The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 2, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 27

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Headline Summary
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Norwegian mediators meet Sri Lankan president to discuss restarting peace talks with Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Sun May 2, 2004 02:35 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norwegian mediators flew to a mountainous resort town Sunday for a key meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga to discuss ways to revive stalled peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels. After their arrival in central Sri Lanka - 's cool mountainous region of Nuwara Eliya, the Norwegians had a 30-minute discussion with former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who led the peace process the last two years before leaving for talks with Kumaratunga, officials involved in the process said on condition of anonymity.

The Tigers have insisted they will only resume peace talks if they are recognized as the sole representative of Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million Tamil ethnic minority and if the negotiations are based on a blueprint for self-rule they have proposed.

Kumaratunga and a Marxist party, her junior coalition partner, have been vociferous critics in the past of the Norwegian-brokered peace process and have rejected the Tigers' proposal for wide autonomy. Kumaratunga was blinded in one eye by a Tiger suicide attack in 1999.

Sunday's meeting at Kumaratunga's holiday bungalow in Nuwara Eliya is to be followed by talks between the Norwegian delegation and the Tigers in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi on Monday.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar also was to participate in Sunday's talks, the officials said.

Kadirgamar has taken a tough stance in the past against the separatist rebels and led a fierce international campaign to get the Tigers banned as a terrorist organization. The rebels remain on terrorist lists in five countries, including the United States and Britain.

Norway helped broker a February 2002 cease-fire between Sri Lanka - 's former government and the Tigers aimed at ending a separatist war that has killed 65,000 people since 1983.

Six rounds of peace talks followed, but the rebels pulled out of negotiations in April last year, saying the government of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe wasn't allowing them enough autonomy and wasn't doing enough to help thousands of minority ethnic Tamils displaced by the war.

The peace process was further imperiled by a power struggle between Kumaratunga and Wickremesinghe in which the president accused the former prime minister of being too soft on the rebels and alleged that Norway was favoring the guerrillas.

Norway suspended its role as mediator because of the leaders' dispute, but the truce has continued to hold.

Kumaratunga later dissolved Parliament and called elections on April 2 in which she defeated Wickremesinghe's party, but failed to win an outright majority in Parliament.

Despite her past criticism, Kumaratunga telephoned Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik last week and invited his country to help restart peace efforts with the Tigers.

The Tigers say ethnic Tamils face discrimination from the majority Sinhalese.
Published: Sun May 2 05:10:35 EDT 2004

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Karuna Group claims responsibility for attack on LTTE in Kiran.
Neruppu.com., May 2. LTTE's renegade eastern leader Col. Karuna's group is alleged to have assasinated a LTTE leader on Saturday near Kiran. In a newly launched website, neruppu.com, Karuna's spokesman Mr. Varathan was quoted as saying that "A military leader of the Jeyanthan brigade, who was responsible for the arrests, torture and murder of eastern LTTE fighters, was killed by our units operating in Batticaloa. We will continue to operate and target those who commit crimes of torture and murder". Neither the LTTE nor the Karuna group disclosed the identity of the LTTE leader killed in the claymore mine attack that occurred at Pondukalchenai, north Kiran, around noon on Saturday.
Published: Sun May 2 23:51:04 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Launching of Neruppu - Fire – an online daily of Colonel Karuna group.
Asian Tribune, May 1. Neruppu. Com – literally meaning The Fire, a new online Tamil daily has been launched to prpogate the ideals of the Batti-Amparai Liberation Tigers Organization led by Colonel Karuna. Launching of the online daily, at the appropriate time of the arrival of the Norwegian Peace Facilitators to Sri Lanka is said to be a cleverly undertaken diplomatic maneuver by Colonel Karuna. The online daily doing justice to its very name has begun to enflame and burn out the misleading propagandas so far undertaken against Colonel Karuna and his men. More...
Published: Sun May 2 02:14:29 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Wikremesinghe urges halt to slur campaign
gulf news, MAY 1. Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition party led by former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to stop a mud-slinging campaign against the newly elected Buddhist monks to Parliament and vowed to build local and international pressure on the government to stop criticising the monks... Back to the top

Media group says Sri Lankan police not pursuing probe into BBC reporter's slaying
Associated Press, Sun May 2, 2004 08:31 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An international media rights group criticized Sri Lankan police for not doing enough in the investigation of the killing of a British Broadcasting Corp... Back to the top

Norwegian peace brokers say Sri Lanka peace talks won't resume soon.
Associated Press, Sun May 2, 2004 09:22 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels won't likely resume soon, Norwegian peace brokers said Sunday, following a meeting with the island's President Chandrika Kumaratunga... Back to the top

DMK-Congress tie-up and LTTE
indiatimes.com, SUNDAY, MAY 02, 2004 . TIRUCHENGODE: IK Gujral could be justifiably upset over this constituency: His brief stint at South Block ended when Congress, jumping at the JainCommission's interim report on Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, withdrew support to the UF government by branding DMK guilty... Back to the top

LTTE to announce its future plans on resuming peace talks next week?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 1, 2004, 4.59 p.m.. The LTTE may announce its ‘future plans’ on resuming peace talks with the new Government on Monday, sources said... Back to the top

Another General Election this year?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 1, 2004, 4.26 p.m.. Sri Lanka’s main Opposition United National Party, has intimated a possibility of yet another General Election end of this year... Back to the top

Norway's deputy foreign minister arrives in Sri Lanka on peace mission
Associated Press, Sat May 1, 2004 01:27 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norway's deputy foreign minister arrived in Sri Lanka - Saturday to launch efforts aimed at reviving stalled peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka logs 5.9% growth, faces crossroads
dailytimes.com.pk, May 02. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s economy grew by a better-than-expected 5.9 percent last year, up from 4.0 percent in 2002, thanks to a truce with Tamil rebels and international backing for peace efforts but the country is now “at a crossroads” in its development, the central bank said Friday... Back to the top

Former U.S. Embassy Employees in Colombo Plead Guilty to Visa Fraud
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.20 A.M Saturday 1 May. Following a two-year multi-agency investigation led by the U... Back to the top

UPFA will not accept JHU as an ally-Anura Bandaranaike
tamilnet.com, April 29, 2004 . Mr.Anura Bandaranaike, Minister of Investment Promotion and Tourism in the United People's Freedom Alliance government of Sri Lanka, said Thursday that the UPFA would not form a coalition with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), saying that his party could not accept the JHU's policies, according to media sources. Back to the top

World News: LTTE has not renounced terrorism despite peace ...
keralanext.com, 01 May. Washington, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have not renounced terrorism or disbanded its "Black Tiger" suicide squads despite the progress of the peace process, a US State Department report has said... Back to the top

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