The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 166


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Sir Lanka military says Navy sinks 10 rebel boats
Associated Press, Thu September 18, 2008 11:20 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Naval forces fought a ferocious sea battle with Tamil Tiger separatists off Sri Lanka - 's northwestern coast Thursday, sinking 10 boats and killing at least 25 rebel sailors, the military said.

The naval confrontation came as intense ground fighting between military forces and the ethnic Tamil separatists in the north killed 15 rebels and three soldiers, according to the military. The rebels, meanwhile, said they killed 25 soldiers in fighting Thursday.

Fighting has escalated in recent weeks with a resurgent government offensive sweeping deep into rebel-held territory, capturing insurgent bases and threatening to overrun the Tamil Tigers' administrative capital at Kilinochchi.

Naval forces sank seven small boats belonging to the Tamil Tigers' naval wing in a four-hour battle off the coast at Nachchikuda and three medium-sized boats, military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Between 25 and 30 rebel sailors were killed in the fighting and two government sailors were wounded, the military said.

The Tamil Tigers, meanwhile, said they had repelled a government offensive in the Kilinochchi district, deep in the rebel heartland Thursday, killing 25 soldiers, according to the rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site.

The military said in a statement that it killed 15 rebels and lost three of its soldiers Thursday in a separate battle in Kilinochchi.

Each side routinely exaggerates its enemy's casualties and underreports its own. Independent verification of the fighting is not available, since journalists and independent observers are barred from the war zone. Since 1983, more than 70,000 people have died in the rebels' fight for an independent homeland.

In response to a series of attacks in Colombo and other towns far from the war zone, authorities have established a maze of roadblocks and checkpoints in the capital and required visitors from the north to register with police.

With the fighting intensifying, police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera announced Thursday that every Sri Lankan who moved to Colombo from the north in the past five years would have to reregister with police Sunday.

The order will affect more than 100,000 people, he said. The overwhelming majority of those people are ethnic Tamils.

Tamils, who suffered decades of marginalization by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority, complain they are subject to frequent police raids in the capital, harassment and arbitrary detentions.Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 18 22:14:57 EDT 2008

Related News Stories
Military: Navy sinks 10 rebel boats, killing 25  - Associated Press
Navy destroys rebel boat off north-western Sri Lanka  - Associated Press

India sidelined in Lankan war
rediff, sep 19. The over two-year-old war between the Sri Lanka [Images] military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has by all accounts reached a decisive phase. It is crunch time for both sides though it would be hazardous to predict the next chapter. On the face of it the Sri Lankan military has an upper hand. The Tigers have been cornered like never before, the Indian Peace Keeping Force phase included, from within and without. With the military taking the battle right into the Tiger heartland in Wanni, the LTTE [Images] has little choice but to do or die.

Even after providing a liberal allowance for the tendency on the part of the Sri Lanka military to exaggerate its triumphs, the relentless military campaign by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime has substantially weakened the LTTE's military capabilities. This is evident in the inability of the Tigers to strike back in the east where they no longer count as a conventional force, its failure to mount any spectacular guerrilla attacks in Colombo and other Sinhala dominated areas in the south and a slow but steady loss of territory in the north. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 18 23:17:07 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Forces Push Toward Tamil Tiger Headquarters in North
bloomberg, sep 18. Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan security forces backed by jets and helicopter gun ships pressed toward the rebel headquarters in the north, the Defense Ministry said, as the military tries to destroy the last bases of the Tamil Tigers.

Mi-24 helicopters attacked bunkers near Akkarayankulam, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Kilinochchi, late yesterday, Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said. ``Heavy fighting'' throughout the day killed 25 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and four soldiers.

Sri Lanka's army blocked 15 lorries from delivering humanitarian supplies to internally displaced people in Kilinochchi district yesterday, TamilNet reported. The delay will affect thousands of civilians as intensified fighting forces people from their homes, according to the report.

Troops are driving into Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, the last districts held by the Tamil Tigers in the northern Wanni region, as President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government moves to end the LTTE's 25-year campaign for a separate Tamil homeland.

Helicopter gun ships targeted LTTE fighters withdrawing northeast of Akkarayankulam, the scene of fighting all week, the Defense Ministry said on its Web site. Air force jets attacked an LTTE artillery post west of Vannarikkulam and another northwest of Akkarayankulam, it said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Sep 17 22:30:14 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka s push to take rebel HQ  -

Indian government asked to justify LTTE ban
The Economic Times, 18 Sep, 2008. NEW DELHI: A special tribunal has asked the central government to justify its renewal of the ban on Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers will go underground - Sri Lanka army chief, Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:51pm IST. By C. Bryson Hull COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers will go underground rather than "fight to the last man" once a northern offensive that has cut their strength to 3,000 fighters from 12,000 nears its end, Sri Lanka's army chief said on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka orders Tamils in Colombo to register
Associated Press, Thu September 18, 2008 05:39 EDT . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday ordered tens of thousands of ethnic Tamils living in Colombo to register with police as fighting in the country's civil war with Tamil separatists grew fiercer... Back to the top

‘Give Katchatheevu to India’
Express, sep 18. CHENNAI: At a time when the demand for retrieving Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka is growing high in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party from the island nation has also extended its support for the cause... Back to the top

Single day of fighting kills 71 in Sri Lanka
Reuters UK, Sept 18, 2008. COLOMBO (Reuters) - At least 71 people were killed in one of the bloodiest days of combat since Sri Lanka's armed forces intensified a thrust into rebel-held turf three months ago, the military said on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka jets bombs house visited by top rebel
Associated Press, Wed September 17, 2008 02:54 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's air force jets bombed a house in the northern jungles believed to be frequented by the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday, while infantry clashes killed 23 rebels and one soldier, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka jets bomb house to target rebel leader
Associated Press, Wed September 17, 2008 11:31 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed a house in the northern jungles believed to be frequented by the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, while separate infantry clashes Wednesday killed 40 rebels and four soldiers, the military said... Back to the top

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