The Lanka Academic

 
APRIL 15, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 9

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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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
Mine blast kills 5 Sri Lankan soldiers in government-held northern town
Associated Press, Sat April 15, 2006 08:04 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels exploded a mine targeting a bus carrying troops in northern Sri Lanka - on Saturday, killing five soldiers and wounding six others in the latest violence to threaten the island's fragile cease-fire. The attack comes amid some of the worst violence in Sri Lanka - since Norway brokered a February 2002 cease-fire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

More than 45 people have been killed in the north and east since Monday in attacks blamed on rebels including a splinter group that broke away from the mainstream Tigers and fighting between ethnic Tamils and the island's majority Sinhalese.

The rebels have blamed government-backed paramilitary groups for the bloodshed, which has raised fears that the nation was on the verge of sliding back into civil war. The government denies that it backs any paramilitary groups.

Also Saturday, Tamil Tiger rebel commanders canceled a trip to an internal meeting that they had insisted is crucial for upcoming peace talks in Switzerland because they felt threatened by an approaching navy ship, according to a rebel statement.

The eight-day meetings were scheduled to start Saturday in the northern rebel-stronghold of Kilinochchi.

``They were getting onboard the ferry and suddenly they said they will not go because a Sri Lankan navy vessel was coming too close,'' said Helen Olafsdottir, a spokeswoman for the European mission observing the 2002 truce.

``We are not buying that because there was no risk as our monitors were aboard the naval vessel to ensure that nothing happens,'' Olafsdottir said.

The government said the guerrillas were told in advance that ships would be present to ensure the rebels' safety.

``The conditions for movement were clearly stipulated that the civilian ferry will be escorted by Sri Lankan navy craft to ensure its safe passage,'' a government statement said.

It wasn't clear if the trip will be rescheduled, or whether the rebels still plan to attend the April 24-25 peace talks with the government in Geneva.

A senior rebel official said they will not go to Geneva without first holding their central committee meeting.

``Without the meeting, there is no Geneva and no peace talks,'' Seevaratnam Puleedevan, head of the rebels' Peace Secretariat, told The Associated Press by phone from Kilinochchi.

The government accused the rebels of trying to derail the peace talks.

``There is a serious doubt if the LTTE wants to go to Geneva,'' Palitha Kohona, the chief of the government's Peace Secretariat, told reporters.

The government and the rebels agreed Friday to delay the three-day talks, initially scheduled to start Wednesday, after the guerrillas said the original dates conflicted with the meeting of their central committee.

The Tamil Tigers want to carve out a separate homeland for the country's 3.2 million minority ethnic Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. Discuss this story
Published: Sat Apr 15 09:37:56 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
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Explosion near army base in northern Sri Lanka leaves four dead  - monstersandcritics.com
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4 Sri Lanka soldiers killed in mine blast, talks thrown into ...  - tmcnet.com
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Mine blast kills four Sri Lankan soldiers in government-held northern town  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka says doubts rebels want talks to save ceasefire
turkishpress.com, Sat 15th Apr 17:45GMT. Sri Lanka has expressed "serious doubts" about whether Tamil Tiger rebels want to go ahead with talks due to be held in Swizterland that are aimed at saving a fragile ceasefire.

The two days of talks were scheduled to be held in Geneva from April 24 after being postponed for five days at the rebels' request.

"There is a serious doubt if the LTTE (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) wants to go to Geneva," the head of the government peace secretariat, Palitha Kohona, said.

His statement came after the rebels scrapped plans to have their field commanders consult with the group's leadership ahead of the Swiss talks on saving the ceasefire that has been in place since February 2002. More...

Discuss this story
Published: Sat Apr 15 13:43:42 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lankan rebels pull out of Switzerland talks
Reuters, April 15. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said on Saturday they would pull out of talks with the government in Switzerland due to a dispute over the transport of eastern rebel commanders to their northern base.The head of the Tiger peace secretariat, S. Puleedevan, said the Tigers were concerned about Sri Lankan navy plans to monitor a civilian sea transport escorting unarmed Nordic truce monitors that was to have taken the rebel commanders on Saturday. More...

