The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 185


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Sri Lanka : international probe called into killing
Associated Press, Tue October 7, 2008 06:31 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's top opposition party called Tuesday for an international investigation into a bomb attack the previous day that killed a popular former army general and 26 others.

Retired Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera, who was a member of a provincial assembly representing the opposition United National Party, his wife and some party officials were among those killed Monday when a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel detonated explosives strapped to his body, the military said.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the party officials were gathered to open a new office in the northern town of Anuradhapura when the assailant struck.

Tissa Attanayake of the United National Party said his party would not accept the government's explanation _ that the rebels were to blame for the attack _ at face value.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, opposition leader and head of the UNP, told Parliament that the government had not provided adequate security for political opponents, including Perera.

``The police have said that it was not informed of the party function. That's a lie. They were informed three days ago. But police did not provide sufficient security,'' he said.

The government denied the claim.

``The government has no intention in suppressing anything,'' said government spokesman Anura Yapa. ``We are doing everything possible to find out what happened.''

Monday's bomb attack came as government troops, in the midst of an offensive against the Tamil Tigers de facto state in the north, closed in on the rebels' administrative capital of Kilinochchi.

Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils who have faced discrimination at the hands of successive governments controlled by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

The guerrillas are blamed for more than 240 suicide attacks.

Meanwhile Tuesday, former Tamil Tiger leader Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, also known by his nom de guerre ``Karuna,'' was sworn in as a legislator in Sri Lanka's parliament.

He returned to the country in July after having been jailed in Britain for several months for traveling on a false passport. After taking the oath of office, Muralitharan sat on the government side of the parliament chamber.

Muralitharan defected from the Tamil Tigers in 2004 with thousands of men and formed his own militia. The next year, his group joined the Sri Lankan government in its fight against the Tigers and helped government forces chase rebels from their eastern strongholds.

He later created the political party _ the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal. His party ran in a coalition with the government for elections in the tense eastern province and won control of the provincial assembly in May.

Meanwhile, fighting continued Monday around the de facto rebel capital, killing 23 rebels and one soldier, the military said in a statement.Discuss this story
Published: Tue Oct 7 07:40:37 EDT 2008

Breakaway Tiger leader sworn into Sri Lanka parliament, Tue Oct 7, 2008 . COLOMBO (Reuters) -- An ex-Tamil Tiger leader who allied with the government to win eastern Sri Lanka back from the separatist rebels last year took his oath as a legislator on Tuesday, capping a remarkable political metamorphosis. But as soon as Vinayagamoorthi Muralitheran, who just three months ago finished a U.K. jail term and narrowly avoided war crimes charges, was sworn in, political opponents immediately challenged his appointment in court. "Tamil people can now have the faith of solving their own problems through parliamentary democracy. We should forget the bitter past experiences and work to win the trust of the Tamils," the man known best by his nom de guerre, Col. Karuna Amman, told parliament. More...
Published: Tue Oct 7 12:05:42 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Military: Suicide bomber kills 27 in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Oct 6. KRISHAN FRANCIS

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A suspected rebel suicide bomber blew himself up Monday inside a crowded opposition party office in northern Sri Lanka, killing a former army general and 26 others.

Retired Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera and his wife were among the 27 dead and at least 80 more were wounded in the bomb attack at the United National Party office in Anuradhapura town, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

The blast came as government troops and Tamil Tiger fighters battled for control of the rebels' administrative capital in the northern town of Kilinochchi.

The suicide bomber was a Tamil Tiger rebel who apparently targeted Perera because of his successes against the separatist cause during his years in the military, Nanayakkara said.

The attack occurred at about 8:45 a.m. Monday as officials from the United National Party gathered to open a new office. The blast also killed Rashmi Mohamed, a television journalist who was covering the opening.

Wearing a hidden explosives vest, the assailant ``embraced the former commander'' before detonating, the rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site reported, noting that Perera played a key role in evicting Tamils from northeastern villages in 1984 to settle ethnic Sinhalese there.

Perera was lauded as a war hero in Sri Lanka for his repeated confrontations with the rebels and his role in halting a major guerrilla advance in 2000 into the Jaffna peninsula, the cultural heartland of the country's minority Tamils.

