The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 26, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 143


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ROUNDUP: Sailors injured in rebel airstrike on Sri Lankan harbour
Associated Press, Tue August 26, 2008 14:58 EDT . Colombo (dpa) - At least four sailors Tuesday night were injured when a Tamil rebel aircraft dropped two bombs on a harbour cum naval base in north-eastern Sri Lanka - , a military spokesman said. Earlier Tuesday, at least 15 Tamil rebels and seven soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Sri Lanka - during a military offensive on rebel strongholds, military officials said.

Two soldiers were killed in each of three separate incidents in the Mullaitivu district and another soldier was killed in Kilinochchi district, 320 kilometres north of the capital Colombo.

Six rebels were killed in a Kilinochchi and one other in Vavuniya, and eight rebels were killed by troops in Weloya, officials said.

Troops captured rebel-controlled areas in the Eastern province last year after launching offensives in mid-2006, and since January 2008 are concentrating on areas in the north.

Tamil rebel forces, which have waged a secessionist campaign in the north and east of the country since the 1970s. dpa ad tl pw mga
Published: Tue Aug 26 17:42:41 EDT 2008

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Official: Rebels attack Sri Lankan navy base  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka police grill Tamil human rights activist for six long hours
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, August 26, 2008, 11.44 p.m.. A Sri Lankan opposition parliamentarian, who heads the Civil Monitoring Commission, which monitors the human rights violations in the country, was grilled by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) for more than six hours on Tuesday.

Mano Ganesan, a human rights activist who was also the first runner up in the annual US Freedom Defender's Award and leader of the Western People's Front was questioned from 11 a.m. onwards on his peace delegation visits to Killinochchi during the Ceasefire Agreement period in 2002 and 2004.

The TID sleuths had demanded to know if Ganesan had developed any special relationships with LTTE during those visits.

The following statement was issued by Ganesan's office a while back:

Western Peoples Front Leader Mano Ganesan accepted the written request extended to him by the Director of TID. This is in accordance with our policy of supporting the maintenance of Law and Order and cooperating with the legal system. Ganesan asked the Director of TID that he be provided with a translator at the time of inquest.

Mano Ganesan said he had given a statement to TID's OIC-CI Prasanna de Alwis and SI Abdeen of TID/Unit II. The statement had following contents.

Mano Ganesan said he visited Killinochchi during peace process period. It was legal and accepted during that time. All discussions were based on political solution within a united Sri Lankan state. It was not only him but ministers of the present government Arumugan Thondaman and P. Chandrasekaran visited Kilinochchi. Many other government ministers and officials too visited Kilinochchi. Every time Ganesan went to Kilinochchi for discussions, the then prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and UNP's deputy leader Karu Jayasooriya were informed. The last time he went to Kilinochchi was in year 2005.

It was the time when Eastern Tiger commander Karuna Amman had drifted from LTTE. Mano Ganesan carried a peace message to LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran from then president Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga on Karuna Amman in 2005. President Chandrika had said that she would offer asylum to Karuna Amman, if Karuna appeals for it. It may happen. But if that happens it should not be considered as an act against the peace process. Ganesan said that he carried this message of Chandrika to Praba. Upon return from Kilinochchi, he met Chandrika and conveyed LTTE leader Prabakaran's response to her. At this meeting at Presidential palace in Colombo Fort, minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna was present.

Ganesan had vehemently refused any special relationship with LTTE and any link with any arrested terrorist suspects. In view of the question on so called 'special relationship', Ganesan said he had no such relationships with LTTE. But many were under such wrong belief. During the close up to last presidential elections, late minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and present presidential advisor Basil Rajapakse MP visited his home requesting Ganesan to help them to develop a special link with LTTE. It was to organize an electoral boycott in the north and eastern province during the presidential elections in November 2005. They came with such wrong impression on him. But Ganesan rejected such request on the grounds that he had no such special relationship with the LTTE to help Jeyaraj and Basil for an election boycott in the north and east.

The statement further said that In the recent past opposition parliamentarians Jayalath Jayawardena of UNP, Vijitha Herath and Ramalingam Chandrasekar of JVP were subjected to inquiries at TID. Many terrorist linked accusations were made inside and outside parliament against many government politicians including of the last presidential election boycott issue. But no police investigations were made against any government politicians named. Ganesan's comments in total were typed included in his statement to the TID and he placed his signature on it. Mano Ganesan was accompanied to the TID by parliamentarians Jayalath Jayawardena, Johnston Fernando and his Attorney-at-Law Asthika Devendra.
Published: Tue Aug 26 14:53:14 EDT 2008 Back to the top

EXTRA: Tamil rebels hit Sri Lankan harbour with airstrike
Associated Press, Tue August 26, 2008 13:01 EDT . - - Colombo (dpa) - Tamil rebel aircraft dropped two bombs on a key harbour in north-eastern Sri Lanka - , a military official said, adding that no major damage had been caused.

Sri Lankan military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the bombs had been dropped at the Trincomalee harbour, 240 kilometres north-east of the capital on Tuesday night.

The security forces had activated the air defence system soon after the incident, but the aircraft had escaped.

Tamil rebels are in possession of at least two small aircraft which had used previously as well to carry out similar attacks in the capital and the main airport.

Military officials in the area said a vessel used by the Navy had appeared to be the target, but the bombs missed.

The incident comes as government troops stepped up military operations against the rebels in the northern part of the country after declaring they were with 15 kilometres of the rebels' administrative hub. dpa ad mgaDiscuss this story
Published: Tue Aug 26 13:15:27 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka president says no snap elections, 2008-08-26 23:39:30 . COLOMBO, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has scoffed rumors that he would call a snap parliamentary election in the country, his office said here Tuesday. Addressing a gathering, the president said his government has a public mandate to continue the present parliament until 2010 and as such there is no need to go for a parliamentary election ahead of the schedule... Back to the top

Battles kill 15 rebels, 7 soldiers in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue August 26, 2008 04:35 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A series of gunbattles between government forces and the Tamil Tigers killed 15 rebels and seven soldiers in war-torn northern Sri Lanka - , the military said Tuesday... Back to the top

At least 74 killed in Sri Lanka fighting
Reuters, August 25. COLOMBO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - At least 74 people were killed during a Sri Lankan military push to take the symbolic capital of the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said on Monday... Back to the top

Civilians flee into rebel areas as Sri Lanka government advances
Associated Press, Mon August 25, 2008 05:46 EDT . - - Colombo (dpa) - Fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) movement is causing a humanitarian crisis as civilians flee from their homes into rebel-held territory in the north of the country, local officials said on Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka journalist denied bail, 25 August 2008 . A Sri Lankan journalist, accused under the country's Prevention of Terrorism Act, has been remanded in custody... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military: New fighting kills 12 rebels
Associated Press, Mon August 25, 2008 02:42 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Soldiers killed 12 Tamil separatists in fighting along the front lines dividing government territory from the rebels de facto state in northern Sri Lanka - , the military said Monday... Back to the top

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