The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Nine Lankan refugees arrive

Nine Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including three children, arrived at Dhanushkodi here today following continuing conflict between the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the LTTE.

Official sources said the Sri Lankan nationals, comprising three families from Mannar and Trincomalee regions in the island nation, arrived with the help of clandestine boat operators by paying a sum of Rs 10,000 each.

The refugees said their lives were in danger in Sri Lanka due to heavy fighting. The spiralling prices of essential commodities also forced them to leave the country to take refuge in India.

After preliminary investigations, they were shifted to the Special Refugee Camp in Mandapam.


Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90

Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and a man considered one of the world's top science fiction writers, has died.

He was 90. An aide announced his death Tuesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived for many years.

Clarke was the author of The City and the Stars, Childhood's Ends and 2010, a sequel to A Space Odyssey, which was made into a movie by Stanley Kubrick.

With Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein he was considered one of the "Big Three" of science fiction.


India installs radar for LTTE surveillance

Indian defense officials have launched a new effort to end the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist operations in the Gulf of Mannar.

Officials say a new radar system has been deployed by the Indian air force to monitor the Gulf of Mannar between Sri Lanka and India with greater aerial surveillance. Critics say LTTE smuggling and infiltration operations have been able to operate without extensive infringement from security forces from both Sri Lanka and India. The new radar system's main objective will be to prevent LTTE exploitation of the Gulf of Mannar, the Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense reported.

The Indian air force and coast guard surveillance initiative includes "eight antennae which could cover the entire Gulf of Mannar region. It has the capability to track objects such as ships, barges, trawlers, small boats and others in the Indian territorial waters off Mandapam coast," the release said.

Along with the new radar system instillation in Tamil Nadu, Director-General of Police P. Rajendiran says an additional 60 police check posts have been established along the coastal areas to prevent LTTE infiltration of India by intensifying patrols in the region.