The Lanka Academic

APRIL 23, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 18


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Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Over 200 slain in Sri Lanka's bloodiest battle in 18 months
afp, April 24. COLOMBO (AFP) — Tamil rebels killed at least 100 Sri Lankan soldiers in the nation's bloodiest battle in 18 months on Wednesday, the separatists said, as the military claimed more than 100 rebels died in the fighting.

The Tamil Tigers claimed they killed more than 100 government troops and had recovered 30 of the bodies, which will be returned to the families. The rebels said they lost 16 of their fighters.

The defence ministry said its forces killed more than 100 Tigers and said it had lost 43 soldiers, with another 33 missing in action, following pre-dawn fighting in the northern peninsula of Jaffna.

"The Sri Lanka army suffered more than 100 killed in action and about 500 wounded in action," the LTTE said. "Sixteen valiant LTTE soldiers sacrificed their lives in this confrontation." More...>Discuss this story
Published: Wed Apr 23 17:44:30 EDT 2008

Sources: Tigers feint kills 100 Sri Lanka troops
CNN, April 24. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- More than 100 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and another 400 wounded Wednesday when troops attempted to advance toward a stronghold of the Tamil Tigers rebel organization, highly placed army sources told CNN.

The incident happened before dawn, when troops manning a defense line in the northern Sri Lanka village of Muhamalai attempted to advance toward the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi in the northern Wanni region, the sources said.

The village is on a thin isthmus linking mainland Sri Lanka to the Jaffna peninsula. A defense line bordered by the Kilaly Lagoon on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east divides the rebel-controlled area from those held by the government's security forces.

Troops made an attempt to open a third front in the Wanni region by advancing south, Army officials said. Their ultimate aim was to reach Kilinochchi -- the power center of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil, better known as the Tamil Tigers.

"The rebels feigned they had withdrawn from their first line of defenses in well-dug-out trenches," one official said. "After the troops backed by battle tanks reached the area, the rebels sprung a fierce attack." More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Apr 23 17:35:15 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Military says 52 rebels, 38 soldiers killed in fierce battle in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed April 23, 2008 10:14 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil rebels and government troops waged a fierce battle in northern Sri Lanka - on Wednesday, killing 52 guerrillas and 38 soldiers in one of the deadliest clashes this year between the two sides, the military said.

The battle broke out early in the day, when rebel forces overran the front lines in the Muhamalai area of the Jaffna peninsula, north of the de facto rebel state, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

Government forces fought back with small arms, mortars and tank fire, eventually repelling the rebel assault and capturing 500 yards of rebel-held territory, he said. Some 84 soldiers were wounded.

The casualties marked one of the highest death tolls for soldiers in the recent round of fighting, which began more than two years ago.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan accused the military of sparking the battle.

``They attempted to get near our positions. That's when the clashes erupted,'' he said, adding that he did not have casualty figures.

A rebel-linked Web site confirmed the military's death toll but did not divulge guerrilla losses. The site claimed the rebels beat off a major offensive and posted photographs of what it said were several dead soldiers lying inside their bunkers with weapons.

Soon after the ground clashes, air force jets and helicopters pounded rebel artillery positions, destroying two, and hit rebel bunkers in the area, the military said in a statement.

Both sides routinely inflate casualty figures for the other side and underreport their own losses. Independent accounts of the fighting are unavailable because the media are barred from the war zone.

Fighting between the two sides has escalated since the government pulled out of a long-ignored cease-fire deal with the rebels and forced out the Nordic truce monitors who were some of the only observers with access to the war zone.

Senior government officials have vowed to capture the rebels' de facto state in the north and crush them by the end of the year. But diplomats and other observers say the army is facing more resistance than it expected, and government officials have begun calling for Sri Lankans to have patience with the war effort.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades by successive governments controlled by majority Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Apr 23 11:32:42 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Military says 52 rebels, 15 soldiers killed in fierce battle in northern Sri Lanka  - Associated Press

Fierce fighting kills 90 in N Sri Lanka, 2008-04-23 22:52:03 . COLOMBO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 52 Tamil Tiger rebels and 38 government soldiers were killed in a major confrontation in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula Wednesday morning, officials said... Back to the top

Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka north kills 67, Wed Apr 23, 2008 . COLOMBO (Reuters) - Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka's far north killed 52 Tamil Tiger rebels and 15 soldiers, the military said on Wednesday... Back to the top

US urges Sri Lanka progress on human rights
newkerala, April 23, 2008. By P. Karunakharan, Colombo, April 22 : A top US official Tuesday urged the Sri Lankan government to “progress on human rights” and hold “free and fair election for the Eastern provincial council” scheduled for early next month, a US embassy statement here said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka ethical trade deal at risk
FT, April 23, 2008. Accusations of human rights abuses by Sri Lanka’s government against ethnic Tamil separatists are jeopardising a special European Union ethical trade deal that has helped its garment industry survive competition from China... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: IDPs continue to flee fighting in northwest
alertnet, April 23, 2008. COLOMBO, 22 April 2008 (IRIN) - Intensified fighting in recent months in Sri Lanka's restive northwestern Mannar District has forced more than 16,000 people to flee to safe areas within the region... Back to the top

Human rights panel denies int'l plot to discredit Sri Lanka
xinhua, April 23, 2008. An international human rights panel invited by the Sri Lankan government to monitor the island's rights probe said Tuesday that it was not part to an alleged plot by the international community to discredit the government's human rights record... Back to the top

Sri Lankan official accuses international panel of conspiring against the government
Associated Press, Tue April 22, 2008 09:03 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's attorney general harshly criticized an international advisory panel Tuesday, saying its resignation from a human rights inquiry appeared part of a conspiracy to force the country to accept U... Back to the top

Tamils claim destroyed tank, say Sri Lankan jets bombed church, April 23, 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) — Tamil separatists destroyed an army tank after Sri Lankan war planes bombed a Roman Catholic church compound killing a man and wounding two children, the rebels said Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's economic downturn hits realty market
IANS, April 22. Colombo, April 22 (IANS) Although the real estate market is up and vibrant in Sri Lanka, property developers have complained that the industry has been badly hit due to 'the downturn in the economy', a media report said Tuesday... Back to the top

25 LTTE cadres killed in fierce Lanka clashes
PTI, April 22. At least 25 LTTE rebels were killed in fierce clashes in the embattled Northern Sri Lanka, officials said here today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 'ignoring rights abuse'
Al Jazeera, April 22. A team of international legal experts have stepped up criticism of Sri Lanka, saying that repeated calls to improve its human rights record have been ignored... Back to the top

Military: Fighting in Sri Lanka kills 17 rebels, one soldier
Associated Press, Tue April 22, 2008 03:49 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A series of battles along the front lines of Sri Lanka - 's civil war killed 17 ethnic Tamil rebels and one soldier, the military said Tuesday... Back to the top

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