The Lanka Academic

MARCH 12, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 4, NO. 341

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Separate state impossible: Karuna
The Hindu, March 13. BATTICALOA, MARCH 12. The rebel military commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan (a.k.a. `col.' Karuna), says it is "impossible" to create a separate state the battle cry of the Tigers in the decades of a bitterly fought separatist battle against the Sri Lankan Government as there is no international support. In a wide-ranging interview to The Hindu , deep inside rebel-controlled eastern Sri Lanka, Mr. Muralitharan termed the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, the "gravest mistake" committed by the LTTE's intelligence wing. With his departure from the organisation, which he joined as a 17-year-old final year school student, Mr. Muralitharan said the LTTE "cannot continue any longer as a conventional army." More...
Published: Fri Mar 12 22:51:26 EST 2004

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Uncertainties in the political situation and the peace process pose a risk-IMF
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.45 A.M Saturday 13 March. IMF Directors have observed that uncertainties in the political situation and the peace process pose a risk to the implementation of essential further reforms in Sri Lanka. The IMF Executive Board having concluded the 2003 Article IV consultation with Sri Lanka in Washington last week stressed if Sri Lanka is to benefit fully from the broadly positive domestic economic developments and the boost in global demand expected in the period ahead, the authorities will need to make further progress in establishing a political environment that fosters lasting peace and engenders broad-based popular support for their reform efforts.

IMF warned that, the risks to this outlook are considerable and a prolonged impasse in the peace process - resulting from the ongoing political instability - could hold back private investment and delay donor financing. They noted it could divert increasingly the government's attention from economic to political issues, thus slowing the reform momentum. These factors could depress growth, raise the fiscal deficit and domestic financing, and keep reserves at a vulnerable level if donor financing is reduced. Commenting on the upside the IMF pointed out, if power and infrastructure bottlenecks are reduced, tourism, shipping, and telecommunications could expand much faster than anticipated, thus bolstering economic growth.
Published: Fri Mar 12 21:53:32 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Karuna embezzled funds, feared disciplinary action before split - Karikalan
Tamilnet, March 12. Mr.Sivagnanam Karikalan, a senior leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from the East who was close to the renegade former Eastern commander of the LTTE, Mr. Karuna, in an interview with the Australian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (ATBC) Friday disclosed for the first time that the Batticaloa crisis was precipitated when LTTE leadership summoned Karuna to Vanni after discovering financial irregularities and receiving allegations of questionable conduct. Fearing disciplinary action Karuna defied Vanni command and took unilateral action to split, Karikalan said. More...
Published: Fri Mar 12 23:23:57 EST 2004 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers: split benefits some
Dawn, march 14. Sri Lanka's mixed population in the east may finally get a fair share in a settlement of the ethnic conflict as a result of the head-on clash between Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his main eastern commander , a tussle that has resulted in a split in the rebels' ranks... Back to the top

Sangaree Disappointed With Solheim's Snub
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.40 A.M Saturday 13 March. TULF leader and Independent candidate V. Anandasangaree has expressed his disappointment that the Norwegian Peace Envoy Erik Solheim did not meet with him in Jaffna during his visit to the peninsula... Back to the top

The obstruction to Sri Lanka s evolution, Saturday, March 13, 2004 . CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- The continuous conflict between Sri Lanka's two main leaders has been covered from nearl every angle... Back to the top

LTTE, renegade rebels point gun at each other on bank of a river, Sat. March 13, 2004. Armed rival factions of Tamil Tiger rebels were face-to-face on the banks of a river dividing an area held by a breakaway group, the main guerrilla movement said here yesterday... Back to the top

Kumaratunga's political alliance says it will abolish presidency
Associated Press, Fri March 12, 2004 03:30 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's political alliance said it will introduce a new constitution that scraps Sri Lanka - 's powerful presidency, if it wins April 2 parliamentary elections... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers Plan to Retake Renegade Area
Associated Press, Fri March 12, 2004 13:59 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels warned Friday that they plan to retake areas controlled by a renegade commander in the east who broke with the movement and took thousands of fighters with him... Back to the top

