The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 23, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 292

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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Tamil newspaper journalist shot dead in Sri Lanka’s volatile east
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, January 24th, 2006, 9:30 am. An unidentified gunman on Tuesday shot and killed a reporter of a Tamil language newspaper in restive eastern Sri Lanka, police said.

“He was shot on his way to work,” said Rohan Abeywardene, police chief of the region. S. S. Rajan, 37, worked for the Sudar Oli newspaper in the port-town of Trincomalee.

“He used to cover news stories and write political columns,” said V. Danaraj, a shocked sub-editor at the newspaper’s head-office in Colombo.

Abeywardene said the assailant had fled the scene but police had commenced investigations.

In August, unidentified attackers hurled a grenade at the Sudar Oli office in Colombo, killing one person and injuring three others.

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Published: Mon Jan 23 23:27:08 EST 2006


Top U.S. envoy blasts Tamil Tiger rebels for mounting violence; urges talks
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, January 23rd, 2006, 8:00 pm SLT. The United States on Monday called Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels a "reprehensible terrorist group," and warned it will have no relationship with the guerrillas unless it desists from violence. "We hope that the LTTE will understand that it will have no relationship with my government and, indeed, no effective relationship with any country in this world as long as it seeks to redress its own grievances through the barrel of a gun, " U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told reporters in Colombo.

Assuring support to protect Sri Lanka's territorial integrity Burn's said, "the people of this country ought not to have to live for another 15 or 20 years with this reprehensible terrorist group keeping this country verged on the edge of war."

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, better known as the LTTE, have been banned in the U.S. since 1997 as a terrorist group, along with the Al-Qaeda.

Burns said the U.S. understood that Sri Lanka's 3.2 million minority Tamils had genuine grievances that must be respected by the majority Sinhalese population. But the path to choose is peace instead of the LTTE's "reprehensible policies."

Asked why the U.S. was fighting Al Qaeda while promoting negotiations with the Tamil Tigers, Burns said, "Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization that has no grievances whatsoever to negotiate … It's a nihilistic terrorist organization that uses terrorism for reprehensible aims. "

In a tough warning to the rebels Burns said the onus now lies with the Tigers, "which has taken up terrorism and violence as its political weapon," to resume peace talks with the Sri Lankan government.

He expressed hope that Norway International Development Minister and top peace envoy Erik Solheim, will be able to break the ice between the parties and arrive at a date and place for talks.

Even as the top diplomats launched a crucial push for peace in the island, suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a claymore mine in Sri Lanka's restive eastern town of Batticaloa.

Three soldiers on a foot patrol were killed in the ambush that injured three others. A subsequent grenade attack in the same area injured a policemen. The fresh violence mounted the spate of attacks that has killed more than 100 people in recent weeks, mostly government security forces. The rebels continue to deny involvement and accuse the government of killings and harassing Tamil civilians.

The latest attacks took place barely hours after Solheim touched-down in the island to save an almost four-year cease-fire he brokered, from collapse. "I must remind you, even horrible as they are, these violations of the cease-fire are short of all out war," Solheim told reporters, ahead of a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday.

Solheim is scheduled to meet LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Wednesday, in the northern rebel-capital of Kilinochchi. The rebels' chief ideologue London-based Anton Balasingham also arrived Monday to aid in the talks

"Everyone is worried about the deteriorating security situation," said Solheim , who has played a pivotal role in the process since 1998. "The key issue is to stop the killings and stabilize the cease-fire. That is what I will try to achieve for this visit."

Solheim also hopes to break a deadlock between the parties over the venue for talks. The rebels insisted that any meeting had to take place in Oslo. Colombo, which has shown some flexibility, now hopes that the Tigers will be agreeable to any other European destination with the exception of Oslo and the 25 European Union nations where there's a travel restriction on the rebels.

The Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 to carve out an independent homeland for the island's 3.2 million Tamil minority, who claim discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. The fighting killed nearly 65,000 before Norway brokered a cease-fire in February 2002. But subsequent peace talks collapsed in April 2003 amid rebel demands for wide autonomy in the Tamil-dominated north and east. Despite international pressure, efforts to revive the talks have failed, and the unprecedented violence in recent weeks has prompted European truce monitors to warn that an outbreak of war was not far off.

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Published: Mon Jan 23 11:56:44 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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S.Lanka s Tigers are reprehensible, says US enovy  - alertnet.org
·
R. Nicholas Burns Holds A Media Availability  - Associated Press

Powerful explosion rocks eastern Batticaloa
Shimali Senanayake, January 23rd, 2006, 8:00 am SLT. A claymore mine explosion shook Batticaloa on Monday, just as the Tamil Tigers chief negotiator boarded a government helicopter to the rebel capital of Kilinochchi.

At least three soldiers were killed and two injured in the blast in Urani, about three kilometers from the town, said Rohan Abeywardene, police chief in the area.

He said the soldiers were on a foot patrol when the explosion occurred. Clearing operations were in progress.

