The Lanka Academic

 
DECEMBER 16, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 255

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Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Norwegian Embassy closed after anthrax fear, president orders total protection to Norwegian staff
Associated Press, Thu December 16, 2004 08:54 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka - was closed Thursday after a packet containing a white powder was received in the mail, an embassy official said, as police sent it for tests to determine if it contained anthrax or another toxic substance. The powder was discovered as a meeting between Norwegian peace envoy, Eric Solheim and President Chandrika Kumaratunga in the presidential palace, was taking place about three kilometers (two miles) away from the embassy. Solheim is in Sri Lanka - trying to break a deadlock in peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Soon after the discovery, staff at the embassy were told to leave the embassy and go home, said a Norwegian official, who spoke on the telephone from outside the embassy in the posh Ward Place district of the capital. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Kumaratunga in a statement said she has ordered for a full investigation.

Kumaratunga ``gave immediate orders for the police to investigate the incident and provide the Embassy personnel the fullest protection,'' the statement said.

Security at the embassy is generally tight due to frequent protests against Oslo's role in the peace process. Sinhalese nationalists accuse Norway of siding with the Tamil rebels.

Norway is home to tens of thousands of ethnic Tamils who fled Sri Lanka - after the 1983 anti-Tamil riots that spawned the civil war.

The Tigers are fighting to create a separate Tamil state and accuse the Sinhalese of discrimination. About 65,000 people were killed before the cease-fire.

The peace talks stalled in April 2003 when the Tigers withdrew, demanding more autonomy for areas dominated by the ethnic Tamil minority.

Since then, distrust and obstinacy on both sides have blocked efforts to resurrect talks.
Published: Thu Dec 16 11:43:02 EST 2004

Related News Stories
·
Norway shuts S.Lanka embassy over white powder  - alertnet.org
·
Norway embassy in Sri lanka closed due to white powder  - xinhuanet.com
·
Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka closed after white powder received  - Associated Press
·
Anthrax scare closes Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka +  - Associated Press

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Norwegian peace broker meets Sri Lankan prime minister as prospects for peace talks dim
Associated Press, Wed December 15, 2004 23:16 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) A top Norwegian peace envoy met with Sri Lanka's prime minister Thursday, a day after failing to break a deadlock in peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. After the meeting, Thamilselvan was quoted by the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site as saying the envoy was ``unable to give assurance'' that Sri Lanka - 's government ``will take any constructive steps to take the peace process forward.''

On Thursday, Solheim met with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapake in Colombo, said Norwegian Embassy spokeswoman Kjersti Tromsdal. No details were immediately available.

Negotiations to end two decades of civil war in Sri Lanka stalled in April 2003 when the Tigers withdrew, demanding more autonomy for areas dominated by the ethnic Tamil minority.

Since then, distrust and obstinacy on both sides have blocked efforts to resurrect talks.

The Tigers warned last month that they will resume their ``freedom struggle'' unless talks resume immediately based on their proposal for self-rule, which calls for a largely independent Tamil territory.

But the government insists talks must also involve exploring a solution akin to a federal system.

The Tigers began fighting in 1983 to create a separate Tamil state, accusing the Sinhalese of discrimination. About 65,000 people were killed before the cease-fire.
Published: Thu Dec 16 04:43:17 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Norway envoy meets with Tamil Tigers, XINHUA  - Associated Press
·
Sri Lanka 's peace talks remain deadlocked  - Associated Press
·
S. Lanka Peace Bid at Critical Low - Norway Envoy  - reuters.com
·
Norwegian peace broker meets Tamil Tigers in fresh attempt to revive Sri Lankan peace talks  - Associated Press

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We are ever ready for peace talks - JVP
BBC, December 16, 2004. In response to a strongly worded announcement by foreign donor countries in which they urged the government in Sri Lanka not to allow the JVP to undermine peace efforts, the JVP said in a statement on Thursday, "we are ever ready to for peace talks but not on the basis of the ISGA" More...
Published: Thu Dec 16 14:27:28 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka floods kill two, 625,000 forced from homes
channelnewsasia.com, December 16, 2004. COLOMBO : A policeman and a child have been killed and some 625,000 people forced from their homes as severe annual monsoon floods swept eastern and northern Sri Lanka... Back to the top

More floods, more pictures
BBC, December 16, 2004. Water logged Wanni roads (Photo Dinasena Ratugamage) Back to the top

Sri Lanka urged to offer more support to Norway peace efforts
abc.net.au, December 16, 2004. Sri Lanka's main foreign donors have warned that some members of the ruling coalition are undermining the peace process aimed at ending the decades-long civil war... Back to the top

Indo-Lankan naval exercise beneficial
hindustantimes.com, December 16, 2004. A three day joint exercise involving the Indian Coast Guard and the Sri Lankan Navy ended on Thursday with officials describing it as having been "mutually beneficial... Back to the top

