The Lanka Academic

 
MARCH 25, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 353

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Navy vessel sinks in Tamil Tiger rebel explosion in northwestern Sri Lanka, at least 6 killed, 8 missing, military says.
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, March 25th, 2006, SLT 5:00 pm. A Tamil Tiger rebel boat exploded on Saturday as a Sri Lanka navy craft approached it, sinking both vessels and killing at least six guerillas, the military said, eight sailors were still missing.

The navy's fast attack craft with 19 sailors onboard approached the suspected rebel fishing trawler believed to be gun-running off Sri Lanka's northwestern coast when the fishing boat suddenly exploded, said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe.

"There is no doubt it was a LTTE boat carrying explosives," he said, of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

There were six onboard the guerrilla boat when it exploded and sank, navy sources said. The sailors were also thrown off-board their gun-boat for the impact of the explosion.

Both vessels sank, Samarasinghe said.

Eleven navy personnel who had managed to swim to the nearby Bathalangundu island have been rescued, he said. Eight others remain missing.

This was the first major incident since the government the rebels resumed peace talks last month in Geneva, Switzerland after a lapse of three years.

In Geneva, both parties pledged to put an end to violence and uphold an increasingly fragile four-year-old cease-fire.

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Published: Sat Mar 25 07:17:47 EST 2006

Related News Stories
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8 sailors presumed killed as LTTE blows up boat  - PTI
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Sri Lanka sailors feared dead in rebel sea blast - Navy  - Reuters
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Sri Lankan rebels deny involvement in boat explosion that left 8 sailors missing  - Associated Press
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LTTE rebels sink Navy boat  - ndtv.com
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Six suspected Tamil Tigers killed in boat blast off western Sri Lanka , military says  - Associated Press

Six suspected Tamil Tigers killed in boat blast off western Sri Lanka , military says -Updated
Associated Press, Sat March 25, 2006 08:34 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Suspected Tamil Tigers blew up their fishing boat to avoid capture by a navy patrol off the west coast of Sri Lanka on Saturday, leaving six rebels dead and eight sailors missing, the military said.

The incident is the most serious since government and rebel negotiators met in Geneva last month to try to salvage a four-year-old cease-fire.

Tamil Tiger rebels, however, said they had nothing to do with the blast.

``We have no involvement at all,'' Seevaratnam Puleedevan, a top rebel leader, told The Associated Press by phone from the Tiger stronghold of Kilinochchi.

``There are a lot of smuggling and illegal activities going on in that area, including illegal immigration. It could be one of those boats involved,'' Puleedevan said.

``We have checked with the Sea Tigers' western command. They have confirmed that they are not involved,'' Puleedevan said.

A navy boat spotted the fishing vessel near Kalpitiya and, suspecting it was being used to smuggle explosives, began to chase it, military spokesman Brig. Sudhir Samarasinghe said.

The suspected rebels then blew up their vessel, damaging the approaching navy boat, Samarasinghe said. The fishing boat was destroyed in the blast killing all six aboard, he said.

Eleven sailors on the navy boat were rescued but eight are still missing, he said.

Kalpitiya is a fishing locality 140 kilometers (86 miles) north of the capital, Colombo.

Tamil Tiger rebels have been battling the government since 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, alleging discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

More than 65,000 people died in the conflict before a Norway-brokered cease-fire was signed in 2002.

The truce has recently come under increasing pressure, however, with more than 160 people, including 81 government security personnel, killed since December.

In Geneva, both sides agreed to scale down violence and meet again on April 19-20.

In a similar incident on Feb. 11, suspected guerrillas blew up their boat off Sri Lanka's northwestern coast, killing all four rebels on board and injuring a sailor, whose naval boat had approached.

4th Ld-Writethru
Published: Sat Mar 25 12:05:21 EST 2006 Back to the top


Abductions worry S Lanka students
bbc.co.uk, Saturday, 25 March 2006. Four years ago the Tamil Tigers agreed a ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government, but talks aimed at ending the violence forever and solving the island's political problems have yet to make a breakthrough. In eastern Sri Lanka there is an uneasy peace.

In the town of Valaichchenai swarms of children in immaculate white uniforms are on their way to school.

They make a startling contrast with the Sri Lankan soldiers in army-issue green moving along the same streets in the morning heat. More...

