The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 198


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Sri Lanka's rebels threaten government with island-wide war
Yahoo News - AFP, Saturday October 21, 2006 - 10:35 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have threatened to extend their battle against government troops across the island if Colombo "wants a war", as the navy said they killed 20 rebels in sea clashes.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was prepared to accept war or peace and was awaiting the government's move on the future of the conflict, rebel military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP Saturday.

"If the Sri Lankan government wants a war, they will have it everywhere in the island," Ilanthiriyan said by satellite telephone from the rebel-held north. "If they want peace, Tamil people must feel they have peace," he said.

More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Oct 21 10:55:04 EDT 2006

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Sri Lanka’s rebels make war warning  -

Sri Lankan gov't assures security for rebels for Geneva talks; navy destroys 2 rebel boats
Associated Press, Sat October 21, 2006 03:41 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government said Saturday it will provide safe passage for Tamil Tiger officials traveling to Geneva for peace talks, as the navy destroyed two rebel boats approaching a naval base in the north, killing six insurgents.

``We will provide the necessary security in spite of their provocations,'' government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.

Tamil Tiger leaders must travel through Colombo, the site of the country's only international airport, to fly to Switzerland for talks scheduled to start Oct. 28.

Rebel political chief Suppiah Thamilselvan was quoted as saying by the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site that attending talks would depend on the government guaranteeing their security in the capital. Senior rebel officials usually avoid traveling outside their stronghold in the northeast, fearing they could be a military target.

``We have accommodated them over the years. We will provide necessary security, although they have unleashed terror ... even outside the northeast,'' Rambukwella said. ``We are a democratic government and not a terrorist outfit.''

Rambukwella's comments came as the navy on Saturday destroyed two Tamil Tiger boats that were spotted heading toward a naval base on Kayts Island near the volatile Jaffna Peninsula.

At least six rebels were believed killed in the attack, an officer at the Media Center for National Security said on condition of anonymity, in line with policy.

On Friday night, a navy patrol intercepted about 15 rebel boats off Jaffna Peninsula, setting off a 90-minute battle that left seven insurgent boats destroyed and at least 35 rebels dead, a Defense Ministry spokesman said, adding that the other rebel boats fled.

Rebel military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan later confirmed that the navy attacked Tiger vessels but told The Associated Press that no insurgents had been killed.

The battle came amid a spike in attacks across the country that have left hundreds of combatants dead. On Wednesday, Tamil Tigers posing as fishermen blew up two boats in a suicide attack on a naval base on the touristy southern coast, killing at least one sailor. The battle killed 15 rebels.

Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher ended a two-day visit to the island by calling on both sides to stop fighting and seek a solution when they resume peace talks.

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

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 envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer of Norway, which brokered a 2002 cease-fire.

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 cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Oct 21 05:16:15 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Sri Lankan government assures security for Tamil rebels to go to Geneva for talks  - Associated Press

We will not deal with LTTE: US
Rediff News, Saturday October 21, 2006 - 11:00 EDT. he United States has said that it strongly supported peace talks between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers as there was no military solution for the conflict in the island nation.

But the US also asserted that it would not deal with the rebels who use reprehensible and bloody tactics to kill innocent people.

"We believe that there is no military solution for this kind, and we are strong supporters of negotiations," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told a round table of South Asian journalists.

Asked why the US was pushing for negotiations between Colombo and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has been banned by State Department as a Foreign More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Oct 21 11:00:58 EDT 2006 Back to the top

S.Lanka navy kills six rebels in new sea battle, 21 oct. COLOMBO (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan navy destroyed two Tamil Tiger boats on Saturday off an island in the country's restive north, killing six rebels, a naval spokesman said, the second military engagement at sea in less than 24 hours... Back to the top

Al-Qaeda, LTTE diverting charity funds: US expert, Saturday October 21, 2006 - 10:35 EDT. Kolkata, Oct 21: Humanitarian and religious charity for the needy is being used for terrorist activities by groups such as the Tamil Tigers and al-Qaeda, according to a former US official and expert on terrorism funding... Back to the top

Sri Lanka sea battle kills 35, 21 oct. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan navy boats destroyed seven Tamil Tiger vessels in a sea battle, killing at least 35 rebels, a naval spokesman said on Saturday, as President Mahinda Rajapakse appealed for peace... Back to the top

LTTE continues attacking the Security forces, a soldier killed and ..., 21 oct. LTTE continued attacking the security forces yesterday at diverse locations in the North and East... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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, 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

HSBC Sri Lanka secures a AAA (lka) rating from Fitch, 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

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