The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 305

Headline Summary
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Solheim Says No Change in Norways Commitment to Sri Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.30 A.M Friday 6 February. Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim says Norway's commitment to peace in Sri Lanka has not shaken at all and but, it has further strengthened because all the parties concerned in Sri Lanka too have reiterated the need for a peaceful political solution. Solheim said "Media reports suggesting that Norway had walked out of peace process is absolutely wrong. We are regularly talking to President, Government leaders and the LTTE and keeping the channels of communication open . We are waiting for the settlement of the political problem in the South to resume peace talks. Solheim said this at a ceremony held at the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Oslo yesterday to mark the National Day of Sri Lanka.

He added that the SLMM, which is fully operational, is doing a tremendous job and it is made possible because the two parties are committed to honour the ceasefire agreement. Solheim pointed out that the new SLMM head Gen Furuhovde , was the ideal person to head the Mission. He pointed out that the SLMM was performing its task well In spite of limitations. Solheim also complimented the efforts of the Sri Lanka Consulate General for "people oriented work" He said " As a Socialist, I appreciate the 'people first' policy of the Consulate General. Perhaps some other Embassies can learn from your example," Consul General Vipula Wanigasekera, Consul Sugeeswara Senadhira,and President of the Sri Lankan Association in Norway Harsha Ratnaweera, also addressed the gathering which included representatives from the Norwegian Government and the leaders of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities in Norway.
Published: Thu Feb 5 19:32:08 EST 2004

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US Must Prohibit Its Citizens From Offering Material Support To LTTE - Washington Times
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.25 A.M Friday 6 February. The Washington Times says although the Tamil Tigers do not directly threaten Americans, the United States must prohibit its citizens from offering them material support to obtain reciprocal counter terrorism cooperation from Sri Lanka. The newspaper says On Oct. 8, 1997, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright designated 30 organizations as "foreign terrorist organizations" under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) of Turkey and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of Sri Lanka and the designations pivoted on the indiscriminate use of violence by the PKK and the LTTE to intimidate civilian populations and to cow the democratically elected governments in Turkey and Sri Lanka to capitulate to their secessionist demands.

The Washington Times says The Tamil Tigers seek a secessionist state in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka through terrorism. Characteristic of like organizations, the LTTE undertakes auxiliary activities that strengthen its terrorist torso and sweeten its public face: political organizing and advocacy; diplomacy; social services and humanitarian aid; economic development; establishment of a quasi-government on the Jaffna Peninsula; and, defending Tamils from human rights abuses. According to the newspaper some naturalized United States citizen from Sri Lanka, desired "to consult with and provide the LTTE his expert advice on how to improve the delivery of health care, with a special focus on otolaryngology [i.e., nose, throat, and ear diseases]." However, the newspaper warns, "Medically assisting the LTTE, however, facilitates terrorist abominations. Its injured members more quickly return to terrorist duties. And the LTTE more readily attracts grass-roots sympathizers, financial contributions and terrorist recruits. The nefarious LTTE terrorist goal of partitioning Sri Lanka into separate Tamil and Sinhalese nations would be closer."
Published: Thu Feb 5 20:32:08 EST 2004 Back to the top

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LTTE urges international intervention to solve humanitarian issues
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 5, 2004, 11.58 pm. LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvam today called upon the international community to meaningfully intervene and address the urgent humanitarian problems faced by the civilians living in the North East province, the LTTE peace secretariat said.

Thamilselvam made this appeal today during a discussion he had with German Secretary of State Erich Stather and Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin today.

