The Lanka Academic

MARCH 22, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 350


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
Sri Lanka Rebels Say Political Units Are Prevented From Working
Bloomberg, March 23. March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said the government set conditions for the return of rebel political workers to areas under military control, violating understandings reached at talks last month in Geneva.

``We reject the concept of anybody laying conditions for our members doing political work with our people,'' the LTTE's Peace Secretariat said yesterday, according to TamilNet.

The rebels earlier this week said Sri Lanka navy vessels shelled four coastal villages on March 20. Sri Lanka's military said its vessels were fired on by rebels. Suspected rebels fired at an army post yesterday northeast of Jaffna, the government said in a statement on its Web site. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Mar 22 20:53:30 EST 2006

Navy arrests boat suspected of arms smuggling for Tamil rebels
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, March 22nd, 2006, SLT 2:00 pm. UPDATE

The Sri Lanka navy on Wednesday arrested a fishing boat off the island's northern coast, suspected of trying to smuggle arms for the Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said.

"We recovered 20 gelignite sticks on board the vessel," said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, military spokesman.

The large fishing trawler with five men on board was taken into custody east of Point Pedro, he said. "We suspect the boat was on coarse to transfer weapons at mid-sea."

The men who possessed passes to enter Tamil rebel-controlled areas, had said they were blindfolded by the guerrillas, put on the boat and given a sailing path that led to the deep sea, navy officials said on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The men had claimed not to be aware of further details.

But Samarasinghe said investigations so far revealed the men had Tamil rebel connections.

There was no immediate comment from the Tigers.

When the navy's fast-attack crafts approached the trawler, the men had thrown off- board communication sets and mobile phones given to them by the Tigers, the officials said.

Truce monitors have been informed of the incident and the detained men were handed to the police, Samarasinghe said.

Separately, the army accused the Tigers of firing at one of its check-point in northern Jaffna on Wednesday.

Troops had retaliated but the guerrillas had fled, Samarasinghe said. A T56 rifle was recovered in a subsequent search operation of the area.

The incidents took place amid increasing tension between the security forces and the rebels in recent days.

On Tuesday, the navy refuted a charge by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE, that it indiscriminately fired at villages in the island's northeast under Tiger control.

"Sailors on the boat were compelled to retaliate the fire at the direction of LTTE fire in self-defense, the military said in a statement.

Although violence has dipped considerably since the Sri Lanka government and the rebels met for talks in Switzerland last month, sporadic clashes have continued.

The parties are set to meet again in April for more talks to save the fragile four-year old cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Mar 22 06:22:22 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka navy seizes vessel suspected of carrying weapons to Tamil Tiger rebels  - Associated Press
Navy arrests boat suspected of arms smuggling for Tamil rebels off Sri Lanka's northern coast  - Shimali Senanayake in Colombo

Reliance on oil hunt in Lanka
buisness standard, March 23. sland nation reserves estimated at 10-15 mn barrels.

Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries is drawing up plans to invest in oil and gas exploration, production and refining in Sri Lanka.

Seismic surveys have indicated that the island nation has potential reserves of 10-15 million barrels in the Gulf of Mannar and the Cauvery basin.

Sources close to the development said a team led by Atul Chandra, president of Reliance Industries’ international operations, visited Sri Lanka last month to study the opportunities there. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Mar 22 20:55:29 EST 2006 Back to the top

India clawing back to Sri Lanka s North East, March 22, 2006, - 03:20 EDT. India is slowly, patiently and with a clear agenda finding its way back into Sri Lanka's North East, after having almost washed its hands off the Tamil scene following Rajiv Gandhi's assassination 15 years ago... Back to the top

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'... Back to the top

Film explores broken Tamil lives
bbc, march 22. A controversial film about the life and assassination of human rights worker Rajani Thiranagama from northern Sri Lanka is being screened in London as a part of the Human Rights Watch film festival... Back to the top

Pakistan cruise to four-wicket win against Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed March 22, 2006 06:57 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Mohammad Yousuf scored a stylish half-century Wednesday to propel Pakistan to a comfortable four-wicket win against Sri Lanka - in the third limited-overs international and a series sweep... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s People s Bank gets its credit rating upgraded to A ..., 22 March 2006 . Mar. 22 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's state-run People's Bank got its credit rating upgraded to A-(sri) by Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd, who also revised the bank's rating outlook to 'positive'. An A-(sri) long term rating reflects low expectation of credit risk, but the bank is still vulnerable to changes in circumstances or in economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings, Fitch said in a statement on Wednesday... 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... Back to the top

India helps set up bio-resource institute in Sri Lanka, March 22, 2006, - 03:20 EDT. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has inaugurated a bio-resource institute in central Sri Lanka, started with Indian expertise... 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

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

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