The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 177


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka attacks leave 11 rebels, 3 policemen dead, military says
Associated Press, Sat September 30, 2006 09:50 EDT . ANTHONY DEUTSCH

Associated Press Writer

AMPARA, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's elite police force ambushed a group of Tamil Tiger rebels moving to attack a police checkpoint in the east, killing 11 insurgents, while a separate bomb attack killed three policemen, officials said.

``We received intelligence that the LTTE was planning to attack a police check point,'' said Special Task Force official E.H. Jayaweera. He used the initials of the rebels' formal name, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

``We pulled out our regular police and laid in ambush,'' Jayaweera told The Associated Press. He said task force members fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades in a pre-emptive attack, killing 11 guerrillas.

The attack took place in Pullumalai in eastern Ampara district, 220 kilometers (130 miles) east of capital, Colombo.

The Media Center for National Security initially had earlier said 12 rebels were killed.

Jayaweera said two task force personnel were injured in rebel attacks.

Later the rebels' bodies, most in the Tigers' camouflaged uniforms, were displayed to the public at a hospital morgue in the town of Mahiyangana.

Policeman W.A Ranjith said the rebels have requested that the bodies be handed over to them through the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Tamil Tiger official Rasiah Ilanthirayan acknowledged 11 Tiger fighters had been killed.

But in a statement to the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site, Ilanthirayan accused the task force of ambushing the fighters inside rebel territory, in violation of a 2002 truce.

Elsewhere, in northwestern Mannar district, a bomb killed three policemen, the government's Media Center for national security said.

The violence took place as Norwegian envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer was preparing to visit Sri Lanka on Monday for talks with government and Tamil Tiger leaders on the progress of the country's peace process.

Heavy fighting in recent months has imperiled a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire that was signed in 2002 and aimed at ending 19 years of fighting between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

More than 1,000 combatants and civilians have been killed in the fighting in the past few months.

Tamil Tiger rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate state for the country's 3.1 million Tamils following decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese-dominated state.

More than 66,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 30 15:30:21 EDT 2006

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In an interview before ending an 11-day visit to India, Sajith Preamadasa of the opposition United National Party (UNP) also credited President Mahinda Rajapakse of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) with pursuing a military campaign against the Tamil Tigers that he said was seen widely as "most efficient and prudent".

The 39-year-old MP chose words carefully when he was asked about his father's demand made in 1989 asking Indian troops trying to disarm the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the island's war-hit northeast to go home, saying Sri Lankans were capable of resolving their differences themselves. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 30 23:21:26 EDT 2006 Back to the top

UN-GEN--UN-Sri Lanka-Peace Talks
Associated Press, Sat September 30, 2006 15:32 EDT . EDITH M. LEDERER - Associated Press Writer - UNITED NATIONS (AP) Sri Lanka - 's top peace negotiator said he hopes the Tamil Tigers will return to peace talks in October and recognize that they will not achieve their dream of independence through violence. Speaking on behalf of the EU, Japan, the United States and Norway the four overseers of Sri Lanka - 's peace process Ferrero-Waldner said the meeting could take place in October in Oslo.

Kohona, who formerly headed the U.N. treaty section, returned to the United Nations with President Mahinda Rajapakse for the annual ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly which ended late Wednesday.

``In my view, it is unfortunate that there has been this spike in violence,'' he said, ``because early on in the year, the two sides met in Geneva with the intention of negotiating some form of arrangement, and they even set up a subsequent date for negotiations in April for a second round.''

``But the Tamil Tigers never came to the table. They kept on offering excuses, endless excuses in fact, for not returning to the negotiating table. And of course, one thing led to another,'' he said.

Kohoma said there is ``a situation now of uncertainty in the country'' and the government wants to find a negotiated settlement to guarantee the dignity of all Sri Lankans, including the minorities.

``So what we are hoping is that the . . . Tamil Tigers, will give up their campaign of terror and violence and return to the negotiating table as soon as possible,'' he said.

Kohona reiterated that the government ``will consider maximum devolution within a single country, an undivided country'' for the Tamil people.

The Tamil Tigers are staying away from negotiations because they may believe violence gives them the upper hand, Kohona said.

``It is possible that they think that they can achieve their goals through violence and terrorism,'' he said, ``and what we hope from our side is that they will give up this dream and return to the negotiating table, as we have seen elsewhere in the world.''

He pointed to separatist rebels in Aceh in Indonesia, the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland, and Basque separatists in Spain who ``once upon a time were terrorist groups'' but had decided to resolve their differences and achieve their political goals through peaceful means.

For the Tamil Tigers, Kohona said, ``I think the dream of independence will remain a dream.''

``It is very important to recognize realities and work out something, as has been done elsewhere in the world in similar situations ... which is equitable and acceptable to all sides,'' he said. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 30 23:15:40 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka : 3 dead bodies found on road in east, witnesses and police say
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