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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:29 AM
Original message
Sri Lankan army 'shells hospital'
Source: Al-Jazeera

Artillery shells fired by the Sri Lankan military have hit a makeshift hospital in the country's northeastern war zone killing at least 64 people, according to a health official.

Patients and bystanders died in two attacks on Saturday, while another 87 were wounded, the government official, who declined to be identified, told news agencies.

The unconfirmed reports were supported by a pro-Tamil website which accused the military of shelling the hospital on Friday and Saturday.

Bigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a military spokesman, denid there had been any attack on the hospital.

Read more: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/05/20095285...
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
1.  Sri Lanka denies shelling hospital
Sri Lanka's military has denied that it shelled a makeshift hospital in a Tamil Tiger-held conflict zone in the northeast of the country, in which a hospital official said at least 67 people died.

Unconfirmed reports by TamilNet, a pro-Tamil website, said that the hospital was hit by artillery shells fired by government forces on Saturday.

Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, Sri Lanka's military spokesman, said that the claims were the latest in a series of "exaggerated stories" by those sympathetic to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/05/20095215...

Is there any way to get good, solid, reliable information about what is going on there?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Probably not - the government will not allow journalists in the area where there is fighting.
The government sees itself as fighting "terrorists". The government has reacted to western governments that have criticized them at all, even as they criticize the Tigers more, with fury and anger. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/world/asia/01lanka.ht... )

The SFRC had a hearing, chaired by Senator Casey a few months ago where they heard from various sources including the International Red Cross. That hearing is reflected to some degree in Chairman Kerry's letter. SoS Clinton's statements and SFRC Chair Kerry letter were met by anger in Sri Lanka. Both their statements were, as you would expect, measured.

Here is one of Clinton's statements:
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/sri-lanka-causing-untold...
Here is the main English language Sri Lankan Sinhalese paper's reaction - which attacks her as supporting the Tigers, which of course she doesn't.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetai...

Here is a Sri Lankan article that includes Kerry's well balanced letter. The article is good, but look at the comments to see the anger from the Sinhalese to that very balanced letter. The strangest attack is someone questioning if the reason Kerry can afford his lifestyle is that he gets money from US Tamils!
http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/03/senator_john_kerry_...

For me this is intensely sad. I went to Sri Lanka last year about this time. My daughter did a semester abroad there. She lived with a Buddhist Sinhalese family for 3 months and a Muslim Tamil family for a month when she did her independent study. Both families could not have been nicer or more supportive to her, they both made her a part of their family. When we visited at the end of her time there, we met both and they were fantastic. She saw most of the country that was not controlled by the Tigers and loved the people there - everywhere.

The history of the civil war there includes despicable things by both sides. It is really sad that this beautiful island with such normally hospitable people hasn't found a way to give both people what they need to live in peace.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thank you for the information
I certainly hope this conflict can be resolved soon - but I'm not sure I fully understand what an equitable and lasting resolution would be.
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. The unconfirmed reports were supported by a pro-Tamil website
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Do you know of any websites that are good and fair sources of info on this conflict?
Thanks in advance!
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Chinese billions in Sri Lanka fund battle against Tamil Tigers
guess the Times is showing a spin in a different direction;

Sri Lanka is going to be a Chinese island


snip
In April 2007 Sri Lanka signed a classified $37.6 million (25 million) deal to buy Chinese ammunition and ordnance for its army and navy, according to Janes Defence Weekly.

China gave Sri Lanka apparently free of charge six F7 jet fighters last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, after a daring raid by the Tigers air wing destroyed ten military aircraft in 2007. One of the Chinese fighters shot down one of the Tigers aircraft a year later.

Chinas arms sales have been the decisive factor in ending the military stalemate, Brahma Chellaney, of the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi, said. There seems to have been a deal linked to Hambantota.

Since 2007 China has encouraged Pakistan to sell weapons to Sri Lanka and to train Sri Lankan pilots to fly the Chinese fighters, according to Indian security sources.

China has also provided crucial diplomatic support in the UN Security Council, blocking efforts to put Sri Lanka on the agenda. It has also boosted financial aid to Sri Lanka, even as Western countries have reduced their contributions.

Chinas aid to Sri Lanka jumped from a few million dollars in 2005 to almost $1 billion last year, replacing Japan as the biggest foreign donor. By comparison, the United States gave $7.4 million last year, and Britain just 1.25 million.

snip

Thats why Sri Lanka has been so dismissive of international criticism, said B. Raman of the Chennai Centre for China Studies. It knows it can rely on support from China.



Chinese construction workers build the port at Hambantota that analysts believe will become a base for its navy


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/articl...

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. At the SFRC that Casey chaired
they spoke of the US having few "levers" as we have not given that much to Sri Lanka.
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