The Lanka Academic

 
OCTOBER 20, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 197

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 navy destroys 2 Tamil Tiger boats, killing 20 insurgents, military says
Associated Press, Fri October 20, 2006 11:52 EDT . LEIGH MURRAY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's navy on Friday destroyed two Tamil rebel boats killing at least 20 insurgents, after the guerrillas launched an attack that triggered a fierce gunbattle in the country's volatile north, the military said.

A U.S. envoy, meanwhile, urged an end to fighting and a resumption of peace talks.

Navy patrol boats intercepted about 15 rebel boats spotted off the village of Nagarkovil on the Jaffna Peninsula, setting off a battle that lasted around 90 minutes, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

``Two boats were destroyed by naval attacks and we believe at least 20 insurgents were killed in the attack,'' the spokesman said, adding that the other rebel boats fled.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels, but the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site confirmed that there were heavy clashes at sea.

The attack came as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher ended a two-day visit to the island, and called on the government and Tamil rebels to end their fighting and take a step towards finding a solution when they resume talks in Switzerland starting Oct. 28.

``In the end, the fighting is not getting anybody anywhere,'' Boucher told reporters in the capital, Colombo. ``The only way to go in the right direction is through negotiations.''

He said the Tamil Tiger leadership can only achieve its aims by returning to the negotiating table with the administration of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

``They have aspirations to satisfy some of the legitimate grievances of the Tamil community,'' he said. ``They have aspirations to see the Tamil community respected, and be able to control its own affairs within a unified island, and the only way they're going to achieve those aspirations is through negotiation.''

Meanwhile, the navy recovered the bodies of seven rebels involved in a suicide bombing that killed up to 16 people in the touristy south, said an officer at the Media Centre for National Security, speaking on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Tamil Tigers posing as fishermen blew up two boats in a suicide attack on a naval base Wednesday in the historic resort town of Galle, killing at least one sailor. Two others reported missing were found with injuries later.

The attack in Galle, 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of the capital, Colombo, could signal a major shift for the rebels, whose decades-long campaign for a separate homeland for minority ethnic Tamils has largely focused on Sri Lanka's north and east, which they claim as their cultural heartland.

Galle, with a 400-year-old Dutch fort and beautiful beaches nearby, is popular with both local and foreign tourists.

The Galle attack was the second rebel suicide attack on Sri Lanka's navy this week.

On Monday, a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed truck into a military bus convoy in central Sri Lanka, killing at least 95 sailors and wounding more than 150 _ the deadliest insurgent attack since a 2002 cease-fire temporarily halted the country's civil war.

The attacks prompted the Australian government to Friday upgrade its travel advisory for Sri Lanka.

``We strongly advise you not to travel to Sri Lanka at this time because of the deteriorating security situation and the high risk of further terrorist attacks,'' the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

The advisory said that recent reports indicate terrorists may be planning suicide attacks against the headquarters of the Sri Lanka Air Force in central Colombo and its main fighter wing at the country's only international airport.

Despite the soaring violence, both sides say they remain committed to peace talks.

Diplomatic efforts have also been stepped up ahead of the talks. Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi was on the island this week, along with Norwegian envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority, 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 20 12:47:32 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
·
Sri Lankan navy destroys 2 Tamil rebel boats in volatile north  - Associated Press

Sri Lankan navy recovers 7 bodies of Tamil Tigers involved in suicide attack on naval base
Associated Press, Fri October 20, 2006 04:10 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's navy has recovered the bodies of seven Tamil Tiger rebels involved in a suicide bombing that left up to 16 people dead in the first such attack in the island's touristy south, the military said Friday. The attack in Galle, 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of the capital, Colombo, could signal a major shift for the rebels, whose decades-long campaign for a separate homeland for minority ethnic Tamils has largely focused on Sri Lanka - 's north and east, which they claim as their cultural heartland.

Galle, with a 400-year-old Dutch fort and beautiful beaches nearby, is popular with both local and foreign tourists.

The pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said 15 rebels took part in the attack. Military officials could not confirm the number of insurgents involved, but said it could be around 10-15 and that all were killed.

The bodies of seven rebel bodies involved in the bombing have been recovered, said an officer at the Media Center for National Security, speaking on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Officer said parts of some bodies were missing apparently due to the impact of the explosion.

The Galle attack was the second rebel suicide attack on Sri Lanka - 's navy this week.

On Monday, a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed truck into a military bus convoy in central Sri Lanka - , killing at least 95 sailors and wounding more than 150 the deadliest insurgent attack since a 2002 cease-fire temporarily halted the country's civil war.

Separately on Friday, the military said Tamil Tigers fired mortars at an army check point in the volatile east overnight, prompting soldiers to retaliate. No casualties were reported

Despite the soaring violence, both sides say they remain committed to peace talks scheduled for Oct. 28 in Switzerland.

Diplomatic efforts have been stepped up ahead of the talks. Norwegian envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer is currently in Sri Lanka - , while U.S. envoy Richard Boucher arrived in the country Thursday for talks with government officials, civil society leaders and non-governmental organizations.