Thamilselvam also explained in detail the urgent humanitarian crisis caused due to the non-implementation of measures to address the people's needs even though two years have lapsed since signing the Ceasefire Agreement signed between his organisation and the Sri Lankan government. He called upon the German authorities to at least for the time being intervene and address the temporary humanitarian problems faced by the people in the North East.
Published: Thu Feb 5 13:18:51 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sihala Urumaya extends conditional support to the SLFP-JVP alliance
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 5, 2004, 11.31 pm. The Sihala Urumaya today said that they are ready to support the newly formed Sri Lanka Freedom Party-Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna alliance only if the alliance pledges to safeguard the motherland... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president's party overwhelmingly for a snap poll, XINHUA
Associated Press, Thu February 5, 2004 13:56 EST . - - COLOMBO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - Freedom Party (SLFP), the dominant party in the opposition, has called for its leader President Chandrika Kumaratunga to order a snap parliamentary election, party sources said Thursday. The SLFP's legislators and its electoral organizers met for a one day parley here to assess the current political setup in the country after the party joining the main leftist party the JVP or People's Liberation Front to form a political alliance last month against the incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe... Back to the top

LTTE forcibly recruiting Tamil youths from estate sector
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 5, 2004, 11.10 pm. The LTTE is currently carrying out a programme to forcibly recruit Tamil youths from estate sector, such as from Nuwara Eliya and Kandy, Hatton, Thalawakelle and other Tamil populated estate areas situated in the central parts of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

President extends sympathy to all affected in Hajj tragedy
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 5, 2004. President Chandrika Kumaratunge has sent a message of condolence to king Fahad of Saudi Arabia following the tragic loss of lives during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca... Back to the top

Anti-Christian 'nationalism' creates debilitating fissures in Lankan society
Hindustan Times, February 4. No right thinking person will dispute that a revival of the extremely rich Sinhala-Buddhist culture will rekindle in Sri Lankans a sense of pride in their country at a time when this is wearing thin... Back to the top

Cargo plane crash shuts Sri Lanka airport for 10 hours, 5th-6th Feb 2004. Sri Lanka's only international airport in Colombo reopened Thursday after a near 10-hour closure following a cargo plane crash that damaged runway lights, an airport official said... Back to the top

Muslims seek jobs in Lankan police
Dawn, COLOMBO, Feb 4. The Council of Muslims, a body with a base in eastern Sri Lanka, has urged the President and the Prime Minister to immediately recruit 2000 Muslims from the East to the police force on an "urgent and priority" basis in order to provide security to the Muslims, and put a stop to the ethnic cleansing process carried out by the LTTE... Back to the top

S . Lanka truce healthy despite halt in peace talks, 05 Feb 2004 09:42:37 GMT. By Lindsay Beck COLOMBO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's truce with Tamil Tiger rebels remains strong despite a feud paralysing Sri Lanka's government and a 10-month absence of peace talks, the new head of the truce monitors said on Thurdsay... Back to the top

Tamils mourn Lanka freedom, president vows no more war, February 5, 2004. Sri Lanka's minority Tamils protested the island's independence anniversary by holding a day of mourning Wednesday, as President Chandrika Kumaratunga vowed there would be no return to war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka grants amnesty to more than 2,000 prisoners
Associated Press, Thu February 5, 2004 02:18 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) More than 2,000 prisoners have been granted amnesty to mark Sri Lanka - 's 56th independence anniversary celebrations, a senior official said Thursday... Back to the top

Akashi calls for continued peace-building efforts in Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Thu February 5, 2004 03:25 EST . - - TOKYO, Feb. 5 (Kyodo) Yasushi Akashi, Japan's special envoy on the Sri Lankan peace process, urged the international community Thursday to continue peace-building efforts in countries at risk of further conflict, such as Sri Lanka - , but cautioned that such processes will take time. ''Probably it will take three to four, or five more years before durable peace (in Sri Lanka - ) can be found by way of Constitution amendment,'' Akashi, former U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka celebrates 56th anniversary of Independence
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 5.30pm, SLT Feb.04, 2004. Soldiers of Sri Lanka's army march during a pageant to celebrate Sri Lanka's 56th independence at Independence Square in Colombo on Wednesday, February 04, 2004... Back to the top

