The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 21, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 290

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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
Canadian Tiger supporters in quandry as Conservative party turns against LTTE.
Roy Edwards reporting from Toronto, January 21. LTTE front organizations in Toronto are ina quandry , as the Conservative party deputy leader and public safety critic Peter MacKay said that the 'Conservatives will put LTTE in the list of banned terrorist organization'. In an interview to Stewart Bell, of the National Post on Monday, Mr. MacKay said his party will not only ban the LTTE, but also will act swiftly to deport convicted terrorists such as the alleged Tamil Tiger fundraiser Manickavasagam Suresh. Hours before Mr. Mackay's interview, the Canadian Tamil Congress, a known LTTE front in Toronto, arranged a meeting at the Delta hotel in Scarborough, a Toronto suburb where ethnic Tamils are concentrated. Candidates of all major four political parties attended the meeting and discussed their policies. All candidates including those representing the Conservatives, said that Canada should take greater involvement in the "peace process" in Sri Lanka.

In opinion polls, Conservatives are leading with a significant margin, and are expected to form the new government after next Monday's election. LTTE front organizations had been critical of the Conservatives all along, and originally demanded that the Tamils of Sri Lankan origin support the Liberals since the Liberals have a record of being sympathetic to the LTTE cause in Sri Lanka.In fact the Liberal leader and current Prime minister Mr. Paul Martin attended an LTTE fund-raiser in 2001 leading to an acrimonious exchange of words between the Liberals and the then fragmented conservative parties. However, sensing the Conservatives are leading in the current elections, LTTE front organizations have changed tack and begun to canvass for some of the Conservative candidates, very late in the season. A telephone bank manned by Canadian Tamil Congress volunteers have in fact in recent days asked voters to vote for Conservatives in some Toronto ridings. MacKay's comments had dashed all hopes the LTTE operatives might have had to continue their activities in Canada under a Conservative government.

Another Conservative candidate contesting elections in Toronto, blasted LTTE in an interview to a Tamil newspaper published in Canada. Speaking to 'Vaikari', Mr. Peter Kent, said 'we are aware of the LTTE fundraising and their harassment of Tamils in Toronto. What they are doing is totally unacceptable, and we cannot allow these criminal acts in Canada. We will definitely ban LTTE. The Liberals have taken a soft approach against the terrorist groups such as the Hezbullah, Hamas and LTTE. This has to be changed". He echoed Mr. Mackay's comments that the Conservatives view LTTE and the Tamil community separately. 'Tamils fled their land in Sri Lanka due to atrocities committed by their government forces. But they are facing the same kind of problems from the LTTE in Canada. We cannot allow this'. Mr. Kent denied that the Conservatives are anti-immigrant. In fact a Sri Lankan Tamil Mr. Vincent Veerasunderam is contesting in Scarborough as a Conservative candidate.

In the mean time the Norweign funded LTTE web site Nitharsanam has demanded a statement the Conservative party denying the comments made by the party's deputy leader. In December 2005, Nitharsanam published a derogatory article about Mr. Vincent Veerasunderam, accusing him as an anti-Tamil and a stooge of the Sri Lankan government. LTTE front organizations in Toronto are spending thousands of dollars and sending hundreds of volunteers to work for the Conservative Candidates in Toronto, in an apparent move to warm up relations with the Tories.

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Published: Sat Jan 21 14:01:06 EST 2006


Tamil rebels accuse Sri Lankan military of attempted attack after explosion in rebel area
Associated Press, Sat January 21, 2006 13:23 EST . DILIP GANGULY

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels accused the army on Saturday of sending commandoes to assassinate top guerrilla leaders after an apparent explosion was heard in rebel-controlled territory.

Separately, two suspected rebels were killed and a police officer was injured in a shootout at a checkpoint in the country's north, the military and rebels said.

The apparent explosion in a Tiger-held area triggered rumors of an attempt to kill rebel leaders.

``We are all fine,'' S. Pulidevan, a top rebel peace negotiator, said of the rebel leadership.

The pro-rebel Web site TamilNet said a seven-member group of army commandoes had invaded rebel areas but fled when civilian volunteers and rebels counterattacked them Saturday morning.

The Defense Ministry's Media Unit denied that it had deployed any team to target rebel leaders.

Also Saturday, rebels opened fire when police at a checkpoint in Vavuniya district tried to search them, military spokesman Brig. Athula Jayawardena said.

``Police retaliated and killed two terrorists,'' Jayawardena said. One police officer was injured, he said.

Separately, police said they discovered more than 14 kilograms (30 pounds) of explosives hidden under a seat on a passenger bus bound for the northwestern town of Mannar on Friday.

The C4 explosives _ which can be used to make anti-personnel mines _ probably belonged to the Tamil guerrillas, police officer Upula Seneviratne said. Five passengers on the bus were arrested, he said.

Also Saturday, the military found the body of a Tamil Tiger intelligence agent shot dead in eastern Batticaloa.

A faction that broke away from the main Tamil Tiger group in 2004 may have been behind the killing, Jayawardena said.

