The Lanka Academic

MARCH 9, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 4, NO. 338

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Headline Summary
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US Carefully Considering SL Proposal to Negotiate a FTA
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.30 A.M Wednesday 10 March. The United States says that the country is carefully considering Sri Lanka's proposal to negotiate a free trade agreement. In a speech delivered by David Shark in Geneva last week the US said No decision has been made yet on the FTA as yet. US also welcomed , that on the bilateral level, steps are being taken to enhance Sri Lanka's commercial relationship with the United States, where there is still a great potential for increased trade. Sri Lanka and the United States have already held three successful bilateral meetings under the auspices of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. Shark said that the US is impressed with Sri Lanka's domestic economic reforms and peace efforts, and would like to contribute to them. He said " We see Sri Lanka as an attractive FTA partner, because of its relatively open economy and its commitment to trade liberalization. The trade policies of the Sri Lankan government that will be created after this spring's parliamentary elections will inform our consideration of Sri Lanka as an FTA partner."

Shark also said " Sri Lanka has realized many political, economic and social rewards as a result of the cessation of armed conflict and the Government's continuing peace initiatives during 2002 and 2003._ We are pleased to note that the real GDP growth for 2002 reached 4 percent, in contrast to the contraction in 2001, and that the rate of growth increased by an additional 5.5 percent in the first quarter of 2003. The Government has moved to capitalize on the peace by pushing reform and reconstruction at home and attracting assistance and investment from abroad._ Significant IMF facilities and donor commitments are assisting efforts to carry out the objectives identified in the Government's policy program, known as "Regaining Sri Lanka." These objectives include rebuilding infrastructure, rebuilding conflict affected areas, and spurring economic growth. We note in the Government report that the Regaining Sri Lanka strategy seeks to liberalize trade, attract foreign investment, seek market access opportunities for goods and services globally, and reduce barriers to productivity. Among the main elements are to accelerate privatization of commercial activities, reform the legal foundation of the economy and increase efficiency in critical government functions. We would welcome any further information on the implementation of this policy program. "
Published: Tue Mar 9 20:35:26 EST 2004

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Prabhakaran preparing for war: Karuna
SIfy News, MArch 9. Tamil Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was preparing for war despite a truce with Sri Lankan forces, a top renegade leader told AFP Tuesday.V Muralitharan, better known as Karuna, said in an interview at his base near here in eastern Sri Lanka that he led a breakaway faction last week because he was convinced that Prabhakaran was getting ready for war. "We were asked to send a contingent of soldiers," said Karuna who holds away in the eastern region of Sri Lanka. "The Wanni administration (of the Tigers based in the island's north) asked for soldiers at a time of peace." "That made me conclude he was getting ready for war." More...
Published: Tue Mar 9 12:48:46 EST 2004 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil Tigers 'preparing for war'  - BBC

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Can Prabhakaran wrest control of the East? - An Analysis
Daily Mirror, March 9. Battle lines have been drawn in Mavadichenai, north of Verugal, as a Northern Tiger platoon led by a former Trinco military commander and Prabhakaran-loyalist Swarnam is facing stiff resistance from Eastern cadres led by Regi, brother of the leader of the South Tamil Eelam (Eastern) Col. Karuna.

While Swarnam continues to send radio messages to Regi saying that he is on a peace mission to strike a deal between Prabhakaran and Karuna, all his attempts at advancing towards Vakarai have been blocked.

Karuna and his seniors are under the impression that this was a ploy by the LTTE hierarchy to break into Karuna's territory. In fact, on Sunday, on Swarnam's arrival, Karuna had given orders to Regi to shoot Swarnam and his men. However, seeing the resistance from Karuna's camp, Swarnam had pulled troops a few kilometres back. More...
Published: Tue Mar 9 16:45:28 EST 2004 Back to the top

Meet the man who has split Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels
BBC, March 10 . No text Back to the top

LTTE briefs British High Commissioner on Eastern crisis
Deepika Global , March 10. The Wanni leadership of the Tamil Tiger rebels today briefed the visiting British High Commissioner Steven Evans on the current Eastern crisis caused by the breaking away of Colonel Karuna from the outfit... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger renegade vows no return to war in Sri Lanka
Channel News, March 9 . BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka : A top rebel who led an unprecedented split within the Tamil Tigers vowed he would not return Sri Lanka to its three-decade war but rejected an amnesty offered by the guerrilla chief... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Rebel Refuses to Cede Power
Associated Press, Tue March 9, 2004 10:41 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka - (AP) A renegade Tamil Tiger commander refused to relinquish power Tuesday, deepening a rebel rift that threatens to derail peace efforts aimed at ending the country's 20-year civil war... Back to the top

Cindy McCain to Visit Sri Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.05 A.M Wednesday 10 March. Cindy McCain, wife of U.S. Senator John McCain, will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow... Back to the top

“This is what we always wanted”- LTTE’s Batticaloa Office
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.15 A.M Tuesday March 9. Kannan, a spokesman for the LTTE’s Batticaloa political office said that the people living in Batticaloa/Ampara were very happy about the new developments in the LTTE and Karuna’s control over the east... Back to the top

Sri Lanka takes healthy 132 first innings lead in first test against Australia
Associated Press, Tue March 9, 2004 07:16 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - GALLE, Sri Lanka - (AP) A stylish century from Tillakaratne Dilshan helped Sri Lanka - take a comfortable 132-run first innings lead at the end of the second day of its first cricket test against Australia... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger Leaders Try to End Rift With Breakaway Commander
Bloomberg, March 9. Leaders of Sri Lanka's rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam met a mediator from the country's eastern region to try to end a rift with the group's military commander in the area... Back to the top

