The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 199


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Tamil Rebels Target Sri Lankan Merchant Ships in Suicide Attack
Bloomberg, Tue., October 21, 2008. Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Tamil Tiger rebels carried out a suicide attack on two Sri Lankan merchant ships off the northern Jaffna peninsula early today, the Defense Ministry said.

The vessels were carrying essential supplies to civilians in the north, where the military is attacking the remaining bases of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue Oct 21 21:47:50 EDT 2008

Related News Stories
LTTE attack two merchant ships carrying essential supplies to civilians - Jaffna  - MOD
Tigers in suicide attack against two merchant ships: Sri Lanka  - AFP

Military: Soldiers repel Tamil rebels' assault
Associated Press, Tue October 21, 2008 04:33 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan army troops foiled a Tamil Tiger rebel attack on the government's defense line in the war-ravaged northern region, inflicting heavy damages to rebels, the military said Tuesday.

The assault came as government forces closed in on the rebels' administrative capital of Kilinochchi in a campaign aimed at routing the guerrillas and ending the 25-year-old civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.

Tamil guerrillas launched the attack on the defense line in the Mullaitivu district, just south of Kilinochchi, on Monday evening, but soldiers foiled the rebel attempt, a military statement said.

The statement on Tuesday did not provide details of casualties, but said soldiers inflicted ``heavy damages'' to the rebels.

Separately Monday, advancing troops captured a half-mile (0.80-kilometer) stretch of territory, south of strategic Vannerikulam village in Kilinochchi, said the statement.

The military announced Monday that soldiers had seized Vannerikulam and moved a step closer to capturing the militants' de facto capital in north.

Government troops have made dramatic progress on the northern fronts in the past months, seizing a series of rebel bases and chunks of land, but the rebels have offered stiff resistance.

The battle for Vannerikulam village, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of the rebel capital, was especially difficult because the rebels had erected a six-mile (10-kilometer) -long dirt mound from which they had a clear view of the surrounding territory, the military said Monday in a statement.

Soldiers cleared the mound, the military said, but would not give more details.

Lakshman Hulugalla, the official in charge of the government's security information center, said that by seizing Vannerikulam, the troops had cut off a key rebel supply route. He said the capture would ease the military's advance into Kilinochchi, which has housed the rebel headquarters for the past 10 years.

Military analyst Susantha Seneviratne, a retired colonel, said capture of Vannerikulam could be helpful in troop deployment for a longer offensive, but it does not guarantee an easy path to Kilinochchi.

``It's not going to be easy,'' Seneviratne said, adding that the military's success depends upon reacting quickly to the rebels' moves. ``Daily, the situation changes.''

The military did not release any details on casualties on either of these battles, and it was not possible to contact rebel officials for comment because communication lines to the rebel territory have been severed.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent state for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils following decades of marginalization by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority.Discuss this story
Published: Tue Oct 21 07:36:01 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka pushes war ahead despite Indian pressure, Oct 21, 2008. COLOMBO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops advanced deeper into areas held by the rebel Tamil Tigers after smashing through a 10-km (6-mile) trench line that has been the site of heavy combat for two months, the military said on Tuesday. And with diplomatic pressure mounting from New Delhi since last week, officials said Sri Lanka's government was planning trips to India and Pakistan to shore up support for a war it is increasingly certain it can win. On Tuesday, the Defence Ministry said soldiers fought across massive earthen dams and trenches built by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Akarrayankulam and Vannirakulam, amid heavy monsoon downpours. "Intense fighting was reported between troops and the LTTE over the long earth bund (dam) at Vannerikulam and Akkarayankulam, as troops made their first moves after consolidating their newly gained positions," the Defence Ministry said in a statement. More...
Published: Tue Oct 21 16:43:51 EDT 2008 Back to the top

India to work to ensure rights of Tamils in Lanka: Official
The Times of India, Yue., Oct., 21, 2008. ON BOARD PM'S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: With the "war" in Sri Lanka escalating, India on Tuesday said it will do everything to protect the rights and huma nitarian conditions of Tamils in the island nation... Back to the top

