The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 299

Headline Summary
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Talks between Sri Lankan leaders ``collapsing,'' president's spokesman says
Associated Press, Fri January 30, 2004 11:41 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Talks aimed at solving a bitter power dispute between Sri Lanka - 's two rival leaders are collapsing, imperiling a fragile cease-fire with Tamil rebels, a presidential spokesman said Friday. Sri Lanka - 's political crisis erupted in November when Kumaratunga wrested control of three ministries from Wickremesinghe's Cabinet. The two leaders are from different political parties and were elected separately.

Wickremesinghe was conducting peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on ending a bloody 19-year civil war. Kumaratunga accused him of making too many concessions to the Tamil guerrillas, who are seeking autonomy in Sri Lanka - 's northeast.

The defense ministry was one of the three ministries Kumaratunga commandeered on Nov. 4 while the prime minister was in Washington. Without control of the defense portfolio, efforts to sustain a February 2002 cease-fire are impossible, Wickremesinghe says.

Kumaratunga, however, has refused to relinquish control of the ministry.

Officials said both sides were in the process Friday of preparing a ``consensus document'' outlining agreements on the economy and democracy.

They said the more contentious issues of control over defense and the peace process would be dealt with later.

But it remained unclear Friday whether Kumaratunga's side would accept further meetings.

``They have not come back yet. We are completely in the dark,'' Samarawickrama said.

Sri Lanka - 's civil war has claimed 65,000 lives since the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam rebels began fighting the government in 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination.
Published: Fri Jan 30 12:48:26 EST 2004

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Lanka, Russia ink military pact, January 30, 2004. Colombo, Jan. 30. (PTI): Sri Lanka today entered into a "military-technical cooperation" pact with Russia, officials said. Under the new deal signed with Russia, Sri Lanka will be able to buy hardware and use Russian expertise in training Sri Lankan security forces, they said. The agreement was signed between Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Cyril Herath and the visiting Russian Deputy Defence Minister Mikhail Dmitrie. More...
Published: Fri Jan 30 15:37:05 EST 2004 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka and Russia sign military co-operation agreement  - Associated Press

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Athurugiriya Safe House raid:State, Udugampola ordered to pay Rs. 4 m compensation
Dailynews, 30 january. The Supreme Court yesterday awarded rupees four million as cost and compensation to five army personnel involved in the Athurugiriya Millennium City Safe House raid. The Court held that the respondent police officers had illegally arrested, detained and subjected the victims to inhuman and degrading treatment and treated them differently.The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC, and Justices Dr. (Mrs.) Shirani Bandaranayake and P. Edussuriya. The court considering the submissions made by the counsel for the petitioners ordered the State to pay Rs. 750,000 to each of the five petitioners which amounted to Rs. 3,750,000. The first respondent Kulasiri Udugampola was ordered to personally pay Rs. 250,000 to the five petitioners. More...
Published: Fri Jan 30 05:30:39 EST 2004 Back to the top

SRI LANKA: Covetous eyes on Sri Lanka's strategic jewel, Asia ..., Jan 30, 2004, 17:54. By Ramtanu Maitra After protecting Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) chief and fellow Norwegian Tryggve Tellefsen since October 23, when he was first accused of aiding rebel Tamil Tigers by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Peoples Alliance (PA) party, Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen finally announced Tellefsen's replacement with General Trond Furuhovde on January 16... Back to the top

Attacks on Sri Lanka churches said well planned, January 30. National Christian Council, the umbrella organization of protestant and Catholic churches in Sri Lanka, Friday said it is “gravely concerned over the continuous stirring up of resentment against Christians and increasing incidence of unchecked violence directed at Christian places of worship”... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: UPFA holds its first public rally in Colombo, January 30, 2004. Jan 30 - In Sri Lanka, the newly formed United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance held its first rally in Colombo... Back to the top

