The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 193


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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
LTTE “Tamil Tigers” and its UK-wide network
Global Politician, October 16. LTTE was banned in the UK February 28th 2001. The annual publication of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) London 'Military Balance 2005/2006' referred to emerging links between the LTTE and the Al-Qaeda movement. It was later revealed confidentially by the editors to diplomatic sources that these links were in terms of commercial transactions including trafficking for financial gain and acquisition of technology rather than any ideological linkage. Experts are studying with interest links between the LTTE and Al-Qaeda in its financial, commercial and arms dealings. It is also believed that such links also exist in maritime transactions.

The LTTE, better known as the Tamil Tigers, which is engaged in an armed confrontation with the Sri Lankan Government, was the first terrorist organisation to use suicide bombers against civilian and military targets. It has in the last 23 years assassinated the political leadership in Sri Lanka, killed a former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and been involved in the loss of nearly 60,000 lives of mostly innocent civilians. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Oct 16 23:13:11 EDT 2006

US condemns suicide attack in Sri Lanka, blames Tigers
The News, October 16. WASHINGTON: The United States condemned Monday a suicide attack in Sri Lanka that left at least 103 people dead and wounded 150 others, blaming the Tamil Tigers for the carnage.

"Though there have been no claims of responsibility, this attack is in keeping with the tactics of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.

"The United States condemns today's suicide attack near Habarana, Sri Lanka that killed more than 90 civilians and members of the Sri Lankan navy. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims," McCormack said. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Oct 16 23:45:15 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Military says Tamil Tiger suicide attack kills 92 Sri Lankan sailors
Associated Press, Mon October 16, 2006 06:05 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Tamil Tiger rebels rammed a truck loaded with explosives into a naval convoy in central Sri Lanka on Monday, killing at least 92 sailors and wounding more than 150, in what the military described as a cold-blooded massacre.

``All these people were without weapons and were going on leave,'' military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.

Samarasinghe said the attack happened near the town of Dambulla, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of the capital Colombo, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rammed a small truck loaded with explosives into a convoy of military buses.

The blast killed 92 sailors, while more than 150 were wounded and evacuated to nearby hospitals.

He said the buses were carrying sailors from the port town of Trincomalee.

President Mahinda Rajapakse's office said in a statement that the attack ``was further proof of the LTTE's unmitigated commitment to violence to achieve its ends and was in total disregard of international demands for it to abandon violence and seek peaceful means to achieve its goals.''

The military called the attack, one of the deadliest since a Norwegian-brokered 2002 cease-fire, a ``cold-blooded massacre.''

``This inhuman act is a clear revenge by the terrorists on the navy who inflicted successive defeats for LTTE against their attempts of smuggling arms and explosives,'' a military statement said.

The navy on Sunday destroyed a trawler loaded with arms along the west coast, killing at least five Tamil Tiger separatists.

A witness said that several of the buses attacked had caught fire, while the truck driven by the suicide bomber was destroyed. He said the body of the truck driver was found about 50 meters (yards) from the scene.

The attack comes as a Japanese envoy held talks with the Sri Lankan president Monday amid intensified diplomatic efforts to strengthen the peace process between the government and rebels ahead of scheduled talks between the two sides later this month in Switzerland.

It was not immediately clear what impact the attack would have on those talks. There was no immediate comment from the rebels on the attack, although they routinely deny their involvement.

Yasushi Akashi also planned to travel to the rebel stronghold in the north to talk with the Tiger leadership during his five days in Sri Lanka. A Japanese Embassy spokesman said he had no information yet on whether those plans would change following the attack.

Thorfinnur Omarsson, a spokesman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, urged the government and rebels to keep their commitment to the peace talks despite the deadly attack.

``Obviously this is a brutal attack and a serious threat to the peace process,'' Omarsson said. ``But the people of Sri Lanka deserve that the talks will take place as planned.''

Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer was also scheduled to return to the island this week ahead of the planned Oct. 28-29 peace talks, while U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs Richard Boucher will make a two-day visit to Sri Lanka starting Thursday.

The flurry of diplomatic activity comes after some of the bloodiest fighting since the cease-fire was signed in 2002, temporarily ending nearly two decades of civil war. Heavy battles last Wednesday on the northern Jaffna Peninsula left hundreds of combatants dead, despite commitments by both the government and rebels to return to the negotiating table.

