The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 24, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 9, NO. 233

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Sri Lanka government, rebels claim battle success
Associated Press, Mon November 24, 2008 10:46 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers continued their push toward the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto capital in the north, but faced stiff rebel resistance that left dozens dead on both sides, the military said Monday.

Government troops destroyed rebel defenses and breached huge earth barriers Sunday as they moved toward the rebel headquarters in Kilinochchi, the military said in a statement.

Tamil rebels counterattacked at several points, sparking fierce battles that killed 120 guerrillas and 27 soldiers, it said.

A pro-rebel report, meanwhile, said the guerrillas killed 43 soldiers in a separate battle Sunday and halted the government's march toward a strategic crossroads northwest of Kilinochchi.

TamilNet quoted unidentified rebel officials as saying the clash occurred in Nalloor village. The rebels took away the bodies of eight soldiers, it said.

Rebel officials could not be contacted for comment on the government report because communication lines to the north have been severed.

The head of the government's security information center, Lakshman Hulugalle, declined to comment on the report by the pro-rebel Web site, saying the government would not respond to accounts by rebel supporters.

Both sides routinely inflate the number of casualties they inflict on their opponents, and it is not possible to verify battlefield reports because most journalists are barred from the war zone.

The government has vowed to crush the rebels and end their decades-old separatist campaign. Government soldiers in recent months have captured a number of key rebel bases and large swaths of land previously controlled by the guerrillas, seizing the country's entire west and forcing the insurgents into a shrinking territory in the northeast.

However, the rebels have offered stiff resistance as the soldiers approach Kilinochchi.

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

More than 700,000 people have been killed in the violence.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Nov 24 12:11:04 EST 2008


Sri Lanka loses a billion rupees in just seven weeks
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, November 25, 2008, 2.07 a.m.. As Sri Lanka's economic crisis plunged into an ever deepening precipice, outlandish and illogical decisions made by the government over the recent weeks has led to the country losing a whopping 1000 million rupees in foreign reserves during the last seven weeks alone.

According to Lead Economist at LIRNEasia, Dr. Harsha De Silva, the government is facing a huge foreign exchange crisis, due to the serious drain on external reserves which has dropped from 3.4 billion US dollars to 2.4 billion US dollars in just seven weeks.

"We have lost more than 25 percent in reserves amounting to a billion dollars, which amounts to 1000 million Sri Lankan rupees," De Silva disclosed.

Citing reasons for the growing financial predicament, the senior economist pointed out that those who invested in the hedge funds, in government bonds, treasury bills are now going back.

"And the government in its mistaken notion that holding the rupee at 107 was the prudent thing to do, sold hundreds of millions of foreign reserves that were held by the Central Bank to try and hold the rupee," he claimed.

"Even though the big talking Central Bank Governor, Ajith Cabraal said all necessary measures has been taken and Sri Lankan has completely being excluded from the fallout of the global meltdown, I'm sorry to say he has been proved absolutely wrong. With crashing tea, rubber prices and the falling demand for our exports around the world and the massive outflow of capital by hedge funds and other foreigner who invested in Sri Lanka dollar bonds and treasury bills which Cabraal himself opened last year and this year, are now going back," he said.

Thus, he pointed out, the government which is now in a terrible fix, is trying to stop the outflow of foreign exchange by imposing ridiculously large taxes on imports even on items such as sarongs and sarees which are worn by low and middle class Sri Lankans.Discuss this story
Published: Mon Nov 24 15:42:32 EST 2008 Back to the top


Heavy fighting outside Tiger political HQ in Sri Lanka
afp, nov 23. COLOMBO (AFP) — Helicopter gunships attacked Tamil Tiger rebel positions in northern Sri Lanka as ground troops on Sunday moved closer to the rebels' political capital from three fronts, the defence ministry said.

Helicopters were deployed to pound rebel bunkers that make up the western defences of the town of Kilinochchi, the political headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the ministry said.

"Sri Lanka army offensive divisions... are now marching towards the Kilinochchi built up in three frontiers," the ministry said. "Pitched battles are going on."

The ministry said the guerrillas had built an earth barrier around Kilinochchi to block the military advance. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 23 04:19:10 EST 2008 Back to the top


Scores die as Sri Lanka army march on rebel HQ pushes on
reuters.com, Mon Nov 24, 2008. COLOMBO (Reuters) - The battle for the Sri Lankan rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi raged on Monday under torrential monsoon rains, with both sides saying they had killed scores of their enemy in three days of fighting... Back to the top

Jaffna land route being restored: Lanka
ndtv.com, Nov 24. Close on the heels of capturing LTTE stronghold of Pooneryn that opened the land-route to Jaffna, which was blocked for over 20 years, Sri Lanka has ordered a renovation of the highway on a war footing... Back to the top

Sri Lanka war reaches crucial phase; troops zero in on Kilinochchi
IANS, nov 23. Colombo, Nov 23 (IANS) The long drawn out civil war in Sri Lanka has reached a crucial phase with reports of the fighting spirit of the Tamil Tigers said to be at an “all time low” after the fall of two of their strongholds even as government troops march in on the rebels’ political capital Kilinochchi... Back to the top

Government forces advance as rebels mark day of heroes
Associated Press, Sun November 23, 2008 07:31 EST . - - Colombo (dpa) - Government troops were advancing from three fronts to a strategic town in northern Sri Lanka - Sunday as Tamil rebels were set to mark two anniversaries... Back to the top

Rebels claim killing 43 Sri Lankan soldiers
Associated Press, Sun November 23, 2008 23:58 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A pro-rebel Web site reports that the Tamil Tiger insurgents have killed 43 Sri Lankan soldiers in a single fierce clash in the island's north... Back to the top

Pro-LTTE stand: Denied visa, Vaiko cancels trip to London
toi, nov 23. CHENNAI: MDMK leader Vaiko was on Sunday denied visa to travel to London apparently for his pro-LTTE stand, forcing him to cancel his air ticket for Monday... Back to the top

Banned Terrorist Group Plans Event Honouring Suicide Missions at the London ExCeL Centre
ITNEWS, Nov 23. LONDON, November 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Heroes' Day, an event glorifying Tamil Tiger terrorist tactics, is due to take place later this month at the London ExCeL Centre in defiance of UK laws prohibiting the glorification of and support for terrorism... Back to the top

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