The Lanka Academic

APRIL 20, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 15


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Roadside bomb kills top Catholic priest and rights activist in the north, rebels say
Associated Press, Sun April 20, 2008 07:39 EDT . COLOMBO, April 20 (Kyodo) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said Sunday a roadside bomb triggered by government soldiers killed a prominent human rights figure in rebel-held northern Sri Lanka.

Catholic priest M. X. Karunaratnam, chairman of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights, or NESoHR, was killed in a claymore mine explosion in the Vanni area around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, the rebel-linked TamilNet website reported.

The area is controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who have been fighting for a Tamil homeland in the north and east of the country since 1983.

TamilNet alleged the attack was carried out by a deep penetration unit of the Sri Lanka Army.

Karunaratnam was described by TamilNet as the foremost human rights activist in Vanni.

NESoHR was established by the LTTE in 2004 to promote recognition and respect for the human rights of the mainly Tamil people in the northeast.

The rebel-backed body has only limited autonomy, and security constraints have restricted its access.

Of its 11 founding members, two have been gunned down --Arianayagam Chandra Nehru in February 2005 and Batticaloa legislator Joseph Pararajasingam in December that same year.

In a statement issued in reaction to Pararajasingam's death, Karunaratnam said, ''A land where human rights defenders' life can be taken away so cheaply is a damned land.''

Last month, after Tamil parliamentarian K. Sivanesan similarly died in a claymore mine explosion, the NESoHR condemned what it called the ''systematically planned killings of Tamil peoples' elected representatives one after another.''

''It is time now that the civilized world sees the pattern of killings and cry halt to this crime against people who are victims of a cruel war for over three decades,'' it said in a statement.

The LTTE has itself been accused of a series of targeted killings, most recently on April 6 when a suicide bomber assassinated Highways & Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was part of the government team that negotiated with the rebels in 2006. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Apr 20 08:23:48 EDT 2008

Ajith Cabraal - BBC Hard Talk
bbc, April 20, 2008. Earlier this year the Sri Lankan government formally withdrew from the long ignored ceasefire agreement with the Tamil Tigers.

The Colombo government believes it can win a conclusive victory over the rebels and maintain Sri Lanka's economic growth.

Ajith Cabraal is the governor of Sri Lanka's central bank.

Is his country's economy strong enough to withstand the capital and diplomatic costs of the civil war? More... [Listen] Discuss this story
Published: Sun Apr 20 13:34:46 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's white van victims found at CID, TID
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, April 21, 2008, 2.07 p.m.. Several Tamils who were abducted in Colombo and suburbs by unidentified gangs that came in white vans during the last three weeks have been allegedly found at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), The Nation newspaper reported today.

Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) Convenor, Parliamentarian Mano Ganesan charged that subsequent to the 'abductions' and upon inquiry, it was learnt that all the seven Tamils were under the custody of the TID and CID.

"The law enforcement authorities have the freedom to arrest anyone on suspicion, but that should be done in a proper manner and not in some unscrupulous style using white vans and attired in civil clothing," he told The Nation.

He said that he was prepared to bring the matter to the attention of Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. "This is totally unacceptable and unethical. The Police can't act like this, I am going to bring this to the attention of the Human Rights Minister," he added.

Meanwhile, when The Nation contacted, Government's Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella maintained that when a country was fighting terrorism, one could not always stick to ethics, all the time.

"But that does not mean that the law enforcement authorities will exploit their powers," he claimed. Rambukwella noted that there were many units in the Police, and all of them were legitimate. According to him, some of the personnel in these units were dressed in civil, if not they would face difficulties when apprehending culprits. ( this story
Published: Sun Apr 20 05:41:54 EDT 2008 Back to the top

LTTE refutes government claims of destroying arms boats, Aprilo 20, 2008, 08:30 EDT. Colombo, April 20 (IANS) The Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday disputed Sri Lankan Air Force claims that it has bombed and destroyed three arms boats of the Sea Tigers south of Mullaitivu in the north a day earlier... Back to the top

32 Tiger rebels killed in Sri Lanka
The Hindu, April 20, 2008 - 08:30 EDT. Colombo (PTI): At least 32 Tiger rebels and a Human Rights activist were killed in intense clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled north as fighter jets attacked a rebel target in the LTTE stronghold of Mullaitivu... Back to the top

Air force jets destroy 3 Tamil rebel gunboats after 29 combatants killed, military says
Associated Press, Sat April 19, 2008 14:04 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Air force jets bombed and destroyed three Tamil Tiger rebel gunboats Saturday off northern Sri Lanka - after a day of ground fighting killed 28 insurgents and a soldier, the military said... Back to the top

49 killed in intense clashes in Sri Lanka
hindu, April 20, 2008. Colombo (PTI): At least 48 LTTE rebels and a soldier were killed in fierce clashes in the restive Northern Sri Lanka, officials said on Saturday... Back to the top

French aid group to quit Lanka in disgust, 20 April 2008. COLOMBO Describing the August 2006 killing of 17 Sri Lankan aid workers as a war crime, a French aid group which employed them has said it is withdrawing from Sri Lanka in disgust... Back to the top

India to help build 150-bed hospital in Sri Lanka
hindu, April 20, 2008. Colombo (PTI): India will help construct a 150-bed hospital in Sri Lanka and provide vocational training to the people in rural areas of the island nation under the two agreements signed here between the neighbouring countries... Back to the top

Sinhalas, Tamils hold mega show to ring in the new year
gulf times, April 20, 2008. THE Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which fell on April 13, was celebrated by the Sri Lankan community on Friday on a grand scale with the participation of over 8,000 Sri Lankan expatriates braving the dusty weather... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says 29 killed in fighting, April 19, 2008, 07:33 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) At least 28 Tamil Tiger rebels and one soldier have been killed in artillery duels across Sri Lanka's war-ravaged north, the defence ministry said on Saturday... Back to the top

Light at the end of the transit tunnel, April 19, 2008. There is no doubt that Sri Lanka's recent one-day form is a source of concern... Back to the top

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