The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 28, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 145


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Headline Summary
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Grenade blast wounds 7 suspected rebels in Sri Lanka prison, Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:53am IST. COLOMBO (Reuters) - A hand grenade blast inside a prison in eastern Sri Lanka wounded seven prisoners, most of them suspected of being allied with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, police said.

"There has been an explosion inside Batticaloa prison. Seven people have been injured and admitted to Batticaloa hospital," police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Aug 28 23:20:38 EDT 2008

Fighting kills 38 rebels, 5 soldiers in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu August 28, 2008 08:07 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Fierce fighting between government troops and separatist Tamil Tigers across Sri Lanka - 's embattled northeast killed 38 rebels and five soldiers, the military said Thursday.

The latest violence occurred Wednesday along the front lines separating government-controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

Army troops and the air force launched a joint offensive on rebel bunkers in Kilinochchi district, triggering a furious battle that killed 18 rebels and four soldiers, he said. The same fighting wounded 31 soldiers.

Scattered battles in Vavuniya killed 12 rebels and one soldier, while in Welioya region six rebels died, Nanayakkara said.

Separately on Wednesday, troops ambushed and killed two rebels in the eastern Trincomalee district, he said.

The government claimed last year to have driven the rebels out of the east, but pockets of rebel fighters remain.

On Thursday, meanwhile, helicopter gunships attacked rebel bunkers in Kilinochchi and Welioya in support of troops fighting on the ground, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

He said details of casualties were not available immediately.

Also Thursday, 122 trainee soldiers were hospitalized due to food poisoning in the eastern Ampara district, Nanayakkara said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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 latest infantry clashes came a day after Tamil Tigers launched a brazen airstrike on a major naval base in the island's embattled east, wounding 10 sailors.

Fighting has escalated in recent months on this war-torn Indian Ocean island, with the military capturing a series of rebel bases and large chunks of territory, and officials reiterating a pledge to crush the guerrillas by the end of the year.

International aid groups say fighting has forced tens of thousands of Sri Lankan civilians to flee their homes.

The rebels have fought 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.Discuss this story
Published: Thu Aug 28 09:42:37 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Five soldiers, 36 rebels killed in northern Sri Lanka clashes  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka Attacks Tamil Tiger Base After Rebels Stage Air Raid, Aug. 28. Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan air force jets and helicopters attacked Tamil Tiger rebels near their headquarters in the north after the group staged its first air raid on a major target in almost a year.

The air force made two attacks yesterday on the bunker line near the headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at Kilinochchi, the Media Center for National Security said on its Web site. The strikes ``were made to support the 58th Division troops who are advancing into the Kilinochchi area,'' it said.

The LTTE said its air unit carried out a successful raid on the headquarters of the navy in the eastern port of Trincomalee yesterday, according to TamilNet. The aircraft dropped two bombs on a navy camp after being driven away from the dockyards, the Defense Ministry said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 27 22:23:22 EDT 2008 Back to the top

LTTE air strike kills 4 navy personnel, August 27, 2008. Four Sri Lanka navy personnel were killed and more than 20 injured in an air attack launched by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a naval base in the eastern town of Trincomalee on Tuesday night, the government confirmed on Wednesday... Back to the top

Civilians urged to move to Govt territory
BBC News, Thurs, August 28, 2008. Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has urged tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting in the north to leave areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam... Back to the top

Air attack leaves 10 wounded as Sri Lanka rebels hit naval base+
Associated Press, Wed August 27, 2008 02:12 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Aug. 27 (Kyodo) Four Sri Lanka - naval personnel were seriously wounded and six others hurt when Tamil Tiger rebels launched a night air attack Tuesday on a major naval base in the eastern harbor town Trincomalee, Sri Lanka - 's Defense Ministry said Wednesday. The dockyard was developed into a major naval facility during the British occupation of Sri Lanka - , then known as Ceylon, and played a major role in the defense of British India during World War II... Back to the top

Sri Lanka will resolve ethnic issue, Japanese MPs say+
Associated Press, Wed August 27, 2008 03:14 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Aug. 27 (Kyodo) A Japanese parliamentary delegation led by a former defense chief has expressed confidence at a meeting with Sri Lanka - 's President Mahinda Rajapaksa that his government was ''strong and will resolve the ethnic issue'' that has long plagued the Indian Ocean island nation, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday. Rajapaksa told the visitors Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda had once visited Sri Lanka - as chairman of the same association... Back to the top

Sri Lanka advances on rebel base, August 27, 2008. Colombo, Sri Lanka - After 25 years of fighting and 70,000 casualties, Sri Lanka's military has won a hard-fought upper hand against separatist Tamil Tigers – and now vows to break their northern stronghold by year's end... Back to the top

India wins one-day series against Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed August 27, 2008 12:48 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) India beat Sri Lanka - by 46 runs Wednesday in the fourth one-day international at R... Back to the top

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