The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 4, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 121

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New Sri Lankan fighting kills 40 combatants
Associated Press, Mon August 4, 2008 06:42 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops repulsed an attempt by Tamil rebels to retake a recently captured guerrilla stronghold in heavy fighting that killed 21 rebels and three soldiers, the military said Monday.

Thirteen rebels and three soldiers were killed in other clashes Sunday in the Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya regions, bordering the rebels' de facto state in the north, said Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman.

The new fighting occurred despite a cease-fire offered by rebels while leaders from eight South Asian countries met over the weekend in the tightly guarded capital, Colombo.

The heaviest fighting was reported in Mannar's Vellankulam area, a guerrilla stronghold that was seized by government troops on Saturday, Nanayakkara said. It was the last rebel stronghold in the area.

The rebels ``attempted to retake the lost territory, but soldiers repulsed their attack,'' Nanayakkara said.

Sunday's fighting, which lasted about 10 hours, killed 21 guerrillas and three soldiers, he said.

Separately, army troops seized a rebel camp in Mannar in fighting that killed five rebels and two soldiers, Nanayakkara said.

Also Sunday, three rebels and one soldier died in a clash in Welioya while in the nearby Vavuniya district, five rebels died in two clashes, he said.

Meanwhile, three soldiers were killed in a grenade explosion while training Sunday in the northern Jaffna district, he said. The incident was being investigated but did not appear to involve any rebel attack, he said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not available for comment. Both sides routinely exaggerate enemy casualties and underreport their own. Independent verification of the fighting is not possible because journalists are barred from the war zone.

The fighting Sunday coincided with the annual summit of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Colombo.

The guerrillas had declared an unilateral cease-fire from July 26 as a goodwill gesture for the summit, but said they would defend themselves if attacked.

The government rejected the cease-fire as a ploy by the rebels to gain time to regroup after several recent battlefield losses, and continued with ground and air attacks against guerrilla targets.

The Tamil Tigers are listed as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union and India.

The rebels have been fighting for an independent state in the north and east since 1983, following decades of marginalization of ethnic Tamils by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. The fighting has escalated in recent months after the government vowed to crush the rebels by the end of the year.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Published: Mon Aug 4 07:34:22 EDT 2008


US urges Sri Lanka to act on rights abuses
reuters.com, Sun Aug 3, 2008 9:40am ED. COLOMBO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka must act to prevent human rights abuses including abductions, the intimidation of media personnel and the recruitment of child soldiers as it fights a 25-year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said on Sunday.

"We have been concerned about the continuing reports of abductions, disappearances, the detention of some people and reports of intimidation against the media," Boucher said.

"All these things need to be stopped. The government needs to take action against the perpetrators," he said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Aug 3 13:09:53 EDT 2008 Back to the top


South Asian summit considers terrorism pact
Associated Press, Sat August 2, 2008 21:19 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Heads of government from eight south Asian countries resume a summit in Sri Lanka on Sunday, aiming to foster regional cooperation in combatting terrorism and food security.

However, accusations that elements of Pakistan's intelligence service helped a militant group bomb India's embassy in Afghanistan cast a cloud over the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation conference.

``Terrorism and its sanctuaries are gaining a greater grip in Pakistan,'' Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a speech at the start of the two-day summit. He said terrorists in Pakistan were getting ``institutionalized nurturing and support.''

He said Afghanistan was the worst victim of international terrorism.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the recent attack on his country's embassy in Kabul and a string of bombings in Indian cities ``are gruesome reminders of the barbarity that still finds a place in South Asia.''

``It remains the single biggest threat to our stability,'' he said.

The summit, which concludes Sunday, is expected to approve an agreement on tackling terrorism, including freezing funds used for attacks, as well as the creation of a regional development fund and a food bank to cope with shortages triggered by rising prices.

The summit is being attended by leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka _ representing one-fifth of the world's population.

SAARC was set up in 1985 to promote economic cooperation, but progress in most areas has been slow, mainly because of the rivalry between India and Pakistan, and it has often been derided as little more than a talking shop.Discuss this story
Published: Sun Aug 3 01:11:10 EDT 2008 Back to the top


New Sri Lankan fighting kills 35 combatants
Associated Press, Mon August 4, 2008 03:23 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops repulsed an attempt by Tamil rebels to retake a recently captured guerrilla stronghold in heavy fighting that killed 21 rebels and three soldiers, the military said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka troops in Tiger capital
aljazeera.net, Sunday August 03, 2008, 4:00EDT. Sri Lankan government troops have entered the de facto capital of the Tamil Tiger separatists for the first time in 11 years, the military said... Back to the top

India squares test series against Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun August 3, 2008 09:13 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - GALLE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Offspinner Harbhajan Singh bagged a 10-wicket match haul Sunday as India claimed the last five Sri Lanka - wickets for just six runs to win the second test and square the series... Back to the top

20 killed as Sri Lanka battles on during summit
Associated Press, Sun August 3, 2008 10:03 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's navy raided a Tamil Tiger rebel camp on a tiny island off the embattled northern coast, destroying one boat and killing four insurgents, while infantry clashes elsewhere in the north killed 14 rebels and two soldiers, the military said Sunday... Back to the top

Mendis lays claim to being the new Murali
Associated Press, Sun August 3, 2008 06:30 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - GALLE, Sri Lanka - (AP) In cricket, timing is vital, and just as the career of spin great Muttiah Muralitharan moves toward its ebb, Sri Lanka - appears to have unearthed his successor... Back to the top

16 killed in Sri Lanka battles as summit continues
Associated Press, Sun August 3, 2008 02:21 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fresh fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger separatists killed 14 rebels and two soldiers across the embattled northern region, the military said Sunday as South Asian leaders gathered in the capital... Back to the top

LTTE’s last bastion in Mannar captured
hindu.com, Sunday August 03, 2008, 03:57 EDT. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military on Saturday claimed to have captured Vellankulam town, the LTTE’ last stronghold in Mannar district in the north... Back to the top

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