The Lanka Academic

 
APRIL 2, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 6, NO. 361

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lanka and cease-fire monitors lock-horns over armed groups
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 2nd, 2006. The government and European cease-fire monitors have fired out letters at each other over the existence of armed groups operating in state-controlled areas with both parties trading charges at each other just weeks ahead of the next round of peace talks.

In a two-page letter addressed to the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission's outgoing chief Hagrup Haukland said the monitors encountered 10-15 armed men in civilian clothes operating in Valachchenai, who told SLMM that they belong to the Karuna faction.

Haukland also referred to several "sighting of armed civilians claiming to represent Karuna is often reported to SLMM."

Asserting that the monitors have strong suspicions about armed groups also veering toward Vavuniya, the letter added the SLMM was aware of 11 civilians being killed in government-controlled areas in the east and six in Vavuniya since Feb. 23rd , the day on which talks in Geneva concluded.

Haukland's letter was sent in response to the Defense Secretary's strongly worded note about the contents of a SLMM statement issued last week, after suspected Tigers sank a navy fast attack craft in Kalpitiya, killing eight sailors. The navy said the LTTE suicide boat was carrying "war-like weapons and ammunition."

In a single-page letter, Rajapakse accused the SLMM of "misleading," and making "defamatory," inferences in their statement. He was specifically referring to paragraph 5 of the SLMM statement which said;

"The Sri Lankan Army has recently dismissed claims that armed groups are operating in Government controlled areas. However, based on SLMM's monitoring activities and experience on the ground the Mission does not share the this view and we would like to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to take this matter seriously and not close their eyes to armed elements that are to our knowledge still operating in Government controlled areas."

The defense secretary charged the conclusion SLMM had arrived at was "without any conclusive evidence." He subsequently asked for a meeting with Haukland to discuss the issue.

Haukland responded in a letter the following day, March 30th (Thursday), a day before he concluded his post as head of mission.

Defense secretary Mr. Rajapakse is part of the President's entourage now on a state visit t Pakistan.

At the end of the Feb. 22-23 Geneva talks, both the government and the Tigers vowed to end a spate of violence.

Although the rebels had earlier described the March 2003 Karuna rebellion as an internal matter of the Tigers and asked the government to stay out of the issue, that stand changed.

The February talks were dominated by demands by the Tigers to disarm paramilitaries, specifically the Karuna group.

The guerrillas produced a dossier of what they called "evidence," of government forces support toward the Karuna group. The military denies any linkage.

Despite the SLMM assertions that the Karuna group continues to operate from within government-controlled areas, it admits it has no evidence of military support for the group.

The Tigers' chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said on Wednesday, the next round of talks will also be dominated by the same issue if the government fails to dismantle armed groups. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Apr 2 04:36:49 EDT 2006


Sri Lanka and Pakistan agree to combat terrorism
hindu.com, April 2, 2006, 19:45 EDT. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Sri Lanka have expressed their resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations for the preservation of shared values and principles and in the interest of peace and progress of their societies. A joint statement issued here on Saturday on the occasion of the three-day visit of Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse, said in the course of the interaction between the two sides the leaders agreed that combating terrorism is the great challenge of our times. "Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been victims of terrorism," the statement said. Much to the surprise of observers here, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz received the visiting dignitary at the military airport in Chaklala on Friday. On Sunday, the Sri Lankan President would be addressing a forum of Pakistan and Sri Lankan More...
Published: Sun Apr 2 19:47:35 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Ruling party may call snap polls in Lanka
thepeninsulaqatar.com, April 2, 2006, 19:45 EDT. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s ruling party may call snap elections after its success in local polls gave it a chance to break away from hardline allies opposed to a peace process with Tamil rebels, analysts say. President Mahinda Rajapakse could call parliamentary polls four years ahead of schedule if his two key nationalist allies try to block efforts for a political settlement to the festering ethnic conflict, they say. “The president will try to get the nationalists on board but if that fails, he may go for a quick election,” said Sunanda Deshapriya, director at the Centre for Policy Alternatives think-tank. Deshapriya said the poor performance by the nationalist Marxist JVP, or the People’s Liberation Front, and the All Monks Party of JHU showed More...
Published: Sun Apr 2 19:46:37 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Restrict Tiger rebel travel after April talks, Sri Lanka tells the Swiss
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 2nd, 2006. The government has requested Switzerland to restrict Tamil Tiger rebel travel within the country at the conclusion of next month's talks, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to assure India over China and Pakistan
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 2nd, 2006. A team of senior government officials are scheduled to visit India this week, just days after President Mahinda Rajapakse's visit to Pakistan, presidential sources said... Back to the top

