The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 24, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 233

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Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka 's president says dropping secession no precondition for peace talks with Tamil Tigers
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 14:10 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Wednesday she does not expect Tamil Tiger rebels to abandon their demand for separation immediately but invited the group for discussions on a federal constitution. Kumaratunga was responding to a rebel statement that they may still push forward with their plan to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils in Sri Lanka - 's north and east.

Tamil Tigers' chief peace negotiator Anton Balasingham said although they agreed to explore a federal solution to the country's 19-year ethnic war during December 2002 peace talks in Norway, it does not mean an unconditional abandonment of their original demand for secession.

Many consider the so-called ``Oslo Declaration'' a turning point in Sri Lanka - 's efforts to end the ethnic conflict that has killed nearly 65,000 since 1983. But Balasingham denied there was any such a declaration.

But Kumaratunga insists that an agreement was reached in Oslo.

``There is a document I have in my possession and many people have this, signed by Anton Balasingham on behalf of the LTT (Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam)...,'' Kumaratunga said.

``This statement is there and it is signed.''

Kumaratunga said the Tigers had said they are willing to look at another possibility, and urged them to resume negotiations to find a resolution.

Sri Lanka - 's peace talks were stalled in April 2003 after six rounds since the government and the Tamil Tigers signed a Norway-brokered truce in 2002.

Tamil rebels withdrew from talks accusing the government of neglecting rehabilitation in Tamil-majority areas and now demand an interim administration with wide powers including land rights, judiciary, and policing.

However, the government says the rebel proposals should be discussed along with a final solution based on federalism.

Norway's peace envoy Erik Solheim is expected to visit Sri Lanka - in December to help solve the differences, officials said.
Published: Wed Nov 24 17:17:42 EST 2004


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Protesters demand end to killings in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 07:29 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Thousands of people protested in Sri Lanka - 's capital Wednesday demanding that Norwegian peace brokers pressure Tamil Tiger rebels to end a series of alleged killings. The protest came ahead of a visit in December by Norway's top peace broker, Erik Solheim, to help revive stalled peace talks, officials said. The negotiator was in Sri Lanka - just three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, fresh tensions emerged Wednesday following reports that the Tigers had hoisted their flags in government-controlled areas ahead of celebrations for their top commander's birthday.

``We have informed the LTT (the rebels) that this is a provocation using symbols and very much a violation of the cease-fire,'' said Jon Oskar Solnes, spokesman for a European truce monitoring group.

Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tigers' reclusive chief, turns 50 on Friday. The following day he is scheduled to deliver his annual ``Heroes' Day'' speech, in which he is expected to outline the movement's future course and pay homage to nearly 18,000 Tamil guerrillas who have died in Sri Lanka - 's two decades of civil war. A total of 65,000 people were killed during the war.
Published: Wed Nov 24 08:30:50 EST 2004 Back to the top


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Tension in Mannar after army removes LTTE flags in government-held area
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, November 24, 2004 10:15 pm. Amidst protests from LTTE, the security forces today lowered Tiger flags hoisted in the Mannar Town Hall premises and the Urban Council ground despite repeated requests to refrain from doing so.

Military Spokesman Brigadier Daya Ratnayake said that LTTE had hoisted their flags in government-held Mannar marking their "Heroes Week" despite requests from the SLMM and security forces not to do so, as it was a violation of the Ceasefire Agreement. “But the LTTE remained adamant and deified request, which we had to do forcibly”, he said. He also said that soon after lowering the flag, a tense situation prevailed in the area with mobs taking stones and iron bars and police and army sought reinforcement to maintain law and order.

Brigadier Ratnayake also said that SLMM officials immediately summoned a meeting attended by security forces and LTTE political leaders in order to defuse the tension. “Now the situation is returning to normalcy and the security had been tightened in the area,” he added.
Published: Wed Nov 24 11:17:34 EST 2004 Back to the top


Anti-Norway protests in Sri Lanka
bbc.co.uk, November 24, 2004, 14:15 EDT. Thousands of Sri Lankan activists have been protesting in the capital, Colombo, against killings they blame on the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka arrests two Tiger rebels
dailytimes.com.pk, November 25. COLOMBO: Security forces have arrested two suspected Tamil Tiger rebels who tried to kill military intelligence operatives in eastern Sri Lanka despite a truce, officials said Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to host ASOCIO Summit 2004, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 13:36 EST . - - xfdfw SRI-LANKA - -TO-HOST sked Sri Lanka - to host ASOCIO Summit 2004, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Sri Lanka government under fire for failing to arrest rupee's decline
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 04:15 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's former finance minister criticized the government Wednesday for having no credible plan to prop up the rupee, which has lost about 8.5 percent against the U... Back to the top