Prabhakaran, I assured India we were not for Eelam: Karuna, Tue., Oct., 21, 2008. Colombo, Oct 21 (PTI) Renegade LTTE leader Karuna Amman today said that despite assuring India in the 1980s that they were not for separate Tamil nation, tiger supreme Velupillai Prabhakaran broke the understanding by resuming the war and went to the extent of killing Rajiv Gandhi... Back to the top

Lanka says Mukherjee can clarify humanitarian position himself, Oct 21, 2008 . Colombo, October 21: Sri Lanka has said that it has invited Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the island nation to 'clarify' for himself the humanitarian position in the country... Back to the top

India steps in, sends relief supplies to Sri Lankan Tamils
ENS, oct 21. NEW DELHI: India has started sending humanitarian aid for Tamil civilians trapped in the battle zone in north Sri Lanka... Back to the top

DMK's resignation drama may backfire
The Economic Times, Mon, Oct 20, 2008. NEW DELHI: The DMK has painted itself into a corner on the Sri Lankan issue... Back to the top

CPI-M distances itself from resignations over Lankan Tamils
IANS, Oct 21. CHENNAI: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Monday distanced itself from an "all-party" resolution that says all MPs from Tamil Nadu would resign if no effective steps were initiated by the central government to end the sufferings of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

A tough wicket to bat on
express buzz, Tues, Oct 21, 2008. have not been to Sri Lanka since the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar, the eminent Foreign Minister of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, in 2004... Back to the top

LTTE using ‘aerial’ propaganda to counter Lanka
ENS, oct 21. COLOMBO: After flying combat missions targeting military installations in south Sri Lanka, the LTTE has begun using aircraft for propaganda... Back to the top

Sri Lanka admits heavy losses in latest military push+
Associated Press, Mon October 20, 2008 09:18 EDT . COLOMBO, Oct. 20 (Kyodo) Sri Lanka's military said Monday that security forces have captured more territory from Tamil Tiger rebels but suffered their biggest losses in six months. Security forces moving to capture the political capital of the Tamil Tigers at Kilinochchi, 330 kilometers north of Colombo, had breached the rebels' final defenses just south of the town Sunday, the ministry said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says troops seize key rebel village
Associated Press, Mon October 20, 2008 13:17 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Troops seized a strategic village from separatist Tamil Tiger rebels following a two-month battle, cutting off a key supply route and moving the government a step closer to capturing the militants' de facto capital in northern Sri Lanka - , the military said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Clashes Kill 33 Troops in Island s North (Update1), Oct. 20 . Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Clashes between Sri Lanka's military and rebel fighters killed at least 33 soldiers in the militants' headquarters district of Kilinochchi, the biggest loss in six months, the government said. The fighting, which started Oct... Back to the top

‘LTTE may lose legitimacy and land’
DNA, Oct 20, 2008. NEW DELHI: Even if the Sri Lankan military overruns the rebel capital of Kilinochchi, it would only “disperse the (LTTE) problem” and wouldn’t be the end of a quarter-century-old civil war in the island nation, believe Indian security establishment... Back to the top

Dismiss DMK government: Swamy
Hindu, October 20. NEW DELHI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has urged the Centre to dismiss the DMK regime in Tamil Nadu as it was indulging in “anti-national” activities through its “support” to the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by asking India to intervene to halt attacks against the militants in Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lankan troops advance despite rain as casualties mount
Associated Press, Mon October 20, 2008 05:04 EDT . - - Colombo (dpa) Sri Lankan troops advanced Monday into Tamil rebel-held areas in northern Sri Lanka - despite heavy rains after losing at least 33 soldiers in weekend fighting, the Defence Ministry said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says no to EU rights probe for trade deal, Oct 20. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka said on Monday it will not allow a European Union investigation into rights abuses before renewing a trade preference that has helped boost the Indian Ocean nation's garment industry... Back to the top

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