The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 206

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Headline Summary
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Sri Lankan government hopes for breakthrough in peace talks next month
Associated Press, Thu October 28, 2004 04:39 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government hopes for a breakthrough in an 18-month deadlock over peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels when a top Norwegian peace broker visits next month, officials said Thursday. The Tigers say they are willing to discuss a government peace proposal as long as peace talks are based on the rebels' blueprint for self-rule, which demands broad administrative and legal control over Sri Lanka - 's Tamil-dominated north and east.

``We have our own views on an interim arrangement,'' Samaraweera said, ``We want to take our views along with us when discussions begin.''

He declined to comment further, saying the peace process was at a ``very sensitive stage.''

The Tigers began fighting in 1983 to carve out a separate state for minority ethnic Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

Nearly 65,000 died before Norway brokered a cease-fire in February 2002.
Published: Thu Oct 28 05:21:21 EDT 2004

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Top Japanese envoy meets Sri Lankan Prime Minister to push for peace talks
Associated Press, Thu October 28, 2004 00:33 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A top Japanese envoy held talks with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapake on Thursday to push for fresh peace talks between the Sri Lanka - government and Tamil Tiger rebels, an official said. Akashi was also scheduled to meet leaders of the Tamil National Alliance, a proxy party of the Tigers and the leader of Sri Lanka - 's main Muslim party Thursday.

He is expected to meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday before traveling to the volatile eastern city of Batticaloa, where scores have been killed in recent violence that threatens to derail a fragile 32-month cease-fire between the government and the rebels.

Akashi will visit the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi on Sunday to meet guerrilla leaders, Matsuo said.

Japan, Sri Lanka - 's largest aid donor, has joined Norway-led efforts to forge a lasting peace between the government and the Tamil Tigers. The rebels have fought since 1983 to carve out a separate homeland for the country's ethnic-Tamil minority, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

The conflict killed nearly 65,000 people before the truce.

Last year, Japan hosted a donor conference where 70 countries and financial institutions pledged US$4.5 billion (euro 3.6 billion) to help rebuild the war-ravaged nation.

But the donors have withheld the money, which was linked to progress at the negotiating table.
Published: Thu Oct 28 08:24:16 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Akashi meets with Sri Lanka prime minister+
Associated Press, Thu October 28, 2004 10:20 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Oct. 28 (Kyodo) Japan's special peace envoy for Sri Lanka - , Yasushi Akashi, on Thursday met with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse as the Tamil Tigers asserted their demand for a separate state has not been abandoned. Akashi arrived on Wednesday for a seven-day visit, his eighth mission to Sri Lanka - since Tokyo became a key player in assisting the ending of the island's two-decade-long civil war.

Separately, Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, says in a new book that a joint statement issued following talks between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka - government in December 2002 has been wrongly interpreted.

''The Liberation Tigers decision to explore federalism...does not entail an unconditional abandonment of the Tamils' right to self-determination and secession,'' he said in his new book, ''War and Peace'' posted on the pro-LTTE TamilNet website.

Government spokesman Mangala Samaraweera declined to comment, saying he had not read Balasingham's book.

''All I can say is that we have been told by (peace broker) Norway as well as other European nations that the LTTE accepts the Oslo declaration,'' Samaraweera told reporters Thursday.

Following the Oslo talks between the Sri Lanka - government and the LTTE in December 2002, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said that ''the parties agreed to explore a solution founded on internal self-self determination in areas of historical habitation of Tamil-speaking peoples, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka - .''

This was widely hailed as the expression of willingness of the LTTE for a federal solution to the long-festering ethnic problem and has since been presented as the ''Oslo Declaration.''

But Balasingham's book says there is no such declaration.

''There was not any specific proclamation titled the 'Oslo Declaration,''' Balasingham wrote. The decision to explore federalism was included in the record of decisions at the Oslo talks and signed by the chief negotiators of both delegations and the head of the Norwegian facilitating team.''

Diplomats did not rule out the possibility of Akashi testing the waters on this issue during a meeting with the LTTE leader in rebel-held Kilinochchi next week.

''It's sensitive,'' said an Asian diplomat on condition of anonymity. ''But Akashi may take it up if there's an opening during the talks with the head of the LTTE's political wing.''
Published: Thu Oct 28 11:33:17 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Indian Navy stops fishermen s journey to Lanka, Oct 28. Colombo, Oct 28. (PTI): Indian Navy today stepped up patrols and set up an "effective" blockade to prevent hundreds of Tamil Nadu fishermen from leading a flotilla to Sri Lanka to protest at frequent arrests, officials here said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Tamil Tigers say separate state still an option
Associated Press, Wed October 27, 2004 10:21 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels may still push forward with plans to carve out a separate state in Sri Lanka - 's Tamil-majority north and east if the government refuses to grant them wide autonomy, a top rebel leader said Wednesday... Back to the top

Reopening of Canadian Embassy in Sri Lanka delayed as officials await tests on suspicious powder
Associated Press, Thu October 28, 2004 10:34 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Canada's embassy in Sri Lanka - will remain closed until next week as authorities await results of tests on a white powder that sparked an anthrax scare when it was found in a Buddhist monk's passport, officials said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka wants to become a whale watchers' paradise
Associated Press, Thu October 28, 2004 08:06 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government plans to develop an eastern port city as a center for tourists hoping to spot whales migrating along its coastline, an official said Thursday... Back to the top

Following the SEP meetings in Colombo and Kandy Sri Lankans speak ..., 28 October 2004. The two meetings addressed by US Socialist Equality Party (SEP) candidate Bill Van Auken in Sri Lanka were followed by animated discussion among those who took part... Back to the top

Sri Lanka angered over Canada s disrobing of Buddhist monks, Oct. 28. Colombo, Oct. 28 (PTI): Sri Lanka lodged a strong protest with Canada after its diplomats allegedly disrobed three Buddhist monks and forced them under a shower during an anthrax scare, a senior Minister said today, as Canada denied that the monks, seeking visas at the Canadian embassy in Colombo, were forced to strip. Cabinet spokesman Mangala Samaraweera, who is also Ports, Aviation and Media Minister, said the Colombo Government viewed the incident with serious concern... Back to the top

Pakistan's second string seamers restrict Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu October 28, 2004 06:01 EDT . RIZWAN ALI - Associated Press Writer - KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) Rookie bowler Riaz Afridi grabbed two wickets Thursday as Pakistan made Sri Lanka - struggle for runs on the first day of the second cricket test... Back to the top

Sri Lanka upset over monk search, october 28. Sri Lanka has complained to Canada after allegations that a group of Buddhist monks were forced to disrobe at Canada's mission in Colombo... Back to the top

S.Lanka says has new plan for peace with Tigers, October 28, 2004, 08:00 EDT. COLOMBO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government has drawn up a new blueprint to convert a truce with Tamil Tiger guerrillas into lasting peace after two decades of civil war, but the rebels must resume stalled talks to see it, officials said on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka issue: Japanese special envoy starts discussions, October 28, 2004, 08:00 EDT. Colombo, Oct 28.The Japanese Special Envoy for Sri Lankaís peace process, Yasushi Akashi, today started discussions with the island-nationís political leaders on issues relating to restarting the stalled peace talks. Mr... Back to the top

Sri Lankan spin-wizard Murali hopes to bowl doosra again
net, 28th October 2004. COLOMBO (Sri Lanka): Sri Lankan star Muttiah Muralitharan hopes he will be allowed to bowl his controversial 'doosra' delivery after the International Cricket Council announced it was holding a review illegal bowling... Back to the top

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