Demonstration for actions against rebels in Sri Lanka
xinhuanet.com, November 24, 2004, 14:15 EDT. COLOMBO, Nov. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- People of an anti-Tamil Tiger group Wednesday staged a demonstration against the rebels' acts of murder and abductions, demanding the Norwegian peace brokers to end a series of alleged killings. They marched towards the Norwegian embassy and handed over a letter to the Norwegian embassy urging for strong action against alleged killings by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka, Iran vow to strengthen economic ties
xinhuanet.com, November 24, 2004, 14:15 EDT. COLOMBO, Nov. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga held talks with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in Teheran on Wednesday with both leaders vowing to strengthen relations between the two countries in the fields of trade and economy. Kumaratunga, who is on a two-day state visit to Iran, told her Iranian counterpart during their talks that the ties between the two countries are "very good and encouraging," said a press release of Sri Lankan Presidential Office, Back to the top

Sri Lanka forces on alert in east as violence escalates
Gulf News, November 23, 2004. Colombo: The military stepped up security in eastern Sri Lanka yesterday in the wake of a string of violent incidents... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president arrives in Tehran
tehrantimes.com, November 24, 2004, 14:15 EDT. TEHRAN (MNA) -- Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga arrived in Tehran on Wednesday morning for talks with Iranian officials... Back to the top

Sri Lanka death penalty concern
bbc.co.uk, November 24, 2004, 14:15 EDT. The human rights group, Amnesty International, says it is gravely concerned about Sri Lanka's decision to reinstate the death penalty... Back to the top

Norway envoy to return to Sri Lanka to help broker faltering peace process
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 01:32 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norway's top peace broker will return to Sri Lanka - next month to try to help settle key differences between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels amid fears that the island may slip back to war, officials said Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gov't budget ambitious: World Bank, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 08:21 EST . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -GOV'T-BUDGET sked Sri Lanka - gov't budget ambitious: World Bank, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to host ASOCIO Summit 2004
xinhuanet.com, November 24, 2004, 14:15 EDT. COLOMBO, Nov. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- The 2004 Summit and Exhibition of the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO) will be held here from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, officials of Sri Lankan Information Department announced Wednesday. The ASOCIO ICT (information and communications technology) Summit 2004 will bring together over 600 delegates representing the ICT sectors and governments of over 24 countries and regions for workshops, conference and exhibitions, officials said... Back to the top

Amnesty slams reinstatement of death penalty in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed November 24, 2004 01:03 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Amnesty International said Wednesday it was ``gravely concerned'' over Sri Lanka - 's decision to reinstate the death penalty and urged the government to reconsider... Back to the top

Lanka begins to draw on Indian oil credit line
hinduonnet.com, Nov 24. Colombo, Nov 24. (PTI):Sri Lanka has started drawing from the 150 million dollar credit line India extended to the island's nations petroleum sector, a top official said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka warned to watch taxes, peace bid
bday.co.za, 24 November 2004 . COLOMBO - The World Bank has welcomed Sri Lanka's move to boost tax revenues and pump money into rural areas, but warned a return to war with separatist Tamil rebels could be disastrous for economic stability... Back to the top

Sri Lanka on the verge of war
tv2.no, nov 24. Norwegian politician Erik Solheim will once again travel to Sri Lanka and try to mediate in the conflict between the government and the LTTE... Back to the top

Amnesty condemns reinstatement of death penalty in Sri Lanka
abc.net.au, November 24, 2004, 08:45 EDT. Rights group Amnesty International has criticised Sri Lanka's decision to reinstate the death penalty, following an upsurge in violence across the island... Back to the top

Two held after Sri Lanka shootout
BBC, November 23, 2004. Sri Lankan troops have arrested two suspected militants in the central province of Polonnaruwa... Back to the top

Sri Lankan police arrest three armed Tamils in capital
Associated Press, Tue November 23, 2004 05:26 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police in the capital on Tuesday arrested three Tamil men who they suspected might be Tiger rebels amid escalating violence that threatens to derail Sri Lanka - 's faltering peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lanka offers reward for information on killings of top judge
Associated Press, Tue November 23, 2004 04:34 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police Tuesday offered a reward of US$10,000 (euro7,700) for information on four men suspected of gunning down a high profile judge... Back to the top

Tigers dismiss Batticaloa attack reports as SLA ps
tamilnet.com, November 23. The Liberation Tigers dismissed reports in the Sri Lankan state controlled media that more than thirty LTTE fighters were killed in a landmine attack in the Batticaloa district's interior... Back to the top

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