The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 29, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 146


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Sri Lankan Forces Seize `Strategic Rebel Bases, Ministry Says, , Aug 29 . Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan forces captured two ``strategic'' Tamil Tiger bases in the north as they continued to push toward the rebel headquarters in Kilinochchi, the Defense Ministry said.

Troops took the town of Palamoddai and the Ulathuvely beach area yesterday after ``heavy fighting'' with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fighters, the ministry said in a statement. The LTTE didn't immediately comment on the clashes.

The Tamil Tigers mobilized all available forces ``to protect this strategically vital area,'' the ministry said. With the fall of Palamoddai the LTTE ``have to make more efforts to defend their territory'' in the north as ``fast-moving'' soldiers advance on Kilinochchi,'' it said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government pledged to defeat the LTTE in the northern Wanni region this year and end the 25- year civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people. The Tamil Tigers mounted an air raid on the headquarters of the navy in the eastern port of Trincomalee three days ago as it fights off almost daily attacks on its last bases in the north. More...Discuss this story
Published: Fri Aug 29 00:46:51 EDT 2008

Sri Lanka : Air force fighter jets bomb rebel base
Associated Press, Fri August 29, 2008 06:33 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel base in the embattled north Friday, and ground battles across the region killed 34 rebels and one government soldier, the military said.

The fighter jets pounded a training base for Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the separatist Tamil Tigers, deep in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

He did not provide details of casualties and damages, but said the pilots had confirmed they had hit the target.

Infantry clashes continued Thursday along the front lines separating government-controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

The worst fighting occurred in the Vavuniya district, where soldiers killed 14 rebels before capturing the rebel-held Palamoddai village, he said. Ten rebels and five soldiers were wounded.

Scattered clashes in Kilinochchi killed 12 rebels and one soldier, while seven rebels died in Welioya and another was killed in Jaffna, he said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be reached 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.

Also Friday, a grenade exploded inside a prison in the volatile east, injuring seven prisoners, police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said. He declined to give further details, saying an investigation was continuing.

Fighting has escalated in recent months on the Indian Ocean island, with the military capturing a series of rebel bases and large chunks of territory. Officials have reiterated a pledge to crush the guerrillas by the end of the year.

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.
Published: Fri Aug 29 07:12:12 EDT 2008 Back to the top

2 soldiers, 26 Tamil rebels killed in Sri Lanka military offensive
Associated Press, Fri August 29, 2008 05:43 EDT . Colombo (dpa)- Government troops recaptured two rebel-controlled areas and killed at least 26 rebels during a military offensive in northern Sri Lanka - , a military spokesman said Friday.

Two soldiers were also killed as troops advanced in the Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts, more than 300 kilometres north of the capital.

Two strategic towns, Palamoddai and Ulathuvely, in Vavuniya were captured overnight, the spokesman said.

Troops fighting in the Vannerikulam area of the Kilinochchi district killed at least 12 rebels on Thursday. Fourteen more rebels were killed and seven others injured in the Vavuniya and Mullativiu districts.

The operations against rebels to recapture areas under their control were launched in April 2006 and since then more than 10,000 rebels and 1,900 soldiers have been killed, according to figures provided by the military.

However there is no independent confirmation about the casualty figures given by the military.
Published: Fri Aug 29 07:10:44 EDT 2008 Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Defense chief promises safe passage for Sri Lankan refugees+
Associated Press, Fri August 29, 2008 02:56 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Aug. 29 (Kyodo) Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in remarks published Friday, urged tens of thousands of Sri Lankans caught between rebel and government forces in the country's north to flee to government-controlled areas. He added the government is setting up ''escape routes'' and that government forces are air-dropping leaflets outlining the routes into the Wanni district now held by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : 34 rebels, 1 soldier killed fighting
Associated Press, Fri August 29, 2008 01:38 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A wave of fighting across Sri Lanka - 's embattled northern region killed 34 Tamil Tiger rebels and one government soldier, the military said Friday... Back to the top

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... 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

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