The Lanka Academic

 
APRIL 25, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 20

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Bus bomb kills 24 in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri April 25, 2008 14:29 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A bomb hidden on the baggage rack of a packed, rush-hour bus exploded Friday evening outside Colombo, killing 24 people in an attack that the military blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels. The rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for minority Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by Sri Lanka - 's Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.

The attack was the first major bombing since a suicide bomber killed 14 people, including a government minister and a former Olympian, at the start of a marathon April 6.

It was the worst bus attack since suspected rebels bombed a bus Jan. 16 in the southern town of Buttala, gunned down the fleeing passengers and attacked nearby farmers as they retreated into the forest, killing 32 people.

The latest blast showed the rebels retain the ability to strike deep inside government territory despite a maze of security checkpoints around the capital and military efforts to crush the group.

In other violence, 17 rebels and four soldiers were killed in battles in the northern war zone Thursday, and air force jets hit a rebel camp Friday, the military said.

Sri Lankan forces also captured a revered Roman Catholic church near the front lines that religious groups feared was in danger of being damaged by fighting, the military said.

Government troops took over the church in Madhu, 130 miles north of Colombo, without any resistance after it had been abandoned by the rebels.

However, a cherished statue of the Virgin Mary, known as Our Lady of Madhu, remained in rebel-controlled territory, where it had been moved by priests for safekeeping.

The Dutch-built 17th century church has been the site of annual pilgrimages attracting hundreds of thousands of worshippers who come to see the statue, believed to have miraculous healing powers.

But its proximity to the front lines has also made it a site of tragedy. In 1999, 44 civilians were killed when artillery shells hit the church. They were among 3,500 people who sought shelter inside from the fighting.

Associated Press writer Gemunu Amarasinghe contributed to this report from Piliyandala.
Published: Fri Apr 25 15:20:06 EDT 2008

Related News Stories
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Suspected rebel bombing hits bus outside Colombo, killing 24  - Associated Press

Sri Lankan official says explosion hits bus outside of Colombo
Associated Press, Fri April 25, 2008 10:08 EDT . COLOMBO, April 25 (Kyodo) _ An explosion on a bus near Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Friday has killed at least 16 people and left 40 injured, the government said, while blaming the attack on the island's Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Ministry of Defense, Public Security, Law and Order, in a statement, said ''terrorists'' of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ''have carried out a cowardly bomb attack targeting innocent civilians who were returning home after office hours.''

The statement said the bomb exploded inside a Ceylon Transport Board bus that was parked at a public bus stand in the residential area of Piliyandala.

It said the injured have been taken to Kalubowila and Wathara hospitals.

The Daily Mirror reported on its website that the Kalubowila hospital said 12 bodies had been brought there and 38 people had been admitted for injuries sustained in the blast.

The government denounced the LTTE as ''a ruthless terrorist outfit notorious for committing crimes against innocent civilians.''

''In its pursuit for a mono ethnic separate homeland for Tamils, the outfit has killed and maimed over tens and innocent people in routine bus bombing, train bombing, village massacres and etc,'' it said.

The LTTE has been fighting for a homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority since 19

Discuss this story
Published: Fri Apr 25 10:25:33 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Explosion in Bus at Piliyandala
TLA, April 25. Wire services report an explosion in a Bus at Piliyandala. Please await updates.Discuss this story
Published: Fri Apr 25 09:50:02 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lankan army says it has taken control of revered Catholic church in war zone
Associated Press, Fri April 25, 2008 02:46 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan forces took control Friday of a revered Catholic church that religious groups had feared was in danger of being damaged by the raging civil war between the government and ethnic Tamil separatists, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s displaced find little joy in liberation from Tigers
google.com, 23 april. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka (AFP) Sri Lanka's military victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels in the multi-ethnic east of the island means little to displaced people such as 12-year-old Suna Madushandan who can not go home... Back to the top

Sri Lanka not worried about possible Indian intervention
xinhuanet.com, 23 april. COLOMBO, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government said Thursday it was not worried about the resolution passed by an Indian state to intervene in Sri Lanka's escalating conflict between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka lost 185 soldiers in Jaffna battle: military sources
google.com, 23 april. COLOMBO (AFP) At least 165 soldiers were killed and 20 more went missing in a major battle with Tamil separatists this week, military sources told AFP on Friday as journalists complained of unofficial censorship... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to press on fight with rebels
Associated Press, Thu April 24, 2008 17:23 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government said Thursday it will push ahead with efforts to destroy the Tamil Tiger rebel movement this year despite a ferocious battle a day earlier that left at least 76 soldiers dead or missing... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Air Force pounds rebel target
People's Daily Online, April 24, 2008. The military in Sri Lanka said on Thursday that its Air Force launched an attack against Tamil Tiger rebel's target in the north... Back to the top

Sri Lanka strikes back with air attacks as losses mount
afp, April 24. COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka carried out retaliatory air strikes against Tamil rebels Thursday, a day after intense artillery battles left hundreds killed or wounded, according to officials on both sides... Back to the top

Sri Lankan officials raid rice hoarders amid shortage
Associated Press, Thu April 24, 2008 13:16 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's government has sent police to seize hoarded rice as it looks to harvests in the island's strife-torn north to help ease a shortage of the island's staple food... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says fierce battle will not hinder efforts to destroy Tamil Tigers this year
Associated Press, Thu April 24, 2008 04:21 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government said Thursday it will push ahead with its efforts to destroy the Tamil Tiger rebel group this year despite a devastating battle that left at least 76 soldiers dead or missing... Back to the top

Sri Lanka counts losses in hundreds after major battle
google.com, April 24, 2008. OLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka's hopes of a quick victory over Tamil separatists looked shattered Thursday after Tamil rebels inflicted the heaviest losses on security forces since pulling out of a truce, analysts said... Back to the top

Let s be clear --Tamil Tigers are the terrorists in Sri Lanka
nationalpost.com, April, 24, 2008. Iread with both amusement and sadness the column by Manjula Selvarajah in yesterday's National Post ("Sri Lanka Has Failed to Protect All Of Its Citizens")... Back to the top

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