The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 14, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 222

TLA FORUM

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IN MEMORIAM

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...]
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
Navy destroys weapons boat with 8 suspected rebels on board; blasts kill 4 soldiers
Associated Press, Tue November 14, 2006 10:17 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The navy on Tuesday destroyed a boat suspected of ferrying arms to Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's north, killing all eight men aboard, the military said.

Also in the north, four government soldiers were killed in separate clashes, the military said.

Navy patrol boats spotted a fishing boat off the western shore close to Indian waters, navy spokesman Commander D. K. P Dassanayake said.

When the naval boats drew close, the men on the other vessel opened fire and threw grenades, he said.

``Then the navy opened fire. The boat sunk after a huge explosion,'' Dassanayake said, adding that the big blast suggested the boat may have been carrying arms and explosives for the Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka is a small island nation separated by a narrow sea strip from neighboring India.

In the early days of the insurrection, Sri Lankan Tamil rebels used India's southern state of Tamil Nadu _ home to some 56 million Tamils, as their base.

But their activities were crushed by Indian authorities after the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a Tiger suicide bomber.

Dassanayake said he could not speculate on where the boat came from or apparently got the arms without proper evidence.

In Mannar, in the northwest, rebels triggered an improvised explosive device that killed three soldiers on patrol, said military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. Mannar is about 220 kilometers (135 miles) from the capital Colombo.

Meanwhile, suspected rebels set off a roadside bomb on the northern Jaffna peninsula, killing a soldier, Samarasinghe said.

The separatist Tamil Tiger rebels didn't comment immediately on any of the incidents Tuesday.

Samarasinghe said the rebels fired artillery late Monday at military camps that dot the defense line separating government and rebel forces in Jaffna _ considered the heartland of Sri Lanka's minority Tamils. No casualties were reported.

Fighting along the line since August has left hundreds of combatants dead in some of the bloodiest clashes since the government and rebels signed a 2002 cease-fire that temporarily halted two decades of civil war.

Many fear that near-daily attacks and killings will drive Sri Lanka back to full-scale war, although the government and Tigers say they are committed to the truce.

The Defense Ministry reported on its Web site that 3,289 people have died in the fighting since Dec. 1, 2005 _ 860 government security personnel, 549 civilians and 1,880 rebels. This death toll does not include those who died Tuesday. The rebels do not generally issue casualty figures.

The two sides met in Geneva last month for peace talks, but failed even to agree on a date to meet again.

The rebels began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for minority ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east, citing discrimination by the Sinhalese majority.

The government controls the Jaffna peninsula's main towns, while the Tigers operate from villages and jungles. Discuss this story
Published: Tue Nov 14 11:32:47 EST 2006


Sri Lanka army dismisses UN child soldier claim
alertnet.org, 13 nov. COLOMBO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army has dismissed a U.N. envoy's charge that elements within the security forces are helping renegade rebels to abduct children as soldiers to fight the Tamil Tigers, voicing deep revulsion.

Allan Rock, Special Adviser to the U.N. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka, said on Monday his mission had found credible evidence that troops were involved in child abductions.

"The mission's conclusions based on 'eye-witness evidence' that the 'government security forces are actively involved in these criminal acts' deserve a deep sense of revulsion," Army Headquarters said in a statement faxed overnight.

It said Rock's findings were "completely misleading".

But Rock told reporters on Monday that President Mahinda Rajapakse, under increasing international pressure to halt mushrooming human rights abuses, had vowed to probe the allegations and punish those responsible.

More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Nov 14 05:58:47 EST 2006 Back to the top


4 Tamil Tigers and 1 soldier killed in separate incidents, reports military
Associated Press, Tue November 14, 2006 04:11 EST . - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The military said Tuesday its soldiers killed four Tamil rebels late Monday after the insurgents ``invaded'' a government-held village in eastern Sri Lanka - . Villages in eastern Sri Lanka - , where violence has been intense recently, are not properly demarcated into areas held by the government or the rebels. The lack of demarcation often triggers fighting.

The military said it forced the insurgents to retreat and suffered no casualties in the attack.

In a separate incident Tuesday, a roadside bomb set off by suspected Tamil rebels killed a Sri Lankan soldier in the northern Jaffna peninsula, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.

The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam did not comment immediately on either incident.

