The Lanka Academic

APRIL 14, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 9


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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
RTI query: Did Priyanka meet Rajiv's assassin last month?
TOI, April 15, 2008. CHENNAI: Did Priyanka Vadra recently meet Nalini Sriharan, one of those involved in the assassination of her father Rajiv Gandhi?

A city lawyer filed an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) last week seeking information on a purported meeting on March 19 between Priyanka and Nalini at the special prison for women in Vellore. On March 19, Priyanka was, indeed, in Vellore to pay obeisance at the Sripuram temple there.

The RTI applicant, D Raj Kumar, has sought the prison superintendent’s response to a number of queries: Under which legal provision was Priyanka permitted to meet Nalini, who accompanied her, how long did the meeting last, and what did they talk about?

Nalini, who is 43 now, was given the death sentence by a special court for being involved in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination on May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 14 23:06:27 EDT 2008

Police seize Tamil-owned buildings in Toronto, Montreal
CBC, April 15. The RCMP has clamped down on a Tamil organization operating in two provinces that authorities allege is funneling money to a terrorist group in Sri Lanka.

On the weekend, police seized two buildings belonging to the World Tamil Movement in Montreal and Toronto, and froze the organization’s bank accounts, placing the assets under federal trusteeship.

The Canadian WTM branch was already under investigation following allegations it raises funds for the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a militant nationalist group that Canada considers to be a terrorist organization.

In 2006, police raided the group's buildings and seized boxes of documents.

The group has yet to be formally accused of anything, and police have now shut down what are essentially community centres, said Montreal lawyer Steven Slimovich, who is representing the WTM. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 14 20:54:38 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka 's north kills dozens of combatants
Associated Press, Sun April 13, 2008 00:46 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil separatists across Sri Lanka - 's war-ravaged northern region has killed dozens of rebels and soldiers, according to the military and rebels.

The military said soldiers killed at least 40 Tamil rebels in fighting Saturday along the northern front lines, while the rebels said 30 soldiers were killed in the clashes.

Reports of fighting have increased in recent months amid government promises to capture the rebels' de facto state in the north and crush the group by the end of the year. But diplomats and other observers say the army is facing more resistance than it had expected.

In the latest offensive on Saturday, infantry troops moved into Mannar district backed by artillery and mortar fire, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said Saturday.

In the worst battle, soldiers pushed into Tamil Tiger-held territory in the north after a fierce, daylong battle killed 30 guerrillas and seven soldiers, the military said Saturday. Fifty-one guerrillas and 26 soldiers were wounded, he said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, however, said 30 soldiers died and 75 were wounded, while only three rebels were killed, according to a statement from spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan.

Meanwhile, the military said scattered battles elsewhere in the north on Saturday killed 10 more rebels and wounded 11 soldiers.

There was no comment from rebels on that fighting.

It was not possible to independently verify either side's claim because journalists are barred from the conflict zone. Both sides commonly exaggerate their enemies' casualties while underplaying their own.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for minority ethnic Tamils, who were marginalized for decades by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.Discuss this story
Published: Sun Apr 13 01:24:41 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Many facing displacement in Mannar
hindu, April 15. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military on Monday claimed that troops destroyed eight LTTE bunkers and killed five Tiger cadres in heavy fighting in the north... Back to the top

Lankan Tamils reject Karunanidhi’s diktat on Tamil New Year
newindpress, April 15. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Tamils, who are known for their orthodoxy, have summarily rejected Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s bid to change the Tamil New Year from Chittirai Thirunaal (April 13) to Thai Pongal (January 14), saying it is unwarranted on astronomical, historical and cultural grounds... Back to the top

Tamil movement held to account
National Post, April 15. TORONTO -The World Tamil Movement headquarters is a red brick industrial building on a strip of auto body and garment shops a block from Highway 401... Back to the top

Over 25000 People Face Displacement From LTTE-held Areas
com, 14th of April 2008. Over 25,000 people, including 6,000 students, in the LTTE-held areas in the north-western Mannar district face displacement as the advancing government troops and the rebels are locked in fierce fighting, official sources here said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka conflict returning to cities, Apr 14, 2008 04:30 AM . COLOMBO–A senior Sri Lankan minister killed in a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel suicide blast has been buried amid certainty that the country has entered one of its worst phases of conflict – with the fight returning to big cities... Back to the top

Buddhists in Sri Lanka want Marian shrine restored, Apr. 14. Colombo, Apr. 14, 2008 ( - Buddhist leaders in Sri Lanka are encouraging their Catholic counterparts to bring a cherished statue of the Virgin Mary back to the famous shrine at Madhu. The image of Our Lady of Madhu, which has drawn pilgrims for over 400 years, was removed for safekeeping earlier this month, after the shrine was hit by artillery fire... Back to the top

Lanka protests screening of pro-LTTE film in US, April 14, 2008. Sri Lanka has lodged a strong protest with the US over the screening of a pro-LTTE film My daughter the terrorist at a premier American film festival... Back to the top

Mahinda has "no option but war"
BBC Sinhala, April 14, 2008. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has no other option than fighting against the LTTE, the leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) said... Back to the top

Mediation Boards for NE
BBC Sinhala, April 14, 2008. Implementing Mediation Boards in the north and the east are being delayed due to delay in appointing selected members, authorities said... Back to the top

Tamil group defends fundraising
The Gazzette, April 14, 2008. Humanitarian aid, not weapons - that's where money raised by Tamil immigrants in Quebec goes, the owner of the community's Montreal headquarters said today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military: Weekend battles kill 81 rebels, 11 soldiers in north
Associated Press, Mon April 14, 2008 04:06 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fierce weekend fighting in Sri Lanka - 's northern region killed 81 Tamil separatists and 11 government soldiers, the military said Monday... Back to the top

Curfew lifted in Sri Lanka's northern district
xinhua, April 13, 2008. COLOMBO, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Defense authorities said here Sunday that a daily curfew in the northern Jaffna peninsula will not be imposed in view of the Sunday's traditional New Year celebrated by the residents in the district... Back to the top

Surrendered LTTE militants want to leave country
hindu, April 14, 2008. Jaffna (PTI): The LTTE militants and sympathisers who have surrendered are putting pressure on the Sri Lankan government to arrange for overseas jobs for them, fearing assassination at the hands of the Tamil Tigers for having deserted the outfit... Back to the top

Sri Lankan rebel's defense line captured by gov't troops
xinhua, April 13, 2008. COLOMBO, April 13 (Xinhua) -- A rebel's defense line in the north western district of Mannar was captured by the Sri Lankan government troops in a battle with the Tamil Tigers, a military spokesman said on Sunday... Back to the top

SL president urges unity
the news, April 13, 2008. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse called for national unity on Saturday in his traditional New Year message as 10 more deaths were reported in the conflict-racked nation... Back to the top

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