The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 26, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 295

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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
Sri Lankan navy detains Indian vessel allegedly carrying detonators for Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Thu January 26, 2006 06:31 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Sri Lankan navy patrol boat detained a privately owned Indian vessel attempting to smuggle tens of thousands of detonators for anti-personnel mines, a weapon often used by Tamil Tiger rebels, the navy spokesman said Thursday. The navy took into custody the five Indian crew members of the vessel, which was detained late Wednesday off northern Sri Lanka - , an area under rebel control, Commander D.K.B. Dassanayake said.

The vessel was carrying 3,800 boxes containing 61,056 detonators, he said.

``It is a huge find ... the shipment was meant for the LTTE,'' Dassanayake said, referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by their acronym.

The five men will be handed over to police, he said.

Southern India is home to 56 million Tamils, some of whom have family or traditional ties with Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million Tamils.

India's embassy declined to comment until it could confirm the seizure.

``We can comment only after we have verified the news reports,'' said Magma Mallick, spokeswoman for the Indian High Commission.

A naval patrol boat detected the vessel as it was anchored off an island close to shore, Dassanayake said. It was ordered not to move and more naval craft arrived and discovered the cargo, he said.

The Indian and Sri Lankan governments have close ties and there was no apparent strain in their relations over the seizure. In the past, some Tamils living in India have been involved in smuggling goods for the rebels.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the civil war, which began in 1983, until a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire brought relative peace in 2002.

Peace talks broke down in April 2003 over guerrilla demands for extensive autonomy in the Tamil-majority north and east.

The rebels want to set up a separate homeland for Sri Lankan Tamils, saying they can only prosper away from the alleged domination of the majority Sinhalese.

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Published: Thu Jan 26 08:33:33 EST 2006


The United States hails breakthrough for talks in Sri Lanka
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, January 26th, 2006, 10:00 am SLT. The United States on Thursday welcomed a decision by the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume talks and commended Norway for clinching the deal.

"The United States welcomes the agreement by the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to hold peace talks in February in Geneva.," the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a statement. The agreement was reached after talks between Norway's top peace envoy Erik Solheim and the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakarn on Wednesday, after more than 18 month of deadlock over a venue.

Many believe that a spate of deadly violence in recent weeks had pushed Sri Lanka to the brink of war.

"The United States commends the Sri Lankan government for its restraint in the face of recent provocative attacks and fully supports its efforts as it advances towards peace," the statement quoted, U.S. State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack as saying. He also urged both the government and the LTTE "to take immediate action to prevent violence and to uphold the terms of the cease-fire agreement. "

The Tigers have been banned in the U.S. since 1997 as a terrorist group along side Al-Qaeda and Washington has said the rebels will never have a relationship with the country unless it gives up violence in word and deed.

"We believe that the people of Sri Lanka desperately want to see an end to years of conflict. The United States will continue to support them as they take steps to bring peace and stability to their country," he said.

The LTTE has been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland in the island's Tamil majority north and east. Nearly 65,000 people were killed before Norway brokered a truce in February 2002. Subsequent peace talks collapsed in April 2003 amid rebel demands for wide autonomy.

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Published: Thu Jan 26 08:37:10 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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U.S. welcomes breakthrough in Sri Lanka 's peace process+  - Associated Press

Tamil Tigers release Sri Lankan policeman held for months as goodwill gesture
Associated Press, Thu January 26, 2006 02:40 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil rebels on Thursday freed a policeman held for more than four months in what they described as a goodwill gesture after agreeing to return to peace talks after a three-year boycott. Sarath was captured by the rebels on Sept. 9 as he was pursuing a suspected British pedophile along with two other male colleagues, two policewomen, two Catholic priests and a child's rights investigator who were also captured near Sri Lanka - 's northwestern coast of Mannar.

All but Sarath and two other police officers were subsequently released.

The rebels claimed that the group entered their territory unauthorized.

Though the government controls Mannar, about 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of Colombo, the rebels hold sway in nearby areas, where they run their own administration.

Talking to the media after his release Sarath, 40, a father of two children, appealed to the guerrilla leader to free his fellow police officers.

``My humble appeal is that my colleagues too should be released and we all should work for peace.''

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels on Wednesday agreed to meet government officials in Geneva next month for the first direct peace talks in nearly three years.

The negotiations broke down in April 2003 after six rounds when the guerrillas withdrew demanding more autonomy in the Tamil-majority north and east.

More than 65,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka - 's civil war since 1983 until a Norway-brokered truce brought relative peace in 2002.

