The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 292

Headline Summary
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Chandrika asks Tamils not to 'mortgage destiny' to LTTE, January 24, 2004. President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday asked Sri Lankan Tamils not to mortgage their destiny to the LTTE but determine it themselves. In an interview to the state-owned TV channel “Eye”, she said that the Tamils must collectively decide what was good for them and not go by what one or two people in the LTTE told them. They should put pressure on the LTTE to respect democracy, pluralism and human rights, she said. This was a “decisive moment” for the Tamil people and it was time that they took charge of their affairs, the President said. If they did not, and continued to listen to one or two people in sheer fright, they would not be able to get their due, even if the Sinhalese people wanted to give them their rights. More...
Published: Fri Jan 23 17:36:31 EST 2004

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Political turmoil in Sri Lanka 'casts doubt' on aid flows, donors say
Associated Press, Fri January 23, 2004 07:19 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's bitter political power struggle threatens to derail a fragile peace process and re-ignite a civil war, ``casting doubt'' on the flow of more financial aid, international donors said Friday. The meeting was to follow-up an aid conference in Tokyo last June, at which donors from more than 50 countries and international aid organizations pledged US$4.5 billion to help rebuild Sri Lanka - .

But the release of the funds is dependent on sufficient progress toward a lasting peace with the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam guerrillas.

The Tiger rebels boycotted the meeting because of an ongoing power struggle between Sri Lanka - 's president and rival prime minister, which continues to create instability.

The Tigers launched a bloody rebellion in 1983, angry over what ethnic Tamils claimed was unfair treatment at the hands of the ruling Sinhalese majority. More than 65,000 people perished in the ensuing civil war.

Peace efforts have been frozen since November when President Chandrika Kumaratunga seized control of three key ministries including the defense ministry, considered vital for leading the negotiations with Tamil rebels from Wickremesinghe's government.

Hopes of ending Sri Lanka - 's 19-year civil war have further deteriorated since Kumaratunga's party formed an alliance Tuesday with a Marxist party to block peace efforts by Wickremesinghe's government whom the parties accuse of giving too many concessions to the rebels, jeopardizing the island's security.

Chief rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham on Wednesday condemned the alliance as an ``anti-peace political pact,'' and warned of a possible return to war in Sri Lanka - .

However, Akashi said although the alliance was a ``cause for concern,'' it was not a ``cause for alarm.''

Many believe that Kumaratunga formed the alliance as a first step to a snap election.

Heads of the United Nations Development Program and Asian Development Bank participated in the meeting, along with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

``It was a useful meeting ... good time for stock taking,'' said John Cooney, head of ADB.

Akashi said he will have a meeting with representatives of Norway, the United States and the European Union, the four co-chairs of the donors, on Feb. 17 to further discuss Sri Lanka - 's situation.

Japan is Sri Lanka - 's largest financial backer, and has stepped up diplomatic assistance to end the conflict permanently since the Feb. 2002 Norwegian-mediated cease-fire was agreed upon.

Last year, Japan made the largest aid commitment to Sri Lanka - , promising US$1 billion over three years. But it has warned the pledge is at risk if stalled peace talks don't resume.
Published: Fri Jan 23 10:02:43 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka donors worried about political crisis  -
Sri Lanka risks losing $ 4.5 bil. aid, donors say+  - Associated Press
International donors meet to discuss Sri Lanka 's threatened peace and aid  - Associated Press

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Iranian Minister Says Sri Lanka Could Select Their Own Partners
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 A.M Saturday 24 January. Visiting Finance and Economics Minister of Iran Tahmash Mazaheri said that Sri Lanka could select it's own partners when dealing with other countries. In response to a question on what his government thought of Sri Lanka tilting towards the United States during the past two years, the Iranian Minister said, " Any country could select its partners. If Sri Lanka can find a good market in the US or anywhere we have no problem about it. It is up to Sri Lankan government to select who is good for them." Mazaheri a very powerful minister in the Iranian government is here to attend the joint economic co-operation commission between Sri Lanka and Iran.

