The Lanka Academic

MAY 27, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 52

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Headline Summary
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Norway's top peace envoy meets Sri Lanka president amid sharp differences to revive peace talks
Associated Press, Thu May 27, 2004 12:56 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government and the Tamil Tiger rebels were far from an agreement Thursday to revive peace talks to end a two-decade civil war, after the guerrillas rejected the ruling party's proposed agenda for the meeting.

After a meeting between Norway's top peace envoy Erik Solheim met President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the president's office issued a statement, saying the Norwegians would ``continue consultations'' to revive the peace talks suggesting little progress had been made in breaching a rift between the government and the insurgents.

Colombo earlier proposed that the two sides discuss the Tigers' demand for autonomy while simultaneously negotiating an end to the conflict. The rebels rejected that plan.

Talks on self-rule ``should take place first and the discussion on the core issues can be followed later,'' the rebels said in a statement Wednesday following talks between Solheim and the guerrilla's political leader, S.P. Thamilselvan.

The announcement was seen as a setback to the country's efforts to revive peace talks aimed at ending the separatist war, which began in 1983 and killed 65,000 people before a cease-fire halted the fighting in 2002.

Kumaratunga's party has previously rejected the rebels' plan for autonomy, calling it a stepping stone to a separate state.

Norway has been battling to bridge widening divisions between the government and the rebels, but a lack of trust between the two sides was hindering efforts to restart peace negotiations, senior officials involved in the peace process said on condition of anonymity.

The rebels withdrew from peace talks in April 2003 over demands for more autonomy in the regions they control. Despite the deadlock, the cease-fire has largely held firm.
Published: Thu May 27 15:03:28 EDT 2004

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President assures Solheim her Government’s continuous willingness to commence peace talks soon
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 27, 2004, 11.14 p.m.. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today announced her Government’s ‘urgent willingness’ to enter into peace negotiations with the LTTE. She made this announcement today evening, when she met with Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim. Meanwhile, The Presidential Secretariat announced today that, a Norwegian delegation, comprising Special Envoy Erik Solheim and Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar called on President Kumaratunga today at President’s House. They briefed the President on their discussions in Killinochchi with the LTTE’s Political Wing Head S P Thamilchelvan who had reiterated the LTTE’s commitment to the Cease Fire Agreement and to the resumption of negotiations.

The President while confirming the Government’s readiness to enter into negotiations with the LTTE had an exchange of views on the agenda for the talks. It was agreed that the Norwegian delegation would continue consultations in this regard.

Associated with the President in today’s discussions were Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala and Foreign Secretary Mr. S Palihakkara
Published: Thu May 27 13:16:47 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Probe Rajiv murder: Arjun's first advice to PM
newindpress, May 27. NEW DELHI: What does the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case have to do with the Ministry for Human Resource Development? Obviously, little. But two days into his job and Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh is pushing an agenda far removed from IIM autonomy or history textbooks: he has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get the probe into the ‘‘conspiracy’’ behind Rajiv’s assassination ‘‘back on track.’’ Singh’s request, which could embarrass ally DMK — only on Tuesday it got all the portfolios it wanted — has already prompted a flurry of high-level exchanges: the CBI director briefed the PMO on Tuesday and the Home Secretary held a special meeting on Wednesday. This despite the fact that the ‘‘Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency’’ (MDMA), set up by the BJP government—and whose term expires on May 31—has found little, its staff virtually unemployed.Now, the MDMA seems set for another extension. The MDMA was set up after the Jain Commission indicted the DMK in 1998. This indictment was used by the Congress to pull down the Gujral government of which the DMK was a partner. More...
Published: Thu May 27 03:03:49 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka , US to co-host peacekeeping exercise, XINHUA
Associated Press, Thu May 27, 2004 14:43 EDT . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -US-TO-CO-HOST sked Sri Lanka - , US to co-host peacekeeping exercise, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Armitage to visit Brussels to discuss Sri Lanka peace process+
Associated Press, Wed May 26, 2004 17:42 EDT . - - WASHINGTON, May 26 (Kyodo) U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage will visit Brussels from next Monday to June 2 to discuss the current status of peace process in Sri Lanka - with officials from Japan, the European Union and Norway, the State Department said Wednesday... Back to the top