Samarasinghe accused the rebels of firing artillery Monday night at military camps that dot the defense line separating government and rebel forces in the Jaffna area, considered the heartland of Sri Lanka - 's Tamils. No casualties were reported.

Fighting along the line since August has left hundreds of combatants dead in some of the bloodiest clashes since the government and Tigers signed a 2002 cease-fire that temporarily halted two decades of civil war.

Many fear that near-daily attacks and killings will drive Sri Lanka - back to full-scale war, although the government and Tigers say they are committed to the truce.

The Defense Ministry says 3,289 people have died in the fighting this year 860 government security personnel, 549 civilians and 1,880 rebels. The rebels do not generally issue casualty figures.

Both sides met in Geneva on Oct. 28- 29 for peace talks, but failed even to agree on a date to meet again.

The rebels began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for the minority ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka - 's north and east, citing discrimination by the Sinhalese majority.

The government controls the Jaffna peninsula's main towns, while the Tigers operate from villages and jungles. Discuss this story
Published: Tue Nov 14 06:11:03 EST 2006 Back to the top


Blast kills three soldiers in northwest Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Tue November 14, 2006 05:03 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Three government soldiers were killed in a blast triggered by the Tamil separatists on Tuesday in northwestern Sri Lanka - , military said... Back to the top

Anti-war activists march in Sri Lankan to honor slain Tamil lawmaker, demand peace
Associated Press, Mon November 13, 2006 06:18 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Thousands of anti-war activists paraded the body of an assassinated Tamil lawmaker through the streets of the capital on Monday to demand an end to fighting that has killed more than 3,000 Sri Lankans this year... Back to the top

An anniversary in Sri Lanka: But there’s little to celebrate
khaleejtimes.com, 14 November 2006. THE worsening security situation in Sri Lanka is second only to that of Iraq, according to the spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a body that is tasked to monitor the truce between the government security forces and the LTTE... Back to the top

Security heightened in Sri Lankan capital ahead of march for slain lawmaker
Associated Press, Sun November 12, 2006 23:12 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Security was tightened in the Sri Lankan capital Monday ahead of a planned march with the body of a slain Tamil lawmaker who was gunned down last week by unidentified assailants outside his home... Back to the top

British official to visit Sri Lanka to share Northern Ireland peace experience
Associated Press, Mon November 13, 2006 04:42 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A former British Cabinet minister who was closely associated with the Northern Ireland peace process will visit Sri Lanka - this week to share his experiences in peace-building, the British High Commission said in a statement Monday... Back to the top

U.N. accuses Sri Lanka government forces of aiding child soldier recruitment
Associated Press, Mon November 13, 2006 11:55 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The United Nations on Monday accused the Sri Lankan military of helping an armed group to recruit children as fighters against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Army soldiers deployed in Sri Lanka capital ahead of slain Tamil lawmaker procession
Associated Press, Mon November 13, 2006 03:24 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Army soldiers in larger number were deployed in the Sri Lankan capital Monday ahead of a march in memory of a Tamil lawmaker assassinated last week by unidentified gunmen... Back to the top

Mudslides cause deaths in Sri Lanka
upi.com, Monday November 13, 2006 - 16:40 EDT. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Heavy rains have caused a number of mudslides in Sri Lanka killing at least five people and disrupting train and automobile travel. Five bodies have been recovered from vehicles trapped by a landslide that blocked a main road in Pussellawa, the online news service LankaPage reported... Back to the top

Sri Lanka faces tough call on interest rates in face of rising ...
lankabusinessonline.com, Mon, 113 November 2006. Sri Lanka faces a tough call on interest rates on Tuesday as it balances the need to keep inflation in check and ensure economic growth remains on track, analysts said... Back to the top

Landslide kills 5 in Sri Lanka , main road linking tourist resort town blocked
Associated Press, Mon November 13, 2006 02:29 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A landslide triggered by heavy rain killed five people, blocking the main road that connects Sri Lanka - 's tourist town of Nuwara Eliya with the capital, police said Monday, as the weather office forecast continued downpours... Back to the top

IMF warns Sri Lanka as fighting escalates
zeenews.com, Tuesday November 15, 2006 - 22:25 EDT. Colombo, Nov 14: The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned Sri Lanka that escalating violence in a bitter ethnic conflict could prompt an economic crisis through higher prices and dwindling foreign currency reserves... Back to the top

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