The Lanka Academic

MARCH 21, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 349


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
LTTE web-site claims HRW "apologized" for report on LTTE fund-raising.
Roy Edwards in Toronto, March 22. The LTTE web site Nitharsanam, alleged to be managed by a close relative of LTTE's intelligence chief Pottu Amman, reported yesterday that the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has "apologized" for “faulty reporting” about LTTE fund-raising activities'. The article on the web site, published only in Tamil, claimed that more than 23,000 e-mails have been sent to the HRW offices in New York by Sri Lankan Tamils living in Europe and Scandinavian countries. The web site furthermore went on to claim that this pressure had compelled the HRW to “retract” its report released last Wednesday. Earlier in the week, the Nithrsanam web site while demanding an apology from the HRW launched a systematic campaign of intimidation against Ms.Jo Becker, advocacy director of the Children's Rights Division at HRW. The web site also issued threats to members of the Tamil Diaspora community who assisted in the preparation of the HRW report. This included the posting of names, family details and photos of some of the individuals who are alleged to have provided information to the HRW during the drafting of the report.

This particular web site which has a notorious history of spelling out names of victims before LTTE assassin's carryout executions and had posted gruesome photos of the victims as part of intimidation tactics against those Tamils who oppose the LTTE. Months before the Tiger assassins gunned down the principal of a leading College in Jaffna Mr.Rajadurai , the site posted a warning to the effect that the principal would be assassinated in public.

The HRW report that was very critical of the heavy-handed tactics used by the LTTE fund-raisers in England and Canada, received wide coverage from national media in the UK and Canada. The United States State Department also went on record to comment about the HRW report. Editorials in leading newspapers, such as the Toronto Star and the Globe& Mail, were vociferous in demanding that the federal government ban the LTTE as a terrorist group in Canada.

In a hastily arranged press conference on the 14th of March at the Delta hotel in Toronto, Canadian Tamil Congress members angrily denounced the HRW report and demanded an "apology". Canadian Tamil Congress is an LTTE front organization formerly known as the Federation of Association of Canadian Tamils (FACT). FACT was earlier declared to be a front organization for the LTTE along with the World Tamil Movement(WTM) by the United States State department. Sri Lankan Tamil sources indicated that the extensive coverage by the Canadian media including editorials from almost all the leading news papers calling for the curbing of LTTE activities have made many LTTE fundraisers nervous. Facing a looming crackdown by the authorities, LTTE is reported to have activated all of it's western outlets to carryout a systematic campaign against the widely respected and internationally renowned HRW and Ms. Jo Becker in particular. As part of this effort CMR a radio station in Toronto, controlled by the LTTE front World Tamil Movement, has been urging listeners to mount a sustained protest campaign against the HRW demanding an apology.

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Published: Tue Mar 21 21:19:48 EST 2006

Sri Lanka rebels may postpone April crunch talks
Reuters, March 22. NEW MALDEN (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will view any further attacks by renegades they say are military-backed as an act of war and may postpone crunch talks unless the state disarms them, their chief negotiator has warned.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are due to attend a second round of peace talks with Sri Lankan officials in Geneva in April, and say the island's fragile peace process could grind to a halt if the government fails to honour a pledge to rein in armed groups.

The Tigers accuse a breakaway faction led by a former senior rebel commander called Karuna of targeting their forces in the east of Sri Lanka, and insist the onus falls on the government to tame them.

"If the paramilitaries continue to launch military offensive operations against the LTTE with the backing of the Sri Lankan armed forces, it will certainly be construed as an act of war against the LTTE," Tiger theoretician Anton Balasingham told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday. More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Mar 21 22:35:58 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Buddhist monks want Norway out of peace facilitating, march 21. A group of Buddhist monks marched to the Norwegian embassy here Tuesday, demanding that Norway quit from Sri Lanka.

The monks from the National Bhikku Front and backed by the main left party the JVP or the People's Liberation Front demanded the immediate withdrawal of Norway from the peace facilitating role with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.

"We demand that the Norwegians who are helping the LTTE to set up a separate state be banished immediately," Venerable Dambara Amila, a leading protesting monk said.

He added the Norwegians had not been impartial right from the start of their peace facilitation role in Sri Lanka.

He accused Norway of laying out a red carpet to welcome the Tigers when they visited Norway after last month's Geneva talks with the Sri Lankan government.

The police placed barricades in front of the Norwegian embassy as protesters gathered around there.

The Norwegian government has been facilitating peace in the island since the year 2000. Their efforts have brought the two warring factions to six rounds of direct talks which ceased violence that had claimed over 64,000 lives since the mid-1980s. More...

