The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 210


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We have lost a great mathe- matician, engineer, scientist, an old timer of SLNet/LAcNet and a former LAcNet director. Pubudu Dayawansa (Daya) was instrumental in carrying out many LAcNet projects. He was responsible in setting up "Colombo Calling" a website that was designed to carry weekly articles from Sri Lankan Academic community and Human Rights activists. [ More...]
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Sri Lankan air force bombs rebels' northern stronghold, 5 civilians dead
Associated Press, Thu November 2, 2006 12:42 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan air force jets bombed the Tamil rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi on Thursday, killing five civilians, a rebel official and European truce monitors said, further deepening a crisis that risk an all out war.

Four bombs were dropped some 600 meters (1980 feet) away from a hospital and destroyed a civilian home, the Tamil Tigers' military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said by telephone from Kilinochchi.

``The bomb smashed the house to bits,'' Ilanthirayan said. ``The deceased were a family of five. The father, the mother, their two children and a grandmother. This is state terrorism. The civilized world should condemn it.''

A rebel Web site reported the bombs that fell near Kilinochchi's main hospital damaged the wards, causing hundreds of panicked patients to flee.

A spokesman for European truce monitors confirmed the air strike and civilian deaths.

``We have our monitors there, they saw the jets and heard bombings,'' said Thorfinnur Omarsson, spokesman for Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

He said five civilians were killed and three others wounded in the bombing just two kilometers (1.2 miles) away from the Tigers' headquarters.

Sri Lankan military confirmed the raids but denied they targeted civilians.

``We have taken two targets,'' military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said _ a base for Sea Tigers near Mannar in the northwest, away from Kilinochchi, and a rebel training area in Kilinochchi.

Meanwhile, the defense ministry Web site accused the rebels of false propaganda on the air raids.

The report said damages to Kilinochchi hospital, as depicted in photographs published in pro-rebel Web sites would have been caused by ``recent monsoonal rains.''

The air raid was the second in as many days after failed peace talks in Geneva between the rebels and the government over the weekend.

Earlier Thursday, Tamil Tiger rebels fired artillery at troops guarding a closed highway in northern Sri Lanka, killing a soldier and wounding two, the military said.

The rebels fired artillery at a military post guarding the A-9 highway, a key artery that cuts through a vast rebel-held territory connecting the army-controlled Jaffna peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe said.

The government has refused rebel demands to reopen the road, an issue that led to the collapse of the peace talks in Switzerland aimed at salvaging a 2002 cease-fire threatened by fighting.

Thousands of people in the north are facing severe shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies due to the road blocks, residents say but the government argues that reopening the road will allow the rebels to freely transport their weapons and fighters.

``Naturally there has to be a calm prevailed in those areas to reopen the A-9. The LTTE is not allowing it to happen,'' Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told reporters on Thursday before the air raids, calling the rebels by the acronym of their formal name, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

``While they are asking us to reopen (the road), in fact, they are sending an artillery barrage into that area,'' he said.

Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka, citing discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the cease-fire. Another 2,000 people have been killed this year alone.

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Published: Thu Nov 2 13:39:16 EST 2006

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Sri Lankan air force bombs Tamil Tiger artillery positions  - Associated Press
Sri Lankan air force bombs rebels' northern stronghold, 5 dead, crises deepens  - Associated Press
Sri Lankan air force bombs rebels' northern stronghold, 4 dead, says rebel spokesman  - Associated Press
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LTTE gearing up for major offensive: army, Friday, Nov 03, 2006. The military on Thursday said the LTTE was gearing up for a major offensive in the east to "recapture its lost territory." In an escalation of violence post Geneva-II, at least five persons were killed in "pre-emptive" air force raids.

The LTTE alleged that the five persons of a family were killed when Kifir bombers attacked the newly-built Kilinochchi hospital full of patients.

The military claimed that the strikes were on "well identified" Tiger targets in Mannar and Kilinochchi. "With the Tamil Tigers preparing for the offensives in the east, the Sri Lankan Air Force conducted well-planned air strikes on well identified Tiger targets in Mannar and Kilinochchi to pre-empt the LTTE's offensive efforts."

The military claimed that the first target was a Sea Tiger base located North of Mannar and the target details were confirmed both by ground and electronic intelligence sources. The other target was a military training base, it said.

Fighting erupted despite pleas by the Co-Chairs of Sri Lanka to both sides not to precipitate the situation.

The Government maintained that during the Geneva peace talks the Tigers had augmented its cadres and deployed heavy weapons in Kadiraveli, Mavilaru south and Kadjuwatte North areas. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 2 15:46:03 EST 2006 Back to the top

Thousands head home in Sri Lanka as floods subside, Thursday November 02, 2006 - 06:40EDT. COLOMBO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Thousands of Sri Lankans displaced by heavy monsoon flooding which killed 26 people have returned to their homes as waters subside, government officials said on Thursday.

