The Lanka Academic

MARCH 13, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 341


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
Tigers' call to disarm ridiculed
GulfNews, March 14. Colombo: Sri Lanka's police chief Chandra Fernando has said the Tamil rebels have no right to call for the disarming of other armed groups.

Fernando has described the call by the rebels to disarm other armed groups as "a ridiculous suggestion".

The Inspector General of Police in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper said: "A terrorist group cannot demand other armed groups be disarmed, and they do not have any right to make such a demand."

Fernando said as long as the LTTE remains a terrorist group it cannot demand that another armed group be disarmed.

He, however, maintained it was the responsibility of the government to disarm all armed groups and that includes the LTTE. More...

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Published: Mon Mar 13 21:34:26 EST 2006

Sri Lanka amid war, March 13. WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- Development efforts in Sri Lanka continue to suffer from a litany of complications, chiefly due to civil war between ethnic groups. Systemic corruption, failed social programs, a militarized youth population, and a polarized political climate contribute to hopelessness that in turn fuels more conflict.

Sri Lanka, a small island state just southeast of the Indian subcontinent, received independence from England in 1948, created democratic rule, and experienced years of progress before spiraling downward.

Now regarded as a failed state, Sri Lanka's 20 million people comprise two major ethnic groups. The Sinhalese, mostly Buddhists, form 74 percent of the country, while the minority Tamils, religious Hindus, represent another 15 percent. Sri Lanka also has a significant Muslim community.

Civil war between the Sinhalese-dominated Colombo government and rebel Tamils in the north of the island, ongoing since 1983, disrupts everyday life and also impedes initiatives to remove the underlying causes of violence.

Disaffected Tamils in the north represent two-thirds of the Tamil population. Some, organized and known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, regularly engage in both military and terrorist offensives against government forces. More...

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Published: Mon Mar 13 20:37:15 EST 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tiger peace negotiator says Sri Lanka 's peace process in danger
Associated Press, Mon March 13, 2006 09:59 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A top Tamil Tiger rebel negotiator said Monday that the group's peace efforts with the Sri Lankan government are in danger, accusing the country's military of covert attacks against the guerrillas.

``The Geneva peace talks will face grave danger if the Sri Lanka government refuses to disarm Tamil paramilitary organizations and continues allowing them to launch offensive military operations against our military positions ,'' pro-rebel TamilNet Web site quoted chief rebel peace negotiator Anton Balasingham as saying.

``These offensive military operations have taken place after the Geneva peace talks, where the government had pledged to uphold the obligations of the cease-fire agreement,'' Balasingham said.

He said government armed forces have backed groups opposed to the Tamil Tigers in attacking his group's members.

``The involvement of the armed forces in the operations of Tamil paramilitaries constitutes a serious breach of the spirit of the Geneva talks, and also must be considered as an act of bad faith on the part of the government.''

Government and Tamil Tiger representatives met in Geneva for talks last month in their first direct meeting in nearly three years to discuss ways to properly implement a four-year-old cease-fire.

The Norway-brokered truce was on verge of collapse then, with a sudden escalation of violence since December killed 150 people including 81 government security personnel.

The government blamed the Tigers for the attacks while the rebels accused the government of waging a subversive war against them.

In Geneva both sides agreed to scale down violence and meet again in April.

The military has however denied any connection with groups against the Tigers.

The rebels have fought the government since 1983, demanding a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority, alleging discrimination at the hands of majority Sinhalese-majority state.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the cease-fire in 2002. Discuss this story
Published: Mon Mar 13 11:07:41 EST 2006 Back to the top

Why Tigers are stalking Sri Lanka's Muslim community- Opinion
Khaleej Times, March 14. WITH the US' war on terrorism being largely perceived as a campaign against extremist Muslim groups professing a violent ideology, is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam trying to win over the Americans by blowing up a case for jihadi groups in Sri Lanka? Last month, General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress that the US was facing a critical time in history and found itself challenged in ways it did not expect... Back to the top

Prison chief proposes that inmates grow vegetables for Sri Lankan army
Associated Press, Mon March 13, 2006 06:17 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Prisoners will grow vegetables for Sri Lankan army troops stationed in remote northern areas where they have little access to fresh produce, if the government approves a plan by the enterprising prison chief... Back to the top

Journalist Wins Award for Report on Child Soldiers
Epoch TImes, March 12. Sri Lankan journalist Wijedasa Namini received the Grand Prix Lorenzo Natali Award on March 10 in Brussels, for her article on the recruitment of child soldiers by the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

All for Tamils, nothing for Muslims?
HindustanTimes, March 13. Sri Lanka’s Muslim parties and leaders are rallying round President Mahinda Rajapaksa, given his growing popularity and the weakening of the opposition United National Party (UNP)... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to build domestic aviation hub, March 13. The Sri Lankan government has decided to convert the Weerawila airfield to a modernized domestic aviation hub, Daily News reported Monday... Back to the top

3 Sri Lankan airlines to open international flights, March 11. Three Sri Lankan airlines are set to join international aviation in July, with the Sri Lankan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) deciding to open international air routes to new operators, Daily News reported Saturday... Back to the top

Police step up probe into human smuggling scandal
GulfNews, March 13. Colombo: Police detectives in Sri Lanka are to record a statement from Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Jeevan Kumaratunga over a multi-billion dollar forged passport scandal involving a group of supporters of the minister and Nigerians who provided the forged visas to them... Back to the top

Child recruitment by the Tamil Tiger rebels to re-emerge at next Geneva par ley
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, March 12th, 2006, 8:00 am. The government plans to revisit child recruitment issues in the wake of the latest accusations of conscription by the Tamil Tigers, senior government officials said... Back to the top

Tigers accuse Sri Lanka gov't of launching new attack+
Associated Press, Sun March 12, 2006 05:52 EST . COLOMBO, March 12 (Kyodo) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels accused the government Sunday of launching an attack against them, the second since the sides held face-to-face talks on peace in Switzerland... Back to the top

Sri Lanka May Keep Key Interest Rate Unchanged for Third Month, March 13. March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's central bank will probably keep interest rates unchanged for a third month to spur economic growth after four rises in 2005 helped slow inflation... Back to the top

Turning a blind eye
National Post, March 13. On Feb. 28, the Fraser Institute published Canada's Inadequate Response to Terrorism: The Need for Policy Reform, a report authored by former Canadian diplomat Martin Collacott. This week, the National Post is publishing three edited excerpts from that report... Back to the top

Sri Lanka local election turns violent: election watchdog, March 12. COLOMBO, March 12 (Xinhuanet) -- An independent election watchdog in Sri Lanka said on Sunday that this month's local election campaign has turned relatively violent... Back to the top

Petition on JSC resignations
bbc, March 12. Senior lawyers in Sri Lanka have urged a parliamentary probe on the recent resignations of two members of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC)... Back to the top

Government eases fishing restrictions in troubled northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun March 12, 2006 12:20 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's government on Sunday announced it has relaxed fishing restrictions imposed on the island's troubled northern region after a rebel boat laden with explosives rammed a naval vessel, killing 13 sailors... Back to the top

Six Indian fishermen held in Sri Lanka, March 12. COLOMBO: Six Indian fishermen who strayed into Sri Lankan waters on Sunday are being held by locals who have refused to hand them over to the navy, media reports said... Back to the top

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