Anton Balasingham, the LTTE ideologue arrived from London early Monday, and headed to Kilinoochchi at the break of light.

He was accompanied by representatives from the Norwegian embassy and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission amid fears that the air force helicopter may be shot down on its return.

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Published: Sun Jan 22 23:01:26 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
New suspected rebel attack kills 3 S.Lanka soldiers  - reuters.co.uk

Top Norwegian peace broker arrives amid efforts to save Sri Lanka from plunging back to war
Shimali Senanayake, January 23rd, 2006, 7:00 am SLT. Norway's top peace broker arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday, for crucial talks with the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels aimed at halting weeks of deadly violence and an imminent outbreak of war... Back to the top

Geneva likely venue for Lanka talks
Dawn, By Frances Bulathsinghala COLOMBO, Jan 2. Norwegian peace facilitators are likely to suggest the Swiss capital of Geneva as a venue for the resumption of talks between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, diplomatic sources said on Sunday... Back to the top

US says it supports Sri Lanka s peace efforts
xinhuanet.com, 2006-01-23 . COLOMBO, Jan. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- Visiting Nicholas Burns, a top US state department official, said that Sri Lanka has full support ofthe United States in its efforts to forge a negotiated solution with Tamil Tiger rebels, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday. Burns, U... Back to the top

New violence shadows Norwegian peace broker efforts to restart Sri Lankan peace talks
Associated Press, Mon January 23, 2006 01:36 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Renewed violence that left three soldiers dead in attacks blamed on Tamil rebels Monday overshadowed the visit of a top Norwegian envoy on a mission to shore up Sri Lanka - 's troubled peace process... Back to the top

Separatists prepare Tamil civilians for combat amid Norway efforts to save Sri Lanka 's cease-fire
Associated Press, Mon January 23, 2006 10:45 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's separatist rebels said Monday they are training ethnic Tamil civilians for combat to help fight government troops in an eventual return to civil war, amid Norwegian efforts to prevent a four-year-old cease-fire from collapsing... Back to the top

Sri Lanka disputes Lanka IOC s subsidy claims
indiatimes.com, January 23. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has disputed a Rs 7 billion subsidy claim put forward by Indian Oil Corp's local unit, treasury secretary PB Jayasundara said... Back to the top

Cocky locals can t afford to rest: Ranatunga
smh.com.au, January 24, 2006. ARJUNA Ranatunga, Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning former captain, has branded the Australians "arrogant" and "vulnerable" after their decision to rest captain Ricky Ponting at a time when their one-day squad is reeling from two losses in three matches... Back to the top

Sri Lankans begin trickling into India amid fears their homeland is sliding back to war
Associated Press, Mon January 23, 2006 02:50 EST . S. SRINIVASAN - Associated Press Writer - But these days, it's a small inconvenience the 45-year-old Tamil from Sri Lanka - 's war-wracked northeast is willing to endure if it means she can take refuge in India... Back to the top

UN worried over Sri Lankan Tamil refugees fleeing to India
hindu.com, Jan. 22. Expressing concern over Sri Lankan Tamil refugees fleeing to India, the United Nations has said it was a sign of the deteriorating security situation in the island... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's president calls for talks with Tigers; ``Don't take my patience as my weakness''
Associated Press, Sun January 22, 2006 03:47 EST . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday called for immediate talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels to halt spiraling violence threatening Sri Lanka's four-year-old cease-fire and taking this tropical island again toward the brink of war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's military says it finds suspected rebel arsenal
Associated Press, Sun January 22, 2006 05:11 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The military has discovered a suspected rebel cache of anti-personnel mines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition hidden in a bush in eastern Sri Lanka, the Defense Ministry said Sunday... Back to the top

S.Lanka army reports mystery blasts in rebel areas
alertnet.org, 22 Jan 2006 05:28:00 GMT. COLOMBO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Two blasts rocked rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka's northwest and may have been aimed at a convoy carrying senior guerrilla leaders, newspapers and military officials said on Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan President offers venues other than Oslo for talks
irna.ir, Jan 22, IRNA. Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse has offered five countries, other than the Norwegian capital, as an lternative venue for fresh dialogue... Back to the top

Senior US official arrives in Sri Lanka
xinhuanet.com, Jan. 22. COLOMBO, Jan. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Nicholas Burns, a top U.S. State Department official has arrived in Sri Lanka to push forward the country's peace process, airport officials said Sunday... Back to the top

Jayasuriya's comeback century gives Sri Lanka 51-run win over Australia
Associated Press, Sun January 22, 2006 06:36 EST . - - SYDNEY, Australia (AP) Veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya scored a dashing comeback century Sunday, reviving his flagging career and guiding Sri Lanka - to a 51-run win over Australia in a tri-series limited-overs cricket match... Back to the top

India, wary of LTTE, watches Solheim trip
newkerala.com, 22 Jan 2006. By M.R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi: India will be watching closely as Norwegian facilitator Erik Solheim visits Sri Lanka Monday to try to end a wave of killings that have made a mockery of an already tottering peace process... Back to the top

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