The Lanka Academic

MARCH 1, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 329


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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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
Ex President Kumaratunga blows fuse with her successor and party General Secretary
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, March 1, 2006, 11.55 p.m.. Ex President and Leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Chandrika Kumaratunga has lashed out at President Mahinda Rajapakse and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena for allegedly violating party rules.

In a letter to Sirisena, Ms. Kumaratunga claimed that although she had made repeated requests to him to convene a meeting for her to meet with all SLFP local Government Candidates, a request he had failed to heed to. "But no sooner President Rajapakse made this request to you, a meeting was immediately convened at the Presidential Secretariat, and neither was I invited nor informed about the proceedings of this meting," she said in her letter.

"What authenticity do you have to convene such a meeting even going to the extent of bypassing me, who is the leader of the party," she queried.

She also expressed her displeasure over a decision taken sans her knowledge to convene another conference comprising all SLFP members and other local Government candidates at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium today once again without even considering her or consulting her on the matter.

"At the last minute I was sent an invitation to attend this meeting, which is highly unethical as I am the President of this party," She pointed out. She added that both President Rajapakse and Maithripal Sirisena has violated the SLFP rules, by bypassing the leader of the party and taking decisions according to their fancies.

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Published: Wed Mar 1 12:56:55 EST 2006

Lanka opposition wants ceasefire details out in open
GulfNews, march 2. Colombo: The controversy over amendments reported to have been made to the existing Ceasefire Agreement with Tamil rebels has taken a further turn with the opposition demanding that the government make a clarification on the amendments.

The main opposition is demanding that the government makes public the amendments it is reported to have made to the existing CFA.

The United National Party (UNP) joined the dispute whether the CFA had been amended, after the rebels denied that the original agreement signed in February 2002 was amended. More...

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Published: Wed Mar 1 20:21:54 EST 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels say 20 child soldiers released
Associated Press, Tue February 28, 2006 23:29 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday they have released 20 combatants who had lied about their ages in order to join the insurgency, hoping to ease U.N. criticism that they forcibly recruit children under 18 to fight in their war.

``This release is part of a process taken up by us to ensure that underage youths who voluntarily join the LTTE are sent back to their parents,'' Daya Master told The Associated Press by phone from Kilinochchi, a stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Master said the children were handed over to their parents at a ceremony in the rebel-held area on Tuesday after a three-member committee had singled out members from the group who are under age.

``Now we have evolved a system under which we take down details from parents who believe their children are with us,'' Master said.

The rebels, who are fighting to carve out a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamil minority, are often accused of recruiting child soldiers for their war against the government.

According to UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, 5,368 child recruitment cases by the rebels have been reported since 2002, the year when the government and the Tigers agreed to a Norway-brokered cease-fire.

One year later, the Tigers agreed with UNICEF and the Sri Lankan government to release all child soldiers to a rehabilitation center, where they were to be given counseling and vocational training to help them re-enter society.

The rebels say they have released thousands of child soldiers since then, but no total figure is available.

Rebel and government negotiators met in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of February _ the first direct talks between the two sides in three years _ and agreed to meet again April 19-21, again in Geneva, to salvage their tattered cease-fire.

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Published: Wed Mar 1 01:16:42 EST 2006 Back to the top

Uncertain future preventing Sri Lanka 's civil war refugees from returning home
Associated Press, Wed March 1, 2006 02:46 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankans displaced by the country's civil war are refusing to return home, citing fears of renewed fighting between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels, the European Commission said Wednesday... Back to the top

Three Tamil youths arrested with explosives inside railroad tunnel in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed March 1, 2006 02:15 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Three ethnic minority Tamils were arrested with a bag containing explosives inside a railroad tunnel in Sri Lanka - 's mountainous tea-growing region, police said on Wednesday... Back to the top

US Welcomes Sri Lankan, Tamil Tiger Commitment to Cease-fire, 28 February 2006. Parties reach agreement in Geneva peace negotiations Washington -- The United States joined Japan, Norway and the European Union (together known as the Co-chairs of the Tokyo Donors’ Conference) in welcoming the renewed commitment by the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to their 2002 cease-fire agreement... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Maharoof leads Sri Lankan fightback against Bangladesh
Associated Press, Wed March 1, 2006 06:40 EST . NILOY ROY - Associated Press Writer - CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) Farveez Maharoof struck a solid 72 for his first test half-century Wednesday to steer Sri Lanka - out of early trouble in the first cricket test against Bangladesh... Back to the top

Tisaranee Gunasekara, February 28. The Tigers are the biggest winners in Geneva. They went to Geneva intent on getting a deal on Col... 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... 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

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

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