The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 23, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 48

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Sri Lankan journalists protest abduction, assault of colleague amid calls for media rights
Associated Press, Fri May 23, 2008 07:26 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Hundreds of Sri Lankan journalists demanded an inquiry Friday into the abduction and assault of a colleague who was critical of the military. ``We believe that the reason for this attack is Noyahr's independent writing and analysis of the country's civil war,'' said Poddala Jayantha, secretary of Sri Lanka - Working Journalists' Association.

Jayantha said Noyahr exposed alleged malpractice and failures within the military and was critical of the way the war was being fought.

``People have a right to know what's happening on the war front as the war is fought on public money. No government can suppress that right,'' Jayantha said.

``The way he was beaten is unprecedented,'' said Sunanda Deshapriya of the Free Media Movement, urging the government to hold an impartial inquiry to find and prosecute the culprits.

``If the government can't do that, we hold the government responsible for this abduction and attack,'' he said.

Three special police teams have been assigned to investigate the attack, police spokesman N.K. Ilangakoon said, adding that Noyahr is being treated in a hospital for head injuries.

Dr. Anil Jasinghe of Colombo National Hospital said Noyahr's condition is stable.

Sri Lanka - is embroiled in a long-running civil war with ethnic Tamil rebels that has killed at least 70,000 people.Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 23 08:43:02 EDT 2008


Tamil rebels say military bomb kills 16 in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri May 23, 2008 10:41 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said Friday that 16 civilians were killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by Sri Lankan government forces in the country's war-torn north.

The attack took place in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi and the victims included children, the rebels said in an e-mailed statement. They accused elite government special forces of planting the bomb.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara denied any involvement in the attack, saying, ``We don't operate in that area.''

The rebels said the bomb hit a van carrying 19 members of an extended family, killing 16. The other three passengers were injured and admitted to the Kilinochchi hospital, the statement said.

The rebels said an infant and teenage girl were killed in a government airstrike elsewhere in Kilinochchi on Friday.

Air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara denied bombing civilian areas. However, he said fighter jets had bombed a rebel gathering area and a beach where the rebels had concealed their boats.

Friday's violence took place as the guerrillas mourned the death of a senior rebel leader who died of a heart attack Tuesday. Balasegaram Kandiah known by his nom de guerre, Brig. Balraj reportedly led a number of battles against government forces.

Meanwhile, the military said gunbattles across the island's restive north on Thursday killed 22 rebels and two soldiers.

The battles erupted in the Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya areas bordering rebel-held territory, military spokesman Nanayakkara said.

In the worst of the fighting, soldiers killed 11 insurgents in three separate clashes in Vavuniya, Nanayakkara said, adding that 10 soldiers were wounded there.

Other battles in the three areas killed 11 rebels and two soldiers, he said.

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

It was not possible to independently verify the military's claims because media are banned from the northern jungles where much of the fighting takes place. Each side commonly exaggerates the other's casualties while playing down its own.

Fighting has escalated in recent months along the front lines separating government-controlled territory and the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto state in the north.

The government has pledged to capture the rebel-held territory and crush the insurgents by the end of the year. Diplomats and other observers say, however, that the army has faced more resistance than expected.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for minority ethnic Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 23 13:04:44 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Latest fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 22 Tamil rebels and 2 soldiers, military says
Associated Press, Fri May 23, 2008 01:58 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government troops and ethnic Tamil separatists fought gunbattles that killed 22 rebels and two soldiers in war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka - , the military said Friday.

Fighting has escalated in recent months along the front lines separating government-controlled territory and the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto state in the north.

The government has pledged to capture the rebel-held territory and crush the insurgents by the end of the year. Diplomats and other observers say, however, that the army has faced more resistance than expected.

The latest battles erupted Thursday in the Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya areas bordering the rebel-held territory, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

In the worst of the fighting soldiers killed 11 insurgents in three separate clashes in Vavuniya, Nanayakkara said, adding that 10 soldiers were wounded there.

Other battles in the three areas killed 11 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 claims because media are banned from the northern jungles where much of the fighting takes place. Each side commonly exaggerates the other's casualties while playing down its own.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for minority ethnic Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Published: Fri May 23 08:43:39 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lanka s east hit by political violence
google.com, may 23. COLOMBO (AFP) A curfew was imposed in part of eastern Sri Lanka Thursday following an outbreak of deadly political violence involving Tamil Tiger defectors now allied to the government... Back to the top

Pro-rebel Web site says military bomb kills 17 in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri May 23, 2008 08:02 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A pro-rebel Web site said 17 civilians were killed Friday in a bomb attack carried out by Sri Lankan government forces in the country's war-torn north... Back to the top

Fearing shortage, Sri Lanka imports rice from Myanmar
thaindian.com, May 22nd, 2008 . Colombo, May 22 (IANS) Building up a buffer stock to prevent a looming rice crisis, Sri Lanka is importing 7,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar and is hopeful 43,000 tonnes of rice would also be brought from that country in the near future... Back to the top

Rights group urges Sri Lanka to reassess policies after losing bid for UN Human Rights Council
Associated Press, Thu May 22, 2008 02:26 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An international rights group Thursday urged Sri Lanka - 's government to reassess its human rights policies after the war-torn island nation lost its re-election bid for a seat on the U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's police says curfew in Muslim town after retaliatory killings
Associated Press, Thu May 22, 2008 06:28 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's police say a curfew has been imposed on a predominantly Muslim town in the east after four people died in retaliatory killings... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military: Fighting in north kills 20 rebels, 2 soldiers
Associated Press, Thu May 22, 2008 04:45 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Scattered battles across Sri Lanka - 's volatile northern region killed 20 ethnic Tamil rebels and two government soldiers, the military said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka defeated for seat on UN Human Rights Council; France and Britain defeat Spain
Associated Press, Wed May 21, 2008 12:56 EDT . - - UNITED NATIONS (AP) Sri Lanka - , criticized for its human rights record, has lost its bid for a seat on the U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka slams door on rights monitors after UN blow
google.com, May 22, 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka's hawkish government on Thursday angrily ruled out allowing foreign monitoring of the island's human rights situation after being denied a seat on the UN Human Rights Council... Back to the top

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