The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 218


Express your opinions, meet others at the TLA Forum!

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...]
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
U.N. Secretary-General calls on parties involved in Sri Lanka conflict to return to peace process
Associated Press, Fri November 10, 2006 18:33 EST . UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is ``increasingly concerned'' about the growing violence in Sri Lanka and ``deplores the many civilian casualties caused by the ongoing hostilities between Government forces and the Liberation Tigers,'' a U.N. spokesman said on Friday.

Annan is appealing to the parties involved in the conflict to ``bring an end to the spiral of violence'' and calls on them ``to make every effort to return to the peace process as soon as possible,'' the spokesman said.

Earlier on Friday, a prominent Tamil politician was assassinated in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, and a naval attack on two Tamil Tiger boats left six rebels dead, Sri Lankan officials said _ acts appearing to draw the South Asian country closer to full-scale war.

The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate Tamil homeland in the country's north and east, citing discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

The conflict killed more than 65,000 people before a Norwegian-brokered truce in 2002, but subsequent peace talks failed. Surging violence this year has killed more than 2,000 civilians, soldiers and rebel fighters and threatens a return to all-out civil war. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Nov 10 20:54:18 EST 2006

Prominent Tamil politician assassinated in Sri Lankan capital as war looms
Associated Press, Fri November 10, 2006 06:32 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A prominent Tamil legislator was assassinated in the Sri Lankan capital Friday, while the navy said it killed six rebels in an attack on Tamil Tiger boats.

Nadaraja Raviraj, a member of the Tamil National Alliance, was leaving his house in Colombo when he was approached and shot at close range, said K. Sivajilingam, a fellow member of Parliament. Raviraj's bodyguard was also killed.

President Mahinda Rajapakse called the killing a ``cowardly and heinous act'' by ``those opposed to dissent and political pluralism in a democratic society.''

The Tamil party blamed the government for the killing.

``We understand that a whole magazine has been emptied on them in broad daylight,'' said Suresh Premachandran, a Tamil National Alliance legislator. ``This is a clear message to Tamil parliamentarians ... 'Don't open your mouth.'''

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said it was unfair to blame the government before an inquiry takes place. He said the president had asked for help from London's Scotland Yard in investigating a series of attacks _ including Raviraj's killing _ which the government suspects were orchestrated by the Tamil Tigers to blame the government.

The U.S. Embassy condemned Raviraj's assassination. ``It is critical that crimes such as the murder of Nadaraja Raviraj not go unpunished. We urge the government to begin an immediate investigation,'' the embassy said.

Raviraj, who also worked as a lawyer and was going to court when he was attacked, died at the National Hospital, said hospital director Anil Jasinghe.

Raviraj, a leading campaigner for Tamil self-rule, became mayor of the Tamil heartland Jaffna in 1999 following the assassination of his two predecessors. He was elected to Parliament as a rebel-backed representative of Tamil National Alliance in 2001 and 2004.

On Thursday, he had joined a demonstration outside the local U.N. refugee agency to call for the protection of thousands of refugees who fled their homes after military shelling killed at least 23 Tamil civilians Wednesday in the eastern Batticaloa region. The Tamil National Alliance said 41,000 Tamils were displaced.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan navy destroyed two Tamil Tiger naval boats early Friday, killing six rebels, said navy spokesman, Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake. A pro-rebel Web site reported the clash, but gave no casualty figures. The rebels, who often dispute government casualty figures, did not immediately comment.

A day earlier, rebels claimed they killed 25 Sri Lanka sailors and captured four in a clash in northern waters. But Dassanayake said only seven sailors were missing. There was no way to independently verify the figures.

Tamil Tiger military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said five rebels were also killed.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the navy, assisted by the air force, destroyed 22 of 26 rebel boats, but he did not give casualty figures.

The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate Tamil homeland in the country's north and east, citing discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

The conflict killed more than 65,000 people before a Norwegian-brokered truce in 2002. Subsequent peace talks failed, and surging violence this year has killed more than 2,000 civilians, soldiers and rebels, threatening to plunge the country back into full-scale civil war.

