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Friday, January 18, 2008

Media Comparison...

Lets use an incident regarding Sri Lanka to directly compare media stories from AFP Ap and the site run by the rebel movement.

You do the math...


www.afp.com

Jan 18, 2007


COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lanka's military said Thursday its war planes had "completely destroyed" a hideout where Tamil Tiger leaders were meeting, a day after its truce with the rebels officially ended.

The air strike on the northern rebel centre of Kilinochchi also came after suspected rebels killed 27 people in an attack on a public bus in the south.

"Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets targeted an LTTE (Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam) senior leaders' gathering at Jayapoor in Kilinochchi," the defence ministry said in a statement. "Pilots confirmed that the location was completely destroyed."

The pro-rebel TamilNet website however said the bombs hit a civilian area in Kilinochchi, the main town in the rebels' northern mini-state, wounding seven people and damaging nine houses.

It said the planes "bombed a civilian area with a mechanic workshop," and that the Tamil Tigers responded with anti-aircraft fire.

No independent confirmation of the conflicting accounts of the raid was available. The Sri Lankan government has barred journalists from visiting the rebel-held north.

The air strike came hours after a truce, signed by the LTTE and the government in 2002, officially ended at midnight on Wednesday.

It also came the day after the Tigers were blamed for bombing and shooting at a public bus, killing 27 civilians and wounding more than 60 others, according to a new toll issued by authorities.

Six farmers were also reported to have been shot dead by an LTTE unit in the same area.

The Sri Lankan government pulled out of the ceasefire arguing that the Tigers, who want to carve out an independent state in the north and east of the island, had only used the truce to re-arm.

Fighting has been escalating over the past year, and Nordic peace monitors said late last year that they had lost count of the number of violations of the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire.

The truce monitors pulled out of Sri Lanka on Wednesday, with a warning to both sides that the long-running war cannot be won.

Defence officials in Colombo have spelled out their determination to kill LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, who has been leading a rebellion against the island's ethnic Sinhalese majority since 1972.

In November, Sri Lankan forces killed LTTE political chief S.P. Thamilselvan in an air bombing raid, and the island's military began the New Year with a vow to kill 3,000 guerrillas in the first six months of the year.

Meanwhile the defence ministry said fighting was continuing across front lines in the north, with the military claiming to have killed six more rebels.

Colombo claims it has killed 429 rebels since the start of the year against 20 soldiers killed. The figures cannot be independently verified.







27 killed, 63 wounded, bus explosion in South

From

www.tamilnet.com

http://tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=24302


4TH LEAD

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 03:33 GMT]

27 civilians, including 3 school children, were killed and 63 wounded in a Claymore blast that targeted a bus in Helagama in Buttala DS division in Monaragala district in Uva Province at 7:35 a.m. Wednesday, Police said. The blast comes amid reports the Sri Lankan military leadership was trying to convince the government to shut down schools in the South for extended periods, ahead of major offensives, including bombardments likely to cause heavy civilian casualties, into the Vanni. The 6-years-old ceasefire expires today.

13 women were among the victims, according to initial reports.

The attackers also opened fire on the bus after Claymore explosion, Police said.

The schools in Uva province were closed until further notice.

More than 45 wounded persons were transferred to Monaragala district hospital from Buttala hospital.


CNN.com

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Government soldiers and Tamil separatists fought a series of gunbattles in Sri Lanka's embattled north, leaving 59 insurgents and one soldier dead, the military said Saturday. Separately, police announced new measures to boost security nationwide.


Police check the bags of Tamil fortune tellers at an entry point to Colombo city, Sri Lanka, Saturday.

Troops clashed with Tamil Tiger guerrillas on several fronts Friday in Vavuniya district, just south of the rebels' de facto state, killing 39 insurgents, a defense ministry official said.

Fighting in Vavuniya also left one soldier dead and 21 wounded, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Separate fighting in nearby Mannar district killed 17 insurgents, while three more rebels died in clashes on the Jaffna peninsula, he said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be reached for comment.

It was not possible to independently verify the military's claims because the fighting took place deep in the jungles of the north, and access to the area is restricted. Both sides often release inflated casualty figures for their opponents while lowering their own.

Violence has escalated since January 3 when the government withdrew from a 2002 cease-fire, with at least 267 people killed -- 256 rebels, seven soldiers and four civilians -- according to military figures.

Two lawmakers have been killed already this year, prompting police to increase security measures. Four security guards were being assigned to each lawmaker, up from two, police chief Victor Perera told reporters Saturday.

Opposition lawmaker Thyagaraja Maheswaran was shot dead while worshipping in a Hindu temple for the New Year, and a week later Minister of Nation Building D. M. Dassanayake was killed by a roadside bomb in a suburb of the capital, Colombo.
Don't Miss

* Sri Lanka rail station bombed
* Rebels say they want cease-fire
* Minister dies in bomb attack

Additional policemen were also being deployed to major cities, and authorities were clearing small shrubs, garbage dumps and other places where rebels could conceal roadside bombs, Perera said.

Meanwhile, Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi was scheduled to begin a three-day visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday to discuss the "current situation of the peace process and its future," the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

On Friday, the government rejected a call by rebels to revive the Norway-brokered truce, saying rebels had used the cease-fire to strengthen themselves militarily.

Japan was a key backer of the cease-fire. Akashi also played a pivotal role in organizing a 2003 donor conference in Tokyo to raise funds to rebuild parts of Sri Lanka destroyed by the war.

More than 70,000 people have been killed since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam began fighting in 1983 for an independent state for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority, claiming discrimination by the Sinhalese majority

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