The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 315


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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
S.Lanka rebels say talks will decide peace or war
Reuters, February 16, 2006. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers next week will determine if there is peace or war, the rebels said, branding President Mahinda Rajapakse's refusal to consider a separate Tamil homeland as "childish".

Suspected rebel attacks in December and January all but destroyed a Norway-brokered 2002 ceasefire, but violence fell after the two sides agreed to meet in Switzerland. The rebels said that did not mean the country was further from a return to a two-decade civil war.

"That is totally dependent on the outcome of this meeting," S.P. Thamilselvan, head of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday. More...

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Published: Wed Feb 15 23:54:18 EST 2006

Sri Lanka Keeps Key Interest Rate Unchanged for Second Month, Feb. 16. Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a second month to spur investment and fuel economic growth after four increases last year helped slow inflation.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka left the repurchase rate at which it drains money from the banking system at 8.75 percent, the monetary authority said in a statement today. Five of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the Colombo-based bank to keep the rate unchanged.

Central bank Governor Sunil Mendis and his fellow policy makers increased the rate by 1.25 percentage points last year to curb inflationary pressures arising from increases in bank lending and oil prices. Inflation slowed to a 10-month low in January, allowing the bank to keep borrowing costs steady More...

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Published: Wed Feb 15 23:34:15 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan gov t plans to achieve 8 percent GDP growth, February 15, 2006. The Sri Lankan government is in the process of drafting a six year strategic plan to achieve an 8 percent growth in the country, Treasury Secretary P.B Jayasundara was quoted by Daily News as saying on Wednesday.

The government wants to develop both community-based development projects and mega projects concurrently to achieve the target, Jayasundara said.

He said the government have brought all critical components into an integrated system to create a favorable investment climate in the country.

He also said to accelerate the economic development, the government has given emphasis on infrastructure development. He said the Southern highway development has been expedited.

The government has planned to construct two coal power plants in Trincomalee and Puttlam and its connected roads will be developed to high standards, he added. More...

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Published: Wed Feb 15 23:35:37 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to introduce underground trains, February 16, 2006. The Sri Lankan Railway Track Development Ministry has decided to introduce an underground tube train system to Sri Lanka capital City of Colombo and the suburbs, Daily News reported Thursday... Back to the top

UNP keeps everyone in suspense over their Mayoral candidate
Munza Mushtaq, February 15, 2005, 3.38 p.m.. With less than 24 hours to go for nominations to close for the forthcoming local government poll, the main opposition—United National Party (UNP) has still not decided who its Mayoral candidate will be, at the time this story was filed... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's president releases top opposition politician jailed for contempt of court
Associated Press, Wed February 15, 2006 10:36 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday ordered the release of a top opposition leader, who was serving a two-year jail sentence for criticizing the Supreme Court, the president's office said... Back to the top

Be flexible at Geneva, India tells Sri Lanka, February 15, 2006, - 07:50 EDT. By M.R. Narayan Swamy,New Delhi: India has advised Sri Lanka to be "flexible" during talks with the Tamil Tiger guerrillas in Geneva next week... Back to the top

No solution within unitary Constitution, says LTTE, February 15, 2006, - 18:00 EDT. COLOMBO: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Wednesday ruled out a solution to the decades-long separatist conflict within the unitary Constitution... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers say no compromise on separate homeland possible
Associated Press, Wed February 15, 2006 06:34 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's separatist rebels said Wednesday they will not compromise their demand for a homeland during upcoming peace talks... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers say 28 underage combatants discharged
Associated Press, Wed February 15, 2006 01:23 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tigers rebels said Wednesday they discharged 28 volunteers after learning they were under 18 years old, aiming to deflect U... Back to the top

Lanka-LTTE trust at rock-bottom, say Nordic Monitors, February 15, 2006, - 07:50 EDT. Nordic truce monitors, overseeing the shaky truce between the Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the past four years, said mutual trust between the two parties is at rock-bottom and that confidence-building measures are needed to take the Norwegian-brokered peace process forward... Back to the top

Unicef statement on child recruits 'pretty lame'
ANN/Island, February 15. Unicef yesterday (Feb 14) issued what some critics called "a pretty lame statement" on LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) child recruitment... Back to the top

S.Lanka attacks may deepen if talks fail - monitor, February 15, 2006, - 07:50 EDT. Sporadic attacks that threatened to rupture a truce which halted Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war could resume with even greater ferocity if next week's crunch talks fail, the island's chief truce monitor said... Back to the top

Ease tensions before starting talks, Sri Lanka truce monitor says
Associated Press, Tue February 14, 2006 21:54 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The chief of European cease-fire monitors in Sri Lanka - urged the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to reduce tensions to improve the climate for peace talks scheduled in Geneva next week... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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