The Lanka Academic

MARCH 6, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 334


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lankan president's allies call for strong army to stop rebels returning to war
Associated Press, Mon March 6, 2006 05:40 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two parties aligned with Sri Lanka - 's president urged him on Monday to strengthen the armed forces to deter Tamil Tiger rebels from returning to war, as new violence threatened a four-year-old cease-fire.

``While continuing dialogue with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the government should also ramp up its strengthening and training of the armed forces so that the LTTE will realize that going to war is not an option,'' the Marxist People's Liberation Front said at meeting of the country's main political parties convened by President Mahinda Rajapakse.

A radical Buddhist monks' party, Jathika Hela Urumaya, also called for rebuilding the army.

Rajapakse summoned the leaders of all major political parties on Monday in a bid to salvage the country's faltering peace process, threatened by increasing violence as well as by sharp differences among his political allies.

``There was full support for the president's call for the peace process to go forward and succeed,'' said Lucian Rajakarunanayake, a spokesman for the president. ``There were divergent views on how to go about it, but all agreed that peace talks should go ahead.''

The meeting was held behind closed doors.

It was the first meeting of all major parties since Feb. 22-23 talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels in Geneva, where they agreed to scale down violence and meet again on April 19-21. Truce monitors fear a recent resumption of attacks with three deaths in three days could put the talks in jeopardy.

Rajapakse has been criticized by the Marxists and the Buddhist monks' party, as well as by the main opposition United National Party, on the way the peace process is being conducted.

The Marxists and the monks' party oppose any concessions for the rebels, who began fighting in 1983 to create a separate homeland for the island's 3.2 million Tamil minority.

The support of the two allies which together have 50 seats in the 225-member legislature is crucial for Rajapakse's minority government.

The opposition UNP, which previously said it would back the government's peace efforts, is now demanding more transparency. It was during an earlier UNP government that the Norwegian-brokered cease-fire was signed in 2002, ending nearly two decades of fighting that killed 65,000 people.

Recent violence has killed at least 150 people, including 81 government security officers, and led to an increase in tensions and concerns over the stability of the cease-fire.

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Published: Mon Mar 6 07:56:16 EST 2006

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Sri Lanka wants military power to keep LTTE in talks  -

UNP calls for direct talks
bbc, March 6. The main opposition in Sri Lanka, United National Party (UNP), has demanded government engage in talks with them parallel to talks with the Tamil Tigers.

Senior UNP lawmaker Dr. Jayalath Jayawardhane said that the party urged President Rajapaksa to conduct direct talks with the UNP and opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe.

But Dr. Jayawardhana avoided answering repeated questions by BBC Sandeshaya as to why the party did not involve any other political party in the peace process while in power. More...

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Published: Mon Mar 6 21:44:18 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka president hails political party support for peace move, March 06, 2006, - 14:57. COLOMBO, March 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday hailed the support coming from all political parties for his peace moves with the Tamil Tiger rebels, the stateradio said. Addressing an all party forum on the N orwegian backed peace process with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, Rajapakse said that all political parties must unite in the task of resolving the bloody armed separatist conflict. Rajapakse had summoned the all party forum to discuss the outcome of last month's talks in Geneva between his negotiators and the rebels, said Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Some 14 political parties had attended the meeting and all parties were of the opinion that peace efforts must be further pursued, said Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, the head ofthe government negotiating team. "We have had a very positive response from all parties and the view is that talks must be continued," De Silva was quoted by the radio as saying. However, at the start of the talks, the leftist JVP (National Liberation Front), one of Rajapakse's allies, had been critical ofthe joint statement released after the talks held in Geneva. The JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe regretted the government action in issuing a joint statement with the Tigers in Geneva and said that the government must lay emphasis on its military strength so as to keep the Tigers in the negotiating table. This was the third round of all party talks moved by Rajapakse aimed at achieving broader consensus for his peace moves. More...
Published: Mon Mar 6 14:56:19 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan political parties to probe pact signed with rebels, March 5. COLOMBO, March 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Leaders of Sri Lanka's political parties will probe the deal signed by Tamil Tiger rebels and the government last month in Geneva, party sources said Sunday... Back to the top

Two face murder charge for robbery during tsunami - Updated Story
GulfNews, March 6. Colombo: Two youths who grabbed a gold chain from a young woman who was struggling for her life after being caught in the tsunami, are to face murder charges in Sri Lanka as investigators have found video evidence recorded by a journalist, police said... Back to the top

Kumaratunga booed off stage, 6 March. FORMER president Chandrika Kumaratunga, was booed off the stage at a meeting of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at Biyagama last week... Back to the top

Sri Lankan high school students strike over military interference; rebels kill soldier
Associated Press, Mon March 6, 2006 09:03 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) At least tens of thousands of high school pupils in northern Sri Lanka - refused to attend classes Monday, blaming military interference and a ban on students taking part in rebel-related activities, the military and an activist said... Back to the top

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels kill a former Sri Lankan soldier
Associated Press, Mon March 6, 2006 06:20 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and killed a former Sri Lankan army soldier, the military said Monday, in the latest violence threatening the country's uneasy cease-fire... Back to the top

Lankan’s body to be sent home soon: official, March 06, 2006, - 07:57. THE body of Sri Lankan expatriate Manokaran, who was killed in a clash between two groups in the Industrial Area would be flown home shortly, said a Sri Lankan embassy official... Back to the top

Sri Lanka’s John Keells scouts new Maldivian property, March 06, 2006, - 14:57. Mar. 06 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's largest hotel operator, John Keells Holdings, is in the process of picking up another Maldivian resort to add to their growing hospitality chain, a top official said Monday. JKH, which is splashing billions of rupees to re-brand key properties, has been scouting for a new Maldivian property to replace Validhu Island Resorts... Back to the top

Lanka s masked realities, March 6, 2006. For a poor country Sri Lanka has indeed taken impressive strides in social development... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president summons all parties in effort to save peace process
Associated Press, Mon March 6, 2006 03:53 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president summoned the leaders of all major political parties on Monday in a bid to salvage the country's faltering peace process, threatened by increasing violence as well as by sharp differences among his allies... Back to the top

Sri Lankan oil deposits bidding to open in July, March 06, 2006, - 07:57. The Sri Lankan government has decided to open oil exploration along Sri Lanka's sea belt for bidding in July this year, Daily News reported Monday... Back to the top

Three ways to fight terrorism - Editorial
national post, March 5. The result of the Liberals' cowardice is that the Tigers have been permitted to conduct door-to-door shakedowns of the Tamil community for years... Back to the top

Sri Lankan govt battles to keep allies onboard, March 06,. COLOMBO: Right-wing allies of Sri Lanka’s president have renewed moves to drop support for his shaky minority in parliament over his failure to take a harder line with Tamil rebels, officials said on Sunday... Back to the top

Indian potatoes to flood Lanka, Dubai markets, March 05, 2006 - 18:40 EDT. ‘KUFRI BAHAR’ a variety of potato grown by the farmers in Kanpur, Agra and Meerut will flood the vegetable markets in Sri Lanka and Dubai soon... Back to the top

Killing of Tamil rebels blow to Sri Lanka 's cease-fire, truce monitors say
Associated Press, Sun March 5, 2006 06:58 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An ambush on a Tamil Tiger rebel checkpoint that killed two rebels in eastern Sri Lanka - has dealt a major blow to a four-year-old cease-fire, European monitors said Sunday... Back to the top

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