The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 31, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 300

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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
Tamil Tiger rebels threaten to pull out of Sri Lanka peace talks as 10 aid workers go missing
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, January 31st, 2006, 11:00 pm. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday threatened to pull out of next months peace talks over the abduction of 10 Tamil aid workers in the island's volatile east, officials said.

"It will damage the atmosphere of negotiations and make it difficult to resume talks," said Daya Master, spokesman for the Tigers from the rebel-held capital of Kilinochchi. "They should be released immediately," Master said, blaming the abductions on para-militaries supported by the Sri Lankan army. The military denies any involvement.

The Tigers' threat comes barely a week after Norway's top peace envoy Erik Solheim broke an almost three year deadlock to resume stalled peace talks between the government and the guerrillas amid fears that the island was on the brink of war.

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization or TRO, a registered charity in Sri Lanka with alleged strong links to the Tigers said five among 15 of its members had been abducted by "unidentified gunmen," in the island's restive eastern Batticaloa, about 150 kilo meters from the capital Colombo, on Monday.

Less than a day later, the TRO reported that another group _ including three pre-school volunteer teachers _ affiliated to their organization had gone missing without a trace in the same area. "Under the circumstances, we fear that the same fate has befallen these humanitarian workers," said Arjunan Ethirveerasungham, the TRO's project development manager. "There seems to be a campaign of terror unleashed on TRO personnel in the northeast." He appealed to the Sri Lankan government and the international community to speedily investigate the abductions.

Earlier Tuesday, the United States embassy in Colombo, also urged authorities to "rapidly investigate," the allegations, while appealing to "all parties to exercise restraint and calm."

The kidnappings have been brought to the notice of President Mahinda Rajapakse and there was concern if the incidents will jeopardize the much-awaited negotiations to strengthen a fragile cease-fire.

European truce monitors said they had visited the scene but will return again Wednesday to probe the incidents further. "The LTTE has complained about these abductions and says this may jeopardize the whole Geneva conference," said Hagrup Haukland, chief of the 57-member mission. "We are very concerned as there are elements trying to disrupt the peace process."

The Tigers have been fighting for a separate state since 1983 for the island's ethnic Tamil minority, claiming discrimination by the Sinhalese majority. Nearly 65,000 people were killed before Norway brokered a truce in February 2002. Subsequent peace talks broke down a year later amid rebel demands for wide autonomy in the Tamil-majority north and east.

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Published: Tue Jan 31 14:22:43 EST 2006

Related News Stories
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LTTE fumes as aid workers abducted  - indiatimes.com
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Another five TRO staff reported missing  - Tamilnet
·
Tamil Tiger rebels threaten to pull out of peace talks after alleged abduction of Tamils  - Associated Press

Tiger allegations bogus - Govt
bbc, February 1. The government categorically denies that five members of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization,(TRO) an organization with links to the LTTE, have been abducted on the A11 road on Monday afternoon. Speaking to Sandeshaya defence spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said that this allegation is an attempt to discredit security forcers. He said “Such abduction could not happen in close vicinity to the check point”. According to the TRO the abductors were armed and previously there have been reports that the armed gang loyal to Karuna who broke away from the LTTE has camped in areas close by. More...
Published: Tue Jan 31 20:39:14 EST 2006 Back to the top

Tamil rebel faction announces unilateral cease-fire ahead of Sri Lanka 's peace talks
Associated Press, Mon January 30, 2006 23:36 EST . A breakaway Tamil Tiger faction has offered a cease-fire to the mainstream rebels ahead of the insurgents' talks with the government, a move it hopes will help secure a permanent peace for Sri Lanka, media reports said Tuesday.

The government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam agreed last week to meet for the first time in about four years to try to save a cease-fire that has come under intense pressure following the killing of over 150 people since December.

The talks will be held in Switzerland in February, although a date has not been confirmed.

``This unilateral cease-fire is declared to create a conducive environment for the Sri Lankan president (Mahinda Rajapakse) to continue with his negotiations to bring about a permanent'' end to the civil war, Colombo's Daily Mirror quoted a statement from the renegades as saying.

The breakaway faction, led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, also known as Karuna, left the mainstream group in March 2004 with about 6,000 fighters. The uprising was suppressed by the main rebel group a month later, but the breakaway leader is still believed to have many followers among Tamils in the east.

The LTTE - which has its main power base in the north - has accused the Sri Lankan military of backing Karuna's faction, an accusation the military denies.

There was no immediate reaction available from the LTTE on the renegades' offer.

