The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 5, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 122

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28 killed in new Sri Lanka fighting
Associated Press, Tue August 5, 2008 03:05 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Battles raged in war-torn northern Sri Lanka - leaving 27 rebels and one soldier dead after a unilateral cease-fire called by the Tamil Tigers ended, said the military Tuesday.

Scattered battles Monday in the rebel-held Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu regions killed 12 rebels and one soldier, the military said in statement. Sri Lankan troops fired artillery into Welioya region, killing two rebels while infantry fighting in the area left four more guerrillas dead.

Soldiers also destroyed a rebel bunker in Vavuniya area, where separate clashes killed nine rebels.

Tamil Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not available for comment.

Both sides routinely exaggerate enemy casualties and underreport their own, and independent verification of the death toll from fighting is not possible because journalists are barred from the war zone.

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. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Monday's fighting coincided with the end of a 10-day unilateral cease-fire declared by rebels as a goodwill gesture amid a high profile regional summit held last weekend in the capital Colombo. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation meeting concluded Sunday.

Despite the cease-fire call, the government pressed ahead with its offensive against the Tigers in their de facto state in the north. The government rejected the truce as a ploy by the rebels to gain time to regroup after several recent battlefield losses.

Fighting has escalated in recent months after the government vowed to crush the guerillas by the end of the year.
Published: Tue Aug 5 05:42:11 EDT 2008


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 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.

Eight rebels and three soldiers were killed in other clashes Sunday in the Mannar 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, 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 06:08:56 EDT 2008 Back to the top


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