Amnesty notes human rights improvement in Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Thu May 27, 2004 08:06 EDT . - - COLOMBO, May 27 (Kyodo) The human rights situation in Sri Lanka - has improved following the cease-fire and peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels despite the rebels' pullout from the negotiations last year, rights group Amnesty International said in its latest report released Thursday... Back to the top

SLMC sacks three MPs
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 26, 2004, 11.17 p.m.. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has sacked three of their MPs, Rishard Badiudeen, M... Back to the top

Tamil rebels reject Sri Lankan government proposal for peace talks
Associated Press, Wed May 26, 2004 08:51 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday that peace talks to end Sri Lanka - 's 19-year civil war could begin only after the government discusses their demands for self-rule in the north and east... Back to the top

LTTE sets condition for talks
Dawn, KILLINOCHCHI, May 26. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Wednesday told the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government through Norwegian facilitation that the institutionalization of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in the northeast province should take place first before taking up core issues at face to face peace talks between the two parties... Back to the top

S . Lanka Tigers , govt divided over restart to talks, May 26 . COLOMBO, (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tigers were divided on Wednesday over the basis for restarting stalled peace talks, with a disagreement over the rebels' demand that negotiations be based on their power-sharing proposal... Back to the top

Norwegian envoy to meet Tamil rebel leader to seek breakthrough in Sri Lanka peace talks
Associated Press, Wed May 26, 2004 00:48 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norway's top peace-broker was set to talk with a Tamil Tiger rebel leader Wednesday in the latest effort to revive stalled peace talks between the guerrillas and the Sri Lankan government... Back to the top

Cricket: It s not cricket in Zimbabwe, says Sri Lanka s captain, 26 May 2004 1956 hrs . NEW DELHI : Sri Lanka's cricket captain Marvan Atapattu has warned international teams visiting Zimbabwe to expect the worst, saying his team's recent visit to the troubled African nation was "fairly chaotic... Back to the top

Supporter for Tamils' autonomy appointed to key position in Sri Lankan Cabinet
Associated Press, Wed May 26, 2004 07:51 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A politician who supports autonomy for Sri Lanka - 's minority Tamils was appointed Wednesday to head a ministry vital for the government's peace efforts with the Tamil Tiger rebels, the president's office said in a statement... Back to the top

Sri Lanka expands cabinet; former PM, communist leader in, May 26 . Colombo, May 26 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga today expanded her cabinet by naming a former premier as de facto Defence Minister and inducting two more ministers... Back to the top

Former premier named Sri Lanka s deputy defence minister, May 26, 2004 08:00 EDT. Colombo, May 26 (DPA) President Chandrika Kumaratunga expanded the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) cabinet by appointing a former prime minister as the de facto defence minister and naming two other ministers, Presidential Secretariat officials said today... Back to the top

New Indian government appoints J.N. Dixit national security adviser
Associated Press, Wed May 26, 2004 04:32 EDT . Dixit, a former foreign secretary and high commissioner to Pakistan and Sri Lanka - , will replace Brajesh Mishra, one of the most powerful men in the ousted government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee... Back to the top

Indian firms to help rebuild Sri Lankan war-ravaged areas, May 26, 2004 08:00 EDT. COLOMBO: Indian firms are seeking contracts to help rebuild war-ravaged areas of Sri Lanka held by Tamil Tigers despite New Delhi extending a ban on the guerrillas, India’s top envoy said here on Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president to be awarded FAO medal, May 26, 2004 08:00 EDT. COLOMBO, May 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will be awarded the prestigious Ceres Medal in recognition of her long-standing efforts and commitment to achieving a world free of hunger and poverty, the official Daily News said on Wednesday... Back to the top

EU presses for resumption of Sri Lankan peace talks, 25.05.2004 . EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Sri Lanka may receive millions of euro in EU aid if peace talks are resumed with the Tamil Tiger separatist group, it has emerged... Back to the top

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