The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Gun Battles Kill 25 Tamil Tiger Rebels, 7 Soldiers

Twenty-five Tamil rebels and seven soldiers were killed during gun battles in Sri Lanka's Northern Province, the Media Centre for National Security said.

Sri Lankan soldiers and members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam clashed in the regions of Mannar, Jaffna, Vavuniya and Welioya yesterday and early today, the government's Media Centre said in a statement on its Web site. Six soldiers and four rebels were injured in the battle, it said.

The military is staging almost daily attacks on the northern region, the only area controlled by the rebels since they were driven from Eastern Province in July. The LTTE has been fighting for a separate homeland since 1983 in an insurgency that has left more than 70,000 people dead. The rebels are designated a terrorist group by the U.S., the European Union and India.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government has vowed to eradicate terrorism on the South Asian island while seeking a settlement with all Tamil groups. It ended a 2002 cease-fire with the LTTE in January, prompting the United Nations to call on the government and Tamil Tigers to prevent an escalation of violence against civilians.

A group of rebels ambushed an army post in Mannar, killing a soldier, the pro-rebel said in a statement on the Web site. Another soldier was seriously injured in the grenade attack, it said.

The Sri Lankan military killed 68 civilians, including seven children, during its offensive in May, the LTTE said in a statement on its Web site. Another 44 people ``disappeared,'' the group said.

Source: bloomberg

Malaysian Govt will crack down on Tiger link

The Home Ministry is investigating claims that Malaysians were working with Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger terrorists to carry out a bomb attack in Colombo.
This followed the arrest of six members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Saturday in Wattala, Sri Lanka where the authorities also seized 2.7kg of high-powered C4 explosives.

According to a Sri Lankan news report, the suspects under interrogation (by Sri Lankan government troops), said they were waiting for instructions from some Malaysians - via the telephone - to launch the attack.

Commenting on the report, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the government would not hesitate to act against Malaysians linked to the LTTE.

He said his ministry would contact the Sri Lankan government to clarify the allegations and seek its assistance to obtain information on the Malaysians said to be involved.
"I have checked the report. Malaysia will never tolerate any type of terrorism. If it is true that Malaysians are involved, we will find them and take severe action.

"There have always been allegations that some Malaysians are involved with the LTTE," Syed Hamid said after the opening ceremony of the Eighth Asean Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (8th-SOMTC) here yesterday.

The report in the Sri Lankan online daily, The Daily Mirror, stated that six LTTE suspects, allegedly responsible for the recent bomb blasts in Colombo and its suburbs, were taken into custody by a special police team on Saturday.

Police investigations revealed these suspects, five men and a woman from Welikanda and Vavuniya, had been living in Wattala in a rented house for a long period.

It was also revealed this group had planned to explode a bomb in Colombo on Saturday but police foiled their plans.

The report also stated the suspects had been given directions to carry out attacks from Malaysia over the phone.

A senior police official was quoted as saying: "They were awaiting orders from Malaysia to carry out the attack on Saturday."

Meanwhile, a top LTTE operative, who masterminded an international LTTE credit card scam, was nabbed on the same day by police in Wellawatte.

At the time of arrest, the suspect had in his possession a large number of personal identification numbers (PIN) and bank receipts issued by both local and Malaysian banks.

Source: nst

Italian police arrest 28 Tamils on terror charges

Italian police arrested 28 Sri Lankan Tamils on Wednesday on charges of aiding and abetting the outlawed Tamil Tigers group fighting a separatist insurgency against the government in Colombo.

Some 200 police were involved in the operation which saw raids across the country from Naples in the south to Bologna in the north, and also on the island of Sicily, an official with the police counter-terrorism cell told AFP.

The 28 people arrested were suspected of membership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and of providing funding for the group, the official said.

The LTTE is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union.

The Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka since 1972. Tens of thousands have died in the conflict.

Source: AFP

UTStarcom wins SLT IPTV contract

UUTStarcom Inc. said Tuesday it has signed a new contract to supply its Internet protocol television equipment to Sri Lanka Telecom Public Ltd. Co.

The Alameda company's "multi-million dollar" agreement with Sri Lanka Telecom partner Just In Time Holdings Pvt. Ltd. will eventually support the delivery of voice, Internet, and television services to Sri Lanka Telecom's 1.3 million customers on the south Asian island.

The initial rollout of UTStarcom Inc. (NASDAQ: UTSI) equipment is designed to support about 100,000 subscribers over the next two years. It will also enable the company to provide video services to future subscribers over copper lines in the next three to four years, it said.

Source: bizjournals


Fortune 1000 company that specializes in IP-based networking products for telecommunications companies and service providers. Its core markets are multimedia communications and broadband, including IP communications and entertainment (IPTV), next generation broadband networks and optical network solutions. It also sells handsets and other consumer products including DSL modems and voice over IP terminal adapters. It has a large customer base in Asia, particularly in China, where it manufactures the majority of its products and where most of its employees are located. It also has business operations in the United States, India and Japan as well as research and design operations in the United States, China, Korea and India.

History of UTStarcom

The company was founded in 1991 by Lu, a China-born, US-educated entrepreneur, as Unitech Telecom. In its early years, the company was focused on the telecommunications markets in China. In 1995, Unitech merged with Starcom Networks to form UTStarcom. After several years of trying to build its business in China, UTStarcom launched the Personal Handy-phone System (PHS), also known as the Personal Access System. PHS is a scaled-down version of a cellular network and has 56 million subscribers in China. UTStarcom went public in March 2000. The IPO and a series of acquisitions helped the company expand its business and technology beyond its base in China to other emerging economies in Asia and Latin America as well as to Japan, the United States and Europe. Acquisitions Between 2002 and 2004, UTStarcom acquired several companies to expand its technology portfolio and market opportunities in areas such as handsets, CDMA technology, broadband and IP-based communications.



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Note: i do not own UTStarcom(NASDAQ:UTSI) or SLT(COL:SLTL) shares