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Published: Tue Jan 31 01:43:17 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Karuna faction offers ceasefire to LTTE  - hindu.com

Lessons from Lanka: How ‘hawks’ have turned to peace -Opinion
khaleejtimes.com, 1 February 2006. HE sensational victory of Hamas in last week’s election to the Palestinian legislative council has shocked the West but not the people who voted for the popular Islamic resistance movement, which exhorts all believers to fight to win back the land Israel had grabbed from the Palestinians... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to have new Tamil party
webindia123.com, January 31, 2006 8:15:05 AM. Troubled by their inability to play a larger role in Sri Lankan politics, Tamil politicians opposed to the Tamil Tigers are joining hands to form a new political party... Back to the top

IAF chief meets Rajapakse
Hindu, February 1. COLOMBO: Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi on Tuesday met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and senior defence officials as part of his three-day official visit to the island-nation... Back to the top

Dengue: Stopping a potentially deadly threat in Sri Lanka
ReliefWeb, January 31. Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection, is endemic in Sri Lanka and many other countries with tropical climates... Back to the top

Who is the indigenous Sri Lankan?
hindustantimes.com, January 30, 2006. One of the most contentious issues in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is the question of indigenousness... Back to the top

Violence ebbs in Sri Lanka but tensions still persist – UN ...
un.org, January 30, 2006 - 08:25 EDT. 31 January 2006 – Violence in Sri Lanka has ebbed since the Government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last week agreed to hold new talks, but scores of people continue leaving the southern part of the country for India, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka truce may collapse: Study
hindustantimes.com, New Delhi, January 31, 2006|11:26 IST. Sri Lanka's ceasefire between the Tamil Tiger guerrillas and the government can collapse and trigger renewed fighting, a path-breaking international study on the peace process has cautioned... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: resumption of talks
reliefweb.int, January 31, 2006 - 08:25 EDT. This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 31 January 2006, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva... Back to the top

SA beat Sri Lanka by five wickets
businessday.co.za, January 31, 2006 - 11:45 EDT. SYDNEY - SA skipper Graeme Smith ended his prolonged slump in form with a strong all-round performance to lead his team to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in a one-day international at the WACA in Perth today... Back to the top

Colombo tells Karuna to cool off
webindia, January 30. Ahead of crucial peace talks scheduled in Geneva, the Sri Lankan government has told breakaway Tamil Tigers leader Karuna to halt attacks on his former comrades... Back to the top

Report: Sri Lankan rebels reinforcing their feared 'Sea Tiger' naval force
Associated Press, Mon January 30, 2006 03:05 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels have trained more fighters for their ``Sea Tiger'' naval force, sparking yet more fears that a fraying government-rebel truce may snap, a defense analyst and pro-rebel Web-site said... Back to the top

LTTE suggests dates for Geneva talks
hindustantimes.com, January 30, 2006 - 08:15 EDT. The LTTE has suggested February 15 and 16 or 21 and 22 as dates for the proposed talks with the Sri Lankan government in Geneva... Back to the top

Breakaway faction offers truce to Tamil Tigers
Hindu, January 30. Colombo, Jan. 30 (PTI): A breakaway faction of Tamil Tiger rebels today offered a ceasefire to the main guerrilla outfit and said the move was aimed at giving Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse, a chance to forge peace. The breakaway faction decided to stop attacking the mainstream Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Asian Tribune website said, quoting the renegade leader V... Back to the top

Tamil students allege discrimination in University Admissions
TamilNet, January 28. Two Tamil female candidates who sat for the Sri Lanka Law College entrance examination have filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application in the Supreme Court alleging discrimination against Tamil medium candidates... Back to the top

Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration and Emigration is trying ...
lankabusinessonline.com, 30 January 2006 17:21 hours . Jan 30(LBO) -Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration and Emigration is trying to reduce the queue up for passports... Back to the top

Biotech info centers launched in Sri Lanka, Pakistan
SeedQuest, January 30. Sri Lanka’s University of Colombo recently launched a new Biotechnology Education and Information center in December 2005... Back to the top

Air Chief Marshal Tyagi leaves for Sri Lanka for goodwill talks
newkerala.com, January 30, 2006 - 08:15 EDT. By Sutirtha Sanyal, New Delhi: Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi will begin a five-day goodwill visit to Sri Lanka from today, amid persisting concerns in India over the ongoing ethnic conflict in the neighbouring island-nation... Back to the top

INTERVIEW-S.Lanka violence falls but peril remains-monitors
alertnet.org, January 30, 2006 - 08:15 EDT. COLOMBO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Violence has fallen dramatically in Sri Lanka since Tamil Tiger rebels and the government agreed last week to hold new talks, international truce monitors said on Monday, but rogue elements could still destroy a fragile peace... Back to the top

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