The Lanka Academic

 
SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 153

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Sri Lanka's Army Advances in North, Says Rebel Commander Killed
bloomberg, September 5. Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's army said it advanced along the battlefront south of the headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam after capturing a strategic town from rebel forces earlier this week.

Soldiers entered the southwest of Mullaitivu district, three days after taking the town of Mallavi, which served as an LTTE administrative center in the region, the Defense Ministry said on its Web site yesterday.

Intercepted rebel radio transmissions said 74 Tamil Tigers were killed in fighting, including a commander of LTTE intelligence, the army said in a statement. The LTTE said earlier this week its forces carried out attacks to prevent army advances, killing 75 soldiers, according to TamilNet.

The army is mounting almost daily attacks in the north, driving the Tamil Tigers back toward their headquarters in Kilinochchi. The LTTE, which has fought for 25 years for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka's north and east, lost control of the eastern region a year ago and now holds bases only in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 4 22:53:20 EDT 2008


Closing in on the Tigers' lair
Economist, September 5. THE 25-year old war between the Sri Lankan army and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has entered what the government calls a “decisive and impressive” phase in its “war for peace”. On September 2nd the government reported it had overrun an important Tiger bastion, Mallavi, killing dozens of rebels and bringing the army one step closer to their headquarters at Kilinochchi, seat of their brutal leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Claims of imminent victory have come and gone in the war against the Tigers, who are fighting for an independent homeland in the north and east of the Sinhala-majority country for the Tamil minority. But this latest offensive has unprecedented momentum.

The Tigers are responding. Hundreds of miles from the front lines, security in the capital, Colombo, is intense. Under pressure, the Tigers habitually resort to terror tactics. On August 30th a package exploded in a crowded market in central Colombo, wounding 45 people. The attack was blamed on the Tigers. In another defiant gesture, they had on August 27th used their primitive jerry-built air force to attack the Sri Lankan navy at Trincomalee. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 4 23:14:49 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lankan military says 35 killed in fighting
Associated Press, Fri September 5, 2008 03:55 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan forces attacked rebel boats and bunkers with artillery and ground assaults and Tamil separatists fought back with mortar fire and bomb attacks in a wave of violence that killed 30 rebels and five government troops, the military said Friday.

Fighting has escalated in recent weeks because of a government offensive deep into the jungles of northern Sri Lanka - , where the Tamil Tigers control a de facto state. The government has pledged to crush the rebel group by the end of the year.

In new fighting Thursday, troops destroyed two rebel boats off the island nation's coast in an artillery attack, the military said. Government forces also destroyed five bunkers in the Jaffna and Welioya regions, the military said in a statement.

In the worst of the fighting, government troops killed 12 rebels and lost one soldier in battles across the Kilinochchi region, in the rebels' heartland, the military said. A second soldier was killed in a booby trap, it said.

Fighting in Welioya, Jaffna and Vavuniya killed another 18 rebels and two soldiers, one of whom was killed in a mortar attack, the military said.

Meanwhile, a member of an elite government security force was killed by a rebel bomb in the eastern region of Batticaloa, which the government seized from the rebels last year.

With communication all but cut with the northern areas, rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment.

Independent verification of the fighting and casualties was not possible because most journalists are banned from the war zone. Both sides have been accused of exaggerating enemy casualties and underreporting their own.

The Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils after decades of marginalization at the hands of governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed.

The recent surge in fighting has forced between 70,000 and 85,000 people to flee their homes and head deeper into rebel-held territory, bringing the total number of displaced civilians there to 160,000, according to the United Nations.

Estimates of the total population in the rebel area range from 250,000 to 400,000.

Aid workers have expressed concerns for the safety of the fleeing civilians and their access to food, water and shelter as the fighting wears on.

``As the days go past, the conditions for people deteriorate, they are getting harder and harder, more and more people are displaced from their homes and their coping mechanisms are eroded,'' said U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss. ``A lot of people have been displaced multiple times.''

In leaflets dropped in rebel areas last week, the government accused the rebels of using the civilians as human shields and urged the population to flee to government-held areas for their safety.

The military has announced plans to create a humanitarian corridor through the front lines to allow civilians to escape, but has yet to announce its location or timing.

The presence of large numbers of civilians in a rapidly shrinking area could complicate the military's fight against the rebel group, known formally as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, said analyst Susantha Seneviratne, a retired colonel.

The military will almost certainly have to restrict its aerial attacks and artillery and mortar fire which will probably slow its offensive if it wants to avoid major civilian casualties, he said.

``It's going to depend on how the LTTE is going to use these civilians. I think the LTTE is going to want to keep the civilians in and around Kilinochchi,'' he said, referring to the rebels' administrative capital.

The rebels accused the government last week of killing five civilians, including two children, when a shell hit a shelter for the displaced.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the military might have to alter its plans when the fighting approaches a more populated area.

``We will be concerned (for the civilians), so then we will have to adopt a different kind of tactics,'' he said, without providing details.
Published: Fri Sep 5 06:15:09 EDT 2008 Back to the top


Minister admits rights violations
BBC Sinhala News, Sept. 5. 2008. Human rights violations are occurring in Sri Lanka, a senior government minister has admitted... Back to the top

Casualties mount in fighting in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu September 4, 2008 05:16 EDT . Colombo (dpa) Sri Lanka - 's military said it had killed 37 Tamil separatist rebels Thursday amid mounting casualties on both sides in fierce fighting in northern Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

UN issues appeal to LTTE
hindustantimes.com, Sep 5, 2008. As the two-decade old war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) escalates, the United Nations (UN) has issued an appeal to the Tamil Tigers to allow civilians to move out of the war zone and move into relief camps in government-controlled areas... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Collect Decades Old Taxes With New Law
yahoo, Sep 5. COLOMBO, Sept 5 Asia Pulse - Sri Lanka is set to bring in a new law to collect taxes going back more than half a century from individuals, companies and corporations, a government official said... Back to the top

Top LTTE cadre among 31 killed in Lanka violence
hindu.com, Sep 04, 2008. Colombo (PTI): Thirty-one Tamil Tigers, including a senior leader of the guerrillas, were killed in heavy fighting with security forces in the embattled northern Sri Lanka, as troops continued their push towards the rebel 'capital' of Kilinochchi, the military said today... Back to the top

Rebels, military report heavy Sri Lanka fighting
Associated Press, Thu September 4, 2008 01:44 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Battles between government forces and ethnic Tamil separatists raged across northern Sri Lanka - , with the military saying Thursday that it killed 28 rebels and the rebels claiming 11 government troops died in the fighting... Back to the top

Sri Lankan forces advance on rebel capital+
Associated Press, Thu September 4, 2008 04:44 EDT . COLOMBO, Sept. 4 (Kyodo) _ Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry reported ''heavy terror resistance'' Thursday as troops advanced on Kilinochchi, the administrative capital of the rebel-held northern Wanni district.

Military spokesman Brig... Back to the top


UN plea on displaced in Sri Lanka
hindu.com, Sept 04, 2008. COLOMBO: United Nations Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Neil Buhne has appealed for free movement of tens of thousands of civilians displaced in the LTTE-held areas in the north due to fighting for several weeks... Back to the top

Sri Lankan lawmaker resigns over attempt to sneak man into Japan+
Associated Press, Thu September 4, 2008 02:50 EDT . - - Neither were allowed entry and both were deported... Back to the top

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