The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 23, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 79

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Bomb blast kills 3 police in east Sri Lanka ; northern fighting kills 39, military says
Associated Press, Mon June 23, 2008 12:57 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a bomb Monday in government-controlled east Sri Lanka - killing three policemen, a day after clashes in the north killed 33 rebels and six soldiers, the military said.

The latest bombing, in Ayithiamalai village in eastern Batticaloa district, targeted a group of policemen going for a river bath. It was the second such attack in the region in two days after a roadside bomb killed two police on Sunday.

Ayithiamalai was for years part of vast rebel territory in the east which the government captured nearly a year ago. But Tamil Tiger rebels still operate in scattered cells and occasionally ambush the army and police.

After the government's success in the east, fighting has escalated in areas separating government-controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north.

The military has in recent months stepped up land and air attacks following the government's recent pledge to snatch rebel-held territory and crush the separatists by the end of the year. Diplomats and other observers say the army has faced more resistance than expected.

The latest battles broke out Sunday in the northern areas of Vavuniya, Mannar, Welioya and Jaffna, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

Army troops captured six rebel bunkers near the front lines in Vavuniya after a battle that killed 10 rebels and five soldiers, Nanayakkara said.

The same fighting wounded 30 rebels and seven soldiers, and one soldier was missing, the spokesman said.

In nearby Mannar, soldiers clashed with guerrillas in fighting that killed 10 rebels and a soldier, he said.

Other battles in Welioya, Vavuniya and Jaffna killed 13 rebels while wounding 30 rebels and 15 soldiers, he said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not immediately available for comment.

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

The Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent state for minority ethnic Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jun 23 21:47:05 EDT 2008


Sri Lanka military says new fighting kills 33 Tamil rebels, 6 soldiers in volatile north
Associated Press, Mon June 23, 2008 03:02 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government forces captured six Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers along the front lines in Sri Lanka - 's war-ravaged north and infantry clashes killed 33 rebels and six soldiers, the military said Monday.

Fighting has escalated in recent months in the area separating government-controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north.

The military has stepped up land and air attacks following the government's recent pledge to snatch rebel-held territory and crush the separatists by the end of the year. Diplomats and other observers say the army has faced more resistance than expected.

The latest battles broke out Sunday in the areas of Vavuniya, Mannar, Welioya and Jaffna, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

Army troops captured six rebel bunkers near the front lines in Vavuniya after a battle that killed 10 rebels and five soldiers, Nanayakkara said.

The same fighting wounded 30 rebels and seven soldiers, and one soldier was missing, the spokesman said.

In nearby Mannar soldiers clashed with guerrillas in fighting that killed 10 rebels and a soldier, he said.

Other battles in Welioya, Vavuniya and Jaffna killed 13 rebels while wounding 30 rebels and 15 soldiers, he said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not immediately available for comment.

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

The Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent state for minority ethnic Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Published: Mon Jun 23 07:19:57 EDT 2008 Back to the top


India to expand military ties with Lanka
TOI, june 23. NEW DELHI: India is likely to further bolster military supplies to Sri Lanka, alarmed as it is with the way Colombo continues to turn to China, as also Pakistan to some degree, to obtain weapon systems and platforms.

The arms supplies will be "largely" defensive in nature, in keeping with the policy to supply mainly "non-lethal" equipment to the island nation, said sources.

India believes there cannot be a "military solution" to the bloody ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, and is concomitantly pushing for a dialogue process and devolution package for the Tamils without disrupting the country’s territorial integrity.

The need for renewed political efforts was, once again, conveyed to the Mahinda Rajapakse government by the high-level delegation led by national security advisor M K Narayanan, which also included foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and defence secretary Vijay Singh, to Colombo over the weekend.

But at the same time, India cannot ignore the deep inroads being made into its own strategic backyard by China, which is providing Sri Lanka with a wide array of "cheap" arms and ammunition to bolster its ongoing battle with LTTE.

"The story of Myanmar is being repeated in Sri Lanka. China is already all over the island nation, with a flurry of arms deals, oil explorations and construction projects like the Hambantota port," said a senior official. Sources said the Narayanan delegation also expressed India’s disquiet over Sri Lanka continuing to source weapon systems in a major way from China and Pakistan. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jun 22 19:29:17 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lanka Army chief visits battle zone
hindu.com, Monday, June 23, 2008. COLOMBO (Xinhua): The chief of Sri Lankan Army has visited the northern Wanni district where his troops are engaging the rebel Tamil Tiger, state television Rupavahini reported Sunday... Back to the top

Pakistan has edge against India and Sri Lanka , says Pakistan captain
Associated Press, Mon June 23, 2008 02:30 EDT . RIZWAN ALI - Associated Press Writer - KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik says his team will make the most of its home advantage when it takes on four-time winner India and defending champion Sri Lanka - in the six-nation Asia Cup cricket tournament starting Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's military says 2 policemen killed in roadside bomb blast
Associated Press, Sun June 22, 2008 04:23 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two Sri Lankan policemen were killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the island's east on Sunday, a day after 13 combatants died in clashes across the volatile north, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka in drive to arrest thousands of army deserters
afp, june 22. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's military has launched a campaign to track down and arrest up to 12,000 army deserters who failed to take advantage of a government amnesty, a spokesman said on Sunday... Back to the top

India hopeful of political solutions to Sri Lanka's conflict
IANS, june 22. By P. Karunakharan, Colombo, June 21: A high-powered Indian delegation led by National Security Advisor M... Back to the top

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