The Lanka Academic

MAY 20, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 45


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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Senior LTTE military leader dies of heart attack, May 20. Colombo: A senior military commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) 'Brigadier' Balraj died on Tuesday afternoon of heart attack in the rebel-held Wanni region, the pro-rebel media website said.

"Brigadier Balraj, a senior and a special commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), passed away on Tuesday at 2 pm of a heart attack in Wanni," the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website quoting LTTE's headquarters sources said.

"Brigadier Balraj was the first commander of the LTTE's conventional fighting formation, Charles Antony Brigade, established in 1991 and he served as a key commander in LTTE's major operations, including the LTTE operation on the SLA garrison in Elephant Pass in 2000," it said.

The LTTE leadership has announced a three-day mourning from May 21 to 23. More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue May 20 21:14:29 EDT 2008

Related News Stories
BalRaj Dead  - TLA

Military says fighting in Sri Lanka kills 12 rebels, 2 soldiers
Associated Press, Tue May 20, 2008 08:03 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The latest round of fighting in the government's campaign to seize Tamil Tiger rebel strongholds in Sri Lanka - 's volatile north has killed 12 guerrillas and two government soldiers, the military said Tuesday.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not immediately available for comment on the fighting Monday in the Vavuniya and Welioya regions.

It was not possible to obtain independent accounts of the clashes because reporters are not allowed in the war zone. The two sides often release conflicting reports exaggerating the losses they inflicted and downplaying their own.

Intense fighting in several locations Sunday killed 61 insurgents and 17 soldiers, according to the military. A pro-rebel Web site reported that 26 solders and three rebels were killed.

Government forces have tried for months to break into the well-guarded rebel territory from four fronts, promising to dismantle their de facto state by the end of the year.

However, military analysts have said military progress has been slower than expected because the rebels have retained much of their capacity to resist.

Tamil Tiger rebels have fought 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 fighting.Discuss this story
Published: Tue May 20 11:18:06 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Decade later, no light on Rajiv Gandhi killing conspiracy (Lead)
IANS, may 21. New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) A decade after it began probing if there was a conspiracy behind the killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, an official body tasked with the responsibility is still in the dark. The multi-disciplinary monitoring agency (MDMA) was formed in 1998. It has been probing the alleged role of controversial self-styled godman Chandraswami and Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelem (LTTE) in the May 21, 1991 assassination in Tamil Nadu.

“We have sent letters rogatory (legal letters of request for help or LRs) to various countries, out of which some have responded and some have not,” said G. Mohanty, spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is the Indian affiliate to Interpol.

The CBI had probed the Gandhi killing, leading to convictions of those linked to the assassination per se.

But the MDMA was set up separately - to find out if organisations other than the LTTE were indeed involved in the killing. More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue May 20 21:55:06 EDT 2008 Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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