The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 234


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Rights group urges Sri Lanka to curb abuses
Associated Press, Tue November 25, 2008 13:11 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An international rights group said Tuesday that it recorded 30 cases of extrajudicial killings across eastern Sri Lanka - in the past two months and urged the authorities to curb such abuses.

Brad Adams, the Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that ``killings and abductions are rife'' in a territory that the government claims to have freed from Tamil Tiger rebels and ``there is total impunity for horrific abuses.''

Last year the government cleared the entire Eastern Province of Tamil Tiger rebels, known formally as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The rights group statement said 30 extrajudicial killings were documented from September, including the case of two young men detained by police in the eastern town Batticaloa who were found dead on the beach six days later with their hands and legs tied to a concrete pole. Their bodies showed signs of torture.

Police insisted that the two men were released the next morning but Rights Watch investigators found they had been taken away at night by men in civilian clothing, the statement said.

``Since the killings, the police have intimidated witnesses into changing their account of the killings and falsified important evidence,'' it said.

Rajiva Wijesingha, chief of the government's peace secretariat, said police have been asked to investigate every incident.

``There have been several such incidents. Some of them could be LTTE or some other group and it is vital that these be investigated thoroughly,'' he said.

The rights group also said many other abductions and killings were likely carried out by Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, a breakaway group of the Tamil Tiger rebels, now supporting the government.

TMVP broke away from the mainstream Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebel group in 2004 and functioned as a paramilitary force helping the government troops beat back the rebels. It allied with President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling coalition and won the provincial assembly elections early this year.

``Many in the East believe that the government has given its blessing for these abuses,'' Adams said. ``It is important for the government to take action against perpetrators to demonstrate that this is not the case.''

Meanwhile, the military vowed to push ahead with its campaign to capture the Tamil rebel northern stronghold of Kilinochchi despite heavy monsoon rains and flooded roads, the Defense Ministry said.

Government troops positioned along the Kilaly defense line 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Kilinochchi ambushed a group of rebels killing two, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

Soldiers in villages surrounding Kilinochchi continued to fire artillery and mortar shells on the town, the ministry said. Army and rebel forces have been locked in positions 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the town in the south and 10 miles (16 kilometers) in the west for over a month.

In preparation for their final push to retake the rebel town, soldiers began reinforcing supplies for troops along the front-line with food, drinking water and medicine, the ministry said.

Soldiers achieved rapid success in recent months in its campaign to crush the rebel group's decades-old bid to create an independent homeland.Discuss this story
Published: Tue Nov 25 14:22:46 EST 2008

Tamil Tiger chief to issue rallying call as fiefdom crumbles, 25 Nov 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) Security forces ambushed and killed scores of Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the defence ministry said, adding its troops were poised to take the rebels' political capital.

Government soldiers occupying a newly-captured bunker line from the Tiger rebels in the Jaffna peninsula carried out the ambush early Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.

It did not say if there were casualties among troops.

However, the ministry said government soldiers in the northern mainland were set to take the town of Kilinochchi, the political capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue Nov 25 09:58:10 EST 2008 Back to the top

SCENARIOS - Where is Sri Lanka s war heading?, 25 Nov 2008. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military on Tuesday said it was probing the edges of the headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, Kilinochchi.

That follows a bloody weekend during which both sides said they killed scores of their enemy. Here are some scenarios of what could happen next:


Soldiers are already marching on Kilinochchi from the north, west and southwest, where fighting is heaviest, and where the military More...
Published: Tue Nov 25 12:11:15 EST 2008 Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Key S Lanka offensive continues, 25 Nov 2008. More territory has been captured from the Tamil Tigers, the army says, as it continues its attempt to take the rebels' stronghold of Kilinochchi... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

VIDEO: Fighting in Sri Lanka intensifies, 25 Nov 2008. Nov 24 - Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lankan troops fight fierce battles in the north of the country with both claiming they've inflicted heavy casualties on the other... Back to the top

Sri Lanka pushes for rebel town; 2 rebels killed
Associated Press, Tue November 25, 2008 08:37 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two Tamil rebels were killed in a military ambush Tuesday as fighting slackened after three days of intense battles that killed 122 rebels and 27 soldiers, the military said... Back to the top

Scores die as Sri Lanka army march on rebel HQ pushes on, 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

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

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