The Lanka Academic

APRIL 7, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 1


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Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Three killed in Sri Lanka's volatile east
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 7th, 2006, SLT 11:30. A Tamil nationalist leader and two Muslim police guards were shot and killed by unidentified gunmen on Friday in Sri Lanka's volatile east, police and the military said.

Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, leader of the District Tamil People's Forum in Trincomalee was gunned down near a local back in the port town, police in the area said.

He is known to have spearheaded several protests, especially over the erection of a Buddhist statue in the multi-ethnic town-center last year that led to ethnic tensions.

"Vigneswaran was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on a motor bike," said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, military spokesman.

He said investigations were underway.

Separately, two Muslims police guards were shot dead on their way home after overnight duty in Walikanda, south of Trincomalee.

Samarasinghe said he suspected the Tamil rebels were behind the attack and a probe was underway.

The fresh violence came barely a day after top Norwegian peace brokers commended a drop in violence in Sri Lanka and expressed confidence that the parties will meet again for talks later this month.

It was not immediately clear if the latest attacks will thrown into doubt the April 19 talks to save a fragile cease-fire.

The government and the rebels met for the first time in three years in February and vowed to scale down violence that had pushed the island to the brink of war. However, both sides have since continued to trade charges at each other for violating a 2002 truce. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Apr 7 04:24:06 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Gov t Condemns Killing of Tamil Nationalist  -
Pro-Rebel Tamil Leader Is Gunned Down  - By SHIMALI SENANAYAKE (NYT)

Head of Tamil activist group, two Muslims slain in attacks in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri April 7, 2006 04:46 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Authorities said gunmen fatally shot the president of a Tamil activist group and two Muslim village guards Friday in separate attacks in eastern Sri Lanka - , where recent violence has threatened the country's fragile cease-fire. me. Sri Lanka - 's parliament has renewed the state of emergency every month since the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in August last year

The latest killings came a critical time. The Sri Lankan government and Tiger rebels are preparing to meet April 19-21 in Geneva for the second session in their latest round of peace talks.

A recent spike in violence that has left at least 166 people dead since December in the north and east where the majority of Sri Lanka - 's 3.2 million Tamils live has threatened the cease-fire signed by the government and rebels in 2002.

At the first Geneva meeting in February, both sides pledged to scale down the violence, but the rebels and government have since repeatedly traded accusations of cease-fire violations.

The Geneva meeting was the first high-level contact between the two sides since peace talks broke down in 2003 after six rounds of negotiations.

The Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a separate state for minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the country's Sinhalese majority. The conflict has cost an estimated 65,000 lives.

Pro-rebel site :
Published: Fri Apr 7 12:37:34 EDT 2006 Back to the top

LTTE front threaten Jaffna Academics with death. Several professors told to leave Jaffna.
K.S. Rajkumar, April 06, 2006. Increasing numbers of parents and students of the University of Jaffna are getting frustrated with the disturbing developments at the University after the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor Prof Ratnajeevan Hoole. Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole was nominated to be the Vice-Chancellor for the Jaffna University based on a majority vote by the University Senate. Soon after the University Grants Commission made the announcement, LTTE front groups in Jaffna began an orchestrated campaign against Prof. Hoole and warned him against taking up the position. The LTTE web site Nitharsanam operating from Norway, issued a chilling warning to Professor Hoole that he will 'receive the ultimate punishment' if he were ever to take up his new position. Several reports quoted Prof. Hoole stating that he received death threats over the phone. In statements issued to the press the 'Jaffna University Students Union' stated that the students will 'never accept Ratnajeevan Hoole as the vice-chancellor'. Furthermore it went on to state that 'He is a traitor for the Tamil cause and should not set foot in our soil'. A student leader identified as Vijeyaruban said on LTTE television TTN that he will take “tough action” on Hoole if he enters the University campus'. Since Prof. Hoole is unable to function in Jaffna, the University grants commission appointed Professor Parameswaran of the Faculty of Medicine as the acting Vice-Chancellor for Jaffna. Prof. Parameswaran also received death threats from this particular 'Student organization', and the home of another Professor who spoke defending Parameswaran, was stoned and damaged.

