The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 328


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lankan monks threaten to pull out of govt, March 01. COLOMBO: A Buddhist monk-led political party in Sri Lanka on Tuesday has threatened to withdraw support for the president’s shaky minority government in parliament over ongoing peace efforts with Tamil rebels.The all-Buddhist monk party known as the JHU said President Mahinda Rajapakse should fulfill a pre-election pledge he made to subdue Tamil Tiger rebels. More...

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Published: Tue Feb 28 21:55:00 EST 2006

Tisaranee Gunasekara, February 28. The Tigers are the biggest winners in Geneva. They went to Geneva intent on getting a deal on Col. Karuna and they seemed to have got one. Mahinda Rajapakse is a winner and so is Ranil Wickremesinghe but not the state of Sri Lanka. The President can now successfully conduct the Local government election campaign without having to bother about an immediate escalation of hostilities, even though he bought this partisan political advantage by further weakening the defences of the state of Sri Lanka. Mr. Wickremesinghe can justifiably claim some credit for the ‘success’ in Geneva since this success was the result of the adoption of his ‘peace through appeasement’ line by the President. The war weary Tamil people have been granted a respite, but the LTTE’s overlordship over them has been conceded once again. The anti-Tiger Tamils are clear losers since they, together with the basic democratic rights of the Tamils, have been sacrificed in this latest attempt to postpone the war by appeasing the Tigers. More...

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Published: Tue Feb 28 19:20:07 EST 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers accuse Sri Lanka government of failing to honor commitment
Associated Press, Sun February 26, 2006 23:33 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday accused Sri Lanka's government of not honoring commitments given at the just-concluded Geneva talks by failing to crack down on an armed member of a rival Tamil group in the north.

The member of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party was seen traveling with a handgun on government-controlled Delft island on Friday and government troops did nothing to restrict him, the rebel group said.

``This is a violation of the cease-fire and words given by the government at Geneva,' said Daya Master, a spokesman for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the Tamil Tigers are formally known.

There was no immediate comment available from Sri Lanka's military.

The Eelam Peoples Democratic Party used to be a militant organization but gave up its arms in the late 1980s to join the political mainstream, and today is a coalition partner in President Mahinda Rajapakse's government.

The group accuses the Tamil Tigers of killing at least 40 of its members since the 2002 cease-fire between the rebels and the government.

Government ministers and rebel leaders met in Geneva Feb 22-23 to save Sri Lanka's the faltering cease-fire. They agreed to meet again from April 19-21 in Geneva. A joint statement released after the latest talks said that, until then, both sides agreed to take ``all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no intimidation, acts of violence, abductions or killings.''

The government also agreed not to allow any armed groups to move in the areas under its control other than the military.

The Geneva meeting was the first high-level contact between the two sides since peace talks broke down in 2003 after six rounds.

Tamils complain of systematic discrimination by the Sinhalese majority, and are seeking autonomy in Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated northeast.

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Published: Tue Feb 28 08:41:08 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka peace process overseers hail new drive to end 2 decades of strife
Associated Press, Tue February 28, 2006 09:20 EST . BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP)_ Nations overseeing the Sri Lankan peace process on Tuesday welcomed the renewed commitment of the Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume cease-fire talks in April and restrain the level of violence... Back to the top

INTERVIEW-No more S.Lanka talks if pledges not met -rebel, 28 Feb 2006 . SAMPOOR, Sri Lanka, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A senior leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has said further negotiations with the government will be pointless if Colombo does not act on pledges made at peace talks in Geneva last week... Back to the top

Rajapakse's allies reject Geneva agreement
Hindu, February 28. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's electoral allies — the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) — have rejected the Geneva agreement between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the ground that it ran contradictory to the Government's position on the ceasefire agreement (CFA)... Back to the top

GPS devices for Tsunami affected indian fishermen
Reauters Alertnet, 27 Feb 2006 04:16:00 GMT. Fishermen in India can now navigate the seas with ease and mark fishing spots thanks to Global Positioning System(GPS) devices provided by World Vision... Back to the top

UN candidate to press for reforms
BBC, February 28. Sri Lankan candidate for the top the top UN post says he would press for reforms if selected to replace United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president praises political parties for successful ..., February 28. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said the success of the Geneva talks is an honor that has to be collectively shared by all political parties who took part in the All Party Conference which was initiated by the government... Back to the top

Ashraful century powers Bangladesh to 315 in first test against Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue February 28, 2006 07:15 EST . NILOY ROY - Associated Press Writer - CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) Mohammad Ashraful smashed his third test century to power Bangladesh to 315-9 in the first cricket test match against Sri Lanka - on Tuesday... Back to the top

Indian filmmaker says ``Suicide Bomber'' script complete
Associated Press, Tue February 28, 2006 06:14 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Top Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said Tuesday he had completed the script for an upcoming movie that explores the mind-set and motivations of a would-be suicide bomber... Back to the top

Exodus of pilots leaves SriLankan Airlines flights grounded
Associated Press, Tue February 28, 2006 02:49 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's national carrier has been forced to cancel some flights and reschedule others after 10 percent of its pilots quit over the past three months to join other airlines offering better salaries, officials said on Tuesday... Back to the top

New ceasefire pact still needed, says Lankan govt negotiator, 28 February. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan negotiators vowed yesterday to honour a deal reached with Tamil Tiger rebels after talks in Switzerland, but said a new truce is still needed to resolve “legal infirmities” in the current ceasefire brokered in 2002... Back to the top

Swiss talks exceed expectations amid anxious moments
Shimali Senanayake, February 27. CELIGNY, Switzerland – The government and the LTTE clinched a better than expected deal last week to continue talking and vowed to put an end to violence in talks that were to decide if Sri Lanka was heading for peace or war... Back to the top

LTTE constructing yet another bunker -- the third within a week
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, February 27, 2006, 11.51 p.m.. LTTE cadres are reported to be building another new bunker, this time in Trincomalee... Back to the top

Malaysian firms to invest US$200m in Sri Lanka’s telecom
The Star, February 28. KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian companies are expected to invest about US$200mil in Sri Lanka's telecommunications sector this year, with at least three quarters of it coming from Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM)... Back to the top

Malaysia To Build RM1.1 Bln Highway In Sri Lanka
Bernama, February 28. KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- A Malaysian consortium of contractors led by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) will build the RM1.1 billion Colombo-Kandy highway in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military, Tamil Tigers trade charges of violating Geneva commitments
Associated Press, Mon February 27, 2006 01:39 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lanka - 's government accused each other Monday of failing to honor commitments made at just-concluded peace talks in Geneva intended to preserve a fragile cease-fire... Back to the top

Sri Lankan tsunami survivors stage sit-in, February 28. About 1,000 Sri Lankans who lost their homes to Asia's tsunami have overrun government land in the island's east and are vowing to stay until they are built new homes... Back to the top

Sri Lanka designates 20 hospitals for bird flu surveillance
Associated Press, Mon February 27, 2006 03:27 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's Health Ministry on Monday designated 20 hospitals around the country that will be responsible for monitoring bird flu in their areas, although no cases have yet been reported, a ministry spokesman said... Back to the top

Residents venture back out as S.Lanka violence ebbs, 27 Feb 2006 05:26:11 GMT. TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, Feb 27 (Reuters) - People have returned to the streets in Sri Lanka's multi-ethnic east after talks between the government and Tamil Tigers pulled the island back from the brink of war, but distrust remains... Back to the top

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