The Lanka Academic

MARCH 27, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 355


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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Lanka to create first Muslim battalion, 3/28/2006. Colombo: Sri Lanka is setting up its first infantry battalion made of only Muslims, the country third largest community, to protect Muslim residents in the east from Tamil rebels, the first ever exclusive battalion for any community, the government said.

Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said interviews for recruitment to this battalion will start tomorrow, Tuesday, and held for seven days up to April 5 at the army’s Combat Training School in Ampara.

The battalion will protect the district of Ampara which has the largest concentration of Muslims in Sri Lanka and whose residents have often been under attack from Tamil guerrillas.

The spokesman said the command structure of the battalion which is normally made up of 500 soldiers is yet to be worked out. Sri Lanka’s military does normally recruit personnel on ethnic lines – until this latest move—but the armed forces are dominated by the Sinhalese, the country’s majority community. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Mar 27 20:38:50 EST 2006

‘We support Tamil right to self-rule in Sri Lanka’ ….- Erik Solheim
com, March 27, 2006, 12:00 EDT. Prabhakaran promised to do his part to put a stop to the escalating violence. He reaffirmed his commitment to the peace process and a peaceful solution.The US seems to have taken a pro-Sinhala stand. The recent statements of Under Secretary Nicholas Burns and Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead betray their bias.

Many governments, including the US, expressed their support to the parties ahead of the talks. We are encouraged by the support of India, US and others to Norway’s involvement as facilitators. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Mar 27 11:59:51 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan military arrests four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, seizes weapons
Associated Press, Mon March 27, 2006 06:58 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan military arrested four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels and discovered weapons during a search of a government-held northern town, the military said Monday.

The suspected rebels included two women and were arrested late Sunday in Vavuniya, the military said. T-56 rifles were found in their possession, it said in a statement.

During questioning, the suspected rebels provided information that led to the seizure of four hand grenades and ammunition that had been hidden in a house in Vavuniya, the military said.

Vavuniya, 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the capital, Colombo, is the last government-held town before rebel territory.

Meanwhile, students in the northern town of Jaffna _ 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo _ boycotted classes after soldiers allegedly attacked students on March 24 at the Advanced Technological Institute after they raised a rebel flag to commemorate a rebel martyr.

Under a Norway-brokered cease-fire signed in February 2002, hoisting the rebel flag in government-held areas is banned.

Sri Lankan military spokesman Brig. Sudhir Samarasinghe denied accusations that soldiers attacked students and said the flag was removed in front of Norway-led international truce monitors.

The rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the fighting before signing the cease-fire, which has come under increased strain in recent months from escalating violence.

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Published: Mon Mar 27 08:40:23 EST 2006 Back to the top

Terror papers probed
National Post, March 27. Police are examining documents that appear to support allegations the Sri Lankan terrorist group known as the Tamil Tigers has been collecting money in Canada... Back to the top

Sri Lanka President awarded damages over tsunami graft probe, Mon, 27 March 2006. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Monday awarded 5,000 dollars in damages to President Mahinda Rajapakse over a pre-election police investigation that he siphoned off of millions of rupees in tsunami aid... Back to the top

S.Lanka suspected rebel front warns of new attacks, 27 Mar 2006 08:04:14 GMT. COLOMBO, March 27 (Reuters) - A suspected Tamil Tiger front threatened on Monday to resume attacks on Sri Lanka's military, with the government and rebels seen unwilling to compromise weeks before talks aimed at averting renewed civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bans fishing along border with India, March 27, 2006, 11:45 EDT. Colombo, March. 27 (PTI): Sri Lanka today banned deep sea fishing along the border with India, two days after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels blew up a navy boat killing eight sailors. Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, would supervise the "prohibited zone" and no one will be allowed into the area without written permission... Back to the top

Government sets rules for Tigers
GulfNews, March 27. Colombo: The government has laid down a series of conditions for the Tamil rebels to re-man political offices in areas under government control in the north and east, compelling the rebels to indefinitely put off the reopening of their offices, officials said... Back to the top

CHRONOLOGY-Recent suspected S.Lanka Tiger rebel attacks, March 27. A suspected Tamil Tiger front threatened on Monday to resume attacks against Sri Lanka's military two days after the Navy accused rebels of sinking a patrol boat in a suicide attack... Back to the top

Grand coalition on the cards: Colombo
Hindu, March 27. COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Government has said a "grand coalition" was on the cards with the support of key minority parties — the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), in the coming months... Back to the top

War, tsunami displaced in Sri Lanka denied right to vote, march 27. COLOMBO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's civil war displaced and the victims of the Indian ocean Tsunamis are denied the right to vote at this week's local council election, an independent election watch dog said here Monday... Back to the top

Roots of Muslim identity in Sri Lanka, March 27. A community's search for identity and its subsequent development as a political unit, stem from an environment of communalism... Back to the top

Hunt launched for impersonator in kidnap, rape of Lanka woman; US ..., 27th Mar 2006 . KUWAIT CITY: Police are looking for an unidentified police impersonator, for kidnapping and raping a Sri Lankan woman, reports Al-Rai Al-Aam daily... Back to the top

Lanka to cut tariff on Indian imports from next month, March 27,. COLOMBO, MARCH 26: Sri Lanka will relax its import tariff on a host of Indian goods from next month as part of a bilateral trade deal... Back to the top

Pakistan seamers push Sri Lanka to 71-5 at lunch
Associated Press, Mon March 27, 2006 02:33 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Pakistan opening bowlers Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul shared five wickets Monday to grab an early advantage as Sri Lanka - struggled to 71 for five wickets at lunch on the second day of the first cricket test... Back to the top

Missing Sri Lankan sailors presumed dead in explosion, monitors say trend worrying
Associated Press, Sun March 26, 2006 01:49 EST . BHARATHA MALLARACHCHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Eight Sri Lankan sailors missing after their vessel was destroyed in an explosion blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels are presumed dead, the navy said Sunday... Back to the top

The Sri Lankan knot, March 26, 2006, - 11:10 EDT. A federal status may be acceptable to the Sinhalese if it would constitute a full and final settlement Sri Lanka is one country where you take no time to pick up the thread from where you have left it off three months or three decades ago... Back to the top

Sri Lanka trend worrying, March 26, 2006, - 11:10 EDT. The Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tigers both lack commitment to a ceasefire agreed in 2002 that halted two decades of civil war, truce monitors have said... Back to the top

Lanka may slip back to war, warn truce monitors
com, March 26, 2006, - 11:10 EDT. Colombo: Independent ceasefire monitors in Sri Lanka on Sunday warned that an alleged LTTE attack that sank a Navy gunboat along with eight sailors could slip the island nation back to war... Back to the top

S.Lanka and Tigers lack commitment to truce-monitors, March 26, 2006, - 11:10 EDT. COLOMBO, March 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military and the Tamil Tigers both lack commitment to a 2002 ceasefire that halted two decades of civil war and further provocation could rekindle a rash of deadly attacks, Nordic truce monitors said on Sunday... Back to the top

LTTE sticks to stand against time change, 3/26/2006. Colombo: Tamil rebels who didn’t change the clock in areas they control when the rest of Sri Lanka resorted to daylight savings time in 1996, said today the group will continue with the same time... Back to the top

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