The Lanka Academic

MAY 9, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 34


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Tamil Tigers sink Sri Lankan naval ship in Trincomalee(Lead)
IANS, May 10. Colombo, May 10 (IANS) A Sri Lankan naval logistic supply vessel was sunk in a powerful pre-dawn underwater explosion by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in the heavily-guarded Eastern Trincomalee harbour Saturday, hours before a crucial provincial poll, naval sources said. “One of our logistic supply ships - A520 - birthed at the Ashraff harbour in Trincomalee was blasted and sunk in an underwater sea explosion around 2.15 a.m. There was no damage to the crew members,” Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake told IANS over phone early Saturday.

He said that the navy was now engaged in extensive search operation in and around the area.

The Defence ministry said that the A-520 was a merchant vessel built in 1970s and was handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy, following a court order after it was apprehended while transporting illegal migrants off Tangalle in 2003.

The Tamil Tiger rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack. More...Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 9 21:26:31 EDT 2008

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Sri Lanka: military says 8 killed in a bomb blast in the east
Associated Press, Fri May 9, 2008 09:02 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's military says a bomb explosion blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels ripped through a cafe in eastern Sri Lanka, killing eight people.

The blast occurred Friday evening, just hours before Eastern province was to hold its first provincial election since the military forced the rebels out last year.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara says that the blast hit a small restaurant in the town of Ampara, 220 kilometers (130 miles) east of Colombo.

..Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 9 09:13:06 EDT 2008 Back to the top

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Explosion in Ampara  - TLA

Sri Lanka : military says it captures small northern town as clashes kill 31 Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Fri May 9, 2008 07:39 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers captured a small town in the north Friday and fought another fierce battle nearby, killing 31 Tamil rebels and losing three soldiers, the military said.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the soldiers took control of Adampan town in northern Mannar district after clashes that killed 15 rebels and two soldiers.

In a separate fighting Friday, soldiers captured another one-square-mile (about 2.6 square kilometer) patch of rebel-held territory southeast of Adampan, Nanayakkara said. Sixteen rebels and one soldier were killed in the battle, and five soldiers are missing, he said.

Nanayakkara said the seizure of Adampan could restrict guerrilla movement and transportation of arms and was an important step in dismantling guerrilla strongholds in the area.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached immediately for comment.

Meanwhile, the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site reported that 30 soldiers were killed in heavy fighting in Mannar on Friday morning. The site said the Tigers resisted the army advance and forced the army to retreat after three hours of fighting.

It however did not comment on the military's claims of capturing territory.

Separately, helicopter gunships attacked rebel strongholds near the front lines in Mannar in support of army troops while air force fighter jets bombed a rebel operation center, Nanayakkara said.

He did not give details of casualties or damage.

It was not possible to obtain independent confirmation of the military's claims because reporters are not allowed in the war zone. Both sides are known to exaggerate death tolls and damage inflicted upon each other while underreporting their own losses.

Troops have battled for months over territory around the rebels' northern strongholds, promising they would crush the insurgents by the end of the year.

The rebels have strongly resisted and halted some military advances.

Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for minority Tamils who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by majority Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed.
Published: Fri May 9 08:57:30 EDT 2008 Back to the top

UK won t charge ex-Sri Lanka Tiger with war crimes, Fri May 9, 2008. Britain has released former Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebel Karuna Amman from prison where he was detained on immigration charges, it said on Friday, believing he could not be convicted of war crimes... Back to the top

Sri Lankan election in former rebel area marred by accusations of violence
Associated Press, Fri May 9, 2008 04:54 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - VALAICHCHENAI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Arumugam Jagan, an opposition candidate in Sri Lanka - 's Eastern Province elections, can barely campaign... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil, Muslim Parties Call Election in East Divisive, may 9. May 9 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Tamil and Muslim parties denounced local elections in the Eastern Province as unfair, saying the vote will divide ethnic communities in the region the army captured from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam last July... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says it captures small northern town
Associated Press, Fri May 9, 2008 06:08 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's military announced the capture of a small town in the north after fighting Friday, calling it an important step in dismantling guerrilla strongholds in the area... Back to the top

Sri Lanka braces for crucial eastern provincial poll
DPA, may 9. Colombo, May 8 (DPA) The government has set the stage for a crucial provincial election in eastern Sri Lanka Saturday, a year after wresting control of the area from Tamil Tiger guerrillas... Back to the top

Heavy fighting claims 77 lives in Sri Lanka: military, May 8. COLOMBO (AFP) — At least 74 Tamil Tiger rebels and three Sri Lankan soldiers have been killed in the latest battles in the island's north, according to the defence ministry on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rescinds move to bar foreign media from covering eastern elections
Associated Press, Thu May 8, 2008 10:05 EDT . - - VALAICHCHENAI, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Thursday it was barring foreign journalists from covering weekend elections in the Eastern Province, but backed off hours later following a wave of protests by journalists and rights groups... Back to the top

Sri Lanka court rejects postponement of eastern poll, 2008-05-09. Sri Lanka's Appeal Court on Thursday rejected a plea by a Tamil political party to issue an interim order postponing Saturday's election for the Eastern Provincial Council... Back to the top

Sri Lanka links conflict to war on terror
The Star, may 9. Returning to Colombo after several years, one is struck by the military checkpoints at key crossings where visitors are waved on but young Tamil males are not... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says it captured small territory in battle that killed 10 rebels
Associated Press, Thu May 8, 2008 12:24 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers seized a small patch of territory from Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday after a fierce battle that killed 10 insurgents and a soldier, the military said... Back to the top

Red Cross honours thousands of volunteers
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, May 8,2008, 6.19 p.m.. 27,000 Red Cross volunteers in Myanmar and millions around the world are the first to provide vital assistance when disasters strike, a release from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said... Back to the top

Committee to promote Gandhian ideals in Sri Lanka, May 8 2008 . DURBAN: With an aim to promote mahatma Gandhi's concept of non-violence in Sri Lanka, a 19-member committee, comprising representatives of various religious groups, has been formed in the war-ravaged country... Back to the top

Men charged over 'Tigers' support
BBC Sinhala, May 8, 2008, 8:00 EDT. Four men have been charged with conspiring to support the banned Tamil Tigers terrorist organisation, Scotland Yard has confirmed... Back to the top

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