The Lanka Academic

JUNE 4, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 60


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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 defence ministry lashes out at war reporting
afp, june 5. COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lanka's defence ministry has launched scathing attacks against journalists critical of its war against Tamil rebels, labelling them "cowboy defence analysts" and "enemies of the state."

In two commentaries published on its website, the ministry also railed against what it said was "crap" being written about its escalating effort to eject the Tamil Tigers from the island's north.

The ministry presents reporters with a stark choice of being either pro-government or pro-terrorist -- sparking renewed alarm among media rights activists about freedom of the press in Sri Lanka. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 4 23:07:24 EDT 2008

Sri Lankan Jets Attack Bases Around Rebel Headquarters in North
bloomberg, June 5. June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan fighter jets struck Tamil Tiger bases in Kilinochchi district, site of the rebel headquarters in the north, acting upon reports the group was preparing attacks, the military said.

Warplanes bombed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam artillery positions at Kalmunai Point in Jaffna and Sorampattu about 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of Muhamale yesterday ``after intelligence that some activity was going on,'' the Defense Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

The Tamil Tigers haven't commented on the attacks. Rebels destroyed a Sri Lankan army camp with mortar fire in the north yesterday, Tamilnet reported, citing LTTE officials in Vanni. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 4 23:09:11 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Bomb targeting passenger train explodes in Sri Lankan capital, wounding 18
Associated Press, Wed June 4, 2008 08:30 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A bomb blast targeting a passenger train wounded 18 passengers and bystanders in Sri Lanka - 's capital Wednesday in the latest attack on civilians.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack in the Wellawatte district of Colombo. Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be contacted for comment.

The blast went off near railroad tracks just after a train passed. The train suffered only slight damage, but 18 people including passengers and bystanders near the tracks were wounded, the military and a hospital official said.

The victims were admitted to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital for treatment, said Dr. Wilfred Kumarasinghe. All were in stable condition, he said.

Separately Wednesday, fighter jets pounded a rebel naval base in the northern Mullaitivu district and two rebel artillery positions on Jaffna peninsula, air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.

On Tuesday, infantry clashes killed 17 rebels and wounded several soldiers in the Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya districts, the military said in a statement.

It was not possible to verify the military claims because reporters are not allowed into the war zone.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says more than 200 civilians have died in bombings since the beginning of the year in both government-controlled ethnic majority Sinhalese areas and northern rebel-held territory.

The government has blamed the Tigers for the attacks. The rebels, meanwhile, have accused the military of killing ethnic minority Tamil civilians in their de facto state in the country's north.

The Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for the country's Tamils, who have suffered marginalization by successive governments controlled by the Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

In January, the government pulled out of a long-ignored cease-fire with the rebels and has vowed to crush the insurgents and dismantle their de facto administration by the end of this year.
Published: Wed Jun 4 11:17:05 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
18 wounded in Sri Lanka train bombing, say officials  -
Bomb targeting passenger train explodes in Sri Lankan capital, wounding 17  - Associated Press
Railway blast injures 17 in Sri Lanka  -
Bomb Blast Reported On Railroad In Sri Lanka Capital  - Wires

“India’s naval surveillance a big help to Sri Lanka”, June 4. SINGAPORE: India’s maritime “surveillance” has “helped” Sri Lanka in “a big way” in facing the challenge from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam... Back to the top

Sri Lankan rebels say 6 civilians killed in army ambush
Associated Press, Tue June 3, 2008 01:27 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil rebels accused the government Tuesday of killing six civilians with a roadside bomb triggered in a rebel-controlled town in northern Sri Lanka - , but the military denied responsibility for the attack... Back to the top

Heavy toll in Sri Lanka violence, floods, June 3, 2008. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, June 3 (UPI) -- Flooding and fighting took a heavy toll in Sri Lanka where the military and Tamil rebels have been battling for months in the rebel areas in the north... Back to the top

LTTE rejects claims about Peace Secretary's house arrest, Tuesday, June 3, 2008. Colombo (PTI): The LTTE has dismissed claims that the Director of its 'Peace Secretariat' has been put under house arrest on the direction of the outfit's chief V Prabhakaran, terming such reports as "propaganda" by the Sri Lankan government... Back to the top

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