The Lanka Academic

VOL. 8, NO. 276


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Sri Lanka Is Eradicating Terrorism in the North, Rajapaksa Says, jan 8. an. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka is eradicating terrorism in the northern region after driving the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from the east, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

``There are two challenges before us,'' Rajapaksa said in a speech yesterday, according to the government's Web site. ``One is the challenge of eradicating terrorism and the other is the challenge of eradicating poverty.''

The army won control of the Eastern Province in July, allowing terrorism to be wiped out in the region, Rajapaksa said. The process of eliminating terrorists in the Northern Province is being achieved by the military operations undertaken in recent months, he added.

The LTTE's defeat in Sri Lanka's east left the group holding bases only in the north to carry out its fight for a separate homeland, a conflict that has resulted in the deaths of 70,000 people in the past 24 years. The military is targeting LTTE leaders, killing the group's military intelligence chief at the weekend and the head of its political wing in November. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 7 22:53:16 EST 2008

Emirates puts its stake in SriLankan Airlines on the market
etravel, jan 8. Following the termination of its management contract, Emirates Airlines has publicly announced that it is willing to sell all or part of its near 44 per cent stake in SriLankan Airlines, which Emirates’ president has valued at USD $150 million.

“Emirates has notified the Government of Sri Lanka that it will not be renewing the Shareholders' Agreement which expires on 31st March 2008 and accordingly, with effect from 1st April 2008, management control of SriLankan Airlines will be passed to the Government of Sri Lanka,” said SriLankan Airlines’ Managing Director Mr. Timothy Clark in an official statement.

“Emirates will continue to manage the Company until 31st March 2008 through the offices of Mr. Peter Hill and his management team. Emirates will retain its 43.6% equity in the Company for the time being and continue to have a Board presence.”

The decade long contract is set to conclude 1, April, 2008. The Sri Lankan government and Emirates have participated in talks over the past two years but have failed to come to an agreement on the airline continuing its management of the national carrier. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 7 23:01:18 EST 2008 Back to the top

We have all killed the peace deal! -Opinion
khaleej Times, jan 8. THE ceasefire had been a dead-letter since December 2005 when violence escalated in the absence of any confidence-building measures by the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). While the two sides continued the war instead, the question remained as to who would bury this dead-letter.

Finally, the government decided to perform the last rites at the expense of drawing the international community’s ire. It was exactly what the LTTE wanted. The government stands accused of killing the ceasefire agreement signed by the then prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in February 2002. But don’t blame the government alone. We are all guilty of killing, nay murdering the ceasefire agreement. When we say murder it means it was done with premeditated malice.

It was the LTTE which dealt the initial blows to the ceasefire deal by trying to assassinate government and military leaders, by setting off roadside bombs targeting security forces personnel and committing provocative acts with impunity.

The Rajapaksa administration on its part failed to take any confidence-building measures. It came to power, dismissing the ceasefire deal as a flawed document. Once in power, it was more concerned about its political survival than bringing peace to the country. War is probably the only plus point of the Rajapaksa government. It is the prime factor that props up the government’s popularity among the masses who grin and bear the rising cost of living in the hope that Rajapaksa would eliminate the LTTE’s terrorism and thereafter bring peace and prosperity to the country. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 7 22:56:23 EST 2008 Back to the top

LTTE link in city credit card fraud
TOI, jan 8. BANGALORE: The police seem to have stumbled upon an interesting link after the Saturday arrest of suspected LTTE men in Mangalore... Back to the top

Job prospects for Lankans get a boost
GulfNews, jan 8. SRI LANKAN workers are likely to get over 50,000 jobs in Qatar in about a year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Doha and Colombo in the island nation tomorrow, according to reports published in a Sri Lankan newspaper... Back to the top

Sri Lanka court limits government cordon-and-search security efforts
jurist, jan 8. The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka [official website] Monday ordered the country's government to stop cordon-and-search security operations, in which security forces cut off access to a populated area before searching and arresting residents within... Back to the top

Sri Lankan fighting kills 81 after government's formal withdrawal from cease-fire accord
Associated Press, Mon January 7, 2008 05:53 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Gunbattles between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels brought the death toll for four days of fighting to 81, according to military figures Monday, as violence intensified following the government's announcement that it would formally withdraw from a 2002 cease-fire accord... Back to the top

Sri Lanka slams Nordic nations over truce remarks, Jan 07, 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lanka took exception to a statement by Nordic nations which voiced distress over the situation in the Indian ocean island, where the government abrogated an Oslo-arranged truce... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military: Fighting kills 23 rebels, 1 soldier in embattled north
Associated Press, Mon January 7, 2008 04:50 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Gunbattles between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels killed 23 insurgents and one soldier in intensifying violence in Sri Lanka - 's embattled north, bringing the death toll for three days of fighting to 72, the military said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Army Advances in Jaffna After Rebel Commander Killed
bloomberg, jan 7. Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's army advanced in the northern Jaffna Peninsula as the military targeted bases held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and killed the group's head of military intelligence. Soldiers have built new sentry posts on main roads in Jaffna since the government ended its 2002 cease-fire with the LTTE last week, TamilNet reported on its Web site, citing unidentified security officials in Jaffna... Back to the top

Emirates ends 10-year Lanka tie-up
GulfNews, jan 7. Dubai: Emirates has ended its 10-year deal to manage SriLankan airline saying it will pass on the carrier's control to the Colombo government, the majority shareholder in the island's flag carrier... Back to the top

President's peace advisor quits
BBC Sinhala, Sunday, January 06, 2008 09:30EDT. The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's top advisor on the peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels has resigned... Back to the top

Scrapping of ceasefire has weakened Lanka s position, 6 jan. Colombo (PTI): Accusing the government of "war-mongering", Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Monday claimed the decision to scarp the ceasefire had benefitted LTTE's aspirations for a separate state, weakened the country and "disappointed" the international community, including India... Back to the top

Report: Top Tamil Tiger intelligence official killed in Sri Lankan military ambush
Associated Press, jan 6. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan troops infiltrated separatist Tamil rebel territory in the embattled north and blew up a car, killing a top rebel intelligence official and three others who were inside, a pro-rebel Web site reported Sunday... Back to the top

LTTE warns of escalation, to demonstrate military strength, Sunday, Jan 06, 2008, 09:16 EDT. Colombo (PTI): Unfazed by the recent reverses, the Tamil Tigers today hinted an escalation in their military offensive against the Sri Lankan government even as they accused India and other countries of being "indecisive" in taking a stand on the ethnic strife in the island country... Back to the top

Tamil Intelligence Chief Slain by Sri Lankan Soldiers (Update1)
bloomberg, jan 6. Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan soldiers shot dead the head of military intelligence for the Tamil rebels in an ambush in the country's northern province, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Shanmuganathan Ravishankar was killed, along with 20 other members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, when the soldiers ambushed a van in which he was traveling in the Adampan area of Mannar, spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said today in a telephone interview from the capital Colombo... Back to the top

LTTE intelligence chief killed
NDTV, jan 6. 'The 43-year-old Charles has been involved in killing of some senior leaders and the Colombo Central bank bomb blast,'' which had left 91 people dead and 1000 injured in January 1996, said Devananda, who himself recently survived a suicide attack carried out by a suspected LTTE woman bomber... Back to the top

Fresh Sri Lanka clashes as monitors begin pullout, jan 6. COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lankan security forces clashed with Tamil Tiger separatists and exchanged artillery fire in the north as Norwegian-led monitors began pulling out before a truce runs out, officials said Sunday... Back to the top

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