The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 24, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 80

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Headline Summary
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lanka's government sets up committee to investigate claims of media intimidation
Associated Press, Tue June 24, 2008 10:44 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka has appointed a ministerial-level committee to investigate allegations that local journalists trying to cover the country's civil war have been threatened and harassed, a senior government official said Tuesday. There has been a growing international campaign recently against alleged abuse of the media in Sri Lanka.

Last week some 29 international rights groups wrote to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon seeking his help to persuade Sri Lanka to ``immediately stop all actions which undermine the independence and safety of the news community.''

Earlier this month the European Commission said it had also raised the issue with the Sri Lanka government.

Free Media Movement, a local rights group, said at least 100 reporters have been attacked, 25 journalists have fled the country and several others have gone into hiding in the past two years.

J.S.Tissainayagam, a leading ethnic Tamil journalist who wrote political columns in English, has been held by anti-terrorism police for more than 100 days without charge under the country's strict emergency law.

Amnesty International said in a statement Tuesday that Tissainayagam has been allowed to see his lawyer only twice, and both times were in the presence of a policeman.

In the latest incident, Keith Noyahr, defense reporter for The Nation newspaper, was abducted by a group of unidentified men outside his home on May 22. He was badly beaten before being freed after six hours.

No one has been arrested in that attack, which came after Noyahr wrote a column about controversial promotions within the military.

Sri Lanka's civil war has been raging since 1983. More than 70,000 people have died in the conflict.Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jun 24 12:37:23 EDT 2008


Sri Lanka military: Soldiers capture rebel territory as fighting kills 10 rebels
Associated Press, Tue June 24, 2008 10:36 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan forces killed 10 Tamil separatists Tuesday in a push to win control of a small area of rebel-held territory in the island's north, the military said. Mannar, where heavy fighting has been reported in the recent weeks, has become the flashpoint of Sri Lanka - 's more than two decades of civil war.

The military earlier reported that 21 rebels were killed in fighting in the northern districts of Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya on Monday.

Master did not comment on this fighting.

It was not possible to verify the military's claims because reporters are not allowed into the war zone. Each side often exaggerates casualties for the other and underreports its own losses.

Also Monday, suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a bomb in the government-controlled east, killing three policemen who were going to bathe in a river, the military said.

The bombing, in Ayithiamalai village in Batticaloa district, was the second such attack in the region in two days. A roadside blast killed two police officers on Sunday.

Government troops claimed last year that they had cleared the rebels from the country's entire Eastern Province, but the insurgents still operate in scattered cells there and occasionally ambush the army and police.

Fighting is now concentrated in the north. The government has vowed to crush the rebels by the end of this year.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades by governments controlled by the majority ethnic Sinhalese.
Published: Tue Jun 24 12:37:10 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lanka : 23 killed in new fighting
Associated Press, Tue June 24, 2008 03:36 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A new round of fighting in northern Sri Lanka - killed 21 Tamil Tiger separatist rebels and two soldiers, the military said Tuesday.

The fighting, which took place Monday, was the latest in the island nation's escalating civil war one marked by fierce ground and sea battles, air strikes, and bomb attacks that killed many civilians.

A statement issued by the military said the latest clashes broke out along fronts in the areas of Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya around the guerrillas' stronghold in the north.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not possible to verify the military's claims because reporters are not allowed into the war zone. Each side often exaggerates casualties for the other and plays down its own losses.

Also Monday, suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a bomb at a village in the government-controlled east, killing three policemen who were going to bathe in a river, the military said.

Two days earlier a roadside blast killed two police in the same area.

Government troops claimed last year that they had cleared the rebels from the country's entire Eastern Province, but the insurgents still operate in scattered cells there and occasionally ambush the army and police.

Fighting is now concentrated in the north. The government has vowed to crush the rebels by the end of this year.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades by governments controlled by the majority ethnic Sinhalese.
Published: Tue Jun 24 07:20:02 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Media groups say Sri Lanka threatens journalists
reuters.com, Mon 23 Jun 2008. NEVA, June 23 (Reuters) - Media groups urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday to speak out in support of journalists in Sri Lanka who are facing "grave danger" after being labelled traitors by government officials... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene gears up for Asia Cup defense
Associated Press, Tue June 24, 2008 03:40 EDT . - - LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) Sri Lanka - captain Mahela Jayawardene knows only too well the two best teams in the Asian Cup stand before his team and a title defense... 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

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