The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 256

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Headline Summary
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Norway: Sri Lanka , Tamil rebels committed to honor cease-fire
Associated Press, Fri December 17, 2004 01:12 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Efforts to forge a permanent peace between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels are at their lowest ebb since they signed a 2002 cease-fire accord, a top Norwegian peace envoy said. Peace talks have been stalled since April 2003 when rebels demanded boosted authority over Tamil-dominated areas of Sri Lanka. The rebels launched a separatist war in 1983, accusing the country's Sinhalese majority of discrimination against Tamils.

The two sides cannot agree on an agenda for resuming talks.

The rebels want talks to focus on a largely independent Tamil territory 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.

The government says it is ready to discuss an interim authority for Tamil-majority areas, but that the peace talks should explore a permanent settlement based on a federal system.

Solheim was making his 17th visit to Sri Lanka - since he helped broker the February 2002 cease-fire. He said he got assurances from both the sides that there will be no return to hostilities.

But he said peace efforts are at a standstill, though he planned to keep up his efforts.

``I regret to note the fact that the peace process is at its low ebb ever since the coming into force of the cease-fire agreement,'' he said.

``We will continue to work on the common agenda for future talks,'' Solheim said. ``As long as the parties do not come to table it is absolutely necessary to ensure the holding of cease-fire agreement on the ground.''
Published: Fri Dec 17 05:18:04 EST 2004

Related News Stories
LTTE committed to truce, peace envoy tells Kumaratunga  - The Hindu
Sri lankan rebels committed to maintaining ceasefire agreement ...  -

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No defence pact with Lanka for now, PM assures MDMK, December 17, 2004, 19:25 EDT. Tiruchirapalli, Dec 17 (UNI) The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), an ally of the ruling United Progressive Allaince (UPA) government at the Centre, today said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured the party that India will not sign any defence agreement with Sri Lanka for the time being in the interest of Tamils in the island nation. Disclosing this to reporters here this evening, MDMK Presidium Chairman L Ganesan said the assurance was given following opposition from his party on the reports that the Palali air base in Sri Lanka would be More...
Published: Fri Dec 17 19:26:26 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Fears rise for Sri Lanka s peace process as Norway fails to end ..., 17 December 2004 1618 hrs . COLOMBO : A top Norwegian envoy who failed in his latest effort to revive Sri Lanka's peace talks has warned both parties to honour a truce or risk a return to full-scale war, diplomats said. Oslo's envoy, Erik Solheim, ended his mission a day after talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but was unable to win agreement on ending a 20-month deadlock on restarting the talks, diplomats said.

"It is true that the peace process is at a low ebb, but we take a long-term view," Solheim told reporters late Thursday. "This has been going on for three years and there is no peace process that did not last longer." More...
Published: Fri Dec 17 05:14:34 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Solheim pessimistic over talks  - BBC
Sri Lanka urged to offer more support to Norway peace efforts  -
Norwegian peace broker meets Sri Lankan prime minister as prospects for peace talks dim  - Associated Press

World Bank aid for e-Sri Lanka, December 17, 2004, 19:25 EDT. The World Bank (WB) has approved a US$ 53 million loan for the e- Sri Lanka development project... Back to the top

‘No electronic voting soon'
BBC, December 17, 2004. The top authority in Sri Lankan elections said on Friday that Sri Lanka will not introduce an electronic voting system until the relevant changes are made in the elections law... Back to the top

Talking with Tigers
the guardian, Friday December 17, 2004. Come to Elephant Pass to witness a rarity: a place where the contradictions of the "war on terror" have not produced the usual regression... Back to the top

Sri Lanka balance of payments to be improved, XINHUA
Associated Press, Thu December 16, 2004 13:39 EST . COLOMBO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Central Bank says the country's balance of payments is expected to improve by the end of this month from its not so happy situation during the recent months. In a statement issued on Wednesday the bank said the balance of payments which recorded a deficit of 245 million US dollars in the first nine months of 2004 is expected to improve significantly by the year end... Back to the top

Sri Lanka ready with electronic voting but needs laws change, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri December 17, 2004 12:46 EST . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -READY sked Sri Lanka - ready with electronic voting but needs laws change, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Millions 'to lose textile jobs'
BBC, December 17, 2004. Millions of the world's poorest textile trade workers will lose their jobs under new trade rules to be introduced in the new year, a charity has warned... Back to the top

Unknown disease spreading in south Sri Lanka kills six, 2004-12-17 23:58:51. COLOMBO, Dec. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Six people having been killed so far by an unknown disease suspected to be a viral infection spreading in south Sri lanka, the Lankapage cited Sri Lankan Epidemiology Unit as saying on Friday. The Unit said that up to the present, the disease suspected of a viral infection has not yet been identified and the cause remained unknown... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Japanese woman dies after Cathay flight diverted to Sri Lanka, 17 December 2004 1744 hrs . COLOMBO: A Cathay Pacific flight was diverted to Sri Lanka on Friday to seek emergency medical help for a Japanese woman who was declared dead on arrival in a hospital after suffering a blood clot, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: ICRC and Sri Lanka Red Cross Society assist flood ..., December 17, 2004. The ICRC and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) have started distributing emergency supplies such as tarpaulins, buckets, cooking pots, clothes and toiletries to people affected by flooding in the north and east of the country... Back to the top

The rise and rise of Balapatabendis
AsianTribune, 2004-12-16. Mr. Harendra Kolitha Balapatabendi, son of Mr. Kusumsiri Balapatabendi, current Chairman of Sri Lanka Airlines Ltd and High Commissioner-designate to Australia, went as migrants in Melbourne, Australia around 1997/1998... Back to the top

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" Back to the top

Sri Lanka floods kill two, 625,000 forced from homes, 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

Important milestone in India-Sri Lanka Naval history, Friday, 17 December 2004. Sri Lanka and India marked an important milestone in the Naval history of the two countries yesterday by completing the first ever joint operation code named Eksath by the Sri Lanka Navy and the Indian Coast Guard... Back to the top

Indian forensic expert gets death threat in Lankan case, 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

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

Sri Lanka target top one-day spot, 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, 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, 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, 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

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