The Lanka Academic

VOL. 8, NO. 295


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Artillery fire, clashes kill 27 Tamil rebels, military says
Associated Press, Sat January 26, 2008 13:41 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers fired artillery rounds Saturday and fought separate gunbattles with Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's restive north and northeastern regions killing 27 insurgents, the military said.

Troops fired artillery at rebels in Palamoddai village, northern Vavuniya district, killing six of them, the defense ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Separate gun clashes broke out across Vavuniya district Saturday killing 11 rebel fighters and 10 more guerrillas died in scattered fighting in northeastern Welioya village, the report said.

It did not report any military casualties and rebel officials could not be reached for comment.
Published: Sat Jan 26 23:49:47 EST 2008

Sri Lankan jets bomb Tamil rebels' naval headquarters, military says
Associated Press, Sat January 26, 2008 07:47 EST . By Krishan Francis, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lankan air force jets bombed the separatist Tamil rebels' naval headquarters Saturday while the group's sea wing leaders were holding a meeting there, the military said.

However, a pro-rebel website said the air strike hit the offices of a British aid agency in rebel-held Mullaitivu district.

Pilots said they struck the base near Puthukudiyiruppu village in Mullaitivu but did not provide any details about any damage, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

The base was bombed on intelligence that the sea wing leaders were meeting there, Nanayakkara said, although he could not confirm that the guerrillas' powerful naval chief, known as Soosai, was at the base during the bombing.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer calls seeking comment on the military's claims. But the pro-rebel website Puthinam said an office of White Pigeon - which is involved in demining and designing prosthetics for landmine victims - was damaged in the raid, but did not report any casualties.

A spokesman at the agency's office in Britain told The Associated Press by phone that he had not heard of any damage to White Pigeon's offices in Sri Lanka. He declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the situation.

The air raid was part of the government's ongoing campaign to kill the guerrillas' top brass and crush their decades-old separatist war.

In November, the air force killed the Tigers' political wing head, S.P. Tamilselvan, believed by many to have been the rebels' No. 2 leader.

The military later claimed that top rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had been injured in another air raid. The guerrillas, however, denied he was hurt.

Fighting has raged around the rebels' de facto state in the north since the government announced earlier this month that it was pulling out of a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire, which had long been ignored by both sides.

More than 500 people have been killed since the ceasefire officially ended, according to the military.

A series of battles across Sri Lanka's north killed 17 guerrillas and one soldier Friday, the military said.

Clashes along the front lines in Vavuniya district, just south of the rebels' de facto state, left 13 Tamil Tigers dead, a defence ministry official said.

Separate clashes in nearby Mannar district killed four insurgents and one soldier, he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

It was not possible to independently verify the military's claims because the fighting took place deep in the northern jungles, where access is restricted. Both sides often release inflated casualty figures for their opponents while lowering their own.

The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent state in the north and east for the country's ethnic Tamil minority after decades of being marginalized by Sinhalese-dominated governments. The fighting has killed more than 70,000 people.Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 26 08:31:38 EST 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Air Force hits LTTE target, 20 killed in Sri Lanka  - pti

LTTE Prabhakaran in India?
IANS, jan 26. Chennai, Jan 25 (IANS) Rumours of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo V. Prabhakaran having crossed the Palk Straits to India to recuperate from wounds sent the Tamil Nadu police into a tizzy Friday.

The state police's anti-extremist wing - the 'Q' Branch - refused to comment on the rumours that said Prabhakaran may have been seriously wounded and moved to Tamil Nadu.

There were enough indications here that the law and order machinery was pressed into service to check all hospitals across the state for persons with unexplained wounds.

Meanwhile, fishermen belonging to Rameshwaram, 600 km south of here, are on an indefinite strike to demand removal of floating mines in the expanse of water separating India from Sri Lanka.

Fishermen's associations have threatened to block roads from Feb 1 if their charter of demands, including for immediate release of 12 of their comrades allegedly held by the Sri Lankan navy, is not met.

The island's navy has openly admitted to mining the expanse of water between Rameshwaram and northern Sri Lanka to prevent LTTE operatives from escaping sustained aerial bombing by the Sri Lankan Air Force. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 26 13:43:34 EST 2008 Back to the top

Gunbattles across Sri Lanka kill 17 Tamil Tiger rebels and 1 government soldier, military says
Associated Press, Sat January 26, 2008 00:48 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The latest gunbattles across northern Sri Lanka - killed 17 Tamil Tiger rebels and one government soldier, the military said Saturday after days of violence in which 16 civilians were found hacked to death in a jungle swamp... Back to the top

Journalist stabbing condemned
bbc, Jan. 26. International human rights watchdogs have condemend the stabbing of a leading journalist in the state-run Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) on Friday night... Back to the top

India not playing any military role in Sri Lanka: envoy
PTI, jan 26. WASHINGTON: India does not play any military role in the Sri Lankan conflict, the country's envoy to the US has said, while hailing New Delhi's role in the "political context"... Back to the top

Sri Lanka defence chief calls for ban on Tamil Tigers: report, January 26, 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka's defence secretary has called for a ban on the Tamil Tigers and said the ongoing military campaign was aimed at destroying the rebels' top leaders, a report said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Tamil Tigers must compromise for peace: envoy, January 25, 2008. WASHINGTON (AFP) Sri Lanka said Friday it could not return to the negotiating table with the Tamil Tigers unless there was a guarantee from the rebels that they would not walk away from the talks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says kills 30 rebels, planes bomb north, 25 jan. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan warplanes bombed a Tamil Tiger base in the far north on Friday, a day after ground troops killed 30 rebels in clashes across the region, the military said... Back to the top

UK jails ex-S.Lanka Tiger Karuna for ID fraud, Jan 15, 2008. Britain sentenced renegade ex-Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebel Karuna Amman to nine months in prison on Friday for identity document fraud and now rights groups hope he will face additional war crimes charges... Back to the top

Sri Lanka fixes dates for elections in war-torn east, Fri Jan 25, 2008 . Sri Lanka has fixed dates to hold local elections in the recently recaptured east for the first time in 14 years, a day after the government unveiled a home grown peace plan aimed at giving more autonomy to war-torn areas... Back to the top

Sri Lanka probes bodies found in shallow graves, 25 jan. COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lankan police were Friday investigating the gruesome discovery of 16 bullet-riddled bodies dumped in shallow graves in a government-controlled part of the island... Back to the top

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