The Lanka Academic

 
OCTOBER 8, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 186

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Sri Lanka 's former president fined by Supreme Court
Associated Press, Wed October 8, 2008 08:37 EDT . Colombo (dpa) In a landmark judgment delivered Wednesday, Sri Lanka's former president Chandrika Kumaratunga was fined by the country's Supreme Court for illegally allocating state land to a private golf course project. It is the first time in 30 years that presidential powers have been challenged successfully in the Supreme Court. During his time in office, the president enjoys immunity against any legal action, Sri Lanka's constitution says.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarath N Silva ordered the cancellation of the golf course project and the return of the land to the state. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Oct 8 10:03:07 EDT 2008


Heavy fighting in northern Sri Lanka as casualties mount
Associated Press, Wed October 8, 2008 08:31 EDT . - - Colombo (dpa) Heavy fighting between government troops and Tamil rebels was reported in northern Sri Lanka - amidst mounting casualties from both sides, military officials and pro-rebel sources said Wednesday.

The fighting occurred around the Akkarayankulam area, 365 kilometres north of the capital, where government troops fortified their positions before advancing into a town held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Military officials said that at least 19 rebels and six soldiers were killed in Tuesday's fighting around Akkarayankulam.

But Tamilnet, a pro-rebel website, said at least 62 soldiers were killed in the clashes, a claim denied by the military.

``The LTTE are exaggerating the casualty figures. We have lost only six soldiers,'' military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Tamilnet said that Tuesday's fighting came after days of continued artillery and rocket launcher fire and several airstrikes in the Kilinochchi area, a rebel stronghold and administrative operations base.

The airstrikes and fighting forced thousands of civilians out of Kilinochchi town, about 15 kilometres north of Akkarayankulam.

Around 200,000 residents have been displaces in the northern rebel-held areas, and most of them are living in temporary shelters, open playgrounds and government buildings. dpa ad im jhDiscuss this story
Published: Wed Oct 8 10:04:07 EDT 2008 Back to the top


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 Back to the top


Breakaway Tiger leader sworn into Sri Lanka parliament
reuters.com, 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... Back to the top

“LTTE does not represent Tamil community”
hindu.com, Wednesday, Oct 08, 2008. B. Muralidhar Reddy COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has counselled India and others concerned about the situation in the island country and welfare of Tamils to ‘perceive marginalisation of the LTTE in the correct perspective’ and not to be ‘influenced by malicious propaganda’ against the military campaign of the government targeting the Tigers... Back to the top

Lanka reacts to missive, says India being misled by LTTE
hindustantimes.com, 23:59 IST(7/10/2008). The Sri Lanka government has reacted firmly to the message sent by India on Monday that it was both concerned and unhappy at the plight of Tamil civilians in the north of the country, where armed forces are locked in battle with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military: 20 rebels killed in fighting
Associated Press, Wed October 8, 2008 03:32 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Scattered battles between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels across Sri Lanka - 's embattled north have killed 20 guerrillas, the military said Wednesday... Back to the top

200 soldiers killed, 997 injured in September in Sri Lanka
xinhuanet.com, 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
youtube.com, 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

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