The floods, triggered by heavy rains that began a week ago, destroyed 77 homes, damaged 358 and briefly forced more than 330,000 people from their homes, but most have now returned. Heavy monsoon rains died down on Tuesday.

"People started returning to their homes as the rains stopped and the floods started to subside," said N.D. Hettiarachchi, Director General at the National Disaster Management Centre in Colombo.

He said around 1,500 people still remained in makeshift camps built to house the flood-displaced in the western province of Gampaha, which was worst affected.

Floods and landslides are common during monsoons in Sri Lanka, where More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 2 06:39:25 EST 2006 Back to the top

lift ban on LTTE, says Kuldip Nayar, November 2, 2006. Kuldip Nayar, the noted Indian journalist and head of the Indian Peace Mission to Sri Lanka said in Colombo on Thursday, that India should lift the ban on the LTTE and engage it politically in order to bring lasting peace to war-torn Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Highway is Sri Lanka's road to war
Hindustan Times, Thursday November 02, 2006 - 07:45 EDT. With the peace talks in Geneva breaking down over the issue of re-opening the strategic A9 highway linking south Sri Lanka with Jaffna in the north, Sri Lankans are bracing themselves for a resumption of war and terrorist bombings... Back to the top

Suspected rebels fire at security post, 1 killed; Rebels' peace talk delegation arrives
Associated Press, Wed November 1, 2006 01:12 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil rebels fatally shot a paramilitary guard in northeastern Sri Lanka - early Wednesday, the military said, a day after the navy destroyed a boat suspected of transporting arms and ammunition for the insurgents... Back to the top

Security issue bedevils Indian food supply to Jaffna, Thursday November 02, 2006 - 11:00 EDT. India is all set to supply food to the beleaguered and starving Jaffna, but the unresolved issues of transport and security are holding up movement, an official source in New Delhi told Hindustan Times... Back to the top

Sri Lanka is drowning literally, Thursday November 02, 2006 - 06:40EDT. Literally and metaphorically, we are a drowning nation. With half the country under water as a result of intense inter-monsoon rains, the gloomy weather was symbolic of Sri Lanka’s plight... Back to the top

New Mumbai home for Buddha relics
BBC, Thursday November 02, 2006 - 08:35 EDT. A huge stone pagoda being built on the outskirts of India's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), has been opened to the public after Buddha's ashes and bones were enshrined in it... Back to the top

Relatives of missing Tamil civilians protest in Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Wed November 1, 2006 06:04 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) About 500 relatives of mostly Tamil civilians abducted amid a brutal separatist war gathered in the Sri Lankan capital Wednesday, carrying portraits of the missing and demanding the authorities fulfill promises to investigate the disappearances... Back to the top

LTTE "Tamil Tigers" and its UK-wide network, Wed, November 01, 2006 - 11:25 EDT. October 17, 2006 - London, England - - LTTE was banned in the UK February 28th 2001 and 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... Back to the top

Investigators uncover a trail of activity in Sri Lanka’s latest ..., Thursday November 02, 2006 - 07:45 EDT. November 2, 2006 (LBO) – Authorities who are probing the Seagullsoftware Ponzi scam have found that the firm had accounts in at least two commercial banks, while its participants say cheques have cleared through yet another bank... Back to the top

Memoirs of an anti-LTTE undercover agent in London - Part II
com, Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 06:25 EDT. Glen Jenvey - 11/1/2006

Walking down the road towards the LTTE offices in London at 211 Katherine Rd, one comes across a disused corner shop with a side door... Back to the top

Lankan military accuses LTTE of breaching truce, Wed, November 01, 2006 - 10:40EDT. Sri Lanka's military on Wednesday accused Tamil Tiger rebels of carrying out artillery and mortar attacks against government lines in the east of the island, despite a pledge to stick to a truce... Back to the top

Why India must act in Lanka, November 01, 2006. Despite appeals from both the government in Colombo and the Tamil Tigers, the Indian government has shown a distinct disinclination to take an active part in the resolution of the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka requests ICC reduce dew effects on day-night matches
Associated Press, Wed November 1, 2006 02:18 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan cricket officials on Wednesday called on the ICC to advance the starting time of day-night matches, or play only day matches, when there is a possibility of dew affecting the game... Back to the top

Norway to pursue reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka, Nov. 1. New Delhi, Nov. 1 (PTI): Describing the recent peace talks between Sri Lankan government and LTTE rebels as "very positive", Norway today said it was prepared to continue reconciliation efforts between the two sides aimed at ending ethnic conflict in the island nation. "It is up to the parties themselves to show restraint... Back to the top

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