The Lanka Academic

 
SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 157

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UN pulls out of Sri Lanka war zone, rebels deny plane downed
google.com, september 10. COLOMBO (AFP) The United Nations announced Tuesday it was withdrawing its aid workers from Sri Lanka's embattled north ahead of a major military onslaught, as rebels denied one of its aircraft was shot down.

Only a few aid agencies, including the UN outfits, have still been operating inside the Tamil Tiger-held Wanni district, where government forces are currently pushing to dismantle the guerrillas' mini state.

"A precise timetable for the complete withdrawal of all staff is yet to be determined, but relocations will begin this week," the UN said in a statement. More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue Sep 9 21:01:33 EDT 2008


UN voices concern over fighting in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue September 9, 2008 16:20 EDT . - - New York (dpa) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday expressed ``deep concern'' over the increased hostilities in northern Sri Lanka - , warning that this would have grave humanitarian consequences for civilians. He called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, especially with regard to the principle of proportionality and the selection of targets. He also said there must be a negotiated settlement to the political problems facing Sri Lanka - . dpa tn ar
Published: Tue Sep 9 21:25:19 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Military Says Jets Shot Down Rebel Plane
Associated Press, September 9. By RAVI NESSMAN Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lankan fighter jets shot down a small plane used by the Tamil Tigers' rudimentary air wing Tuesday during a rebel attack on a northern military base, the military said.

The destruction of the plane marked the first time government forces were able to bring down one of the Tamil Tiger aircraft, and it offers a huge morale boost to the government amid its massive offensive against the rebels' heartland in the north.

Though the rebel aircraft have rarely caused major damage, their repeated attacks -- and the military's inability to stop them -- have been a source of deep frustration and embarrassment for government forces.

The fighting began early Tuesday when the rebels launched an artillery barrage at the military base in the northern town of Vavuniya for more than one hour, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. The attack caused damages and injuries, but the extent of the destruction was not immediately known.

Amid the attack, two rebel aircraft flew over the base and dropped bombs on the airfield, he said.

The air force sent MiG interceptors into the skies to chase them back over rebel-held territory and shot one plane down over the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu, Nanayakkara said.

"The pilot confirmed they destroyed one," he said.

The rebel-allied Web site TamilNet said there was no immediate indication a rebel plane was downed.

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

Independent verification of the fighting is difficult to obtain because most journalists are banned from the war zone. Both sides routinely exaggerate enemy losses and underreport their own.

The rebels carried out their first airstrike in March 2007, using a small propeller plane to bomb an air force base outside the capital, Colombo. The strike caused little damage, but had a deep psychological impact, adding a new weapon to the separatists' 25-year battle against the government.

Military analysts estimate the rebels had four planes they smuggled into Sri Lanka in pieces by boat and assembled in rebel-controlled areas. The military has repeatedly searched for the planes and their airstrips, but has been unable to locate them amid deep camouflage on the ground.

In recent weeks the military has made major gains against the rebels, seizing large swaths of territory and key rebel bases in the north.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Sep 8 22:17:57 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Tiger Plane shot down  - Wires

Historic, says Sri Lanka
hindu.com, Sept 09, 2008. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Tuesday characterised "as historic" the reported success of the Air Force (SLAF) in shooting down one of the two light-wing LTTE aircraft involved in an attack on the Vavuniya Base and Wanni military headquarters in the early hours of Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels launch air raid on northern front
Reuters, September 9. COLOMBO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a government-controlled town at the rear of the frontline using a light aircraft, military sources said on Tuesday... Back to the top

LTTE raid finds India at work
hindustantimes.com, Sept 9/2008. Eighteen years after India withdrew its peace-keeping force from Sri Lanka, two Indian radar operators were injured in an LTTE air raid on a Sri Lankan air force base in the northern district of Vavuniya early on Tuesday... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels attack army base in north
Associated Press, Tue September 9, 2008 05:08 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels launched an air and ground assault on a military complex in northern Sri Lanka - early Tuesday, in an attack that killed 11 troops, one civilian and 10 of the assailants, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Says it Shot Down Rebel Aircraft Amid Intensifying Fighting
voanews.com, 09 September 2008. By Anjana Pasricha New Delhi Sri Lanka says it has shot down a Tamil Tiger plane - the first rebel aircraft to be brought down by the military... Back to the top

UN pulls out of Sri Lanka war zone
AFP, Sep 09, 2008, 08:15 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) The United Nations said Tuesday it was withdrawing all its aid agency personnel from Sri Lanka's embattled north, following a government order to quit ahead of a major military offensive... Back to the top

Journalist shot and injured in eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, September 9. Colombo (dpa) - A female journalist was shot and injured by an unknown gunman on Monday night in eastern Sri Lanka, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bars foreign aid workers from rebel area
Associated Press, Mon September 8, 2008 10:59 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Monday it is barring all foreign aid workers and many local staff from rebel-held areas in the north because of the raging civil war there... Back to the top

Sri Lankan jets strike rebels, fighting kills 55
reuters.com, Mon Sep 8. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan jets struck Tamil Tiger rebel positions on Monday after fighting killed at least 55 in what has become the bloodiest phase of the long-running civil war in nearly a decade, the military said... Back to the top

Military: Blast in Sri Lankan capital wounds 10
Associated Press, Mon September 8, 2008 13:26 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A minor explosion in Sri Lanka's capital wounded 10 people Monday night, military and hospital officials said... Back to the top

Military: Sri Lanka fighting kills 22 rebels
Associated Press, Mon September 8, 2008 04:11 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Air force jets attacked a rebel bunker line in northern Sri Lanka on Monday morning as a new wave of fighting in the country's civil war killed 22 ethnic Tamil rebels, the military said... Back to the top

AS-CRI--ICC-Award Nominations
Associated Press, Mon September 8, 2008 06:04 EDT . - - NEW DELHI (AP) Sri Lanka - captain Mahela Jayawardena, West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and South Africa paceman Dale Steyn are in contention for both the International Cricket Council's Cricketer of the Year and Test Player of the Year awards in Dubai later this month... Back to the top

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