The Lanka Academic

MARCH 4, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 332


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
President prepares for visit to Pakistan
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, March 5th, 2006, SLT 6 a.m.. President Mahinda Rajapakse will set off on an official visit to Pakistan at the end of this month, officials said.

"Pakistan has always had close relations with Sri Lanka and this good-will visit will strengthen our ties," said Zahoor Barlas, spokesman for the Pakisatan high commission in Colombo.

The visit _ starting March 31 _ will be the first to Pakistan since Rajapakse was elected to office, and his second official tour overseas.

Sri Lanka is expected to sign several agreements with Pakistan during the visit, including pacts connected to tourism, culture and railways, Barlas said.

He declined to comment if defense-related issues were going to be discussed, but assured Pakistan's unreserved support.

"Whatever assistance in whatever field Sri Lanka wants from Pakistan, we as a friend will provide," Barlas said.

However, presidential officials said military matters will be taken up during meetings between Rajapakse and his Pakistan counterpart Pervez Musharaff. Musharraf supplied much-needed weapons to the Sri Lankan government in May 2000, when the LTTE were about to recapture their former capital of Jaffna. The new weapons, mainly multi-barrel rocket launchers, from Pakistan helped the Sri Lankan army beat back the Tigers and turn the tide against the LTTE.

During Mushraff's 2002 visit to Sri Lanka, the two countries also signed a five-year free trade agreement that became operational in June 2005. Since then, in the second half of last year trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has almost doubled. The two countries earlier maintained a US$130 million annual trade of tea, garments, electronics, fruits, engineering goods and agricultural products.

President Rajapakse has particularly close relations with Pakistan's High Commissioner to Colombo Bashir Wali Mohmand, who officials say is personally engaged in ensuring the success of Rajapakse's visit with attention to detail.

Rajapakse is expected to be housed in a hotel that the Saudi Arabia king stayed during his visit, a higher profile venue than where other Sri Lankan state leaders, including former President Chandrika Kumaratunga stayed during her official visit in Pakistan.

Barlas said Sri Lanka is still to finalize the composition of the president's team and bilateral meetings will be set up accordingly.

Rajapakse is scheduled to will visit a province _ either Punjab or Lahore _ and also one of Pakistan's largest mosque's before concluding his visit.

Sri Lanka traditionally enjoys close ties with India, its giant neighbor and Pakistan's archrival, but Colombo has also successfully established good relations with the Musharraf regime in Islamabad.

Discuss this story
Published: Sat Mar 4 20:40:33 EST 2006

Lankan diplomat hopes to fill top UN position, march 4. AFTER a gap of 30 years, it is now Asia’s turn to fill the post of the next secretary-general of UN, said Jayatha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka, who is one of the candidates. “I think I have a very good chance because my candidacy is distinguished by the fact that I have had a long record as a national and international diplomat, including being accredited to the UN,” Dhanapala said in Doha yesterday. Dhanapala is currently the senior advisor to the Sri Lankan president. “He was invited to manage the peace process by the government in mid-2004 after a distinguished diplomatic career, peace-builder and disarmament expert,” states his website. “He has been an articulate champion of non-discriminatory global norms, the rule of law, the Millennium Development Goals, and the general concerns of developing countries in the collective interest of the international community.” The Sri Lankan candidate, who is supported by both the ruling party and the opposition back home, will be meeting Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs HE Ahmed Abdullah al-Mahmoud today. More...
Published: Sat Mar 4 20:46:51 EST 2006 Back to the top

Some envoys face sacking,Shooting at poll campaign,Competition in Colombo schools,Rice farmers happy this year, 3/5/2006 . President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to sack some Sri Lankan envoys serving overseas after receiving complaints against them, the Daily Mirror reported. The paper quoted Presidential sources as saying Rajapaksa is to order Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to probe complaints against envoys in some western countries. The President was expected to instruct the Foreign Minister to have the envoys replaced if there was substantial evidence against them. “Some of the envoys are not behaving like true representatives of the country; nor are they doing any worthwhile service. Some are even playing party politics,” the paper quoted. More...
Published: Sat Mar 4 20:47:43 EST 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebel killed in ambush, Sri Lankan military denies involvement
Associated Press, Sat March 4, 2006 00:04 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An armed group ambushed a Tamil Tiger rebel checkpoint in eastern Sri Lanka - on Saturday, killing two guerrillas before retreating toward a government base in a ``serious'' violation of the country's cease-fire, the rebels said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka going back to its original time on April 14, 2006
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, March 4, 2006, 1.31 a.m.. Sri Lanka will revert back to its original time on April 14th, 2006... Back to the top

