The Lanka Academic

MAY 17, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 42

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Headline Summary
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Japanese envoy to meet with Tamil Tiger leadership; peace talks likely in Norway
Associated Press, Mon May 17, 2004 07:00 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Japanese envoy will meet with Tamil Tiger leaders in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi on Tuesday to discuss Sri Lanka - 's efforts to end a two decade civil war, an embassy official said. Yasushi Akashi's visit comes as Sri Lanka - waits for Norwegian peace brokers to announce a date and place for the resumption of talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam.

Talks will be held somewhere in Europe, senior government and rebel officials involved in the peace process said on condition of anonymity. Oslo, Norway, was the most likely venue, they said.

Before peace negotiations stalled one year ago, discussions were held in Thailand, Germany, Japan and Norway.

Japanese Embassy official Hideaki Matsuo said Akashi was scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and other Sri Lankan officials Monday.

He said Akashi would then travel to Kilinochchi for a meeting Tuesday with the rebel leadership, and later hold talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse in the capital, Colombo.

Last year, Japan hosted a donor conference in Tokyo to secure aid to help rebuild the war-torn nation. It also made the largest commitment of US$1 billion out of a total of US$4.5 billion pledged by about 70 countries and financial institutions.

However, the donors withheld the money after the Tamil Tigers withdrew from the peace talks in April 2003, as the pledges were linked to progress in the peace efforts.

A power struggle in November between Kumaratunga and her rival, then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who signed the cease-fire, further delayed the flow of aid.

The struggle led to the dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections that Kumaratunga's political alliance won.
Published: Mon May 17 11:47:06 EDT 2004

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Japanese envoy to meet with Tamil Tiger leadership  - Associated Press

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Eye of the Tiger: LTTE may get that hunted feeling, again, May 16, 2004. With Congress president Sonia Gandhi set to become prime minister, the man who ordered the assassination of her husband, over a decade ago, will certainly be worried. Those who follow Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers closely, will know that by now its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, wanted in India for the 1991 killing of Rajiv Gandhi, will be holding consultations with his aides to discuss the unexpected political upheaval in New Delhi. “There is no doubt he will be very, very concerned,” a senior Indian official said, referring to Mr Prabhakaran, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief.Significantly, the pro-LTTE media has made no comment on the dramatic election outcome that has catapulted Sonia Gandhi to power. A LTTE suicide-bomber blew up her husband at Sriperumpudur while he was on a comeback trail. Tamil sources agree the LTTE would have even otherwise closely followed the election process in India, but Ms Gandhi’s dramatic victory would have certainly unnerved them. It may not have struck many, but the fact is that Mr Prabhakaran is the reason why Ms Gandhi is in politics today. Had he not killed her husband, she would have continued to be a housewife and would have remained at a safe distance from the hurly-burly of Indian politics. More...
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Sonia factor in Lanka peace talks, May 16. President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s government, eager to restart the peace process with the LTTE, is using the Congress victory to pressure the Tigers to return to the talks table. Foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has told reporters that with Sonia Gandhi and the Congress at the helm, the move for the extradition of LTTE chief Prabhakaran will gather steam. In 1991, an LTTE suicide bomber had killed Rajiv Gandhi and Prabhakaran is wanted in India for his involvement in the assassination. The NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had not pressed too hard for the extradition, but with Sonia in power things would be different, Kadirgamar said. More...
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Sri Lankan prime minister plans legal action against ICC over Muralitharan's ``doosra''
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Foreign Ministry refutes Washington ACSA talks
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 16, 2004, 11.48 p.m.. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement issued today said that Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar did not discuss the Access and Cross Service Agreement (ACSA) while in Washington... Back to the top

NUA to persuade Government to include separate Muslim delegation
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Lankan rights groups fail to address rising abuse, May 16. Torture in custody continues unchecked in Sri Lanka, where the latest case of a police officer forcing a tuberculosis patient to spit into the mouth of another prisoner and infect him has evoked international criticism amid domestic apathy... Back to the top

President says Hakeem was not interested in a separate Muslim delegation when he was a Minister
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 16, 2004, 11.31 p.m.. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today stressed that her Alliance Government is taking a ‘concentrated effort’ in providing security to the Muslim community unlike the previous United National Front regime, in which SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem was a senior Minister... Back to the top

Ebrahim banned for Muralitharan remark
Associated Press, Sun May 16, 2004 15:12 EDT . JOHN KELLEY - Associated Press Writer - HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) Zimbabwe top order batsman Dion Ebrahim was banned for one test match on Sunday after making remarks criticizing the bowling action of Sri Lanka - spinner Muttiah Muralitharan... Back to the top

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World News Sri Lanka peace talks leave Tamil party in quandary, May 16 . The Sri Lankan government's initiative to revive peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels has left the main Tamil political party in a dilemma, Xinhua reports... Back to the top

A murder in Ceylon stirs up issues of class and colonialism, Sunday, May 16, 2004 . At the core of Michelle de Kretser's "The Hamilton Case" is a murder mystery... Back to the top

CWC to decide today whether to go solo at the forthcoming polls
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 16, 2004, 10.54 p.m.. Sri Lanka’s main estate sector political party, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) will decide tomorrow evening whether to contest the forthcoming Provincial Council elections under a major political party or alone... Back to the top

Three centuries puts Sri Lanka on top against Zimbabwe
Associated Press, Sun May 16, 2004 13:49 EDT . JOHN KELLEY - Associated Press Writer - By the close Zimbabwe, facing a 485-run mountain to make Sri Lanka - bat a second time, was struggling on 44-2, still a huge 441 runs behind... Back to the top

Muslims seek role in govt, LTTE talks
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Associated Press, Mon May 17, 2004 12:19 EDT . - - Sri Lanka - coasts to big win over Zimbabwe in second and final cricket Test Full Story BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP) - Sri Lanka - coasted to an innings and 254-run victory over Zimbabwe in the second and final cricket Test on Monday, handing the home team its worst-ever Test defeat... Back to the top

Muralitharan strikes as Sri Lanka get set to celebrate, May 17, 2004, 08:00 AM EDT. HARARE, May 17 (Reuters) - Muttiah Muralitharan struck twice to keep Sri Lanka on course for a crushing victory in the second and final test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on Monday... Back to the top

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