In recent days Nitharsanam web-site, widely regarded as being controlled by the LTTE's intelligence unit and managed by a close relative of Pottu Amman published a series of articles under the heading 'Who is this fool?'. The articles warned Hoole that he would receive the maximum punishment from the 'patriotic people of Jaffna'. The articles further warned other academics in Jaffna not to support Prof. Hoole and other “traitors”.

In the midst of all these chaos, posters appeared in the vicinity of Jaffna University on Tuesday night, giving a chilling warning to the Jaffna University Senate members. The intimidating poster published in the name of 'patriotic community of the University' showed the photos of the University Senate members. The poster was also published in several LTTE web sites in Tamil. Under the caption 'Who are the 15 traitors who voted for Hoole? You have to step down immediately. Else you will be identified, exposed and receive the 'ultimate punishment'. Five of the Senate members' photographs were replaced with the 'skull and bone' symbols.

In an interview to the Colombo newspaper, Daily News, Prof. Hoole said he and his family members have also received threatening phone calls. " I have to face the same fate faced by Rajini Thiranagama. My wife was warned over the phone that if I came to Jaffna I would return to Colombo in a coffin beheaded. My fourteen year old daughter was told over the phone, that if I came to Jaffna they would chop up her younger brother!!"

Residents in Jaffna say it is only a vocal minority of students who are causing these problems, while the majority of students are eager to continue with their studies. Speaking to the students, it is clear who is behind this carefully coordinated intimidation campaign. "These student leaders receive instructions from Kilinochchi. They are trying to close down the University" said a student in the Science faculty. Several parents echoed this statement.

A retired school principal whose daughter is a Medical student in Jaffna told “the Tamils started fighting because we were discriminated in the University admissions. Now after 30 years, we face the imminent danger to our education caused by our own people. This is tragic. But nobody will protest or speak out due to fear. I am really worried about the future of our children”.

While the LTTE is trying to shut down the University of Jaffna and threatening the academics with death, several media reports say that the children of senior LTTE leaders' including the children of the LTTE leader Pirbakaran and Tamilselvam are pursuing higher studies and professional degrees abroad in Europe. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Apr 6 20:09:01 EDT 2006 Back to the top

EU opens $70 million credit for tsunami-hit Sri Lanka, April 07, 2006, 21:05. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka received Friday a 70 million euro credit line from the European Investment Bank to rebuild- small and medium-sized industries affected by the 2004 killer tsunami... Back to the top

Tamil rebels, Sri Lankan govt to go ahead with Swiss peace talks: Norwegian peace envoy
Associated Press, Thu April 6, 2006 09:16 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan government will go ahead with peace talks in Switzerland despite simmering tensions and accusations that both sides violated a cease-fire agreement, Norway's top peace envoy said Thursday... Back to the top

ROK, India, Sri Lanka sign agreement against maritime piracy, April 7. SINGAPORE, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Republic of Korea (South Korea), India and Sri Lanka signed the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) here Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to put back time from April 14, April 07. Sri Lanka will turn the clock back by 30 minutes from April 14 midnight, placing its time zone five- and-a-half hours ahead of GMT, the official Daily News reported Friday... Back to the top

Suspected Tamil rebels kill two Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Fri April 7, 2006 00:49 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and killed two Muslim village guards early Friday in eastern Sri Lanka - , the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan gangs make their mark in Delhi, April 7. A Sri Lankan Tamil gang that used ingenuity and the humble catapult to rob at will here has been busted... Back to the top