The new Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Behnam Behrous said, " Sri Lanka is a friendly country. There is no misunderstanding between our two countries. But there is a gap on the flow of information and that has to be bridged"
Published: Fri Jan 23 20:24:01 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Provide Technical Assistance To Improve Tea Production in Iran
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.45 A.M Saturday 24 January. Sri Lanka has agreed to provide technical assistance to Iran to improve the quality of the production of tea in Iran and to offer technical assistance to the tea growers in Iran, Minister of Finance and Economics of Tahmash Mazaheri said today... Back to the top

LTTE trying hard to stall Indo-Lanka defence pact, January 23. The LTTE is trying hard to stall the India-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), which the Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga hopes will be signed by the end of February... Back to the top

Norway to help LTTE get humanitarian aid », January 23. Norway, which is the official facilitator in the Sri Lankan peace process, is to help the LTTE get a few million dollars in humanitarian aid from Scandinavian countries without any political or administrative strings attached, Hindustan Times learns... Back to the top

Top Sri Lankan minister to brief India on peace process and political crisis
Associated Press, Fri January 23, 2004 10:52 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A top Sri Lankan minister plans to discuss his country's deepening political crisis and faltering peace efforts with Tamil Tiger rebels when he meets India's foreign minister Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president warns stagnate peace process may erode Tamil rebels' patience
Associated Press, Fri January 23, 2004 11:46 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday warned that the Tamil Tiger rebels may soon become impatient with a stagnate peace process to end the country's two-decade civil war and resume hostilities... Back to the top

Know the saga of Indians in Lanka
com, Jan 23. The Indo-Lankans: Their 200-year saga, a book recalling the history of the early settlers of India in Sri Lanka, and written by noted historian and author S Muthiah was formally launched by the Governor P Ramamohan Rao at a function in Chennai Wednesday... Back to the top

President attempts to allay fears of a possible war, stresses that alliance is committed to ‘negotiated settlement’
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 22, 2004, 11.55 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today called upon all major political forces to join hands if the country is to get rid of its long standing crisis, the two decade long ethnic conflict... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tamil rebels boycott donor conference in Colombo, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri January 23, 2004 12:03 EST . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -TAMIL sked Sri Lanka - Tamil rebels boycott donor conference in Colombo, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Protesting Buddhist Monks
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 8.85pm, SLT Jan.22, 2004. Protesting Buddhist monks march in Pettah, Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday, Janaury.22, accusing some Christian groups working in the country of converting Buddhists to Christianity, and demanding that they should be banned... Back to the top

'Singhalese should reject chauvinist forces'- LTTE, January 23. “If the Sinhala people elect racist political leaders at the next election then Tamils might have to decide their own future... Back to the top

Anura Bandaranaike denies secrecy in SLFP-JVP pact, January 23. Peoples Alliance parliamentarian Mr.Anura Bandaranaike in a statement issued Friday denied any secrecy in the agreement signed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Sinhala Nationalist Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in forming the United Peoples Freedom Alliance ( UPFA ). Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, January 23, 2004. Colombo: Sri Lanka will host the long-awaited Asia Cup limited-overs cricket tournament in July, Cricket Board officials said here today... Back to the top

Indian Oil Agreement Fully Effective Now
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.50 P.M Thursday 22 January. The agreement signed between the government of Sri Lanka and the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) became fully effective today after the Managing Director of the LIOC M... Back to the top

India News: Now LTTE and JVP are courting India, january 23. New Delhi, When India deployed troops to Sri Lanka in 1987, the country's two most radical and well-knit groups united to declare that New Delhi had no right to meddle in the country's internal affairs... Back to the top

LTTE Must Release All Child Soldiers- UNICEF
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.34 A.M Thursday 22 January. A report released by the UNICEF office in Colombo has called on the LTTE to release all child soldiers and to stop the recruitment of children... Back to the top