New Sri Lankan opposition alliance vows to oust government
Associated Press, Thu January 29, 2004 09:06 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's new opposition alliance vowed Thursday to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe because of his government's handling of peace negotiations with Tamil rebels and the economy... Back to the top

Sri Lankan cricket board to elect members in March
Associated Press, Thu January 29, 2004 09:28 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's cricket board, the country's most prestigious sports body despite accusations of fraud and passport forgery against its president, will elect new members in March, an official said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's cricket boss formally charged with helping passport forgery
Associated Press, Fri January 30, 2004 04:49 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's cricket board chief appeared in court Friday charged with violating the country's immigration laws... Back to the top

LTTE plan to rob banks thwarted, January 29, 2004. The two suspects arrested over the shooting of two policemen near the Savoy Cinema at Wellawatte were alleged LTTE agents who had come to Colombo to rob banks, DIG Sirisena Herath said Back to the top

Norway jurges donors not to halt aid to Sri Lanka, January 30, 2004. Norway has urged donor countries to continue their economic aid to Sri Lanka despite the country's current political instability... Back to the top

LTTE opposes Indo-Lankan defence deal, January 30, 2004. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have asked New Delhi not to go ahead with a proposed defence cooperation pact with the Colombo government, arguing that it would alter the military balance of power here... Back to the top

WHO urges mass slaughter of infected poultry to control bird flu, Thailand balks
Associated Press, Wed January 28, 2004 14:29 EST . EMMA ROSS - AP Medical Writer - The European Union banned imports from Thailand last week... Back to the top

Tax cuts ahead of Sri Lanka elections, January 29, 2004. Sri Lanka's Finance Minister has announced populist tax cuts to try to ease the cost of living ahead of provincial council elections and possible general elections... Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks to end political crisis before aid meet in ..., January 29, 2004. Colombo, Jan 26 - Sri Lankan government today expressed hope of ending the bitter power struggle with President Chandrika Kumaratunga before the decisive aid meeting in Washington on February 17 Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks India ’ s moral support to move ahead in peace ..., January 29, 2004. Jan 29 - Visiting Sri Lankan foreign minister Tyronne Fernanado, has sought India’s moral support for moving ahead in the Norwegian brokered peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to offset price rises with cut in duties, January 29, 2004. Sri Lanka will reduce customs duties on a range of essential goods to offset rising import prices and keep the cost of living in check, Finance Minister KN Choksy said on Thursday... Back to the top

Left party not to join front; LTTE team off to Norway, 29-01-2004 . Plans by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party and the Marxist JVP to expand their newly established alliance has suffered a set back with one of the traditional leftist political parties refusing to join them on the grounds that the alliance has strengthened the hands of 'chauvinists and racists'... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Tamil rebels seek support in European tour
Associated Press, Thu January 29, 2004 12:37 EST . DOUG MELLGREN - Associated Press Writer - OSLO, Norway (AP) A delegation of Tamil rebels from Sri Lanka - kicked off a European tour Thursday seeking support with a stop in Norway, the country that brokered a cease-fire for the island nation... Back to the top

Japan tops up mine-clearing aid to Sri Lanka, January 29, 2004. COLOMBO — Japan has further increased mine-clearing assistance to war-wracked Sri Lanka with a contribution Wednesday of $605,000, raising the total for Japanese assistance to Sri Lanka in this sphere to over $2.5 million, Ambassador Akio Suda said Back to the top

Sri Lankan government offers economic relief ahead of key local polls
Associated Press, Thu January 29, 2004 07:04 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government Thursday announced cuts in customs taxes aimed at keeping down prices on oil, wheat and other basic commodities, ahead of local elections and amid speculation of an early parliamentary election... Back to the top

SriLankan Airlines plans route to Hyderabad, January 29, 2004. SriLankan Airlines will start flying to the southern Indian city of Hyderabad next month, the airline announced Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, January 29, 2004. Iran and Sri Lanka last week agreed to finalise the framework agreement on a US$ 20 million credit line from the former by two weeks... Back to the top

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