The Lanka Academic

 
DECEMBER 2, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 241

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Headline Summary
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Strike called by Tamil Tigers shuts down two northern districts in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu December 2, 2004 02:25 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A strike called by Tamil Tiger rebels shut down two northern districts and severed road links Thursday in an apparent protest against alleged police excesses, a day after the government rejected the guerrillas' demand to unconditionally restart peace talks or risk a resumption of civil war. Sri Lanka - 's Defense Ministry said road links with the north remained cut off after rebels closed entry points.

``Thousands of people are stranded, some of them needing medical care,'' Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said in the capital, Colombo. Between 12,000 to 15,000 people use the road, a major supply route to the Tamil-dominated Jaffna peninsula that is overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Defense Ministry said it was watching the situation in the districts of Vavuniya and Mannar where the strike has brought normal life to a standstill, residents reached by telephone said. The Tamil-dominated districts are traditional rebel strongholds.

``We are keeping close watch and it is peaceful,'' ministry spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said in the capital, Colombo.

The Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting since 1983 to carve out a separate state, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination against minority Tamils.

Thursday's strike was the second called by the rebels since the weekend. A similar strike in the port city of Trincomalee left three people dead and strained the fragile cease-fire.

The military says the rebels are deliberately creating tension.

Relations between the rebels and the government further soured Saturday when Prabhakaran said that if the Sri Lankan government rejects his appeal for immediate peace talks ``we have no alternative other than to advance the freedom struggle of our nation.'' He stopped short of directly saying that hostilities could resume.

But even as Prabhakaran called on the government to hold unconditional talks, he set his own terms for the negotiations, saying they should be based on the rebels' controversial self-rule plan.

That proposal calls for a largely independent territory for Tamils, with control over its own administration, police and legal system, unrestricted access to the sea, and the right to collect taxes and receive direct foreign aid.

In the government's first reaction to Prabhakaran's speech, a statement chastised the rebels for their ``threatening language.''

It said the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam wants ``a resumption of negotiations without conditions, while setting conditions itself by insisting unilaterally on a single agenda item,'' adding it ``is scarcely conducive to good-faith negotiations.''

The statement said the government was not opposed to discussing the interim administration status for the rebels, but the talks should also involve ``exploring a permanent settlement,'' along the lines of a federal solution.

There was no immediate comment on the government statement from the rebels.

Norway brokered a cease-fire in February 2002 that halted the fighting, which had left nearly 65,000 people dead. However, subsequent peace talks broke down amid rebel demands for wide autonomy in the Tamil-majority north and east.
Published: Thu Dec 2 08:06:42 EST 2004


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Sri Lanka shuts rebel border
Reuters, December 2. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army has closed off entry points to areas controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels for the first day since a 2002 ceasefire after Red Cross officials said they feared for their safety amid sporadic violence. The surprise move on Thursday left up to 25,000 people stranded at a border separating government-controlled areas from land held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Pro-rebel protesters burned tyres along the Indian Ocean island's main north-south highway. Tensions are running high between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils in the north and east after the rebel group paid annual homage to fallen comrades at the weekend. Police have imposed curfews in the restive east. Protesters angry at being prevented from hoisting rebel flags by the army during last week's celebrations brought two northern towns to a standstill on Thursday and police reinforced patrols in government-run areas. More...
Published: Thu Dec 2 10:07:20 EST 2004 Back to the top

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LTTE abducts Tamil politico to get whereabouts of Karuna
hindustantimes.com, December 2. The LTTE is believed to have abducted Pakianath Rajaratnam, General Secretary of the Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF), to find out the whereabouts of its breakaway Eastern Commander, Col Karuna. Karuna's new party, the Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), had linked up with the ENDLF to form the Eeelm National Democratic Front (ENDF). The ENDLF is an anti-LTTE Sri Lankan Tamil party in exile, partly based in South India and partly in London. Karuna linked up with the ENDLF after rejecting an offer of alliance from the Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP), led by the Sri Lankan Hindu Affairs Minister, Douglas Devananda. Devananda had told Karuna that the two of them should form a political alliance and fight the LTTE politically rather than militarily. But according to Devananda, Karuna showed no interest in this idea. More...
Published: Thu Dec 2 08:07:07 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri lanka hosts int l IT conferences
xinhuanet.com, Dec. 2 . COLOMBO, Dec. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- The Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO) Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Summit 2004 opened here Thursday. Addressing the opening ceremony, Hydre Alaudeen, chairman of Sri Lankan Information Technology Federation, said ASOCIO ICT is aregional, high level forum that provides a platform for governmentand industry to exchange information, develop closer relationshipsand above all, identify new business opportunities... Back to the top

Pak, Sri Lanka Sign Transfer Of Offenders Accord
paknews.com, 2004-12-02 . ISLAMABAD, Pakistan : Dec 02 (SADA) - Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Wednesday reached an agreement, which will provide necessary legal framework for the transfer of convicted persons to their country of origin... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government rejects unconditional talks with Tamil Tiger rebels
Associated Press, Wed December 1, 2004 08:41 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday rejected a Tamil Tiger demand that it unconditionally resume peace talks under terms set by the rebels or risk the resumption of civil war... Back to the top

Hacked intelligence member succumbs to his injuries
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, Dec 01, 2004 07.02 pm. An army intelligence member who was hacked with a sword in Nunavil in Jaffna along with another person by the LTTE succumbed to his injuries at the National Hospital yesterday... Back to the top

Former Sri Lankan government minister dies
Associated Press, Wed December 1, 2004 07:01 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's former minister of transport, environment and women's affairs, Srimani Anoma Athulathmudali, has died after a brief illness, her family said Wednesday... Back to the top

Curfew lifted in eastern Sri Lanka , but tension remains
Associated Press, Wed December 1, 2004 03:35 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police lifted a curfew in eastern Sri Lanka - on Wednesday amid beefed-up security, after violence killed at least two people and strained the fragile cease-fire that has halted the country's brutal two-decade civil war... Back to the top

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