Boucher the U.S. assistant secretary of state for central and South Asian affairs was on a two-day visit, attempting to ensure the two sides remain committed to peace talks.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority, 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 20 06:55:27 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Bodies of 7 rebels recovered after bombing; Australia warns citizens to avoid Sri Lanka  - Associated Press

Breakthrough as Sri Lanka rebels agree to peace talks
afp, October 19. GALLE, Sri Lanka (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels agreed to attend peace talks with the government this month in a breakthrough announcement after a week of bloody attacks left over 250 dead. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) told Norwegian peace broker Jon Hanssen-Bauer they will shortly name a team of negotiators to attend the October 28-29 talks in Switzerland. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Oct 19 12:20:29 EDT 2006 Back to the top
Related News Stories
·
LTTE agrees to peace talks  - hindu.com

US postpones military exercises with Sri Lanka amid violence
afp, October 20. COLOMBO (AFP) - The United States indefinitely postponed planned military exercises with Sri Lanka, a top US official said, amid a week of suicide bombings and other attacks that have killed 250... Back to the top

Sri Lanka arrests 10 for attack on port
people.com.cn, October 20, 2006. Sri Lankan police in the southern port city of Galle has arrested at least 10 people suspected of being involved in Wednesday's Tamil rebel attack on the city... Back to the top

Sri Lanka, LTTE readying for talks
hindu, October 19. COLOMBO: Amid continuing violence, the Sri Lanka Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are preparing the ground for fresh talks in Switzerland on October 28 and 29... Back to the top

Norway positive on Lanka talks
dnaindia.com, October 19, 2006 21:50 IST. OSLO: Despite the recent blood letting in Sri Lanka, Norwegian peace brokers are confident that scheduled peace talks in Geneva between the government and the Tamil Tigers will take place later this month... Back to the top

TNA to boycott Parliament
hindu, October 19. COLOMBO: The Pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians on Thursday walked out of Parliament in protest against the Supreme Court ruling that the temporary merger of the north and east provinces was illegal... Back to the top

India trails Sri Lanka in development
hindustantimes.com, October 19. An Oxfam study released on Thursday put India's growth story in perspective: the country trails Sri Lanka and even Bangladesh on the development front... Back to the top

HSBC Sri Lanka secures a AAA (lka) rating from Fitch
lankabusinessonline.com, Friday October 20, 2006 - 08:30 EDT. October 20, 2006 (LBO) HSBC Bank's Sri Lankan unit has been rated AAA (lka) by Fitch Ratings Lanka for their long-term senior debt... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: MSF Withdraws From Jaffna Peninsula
doctorswithoutborders.org, Oct 19. SRI LANKA: MSF Withdraws From Jaffna Peninsula All MSF medical activities suspended in country Dr... Back to the top

Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers exchange artillery fire in volatile north
Associated Press, Thu October 19, 2006 01:45 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government troops and Tamil Tiger insurgents exchanged artillery fire overnight in northern Sri Lanka - , leaving one soldier wounded, the military said Thursday, following a rebel suicide ambush on a naval base that killed one sailor... Back to the top

US-Lanka to hold joint naval exercises
HT, October 19. In a move which will have far reaching consequences for the Sri Lankan government's battle against the LTTE and also for the strategic scenario in the South Asian region, the Sri Lankan Navy and the US Marine Corps are to hold joint exercises in the last week of this month... Back to the top

US worried over Lanka violence
CNN, OCTOBER 19. New Delhi: Curfew has been relaxed in the violence-hit Sri Lankan port city of Galle on Thursday but security remains tight amid fears of communal clashes... Back to the top

Sri Lanka on edge over fear of more rebel violence
scotsman.com, Oct 19, 2006. Sri Lankan troops stepped up a vigil in cities and at key military facilities across the island on Thursday amid fears of new attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels as fresh fighting flared in the north of the country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka still safe for tourists
timesonline.co.uk, October 19, 2006. Holidays to Sri Lanka are not being cancelled, despite a bomb attack in a region popular with tourists... Back to the top

Three Sri Lankan soldiers killed in separate attacks blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels
Associated Press, Thu October 19, 2006 08:42 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Three government soldiers were killed Thursday in a mine blast and a mortar attack blamed on the Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka - , a day after a rebel suicide ambush at a naval base killed a sailor and left two missing... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Sees Foreign Investment Growth
Associated Press, Thu October 19, 2006 06:43 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Despite the recent flare-up of violence, Sri Lanka - expects to attract a record level of foreign direct investment this year, the government said... Back to the top

Oxfam: Governments across South Asia failing to provide basic health, education services
Associated Press, Thu October 19, 2006 08:47 EDT . GAVIN RABINOWITZ - Associated Press Writer - The report, which highlighted lack of access to education, health, water and sanitation, called on the governments of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka - , Afghanistan and Nepal to step up their financial and political commitments to provide these basic needs... Back to the top

UN concerned over plight of displaced Sri Lankans
zeenews.com, Oct 19. The United Nations top humanitarian official has expressed "serious concern" over lack of access to displaced needy victims of the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

© Copyright 2000-2005 Lanka Academic Network.