The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 6, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 62

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Sri Lanka bus blasts kill at least 23
Associated Press, Fri June 6, 2008 09:45 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Bombs ripped through two buses in Sri Lanka on Friday, including one packed with morning commuters near the country's heavily fortified capital, officials said. At least 23 people were killed and 67 wounded. With much of the fighting taking place hundreds of miles to the north, the recent attacks have shaken the south, home to Sri Lanka's Sinhalese majority, and left residents fearful of more to come.

``I don't know how this war is being fought in the north. I see that only on the television. But, it now seems the war has come to the capital,'' said Roshan Dhammika, a 30-year-old who drives a motorized rickshaw.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry said 17 rebels and five soldiers were killed Thursday in fighting surrounding the rebel stronghold in the north. The clashes occurred in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya districts, a military official said on condition of anonymity, citing government rules.

This week's attacks appeared to also boost already strong support for the war among people in Colombo.

``What else can you do against a ruthless terrorist group. The LTTE now wants to stop operations in the north as they are suffering defeats. That's why they target civilians,'' said Ganesh Wijenayake, a 45-year-old businessman in Colombo, using a common acronym for the insurgents.

The Tigers, formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, which has been marginalized by successive governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed.

Since a long-standing peace process broke down nearly two years ago, fighting between the Tigers and government forces has steadily escalated along the northern front lines and in the east, where the military last year overran rebel-controlled enclaves.

But the rebels still run a de facto state in much of northern Sri Lanka - , and the government says it plans to completely crush the insurgents by the end of the year a threat diplomats and other observers doubt Colombo has the ability to achieve.

Since the start of the year, more than 200 civilians have been killed by bombings in rebel and government territory, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Published: Fri Jun 6 11:00:31 EDT 2008

Related News Stories
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Second bus blast rocks Sri Lanka  - aljazeera.net

Tamils suspected in deadly bus bombings in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri June 6, 2008 15:06 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels blew up two passenger buses in Sri Lanka - on Friday, killing 23 people and raising the specter of an escalating cycle of attacks on civilian targets. Hours later, a bomb tore through a bus in the hills of central Sri Lanka - , east of the capital, killing two passengers and wounding 20 other people, said police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on Sri Lankans to ``remain vigilant against the forces of terror,'' after Friday's first attack.

With much of the fighting taking place hundreds of miles to the north, the recent attacks have shaken the south, home to Sri Lanka - 's Sinhalese majority, and left residents fearful.

``I don't know how this war is being fought in the north. I see that only on the television. But, it now seems the war has come to the capital,'' said Roshan Dhammika, a 30-year-old who drives a motorized rickshaw.

The recent attacks seemed to boost already strong support for the war among people in Colombo.

``What else can you do against a ruthless terrorist group. The LTTE now wants to stop operations in the north as they are suffering defeats. That's why they target civilians,'' said Ganesh Wijenayake, a 45-year-old businessman in Colombo, using a common acronym for the insurgents.

Blamed for scores of suicide bombings and other attacks on civilians, the Tamil Tigers are listed as a terrorist group by the U.S., the European Union and India. They are believed to have been behind a blast Wednesday that targeted a passenger train in Colombo wounding 19 people.

Formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for Sri Lanka - 's Tamil minority. More than 70,000 people have been killed.

Since a peace process broke down nearly two years ago, fighting between the Tigers and government forces has steadily escalated.

But the rebels still run a de facto state in much of northern Sri Lanka - , and the government says it plans to crush the insurgents by year's end.

More than 200 civilians have been killed by bombings in rebel and government territory this year, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Published: Fri Jun 6 17:16:00 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Bus blast kills 21 in Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Fri June 6, 2008 00:01 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A bomb ripped through a crowded passenger bus near Sri Lanka's capital during morning rush hour Friday, killing at least 21 people and wounding an additional 40, officials said.

The country's military blamed the attack on Tamil Tiger rebels, who did not immediately comment on the blast. If carried out by the rebels, the attack would show their ability to strike deep inside government territory despite a maze of security checkpoints around the capital and its suburbs.

The blast targeted a passenger bus in the Colombo suburb of Moratuwa, police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said.

The attack killed 21 people and wounded 47, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

He blamed Tamil Tigers for the blast. Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not respond to calls seeking comment, but the rebels routinely deny such attacks.

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

The rebels, blamed for scores of suicide bombings and other attacks on civilians, are listed as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union and India.

The Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by the majority Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed.

Fighting has escalated along the northern front lines since the government withdrew from a long-ignored cease-fire in January.

Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jun 6 00:20:09 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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4TH LD: 24 killed, over 70 wounded in Sri Lanka bus bombings+  - Associated Press
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Sri Lanka Bombing Kills 21 Civilians Near Colombo (Update2)  - bloomberg
·
Sri Lanka bus explosion kills 20 people, 40 wounded  - reuters
·
Bombing kills at least 20 in Sri Lanka  - cnn
·
LOUD EXPLOSION SHAKES SRI LANKA CAPITAL  - Wires
·
Bus explosion kills several people in Sri Lanka capital  - reuters

Sri Lankan opposition leader obstructed from attending parliament
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S.Lanka shares fall after deadly bombing in Colombo
reuters.com, Fri Jun 6, 2008 . COLOMBO, June 6 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell 0.67 percent on Friday, taking their losses for the week to 1.5 percent, after a deadly bombing in Colombo intensified concerns about the deteriorating security situation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gives Cairn India the nod to explore oil and gas
afp, June 6. COLOMBO (AFP) - Cairn India, a unit of British exploration firm Cairn Energy Plc (LSE: CNE... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military: New fighting kills 35 rebels, 1 soldier in embattled north
Associated Press, Thu June 5, 2008 01:55 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A wave of new fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels across the Sri Lanka - 's war-ravaged northern region killed 35 guerrillas and one soldier, the military said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Jets Attack Rebel Headquarters in North (Update1)
bloomberg.com, June 5, 2008. 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... Back to the top

55 LTTE cadres, one securityman killed in Lanka clashes: Army
ptinews.com, June 5, 2008. T V Sriram Colombo, Jun 5 (PTI) At least 55 Tamil Tigers and a soldier were killed in fierce clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled northern region, where the army captured one of the main trench lines of the LTTE, officials here said today... Back to the top

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