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Published: Tue Mar 21 11:17:43 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan navy, Tamil Tigers exchange gunfire; government extends emergency rule
Associated Press, Tue March 21, 2006 04:30 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government extended emergency rule for another month Tuesday, hours after Tamil Tiger rebels in two small boats fired at navy vessels and then retreated when they drew return fire, officials said... Back to the top

Tamil party boycotts Sri Lanka parliament, March 21. COLOMBO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's main Tamil minority political party stayed out of Tuesday's parliamentary session to highlight alleged inaction by the government to implement agreements reached in Geneva with the Tamil Tigers, the party sources said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka suspends lavish perks of former president
afp/yahoo, March 21. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ordered the withdrawal of extra cars and staff serving former president Chandrika Kumaratunga after a complaint that her retirement benefits are excessive, a court official said... Back to the top

Boys abducted to be suicide bombers tell of escape from rebels
Scotsman, march 22. TWO youths have revealed how they escaped from the Tamil Tigers after they were kidnapped by the Sri Lankan rebels, given weapons training and briefed on suicide operations... Back to the top

EU presses Sri Lanka on peace process, Mar 21. Brussels, Mar 21: The European Union has urged Sri Lanka to persevere with efforts to make progress in the island state's peace process, despite recent warnings of a resurgence of violence... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s parliament pass several financial bills, including tax ..., 21 March 2006 . Mar. 21 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's Parliament Tuesday passed amendments to several financial bills, including a tax on foreign television programmes and compulsory lending to agriculture sector, that were proposed in the 2006 budget. Under changes to the Banking Act, licensed commercial banks or LCB's are required to maintain a minimum Rs1 billion in capital... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president to hold talks with Pakistan leaders this month
Associated Press, Mon March 20, 2006 07:59 EST . ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse will travel to Pakistan later this month for talks with Pakistani leaders, the Foreign Ministry said Monday... Back to the top

Pakistan, Lanka to ink cooperation agreements, March 21. Pakistan and Sri Lanka will ink agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) during the upcoming three-day visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Telecom suspends CDMA services, Mar. 21 . Mar. 21 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom, the island's dominant fixed-line operator, Tuesday said it would stop connecting new subscribers through Code Division Multiplex Access or CDMA technology with immediate effect, following legal advice. The move follows SLT's decision late Monday to take seek legal redress on a directive issued by the telecom watchdog with regard to their CDMA installation charges... Back to the top

Local elections postponed in Sri Lanka s Tamil regions, March 20, 2006, - 08:00 EDT. COLOMBO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan election authorities said here Monday that local council elections scheduled to be held on March 30 for councils in the war battered regions in the north and east have been postponed till September 30... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Army supports peace moves, March 20. 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

Gunmen kill one person in Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Mon March 20, 2006 01:22 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Unidentified gunmen fatally shot a man in a Tamil-majority neighborhood in Sri Lanka - 's capital, police said... Back to the top

Rebuilding Sri Lanka One House at a Time, March 20. For days after the tsunami hit Asia, I stood in front of my television, transfixed by tales and images of children being swept from their parents' arms, of elderly men clinging to tree branches until their muscles burned and their fingers went raw, praying for the water to recede before their strength gave out... Back to the top

Sri Lankan airforce officer dies in training mishap
Xinhua, March 20. A Sri Lankan Airforce officer died in a training mishap near the capital Colombo Monday morning, defense officials said... Back to the top

[ENS] Listening: In Sri Lanka, Colombo diocese leads way in ..., March 17. The Diocese of Colombo has long been at the vanguard of community outreach in Sri Lanka and the past 15 months have been no exception... Back to the top

S.Lanka peace talks key issue as postal vote begins, March 20, 2006, - 06:35 EDT. By Peter Apps COLOMBO, March 20 (Reuters) - Government officials and soldiers began posting ballots on Monday for Sri Lanka's March 30 local elections, with the island's peace process a central issue but no decision yet on whether residents in rebel areas can vote... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s parliament to debate key financial laws on Tue., March 20, 2006, - 06:35 EDT. Mar. 20 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's parliament on Tuesday will take up key laws governing the financial sector, giving effect to proposal presented in the 2006 budget. The Inland Revenue Bill, Finance Bill, Economic Service Charge Bill, Stamp Duty (special provisions) Bill, Monetary Law (Amendment), Banking (Amendment), VAT (Amendment) and Betting & Gaming Levy are all lined up for presentation before legislators... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Telecom Trialing Aperto Networks WiMAX Gear; Sri Lanka s ..., March 20, 2006, - 06:35 EDT. Sri Lanka Telecom Trialing Aperto Networks WiMAX Gear; Sri Lanka's Largest Service Provider Testing Wireless Broadband Solution COLOMBO, Sri Lanka --(Business Wire)-- March 20, 2006 -- Aperto Networks, developer of the world's most advanced WiMAX base stations and subscriber units, and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Sri Lanka's premier telecommunications service provider, announced today that SLT has begun deploying and testing a WiMAX broadband wireless solution based on equipment provided by Aperto Networks... Back to the top

Cargo space threat to Sri Lankan fish exports, March 20, 2006, - 06:35 EDT. A lack of space in cargo planes leaving Sri Lanka has led to a drop in international fish exports and has brought the fish export industry to a standstill... Back to the top

Woolmer reveals Sri Lanka offers, March 20, 2006, - 06:35 EDT. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has revealed he twice rejected the opportunity to take charge of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

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