north
Associated Press, Sat September 16, 2006 07:21 EDT . ANTHONY DEUTSCH

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Australian investigators probing the execution-style killing of 17 aid workers exhumed two bodies from a cemetery in eastern Sri Lanka on Saturday, officials said, as clashes between ethnic Tamil rebels and security forces killed a soldier and an insurgent in the troubled north.

Police Saturday also said that seven civilians have been shot dead over the past two days in northern Jaffna, long a flashpoint for violence in the Sinhalese-dominated state's near-two decade war with separatists Tamil Tiger rebels.

The 17 employees with international relief agency Action Against Hunger _ all but one of them ethnic Tamils _ were shot at close range in August amid a fierce battle between the government and rebels for the eastern town of Muttur.

International monitors of Sri Lanka's disintegrating cease-fire have implicated government troops in the massacre _ a claim strongly denied by authorities. The United Nations and aid agencies have pressed for an impartial investigation.

The remains of the aid workers would be transported to the capital, Colombo, where they would be re-examined as part of an Australian-led, independent inquiry, said police spokesman Nihal Samarakoon in the eastern port town of Trincomalee.

Other bodies may be exhumed once their families give their consent, Samarakoon said.

Trincomalee and the Jaffna peninsula have seen some of the fiercest fighting since the two sides signed a Norway-brokered cease-fire in 2002.

Major hostilities have apparently eased in recent days, although the cease-fire has unraveled amid fighting that has killed more than 400 government forces since July.

One army soldier was killed and two others wounded when the insurgents attacked a sentry post overnight with hand grenades and small arms overnight, the Defense Ministry's Media Center for National Security said in a statement Saturday.

The military also distributed photos of an alleged dead Tamil Tiger rebel, said to have been killed in a counterattack by the army Saturday afternoon.

Rebel officials weren't immediately available for comment on the claims.

In northern Jaffna, at least seven civilians were killed Thursday and Friday, police said Saturday. They did not want to be named because they feared they too could be targeted.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the country's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority in the northeast, citing decades of discrimination by the Sinhalese majority.

The conflict cost the lives of about 65,000 people before cease-fire.

Meanwhile, a severe fuel shortage took hold in the battle-torn north, causing power cuts for most of the day, halting public transportation and forcing people to swap motorcycles for bicycles, residents said. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 16 09:46:53 EDT 2006


Rebels attack Sri Lankan forces with roadside bomb, shoot electricity worker
Associated Press, Sun September 17, 2006 01:57 EDT . ANTHONY DEUTSCH - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a roadside bomb near Sri Lankan forces on a foot patrol Sunday, wounding four, and shot to death an electricity board employee in an overnight attack, the military said. On Saturday, Australian investigators probing the execution-style killing of 17 aid workers exhumed two bodies from a cemetery in eastern Sri Lanka - , officials said.

Police on Saturday also said that seven civilians had been shot dead over the previous two days in northern Jaffna, long a flashpoint for violence in the Sinhalese-dominated state's near-two decade war with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

The 17 employees of international relief agency Action Against Hunger all but one of them ethnic Tamils were shot at close range in August during a fierce battle between the government and rebels for the eastern town of Muttur.

International monitors of Sri Lanka - 's disintegrating cease-fire have implicated government troops in the massacre a claim strongly denied by authorities. The United Nations and aid agencies have pressed for an impartial investigation.

The remains of the aid workers will be transported to the capital, Colombo, where they will be re-examined as part of an Australian-led independent inquiry, said police spokesman Nihal Samarakoon in the eastern port town of Trincomalee.

Other bodies may be exhumed once their families give their consent, Samarakoon said.

Trincomalee and the Jaffna peninsula have seen some of the fiercest fighting since the breakdown in recent months of a Norway-brokered cease-fire in 2002.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the country's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority in the northeast, citing decades of discrimination by the Sinhalese majority.

The conflict cost the lives of about 65,000 people before the cease-fire.
Published: Sun Sep 17 03:41:00 EDT 2006 Back to the top


7 civilians shot dead in northern Sri Lanka in two days
Associated Press, Sat September 16, 2006 04:56 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) At least seven civilians have been shot and killed over the past two days in Sri Lanka - 's troubled north, witnesses and police said Saturday.

The bodies of seven victims were recovered within 24-hours on Thursday and Friday in northern Jaffna peninsula, police said. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 16 06:09:53 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Conditions for 'unconditional' talks
BBC, September 15. The Tamil Tigers have imposed “conditions” for the proposed talks between them and the Sri Lanka government... Back to the top

Terrorised Sri Lankan Tamil traders flee to India
IANS, September 15. New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Several Tamil traders and businessmen have fled Sri Lanka following a spate of killings and abductions that activists say has led to one of the most traumatic periods for the island's minority community... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government soldier killed, 2 wounded in overnight attack
Associated Press, Fri September 15, 2006 23:27 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Sri Lankan soldier was killed and two others wounded in an overnight attack by Tamil Tiger rebels, a defense official said Saturday... Back to the top

Latvian president becomes sixth candidate for next U.N. chief, the first woman and first non-Asian
Associated Press, Fri September 15, 2006 21:11 EDT . EDITH M. LEDERER - Associated Press Writer - Jordan's U... Back to the top

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