Discuss this story
Published: Sat Apr 15 02:54:26 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Sri Lankan peace talks in doubt after Tiger rebels cancel travel to leaders' meeting  - Associated Press

SL Govt refutes LTTE s contention on naval escort
hindustantimes.com, Sat 15th Apr 17:45GMT. The Sri Lankan government on Saturday refuted the LTTE's contention that there was no provision in its agreement with the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) for naval escort for the ship ferrying its commanders between the Eastern and Northern sectors... Back to the top

S.Lanka army says foils attack, violence simmers
Reuters, April 15. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, April 15 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army said on Saturday it had foiled a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel ambush hours after the two sides agreed new dates for talks on saving the fragile four-year truce... Back to the top

Curfew lifted in restive Sri Lankan town after overnight calm
Associated Press, Sat April 15, 2006 00:54 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police lifted a curfew in the northeastern Sri Lankan port town of Trincomalee on Saturday after a night of calm following violence that killed at least 41 people in the region over the past week... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government, Tamil Tiger rebels agree to meet in Geneva April 24-25
DILIP GANGULY , Associated Press, Fri 14th Apr 13:55GMT. Sri Lanka's government and the Tamil Tiger rebels agreed Friday to delay their next round of peace talks in Switzerland until April 24-25, after the guerrillas said the original dates conflicted with an important meeting... Back to the top

Lanka goes back to Indian Standard Time
hindustantimes.com, April 15, 2006. Sri Lanka on Saturday went back to Indian Standard Time (GMT plus 5.30 hours) after a gap of ten years... Back to the top

Civilian killed in restive northeastern Sri Lanka in fresh violence
Associated Press, Fri 14th Apr 13:55GMT. A man was stabbed to death in northeastern Sri Lanka Friday, police said, amid fresh unrest in the restive region where at least 16 people have been killed this week in widespread violence... Back to the top

Anti-personnel mine explodes in north-east, five wounded
Associated Press, Fri 14th Apr 10:25GMT. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a mine in Sri Lanka's restive northeast Friday, wounding at least five people, including two soldiers, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka back from brink but cautious on peace
Peter Apps, reuters.co.uk, Fri 14th Apr 10:25GMT. Sri Lanka took a step back from the brink of civil war on Friday after Tamil Tiger rebels agreed to go to talks in Geneva, but with a new date yet to be agreed many remain cautious about hopes for a lasting peace... Back to the top

Sri Lankans celebrate subdued New Year after escalation in violence
Associated Press, Fri April 14, 2006 00:06 EDT . Sri Lankans celebrated their island country's traditional New Year on Friday, but the generally elaborate festivities were subdued this year due to violence that has left at least 40 dead this week... Back to the top

Donors gravely concerned by Sri Lanka violence
reuters.com, Fri 14th Apr 10:25GMT. The European Union, Japan, Norway and the United States, co-chairs of Sri Lanka's donors' group, expressed grave concern on Friday about the worsening situation in the country and condemned recent violence... Back to the top

Funerals dampen Sri Lanka s new year revelries
dailyindia.com, April 14, 2006, 11:15 EDT. Colombo, April 14 (DPA) Three civilians and two soldiers were injured in a mine attack in Sri Lanka Friday as the country marked the traditional new year with religious and cultural celebrations... Back to the top

Sri Lanka - The Sweetest Holiday Experience is within Mahaweli ...
tv, April 14, 2006, 17:00 EDT. Sitting on the bank of the island’s longest river, the historic mountain capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy, has one truly 5-Star experience set amongst some of the world’s most culturally rich and historically diverse environments... Back to the top

Foreign donors urged to rethink deal with TRO
Sassanka Samarakkody, gulf-times.com, Fri 14th Apr 10:55GMT. THE Sri Lankan military has pointed out the absurdity in foreign donors helping an LTTE front organisation, engaged in mine clearing operations in areas under the group's control, amidst a wave of mine attacks in government held areas... Back to the top

Govt taking steps to stop abuse of maids
Sassanka Samarakkody, gulf-times.com, Fri 14th Apr 10:55GMT. Following recent reports of torture, harassment and even death of several Sri Lankan housemaids employed overseas, mostly in the Middle East, Minister for Labour Relations and Foreign Employment, Athauda Seneviratne, told reporters that the government will take urgent steps to stop the abuse of tens of thousands of Lankan women working abroad... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government says Geneva talks should be held as scheduled
Associated Press, Fri April 14, 2006 02:24 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government and Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday appeared headed for a conflict over when to hold the next round of their Geneva peace talks... Back to the top

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