The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 190


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Senior US official to visit Sri Lanka in peace bid, October 13. COLOMBO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and two other foreign envoys will visit Sri Lanka next week to seek a halt to a rash of fierce fighting that threatens to derail peace talks, officials said on Friday.

Boucher's visit, due to start Thursday, comes as the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fight nearly daily artillery battles in the island's far north. More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri Oct 13 10:16:16 EDT 2006

EU, India seek halt to violence in Sri Lanka, 2006/10/13 . Helsinki, Oct 13 (IANS) The European Union and India Friday demanded an immediate halt to violence in Sri Lanka and an early resumption of peace talks between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka was among the subjects that figured in talks Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with his Finnish counterpart Matti Vanhanen Thursday and with leaders of the European Union Friday.

A joint statement issued after the India-EU summit meeting said: "Both sides are convinced that violence is not the answer to problems in Sri Lanka, and call on the parties to return to talks immediately." More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri Oct 13 14:36:36 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan forces, Tamil rebels exchange artillery, mortar fire on Jaffna peninsula
Associated Press, Fri October 13, 2006 01:08 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Army forces and Tamil Tigers exchanged artillery and mortar fire in northern Sri Lanka on Friday, the military said, days after hundreds of combatants were killed in some of the bloodiest battles since a 2002 cease-fire accord.

Tamil rebels fired artillery and mortars across the defense line in Muhamalai on Jaffna peninsula overnight, wounding four soldiers, said an officer at the Media Centre for National Security, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

He said there was continuing sporadic artillery fire from both sides along the defense line.

In northern Vavuniya, the northernmost government-held garrison town before rebel-held territory, one soldier was killed and three wounded when rebels attacked an army patrol, said an officer attached to the Media Center for National Security, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

He said the soldiers repulsed the attack, but rebel casualties were not known immediately.

The latest fighting comes a day after the military said 129 soldiers died in a fierce battle Wednesday with the rebels, in which the army said 200 insurgents were killed.

On Thursday, the rebels handed over the bodies of 74 soldiers to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which transported them to the government-controlled district of Vavuniya where they were received by the army.

Rebel military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan said Thursday that as many as 200 government soldiers had died, along with 22 rebels. He also said the rebels had captured one soldier. The ICRC said they had visited the wounded soldier, who is in a hospital.

The combined death toll was one of the highest since the government and rebels signed the 2002 cease-fire agreement.

The military denied it started Wednesday's major offensive, saying it had fired heavy artillery and rockets after sporadic attacks by rebels since Tuesday along a de facto border separating government and rebel-held areas near Muhamalai on Jaffna peninsula.

The government routinely maintains that its military operations are defensive and do not violate the 2002 cease-fire, but the Tigers accused the army of initiating the offensive.

The battle came after Tiger political chief Suppiah Thamilselvan agreed Tuesday to attend peace talks with the government, which Norwegian peace brokers said would take place in Switzerland on Oct. 28-29.

The government said Thursday it remains committed to the scheduled talks despite the continued fighting.

The United States said it was ``deeply concerned,'' urging an end to the violence and warning it could throw doubt on the talks.

The military controls almost all of Jaffna Peninsula, but small pockets are held by the rebels, who 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.

About 2,000 people have died in fighting this year, according to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, which was set up to oversee the cease-fire.

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 the 2002 cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Oct 13 09:29:55 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Military says 1 soldier killed, 3 wounded in Tamil Tiger attack in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri October 13, 2006 05:55 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a group of soldiers patrolling a defense line in northern Sri Lanka - on Friday, killing one and wounding three others, the military said... Back to the top

Political rivals in Sri Lanka agree to pursue national consensus, Oct. 12. For the first time in the history of the island nation, the arch political rivals Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President, Mahinda Rajapaksa and the United National Party under the leadership of a former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday agreed to pursue a `national consensus' on all issues confronting the country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka army suffers major loss in pre-talks fighting+
Associated Press, Thu October 12, 2006 09:30 EDT . COLOMBO, Oct. 12 (Kyodo) _ The Sri Lanka army has suffered its heaviest setback since the February cease-fire with at least 118 soldiers killed and over 500 wounded, according to reports reaching Colombo on Thursday. The official death toll in the fighting in the northern Jaffna peninsula released by the Defense Ministry earlier Thursday was 44 soldiers killed and 225 wounded... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: ICRC hands over bodies to armed forces
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - Switzerland, 12 Oct 2006 19:10:14 GMT. Following clashes between the Sri Lankan Security Forces (SLSF) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the forward defence line on the Jaffna peninsula, the ICRC sub-delegation in Kilinochchi was asked by the LTTE this morning to hand over 74 bodies to the SLSF... Back to the top

LTTE stepping up violence: Colombo, Thursday October 12, 2006 - 21:00 EDT. COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) on Thursday claimed that at least 478 persons, including 78 of its own troops and 400 cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), were killed in one of the deadly flare-ups in the peninsula in the past 24 hours... Back to the top

Sri Lanka clashes kill 129 troops, 12 October 2006. At least 129 Sri Lankan army soldiers were killed in fierce fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday close to the northern city of Jaffna... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government ready for talks with rebels despite fighting that killed scores
Associated Press, Thu October 12, 2006 05:48 EDT . LEIGH MURRAY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Thursday it remains committed to peace talks with Tamil Tiger separatists, despite raging battles a day earlier that the military said killed 200 rebels and 43 soldiers... Back to the top

U.S. Army War College Honours Lieutenant General Parami Kulatunge The Heart of a Lion the Love of a Brother
Embassy of Sri Lanka, Thursday October 12, 2006 - 20:45 EDT. A fitting epitaph for Lieutenant General Parami Kulatunge, bestowed on him at an inspiring and poignant Memorial Dedication at the U... Back to the top

U.S. welcomes agreement on date to hold peace talks between government and Tamil Tigers
Associated Press, Wed October 11, 2006 14:57 EDT . - - WASHINGTON (AP) The United States welcomed on Wednesday the agreement between Sri Lanka - and the Tamil Tigers to resume peace talks but cautioned that continuing violence is creating doubts on whether the talks will take place... Back to the top

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