Violence has soared in northeastern Sri Lanka in recent months, putting a four-year-old truce under increasing strain.

At least 78 members of government security forces have been killed in violence, mainly mine blasts, blamed on Tamil rebels since Dec. 4. The guerrillas have repeatedly denied any involvement.

Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim, who played a key role in arranging the cease-fire between the government and the rebels in 2002, is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday to try to jump-start stalled peace talks.

The rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, alleging discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

More than 65,000 people died in the fighting before the truce.

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Published: Sat Jan 21 17:32:42 EST 2006 Back to the top


Police kill two suspected Tamil guerrillas in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sat January 21, 2006 04:31 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two suspected Tamil Tiger rebels were killed and a police officer was injured Saturday in a shootout at a checkpoint in northern Sri Lanka - , the military said. Violence has soared in northeastern Sri Lanka - in recent months, putting a four-year-old truce under increasing strain.

At least 78 members of government security forces have been killed in violence, mainly mine blasts, blamed on Tamil rebels since Dec. 4. The guerrillas have repeatedly denied any involvement.

Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim, who played a key role in arranging the cease-fire between the government and the rebels in 2002, is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka - on Monday to try to jump-start stalled peace talks.

The rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, alleging discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

More than 65,000 people died in the fighting before the truce.

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Published: Sat Jan 21 05:16:12 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Four killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka  - hindu.com

Sri Lanka: The tsunami legacy One year on... where is the relief?
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FEATURE-S.Lanka s Tamil tea workers head for new pastures
alertnet.org, 22 Jan 2006 00:59:49 GM. NUWARA ELIYA, Sri Lanka, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Manickam Paneerselbam doesn't know how many generations ago the British brought his family from India to labour on Sri Lanka's tea plantations, but he vows to be the last of them to work there... Back to the top

Rajapaksa rules out war, but rejects Oslo as talks venue
Hindustan Times, January 21. The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ruled out a return to war even as he categorically rejected the LTTE's demand that the first round of talks be held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo... Back to the top

Learning to Listen: Technology And Poor Communities
Allafrica.com, January 21. Bernadine Dias a Sri Lankan-born scientist based at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), United States, admits she "wears many hats"... Back to the top

S.Lanka war inevitable if no progress-senior rebel
Reuters, 21 Jan 2006 04:15:00 GMT.
By Peter Apps SAMPOOR, Sri Lanka, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will return to war unless progress is made soon in the island's deadlocked peace process, a senior rebel said just days ahead of a visit by Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim... Back to the top

Sri Lankan court acquits ex-deputy defense minister, two sons of murder, conspiracy
Associated Press, Fri January 20, 2006 02:29 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's High Court on Friday acquitted a former deputy defense minister and his two sons of charges in the slayings of 10 rival political activists in 2001, but sentenced five of their bodyguards to death for the crimes... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: US Promises Aid Against Tigers
ipsnews.net, january 20. UNITED NATIONS, Jan 20 (IPS) - As the four-year-old ceasefire in Sri Lanka is on the verge of crumbling, the United States has offered to strengthen its military assistance programmes and increase training for government forces if the country's rebel group resumes its separatist war in the northern and eastern provinces... Back to the top

War fears, tension wreck lives in S.Lanka s east
alertnet.org, 20 Jan 2006 . Unnerved by fears that civil war may resume, perhaps within weeks, tension between communities is spiralling in Sri Lanka's northeast and growing numbers are fleeing their homes, aid workers and residents say... Back to the top

Tamil rebels confirming top reclusive leader to meet with Norwegian peace envoy
Associated Press, Fri January 20, 2006 04:48 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Top Tamil Tiger rebel leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran will meet with a senior Norwegian peace envoy next week, a rebel official said Friday, a day after Sri Lanka - 's president won support to restart peace talks aimed at avoiding a return to civil war... Back to the top

President wins support of opposition to resume peace talks, as violence continues in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu January 19, 2006 23:13 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president has won support from opposition parties to restart peace talks with Tamil rebels, a government spokesman said Friday, a day after a major attack blamed on the guerrillas and a stark warning from truce monitors... Back to the top

EU expresses concern Sri Lanka violence is eroding peace process
Associated Press, Fri January 20, 2006 05:58 EST . - - BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) The EU expressed concern Friday that violence was eroding chances for peace in Sri Lanka - and condemned a recent attack by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on offices of European officials monitoring the country's shaky peace process... Back to the top

Time is running out for the Tamil Tigers in Canada
asiantribune.com, 2006-01-19. If the coming Canadian election on January 23 confirms the opinion polls that the Conservative Party will win, then the LTTE will be banned and Manickavasagam Suresh, the LTTE fundraiser who should have been expelled ten years ago, will be deported, according to the National Post, a leading paper in Toronto... Back to the top

European cease-fire monitors resume limited operation in Sri Lanka 's port of Trincomalee
Associated Press, Thu January 19, 2006 23:33 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ European cease-fire monitors said Friday they were partly resuming operations in Sri Lanka's port of Trincomalee three days after suspending work there citing security concern, the group's spokeswoman said... Back to the top

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