EC to send team to observe Sri Lanka 's April 2 elections+
Associated Press, Tue March 9, 2004 10:11 EST . - - BRUSSELS, March 9 (Kyodo) The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, said Tuesday it has decided to send a mission to observe Sri Lanka - 's April 2 parliamentary elections at that country's invitation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka puts Aussies on back foot, March 10, 2004. SRI LANKAN batsmen yesterday showed the patience and application their Australian counterparts had lacked on the opening day to give their team an iron grip on the first Test... Back to the top

EU Says Election Observers Recommendations Not addressed yet
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.10 P.M Tuesday 9 March. The European Union says that the key recommendations of the EU Election Observer Missions (EOM) in 2000 and 2001 have not yet been addressed by the government of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Rebel rift puts Sri Lanka candidates in quandary, March 09, 2004, 7:45 AM EST. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Campaign plans for candidates in Sri Lanka's east were going ahead on Tuesday despite a split in Tamil Tiger ranks that threatens the island's peace process and complicates what already promised to be a violent election... Back to the top

Beware when Tigers fall out
Asia Times , march 9 . Another complicating dimension has been added to Sri Lanka's beleaguered peace process following a formal split in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Confusing Reports on Col. Pathuman's status.
Special Correspondent for The Lanka Academic, March 9. There are conflicting reports on Col. Pathuman's status within the LTTE organization... Back to the top

Need to promote peace in Sri Lanka, 9 March 2004 . TAMIL Tigers in Sri Lanka have broken up. A new faction led by a renegade leader does not listen anymore to the rebels' top leadership... Back to the top

Behind Karuna's revolt
The Hindu , March 8. TWO YEARS years ago, when Velupillai Prabakaran addressed his first press conference in a decade, sharing the dais with him in that makeshift hall in Killinochchi were those he considered his closest confidantes... Back to the top

The Clash Of The Tamil Warlords
Outlook India, March 8 . Ever since the ceasefire accord between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE was signed two years ago, there were persistent reports of unhappiness amongst the Tamils of the East over what was seen by them as unjustified overtures to the Muslims by the northern leadership of the LTTE, over the lack of recognition of the Easterners, who had fought and won most of the battles of the LTTE against the Sri Lanka Army and over the perceived discriminatory treatment meted out to them in the North... Back to the top

Jathika Hela Urumaya threatened with death
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.30 A.M Tuesday March 9. Members of the Jathika Hela Urumaya have been receiving death threats on a continuous basis by way of phone calls during day and night... Back to the top

No Meeting with Solheim- Karuna’s LTTE
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.15 A.M Tuesday 9 March. Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim has not requested a meeting with rebel LTTE leader in the east Karuna Amman, according to his Spokesman Varathan... Back to the top

Rebel faction offers partnership to Sri Lanka Tigers, 08/03/2004. COLOMBO (Reuters) - A renegade faction of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers said on Monday it would consider a "friendly partnership" with the rebels' northern leaders in a standoff that has complicated efforts to end 20 years of war on the island... Back to the top

Karuna revolt may have a wider impact on Lanka, MARCH 8. The revolt of Karuna, the eastern command leader of the LTTE, will not mean a vertical split, but is certainly a huge embarrassment to its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran... Back to the top

Special Team Sent to Assassinate Karuna- Spokesman
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.00 P.M Monday 8 March. Spokesman for the rebel Eastern Commander of the LTTE, Karuna Amman said today that LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran had sent a special team to Trincomalee in preparation to assassinate Karuna... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels offer amnesty to renegade rebel commander
Associated Press, Mon March 8, 2004 09:37 EST . - - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebel group offered an amnesty to its expelled renegade commander Monday and stressed he was alone in his battle to break away from the main guerrilla group... Back to the top

Factional war in Sri Lanka feared
Dawn, COLOMBO, March 7. Sri Lankan troops are bracing for fighting between Tamil factions, a military official said on Sunday, as breakaway rebels claimed their leader was being targeted by death squads and vowed to hit back... Back to the top

Batticaloa Bishop and his team meet LTTE Leaders, March 08,. Bishop Rt. Rev. Kingsley Swampillai and his team from Batticaloa consisting of the eastern university representatives, NGOs and members of the business community, met with LTTE Political Head Mr... Back to the top

LTTE row creates a powder keg, Colombo, March 8. The people of the eastern Tamil region of Batticaloa-Amparai (BA) are on tenterhooks... Back to the top

Renegade warlord puts forces on alert in Tamil Tiger rift, overshadowing mediator's visit
Associated Press, Sun March 7, 2004 23:30 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norway is launching a new bid to keep alive Sri Lanka - 's peace process, threatened by a potentially explosive split in the ranks of the rebel Tamil Tigers and a snap parliamentary election triggered by infighting between the president and prime minister... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Rebels Unite as Prabhakaran's Authority Challenged
Bloomberg, march 8. Sri Lanka's top rebel commanders rallied around Velupillai Prabhakaran as the leader of the Tamil Tigers faced the most serious challenge to his authority since beginning his armed struggle for a separate Tamil state in 1983... Back to the top

Peace envoy heads for Sri Lanka, Monday, 8 March, 2004, 11:56 GMT . A Norwegian envoy is due in Sri Lanka as a split in Tamil Tiger rebel ranks threatens the peace process... Back to the top

Tigers open talks to regain control of east
Gulf News, march 8. Tamil Tigers loyal to their chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, opened discussions yesterday on how to regain control of the tension-high guerrilla-held areas in the eastern province from the deposed military wing leader, Karuna, amid reports that the former regional leader was still showing resistance in handing over duties... Back to the top

Australia wins toss, elects to bat against Sri Lanka ;, Symonds making test debut
Associated Press, Sun March 7, 2004 23:13 EST . - - GALLE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Australian captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat in hist country's first of three tests against Sri Lanka - in this southern seaside town Monday... Back to the top

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