The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 3, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 212

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U.S. Perspectives On Sri Lanka - Editorial
VOA, Nov 4. U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake said, "America's experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere has taught us that terrorism cannot be defeated by law enforcement and military measures alone."

That is why, said Ambassador Blake, "the U.S. and the other Donor Group Co-Chair countries have urged the government of Sri Lanka to adopt now a political solution to the conflict, within the framework of a united Sri Lanka that meets the aspirations of all Sri Lanka's communities."

More than 25 years of conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, separatists have cost the lives of some 70,000 people in Sri Lanka. More than 200,000 have been made homeless by recent fighting in the north, and the human rights situation remains grim.

One way forward is for Sri Lanka to complete the work of the All Parties Representative Committee, which has reached agreement on 90 percent of a blueprint for constitutional reform that most Sri Lankans believe offers great promise. It remains for the country's 2 main Sinhalese parties to agree on the document, which has proved a significant hurdle thus far. More... [Listen] Discuss this story
Published: Mon Nov 3 20:56:14 EST 2008


Sri Lanka airstrike hits 2 Tamil rebel naval bases
Associated Press, Mon November 3, 2008 09:48 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan fighter planes bombed and destroyed two Tamil Tiger rebel bases in the volatile north on Monday, in the second straight day of government airstrikes against the insurgents' de facto state, the military said.

In the latest attack, jets hit two bases belonging to the Sea Tigers, the guerrilla naval wing, deep in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

He said the airstrikes wrecked the bases, with one being engulfed in fire.

The strikes came two days after a fierce sea battle killed 17 rebels and destroyed six rebel boats off the northern Jaffna peninsula.

On Sunday, the air force bombed a rebel training camp and supply base, also in Mullaitivu.

Meanwhile, infantry clashes raged through Sunday along the northern front lines, the military said in a statement on Monday.

In one battle, soldiers attacked a gathering of rebels in Palleikulam village in Kilinochchi, it said.

Three more clashes were reported in Kilinochchi, while scattered battles continued in Jaffna and Mullaitivu districts in the north, the military said.

The statement did not provide casualty details in line with a new government policy, but said troops inflicted ``severe damage'' on the rebels.

In another incident Sunday, Tamil rebels fatally shot four civilians in the eastern Batticaloa district, a separate military statement said.

Rebel spokesmen could not be reached for comment because most communication lines to guerrilla territory have been severed.

It was not possible to get independent accounts of the clashes because most journalists are banned from the war zone.

Government troops have made dramatic progress in recent months, seizing rebel bases and chunks of land, but the rebels have offered stiff resistance as the soldiers close in on their administrative capital, Kilinochchi.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, who have suffered marginalization at the hands of successive governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Nov 3 12:25:26 EST 2008 Back to the top


Media Groups to Challenge New Restrictions
IPS, Nov 3. COLOMBO, Nov 3 (IPS) - Media groups in Sri Lanka, already restricted from covering the war against Tamil rebels in the north, are bracing to challenge new regulations that seek to control television broadcasting and new media.

The new rules, announced on Oct. 27, control content not only for broadcast but also MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), a form of news dissemination that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Newspapers on the weekend also reported government plans to bring in similar rules for radio broadcasting.

"Censorship, there is no doubt about it," warned Sunanda Deshapriya, spokesman for Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement (FMM), the most vibrant of several associations representing journalists, publishers and private broadcasters.

Deshapriya told IPS that media groups and civil society organisations plan to challenge the regulations in the Supreme Court before Nov. 10, the deadline for objections before the regulations take effect.

"These are draconian and repressive rules never before enforced in Sri Lanka," another journalist, who declined to be named, said. "For any excuse they (authorities) can cancel the licence, and if a news item is seen to be unfavourable to the government."

The new regulations provide the media minister, as the regulator, with powers to cancel licenses if content is ‘’detrimental to the interests of a national security; incites a break-down of public order; incites ethnic, religious or cultural hatred; is morally offensive or indecent; is detrimental to the rights and privileges of children’’, among other restrictions.

In a statement, the FMM said the ‘Private Television Broadcasting Station Regulations’, seek to control new technology and bar foreigners from operating stations. Members of political parties may not seek licenses and the validity of all licenses are limited to one year. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 2 23:29:56 EST 2008 Back to the top


Snake bite death toll revealed
Press Association, Nov 4. Poisonous snakes could be killing more than 90,000 people a year around the world, new research has shown... Back to the top

India discusses relief modalities with Sri Lanka
IANS, Nov 2. Sri Lanka and India have set the ball rolling to implement the agreement arrived at in New Delhi to supply food and other essentials to the war-affected people in the island's north, diplomatic sources here said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : New fighting between military, rebels
Associated Press, Mon November 3, 2008 08:37 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers fought a series of battles with Tamil Tiger rebels across the country's embattled north, inflicting ``severe damage'' on the guerrillas, the military said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka economy, rupee at risk from deficit, foreign debt: IMF
et, nov 2. OLOMBO: Sri Lanka's overvalued currency, reliance on foreign borrowing and poor management of the budget are putting the island's economy at "ser ious risk", the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka war flares with air, sea battles
reuters.com, Nov 2. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's air force on Sunday bombed a Tamil Tiger training base in the Indian Ocean nation's northern jungles, a day after a fierce sea battle killed 18 insurgents, the military said... Back to the top

93 arrested for suspected terrorist connections in Sri Lanka
Xinhua, Nov. 2. OLOMBO, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- At least 93 people were arrested for suspicious terrorist connections in a north western village in Sri Lanka on Sunday, the police said. The police arrested all of these people in the village of Kalpitiya, about 165 km from the capital Colombo, the police said... Back to the top

Tamils issue:'DMK should have exerted more pressure on Centre'
PTI, November 2,. New Delhi (PTI): Accusing the Tamil Nadu Government of not exerting "much" pressure on the Centre over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the CPI on Sunday said it will reach out to like-minded parties to press the state administration to convene another all-party meeting on the matter... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military: Jets bomb rebel training camp
Associated Press, Sun November 2, 2008 02:57 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's air force pounded a Tamil Tiger rebel training camp and supply base deep in the northern jungles on Sunday, a day after a fierce sea battle destroyed six rebel boats, the military said... Back to the top

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