The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 12, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 37

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Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka government says it expects preliminary talks with Tiger rebels in three months, despite failed mediation by Norwegian foreign minister
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 08:50 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government said Wednesday it expects to begin preliminary talks with Tamil Tiger rebels by August, despite a failed mediation attempt by Norway's foreign minister. The comments were made just hours after Norway's foreign minister left Sri Lanka - after failing to resolve sharp differences between the government and the Tigers.

Jan Petersen made no comment before boarding his flight, ending a two-day trip that included meetings with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The rebels and the government signed a Norwegian-brokered truce two years ago that halted their 19-year civil war. But the Tigers walked out of subsequent peace talks, demanding greater autonomy in the country's north and east.

Petersen said Norwegian peace brokers will continue discussions with both sides in the coming weeks.

Prabhakaran told Petersen that talks should be based on an earlier Tiger proposal for self-rule, and rejected Kumaratunga's suggestion that the two sides should also explore how to permanently end the civil war.

The standoff ``suggests that both sides are not ready for talks at the moment and there is not going to be any quick breakthrough,'' Jehan Perera, a political analyst at the National Peace Council, an independent think tank, said Wednesday.

Top Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim is slated to return to Sri Lanka - at the end of the month, while Christina Rocca, the top U.S. official for South Asian affairs, is to arrive Thursday. Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi also is expected to visit the country soon to push for peace.

The United States and Japan have played a major part in securing some US$4.5 billion in international aid that Sri Lanka - desperately needs to rebuild its war-shattered economy.

But the money pinned to progress in peace talks has been withheld since the talks broke down a year ago.

The failure of Kumaratunga's party to win a majority in parliamentary elections last month is partly responsible for holding up peace efforts.

Kumaratunga ``doesn't have the required two-thirds majority to effect radical and fundamental changes in the constitution to bring about a solution to the ethnic conflict. So it is rather fruitless,'' Anton Balasingham, the rebels' top negotiator, was quoted as saying Tuesday on the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site.

Kumaratunga, who survived a Tiger assassination attempt in 1999, has also taken a hard line toward the rebels and has previously rejected their proposal for self-rule.

The Tigers launched their campaign for a separate homeland in 1983. The war killed 65,000 people before it was halted by the February 2002 cease-fire.
Published: Wed May 12 12:45:08 EDT 2004


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World News Sri Lanka, LTTE set for very, very tough talks
newkerala.com, May 12, 2004 . With Sri Lanka's peace process entering a crucial stage, Norway is bracing for a long haul to ensure that the fragile truce doesn't derail because of unexpected turmoil in the country's ethnically explosive east. And with India unlikely to play any major role in Sri Lanka despite demands from its politicians, it is left to Norway to keep everyone in that island nation in good humour although not everyone there is very pleased with Oslo. The only consolation in the confused Sri Lankan scenario is the belief among most diplomats that neither Colombo nor the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) wants to go back to war - not now, at any rate. But that may not be enough to provide the required oxygen to the peace hopes in a country where a new government is trying to survive, where the opposition is in a belligerent mood and where the Tamil Tigers and the government are deeply suspicious of one another. More...
Published: Wed May 12 01:54:22 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Senior U.S. official to visit Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 00:35 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The top U.S. official for South Asia will visit Sri Lanka - this week to discuss bilateral and regional issues, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Wednesday. The United States supports efforts to end Sri Lanka - 's 19-year civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels that has killed nearly 65,000 people. A cease-fire in February 2002 halted the fighting but peace talks to formally end the war have stalled over rebel demands for greater autonomy in the north and east of the country.

Sri Lanka - 's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, who is currently in Washington, was scheduled to hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell on Wednesday amid fresh efforts to resume the peace talks.

The Tigers are banned in the United States as a terrorist group.

Rocca is responsible for American diplomatic relations with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka - and the Maldives.

This will be her third visit to the island nation since May 2001.
Published: Wed May 12 01:44:03 EDT 2004 Back to the top


Rice Says US Supports Human Rights and Democracy in Sri Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, WT 4.40 P.M Wednesday 12 May. By Bandula Jayasekara Washington DC- Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor to President George Bush said the United States is supportive and is keenly interested on human rights, democracy, pluralism and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and would maintain a steady interest in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

S.Lankan Tamil rebels wants to talk first their proposals with govt, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 13:31 EDT . - - COLOMBO, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels have said that their proposals for self-rule in the war-battered north and east of the country should be taken up first when stalled peace talks resume, according to pro-rebel TamilNet website... Back to the top

S.Lankan govt, Tamil rebels reach agreement on preventing crime, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 15:00 EDT . - - The agreement was reached between the two sides during a meeting arranged and chaired by the head of the Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission (SLMM), retired Norwegian Major General Trond Furuhovde, in the eastern Batticaloa district on Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : talks on peace to start in 3 months, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 13:24 EDT . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -TALKS-ON-PEACE sked Sri Lanka - : talks on peace to start in 3 months, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Muralitharan eyes Sri Lanka 's second World Cup win before retirement
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 07:31 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The man who has taken the most test wickets in cricketing history, Muttiah Muralitharan, wants to help Sri Lanka - win in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, then retire, a news report said Wednesday... Back to the top

India will not mediate in Lanka s peace process: Balasingham
hinduonnet.com, May 12. Colombo, May 12. (UNI): Urging India to accept the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil people, a senior LTTE leader has said it could play an important role in the peace process only with the LTTE's approval but cautioned that any decision about this had still not been taken... Back to the top

SLMC agrees to support Government, but lays down two strict conditions
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 11, 2004, 11.49 p.m.. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided to extend its conditional support to the United Peoples Freedom Alliance Government... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Tamil Tigers Want Self-Governing Body Established
bloomberg.com, May 12 . May 12 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group said it wants an interim self-governing body established in the region it controls before a final peace settlement can be reached with the government... Back to the top

CRICKET: ICC backs Sri Lanka s decision against Murali s doosra ...
ndtv.com, May 12, 2004 . In a major setback to world's highest test wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan, the International Cricket Council has backed a decision by the Sri Lankan cricket board to prevent him from bowling the controversial 'doosra' delivery... Back to the top

Record breaking Murali told not to bowl doosra
Associated Press, Tue May 11, 2004 18:39 EDT . - - ``The report forwarded by Sri Lanka - Cricket proves that the degree of straightening is well outside the ICC's specified levels of tolerance,'' said Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the sport's ruling body, the International Cricket Council... Back to the top

Norwegian peace broker promises to revive Sri Lanka 's peace talks
Associated Press, Wed May 12, 2004 04:35 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norway's foreign minister left Sri Lanka - Wednesday after failing to resolve sharp differences between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

EPDP rejects ‘sole representation’ concept
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 11, 2004, 11.44 p.m.. The Eelam Peoples Democratic Party today out rightly rejected the concept of a ‘sole representation’... Back to the top

Sri Lanka peace process faces another snag as Tamil Tiger rebels stall on final settlement
Associated Press, Tue May 11, 2004 12:31 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's peace process hit another snag Tuesday when Tamil Tiger rebels said the president was getting ahead of herself by proposing they negotiate a permanent end to two decades of ethnic conflict... Back to the top

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