Discuss this story
Published: Fri Nov 10 09:01:56 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Tamil legislator shot dead in Colombo as navies clash  - afp
Parliamentarian Raviraj Shot Dead  - MCNS
MP Raviraj Shot Dead  - Wires

Allies push Delhi to interfere in Lankan strife, November 11. Along with the ceremonial welcome he gets on his visit to New Delhi later this month, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse will be given something which he has not asked for: a briefing on India’s rising concern over the killing of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka. With the DMK joining the chorus of other parties in Tamil Nadu demanding India’s interference in the Lankan crisis, the Centre has been forced to step down from its cultivated aloofness and acknowledge the damage in its south neighbourhood. Shipping and surface transport minister TR Baalu, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as DMK president and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s messenger on Friday, said that the Prime Minister has assured him that the matter will be discussed with external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and taken up with Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Nov 10 20:55:39 EST 2006 Back to the top

Lanka seeks British help to probe assassination of Tamil MP, Nov. 10 . Colombo, Nov. 10 (PTI): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa sought help from Scotland Yard to investigate assassination of Tamil legislator Nadarajah Raviraj, who was shot dead here today. Pro-rebel Tamil legislator Nadarajah Raviraj, 44, and his bodyguard were shot dead as they drove to work in Colombo's Narahenpita area this morning in rush hour traffic, police said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan navy says two rebel boats destroyed in new sea clash, 6 rebels killed
Associated Press, Thu November 9, 2006 21:52 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan navy destroyed two Tamil Tiger naval boats early Friday, killing six rebels, a spokesman said, in another sign the country is drifting toward full-scale war amid increasing violence... Back to the top

US deplores Sri Lankan MP s killing, Nov 10 . Colombo, Nov 10 (IANS) The US deplored Friday's assassination of N... Back to the top

Rebels attack third Sri Lankan navy gunboat
afp, November 10, 2006. COLOMBO (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels have destroyed a Sri Lankan navy gunboat off the island's northeast coast with casualties feared, less than 12 hours after sinking two similar craft, officials and residents said... Back to the top

26 Sri Lankan sailors dead, four captured alive in northern sea battle, Tamil rebels say
Associated Press, Thu November 9, 2006 11:51 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said on Thursday that they have killed at least 26 Sri Lankan sailors and caught four others alive in a fierce sea battle off the northern Jaffna peninsula... Back to the top

PM `concerned over attacks on Lankan Tamils, Friday November 10, 2006 - 06:30 EDT. New Delhi, Nov. 10 (PTI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today conveyed to DMK chief M Karunanidhi that he was "equally concerned" at attacks on Sri Lanka's Tamils and assured he would discuss the issue with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee so that it could be resolved urgently with the island nation. Singh gave the assurance to Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu, who met him on behalf of the DMK leader to seek "immediate appropriate intervention" by India to end "unprovoked and indiscriminate offensive of the Sri Lankan Army against innocent Sri Lankan Tamils"... Back to the top

U.N. condemns Sri Lanka 's shelling of school that sheltered displaced people
Associated Press, Thu November 9, 2006 12:42 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The United Nations on Thursday condemned the Sri Lankan military's shelling of a school sheltering displaced people, killing at least 23 Tamils... Back to the top

Time for rethink on Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi, Nov 10, 2006. CHENNAI : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Thursday that the time was now ripe to "rethink and find an answer" to the Sri Lankan crisis... Back to the top

Anger over Lanka civilian deaths, 9 November 2006. The Sri Lankan government has been heavily criticised for an artillery bombardment that killed dozens of civilians in the east of the island... Back to the top

Thousands flee Sri Lanka camp, Thu Nov 9, 2006 9:04am ET. VALACHCHENAI, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees fled their camp in rebel territory in the island's east on Thursday, survivors said, a day after the army bombed the location killing dozens of civilians... Back to the top

Norway wants Sri Lanka to explain firing of grenades near chief truce monitor
Associated Press, Thu November 9, 2006 07:00 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Peace broker Norway has asked Sri Lanka - 's government to explain why troops fired grenades just meters (yards) away from the chief cease-fire monitor as he visited the country's volatile , a minister said... Back to the top

Amnesty International condemns attack on Sri Lankan school; at least 23 killed
Associated Press, Thu November 9, 2006 04:25 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Human rights group Amnesty International and Tamil members of Parliament on Thursday denounced the shelling of a school by Sri Lanka - 's military in which at least 23 people were killed and scores of others injured... Back to the top

© Copyright 2000-2005 Lanka Academic Network.