The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 243


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Sri Lanka says it seizes rebel villages
Associated Press, Thu December 4, 2008 07:58 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops seized two rebel-held villages in the north Thursday as they continued offensives against the insurgents' two main strongholds, the military said.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the soldiers captured Alampil village on the northeastern coast, a move aimed at restricting the movement of the Tamil Tiger rebels' sea wing. Seizing the village is also a key step in the soldiers' march toward the separatists' stronghold of Mullaitivu, he said.

Troops also took control of Puliyankulam village in Vavuniya district, far south of the rebel headquarters Kilinochchi, Nanayakkara said. Troops had captured part of the village in May.

He did not give casualty details from either battle.

Rebel officials could not be contacted for comment because communication lines to the rebel-held territory have been cut. It is difficult to verify battlefield reports because journalists are barred from the war zone.

Government forces have captured a number of towns and villages in recent months as part of their campaign to crush the rebels and end their 25-year campaign for an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils.

The military says its soldiers are closing in on Kilinochchi while other groups are moving toward the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu on the northeast coast, both of which have been key rebel centers.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.Discuss this story
Published: Thu Dec 4 08:46:34 EST 2008

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Sri Lankan troops take key Tiger sea base  -

Gov't-backed Sri Lanka group agrees to free 62 child soldiers: UNICEF+
Associated Press, Thu December 4, 2008 06:28 EST . COLOMBO, Dec. 4 (Kyodo) An ethnic Tamil paramilitary group that supports Sri Lanka - 's government in its fight with the Tamil Tiger rebels has agreed to release 62 more child soldiers, the U.N. Children's Fund or UNICEF said Thursday. ''This agreement shows a clear political commitment and is a very important step in putting an end to the recruitment and use of children by the TMVP,'' said Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF's representative in Sri Lanka - .

''The action plan must now be translated into concrete actions on the ground which will then lead to significant results for children in the very near future,'' he said.

The TMVP, led by ex-rebel commander Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, better known as Col. Karuna, broke away from the LTTE in March 2004, triggering fierce fighting between the two factions.

Both factions have been accused by UNICEF in the past of not taking seriously their public assurances that they are not recruiting child soldiers.

UNICEF figures show there were 133 outstanding cases of child recruitment by the TMVP at the end of October while the LTTE is accused of having 1,500 child soldiers.

In September, the Sri Lankan government ordered U.N. agency staff out of rebel-held northern regions as fighting between troops and rebels escalated.

''As a result, UNICEF has since been unable to receive and verify cases of child recruitment since that time,'' UNICEF said.

The U.N. agency says thousands of underage fighters have been recruited in Sri Lanka - , the vast majority by the LTTE, since a 2002 ceasefire in the three-decades-long civil war broke down in 2006.Discuss this story
Published: Thu Dec 4 08:44:37 EST 2008 Back to the top

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Sri Lankan militia to release child soldiers  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka troops close in on rebel capital amid heavy fighting
Associated Press, Wed December 3, 2008 05:12 EST . - - COLOMBO, Dec. 3 (Kyodo) Sri Lanka's military on Wednesday reported renewed heavy fighting around the besieged rebel capital in the island's far north as the air force carried out aerial bombardments. Since the rebels were ejected from Sri Lanka's Eastern Province in July 2007, rebel-held areas have drastically shrunk with both sides taking heavy losses.

President Mahinda Rajapakse has pledged to end the war if the Tamil Tigers lay down their arms, but the rebels have vowed to fight on.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils on the island dominated by Sinhalese for more than three decades.

More than 75,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the conflict.Discuss this story
Published: Wed Dec 3 07:34:10 EST 2008 Back to the top

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We re inching near LTTE HQ: SL  -

First a top hit, now Grammy nod: M.I.A. firmly pop
Associated Press, Thu December 4, 2008 17:25 EST . NEKESA MUMBI MOODY - AP Music Writer - M.I.A., whose music is an eclectic mix of raps, world beats and whirring sonics, first arrived on the scene with ``Arular.'' The CD was as much a political statement as a musical one, as she referenced Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tigers, separatists who have been battling the Sinhalese-controlled governments to create a homeland for ethnic minority Tamils. M... Back to the top

Pranab Mukherjee to visit Sri Lanka
India Today, 4 Dec 2008. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will soon take a break from hectic negotiations with Pakistan and head towards civil-war-torn Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Jaffna bishop wants India to pressurise LTTE, 03 Dec 2008. COLOMBO: The Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rev Thomas Savundaranayagam, wants India to pressurise the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to release the lakhs of Tamil civilians who are held captive in the north Sri Lankan war zones of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu... Back to the top

Karuna won't withdraw support to UPA, 12/4/2008. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday (Dec 3) ruled out withdrawal of support to the Congress-led UPA on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and wondered whether the "sufferings of the Tamil civilians" there will end if his party pulled out of the government... Back to the top

Intelligence sources reveal LTTE leader is in attempt to flee the country., 3 Dec 2008. Security intelligence sources have revealed that the tiger terrorist leader is in attempt to flee the country since the LTTE is suffering immense set backs in the war front... Back to the top

“LTTE is duty-bound to face Sri Lankan army’, 3 Dec 2008. CHENNAI: Human suffering and miseries being witnessed in the war in Sri Lanka should not be used as a pretext to call for a ceasefire, since they are part of the LTTE’s strategies, said Arular Arudpragasam, the chairman of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisers (EROS) and Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF)... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says jets attack rebel locations
Associated Press, Wed December 3, 2008 07:02 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed two ethnic Tamil rebel positions Wednesday, a day after troops killed three insurgents in separate clashes as they continued their campaign to capture two main rebel strongholds, the military said... Back to the top

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