The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 29, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 298

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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
Sri Lanka seeks international expertise to prop up government peace team
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, January 29th, 2006, 8:00 am SLT. The government is planning to infuse international expertise to boost its negotiating team, ahead of face-to-face talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels next month, officials said. The inclusion will strengthen the government delegation to be led by a government minister, officials involved in the peace process said. A strong military contingent, supported by legal experts are set to be apart of the delegation to Geneva, they said, adding that this was necessary because the talks were essentially on the implementation of the cease-fire and not on a political solution.

Top peace envoy Erik Solheim also reiterated that the Geneva talks were different to the six-rounds of peace talks held earlier. The talks _ aimed at fortifying the February 2002 truce _ are expected to be held for a two-day duration in the third week of next month, the officials said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE, have already finalized their delegation to be led by the Tigers ideologue Anton Balasingham.

Balasingham, left the island Saturday after participating in crucial talks between the LTTE leader and Norwegian peace brokers three days earlier, that resulted in a breakthrough to revive negotiations between the government and the rebels.

War fears had spiraled in Sri Lanka following a wave of killings that had killed more than 100 people, mostly security forces. Thursday's breakthrough came after a nearly three-year deadlock between the parties.

The rebels had been fighting since 1983 for a separate state claiming discrimination of minority Tamils by the 14 million Sinhalese majority. Nearly 65,000 people were killed before the Feb. 22, 2002 Norwegian-brokered cease-fire. Subsequent peace talks broke down a year later amid rebels demands for wide autonomy.

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Published: Sat Jan 28 23:45:48 EST 2006


Blast hits causeway in rebel-held area of northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun January 29, 2006 11:32 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An explosion rattled a strategic causeway in a rebel-held area of northern Sri Lanka - on Sunday, a police official said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. Elephant Causeway, located 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the capital, Colombo, was the scene of repeated battles during Sri Lanka - 's near two-decade civil war. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam drove government forces back along the isthmus in April 2000 to secure control of the only road along which trucks can travel to deliver supplies to the area.

The Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a Tamil homeland, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

Sri Lankan security forces, meanwhile, came under attack twice this weekend in the Jaffna Peninsula, leaving one soldier wounded, according to the military.

The violence Saturday came despite an agreement between the government and Tamil rebels to cease all hostilities and prepare for a new round of peace talks, to be held next month in Switzerland.

The Defense Ministry blamed ``terrorists'' for the attacks, but did not single out the LTTE by name. The guerrilla group, fighting to carve out a separate homeland for Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million Tamils, is banned in the United States and neighboring India as terrorist organization.

The rebel group didn't mention the attack on its peace secretariat Web site, instead accusing the military of harassment.

``(The) Sri Lankan army's harassment, cordon and search operations and intimidation against civilians still continues in the Jaffna Peninsula though the government of Sri Lanka - and the LTTE have agreed to hold talks,'' the statement said.

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Published: Sun Jan 29 13:11:21 EST 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lankan troops attacked in Jaffna despite temporary cease-fire
Associated Press, Sat January 28, 2006 22:46 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops came under attack attack twice in the rebel-dominated Jaffna peninsula, leaving one soldier dead despite a temporary cease-fire called last week, a military official and a pro-guerrilla Web site reported Sunday.

The Defense Ministry blamed ``terrorists'' for the attacks on Saturday, but did not single out the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by name. The guerrilla group, fighting to curve out a separate homeland for Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million Tamils, is banned in the United States and neighboring India as terrorist organization.

In the first attack along the road that links Jaffna with the Point Pedro sea port, Sri Lankan soldiers came under gunfire from attackers hiding behind a building.

In another attack, in the hamlet of Chulipuram, one soldier was wounded when attackers hurled a grenade a military patrol.

The areas were cordoned off and a search operation was ordered, said Samarasinghe. No other details were immediately available.

The attacks follows last week's agreement between the government and the rebels on Wednesday to cease all hostilities and prepare for a new round of peace talks to be held in mid-February in Switzerland.