Sri Lanka and India hold first joint naval exercises
xinhuanet.com, December 16, 2004. The exercise took place five nautical miles west off the Colombo harbor for over three hours on Thursday in the presence ofSri Lanka's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Asoka Jayawardena, the Indian High Commissioner (Ambassador) Nirupama Rao and senior Sri Lankan and Indian Naval officials... Back to the top

Indian forensic expert gets death threat in Lankan case
hindustantimes.com, December 16, 2004. Prof Chandra Sekharan, the Indian forensic expert who shot into fame for scientifically identifying the body of Rajiv Gandhi's assassin Dhanu in 1991, has refused to come to Sri Lanka to testify in a high profile forgery case, saying that he has been receiving death threats over the phone... Back to the top

Seminar on Child Soldiers distrupted in Toronto.
Special correspondent from Toronto , December 15. A discussion forum organized by the New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) was held in Toronto on Sunday the 12th of December... Back to the top

Minister joins journalists in protest
BBC, December 16, 2004. Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama also participated in the protest organised jointly by the Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) and the Independent Media Workers Union (IMWU)... Back to the top

FMM condemns concert bomb attack
BBC, December 16, 2004. Colombo based media watchdog Free Media Movement (FMM) condemned the bomb attack against a mega musical show held in Colombo on Saturday... Back to the top

World bank anounces USD 75 mn credit for Sri Lanka s housing ...
123bharath.com, December 15, 2004. World News > Washington, Dec 15 : The World Bank has announced a USD 75 million International Development Association credit for a housing reconstruction programme in Sri Lanka under which 46,000 houses will be constructed for the poor and conflict affected families... Back to the top

Sri Lankan hostage, mistaken for American, faces terror in Iraq
Associated Press, Wed December 15, 2004 11:42 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - HENDALA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Day after day, locked in a cement room somewhere in Iraq, the hooded men beat him... Back to the top

Donors tell Sri Lanka president to bring her Marxist ally to heel+
Associated Press, Wed December 15, 2004 03:08 EST . - - COLOMBO, Dec. 15 (Kyodo) The chief international backers of Sri Lanka - 's peace process have told President Chandrika Kumaratunga to bring her Marxist coalition ally into line to ensure efforts to revive peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tigers stalled since last year can succeed, a Japanese statement said Wednesday. ''(The representatives of the co-chairs) expressed deep concern about the ongoing JVP-led actions against the peace process in Sri Lanka - and the government of Norway's efforts as facilitator of that process,'' a statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Colombo on Wednesday said... Back to the top

President can go ahead with talks - JVP
BBC, December 15, 2004. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga can start peace talks based upon LTTE's latest proposals, if she agrees with the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) put forward by the Tamil Tigers, says the government's junior partner Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)... Back to the top

Sri Lanka target top one-day spot
bbc.co.uk, December 16, 2004. Marvan Atapattu wants his Sri Lanka side to depose Australia as the best one-day side by the next World Cup... Back to the top

Cricket: Sri Lanka setting sights on World Cup
nzherald.co.nz, 17-Dec-2004. Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu believes his side are capable of becoming the best one-day team in time for the 2007 World Cup... Back to the top

S.Lanka rupee ends flat, halts 3-day slide
deepikaglobal.com, Dec 15. The Sri Lanka rupee closed flat on Wednesday, halting a three-day slide but still near life lows, as importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills was offset by exporters cashing in dollar earnings, dealers said... Back to the top

Viet Nam, Sri Lanka to boost cooperation in agriculture
vnagency.com.vn, December 16, 2004. Ha Noi (VNA) - Viet Nam and Sri Lanka will further boost their cooperation in the production of rice, tea, fruit and vegetables, and livestock, agreed Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and Sri Lanka's Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation, Anura Kumara Dissanayake Back to the top

Sri Lanka urged to offer more support to rebel go-between
abc.net.au, December 15, 2004. Sri Lanka's main foreign donors warn some members of the country's ruling coalition are undermining the shaky peace process aimed at ending the decades-long civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka hit by floods, one dead, 133,000 displaced
Associated Press, Wed December 15, 2004 00:07 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A police constable was swept to his death as torrential rains forced about 133,000 people to abandon their homes in eastern and northern Sri Lanka - , an official and news reports Wednesday... Back to the top

Arrest warrant out for Sri Lankan artist nabbed in rare high-society drug bust
Associated Press, Wed December 15, 2004 02:31 EST . YEO GHIM LAY - Associated Press Writer - Anandan said Chanmugam had told his wife he was in Colombo, Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

SRK concert blast not act of terror: Lanka
indiatimes.com, December 15, 2004. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Tuesday said the blast at Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's concert here was not a terrorist act as described by India but was result of a "local problem" and "security lapses"... Back to the top

Lankans extol SRK s virtues
indiadaily.com, December 15, 2004. Sri Lankans not only see Shahrukh Khan as a great actor, but also as a cultured and humane person who represents the best in Indian and Asian culture... Back to the top

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