The Lanka Academic

APRIL 3, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 6, NO. 362


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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New Norwegian envoy arrives in Sri Lanka amid electoral boost for government's peace bid
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 3rd, 2006, SLT 11:30 am. A new special peace envoy arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday as nationalist political parties opposed to Norway's peace efforts suffered a crushing defeat at last week's local poll.

Jon Hanssen-Bauer's visit takes place days after President Mahinda Rajapakse's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance won a landslide victory by securing 225 out of the 266 local councils at a mini poll, according to official results. The president's victory was largely seen as an overwhelming endorsement of his efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Marxists People's Liberation Front or JVP, which had intensified its campaign for the ouster of Norway as facilitator, suffered a major electoral rejection at Thursday's poll, managing to retain only the one council they previously held.

The Buddhist monk-led National Heritage party, which also opposes Norway's peace efforts, suffered a similar defeat.

Hanssen-Bauer was set to have a series of meetings during his inaugural visit to appraise himself on the Sri Lankan process.

On Monday, he was scheduled to hold a lunch meeting with a group of non-governmental organizations supporting the peace process ahead of separate talks with Ulf Herrickson, the new Swedish chief of the European cease-fire monitors, the government's peace secretariat and the government's chief negotiator and Health minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, officials involved in the peace process said.

Hanssen-Bauer is scheduled to travel to the northern rebel-held capital of Kilinochchi on Wednesday to meet rebel leaders ahead of an all important meeting with Rajapakse the day after.

Norway's International Development Minister Erik Solheim who is leading the Norwegian effort here, is expected to fly to Sri Lanka specifically to participate in Thursday's meeting, officials said.

Both the Sri Lankan government and the rebels are expected to meet on April 19-21 for talks to strengthen a four-year-old cease-fire that has faced increased threat in recent months. Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 3 03:13:21 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
New Norway peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka to prepare for next round of peace talks  - Associated Press
New peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka  -

Sri Lanka renegades threaten to kill Tiger supporters, April 03, 2006, 9:00 EDT. COLOMBO, April 3 (Reuters) - A breakaway faction of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers vowed on Monday to shoot dead supporters of the mainstream rebel group unless they return thousands of homes and businesses appropriated from Muslims in the 1990s.

The group led by breakaway former commander Colonel Karuna, who is locked in a deadly feud with the Tigers that threatens to rekindle a two-decade civil war, told Reuters it will also hunt down three top rebels and hand them to Nordic truce monitors.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) gave tens of thousands of Muslims just two hours to abandon their homes and property in the northern Jaffna peninsular in 1990 in what was seen as ethnic cleansing. Only a few hundred have dared to return since. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 3 09:01:18 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Muslim women get green light to join armed forces
Associated Press, Mon April 3, 2006 09:47 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Islamic clerics on Monday gave Muslim women permission to join Sri Lanka - 's first exclusively Muslim infantry battalion to help provide security in the country's insurgency-wracked east, a religious leader said. Few Muslims serve in Sri Lanka - 's armed forces, and Muslim women traditionally stayed out of the military.

Approval for Muslim women to join the military came after Sri Lanka - 's military last month began recruiting for the exclusively Muslim unit.

The unit will protect Muslims living in the troubled Ampara province where Tamil Tiger rebels, who are mostly Hindus, want to extend their domination.

Military spokesman Brig. Sudhir Samarasinghe said Muslim women will be recruited to join the forces in interviews this week.

Muslims are Sri Lanka - 's second-largest minority after ethnic Tamils and generally oppose the Tamil Tigers, who have accused Muslims of supporting the government. The rebels also oppose Muslims cultivating land in areas they consider Tamil territory.

During two decades of civil war, the rebels carried out systematic killings of Muslims, including a massacre in August 1990 of 130 Muslims at two mosques on the same day.

Tens of thousands of Muslims fled the northern Sri Lanka - 's Jaffna Peninsula after the rebels started their separatist campaign there in 1983.

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

The truce has come under severe strain due to spiraling violence, with more than 166 people, including 87 government security personnel, killed since December.

Both sides agreed in Geneva, Switzerland last month to scale down violence and will meet again for talks on April 19-21.

Women from Sri Lanka - 's majority ethnic group the Buddhist Sinhalese are also allowed to join the country's military, while the rebels are known to have a large number of female fighters.

Discuss this story
Published: Mon Apr 3 11:55:41 EDT 2006 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

Time to end Sri Lanka time split, 3 April 2006. Sri Lanka is a country divided not just by war, but also by time... Back to the top

Report: Mangroves failed to protect coastal communities in 2004 tsunami
Associated Press, Mon April 3, 2006 06:00 EDT . MICHAEL CASEY - AP Environmental Writer - The study, published in April's edition of the journal Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science, also warned that governments in India and Sri Lanka - are offering a false sense of security and displacing scores of residents unnecessarily by proposing green belts and buffer zones in areas hard hit by the massive waves... Back to the top

Asif maiden five-wicket haul restricts Sri Lanka to 267-8 in second test
Associated Press, Mon April 3, 2006 08:35 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - KANDY, Sri Lanka - (AP) Pace bowler Mohammad Asif took his maiden five-wicket haul in test cricket for Pakistan Monday to restrict Sri Lanka - to 267 for eight wickets in their first innings at stumps on the first day of the second test... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 267 for eight at first day close
com, April 03, 2006, 20:40 EDT. KANDY, April 04 (Online): Sri Lanka scored 267 runs at the loss of eight wickets here on the first day of the second and lfinal Test match against Pakistan on Monday... Back to the top

MRF sets up rubber facility in Sri Lanka, April 03, 2006, 18:40 EDT. CHENNAI: Tyre major, MRF has set up an industrial unit in Sri Lanka to make pre-cure rubber for tyre retreading products... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s new computer sales to grow 11% by 2011, Mon, 3 April 2006. Computer sales in Sri Lanka are forecasted to grow 11 percent by 2011, largely driven by demand from public sector, telecom and financial sectors, an IT study released Monday said... Back to the top

Lanka, Pak pvt firms sign five trade MoUs, Rajapakse lauds FTA, April 03, 2006, 9:00 EDT. Karachi, Apr 2 : Observing that Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Sri Lanka has proved to be a "win-win situation" for both, the island nation's President Mahinda Rajapakse today said the business communities of the two countries were working with effective coordination for the promotion of bilateral trade... Back to the top

Sri Lanka and Pakistan agree to combat terrorism, 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... Back to the top

Sangakkara leads Sri Lanka fight-back in Kandy, April 03, 2006, 9:00 EDT. KANDY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Kumar Sangakkara led a Sri Lanka fightback with a superb 79 on the first afternoon of the second and final test against Pakistan... Back to the top

Ruling party may call snap polls in Lanka, 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... Back to the top

Pelwatte Sugar applies to build Sri Lanka s largest dendro-power ..., April 03, 2006, 9:00 EDT. April 03 (LBO) -- Pelwatte Sugar has applied to the Ceylon Electricity Board to build a 25MegaWatt power plant fired by sugar cane waste, making it the largest dendro power plant proposed in Sri Lanka up to now... Back to the top

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