The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 303


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Tamil Tigers say they may reconsider peace talks if government supports rivals
Associated Press, Fri February 3, 2006 08:07 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - KOKKADICHCHOLAI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels may reconsider their decision to resume peace talks if Sri Lanka - 's government encourages attacks against their members by rival groups, a senior leader said Friday.

``We see the act of government forces sheltering paramilitary groups as a hidden plan to force us to decide against attending the peace talks,'' Pakkiyaraja Thayamohan, a senior Tiger political leader for eastern Sri Lanka - , said in an interview at his base in Kokkadichcholai.

Kokkadichcholai is a rebel-held region of Batticaloa district 220 kilometers (135 miles) east of the capital, Colombo.

The Tigers often refer to rival groups former Tamil separatist groups which gave up their armed struggle after a failed Indian-brokered peace accord in 1987 as ``paramilitants'' and accuse them of working with the Sri Lankan military.

The government and the Tamil Tigers agreed on Feb. 25 to resume talks on ending one of Asia's longest-running civil conflicts. The negotiations, to be held in Switzerland at a still undecided time, would be their first direct talks in nearly three years.

``After agreeing to peace talks in Geneva, our leader freed a policeman who was in our custody as a goodwill gesture, but on the same day the government's paramilitary groups attacked our cadres and killed one of them,'' Thayamohan said.

He also charged that paramilitants had kidnapped 10 staff members of a relief group affiliated with the Tigers near a military checkpoint earlier this week and were still holding eight of them.

``When the situation is deteriorating in this manner we may be pushed to reconsider our decision to attend peace talks,'' Thayamohan said.

Also Thursday, the Tamil Tigers presented a teenager to the media who claimed to have been a member of a faction that split from the Tigers in 2004 and is now operating under the protection of the Sri Lankan military.

Fifteen-year-old Senthilnathan Arulraj claimed that he surrendered to the mainstream Tamil Tigers after spending six months in a renegade rebel camp allegedly protected by the government military.

Arulraj said he was abducted by the renegade group about six months ago and was given military training under duress.

``There were about 70 of us in the camp and the army used to visit us at least thrice every day,'' he said.

It was not possible to independently verify Arulraj's claims.

The government has repeatedly denied protecting former Tamil militants and using them to attack the Tigers. It also has denied any knowledge of the alleged abduction of the relief workers.

The Tamil Tigers began fighting for a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils in 1983, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

More than 65,000 people were killed before a Norway-brokered cease-fire was signed in 2002. Peace talks broke down in April 2003 when the Tigers withdrew, demanding more autonomy for the Tamil-majority north and east. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Feb 3 10:57:33 EST 2006

S Lanka rebels say no firm dates for Geneva talks, February 03, 2006, - 16:30 EDT. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said today no firm date had been set for a key meeting with the government in Switzerland, contradicting a minister who said the two sides would hold direct talks from February 15. Direct negotiations between the two sides brokered by facilitator Norway are seen key to averting a new civil war, but earlier in the week the rebels warned the reported abduction of several Tamil aid workers might make talks difficult. More...
Published: Fri Feb 3 16:31:38 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Report - A climate of fear in the East, February 03, 2006, - 16:30 EDT. Sri Lanka: Report - 'A climate of fear in the East' Amnesty International welcomes the recent announcement that representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have agreed to meet in Switzerland this month to review the implementation of the cease-fire. The organisation urges that the issue of human rights monitoring be urgently addressed at these talks.

Amnesty International today published its report Sri Lanka: A climate of fear in the East, which documents the findings of an Amnesty International research mission in August 2005 to investigate reports of an escalation in political killings in the East of the country. The report documents human rights abuses including politically motivated killings, torture, abductions, and the recruitment of children as soldiers as well as harassment and extortion, resulting in the growing climate of fear. The report More...

Discuss this story
Published: Fri Feb 3 16:33:13 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka sets delegation for mid-February talks
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, February 3rd, 2006, 11:00 am. Three Cabinet ministers are set to be included in the government delegation for talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels to strengthen Sri Lanka's fraying cease-fire, officials said... Back to the top

Top donor agencies postpone visit to rebel-held northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri February 3, 2006 03:05 EST . Top international donors on Friday postponed a meeting with Tamil rebel leaders in northern Sri Lanka for fear it could have a detrimental effect on upcoming peace talks between the government and guerrillas... Back to the top

FTA with Sri Lanka not benefiting India, February 03, 2006, - 16:30 EDT. NEW DELHI: Industry chamber Assocham on Friday said even after India's signing free trade agreements with both Sri Lanka and Thailand, India's exports to the two countries has risen by merely 47 and 17 per cent respectively between 2002-03 to 2004-05... Back to the top

Sri Lanka president urges unity, Tigers call for strike
AFP, Fri 3rd Feb 12:45GMT. President Mahinda Rajapakse has urged unity and peace in Sri Lanka, even as a Tamil Tiger front organisation called for a one-day strike to coincide with Saturday's independence day... Back to the top

Sri Lanka annoyed by Murali taunts, February 4, 2006. SRI Lanka have opted not to make a racial complaint over the taunts made to Muttiah Muralitharan but the tourists remain frustrated over the constant heckling the star bowler gets from Australian crowds... Back to the top

Ilham Aliyev congratulated president of Sri Lanka with ..., February 03, 2006, - 16:30 EDT. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev sent today a congratulatory message to the president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mahinda Radjapaks in regard to the Day of Independence, Trend reports... Back to the top

We haven t heard racism: Lankans, February 03, 2006, - 16:30 EDT. SRI LANKA has denied reports of racial abuse from Australian fans this summer, claiming none of its players had been subjected to racist taunts... Back to the top

Sri Lanka police find passenger with grenade aboard train
Associated Press, Fri February 3, 2006 03:59 EST . Police found a hand grenade on an ethnic Tamil passenger aboard a train bound for Sri Lanka's capital, police said Friday... Back to the top

SLMC collects petition to appeal Udathalawinna decision
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, February 2, 2006, 7.24 p.m.. In an attempt to persuade the Attorney General to appeal against the recent High Court verdict on the Udathalawinna massacre, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is expected to hand over a petition signed by the victims families to the AG shortly... Back to the top

Sri Lanka banks on patriotism to push 'junk' bonds
AFP/Yahoo, Fri 3rd Feb 12:45GMT. Sri Lanka said it was banking on the patriotism of citizens holding foreign currency savings to buy 25 million dollars worth of junk-rated government bonds... Back to the top

Govt doubts veracity of LTTE claim about abductions, Fri 3rd Feb 12:45GMT. The Sri Lankan government has raised doubts about the veracity of the LTTE's claim that ten personnel of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) were kidnapped by pro-government paramilitaries late last month... Back to the top

Sri Lanka fed up with Murali taunts
AFP/Yahoo, Fri 3rd Feb 12:45GMT. Sri Lanka are fed up with Australian crowds taunting star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan but will not lodge a formal complaint about racism, team officials said... Back to the top

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