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Published: Thu Jan 26 04:27:57 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka Tigers release policeman after talks deal  - alertnet.org

Clash erupts in Sri Lanka a day after peace deal
reuters.com, Jan 26. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger rebels both said they came under attack on Thursday, a day after the two sides agreed to hold fresh peace talks in Geneva... Back to the top

ANALYSIS-S.Lanka peace talks: war cancelled or delayed
alertnet.org, January 26, 2006 - 08:40 EDT. COLOMBO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to meet for peace talks in Geneva, reducing the risk of an imminent return to conflict, but many analysts are warning the island is far from safe from a new war... Back to the top

US promises aid to Lanka govt against Tigers
Dawn, January 26, 2006 - 08:40 EDT. 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

Envoy says Sri Lanka peace needs patience
go.com, January 26, 2006 - 08:40 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's peace process is back on track but patience is sorely needed and will be key to any success, Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim said on Thursday after the government and Tamil Tiger rebels agreed to meet for talks... Back to the top

Editorial: Peace Prospects in Lanka
arabnews.com, January 26, 2006 - 08:40 EDT. The news that the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels have been persuaded by Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim to hold talks in Geneva next month has to be welcomed as a positive development; but it is not easy to be optimistic... Back to the top

Australia beats Sri Lanka by five wickets to extend tri-series lead
Associated Press, Thu January 26, 2006 06:32 EST . ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Simon Katich made 52, the only half-century in a low-scoring match, to lead Australia to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka - in a tri-series limited-overs cricket match Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels agree to peace talks in Switzerland
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, January 25th, 2006, 2: 20 GMT. Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday agreed to hold face-to-face talks with the Sri Lanka government in Switzerland, breaking an almost three year deadlock, officials said... Back to the top

More Sri Lankans flee to India despite talks breakthrough
Associated Press, Thu January 26, 2006 06:01 EST . S. SRINIVASAN - Associated Press Writer - BANGALORE, India (AP) Twenty Tamil civilians fled from Sri Lanka - and sought refuge in India on Thursday, police said, despite an agreement between Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels to begin talks aimed at ending spiraling violence in the island nation... Back to the top

CH2M Hill helps reconstruct Sri Lanka
nestor.minsk.by, January 26, 2006 - 08:40 EDT. CH2M Hill, a global full-service engineering, construction, and operations firm based in Denver, Colo... Back to the top

Annan welcomes renewed peace talks between Sri Lanka , Tamil Tigers+
Associated Press, Wed January 25, 2006 16:40 EST . NEW YORK, Jan. 25 (Kyodo) _ U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan applauded Wednesday the announcement that the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers, were to renew peace negotiations in mid-February in Geneva... Back to the top

Norwegian envoy holding crucial talks with guerrilla leader to save Sri Lanka cease-fire
Associated Press, Wed January 25, 2006 02:05 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norwegian envoy Eric Solheim arrived in northern Sri Lanka - for crucial talks with the reclusive leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels Wednesday, amid fears the island could return to civil war after four years of relative calm... Back to the top

INTERVIEW-S.Lanka Tigers pledge not to attack troops
alertnet.org, January 25, 2006 - 07:45 EDT. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will not attack government forces provided the military ceases violence against Tamil civilians, the rebels said on Wednesday as they agreed to Swiss peace talks... Back to the top

UNP dissidents slam party
The Peninsula, 1/25/2006 3:18:4. Mahinda Wijesekara, a parliamentarian from the dissident group of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), on Monday slammed moves by his party to stop several MPs from crossing over to the government... Back to the top

Two UNP parliamentarians cross over
tamilnet.com, January 25. Two senior opposition United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians have crossed over to the SL Government... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Government will not start war: JVP MP
hindu.com, January 25, 2006 - 07:45 EDT. CHENNAI: The Sri Lankan Government is determined not to get pushed into a war by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam despite grave provocations, said a Sri Lankan parliamentarian from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)... Back to the top

Maldives joins U.S. network to detect drugs and arms traffickers
Associated Press, Wed January 25, 2006 05:59 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The United States signed an agreement with Maldives on Wednesday to boost its ability to combat illegal drug and arms trafficking by having access to a state-of-the-art communications system... Back to the top

World's Patience with Tamil Tigers Ebbs Analysis by Marwaan Macan-Markar
IPS, January 25. COLOMBO, Jan 25 (IPS) - A reluctance to eschew violence and a failure to grasp prevailing political currents have earned Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels a place in the world's doghouse, rather than be accorded international legitimacy... Back to the top

Police search for culprits after explosions hit Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Wed January 25, 2006 00:53 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police searched Wednesday for perpetrators responsible for a series of explosions in the Sri Lankan capital that caused widespread panic but no known casualties, a senior officer said... Back to the top

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