The Lanka Academic

MARCH 23, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 351


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Breakaway rebel group joins call for delinking provinces
GulfNews, March 23. Colombo: A breakaway group of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has joined hands with a nationalist organisation of majority Sinhalese calling for the delinking of the north and east provinces as one administrative unit, a long-time demand of the minority rebels.

Members of the "Karuna‚ group", former fighting cadres of the LTTE, who have hitherto been carrying out undercover military operations against the LTTE, have taken part in a meeting in Colombo organised by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM), an alliance of Sinhala nationalists to renew this campaign for "demerger" of the Tamil-populated provinces of the island, where the rebels are demanding a separate state.

Organisers of the event said the main aim of their campaign would be to de-merge the East from the Northern Province which is temporarily merged currently under the controversial 1987 India-Lanka peace accord, but other objectives would be to "protect the rights of the people in the east". More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Mar 23 20:24:21 EST 2006

New moderate Tamil party recognized in Sri Lanka
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, March 23, 2006, 1.29 p.m.. A new Tamil party, consisting of some very senior Tamil politicians has come into being. The party, Akhila Illankai Tamil United Front (AITUK) has also been given recognition by the Commissioner of Elections.

The party which aspires to be a driving force against all anti democratic Tamil political parties also envisages that the country's two decade long ethnic conflict should be resolved through a federal solution in a united Sri Lanka.

The AITUK's constitution while impressing upon equality of citizens in all parts of the country has also stressed that the rights of Tamils and Muslims must be secured. The party has also vowed to work for the betterment of those who were displaced internally and externally due to the war.

"Recognition for the party by the Elections Commissioner was granted on February 10, 2006," the AITUK General Secretary K. Vigneswaran told the Lanka Academic. Dr. Vigneswaran a former parliamentarian was earlier an advisor to Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda, but broke ranks with him several months ago owing to alleged 'undemocratic' style adopted by the EPDP leader.

Emphasizing why such a party was created, Dr. Vigneswaran pointed out that the aim of AITUK was to rally together democratically minded and likeminded people, as there was a void of such 'democratic organizations' in the country's Tamil political sector.

Meanwhile, it is reliably learnt that many top notch Tamil politicos such as former parliamentarians from the Tamil United Liberation Front, Eelam Peoples Democratic Party, Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam,, North East Provincial Council members and several Local Authority Chairmen are said to be part of this new party.

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Published: Thu Mar 23 02:31:23 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka government says peace talks to go ahead despite Tamil rebel concerns
Associated Press, Thu March 23, 2006 07:40 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government reaffirmed its commitment to the peace process Thursday after the Tamil Tiger rebels suggested the government was not fulfilling its obligations agreed at the last round of talks. Tamil Tiger rebels began fighting in 1983 for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka - 's north and east. More than 65,000 people died in the conflict before the government and rebels signed a Norway-brokered cease-fire in 2002. Talks to strengthen the increasingly fragile truce began in Geneva last month. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Mar 23 09:14:23 EST 2006 Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Unidentified gunmen kill prominent Tamil businessman, staff member in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed March 22, 2006 23:46 EST . - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Unidentified gunmen killed a prominent Tamil businessman and one of his staff members in northern Sri Lanka - , police and the military said Thursday, in the latest flare-up of violence in the troubled region... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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

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 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

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

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