Pak-Lanka chambers’ MoU to set up jt business council
financialexpress-bd.com, April 2, 2006, 19:45 EDT. ISLAMABAD, Apr 2 (APP): Pakistan and Sri Lanka yesterday agreed to set up a Joint Business Council between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of both the countries... Back to the top

Ruling coalition's victory in local Sri Lankan polls to help Tamil Tiger peace process
Associated Press, Sat April 1, 2006 01:00 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapake has a fresh mandate to continue peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels after his ruling coalition's overwhelming victory in local elections, state-run media said Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka report Woolmer to ICC
smh.com, April 3. Sri Lanka have filed a complaint with the International Cricket Council against Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer for interfering with the preparation of the pitch for the second Test... Back to the top

Govt. urged to sack the JVP
BBC, April 2, 2006. A dissident group from Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) might cross over provided the government change its policies, a leading UNP parliamentarian said... Back to the top

Jayasuriya eyes a memorable exit from test cricket
Associated Press, Sun April 2, 2006 06:57 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - KANDY, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's prolific batsman Sanath Jayasuriya said he wants to finish his test cricket career on a high note in front of a home crowd when he takes the field for a last time Monday in the second test against Pakistan... Back to the top

Norway peace envoy to discuss Sri Lanka with India
hindustantimes.com, April 2, 2006. Norway's new peace envoy to Sri Lanka will be here this week to discuss with Indian leaders the situation in the island in the run up to the next round of peace talks in Geneva on April 19-21... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military accuses rebels of provocation
people.com.cn, April 01, 2006. Sri Lankan troops have accused the Tamil Tigers of carrying out a series of attacks to provoke the troops in violation of the ongoing truce... Back to the top

Five migratory birds found dead in Sri Lanka not infected with bird flu
Associated Press, Sat April 1, 2006 23:49 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Five migratory birds found dead in northern Sri Lanka - were not infected with bird flu, health officials said Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka, Pakistan agree to fight terrorism, intensify trade
pakistanlink.com, April 01, 2006. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Sri Lanka agreed Saturday to intensify cooperation in defence, countering terrorism, science and technology and trade after talks between their leaders, according to a joint statement issued here... Back to the top

Despite peace talks, Sri Lanka drifts towards civil war
indybay.org, Mar. 31. Last Saturday the naval vessel Dvora, a fast attack craft, was sunk during a confrontation with a trawler off the north west coast... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : Steps mooted to expand Sri Lankan Garment industry
fibre2fashion.com, April 1, 2006. The 13th Annual General Meeting of Sri Lanka Garment Buying offices Association (SLGBOA) was held recently... Back to the top

Pakistan, Lanka Chambers to set up Joint Business Council
irna.ir, April 1. Pakistan and Sri Lankan chambers of commerce and industries on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a Joint Business Council between the Chambers of Commerce and Industries of both the countries... Back to the top

Top Swedish army officer takes over command to oversee Sri Lanka 's cease-fire with Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Fri March 31, 2006 23:03 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A retired Swedish general on Saturday took over command of monitoring Sri Lanka's cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels, which has come under increasing strain amid spiraling violence... Back to the top

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