The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 168


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Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Take Aid From China and Take a Pass on Human Rights
NYT(Registration Reqd), Sep 21. FOR 25 years, the dirty little war on this island in the Indian Ocean has stretched its octopus arms across the world. The ethnic Tamil diaspora has provided vital funding for separatist rebels; remittances from Sri Lankan workers abroad have propped up the economy; the government has relied on foreign assistance to battle the insurgency.

Today, a shifting world order is bearing new fruits for Sri Lanka. Most notably, China’s quiet assertion in India’s backyard has put Sri Lanka’s government in a position not only to play China off against India, but also to ignore complaints from outside Asia about human rights violations in the war.

The timing is propitious. The government jettisoned a five-year cease-fire this year, and is now banking on a military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In so doing, it has faced a barrage of criticism over human rights abuses and has lost defense aid from the United States and some other sources. And, in recent months, government officials have increasingly cozied up to countries that tend to say little to nothing on things like abductions and assaults on press freedom. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 20 22:13:55 EDT 2008

Sri Lanka battles kill 26 rebels, 1 soldier
Associated Press, Sat September 20, 2008 03:05 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels fought a series of battles across Sri Lanka - 's war-ravaged northern region, killing 26 rebels and one soldier, the military said Saturday.

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

The latest infantry clashes took place Friday along the front lines in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Welioya and Jaffna districts, a military statement said.

Soldiers killed 13 guerrillas in three separate clashes in Vavuniya, while in Kilinochchi nine rebels were killed, it said.

Troops destroyed a rebel bunker in Welioya after a clash that killed three insurgents and wounded 22 more, the military said.

A rebel mortar attack and booby trap explosions in Welioya killed one soldier and wounded five more.

Another rebel was killed in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the statement said.

With most communication with the northern areas cut, rebel military 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 rebels have been fighting 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: Sat Sep 20 03:37:08 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka: An island of blood, September 19, 2008. Hundreds of thousands have fled Sri Lanka's civil war, many of them to Canada. While the war zone has been off-limits to journalists, the National Post's Stewart Bell recently toured the front lines just as the conflict appears headed for a decisive showdown. His six-part series begins today in wartorn Vavuniya.

The hotel windows pounded in unison when the shock wave from the artillery gun hit.

The windows seemed ready to implode.

But in the dingy restaurant at the Nelly Star Hotel, the waiter just smiled and continued serving ginger beer and plates of spicy chicken and rice. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sat Sep 20 14:46:14 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka, The Endless Civil War
BBC, September 20. Nestling off the southern tip of India, the tropical island of Sri Lanka has beguiled travellers for centuries with its palm-fringed beaches, diverse landscapes and historical monuments... Back to the top

Army redoubles efforts to crush Tamil Tigers as battle reaches ..., September 21, 2008. .
From Anuj Chopra in Galgamuwa
THE GROUND was shaking and shrapnel flew everywhere," says Mahendra, 29, grim-faced, as he packed his suitcase in his tiny hut in this village in north-central Sri Lanka. "In a few minutes, corpses lay everywhere... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's military says heavy fighting kills 70
Associated Press, Fri September 19, 2008 05:10 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger separatists and government forces fought intense battles across Sri Lanka - 's embattled northern region, killing at least 62 rebels and eight soldiers, the military said Friday... Back to the top

Tigers on defensive as Sri Lanka military closes in, Friday, Sept 19, 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) — Tamil Tigers were once regarded one of the world's most ruthlessly efficient rebels, but they risk losing their mini-state as Sri Lankan forces make a determined push after decades of bloodshed... Back to the top

RP, Ind’sia, Lanka to blacklist abusive employers in Jordan
gn, 09/20/2008. AMMAN, Jordan -- The Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia -- the three Asian countries sending household service workers (HSWs) here -- have agreed to share information on abusive employers and put them on a common blacklist, Philippine Ambassador to Jordan Julius Torres said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka lifts domestic ban on ICL players
Associated Press, Fri September 19, 2008 07:35 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - lifted the domestic ban Friday on cricketers who have signed up with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League... Back to the top

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