Rohini Hensman, March 4. For some people, the February 2006 peace talks between the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Geneva came literally as a last-minute reprieve from a death sentence; in fact, the reprieve came too late for victims of the undeclared war over the previous two months... Back to the top

Sri Lankan truce monitors probe rebel claim of government arrests
Associated Press, Fri March 3, 2006 07:21 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ European cease-fire monitors said Friday that they are investigating a complaint by separatist Tamil rebels that five of their members were arrested by the Sri Lankan government in violation of a cease-fire agreement... Back to the top

SRI LANKA A Temporary Reprieve
Outlook, March 3. Nineteen million Sri Lankans heaved a collective sigh of relief when the new Mahinda Rajapakse government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam agreed to hold another round of talks in Geneva between April 19 and 21, at their meeting at the same location after a three-year hiatus... Back to the top

Tigers say Sri Lanka confused after talks, March 04, 2006, - 12:40 EDT. Colombo: Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka today said they were watching how the government would deliver on promises made during the recent talks between the two sides in Switzerland while noting that the authorities here appeared to be "confused... Back to the top

Harold Doan and Associates Ltd., march 3. United Nations Member States showed "strong resolve" during a just-concluded weeklong session on drafting a comprehensive Convention on Terrorism, the Chairman of the committee convening the meetings said today, as he urged countries to continue with their efforts to reach consensus... Back to the top

S.Lankans face murder trial after tsunami robbery
Reuters, March 2. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Two Sri Lankan men accused of grabbing a gold chain from a woman caught in the 2004 tsunami before letting her be swept to her death will be put on trial for murder, officials said on Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to put back clocks by half an hour, March 04, 2006, - 12:40 EDT. Colombo, March. 4 (PTI): Sri Lanka will put back its clocks by half an hour and revert to the practice of having the same standard time as India after its 10-year experiment to save daytime failed. President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered that Sri Lanka revert to its original standard time, five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which the country maintained till May 1996... Back to the top

Sri Lanka wins first test against Bangladesh by eight wickets
Associated Press, Fri March 3, 2006 02:51 EST . NILOY ROY - Associated Press Writer - CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) Michael van Dort hammered an unbeaten half-century Friday to guide Sri Lanka - to an easy eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in their first cricket test match... Back to the top

India, Sri Lanka could rival S pore as ship fuel hub, Mar 3. SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Ports in southern India and Sri Lanka have the potential to rival Singapore's dominance as Asia's shipping and marine fuels hub, if infrastructure concerns are overcome, a top shipping agent said on Friday... Back to the top

Two Sri Lankans who took gold chain from woman in tsunami waves to be tried for murder
Associated Press, Sat March 4, 2006 03:25 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two men who snatched a gold chain from a woman struggling in the waves of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami will be tried for murder, Sri Lanka - 's solicitor general said Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to explore crude oil
BBC, March 3. Authorities in Sri Lanka are planning to call for bids from international oil companies to excavate crude oil off the north-western and south-eastern coast... Back to the top

Sri Lanka lifts ban on Indian poultry feed, March 3, 2006 . Colombo: Sri Lanka lifted a ban on Indian poultry feed imports following assurances that the maize sent is fumigated prior to shipping, All Island Poultry Association Chairman D D Wanasinghe said here today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka may seek partnership with foreign government to dig for ..., 03 March 2006 . Mar. 03 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is looking at the possibility of getting into a partnership with foreign governments to explore oil off the island’s western coast, a senior official said Friday. Two rounds of seismic surveys conducted by Norway's TGS-NOPEC have shown that Sri Lanka may have oil and natural gas reserves in the Cauvery Basin off the island’s west coast... Back to the top

Sri Lankan police find a haul of explosives hidden among coconuts
Associated Press, Fri March 3, 2006 02:07 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan police seized hundreds of sticks of dynamite from a truck transporting coconuts to the north, where an ethnic Tamil insurgency has raged for over two decades, a police official said Friday... Back to the top

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