Renegade commander has fighters, admits LTTE, March 12, 2004 16:34 IST. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Friday admitted that the renegade regional commander V Muralitharan had fighters under his command... Back to the top

Renegade rebel denounces Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, 11 Mar 2004 14:5. Sri Lanka's breakaway rebel commander denounced the Tamil Tigers on Thursday, saying they were no longer the sole representatives of the Tamil people, in a rift that complicates the island's peace bid... Back to the top

South is The Way Forward For Sri Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.00 A.M Friday 12 March. A top ANC Official say the way forward for Sri Lanka is the South and the two main parties should get together and form a common strategy as far as negotiations are concerned... Back to the top

Karen has a teaching challenge in Sri Lanka, March 12, 2004, 7:30 Am EST. Karen Cornfield from Peebles is currently working on a gap year in Sri Lanka organised by the charity, Project Trust, and she sent us this report on her experiences living and working in the troubled country... Back to the top

Australia Urge Parties to Avoid Election Violence
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.50 P.M Friday 12 March 04. The Australian Government has urged all parties in Sri Lanka to avoid violence and to work to ensure that the April elections are conducted in a free and fair manner... Back to the top

Prabhakaran- Karuna Rift Could Create Problems for Norway says TOP ANC Man
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.45 A.M Friday 12 March. Ebrahim I Ebrahim a Member of the National Executve Committee of the ANC and former Advisor to South African Vice President says the split in the LTTE would create problems for the Norwegians facilitators... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Breakaway Rebels Prepare for Fight With Tamil Tigers
Bloomberg News, March 11. March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran has ordered his troops to prepare for battle with a rebel splinter group, a spokesman for the breakaway group's leader said... Back to the top

Renegade rebel hardens stance on S . Lanka s Tigers, March 11. A breakaway Sri Lankan rebel commander -- who has the support of 6,000 fighters -- denounced the Tamil Tigers on Thursday, saying they were no longer the sole representatives of the Tamil people... Back to the top

Renegade rebel commander willing to meet Sri Lanka's top Tiger leader on condition
AP, March 11. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A renegade guerrilla commander said Thursday he would meet with the head of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels if the Tigers allow his breakaway group to exist separately... Back to the top

Sri Lanka govt plays down threats from rebel split, March 11, 2004, 7:40 AM EST. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government on Thursday played down the effect a split among Tamil Tiger rebels may have on the peace process, saying the important thing was all sides remained Back to the top

Journalists critical of govt officials and Tamil rebel groups still risked threats and harassment in 2003.
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.35 A.M Thursday 11 March. The Committe to Protect Journalists say in its annual report that though the cease-fire in Sri Lanka brought journalists greater access to northern and eastern Sri Lanka last year and the military removed roadblocks and checkpoints Journalists who wrote critical stories about government officials and Tamil rebel groups still risked threats and harassment in 2003... Back to the top

Sri Lanka at sea with the spin, March 12, 2004, 7:30 Am EST. Sri Lanka posted 86/5 at lunch and trail Australia by 266 runs on the fifth and final day of the first Test match in Galle... Back to the top

Split in Tiger ranks keep Sri Lankan troops on tenterhooks
channel News Asia, march 11. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka: A split in the leadership of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger movement has left government forces navigating uncharted waters while trying to hold together a fragile truce with the rebels... Back to the top

European Union blasts Sri Lanka for ignoring electoral reforms
Associated Press, Thu March 11, 2004 04:36 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The European Union blasted the Sri Lankan government for failing to reform its electoral system, saying such inaction hampered the island's democracy... Back to the top

FEATURE-Tamileelam Bank symbol of Sri Lankan rebel autonomy
Reuters, March 11. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, March 11 (Reuters) - There's no marble in the lobby, no computer on the counter and no air-conditioning for the customers... Back to the top

Show of strength by the rebels' rebel
BBC, march 11. I travelled 15 hours in a van to territory held by the Tamil Tigers in eastern Sri Lanka only to have Wordsworth quoted at me by the rebels... Back to the top

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