That agreement, brokered by Norwegian envoy Eric Solheim, came after weeks of violence, most of which was blamed on the Tamil Tigers, who have fought since 1983 for a Tamil homeland.

The Tigers also accused the government of backing the assassination on Thursday of a senior rebel officer.

Seevaratnam Puleedevan, a top rebel peace negotiator, said the killing of the rebel officer which the government denies involvement in throws into question Colombo's commitment to restart the talks that have been stalled since April 2003.

``Our leadership is very disturbed, as this is a very serious incident,'' he said, according to the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site.

Puleedevan blamed the attack on ``paramilitary cadres (backed by) Sri Lankan armed forces.''

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Published: Sun Jan 29 03:08:21 EST 2006 Back to the top


FEATURE-Sri Lanka s Tiger rebels have own rules, no bribes
alertnet.org, 30 Jan 2006 01:00:13 GMT. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, Jan 30 (Reuters) - There's very little of Sri Lanka in Kilinochchi... Back to the top

Crowd race slurs target Sri Lanka
cricinfo.com, January 30, 2006. Racist crowd taunts at Australian grounds this summer have increased to include Sri Lanka, according to the Sydney Morning Herald... Back to the top

Sri Lankan President says talks with rebels meant to end violence
Xinhua, january 29. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said Saturday that the main objective of going into talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels next month is to put an end to violence and thereby to prevent people from getting killed... Back to the top

Australia beats Sri Lanka by six wickets
Associated Press, Sun January 29, 2006 08:04 EST . - - PERTH, Australia (AP) Adam Gilchrist snapped out of a form slump to score 116 runs from 105 balls and lead Australia to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka - in a tri-series limited-overs cricket match Sunday... Back to the top

Demonstration against US role in Sri Lanka
newindpress.com, Sunday January 29 2006 09:02 IST . THANJAVUR: The supporters of Tamil Ealem Liberation staged a demonstration in Thanjavur on Saturday condemning the intervention of US in the affairs of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka main opposition to support gov't peace talks with rebels on condition
Xinhua, january 29. The Sri Lankan main opposition United National Party (UNP) while welcoming government moves to hold talks with Tamil Tiger rebels in Geneva said they would however link three demands, Daily News reported Saturday... Back to the top

Influx of refugees unfortunate: envoy
Hindu, january 29. CHENNAI: It is unfortunate that there is an influx of refugees from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu at a time when efforts to repatriate or facilitate their return are being made by the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai, its chief diplomat, Sumit Nakandala, said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka monks' party opposed to Geneva as talks venue
newkerala.com, january 29. Colombo: Sri Lanka's Buddhist monks party said Saturday it is opposed to Geneva being chosen as the venue for next month's talks between the Tamil Tigers and the government... Back to the top

No proof Sri Lanka Army backs Karuna
hindustantimes.com, January 28, 2006|18:55 IST. Sri Lanka's peace monitors have no evidence that the country's army is supporting the breakaway Tamil Tigers group headed by Karuna, a senior official of the Nordic body says... Back to the top

Indian Air Force chief to visit Sri Lanka
hindustantimes.com, January 28, 2006. The chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to visit Sri Lanka amid persisting concern over the island nation's ethnic conflict despite a breakthrough in the peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Peace Prospects Look Dubious
ohmynews.com, 2006-01-27. Every war goes on too long. Sri Lanka's should never have started at all... Back to the top

Sri Lanka extends detention of five Indians allegedly caught with detonators
Associated Press, Sat January 28, 2006 07:21 EST . - - JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - (AP) A judge on Saturday extended the detention of five Indians seized by Sri Lanka - 's navy, allegedly with tens of thousands of detonators that authorities believe were intended for Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Lankan refugees flowing into India
rediff.com, January 28, 2006 18:09 IST. With 54 Sri Lankan Tamils arriving in Rameshwaram on Saturday, the number of refugees, who have come into the country since January 12, has risen to 289, official sources said... Back to the top

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