Discuss this story
Published: Sat Mar 25 08:53:50 EST 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka Rebels Blow Up Their Own Boat
forbes.com, March 25, 2006, - 23:35 EDT. Suspected Tamil Tigers blew up their fishing boat Saturday to avoid capture by a navy patrol off the west coast of Sri Lanka, leaving six rebels dead and eight sailors missing, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka peace talks clouded by distrust - An Analysis
GulfNews, March 25. Sri Lanka is one country where you take no time to pick up the thread from where you left it be it three months or three decades ago... Back to the top

Sri Lankan girl deported from NZ taken in by Hong Kong
radio NZ, March 25. A Sri Lankan teenager deported from New Zealand two years ago has been accepted as a refugee by the United Nations and is living in Hong Kong... Back to the top

FUTURE OF SRI LANKA - Editorial
thestatesman.net, March 25. THE only positive outcome of the two-day talks between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Geneva last month was the two sides agreeing to meet again in the Swiss capital from 19 to 21 April for the next round of talks... Back to the top

Sri Lankan youth held
chennaionline.com, March 25. Madurai, March 25: A Sri Lankan youth has been arrested on charges of illegally ferrying Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, police said today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka face Pakistan challenge
onlinenews.com.pk, March 25. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will be under pressure to perform when the first Test against Pakistan starts in Colombo on Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka govt receives early boost in local elections
people.com.cn, March 25. Sri Lanka's ruling party received a major boost ahead of next week's local council election when the Appeal Court here Friday upheld a decision by the election authorities to reject the nomination list filed by the main opposition United National Party (UNP) for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)... Back to the top

Lanka sees Pakistan as ally
Dawn, March 25. With India keeping a non-committal stance on matters related to the Tamil ethnic question, Sri Lanka has begun to see Pakistan as an ally which can be counted upon if the LTTE provokes another war... Back to the top

Rebel internecine clashes in east Sri Lanka
people.com.cn, March 25. The Tamil Tiger rebel internecine warfare continued in the Eastern province, defense officials said Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka and rebels rearm despite talks - Army chief
today.reuters.com, Mar 24. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger rebels are both re-arming even as they prepare for a new round of talks in Switzerland, the army chief said on Friday, saying the 2002 ceasefire has too many loopholes... Back to the top

Abductions worry Sri Lanka students
bbc, March 25. Four years ago the Tamil Tigers agreed a ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government, but talks aimed at ending the violence forever and solving the island's political problems have yet to make a breakthrough... Back to the top

Sri Lankan army relaunches its website
indiatimes.com, March 24, 2006, - 21:05 EDT. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's military has redesigned its website to counter an online disinformation campaign by the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, a top military officer said on Friday at its launch... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: SINHALA GROUPS TIRE OF NORWEGIAN PEACE BROKERS
ips, March 25. COLOMBO, Mar. 24, 2006 (IPS/GIN) -- "Norwegians who conspire to divide Sri Lanka, get out," read a large banner carried by a group of 150 saffron-clad, head-shaven Buddhist monks demonstrating in front of Norway's mission here this week.To dispel any doubts, the monks, grouped under the National Bhikku Front (NBF), presented a memorandum to the mission outlining its misgivings and complaining that, since the February 2002 ceasefire brokered by Norway, there has been a pro-Tiger bias. Back to the top

Murali given a car for taking 1,000 wickets
afp, March 25. COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan cricket board on Friday gave ace off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan a car for becoming the first bowler to claim 1,000 wickets in international cricket... Back to the top

Sri Lanka cabinet of ministers gives the nod for joint venture ...
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Rice export to Lanka under FTA: ministry of commerce
dailytimes.com.pk, March 24, 2006, - 21:05 EDT. ISLAMABAD: A spokesman for the ministry of commerce has clarified a news item that gave an incorrect impression that Sri Lanka has imposed quota on the export of rice from Pakistan... Back to the top

Japan to extend 21.6 bil. yen in low-interest loans to Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Thu March 23, 2006 23:39 EST . TOKYO, March 24 (Kyodo) _ The government signed an agreement Friday to extend up to about 21.6 billion yen in long-term, low-interest loans to Sri Lanka to finance several projects for port and tourism development and infrastructure repair to help stabilize the country's economy, the Foreign Ministry said... Back to the top

Jayasuriya returns for first test against Pakistan
Associated Press, Fri March 24, 2006 09:12 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya returns to Sri Lanka - 's squad for the first cricket test against Pakistan starting on Sunday after missing the three-match limited-overs series because of an injury, the cricket board said... Back to the top

Report: One Tamil rebel killed, two injured in eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri March 24, 2006 06:15 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tigers on Friday accused government soldiers of firing mortars at a rebel checkpoint in eastern Sri Lanka - , killing one guerrilla and wounding two others, a pro-rebel Web site reported Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan army relaunches Web site
Associated Press, Fri March 24, 2006 02:19 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's military has redesigned its Web site to counter an online disinformation campaign by the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, a top military officer said Friday at its launch... Back to the top

Press Release
Embassy of Sri Lanka, March 24, 2006, 09:00 EDT. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. is inviting all Sri Lankan and Sri Lanka related groups throughout the U...
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Sri Lanka taps international markets to change debt profile
lankabusinessonline.com, 24 March 2006 . Mar. 24 (LBO) -- Sri Lanka is working on changing its debt profile, replacing old concessional loans with overseas borrowings and re-allocating low yielding foreign loans to other projects, the treasury secretary said Thursday. Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara said the island was floating an international bond this year to raise between US$500 million to US$1 billion as a "debt neutral restructuring exercise Back to the top

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