The Lanka Academic

MAY 12, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 37


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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
Sri Lanka's opposition says it will launch mass campaign against election violence
Associated Press, Mon May 12, 2008 06:06 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka's opposition said Monday it would launch a mass campaign calling on the government to restore democracy in the island nation after tense Eastern Province elections that it says were tainted by vote tampering and intimidation. ``Today, there is no free and fair elections in Sri Lanka,'' he said. ``We are taking another step toward dictatorship.''

Rauff Hakeem, leader of the opposition Sri Lanka - Muslim Congress, said they are collecting evidence to file a suit to overturn the election.

Health Minister Nimal de Silva dismissed the opposition's complaints.

``We would most welcome such litigation because we can prove beyond any reasonable doubt before the court that the elections were free and fair,'' he said.

He said there were a few minor incidents, but nothing that would have affected the outcome of the vote. Discuss this story
Published: Mon May 12 07:50:19 EDT 2008

Sri Lankan military: New fighting in north kills 15 Tamil separatist rebels, 3 soldiers
Associated Press, Mon May 12, 2008 02:22 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government soldiers fought Tamil Tiger rebels along Sri Lanka - 's northern front lines in a series of battles that killed 15 guerrillas and three soldiers, the military said Monday.

The latest fighting took place throughout Sunday in the Vavuniya, Welioya and Jaffna regions bordering the separatist rebels' de facto state in the north, a defense ministry official said.

In the worst of the violence, soldiers killed 10 Tamil Tiger rebels in Vavuniya in a battle that also killed one soldier, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to government regulations.

Other battles in Jaffna and Welioya killed five rebels and two soldiers, he said.

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

It was not possible to independently verify the military's claim because reporters are not allowed in the war zone.

The two sides are known to exaggerate casualties inflicted upon each other and play down their own losses.

Government forces have been trying in recent months to break into the well-fortified rebel territory in the north and to carry out their promise to crush the separatists by the end of the year. But military analysts say progress has been slow.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by majority Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.Discuss this story
Published: Mon May 12 07:50:57 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's model democracy is being ravaged by war
Globe Mail, May 12. A United Nations agency recently declared Sri Lanka one of the world's most dangerous places for aid workers and journalists. It is also a terrifying place to be a soldier. Both the government and its opponents, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), count scores of fighters killed and hundreds wounded during recent fighting. Sri Lanka's already horrific war is entering a quantitatively new phase.

The country's once admired democratic institutions are buckling under the strain. It is worth recalling that the LTTE emerged in the late 1970s against a backdrop of mounting grievances in the north and east of the island country over declining access to language, employment and political rights. A radical leftist group, the People's Liberation Front (JVP) - composed primarily of disgruntled Southerners - raised similar concerns, albeit from a different perspective.

The response of the Sri Lankan government to these grievances was as swift as it was severe. It has waged a virtually uninterrupted military campaign against the LTTE since the early 1980s. For its part, the LTTE, a merciless armed group, has engaged in brutal attacks against civilians as well as assassinations of their opponents, raising support and money in the Tamil diaspora, including the large community in Canada. A conservative estimate puts the number of deaths in the fighting at 75,000. The government also launched aggressive operations against the JVP and about 60,000 civilians died over a two-year period in the late 1980s before the JVP made its transition to politics. More...
Published: Mon May 12 09:39:17 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Building a more sustainable world in Sri Lanka
telegraph, May 12. I have found myself on a very steep learning curve since coming to work in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Cyclone-hit Myanmar to supply rice to Sri Lanka
FT, may 12. Colombo, May 12: With India and Pakistan showing their reluctance to supply rice to Sri Lanka, cyclone hit Myanmar has agreed to go ahead with its contractual rice export obligations that will benefit the island nation to meet its requirements... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's president says election win a mandate for war against Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Sun May 11, 2008 07:30 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president on Sunday hailed his party's election victory in the country's tense Eastern Province as a mandate to push ahead with his war against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north... Back to the top

Congress calls for ban on pro-LTTE outfits
Hindu, May 12. Chennai (PTI): Congress, a key ally of Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK, on Monday demanded a ban on pro-LTTE organisations in the state and asked the state government to deal with "scourge of terrorism with iron hand... Back to the top

Sri Lanka makes last-ditch attempt to secure HRC seat
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, May 11, 2008, 7.03 p.m.. Colombo will make a frantic, last-ditch attempt on Tuesday to persuade members of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to re-elect Sri Lanka, overshadowed by allegations of gross human rights violations, to the 47-member council on May 21 in New York, The Nation newspaper reported today... Back to the top

Karuna to be deported?
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, May 11, 2008, 7.01 p.m.. Moves are afoot to deport LTTE renegade leader Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan, alias Karuna Amman, from the United Kingdom... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's ruling party wins control of Eastern Province government
Associated Press, Sun May 11, 2008 05:29 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's ruling party won control Sunday of the country's tense Eastern Province following an election the opposition condemned as irreparably flawed... Back to the top

Election Results
TLA, May 11. Election results from the Eastern Province have been released... Back to the top

Eastern Sri Lankan elections marred by allegations of intimidation, voting fraud
Associated Press, may 11. RAVI NESSMAN Associated Press Writer BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Allegations of fraud, voter intimidation and sporadic violence marred provincial elections in Sri Lanka's east despite government claims the polls would be a celebration of democracy for the region recently liberated from the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

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