But he was also a critic of the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and became a leader in recent months of the opposition United National Party. In August the retired officer won a seat in the north-central provincial assembly.

The United National Party, meanwhile, accused the government of ignoring repeated requests for a stronger security detail for Perera _ an open critic of the way Colombo has conducted its military campaign against the rebels.

``The government must take full responsibility. They did not give him adequate security for political reasons,'' party official Tissa Attanayake said, without elaborating.

Condemning the attack, Rajapaksa said the Tamil Tiger group faces ``severe setbacks'' in its northern strongholds and ``is now making every attempt to create violent backlashes in other parts of the country.'' He urged the public ``to act cautiously in the face of such provocation.''

Just hours before the attack, a roadside bomb killed two civilians and wounded another in a village near Anuradhapura.

Rebel officials could not be reached for comment on either attack because communication lines have been cut to guerrilla-dominated areas in the north.

The rebels, banned as a terrorist group in the United States and the European Union, are said to have carried out more than 240 suicide bombings against military, political and economic targets.

The Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 to create an independent homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils who have faced years of discrimination at the hands of governments controlled by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Meanwhile, fighting continued Sunday along the northern front lines separating the government territory and the rebels' de facto capital, killing 14 rebels and one soldier, a military statement said.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Oct 6 11:57:28 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Suicide Bombing Kills 27 in Sri Lanka, Including Former Army General  - com
Military: Suicide bomber kills 27 in Sri Lanka  - Associated Press
Major General Janaka Perera killed in suicide blast  - Defencenet. Blog
Suicide blast hits S Lanka town  - BBC News

On DMK pressure, Lanka asked to show restraint
ET, OCT 7. NEW DELHI: The Centre has expressed `unhappiness’ over the growing number of Tamil casualties in the ongoing Lankan military offensive and asked the Rajapakse government to act with `restraint,’ as also against unharmed Indian fishermen... Back to the top

200 soldiers killed, 997 injured in September in Sri Lanka, 2008-10-07 19:31:35. COLOMBO, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Some 200 soldiers were killed and 997 others were injured during fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels inthe north in September, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said on Tuesday. Speaking at parliament, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake also said 13 civilians were killed and 25 more were injured in the conflicts during September... Back to the top

Video: Sri Lanka army closes in on Tamil Tigers - 07 Oct 08, Tue Oct 07, 2008. Sri Lanka's army says it is closing in on the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital in the north... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's former rebel leader to become legislator
China View, Mon Oct 06, 2008. COLOMBO, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- A former Tamil Tiger rebel militant leader is to enter Sri Lanka's parliament as a legislator, elections officials said Monday.

Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna, the former powerful eastern commander of the Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), will take oaths as an appointed government member of parliament on Tuesday... Back to the top

CHRONOLOGY-Major bombings in Sri Lanka blamed on Tamil Tigers, Mon OCT 06, 2008. Oct. 6 (Reuters) -- Sri Lankan authorities blamed a Monday suicide blast in an ancient tourist town which killed at least 26 people, including a popular retired army general who had turned to politics, on the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Tigers are credited with perfecting the suicide bomb as a weapon in a 25-year war against Sri Lanka's government, and have killed hundreds including top politicians in bombings, suicide or otherwise... Back to the top

Military: Suicide bomber kills 22 in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Mon October 6, 2008 01:07 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew up an opposition party office Monday in a town in northern Sri Lanka - killing about 20 people, including a former army officer, the military said... Back to the top

World Bank Country Assistance Strategy Dissemination Workshop Opening Remarks
World Bank - News & Broadcast, Mon Oct 06, 2008. Naoko Ishii, World Bank Country Director

Colombo, Sri Lanka

October 6 2008

Welcome and thank you so much for joining us today... Back to the top

Roadside bomb kills 2 in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun October 5, 2008 23:38 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's military says a roadside bomb has exploded, killing two civilians and wounding another in the country's war-torn north... Back to the top

Lankan Air Force pounds LTTE base, 25 LTTE militants killed
Press Trust of India, Mon Oct 06, 2008. T V Sriram

Colombo, Oct 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan Air force jets today pounded two LTTE artillery launching pads in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, as 25 Tamil Tigers, three soldiers and two civilians died during fierce clashes between the army and the rebels in the island nation's embattled north... Back to the top

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