The Lanka Academic

VOL. 8, NO. 298


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Sri Lanka Denies Soldiers Attacked School Bus Killing 18 People, Jan. 30. Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's military rejected a Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam statement that soldiers attacked a school bus killing 18 people, 11 of them children, in the northwest of the country.

An army Deep Penetration Unit carried out a mine attack on the bus yesterday in the Mannar district, the LTTE Peace Secretariat said in an e-mailed statement. Two teachers and a school principal were among those killed, it said.

There were no military operations so far inside rebel-held territory yesterday, said Brigadier Udaya Nanyakkara, a military spokesman, according to the Defense Ministry's Web site.

The army is attacking LTTE bases in the north after driving the Tamil Tigers from the east in July. Sri Lanka's government ended a 2002 cease-fire with the LTTE on Jan. 16, prompting the United Nations to call on the two sides to prevent the conflict escalating and human rights violations increasing. More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 29 21:21:32 EST 2008

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Sri Lankan govt troops blamed for bus bombing  - Radio Australia

Sri Lanka says soldiers seize small area of rebel-held territory, kill 22 Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Tue January 29, 2008 05:26 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers captured a small area of rebel-held territory after pushing across the front lines in the country's embattled north on Tuesday, triggering battles that left 22 insurgents dead, said the military.

Backed by artillery and mortars, army troops destroyed 10 rebel bunkers and seized about 1 square kilometer (0.39 sq. miles) of territory in the village of Viyattankulam in Mannar district early Tuesday, said a defense ministry official.

The battle lasted about four hours and left 10 rebels dead, said the official speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

In nearby Palaikkuli village, troops destroyed six rebel bunkers, killing 12 guerrillas, he said, adding that the military suffered no casualties. A small area of rebel land was also captured in Palaikkuli.

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. Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer calls seeking comment on the military's claims.

Both sides often release inflated enemy casualty figures while underreporting their own.

Government troops have opened up four fronts around the Tigers' de facto state in the north, while the air force has targeted the group's leadership in a bid to crush the rebels' decades-old separatist war.

Soldiers have driven deep into rebel territory in recent months and pushed the front lines back from three to 20 kilometers (two to 12 miles) in different areas, according to the military.

Intense fighting had already flared further earlier this month when the government announced it was pulling out of a 2002 cease-fire, which had long been ignored by both sides.

More than 700 people have been killed since the cease-fire officially ended, according to the military.

The Tamil 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: Tue Jan 29 07:42:36 EST 2008 Back to the top

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S.Lanka says captures rebel positions, kills dozens  -

Ban wants UN sanctions for using child soldiers
abcnews, jan 30. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Security Council to impose sanctions on armies and groups that make use of child soldiers in at least a dozen countries.

Recruitment of children in armed conflicts was happening mainly in African and Asian countries, ranging from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda to Myanmar and Sri Lanka, he said in the report.

Those responsible were rebel groups but included government forces in countries like Chad, Somalia and Sudan, Mr Ban said. Some were guilty of killing and sexually abusing children. More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 29 21:22:58 EST 2008 Back to the top

Congress stage walk out from TN Assembly
chennaionline, Jan. 30. Chennai. Jan. 29 The Congress, a constituent of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu, put the DMK government in an embarrassing situation by staging a walkout from the state Assembly, demanding action against those supporting the banned LTTE. The walk out by Congress came a few minutes after the main opposition AIADMK staged a walkout from the House, dissatisfied with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's reply on the issue... Back to the top

Australian cricketers told to cut the lip
ET, January 30, 2008. Sydney - Australians were shocked Wednesday when their head of state broke protocol to criticize the world-champion cricket team for verbally abusing its opponents... Back to the top

2 year anniversary of the abduction and execution of the 7 TRO humanitarian workers
reliefweb, jan 30. Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) offices today took time to pay their respects and remember the 7 TRO humanitarian workers who were abducted on 29 and 30 January 2006 while traveling through the Welikanda area in the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) controlled Polonaruwa District... Back to the top

Lankan Maid Dies Aboard Flight Home
arab news, Jan. 30. RIYADH, 30 January 2008 — A Sri Lankan maid who left the Kingdom on Saturday morning on Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV784 died en route to Colombo... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says 94 killed in clashes
reuters, Jan. 28. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's air force bombed Tamil Tiger positions in the far north while ground battles killed 14 rebels and a government soldier on Monday, taking the death toll in three days of fighting to 94, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military: Soldiers capture rebel bunkers as fighting kills 14 rebels, 1 soldier
Associated Press, Mon January 28, 2008 08:26 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers attacked Tamil rebel bunkers in the embattled north on Monday, triggering battles that left 14 guerrillas and one soldier dead, the military said... Back to the top

The government should curb state excesses too -Opinion
khaleej Times, Jan. 29. ALL'S fair in love and war. Whoever said this would not have meant that civilians are a legitimate prey of hawks... Back to the top

Vaiko owes his life to Rajiv Gandhi: Congress
chennaionline, Jan. 29. Chennai, Jan. 28 If Marumalarchi DMK General Secretary Vaiko is alive today, it is because of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Congress Legislator Peter Alphonse said in the Tamil Nadu Assembly today. Intervening in the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address, he said that on coming to know that Mr Vaiko had made a clandestine visit to Vavuniya, Mr Gandhi had spent a full sleepless night to ensure the safe return of the MDMK leader... Back to the top

Sri Lanka state tv news chief replaced
lbo, Jan. 29. Jan 29, 2008 (LBO) – The news chief of Sri Lanka's state television station, who was assaulted by a government minister who stormed the newsroom in the company of thugs last month, has been replaced... Back to the top

Tigers shell Sri Lanka's key military base, 2007-01-28. Tamil Tiger rebels Monday shelled Sri Lanka's main northern military base, disrupting a vital air link to the troubled region as the military said it killed 82 guerrillas over the weekend... Back to the top

FEATURE-Cricket-Ranatunga eyes changes and another World Cup
reuters, Jan. 29. NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Wearing a neat suit and with his grey hair smartly combed back, Arjuna Ranatunga looks the part at a media promotion by Sri Lankan officials to draw Indian religious tourists to the island... Back to the top

A toy train named Sri Lanka, Tuesday, January 29, 2008. Somebody long ago said reporting Sri Lanka’s long ethnic war is like running along a toy train... Back to the top

Scrapped by Ottawa, high-tech radar sold overseas
Times Colonist, Monday, January 28, 2008. A high-tech radar intended to monitor small boats operated by drug dealers and terrorists on B... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says 94 killed in clashes, Jan 28. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's air force bombed Tamil Tiger positions in the far north while ground battles killed 14 rebels and a government soldier on Monday, taking the death toll in three days of fighting to 94, the military said... Back to the top

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