Sri Lankan northern capital remains calm, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed February 4, 2004 14:50 EST . - - COLOMBO, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - 's northern city of Jaffna remained calm on Wednesday despite calls by the Tamil Tiger rebels to raise black flags in protest the country's 56th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule. Northern sources said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels raised black flags at the Jaffna university premises and observed a day of mourning claiming that the majority Sinhala dominated regimes since independence had discriminated the minority Tamil community... Back to the top

Lanka celebrates 56th Independence Day, February 4, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 4. Sri Lanka today celebrated its 56th Independence Day with a display of military strength and a call by the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, for a coming together of all political forces for moving towards permanent peace... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president vows no return to war+
Associated Press, Wed February 4, 2004 09:24 EST . - - Kumaratunga made no reference to a possible early dissolution of parliament that is widely speculated following the recent alliance between her Sri Lanka - Freedom Party and the Marxist People's Liberation Front in a move widely considered a precursor to wresting the parliamentary majority from Wickremesinghe... Back to the top

Sri Lanka president seeks talks, no hint of polls, February 4, 2004. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga called on Wednesday for negotiations to end months of political deadlock on the island, but gave no hint during Independence Day celebrations that she planned snap elections... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's tangled politics and peace
Yahoo, February 4. The electoral alliance of January 20 between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) - the two largest parties in Sri Lanka's present parliamentary opposition, both with their support bases mainly in the Sinhalese segment of the electorate - has been subject to intense analysis and debate, producing a wide diversity of mutually irreconcilable views on its possible impact on the country's prospects for peace, stability and progress... Back to the top

Sri Lanka talks 'flagging', February 4, 2004. Efforts to resolve the power struggle between the Sri Lankan president and prime minister seem to be flagging, amid increasing speculation that snap polls may be the only way out of the stalemate... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, February 4, 2004. Will President Chandrika Kumaratunga give in to the temptation of dissolving Parliament either tonight or in a few days' time and plunge the country down the precipice? Back to the top

Sri Lanka leaders to study fresh proposals to end feud, February 4, 2004. Sri Lankan officials have made a series of proposals in a bid to end a consitutional crisis that has undermined peace efforts with Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Ranil against dissolution of parliament
Gulf News, February 4, 2004. The ruling United National Front (UNF) government is seeking an assurance from President Chandrika Kumaratunga not to dissolve Parliament for one year while extending government's support to ensure a "structured cohabitation" between the two sides... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, February 4, 2004. In what could be termed as a signal that a consensus between the President and the Prime Minister may not materialize soon President Chandrika Kumaratunga hit out hard at premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday saying his insistence on the control of the Defence Ministry and other key institutions was preventing a consensus... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's tea exports hit record in 2003, February 4, 2004. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka remained the world's largest tea exporter in 2003, shipping record amounts even as total production fell two percent... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gears for Bryan Adams bash attracting fans from ..., February 4, 2004. COLOMBO, Feb 4 (AFP) - Sri Lankan authorities Tuesday announced tight security for Canadian pop icon Bryan Adams (pic) who is stopping over here for a concert in support of the island's peace drive... Back to the top

Lankans' spin plan, February 4, 2004. Sri Lanka looks set to try a spin attack on Australia’s cavalier batsmen in the upcoming one-day series on the island... Back to the top

Cricket-Sri Lanka lose paceman Fernando ahead of Aussie series, February 4, 2004. COLOMBO, Feb 4 (AFP) - Sri Lanka suffered a setback on Wednesday when fast bowler Dilhara Fernando was ruled out of the home one-day series against world champions Australia due to a back injury Back to the top

Arnold, Lokuarachchi return to Sri Lanka one-day squad against Australia
Associated Press, Wed February 4, 2004 04:47 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Middle-order batsman Russel Arnold and legspinning all-rounder Kaushal Lokuarachchi return to Sri Lanka - 's one-day squad announced Wednesday for the upcoming series against Australia... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, February 4, 2004. The umbrella organisation of Sri Lanka's private sector- The Joint Business Forum (JBIZ) yesterday finalised its latest proposals as a settlement for the political impasse which was triggered on November 4 and was in the process of submitting them to both President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today... Back to the top

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