The Lanka Academic

MAY 28, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 53

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Headline Summary
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SLMC reiterates need for separate Muslim delegation at peace talks
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, May 28, 2004, 11.55 p.m.. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) today reiterated the need for accommodating a separate Muslim delegation when peace talks resume between the United Peoples Freedom Alliance and the LTTE.

SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem told a Norwegian delegation led by Special Envoy Erik Solheim today “the accommodation of a Muslim delegation was a must as they are also victims of the 20 year old ethnic conflict.”

The Special Envoy however told Hakeem that he was unable to give an assurance on the matter, but promised to speak to both the Government and the LTTE about accommodating the separate Muslim delegation.

Hakeem also claimed that if the Muslims are not represented in the peace talks, no solution to the ethnic issue could be 100% acceptable. He also added that it was not necessary for the SLMC itself to lead the Muslim delegation, but as long as a Muslim delegation is allowed, that’s what matters. “But it should be taken to account that we received the mandate from the North East people at the recent General Election,” Hakeem told Solheim.
Published: Fri May 28 14:19:33 EDT 2004

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Sri Lanka no where close to resume peace talks as government, Tamil rebels remain poles apart
Associated Press, Fri May 28, 2004 10:15 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Norwegian peace broker left Sri Lanka - empty-handed Friday, after failing to get the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to agree to a new round of talks aimed at ending the nation's two-decade civil war. The rebels began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka - 's minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination in education and jobs.

About 65,000 people were killed before Norway brokered a truce that halted the conflict in 2002. However, subsequent peace talks broke down a year later when the rebels withdrew over demands for more autonomy in the regions they control.

The cease-fire has held firm.

But lingering distrust between the two sides has held up efforts to resume the talks, said Jehan Perera, a top political analyst of the National Peace Council an independent think-tank.

The government has given conflicting signals about its willingness to accept the rebels' conditions, including accepting the group as the sole representative of the island's 3.2 million minority Tamils.

Sri Lanka - 's army and the Tamil Tigers have accused each other of violence in the east that has left more than a dozen people dead, including intelligence officers and rebel fighters.

The failure of the government and the rebels to resolve their differences during Solheim's visit comes days before aid donors meet in Brussels to discuss reconstruction assistance to the war-ravaged country.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is set to attend the June 1 meeting with Japan, Norway and the European Union.

About 70 countries and financial institutions have said that pledges to Sri Lanka - totaling US$4.5 billion are linked to progress toward a peace agreement.
Published: Fri May 28 11:31:14 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka to send first-ever military battalion for U.N. peacekeeping missions
Associated Press, Fri May 28, 2004 09:18 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - , torn by a two-decade separatist war, will make its first-ever large-scale contribution to the United Nations' peacekeeping missions, a military spokesman said Friday. Sri Lanka - 's 100,000-strong military has fought a 19-year civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels, who tried to create a separate state in the country's northeast.

The conflict killed about 65,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee the country until a Norway-brokered cease-fire halted the violence in February 2002.

Peace talks that followed the truce broke down in April 2003 after the rebels withdrew accusing the government of not fulfilling promises made at talks and demanding more autonomy.

But the cease-fire has largely held.

Norwegian mediators are trying to get the two sides to return to the negotiating table.
Published: Fri May 28 11:32:43 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Wickramaratne meets with Pulithevan in Berlin
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.45 P.M Friday 28 May. A German journalist says that the Sri Lanka Roundtable organized by the Bergohf Foundation in Berlin on Wednesday (26) was nothing new and was disappointing... Back to the top

LTTE still a threat to India s sovereignty
com, May 28. The activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continues to pose threat to, and are detrimental to, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India as also public order, according to a notification issued recently by the Union Home Ministry, extending the ban on the outfit... Back to the top

ADB assures assistance for rehabilitation in Sri Lanka , XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri May 28, 2004 12:33 EDT . - - ADB assures assistance for rehabilitation in Sri Lanka - , XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Foreign Ministers of Lanka, Bangladesh to visit India, May 28. New Delhi, May 28. (PTI): In the first high-level official contact with the Manmohan Singh government, foreign ministers of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are arriving here for talks with Indian leadership aimed at further consolidating bilateral relations... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka fail to reach peace agreement, May 28, 2004. 10:03pm . A Norwegian peace envoy is wrapping up a visit to Sri Lanka after failing to reach a deal to reopen negotiations between the country's new government and Tamil Tigers rebels... Back to the top

LTTE Internecine Warfare Frightens Eastern Sri Lanka, 28 May 2004. COLOMBO, May 28 (OneWorld) - The murder of a university don in eastern Sri Lanka this week following a spate of killings in clashes between the two factions of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas has rekindled fears of ethnic warfare in the country... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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

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

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

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