Peace broker Norway confident of talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil rebels despite tensions
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, April 6th, 2006, SLT 6:30 pm. Despite seethe tensions between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers over reneging on pledges made at peace talks, Norwegian peace brokers on Thursday, were confident the parties will meet again... Back to the top

Norwegian peace envoys meet Sri Lankan president ahead of crucial peace talks with rebels
Associated Press, Thu April 6, 2006 03:49 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Norway's top peace envoy met with the Sri Lankan president on Thursday ahead of talks with Tamil rebels later this month, but with both sides accusing the other of escalating attacks that could cloud the prospects for peace... Back to the top

Development Minister to Sri Lanka, April 06, 2006, 16:20 EDT. Norwegian Development Minister Erik Solheim is on Thursday travelling to Sri Lanka for talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse... Back to the top

Sri Lanka urged to keep promises, April 06, 2006, 16:20 EDT. The Norwegian minister Erik Solheim has urged the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to implement the promises made during talks in Geneva last month... Back to the top

Norway sees improved peace prospects in Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Thu April 6, 2006 09:23 EDT . - - COLOMBO, April 6 (Kyodo) Norway sees the landslide victory at Sri Lanka - 's March 30 local elections for President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance as a strengthening of Rajapakse's hand to take forward the country's fragile peace process, a top Norwegian minister said Thursday... Back to the top

UTHR (J) says LTTE staged TRO abduction drama
com, April 06, 2006, 07:37 EDT. The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) has alleged that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization has faked the alleged abduction of seven Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) personnel at Welikande on the Batticaloa - Polonnaruwa border in two separate incidents on Jan 29th and 30th of this year... Back to the top

Sri Lanka banks on poorest women, April 06, 2006, 16:20 EDT. Women's banks are flourishing in Sri Lanka but there are questions about whether they really make a difference to poverty... Back to the top

Norway plans to step up financial help in Sri Lanka, April 06, 2006, 16:20 EDT. Apr.06 (LBO) – Norway plans to step up financial assistance in Sri Lanka following a request by President Mahinda Rajapakse to raise its profile in the island, peace envoy Erik Solheim said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeking $500 million loan from Saudi Arabia for refinery capacity expansion
Associated Press, Thu April 6, 2006 04:12 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government is negotiating with Saudi Arabia to obtain a US$500 million (euro407.76 million) loan for expanding the country's only refinery, the Petroleum Resources minister said Thursday... Back to the top

Disappointed, says LTTE, April 06, 2006, 07:37 EDT. COLOMBO: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Wednesday said it was "totally disappointed" with the Sri Lankan Government's "implementation" of the agreements reached at the February talks in Geneva... Back to the top

Colombo move evokes mixed response : Muslim regiment in army
Dawn, April 06, 2006, 07:51 EDT. A mixed response greeted the government’s move last week to form an exclusive Muslim military regiment aimed at protecting Muslims living in the east from LTTE attacks... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil groups clash ahead of crucial talks between peace envoys and president
Associated Press, Thu April 6, 2006 01:07 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A top Norwegian envoy arrived in Sri Lanka - on Thursday to discuss the country's peace process with the president, amid fears that interfactional fighting between Tamil rebels could cloud the prospects of peace... Back to the top

BEML may get to put Lankan rail on tract, April 06, 2006, 07:51 EDT. BANGALORE: Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) is close to bagging a $20 million order to deliver nearly 80 train coaches to Sri Lanka and upgrade the country’s rail infrastructure... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Sampath Bank gets credit upgrade from Fitch, April 06, 2006, 07:35 EDT. Apr.06 (LBO) - Fitch Ratings Lanka has upgraded Sampath Bank long term domestic rating to AA- (sri) on an improving financial profile... Back to the top

Air Deccan Lanka plans 3 flights to South
com, April 06, 2006, 07:37 EDT. New Delhi: Airfares between India and Sri Lanka are set to head southwards with a new low-cost airline - Air Deccan Lanka, set to take wings in the next three months... Back to the top

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