Japanese peace envoy to discuss peace, aid with Sri Lankan rebels
Associated Press, Thu January 22, 2004 01:55 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A top Japanese peace envoy arrived in a northern rebel-held town Thursday to meet with a Tamil Tiger leader and discuss Sri Lanka - 's faltering peace process upon which billions of dollars in aid are contingent, officials said... Back to the top

Lanka to hold Asia Cup cricket in July, January 23, 2004. COLOMBO : Sri Lanka will host the long-awaited Asia Cup limited-overs cricket tournament in July, Cricket Board officials said here on Friday Back to the top

Tillakaratne retained as Sri Lankan test captain for Australian tour
Associated Press, Fri January 23, 2004 04:17 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Hashan Tillakaratne has been retained as Sri Lanka - 's test cricket captain for the upcoming Australian tour, a cricket board spokesman said Friday... Back to the top

India News : Tamilnadu Indian Tamil to make movie on Jaffna, January 23, 2004. Indian Tamil movie producer Manivannan says he wants to make a realistic movie on Sri Lankan Tamils... Back to the top

Tamil rebels refuse to attend key talks with donors and Sri Lanka 's government over peace process and aid
Associated Press, Thu January 22, 2004 08:46 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said Thursday they will not attend a key meeting this week with international donors and Sri Lanka - 's government to review the faltering peace process and aid because of a political power-struggle in Colombo that threatens the truce... Back to the top

Former skipper Duleep Mendis appointed chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket
Associated Press, Thu January 22, 2004 07:22 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Former national captain Duleep Mendis was on Wednesday appointed as the chief executive of the Sri Lankan cricket board, the board said in a statement Thursday... Back to the top

Iran to aid Sri Lanka's oil exploration, Thursday 22 January 2004, 14:43 Makka Time, 1. Iran will help Sri Lanka prospect for oil besides opening a $20 million credit line for the country's power and energy sector, it was announced on Thursday... Back to the top

LTTE brands new alliance as anti-peace, January 22, 2004. A top Tamil Tiger rebel leader warned yesterday that there was every likelihood of renewed war in Sri Lanka after President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party formed an alliance with the Marxist Peoples Liberation Front to oppose wide autonomy for the rebels... Back to the top

Lankan politics may delay India-Lanka defence pact, January 22,2004. Electoral politics in Sri Lanka may delay the finalisation of the India-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), Hindustan Times learns... Back to the top

World News : Sri Lanka Sri Lanka to offer amnesty in lieu of ..., January 22, 2004. In a bid to curb spiralling crime, fuelled by the easy availability of arms, Sri Lanka plans to grant amnesty to those who return illegal weapons to the government, reports OneWorld... Back to the top

War Over but No Peace for Sri Lanka's Displaced, January 22, 2004. COLOMBO, Jan 22 (OneWorld) - Political turmoil in the federal government is obstructing the resettlement of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the town of Chavakachcheri in war-torn northern Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Sign Deal to Protect Interests of Housemaids, ..., January 22,2004. RIYADH, 22 January 2004 — Sri Lanka will soon sign a unified contract with Saudi Arabia to look after the interests of the island’s domestic servants and their respective employers in the Kingdom, the country’s ambassador, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, told Arab News... Back to the top

Norway put on notice by new Lankan party, 22 January. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's new political party formed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and a key leftist group strongly hinted Wednesday they will ask Norway to withdraw as the island's peace broker... Back to the top

S.Lankan Tamil rebels say new alliance pact could lead to war, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed January 21, 2004 14:38 EST . - - The Sri Lanka - Freedom Party (SLFP), main constituent party of the main opposition People's Alliance and the main leftist JVP or People's Liberation Front entered into a political alliance on Tuesday with the objective of toppling the Wickremesinghe government... Back to the top

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