The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 24, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 49

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US raps Lanka for allowing assaults on media persons
newindpress, May 25. COLOMBO: The United States on Saturday rapped the Sri Lankan government for allowing goons to assault media persons with impunity.

Coming close on the heels of the brutal assault on and the abduction of Keith Noyahr, Associate Editor and Defence Correspondent of 'The Nation weekly by an unidentified gang, the US statement said some of the independent voices in the Sri Lankan media were paying "too high a price for speaking out."

The statement was made in Colombo by visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labour, Erica Barks-Ruggles. The US places a "very high" value on freedom of speech and the press, Barks-Ruggles told Sri Lankan officials.

She saluted the "civic courage" demonstrated by independent voices in Sri Lanka's media, some of whom, she noted, "have paid too high a price for speaking out." More...Discuss this story
Published: Sat May 24 22:08:37 EDT 2008


House of terror
DeccanHerald, May 25. Blood splattered on the floor, seven bodies of Tamil Tigers lay in a house in Konanakunte, Bangalore. Six confederates consumed cyanide and one shot himself on August 21, 1991. It was said to be a major crackdown against LTTE after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991.

Eighteen years have passed since then. In the meantime, LTTE continues its ‘fight for liberation.’ As for the ‘marked’ house in Konanakunte — its inmates have finally found their peace. The once isolated house, rented by the LTTE, has changed and stands a mute witness to the fast developing City.

Metro — that ushered in a revolution in the wholesale market — on Kanakapura Road welcomes you to the busy lane that leads to Konanakunte. Closer to the main road, large number of shops and houses have mushroomed around the ‘LTTE house’, — as it is known in the neighbourhood. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sat May 24 22:10:23 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Military: Police defuse 2 time bombs on passenger buses near the Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Sat May 24, 2008 13:16 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police defused two time bombs hidden on passenger buses Saturday near the Sri Lankan capital, while fighting in the volatile north left seven Tamil separatists and one soldier dead, the military said.

A bus conductor called the police after noticing a suspicious package under a seat on a bus near Ganemulla town, 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Colombo on Saturday afternoon, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

A bomb disposal team defused the 2.65 pound (1.2 kilogram) explosive, Nanayakkara said.

Hours later, police defused a second bomb weighing about 6.61 pounds (3 kilograms) that a passenger spotted on a bus near Moratuwa town, about 14 miles (22 kilometers) south of Colombo, he said.

Authorities have asked the public to remain vigilant in the wake of several bombings blamed on the Tamil Tiger rebels, including an attack at a Colombo bus station that killed 26 people last month.

Fighting meanwhile continued in the embattled north.

Scattered battles in Vavuniya and Mannar regions bordering the rebels' de facto state left seven rebels and one soldier dead Friday, Nanaykkara said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not available for comment Saturday.

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.

On Friday, the rebels alleged that a roadside bomb attack that killed 16 civilians, including children, deep inside Tamil Tiger territory had been carried out by elite government forces. The military denied involvement, saying government forces did not operate in that area.

In an e-mailed statement, the rebels also said a government airstrike elsewhere in Kilinochchi killed an infant and a teenage girl Friday.

Air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said fighter jets bombed a rebel gathering area and a beach where they concealed their boats, but denied that airstrikes targeted civilian areas.

Fighting has escalated in recent months along the front lines as 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 rebels 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: Sat May 24 14:12:38 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Military: Police defuse time bomb on passenger bus near Sri Lankan capital  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka warplanes bomb rebel-held north
radioaustralia.net.au, 24 may. Sri Lanka's defence ministry says warplanes have bombed a suspected rebel boat yard and provided cover for ground troops pushing into rebel territory... Back to the top

Sri Lankan army denies bomb deaths
MWC, May 24. The Sri Lankan government has denied killing 16 civilians in a bomb attack in an area held by Tamil Tiger fighters... Back to the top

‘Sri Lanka has framework to curtail human rights violations’
IANS, May 24. Colombo, May 24 (IANS) A US human rights official has said that although Sri Lanka has the “necessary institutional framework in place” to deal with the widely-criticised human rights violations, it “needs to empower its institutions” so that they can be effective... Back to the top

'LTTE leaders' released on bail
BBC News, May 24, 2008, 07:15 EDT. Three men charged in Britain with conspiring to procure equipment for the Tamil Tiger rebel movement in Sri Lanka have been granted bail... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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