The Lanka Academic

MAY 19, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 44


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Sri Lanka human rights seat opposed
UPI, may 20. UNITED NATIONS, May 19 (UPI) -- Nobel Peace Prize winners are calling on the United Nations to reject Sri Lanka's candidacy for the U.N. Human Rights Council, human rights activists said.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina have published statements individually condemning Sri Lanka's human rights record, the Coalition for an Effective Human Rights Council said in a statement Monday.

In a commentary published by Pagina 12 in Buenos Aires, Esquivel compared the torture and disappearances committed by Sri Lankan government forces to the "dirty wars" waged by some Latin American governments against their citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon May 19 21:33:22 EDT 2008

Military says 78 killed in Sri Lanka clashes
Associated Press, Mon May 19, 2008 05:03 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A day of fierce clashes in Sri Lanka - 's embattled north has left 61 Tamil Tiger rebels and 17 soldiers dead, the military said Monday.

Government soldiers and the rebels fought several battles in northern Mannar district Sunday, killing 40 rebels and 10 soldiers while three other soldiers are reported missing, the military said in a statement.

Twenty-one other rebels and seven soldiers were also killed Sunday in scattered fighting, mortar fire and mine blasts across Jaffna, Vavuniya and Welioya regions, the statement said.

Rebels spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not immediately available for comment.

However, a pro-rebel Web site reported that the rebels have stalled a military advance in Mannar, killing 26 soldiers and wounding more than 50. Three insurgents were also killed in the battle the Web site reported, quoting an unnamed rebel official.

It was not possible to obtain independent accounts of the fighting because reporters are not allowed in the war zone. The two sides often release conflicting reports of casualties exaggerating damages caused to the enemy and lowering their own losses.

Government forces have for the past several months tried to break into the rebels' well-guarded northern strongholds from four main fronts, promising to crush the insurgents and dismantle their de facto administration by the end of the year.

But military analysts have pointed out that the military's progress has been slower than expected and that the rebels retain much of their capacity to resist.

Tamil Tiger rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.

On the Web:

Pro-rebel Web site: http://www.tamilnet.comDiscuss this story
Published: Mon May 19 07:53:45 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka promoting ayurveda to boost tourism
new kerala, may 20. Sri Lanka is trying to promote ayurveda in the hope that the soothing herbal therapies will attract travellers looking for relaxation and rejuvenation and boost its tourism industry, which has been affected by the ongoing civil war.

Tourism is one of the main income generating industries in Sri Lanka. Major tourist attractions are focused around the island's famous beaches, ancient cities, heritage sites, and the lush green tea estates in the central hills.

"Our tourism sector is a combination of nature and culture and ayurveda touches both. With ayurvedic tourism becoming a booming industry in the region, we are making concerted efforts to streamline it to attract more tourists to our country," Sri Lanka Tourism Board head Renton de Alwis told IANS. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon May 19 21:37:31 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka plans to send medical team to China
xinhua, may 20. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Monday that his country is planning to send a team of medical doctors and nurses to attend to those injured in the devastating 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck China a week earlier... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: Resettled IDPs rebuilding livelihoods, may 20. COLOMBO, 19 May 2008 (IRIN) - Tharmalingam Sudarshan, a farmer, returned to his home in Vavunathivu town, Batticaloa District, in eastern Sri Lanka in July 2007, having fled the area for three months due to conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government forces... Back to the top

Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka, May 19, 2008, 08:20 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka military attacked rebel positions in the island's far north on Sunday, amidst daily land, air and sea raids, killing 61 Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said on Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's military says air force bombs rebel center; 12 guerrillas die in other battles
Associated Press, Sun May 18, 2008 05:01 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan air force helicopters bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel operations center in the contested north, while separate ground battles killed 12 insurgents, the military said Sunday... Back to the top

2 Lankans with wireless sets held
TOI, May 19. CHENNAI: Sleuths of the 'Q' branch of Tamil Nadu Police on Sunday arrested two Lankan refugees and their associate, a youth from Madurai, while trying to smuggle walkie-talkies and resin to Jaffna... Back to the top

Domestic Workers From Sri Lanka to Be Insured
arabnews, may 19. RIYADH, 19 May 2008 Saudi Arabia will soon introduce a mandatory insurance scheme for Sri Lankan domestic workers... Back to the top

India too burdened with problems to back Tamil state: Lanka
TOI, May 19. COLOMBO: India has "too many problems" of its own and cannot bear the "extra burden" from backing a separate Tamil State to be carved out from Sri Lanka, the war-ravaged country's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has said... Back to the top

Suicide bomb in Sri Lanka capital, May 18, 2008. Seven of those killed were police. The bomber rammed a motorcycle into their bus near a five-star hotel in the busy central business district... Back to the top

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