The Lanka Academic

 
MARCH 19, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 347

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

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
Tamil Tiger rebels move to reopen political offices
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, March 19th, 2006, SLT 12:00 pm. The Tamil Tiger rebels say they intend to reopen political offices, which were shut down in Sri Lanka during a surge in violence late last year.

The Tigers' intention was conveyed during a meeting with Norway's ambassador to Colombo Hans Brattskar and Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission chief Hagrup Haukland on Thursday.

Subsequently, the government was informed that the guerrillas planned to re-man offices in the island's north and east, some of which had been shut for more than three months.

The reopening is expected to commence next week.

The cease-fire agreement allows the Tigers to set up offices for political work, just as much as it permits the travel of unarmed rebels in government-held areas to engage in political activities.

However, the security forces have on more than one occasion found arms and ammunition stored in these "offices," and suspected that the buildings were being used as safe-havens for the Tigers' to engage in violence.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had been fighting since 1983 to cave out a separate state in Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority north and east. Nearly 65,000 people were killed before Norway brokered a cease-fire agreement in February 2002.

Violence spiraled in December and January threatening to end a tenuous four-year old truce. But subsequently Norway managed to clinch an agreement for the parties to meet for talks in Geneva late February.

The negotiations _ first in three years _ ended with a pledge by the government and Tigers to end the violence and meet again in April. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Mar 19 12:47:40 EST 2006


No more talks at the Chateau de Bossey
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, March 19th, SLT 10:30 am. The next round of talks between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels will not take at the Chateau de Bossy, officials said.

Among the reasons for moving out of the chateau was that the venue was already booked during the April 19-21 period, officials involved in the peace process said on condition of anonymity.

The chateau situated in Celigny, just outside the Swiss capital Geneva is owned by the World Council of Churches. Though referred to as a chateau or castle, it is more like a hostel and often used as an international study and conference center, according to locals.

Some of the other reasons to rule out Bossey, included complaints from some members of the delegation, housed on the attic floor of the chateau that they had knocked their heads on the roof!

The Chateau de Bossey was picked for the Feb. 22-23 talks _ the first high-level meeting between the parties in three years _ as it was also known for its enigmatic effects toward reconciliation. The buildings of the institute date mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries and are surrounded by gardens, woods and vineyards with a splendid view of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps.

Swiss officials who are in charge of finalizing the venue for the next round of negotiations are currently exploring several options on where to host the talks, the officials said. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Mar 19 12:10:54 EST 2006 Back to the top


Military: Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels abduct two teenagers in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun March 19, 2006 00:20 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels have abducted two teenagers in troubled eastern Sri Lanka - , the military said Sunday. Sri Lanka - 's military and the U.N. children's agency have repeatedly accused the Tigers of forcing young people to become combatants.

There was no immediate comment Sunday from the rebels, who have fought since 1983 to create a separate homeland for the island country's minority ethnic Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

A Norway-brokered 2002 cease-fire has been severely strained by rising violence that the military blames on the Tigers, who deny responsibility.

On Sunday, Samarasinghe reported a separate incident in which Tamils in the eastern village of Wakaneri had complained to the nearest army camp that the Tigers had threatened them to join armed training.

Sri Lanka - 's military has long accused the Tiger of abducting young fighters. The rebels deny the charges, saying rival guerrilla factions are responsible for the abductions.

The Tigers split in 2004, and the mainstream group accuses the army of backing the breakaway faction. The army denies the claim.

On Friday, Sri Lanka - 's military said an underage fighter surrendered to the army after fleeing a rebel camp in the northeastern town of Trincomalee.

``One more schoolboy abducted and subsequently conscripted to the LTTE has managed to flee the (rebel) camp and sought protection from the army camp,'' the military said on its Web site, without giving the teenager's name.

The underage soldier issue figured prominently in government-rebel talks last month in Geneva on ways to preserve the quickly fraying cease-fire.

The talks were the two sides' first direct meeting in nearly three years.

Escalating violence since December has killed about 150 people, including 81 government security personnel. Both sides agreed in Geneva to try to quell the violence, and to meet again in April.

Discuss this story
Published: Sun Mar 19 02:39:53 EST 2006 Back to the top


Identification a must for voting
BBC, March 18. The Election commissioner Dayananda Disanayaka has decided that at the forthcoming local government elections all voters will need to prove there identity before voting... Back to the top

Federal appeals court orders government to free Sri Lankan held for years in border jail
Associated Press, Sun March 19, 2006 15:33 EST . PETER PRENGAMAN - Associated Press Writer - SAN DIEGO (AP) After more than four years in U... Back to the top

Share issues on hold as Sri Lanka investors run for cover
afp, March 20. Sri Lankan firms have shelved plans to raise capital through new share issues after a four-year-old truce was pushed to near breaking point with an upsurge in ethnic bloodshed, analysts say... Back to the top

High Suicide Rates in Asia Linked to Economic Woes, Culture
VOA, March 20. Sixty percent of all suicides worldwide happen in the Asia-Pacific region... Back to the top

World Cup legacy
bbc, March 20. Proud Sri Lankans celebrate the 10th anniversary of their remarkable victory in the 1996 World Cup on Friday... Back to the top

Pakistan seamers restrict Sri Lanka to 130 in second one-dayer
Associated Press, Sun March 19, 2006 02:20 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Pakistan's seam bowlers shared eight wickets Sunday and dismissed Sri Lanka - for a paltry 130 runs in the second limited-overs international... Back to the top

New Tamil group backs allegations against Tigers
Toronto Star, March 18. First came the Human Rights Watch report this week claiming Toronto's Tamil community was being intimidated and extorted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a group fighting for independence in Sri Lanka and designated as terrorists by the United Nations... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Army supports peace moves
Xinhua, March 18. Colombo, March 18 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Army chief has said that the military's support for the government's peace initiatives was not due to any fear of the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Tamil Congress shoots the messenger - Editorial
National Post, March 18. When presented with a damning report by an international human rights organization exposing the operation of a criminal gang that targets Tamil Canadians, it is entirely understandable that representatives of the community would meet with reporters to express "deep anguish... Back to the top

Lord urges UK govt to crack down on LTTE
Asia News Network, March 18. At a time Human Rights Watch reported in detail how the Liberation Tgers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) subjects Sri Lankan Tamils living in the United Kingdom, Canada and other Western countries to intimidation, extortion and even violence to ensure a steady flow of funds for their "operations" in Sri Lanka, Lord Naseby of the House of Lords said last week that the British government is not doing enough to ensure that the ban on the LTTE is properly implemented... Back to the top

LTTE claims jurisdiction in Lankan govt-held areas
kaumudi.com, March 18. COLOMBO: The LTTE's police and courts are claiming jurisdiction in the government-held areas of Jaffna district... Back to the top

Jayasinghe stresses on need for Asian Human Rights Charter
deepika.com, March 18. Dehra Dun, Mar 18 (UNI) Lanka's Supreme Court Judge Justice Nihal Jayasinghe today stressed on the need for an Asian Human Rights Charter... Back to the top

Atapattu ruled out of the rest of Pakistan tour
Associated Press, Sat March 18, 2006 03:08 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka cricket captain Marvan Atapattu was ruled out of the rest of the tour of Pakistan on Saturday because of a back injury... Back to the top

Old British cars keep war-hit S.Lanka on the road
khaleejtimes.com, March 18, 2006 08:30 EDT. KODIKKAMAM, Sri Lanka - If war returns to northern Sri Lanka, garage owner Raja Durai says it might be too much for the new Japanese-built cars he repairs... Back to the top

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