The Lanka Academic

VOL. 8, NO. 281


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Sri Lanka donors voice concern as war toll climbs, Jan 12. COLOMBO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's main foreign donors voiced concern on Saturday at the island's escalating civil war, calling on the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to respect human rights as the death toll steadily climbs.

Fifteen rebels and one soldier were killed on Saturday in the northwestern district of Mannar, where troops fired mortar bombs into Tiger territory, the military said, adding 59 rebels and two soldiers were killed across the north on Friday.

The military says it has killed over 200 insurgents since the government announced last week it was formally scrapping a 6-year ceasefire which degenerated into renewed war two years ago, and analysts and diplomats are bracing for more bloodshed.

Over 5,000 people have been killed since 2006 amid near daily air raids, land and sea battles, ambushes and bombings.

"The Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, United States and European Union) jointly express their strong concerns about the termination of the 2002 ceasefire agreement by the government of Sri Lanka," the donors said in a joint communique. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 12 21:16:12 EST 2008

Fierce clashes kill 95 in Sri Lanka, January 12. At least 95 Tamil Tigers were killed in fierce fighting with Sri Lankan troops in the island's embattled north, the military said on Saturday, as clashes intensified after the government last week decided to pull out of a six-year-old ceasefire with the rebels.

One soldier was killed and 27 others sustained injuries in the fighting, which came even as a Japanese peace envoy's headed for the island to discuss the situation after the scrapping of the 2002 truce.

Troops engaged in fierce artillery duel with LTTE on Saturday morning, killing at least 15 LTTE cadres and injuring scores as troops further advanced into non-liberated Palaikkuli general area, the defence ministry said.

The military said at least 95 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels were killed in a series of gun battles with the security forces in the restive northern parts of the country, with most of the casualties occurring in clashes in Vavuniya and Mannar fronts. More...
Published: Sat Jan 12 13:33:52 EST 2008 Back to the top

Global pressure mounts on Sri Lanka to return to cease-fire+
Associated Press, Sat January 12, 2008 10:22 EST . COLOMBO, Jan. 12 (Kyodo) _ An influential group of global powers including Japan on Saturday jointly expressed ''strong concerns'' about the Sri Lankan government's decision to withdraw from the cease-fire agreement with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

Norway, Japan, the United States and the European Union, grouped together as the so-called ''Tokyo Co-Chairs,'' also said they support Norway's continuing role as ''facilitator'' of the peace process.

On Jan. 3, the Sri Lankan government gave Norway two weeks notice of withdrawing from the CFA with effect from Wednesday.

The CFA, which existed only on paper with escalation of fighting between government forces and rebels in recent months, had a provision for either party to withdraw from it with two weeks notice.

Diplomats noted that the Tokyo Co-Chairs, representing the donor countries that met in Tokyo in 2003, had pledged massive support for rebuilding Sri Lanka's war-torn areas and reviving the economy but the country had not been able to take full advantage of this due to continued fighting.

The donor group pledged $4.5 billion over three and a half years linked to progress of the peace process.

''The Co-Chairs emphasize their belief that there is no military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka, and reiterate their support for a negotiated settlement,'' the statement said.

It also expressed ''deep concern'' about the human rights situation and protection of civilians in Sri Lanka and called for an ''appropriate role'' for the United Nations in this regard.

They urged the Sri Lankan government to ''finalize a politically sustainable devolution plan,'' as the government prepared to launch a massive military push against the rebels in the northern Wanni district under its control.Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 12 13:30:49 EST 2008 Back to the top

Lanka peace more difficult with CFA scrapping: US, January 12, 2008. The US has cautioned that Sri Lanka's scrapping of the ceasefire agreement could make it "more difficult" to achieve a negotiated settlement to the Tamil ethnic conflict even as it pledged to stop the flow of arms and money to the LTTE... Back to the top

Sri Lanka has a right to take action against terrorists: Pranab, 12/1/2008. Sri Lanka is well within its right to take action against terrorists, but the government should also continue efforts to arrive at a solution to the problem of ethnic minorities, including the Tamils, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said... Back to the top

Fighting in Sri Lanka's volatile north kills 59 rebels, 1 soldier, military says
Associated Press, jan 12. BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Government soldiers and Tamil separatists fought a series of gunbattles in Sri Lanka's embattled north, leaving 59 insurgents and one soldier dead, the military said Saturday... Back to the top

Lanka says Prabhakaran may be injured
hindu, jan 12. Colombo (PTI): There are strong indications that elusive LTTE Supremo V Prabhakaran was injured, Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka has said claiming that the military had reduced the rebel strength to half... Back to the top

Will hand over LTTE chief to India: Rajapakse, January 12,. Days before the official ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE ends on Tuesday, January 15, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse has promised to hand over the LTTE chief to India if his forces catch him... Back to the top

FBI, Jan 08, 2008. As terrorist groups go, it has quite a résumé:
*Perfected the use of suicide bombers;
*Invented the suicide belt;
*Pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks;
*Murdered some 4,000 people in the past two years alone; and
*Assassinated two world leaders—the only terrorist organization to do so... Back to the top

LTTE Will Be Defeated By Year-end: Sri Lanka Army Chief, Sat, january 12, 2008, 1:45 EDT. Saturday 12th of January 2008

The Sri Lankan Army Commander, Lt... Back to the top

World s Tamils can only watch as Sri Lanka edges closer to war, jan 12. A LARGE photograph of the dead Tamil Tiger hero was at the centre of a small altar-like structure, as hundreds of Tamils filed past to drop marigold petals in respect... Back to the top

'Ruthless' LTTE inspired Al Qaeda in Iraq, says FBI
Hindustan Times, Sat, January 12, 2008, 1:49 EDT. PK Balachandran, Indo-Asian News Service

Colombo, January 12, 2008

The "ruthless tactics" of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers have inspired terrorist networks worldwide, including the Al Qaeda in Iraq, says the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military reports explosion at Colombo railway station
Associated Press, Jan 11. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ An explosion rocked a busy Colombo railway station Friday evening, the Sri Lankan military reported... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government rejects Tamil rebel call to revive 2002 cease-fire
Associated Press, Fri January 11, 2008 03:14 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka's government Friday rejected a call by Tamil rebels to revive a 2002 cease-fire, a week after Colombo officially withdrew from the truce... Back to the top

Sri Lanka launches air attacks against Tiger rebels: ministry, 11 jan. Sri Lankan war planes carried out fresh raids on Friday on rebel-held territory in the north, the defence ministry said, reporting 30 more guerrillas killed in ground fighting... Back to the top

Sri Lankan jets pound rebel sea base, clashes kill 26 Tamil insurgents, military says
Associated Press, Fri January 11, 2008 01:46 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan fighter jets pounded a Tamil rebel sea base in the country's embattled north Friday, while clashes elsewhere in the war-torn country have killed 26 insurgents, the military said... Back to the top

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