The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 314


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UNICEF raises child soldiers issue ahead of Sri Lanka peace meeting+
Associated Press, Tue February 14, 2006 07:58 EST . COLOMBO, Feb. 14 (Kyodo) _ The U.N. children's agency on Tuesday called on both the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government to remember their commitment to stop the recruitment of children under the 2002 ceasefire agreement.

The U.N. Children's Fund made the call ahead of peace talks next week in Geneva between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

While the government has never been accused of child recruitment, the LTTE has been under heavy fire on this score from UNICEF as well as other international agencies.

UNICEF called on both sides to reaffirm their commitment to the ceasefire agreement and ''to ensure that the protection of children affected by the crisis is at the center of the upcoming talks in Geneva.''

''Of particular importance remains the unresolved situation of child recruitment, which led UNICEF to once again appeal to the LTTE to cease the recruitment of children and release all children within its ranks,'' the statement said.

''While recruitment of children in the last six months declined to an average of 43 a month, only 79 children were released and reunited with their families during the same period,'' said JoAnna VanGerpen, UNICEF representative in Sri Lanka.

The statement noted that since January 2002, UNICEF has recorded 5,368 cases of reported child recruitment in Sri Lanka.

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Published: Tue Feb 14 09:03:14 EST 2006

Related News Stories
LTTE accused of recruiting over 5,300 child soldiers  - afp
UNICEF accuses LTTE of recruiting child soldiers  -

Lanka to ask $200m. loan from China
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, February 14, 2006, 10.26 p.m.. The Sri Lankan Government will make an application shortly requesting a soft loan of US $ 200 million from the Chinese Government to complete the construction of the abandoned Colombo-Katunayake expressway.

The expressway which is set to complete construction by 2007 will see an average speed limit of between 80 kilometres to 110 kilometres per hour.

Already the Government has signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC), a Chinese company, to complete the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway.

"The 26-km Expressway was designed more than a decade ago and left abandoned for many years due to funding problems. At present 35% of the work has been done and to complete the balance the Government will raise a soft loan of US$ 200 million from the Chinese Government," Highways Ministry Secretary Sarath Amarasekera said.

The Chinese Government has principally agreed to provide a loan for this project.

The main objectives of this project is to create a speedier link between Colombo and Katunayake (International Airport), Serve the traffic to and from the Northern part of the island, Link with the rapid industrial expansion in the area and encourage outward migration of people living under congested conditions in and around Colombo.

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Published: Tue Feb 14 11:27:35 EST 2006 Back to the top

New Parliament website to be launched on Friday
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, February 14, 2006, 10.35 p.m.. The official Parliament website ( will be launched on Friday by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake at the Parliament complex.

The new Website of the Parliament is developed as part of the Parliament's modernization programme, which aims at making its legislative, representative, and oversight functions more effective and efficient.

The Website will offer current information on parliamentary proceedings and activities including important documents such as Hansard, Order Paper (agenda of the Parliament for the day), Order Book (Notices for future activities), Parliamentary Calendar, Published Reports of Committees etc.

The Members of Parliament will have an exclusive domain where each Member will be provided with information relevant to him/her. Through the public domain members of the public will be provided with the opportunity to communicate with the Parliament Information Service through the website.

The Directory of Members will provide the public with contact particulars enabling them to communicate with their Members with ease. It is expected that the website will provide the opportunity to enhance the participation of the public in the democratic process there by strengthening the public confidence in democratic institutions and democratic governance.

The development of the new website for Parliament was sponsored by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka through its e-Sri Lanka Project launched with the assistance of the World Bank.

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Published: Tue Feb 14 11:38:29 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Parliament extends state of emergency
Associated Press, Tue February 14, 2006 09:38 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - on Tuesday extended a state of emergency that gives wide-ranging powers to the armed forces, saying that the security situation was still dire a week before crucial talks aimed at upholding a fragile cease-fire... Back to the top

Lanka s ruling coalition member demands fresh peace process, 14 Feb . Colombo: A key member of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition today demanded a brand-new peace process to replace the Norwegian-led initiative, which it said had "failed... Back to the top

Sri Lanka warned against denying Tamils homeland, 14 Feb 2006 . COLOMBO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers were silent on Tuesday over President Mahinda Rajapakse's rejection of their demand for a separate homeland, but a pro-rebel politician said it could jeopardise peace talks later this month... Back to the top

Australia Beats Sri Lanka By 9 Wickets to Win VB Cricket Series, Feb. 14 . Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Adam Gilchrist smashed 122 runs from 91 balls and Simon Katich got his first one-day cricket century as Australia beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets in Brisbane to win the triangular VB Series. Gilchrist and Katich, who made 107 not out, put on 196 runs for the opening wicket as Australia reached 267-1 to surpass Sri Lanka's total of 266-9 with more than four overs to spare... Back to the top

EXCLUSIVE-No homeland for Tigers - S.Lanka President, Feb 13, 2006 . COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday ruled out Tamil Tiger demands for a separate homeland in the island's north and east, but said he would rein in armed groups ó a central rebel demand ahead of crunch talks... Back to the top

Chandrika 'still faces threats to her life'
Gulf News, February 14. Colombo: Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has complained to President Mahinda Rajapakse that her security is being systematically pruned despite threats to her life... Back to the top

One injured in grenade blast in Sri Lankan Tamil party office
Associated Press, February 13. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hurled a hand grenade into the political office of a rival Tamil group in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday, injuring one person, a military spokesman said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka civil society promotes peace with Tigers, 2006-02-13. COLOMBO, Feb. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- A Sri Lankan civil society group is proceeding to the Tamil Tiger rebel's territory to promote peace ahead of scheduled talks between the government and rebels. The team of PAFFREL (People's Action for Free and Fair Elections) activists left here Monday for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held territory in Kilinochchi in the north, Kingsley Rodrigo, the PAFFREL executive director, said... Back to the top

Tamil parties to support president
bbc, February 14. Two major political parties representing Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka have decided to form an alliance with the government led by President Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming local polls... Back to the top

Jayawardene apologises to Ponting
The Pennisular, February 14. ADELAIDE: Mahela Jayawardene has apologised to Ricky Ponting for claiming he caught the batsmanís cut shot during last nightís second final at Sydney... Back to the top

Ceylonís struggle against Indian immigrants, February 13, 2006, 11:30 EDT. A substantial part of Sri Lanka's modern history is about its struggle against Indian immigrants... Back to the top

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