The Lanka Academic

MAY 5, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 30

2004 ELECTION RESULTS TLA predicted the outcome using a mathematical model. How did we do? Send us your comments and feedback.
Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Government in fresh bid to woo minority political parties
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 5, 2004, 11.26 p.m.. The United Peoples Freedom Alliance has begun a fresh round of talks with the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), to obtain their support in Parliament. According to sources high-level and low-level talks have been held respectively, but both groups are yet to come to an understanding. Sources told the Lanka Academic that the Government is ‘frantically’ trying to woo these two parties so that they would be in a comfortable position once parliament resumes on the 18th of this month. The Alliance government managed to secure only 106 seats in the 225-member legislature. The CWC secured eight seats while the SLMC secured five seats at the April 2 election.
Published: Wed May 5 13:27:03 EDT 2004

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Chandrika faces major split in new alliance
Gulf News, May 4. Colombo: President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday faced the tough choice of ceding to rebel Tamil Tiger (LTTE) demands to resume peace talks and thus face a major split in her newly formed Freedom Alliance (UPFA). What was easily her biggest political challenge, since her coalition won the April 2 parliamentary elections, was when Norwegian peace brokers returned after talks with rebel leaders in the Wanni jungles north east of Sri Lanka to deliver her their major demands to return for talks. Norwegian special envoy Eric Solheim conveyed to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar the latest rebel demands to re-start negotiations with the Colombo government. More...
Published: Wed May 5 02:45:36 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Media watchdogs raise fears after Sri Lankan police raid Tamil journalist's home
Associated Press, Wed May 5, 2004 01:38 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two international media watchdog groups have raised concerns about the safety of a prominent Tamil journalist in Sri Lanka - after police raided his home for weapons. Sivaram, who belongs to Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million Tamil minority, said police told his wife they were looking for weapons and explosives. The search yielded nothing, Sivaram said Wednesday.

Ann Cooper, executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said the raid might have been staged in retaliation against Sivaram's reporting.

``We call on Sri Lankan authorities to investigate this incident, and to ensure that all journalists are able to practice their profession without fear of harassment.''

``A group of about 40 police officers who said they were looking for weapons searched Sivaram's home,'' she said in a statement. ``Sivaram was not there at the time, but his family says they felt threatened, and the journalist fears that his life could be in danger.''

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said it also is concerned about Sivaram's safety.

``Sivaram has enough enemies for some vengeful groups to take advantage of the post-electoral situation to target a journalist known to have condemned them and for his stance in support of the Norwegian-sponsored peace process,'' the Reporters Without Borders said.

Sri Lanka - went to the polls April 2 to elect a Parliament and mediators from Norway is now trying to restart stalled peace talks between the government and the Tigers.

Sivaram's Web site has gained widespread notoriety for its reporting on Tamil affairs, with special emphasis on human rights violations by government security forces.

He received death threats in 2000 and 2001 by unidentified armed groups believed to be working clandestinely with the Sri Lankan state and by an ethnic Sinhala extremist group, according to reports in Tamil newspapers at the time.

Also in 2001, Sivaram said he feared for his life after Sri Lankan newspapers linked him with Tamil Tiger separatists.

Sri Lanka - 's civil war was born of an ancient conflict between two ethnic groups with their own distinct languages, cultures and history. The majority Sinhalese who are 14 million of Sri Lanka - 's 19 million people are mainly Buddhist. Most of the 3.2 million Tamils are Hindus, like Sivaram.

Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, a British Broadcasting Corp. journalist based in the northern city of Jaffna, was shot to death in his home in October 2000 after being accused of working for the rebels.
Published: Wed May 5 02:38:57 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Police rummage Tamil journalists home for weapons  - Associated Press

India unlikely to raise involvement in Sri Lanka, 05 May. Colombo: India is unlikely to deviate from its policy towards Sri Lanka despite mounting demands from the new government here for a higher involvement of New Delhi, diplomatic sources said... Back to the top

Muralitharan chases world record in Zimbabwe series
Associated Press, Wed May 5, 2004 08:32 EDT . JOHN KELLEY - Associated Press Writer - HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) Sri Lanka - 's controversial spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan starts the two-match series against Zimbabwe Thursday needing only seven more test wickets to break the record of 519 set by Courtney Walsh, the West Indies paceman... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Tamil Tigers, President, to Talk Peace (Update2), May 05, 2004, 07:35 AM EST. May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said they are willing to talk peace with the island's new government, in a potential boost to the $18 billion economy... Back to the top

SLMC reiterates need for separate Muslim delegation once peace talks resume
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 4, 2004, 11.27 p.m.. Sri Lanka’s predominant Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) today reiterated the need for a separate Muslim delegation at the peace talks... Back to the top

Norway offers more help to search for Sri Lankan peace+
Associated Press, Wed May 5, 2004 05:19 EDT . - - COLOMBO, May 5 (Kyodo) Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen will be in Sri Lanka - next week for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran as Oslo upgrades its efforts to assist the resumption of the stalled peace process... Back to the top

LTTE s Balasingham to visit Wanni this week to meet Prabhakaran, May 04, 2004, 04:40 PM EST. Colombo, May 4 (UNI) Chief negotiator and political strategist of the Tamil Tiger rebels Anton Balasingham will travel to Wanni this week to meet the movement's leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran to map out strategy for future peace talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga's newly-elected coalition government... Back to the top

Norwegians Brief Foreign Minister on Talks With LTTE
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.45 P.M Tuesday 4 May. The Norwegian delegation comprising Erik Solheim, Ambassador Han Brattskar and Lisa Golden briefed Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar yesterday on 3 May on their return from Killinochchi where they had conveyed to the LTTE the results of their consultation with the President... Back to the top

Sri Lanka denies Norwegian request for written undertaking over peace talks, XINHUA
Associated Press, Tue May 4, 2004 13:30 EDT . - - Sri Lanka - denies Norwegian request for written undertaking over peace talks, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Sri Lankan tourist attraction re-opens after wasp attack
Associated Press, Wed May 5, 2004 02:35 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A 5th-century fortress that's one of Sri Lanka - 's top tourist attractions reopened Wednesday, days after a rampaging swarm of wasps attacked visitors and forced it to close... Back to the top

Norwegian peace broker says ``many difficulties'' expected in Sri Lankan peace talks
Associated Press, Tue May 4, 2004 11:45 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A top Norwegian peace broker said Tuesday he expects many difficulties in negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels once stalled peace talks resume... Back to the top

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