The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 14, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 131


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Sri Lankans Flee Fighting as Army Attacks Rebel Bases in North
bloomberg, August 15, 2008. Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of civilians have fled fighting in Sri Lanka's north in recent weeks as the army mounts almost daily offensives to capture bases of Tamil rebels, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

``The upsurge in fighting is making it increasingly difficult for humanitarian workers to gain access to certain areas,'' the ICRC said on its Web site. ``Access to food, shelter, sanitation and clean water is an urgent priority.''

Most displaced people are heading for areas in Kilinochchi district where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has its headquarters. More than 130,000 people have left their homes in the Mannar, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi areas, TamilNet reported on Aug. 8. The ICRC didn't estimate the number of displaced people.

Sri Lanka's military is trying to capture the last strongholds held by the LTTE in the north of the South Asian island. The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east for 25 years, in a conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Aug 14 23:15:44 EDT 2008

Military: Sri Lanka fighting kills 16
Associated Press, Thu August 14, 2008 05:39 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A wave of battles across the front lines in Sri Lanka - 's 25-year-old civil war killed 14 ethnic Tamil rebels and two government soldiers, the military said Thursday.

Government jets hit a series of Tamil Tiger targets in the Mullaittivu region early Thursday in support of troops fighting on the ground, the military said in a statement.

Fighting has escalated in recent weeks, with the military capturing a series of rebel bases and large chunks of territory, and government officials reiterating their pledge to crush the rebel group by the end of the year.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday that tens of thousands of people were displaced by recent fighting, most of them heading deeper into rebel-held territory. Some were forced to abandon their homes repeatedly in recent months.

Health authorities were struggling to cope with the influx of displaced people. The escalating fighting was making it difficult for humanitarian workers to get access to certain areas, the Red Cross said.

``Most urgent needs have been met,'' said Red Cross spokeswoman Aleksandra Matijevic. ``(But) their needs increase by the day.''

In fighting Wednesday, troops killed seven rebels in the Welioya region, the military said. Fighting in Vavuniya killed six rebels and another rebel fighter was killed in the Jaffna region, it said. The Tamil Tigers killed one soldier in Welioya and another in Kundambimulai.

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 most journalists are barred from the war zone.

The Tamil Tigers 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: Thu Aug 14 06:57:47 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Not many pluses, Thursday August 14th 2008. AT A lingerie factory in Pannala, in Sri Lanka’s Western Province, lines of women in red work-coats, red headscarves and face-masks are stitching knickers. These garments, bound for British high streets, represent one of Sri Lanka’s strengths: an innovative garment industry, which accounts for 67% of total industrial output and the equivalent of 10% of GDP. The factory’s owner, MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka’s biggest garment-maker, employs 45,000 Sri Lankans, and had revenues of $700m last year.

Seen from here, Sri Lanka’s big weakness—the 25-year war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government—might be in another country. It is waged mostly in the north and east, leaving the populous, well-off west largely unscathed. But this could change. More...
Published: Thu Aug 14 15:53:59 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Tens of thousands on the run as Sri Lanka fighting flares: ICRC, august 14. COLOMBO (AFP) — Tens of thousands of residents have fled their homes in northern Sri Lanka where fighting between government troops and Tamil rebels has intensified in recent weeks, the Red Cross said Thursday... Back to the top

Government troops capture rebel base in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed August 13, 2008 08:34 EDT . Colombo (dpa) - Government troops advanced through mine fields and heavy resistance to capture a Tamil rebel complex in northern Sri Lanka, the Defence Ministry said Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : Northern fighting kills 19
Associated Press, Wed August 13, 2008 03:13 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Scattered battles across northern Sri Lanka - killed 15 Tamil Tiger rebels and four government soldiers, the military said Wednesday... Back to the top

Five killed, 40 injured in bus crash in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed August 13, 2008 06:16 EDT . - - Colombo (dpa) - Five passengers were killed and 40 others injured when two buses collided in the north-central part of Sri Lanka - on Wednesday afternoon, police said... Back to the top

Mendis is not unplayable: Yuvraj
CricketNext, Aug 13, 2008. Mumbai: India’s One-Day team vice-captain Yuvraj Singh, who has been vulnerable to quality spin in the past, said Sri Lanka’s new spin sensation Ajantha Mendis is not unplayable and with time the batsmen will master him... Back to the top

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