The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 16, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 133

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Military: Fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 25
Associated Press, Sat August 16, 2008 10:47 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Air force jets pounded Tamil Tiger fortifications in northern Sri Lanka - on Saturday, destroying a rebel bunker line as fighting intensified in the country's civil war, the military said.

Heavy battles Friday and Saturday across the front lines surrounding the dwindling area controlled by the rebels killed 23 guerrilla fighters and two soldiers, the military said.

In recent weeks, troops have broken through the rebels' defenses and seized a series of key towns and bases. Government officials have reiterated their pledge to route the Tamil Tigers by the end of the year and end the nation's 25-year-old civil war.

Raging battles in the Kilinochchi region killed nine rebel fighters, the military said. Fighting in Vavuniya, Welioya, Mullaittivu and Jaffna killed another 14, the military said.

As the troops advanced on the rebels' main power base in Kilinochchi on Saturday morning, air force jets supported them by striking and destroying a line of rebel bunkers east of the town of Nachchikuda, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

The rebels also struck, exploding a bomb Saturday morning near a bus filled with soldiers in Vavuniya district as they prepared to go on leave, the military said. Two soldiers were killed in the attack, it said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer calls 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.

The government has vowed to crush the group by the end of the year and win the war that has already killed more than 70,000 people.

International aid groups have said the recent fighting forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes and warned that their basic needs and safety needed to be heeded.

Ministers and other top government officials met Friday to discuss plans to provide the displaced with food and shelter, the state-owned Daily News reported Saturday.
Published: Sat Aug 16 14:09:19 EDT 2008


Military: Fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 22
Associated Press, Sat August 16, 2008 02:44 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Air force jets pounded Tamil Tiger fortifications in northern Sri Lanka - on Saturday, destroying a rebel bunker line as fighting intensified in the country's civil war, the military said.

Heavy battles Friday across the front lines surrounding the dwindling area controlled by the rebels killed 22 guerrilla fighters, the military said in a statement Saturday.

In recent weeks, troops have broken through the rebels' defenses and seized a series of key towns and bases. Government officials have reiterated their pledge to route the Tamil Tigers by the end of the year and end the nation's 25-year-old civil war.

Raging battles in the Kilinochchi region killed nine rebel fighters, the military said. Fighting in Vavuniya, Welioya, Mullaittivu and Jaffna killed another 13, the military said.

As the troops advanced on the rebels' main power base in Kilinochchi on Saturday morning, air force jets supported them by striking and destroying a line of rebel bunkers east of the town of Nachchikuda, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer calls 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.

The government has vowed to crush the group by the end of the year and win the war that has already killed more than 70,000 people.

International aid groups have said the recent fighting forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes and warned that their basic needs and safety needed to be heeded.

Ministers and other top government officials met Friday to discuss plans to provide the displaced with food and shelter, the state-owned Daily News reported Saturday.
Published: Sat Aug 16 03:27:17 EDT 2008 Back to the top


More than 35 rebels, two soldiers killed in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri August 15, 2008 06:38 EDT . - - Colombo (dpa) - At least 35 Tamil rebels and two soldiers were killed as troops advanced in northern Sri Lanka - amidst heavy fighting, military officials said Friday.

Troops are advancing from several fronts on rebel strongholds in the Vanni region, 320 kilometres north of the capital Colombo.

Heavy fighting was reported from the Palamoddai area where troops overran four bunkers and captured an 81-millimetre mortar gun position, killing nine rebels and injuring 10 more.

Troops also confronted a group of rebels north of Janakapura, killing nine more rebels and capturing five bunkers.

The other rebels were killed in a number of clashes in the Vanni region. Military officials said that at least 48 rebels were injured in the confrontations on Thursday.

Two soldiers were also killed in Thursday's fighting, an army statement said.

Military officials said troops made significant gains in the north of the island and have advanced into rebel-controlled areas.

Obtaining independent confirmation of the military's claims was not possible.

However, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN agencies operating in the areas said more than 130,000 civilians have been displaced during the past four months.

Civilians have been fleeing further north to prevent being caught in the conflict.

Over the past two years, government troops have captured rebel-held areas in the east and are now in the process of capturing areas in the north.

According to army commander Sarath Fonseka more than 9,000 rebels and 1,770 soldiers have been killed in the past two years. dpa ad im
Published: Fri Aug 15 07:22:50 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lanka may be close to peace
thestatesman.net, Aug 16, 2008. Ravi Velloor Sri Lankans have just completed another month of introspection, as they have every July for so long now... Back to the top

Latest Sri Lanka fighting kills 26 rebels, 2 troops
reuters.com, Aug 15, 2008. By Ranga Sirilal

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan attack helicopters bombed rebels' bunkers on Friday, the military said, a day after ground troops killed 26 Tamil Tiger fighters as government forces pressed their assault on the rebels' northern stronghold... Back to the top


rock kingdom: sri lanka’s rock monuments are a bedrock of culture
Al bawaba, Aug 16, 2008. rock kingdom: sri lanka’s rock monuments are a bedrock of culture Posted: 16-08-2008 , 18:50 GMT Few places on earth match Sri Lanka for the pervasive sense of an ancient culture... Back to the top

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