The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 125


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Thousands of Families Fleeing Conflict in Sri Lanka, 08 August 2008. The U.N. refugee agency is expressing deep concern over the safety of thousands of families fleeing fierce fighting in the north of Sri Lanka, as the conflict between government forces and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam reaches new heights. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.The U.N. refugee agency says the situation in Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly dire. The UNHCR is calling on both the government and Tamil Tigers to take immediate steps to ensure the protection of those affected. It says both sides must allow freedom of movement for those seeking safety from the fighting and ensure that the internally displaced are not targeted and not located near areas where there could be fighting. More...
Published: Fri Aug 8 23:44:25 EDT 2008

New fighting kills 21 combatants in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri August 8, 2008 02:52 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fresh fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists across Sri Lanka - 's embattled north killed 17 rebels and four soldiers, the military said Friday.

Separately, Tamil rebels accused government troops of firing artillery shells into a hospital deep in rebel territory overnight, killing one infant and wounding 16 people. The military denied the claim.

Fighting has escalated on this Indian Ocean island in recent months with the government intensifying its campaign against the rebels' de facto state in the north, promising to crush them by the end of the year.

The latest clashes broke out Thursday along the front lines in the Vavuniya and Welioya regions, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

He said army troops attacked and captured a rebel bunker in Welioya, where separate clashes killed 15 rebels and four soldiers. In nearby Vavuniya district, fighting killed two rebels and wounded two soldiers.

Artillery shells fired by the army hit a hospital overnight killing an 18-month-old baby and wounding 16 people, the rebels said in an e-mailed statement.

Nanayakkara denied the account, accusing the guerrillas of seeking ``propaganda mileage.''

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be reached for comment on the military's casualty figures from fighting, which were impossible to verify because reporters are barred from the war zone.

Both sides routinely exaggerate enemy casualties and underreport their own.

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.
Published: Fri Aug 8 06:58:02 EDT 2008 Back to the top

“Cut off NGOs’ aid to LTTE”
HINDU, August 8. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Thursday reasserted there was no question of holdings talks or declare a ceasefire unless the LTTE lays down its weapons and demonstrates its genuine interest to negotiate.

Minister and spokesperson Keheliya Rembukwella said at a news conference “rumours” were spread during the recent SAARC Summit that security forces had halted the offensive in the north. “There is not an iota of truth in these rumours. As a matter of policy, the government is determined to weaken the LTTE militarily.” He claimed the police and security forces were engaged in a “humanitarian mission with a great determination to liberate Kilinochchi and Mullathivu...”

“The government has taken a policy decision to continue this humanitarian mission until all the innocent Tamil civilians are liberated from the LTTE. Till that [goal is achieved], the government will never go for negotiations or accept the conditions put forward by the terrorists,” he said More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Aug 7 21:48:25 EDT 2008 Back to the top

LTTE links claimed as Sri Lankan scams entire English village, August 7th, 2008 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS. London, Aug 7 (IANS) An English court has jailed a Sri Lankan man who defrauded an entire village apparently in order to pay back debts to a loan-shark with Tamil Tigers links... Back to the top

Tamil Nadu arrests betray LTTE dependence on India, Aug 08, 2008. NEW DELHI: A sudden spurt in the arrests of Tamil Tigers and their Indian associates in Tamil Nadu indicates the growing dependence of the Sri Lankan group on India to source its war materials, official sources say... Back to the top

Journalists slam President, police
BBC Sinhala, August 08, 2008. Journalist union leaders accused the government of interfering with police investigations over continuous threats to media by Minister Mervyn Silva... Back to the top

Church near Sri Lanka front line cancels festival
Associated Press, Thu August 7, 2008 05:57 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A popular annual festival at a revered Roman Catholic church near the front lines of Sri Lanka - 's civil war has been canceled because the government and Tamil rebels have failed to recognize the area as a peace zone, officials said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bowls out India for 249
Associated Press, Fri August 8, 2008 08:44 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Spinner Ajantha Mendis impressive start to his test career continued with five wickets Friday as Sri Lanka - bowled out India for 249 in its first innings on day one of the third and series-deciding test... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says offensive against rebels succeeding, Aug 7. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government said on Thursday it was making gains in an offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, as soldiers killed 16 rebels in fresh battles in the north... Back to the top

Six LTTE militants held, Fri Aug 8 00:22:04 CEST 2008. Rameswaram (TN), Aug 7 (PTI) Six LTTE militants and their accomplice in Tamil Nadu have been arrested today in connection with the seizure of 26 'acid cans' near here on July 30, police said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : New fighting kills 11 rebels, 1 soldier
Associated Press, Thu August 7, 2008 01:48 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) New fighting in Sri Lanka - 's restive north killed 11 Tamil Tiger rebels and a soldier, the military said Thursday... Back to the top

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