The Lanka Academic

 
OCTOBER 9, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 186

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Sri Lanka to take ``measures'' if rebel attacks continue;Tamil party warns of full scale war
Associated Press, Mon October 9, 2006 07:26 EDT . LEIGH MURRAY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka's president warned Monday that ``appropriate counter measures'' would be taken to ensure security if Tamil Tiger attacks continue, as a Tamil political party warned of full scale war if the military launches a major offensive. The statement came after Rajapakse met Monday with ambassadors from the countries backing Sri Lanka - 's peace process Japan, the United States, Norway and European Union members.

Rajapakse said he hoped those countries could help persuade the Tamil Tigers ``to abandon their violent approach and return to negotiation.''

Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer last week intensified efforts to restart Sri Lankan peace talks that collapsed in February and end months of bloodshed. He held separate talks with government representatives and Tamil rebels to try and bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.

The Tigers have warned they will withdraw from a 2002 Norwegian-brokered cease-fire if the government continues to attack rebel positions.

Dozens of army personnel and rebels have been killed since last week in fighting in northeastern Sri Lanka - . About 1,500 people have died in increasingly heavy fighting since the last round of peace talks in Geneva in February.

Meanwhile, The Tamil National Alliance a political party widely believed to be a proxy of the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels appealed to the international community late Sunday to urge the government to help create a conducive atmosphere for a return to peace talks.

``There can be little doubt that any such further offensive military operations by the government of Sri Lanka - will almost certainly result in the breakout of full-scale war and a complete negation of the cease-fire agreement,'' said TNA parliamentary member Mavai S. Senathirajah, according to TamilNet, a pro-rebel Web site.

The rebels' political wing said at the weekend that reliable intelligence suggests the Sri Lankan military is in full preparation to launch a major attack on rebel and civilian settlements in the north under a scorched-earth policy.

The military dismissed the allegation, saying it only retaliates if attacked.

TamilNet, quoting unnamed rebel officials, said the army was building up its arsenal on its northern front lines, indicating a ``war plan based on a scorched-earth policy that will flatten civilian settlements'' around the Tamil areas on the Jaffna Peninsula.

The military controls almost all of the Jaffna Peninsula, but small pockets are under rebel control, and fighting since Aug. 12 has cut off a major highway linking it to the mainland.

In the latest fighting, the Tigers attacked the defense line in Welioya, 255 kilometers (160 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Colombo, late Sunday, triggering an overnight gunbattle between army and insurgents, said an officer at the Media Center for National Security, speaking on anonymity condition as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the army did not suffer any casualties.

Separately on Monday, suspected Tamil Tigers exploded a roadside bomb near an army checkpoint in the eastern Batticaloa district, wounding one soldier, the officer said.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels.

Also on Monday, schools in besieged northern Jaffna Peninsula reopened. The schools were initially closed Aug. 12 due to fighting in the peninsula but reopened on Aug. 30. They were shut down again shortly after following protests by a student group affiliated to the rebels who opposed the schools operating while conditions in the area remained unsafe.

(bm/lm) Discuss this story
Published: Mon Oct 9 08:59:34 EDT 2006

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Sri Lankan president warns of "measures" to ensure security if Tiger violence continues  - Associated Press

Army, LTTE trade charges
hindu.com, Oct 09, 2006. COLOMBO: At least four soldiers of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) were killed in clashes even as the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continued to trade charges of unprovoked artillery fire. Sunday's claims and counter-claims in the east came amidst concern in the diplomatic community that the continuing hostilities may affect the proposed October 28-29 talks.

The army said in a statement based on "intelligence and other reliable sources" that in the past few days, the Tigers had stepped up their preparations for a military operation in Trincomalee district. Incidentally, late on Saturday night, the LTTE dashed off a letter to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) alleging massive troop mobilisation by the army targeting the Jaffna peninsula. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Oct 8 20:08:17 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Rebels: Army preparing major offensive in north Sri Lanka in 'scorched-earth policy'  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka would face full-scale war if military attacks rebel territory, Tamil party warns
Associated Press, Mon October 9, 2006 02:04 EDT . LEIGH MURRAY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - would face full-scale war if the military launches a major offensive against Tamil Tiger territory, a political party with rebel links warned, as fighting between troops and rebels continued. ``There can be little doubt that any such further offensive military operations by the government of Sri Lanka - will almost certainly result in the breakout of full-scale war and a complete negation of the cease-fire agreement,'' said TNA parliamentary member Mavai S. Senathirajah, according to TamilNet, a pro-rebel Web site.

TamilNet, quoting unnamed rebel officials, said the army was building up its arsenal on its northern front lines, indicating a ``war plan based on a scorched-earth policy that will flatten civilian settlements'' around the Tamil areas of Elephant Pass, Muhamalai and Pooneryn on the Jaffna Peninsula.

The military controls almost all of the Jaffna Peninsula, but small pockets are under rebel control, and fighting since Aug. 12 has cut off a major highway linking it to the mainland.

The government and rebels have agreed to return to peace talks in Switzerland at the end of October, but the Tigers have warned they will withdraw from a 2002 Norway-brokered cease-fire accord if the government continues to attack rebel positions.

Dozens of army personnel and rebels have been killed since last week in fighting in northeastern Sri Lanka - , with each side accusing the other of initiating the attacks.

About 1,500 people have died in increasingly heavy fighting since the last round of peace talks in Geneva in February.

In the latest fighting, the Tigers attacked the defense line in Welioya, 255 kilometers (160 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Colombo, late Sunday, triggering an overnight gunbattle between army and insurgents, said an officer at the Media Center for National Security, speaking on anonymity condition as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the army did not suffer any casualties.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels. Discuss this story
Published: Mon Oct 9 03:28:25 EDT 2006 Back to the top


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