The Lanka Academic

 
OCTOBER 11, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 188

TLA FORUM

Express your opinions, meet others at the TLA Forum!
TLA FEATURE CORNER
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 Lankan fighter jets pound rebel areas; Tigers say military launched major offensive battle
Associated Press, Wed October 11, 2006 06:12 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Fighter jets pounded Tamil Tiger positions in northern Sri Lanka on Wednesday in what the rebels said was a major offensive. The military said 22 soldiers had been killed, along with a ``large number'' of insurgents in fierce fighting it claimed was defensive.

Security forces had been ``forced to retaliate,'' using heavy artillery and rockets, after sporadic attacks by rebels since Tuesday along the de facto border separating government and rebel-held areas near Muhamalai, on the Jaffna peninsula, the Media Center for National Security said.

It said the air force and navy had helped ``neutralize and destroy identified Tiger concentrations and reinforcements by the sea.''

The fighting killed 22 soldiers and a ``large number'' of rebels, it said, adding that 113 troops were wounded.

A rebel spokesman said he could not comment on the casualty figures.

Witnesses said civil servants and students living close to the battlefield were forced to return home, fearing the fighting could leave them stranded in the north. Bus services into Thennamarachchi and Chavakachcheri areas in the south of the peninsula have been stopped, they said.

``They have begun a large-scale operation along the northern defense line,'' the Tiger's military spokesman, Irasiah Ilanthirayan, told The Associated Press by telephone from the northern rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi.

He said the military started shelling rebel positions late Tuesday night and that ground troops had advanced across their front line early Wednesday.

``They are advancing from all around the defense line,'' Ilanthirayan said.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the rebels started attacking army positions overnight.

``The air force launched strikes on Tamil Tiger positions to neutralize their attack,'' Samarasinghe said.

He did not say what damage the attacks caused, adding that the air strikes had now ended.

The battle comes after the rebels' political chief Suppiah Thamilselvan on Tuesday agreed to attend peace talks with the government later this month. The Norwegian government _ which brokered a 2002 cease-fire agreement _ said Tuesday that the talks are scheduled to be held in Switzerland on Oct. 28-29.

Thamilselvan, who met Tuesday with Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar, warned, however, that the rebels could withdraw from talks if military aggression continues.

It was not immediately clear how the latest military action would affect the peace talks.

Palitha Kohona, the chief of the government's peace secretariat, said ``the government has not launched any offensive in Jaffna.'' The government routinely maintains that its military operations are defensive, and not in violation of the cease-fire.

A spokesman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said they could not comment on whether a major offensive has begun as they have no first-hand information. The team, which was set up to oversee the cease-fire, recently closed down many of their local offices citing an unstable security situation.

A pro-rebel Web site reported Tuesday that the army had rushed rockets, mortar shells and other military hardware to its forward defense lines on Jaffna peninsula.

The TamilNet report said truck loads of military hardware were moved Monday from Palali, the army's main Jaffna base, closer to areas in the south of the peninsula which are controlled by the rebels.

The rebels' political wing said at the weekend that reliable intelligence suggested the military was preparing to launch a major attack on rebel and civilian settlements in the Tamil-majority north under a scorched-earth policy.

The military controls almost all of the Jaffna peninsula, but small pockets are held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which claim the peninsula as the cultural heart of the country's ethnic Tamil minority.

The rebels made a major push to retake the peninsula on Aug. 12.

Dozens of combatants have been killed since last week in fighting in northeastern Sri Lanka. About 1,500 people have died in increasingly heavy fighting since February.

The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority in the north and east, citing decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. About 65,000 people were killed before a 2002 cease-fire.

Discuss this story
Published: Wed Oct 11 08:01:05 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka bombs rebels as peace talks in balance  - Yahoo News - Reuters

U.S. Says It's `Deeply Concerned' About Fighting in Sri Lanka
Bloomberg, Oct 12 02:08. Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government is ``deeply concerned'' by the latest fighting between Sri Lankan forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and said the violence is jeopardizing peace talks later this month.

``We call on both sides to cease hostilities immediately and foster an environment that is conducive to holding productive discussions in Geneva,'' said U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack in a statement yesterday, referring to the talks in Switzerland scheduled for Oct. 28. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Oct 11 21:09:40 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka army suffers heavy casualties in major battle
afp, October 11. COLOMBO (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels killed at least 35 government troops and wounded another 200, halting a major offensive into their territory in northern Sri Lanka, military sources said.