The military controls nearly all of the Jaffna Peninsula, which the ethnic Tamil minority claim as their cultural heartland. The Tigers still hold small pockets in the area.

Fighting has left about 2,000 people dead this year, according to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, 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: Mon Oct 16 06:40:15 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
LTTE suicidal vehicle attacks the Naval convoy - Habarana  -
Massive explosion reported in northwest Sri Lanka  - Associated Press
Sixty-three Sri Lankan sailors killed in Tamil Tiger suicide attack, navy official says  - Associated Press

Suicide bombing kills over 100 in Sri Lanka
afp, October 16. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka has suffered its worst ever suicide attack when suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a truck packed with explosives next to a convoy of sailors, killing at least 102 people and wounding 150 more... Back to the top

In pictures: Sri Lanka convoy blast, Monday, 16 October 2006. About 100 people have been killed in a suicide attack on a naval convoy in northern Sri Lanka, the military says... Back to the top

PM condemns suicide bomb attack in Sri Lanka
scoop, October 16. PM condemns suicide bomb attack in Sri Lanka Prime Minister Helen Clark today strongly condemned the suicide attack on a Sri Lankan military bus convoy which has killed at least 99 people and injured over 100 more... Back to the top

Government condemns brutal attack by the LTTE, 10/16/2006 . The government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) condemns the brutal and the coward attack by the LTTE terrorists that claimed over 90 lives in Dmbulla today (Monday the 16th of October)... Back to the top

Lankan court scraps key element of Indo-Sri Lanka peace accord, October 17, 2006 . Colombo, Oct 16: In a significant judgement, Sri Lankan Supreme Court on Monday scrapped a key element of the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka peace accord by which the country's northern and eastern provinces were clubbed to become one administrative unit... Back to the top

Annan deplores ‘appalling’ suicide bombing in Sri Lanka, October 16, 2006. Warning against a renewed civil war in Sri Lanka between the Government and Tamil separatists after the latest “appalling” suicide bombing of a convoy of military buses, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the sides to return to the negotiation table... Back to the top

Japanese envoy meets Sri Lankan president, as diplomatic efforts intensify
Associated Press, Mon October 16, 2006 02:54 EDT . LEIGH MURRAY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Japanese envoy met with the Sri Lankan president Monday amid intensified diplomatic efforts to strengthen the peace process between the government and Tamil rebels ahead of talks between the two sides later this month... Back to the top

Fighter jet crashes in Sri Lanka , but pilot ejects to safety
Associated Press, Mon October 16, 2006 09:04 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Sri Lankan air force fighter jet crashed into a lagoon in the country's west on Monday, but the pilot managed to eject to safety, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says it sank rebel boat loaded with arms, killing 5
Associated Press, October 16. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan navy destroyed a trawler loaded with arms along the western coast on Sunday, killing at least five Tamil Tiger separatists and sparking a huge explosion, the military said... Back to the top

LTTE gun men kill five civilians; three of them slain in execution ..., 16 oct. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists caught two Sinhalese traders from Wennappuwa and their truck driver, bound their hands on their backs and shot them in execution style, an eye witness said... Back to the top

North East merger illegal
bbc, October 16. The Supreme Court chaired by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has ruled the merger of the North East as illegal... Back to the top

India unhappy with Sri Lanka government over fighting, Oct 16 . New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) India is deeply unhappy with the continuing fighting in Sri Lanka that has the potential to derail the Oct 28-29 talks between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers in Geneva... Back to the top

Germany freezes aid to Lanka, October 15, 2006. To force the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to go for peace talks at the end of this month, Germany has frozen all new economic aid to Sri Lanka, according to The Sunday Times... Back to the top

Sri Lanka lauds the emergence of Maharoof as new bowling star
Associated Press, Sun October 15, 2006 02:29 EDT . SANDEEP NAKAI - Associated Press Writer - MUMBAI, India (AP) Sri Lanka - cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene is delighted at the emergence of Farveez Maharoof as a new pace bowling force after his Champions Trophy record-shattering performance against the West Indies on Saturday... Back to the top

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