The Lanka Academic

JULY 4, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 90


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Headline Summary
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Sri Lankan military says it seized a key rebel base; 34 killed in other fighting
Associated Press, Fri July 4, 2008 10:21 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops captured a key Tamil Tiger rebel base in the island's north Friday, a day after a wave of battles in the same region killed 32 rebels and two soldiers, the military said.

Soldiers took control of Michael Base in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu district after three days of fighting, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

He said casualty details were not immediately available.

Fighting has escalated in this Indian Ocean island in recent months, with the military stepping up ground assaults and air strikes on rebels in line with a government pledge to capture rebel-held territory and crush the insurgents by the end of the year.

Also other clashes took place in the Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya regions bordering the rebels' de facto northern state on Thursday, said a defense ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to government policy.

Several battles in Mannar left 24 guerrillas and two soldiers dead, he said. Twenty-five rebels and 10 soldiers were wounded.

Other battles in Vavuniya and Welioya killed eight rebels, and wounded 12 Tamil Tiger fighters and four soldiers, the official said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be reached for comment on any of the reported fighting.

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

The rebels have been fighting since 1983 to create an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The government has vowed to end the insurgency by the end of this year but the island's army chief, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, told reporters Monday that it may take another year to defeat the rebels.Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 4 15:06:16 EDT 2008

US 'concerned' over Sri Lanka rights, attacks on media
afp, july 4. COLOMBO (AFP) - The United States said Thursday it had "strong concerns" about Sri Lanka's deteriorating human rights record and escalating attacks on the local media.

Deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs Evan Feigenbaum expressed US concerns to Sri Lankan authorities during his four-day visit which ends Thursday.

"We continue to have strong concerns about human rights and pressures on the media," Feigenbaum said.

He noted, however, the formation of a ministerial committee to address concerns raised by journalists over their safety and independence. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jul 3 22:15:39 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka journalists demand protection  -

'Prabhakaran shoots people who disagree with him'
rediff, July 4. Nothing lends credibility to an argument or an accusation more than a first person account. Be it autobiographies or first person accounts, they are simple yet powerful. Such works also stand out for the courage, for you don't know what the consequences will be.

So, it was with great fear that, seven years ago, Sri Lankan Tamil writer Shobasakthi wrote about his time as a child soldier with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, blowing the lid on a cruel practice of one of the deadliest and most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world.

With that book, Gorilla, translated into English earlier this year and reaching a wider audience, Shobasakthi talks about life as a refugee, his future plans, the future of Tamil Eelam and much more in this interview with Krishnakumar P.

Anushiya Sivanarayanan, who translated Gorilla, writes in her introduction that after she read the Tamil version she immediately wanted to talk to the author. Anushiya writes that she wrote in with her request for which Shobasakthi wrote back: "No English. Only Tamil," along with his phone number. More...Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 4 15:42:57 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lankan military says latest fighting kills 32 Tamil rebels, 2 soldiers
Associated Press, Fri July 4, 2008 04:06 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A wave of battles across Sri Lanka's embattled northern region has killed 32 ethnic Tamil rebels and two government soldiers, the military said Friday... Back to the top

Rights group wants S.Lanka to punish ex-Tiger boss, Fri Jul 4, 2008. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday urged Sri Lanka's government to investigate and prosecute renegade former Tamil Tiger leader Karuna Amman for war crimes, after Britain failed to do so because of a lack of evidence... Back to the top

Renegade S Lanka leader goes home, Thursday, 3 July 2008 17:13 UK. Former Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger renegade Col Karuna has arrived in Colombo after completing a prison sentence in the UK, British embassy officials say... Back to the top

Sri Lanka The war president, Jul 3rd 2008. MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE, Sri Lanka’s president, shakes out his white outfit and spreads his bare toes with a satisfied air... Back to the top

Sri Lanka frees 300 Indian trawlers, july 3. Colombo, July 3 (IANS) Sri Lanka has released all the 300-odd Indian fishing trawlers the navy seized while allegedly poaching in the island's territorial waters, after hours of through investigation... Back to the top

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