The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 30, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 86

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India to train Lankan soldiers
TOI, July 1. NEW DELHI: Even as it pushes Sri Lanka to renew political efforts towards resolving its bloody ethnic strife, India is virtually throwing open the doors of its different military institutions to train Sri Lankan soldiers.

In 2008-2009 alone, over 500 Sri Lankan officers and other ranks will receive training in institutions ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra), apart from undergoing specialised naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare, say sources.

This comes even as India has also stepped up military supplies to Sri Lankan forces, even though they are "largely defensive" in nature, as reported first by TOI.

This twin-prolonged strategy of arms supplies and military training, coupled with intelligence sharing and "coordinated" naval patrolling, is primarily aimed to counter China's ever-growing strategic inroads into Sri Lanka.

In fact, 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 10 days ago expressed India's concern over Sri Lanka increasingly turning to China and Pakistan for weapons. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jun 30 20:27:10 EDT 2008


Sri Lanka army chief says Tamil rebels weakened
Associated Press, Mon June 30, 2008 11:59 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's army chief said Monday that his soldiers have killed at least 9,000 Tamil Tiger fighters during the past two years of civil war and disabled the rebel group of its conventional war capabilities.

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said the rebels, known formally as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, no longer have ``the same strength and willpower to fight.''

``We have already defeated them,'' Fonseka told reporters.

He said the insurgents were no longer capable of fighting as a conventional army. ``Although they are fighting us, it is not in the same manner as before.''

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be immediately be reached for comment.

However, former Sri Lankan army commander Gen. Jerry de Silva called Fonseka's claim mere ``guesswork'' and said that with both sides releasing exaggerated casualty figures for the other side, it was difficult to judge developments on the battlefront.

``Sometimes the LTTE take the bodies away. Some are down, but not dead. The exaggeration comes there,'' he said.

``The fact that the LTTE still keeps fighting shows that it still has the capability,'' de Silva said.

A pro-rebel Web site quoted a rebel commander, identified only as Lakshman, as saying that the rebels were waiting for their moment to strike.

``The army is now stretching wide in their operation; those who know our past history would know what our next step will be,'' the Puthinam Web site quoted Lakshman as saying at a weekend gathering.

``If the government thinks the solution is only through war, we will win that war,'' he said.

Fonseka said 1,700 government soldiers had been killed during the last two years. He said soldiers have been well-trained at jungle and nighttime warfare areas where they were lacking before enabling them to cause heavy damage to the rebels.

Meanwhile air force jets bombed a rebel training camp in northern Kilinochchi district, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said without giving further details.

On Sunday, the military took control of about 46 square miles of rebel-held territory in the Mannar region following months of fighting, Nanayakkara said.

Nanayakkara said the capture of the fertile rice bowl area was ``a significant breakthrough'' and that the army had succeeded in cutting ``one of the rebels' main supply routes from their de facto state in the north.''

Soldiers meanwhile killed 13 rebels in clashes Sunday in the Welioya region, a military statement said. Another 13 rebels and two soldiers were killed in battles in Mannar and Vavuniya districts.

The Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent state for ethnic minority 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 30 12:22:35 EDT 2008 Back to the top


British officials attacked in Sri Lanka
newsone, july 1. A British High Commission employee and a journalist have been assaulted in Sri Lanka, prompting media groups to say they feared it was the latest in a series of attacks against journalists.

A Sri Lankan attached to the commission and a defence journalist at the Sri Lanka Press Institute were attacked by a group in their car in the capital Colombo, witnesses said. Both were wounded but hospital workers said they were not in danger.

Britain's High Commissioner condemned the "despicable act" and urged the government to bring those responsible to justice.

"We will be working with the authorities to do everything that we can, to make sure that happens," Peter Hayes said at the private hospital where they were being treated.

Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, who also visited the hospital, promised an impartial investigation. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jun 30 22:40:57 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lanka military: Army captures large swath of northern rebel territory; fighting kills 28
Associated Press, Mon June 30, 2008 04:12 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers seized a large swath of Tamil Tiger rebel-held territory while scattered battles elsewhere in the embattled north killed 26 rebels and two soldiers, the military said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military gets the 'Rice Bowl'
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, June 29, 2008, 10.31 p.m.. Sri Lankan security forces today afternoon took full control of the 'Rice Bowl' area in the northern city of Mannar... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Says Mannar `Rice Bowl' Captured, Rebel Supplies Cut
bloomberg, June 30. June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka said the army cut a main supply route for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam when soldiers captured Mannar's rice-producing area in the latest blow to rebels holding onto their last bases in the north... Back to the top

Jayasuriya celebrates 39th birthday with century to reach Asia Cup final
Associated Press, Mon June 30, 2008 14:00 EDT . RIZWAN ALI - Associated Press Writer - KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) Sanath Jayasuriya celebrating his 39th birthday and fellow opener Kumar Sangakkara smashed centuries Monday as Sri Lanka - marched into the final of Asia Cup with a crushing 158-run victory over Bangladesh in the Super Four match... Back to the top

Indian troops for South Asian summit in Sri Lanka
google.com, Sun Jun 29 16:06:27 CEST 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) India is to send thousands of troops, war ships and helicopters to Sri Lanka as part of security for next month's South Asian summit in Colombo, diplomatic sources said Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka trade unions snub President as government resorts to underhand tactics
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, June 29, 2008, 10.40 p.m.. As several hundred trade unions gear for the July 10 strike, the government has initiated subtle moves to thwart the trade unions' attempts, which are based on a Rs... Back to the top

Sangakkara and Mendis star in Sri Lanka 's win against Pakistan
Associated Press, Sun June 29, 2008 14:43 EDT . RIZWAN ALI - Associated Press Writer - KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) Kumar Sangakkara notched his ninth one-day international century and Ajantha Mendis claimed four wickets to lead Sri Lanka - to a 64-run win against Pakistan in a Super Four match of the Asia Cup... Back to the top

Asylum seeker jailed for credit-card scam
Harrow Times, june 28. A TAMIL asylum seeker from South Harrow who admitted being involved in credit-card cloning at the petrol station where he worked has been jailed for ten months... Back to the top

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