Stiff resistance stalled the government's onslaught, which was backed by Israeli-built Kfir jets, after about six hours, high-ranking military sources said on Wednesday. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Oct 11 11:45:30 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Thirty-five Lanka troops die in battle
ndtv.com, October 11. At least 35 Sri Lankan troops were killed and over 200 injured when Tamil Tiger rebels resisted a major military offensive into their territory in northern Jaffna peninsula on Wenesday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military says 22 soldiers and 'large number' of rebels killed in Jaffna battle
Associated Press, Wed October 11, 2006 06:12 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fierce fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers on the besieged Jaffna peninsula has left 22 soldiers and a ``large number'' of rebels dead, the government said Wednesday... Back to the top

Tigers say Sri Lankan military has launched major offensive on northern rebel positions
Associated Press, Wed October 11, 2006 00:29 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tigers said Wednesday that the Sri Lankan army has launched a major military offensive against rebel positions on besieged northern Jaffna peninsula, triggering a fierce battle that has left two soldiers wounded... Back to the top

Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tigers engaged in artillery battle, military says
Associated Press, Tue October 10, 2006 23:53 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Army troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are fighting a fierce artillery and mortar battle on the Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka - 's volatile north, the military said Wednesday... Back to the top

SL wants LTTE to take up core issues
hindustantimes.com, October 10, 2006. he Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the LTTE should discuss the core political issues involved in the ethnic conflict at the talks, which he hopes will be held on October 28 and 29 in Switzerland... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers ready for peace talks, but could withdraw if military attacks continue:report
Associated Press, Tue October 10, 2006 06:55 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Tamil Tigers' political chief said Tuesday the rebels will attend peace talks with the Sri Lankan government later this month, but warned they could withdraw if the military continues to launch attacks, a report said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Exports Rise 25.6 Pct in Aug.
Associated Press, Wed October 11, 2006 06:48 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's exports surged 25.6 percent in August from a year earlier, reflecting robust growth in shipments of textiles, garments and rubber-based products, the central bank said in a statement Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gets more flights to top Indian tourist cities in ...
lankabusinessonline.com, Wed, October 11, 2006 - 08:12 EDT. Oct 11, 2006 (LBO) Sri Lanka has won additional flights to Indian metropolitan cities Mumbai and Bangalore, following a round of talks with India this week on liberalising air services... Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition ready to support government
people.com.cn, October 11, 2006. Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) said Tuesday that it would extend its support to President Mahinda Rajapakse on his efforts to build consensus on issues of national importance... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers ready to attend peace talks, as army says 20 rebels killed in fierce battle
Associated Press, Tue October 10, 2006 08:59 EDT . LEIGH MURRAY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tigers will attend peace talks with the Sri Lankan government later this month, but warned they could withdraw if military aggression continues, a report said Tuesday, as the army said it killed 20 rebels in fierce fighting in the northeast... Back to the top

Enough on truce: Time for in-depth talks - Sri Lanka
today.reuters.com, Tuesday October 10, 2006 - 06:40 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka is tired of talks with Tamil Tiger rebels centring on the terms of a 2002 ceasefire, and wants a new round later this month to focus on core issues such as human rights and development, the government said on Tuesday... Back to the top

In Sri Lanka, a new threat: remote-controlled toys
Yahoo News - Reuters, Tuesday October 10, 2006 - 06:40 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka has banned imports of remote-controlled toy cars, boats and planes because of fears Tamil Tiger rebels could use them as bombs, a senior military official said on Tuesday... Back to the top

Tharanga slams second successive century as Sri Lanka trounces Zimbabwe
Associated Press, Tue October 10, 2006 12:43 EDT . SANDEEP NAKAI - Associated Press Writer - AHMADABAD, India (AP) Opener Upul Tharanga stroked his second successive limited-overs century and spurred Sri Lanka - to a 144-run victory Tuesday in a Champions Trophy qualifying match against Zimbabwe... Back to the top

Vehicle bomb kills three in Sri Lanka
hindu.com, Tuesday October 10, 2006 - 08:00 EDT. Colombo, Oct. 10 (PTI): A bomb exploded inside a passenger van in northern Sri Lanka today killing the driver and two others, police said. The explosion, which ripped through the mini luxury van, caused extensive damage to a nearby house where two people were killed, police said... Back to the top

Police say three civilians killed in bomb blast in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue October 10, 2006 04:23 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a bomb in northern Sri Lanka - on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding three others, police said... Back to the top

Jayawardene wins toss, Sri Lanka to bat first
Associated Press, Tue October 10, 2006 05:01 EDT . - - AHMADABAD, India (AP) Sri Lanka - captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat Tuesday against Zimbabwe in a qualifying match for the limited-overs ICC Champions Trophy... Back to the top

© Copyright 2000-2005 Lanka Academic Network.