The Lanka Academic

APRIL 29, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 23


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
EU divided, may not ban LTTE
NewKerala, April 28. By M.R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi: The European Union is sharply divided over outlawing Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas, and indications are a ban is not immediately in the offing despite this week's suicide bomb attack blamed on the insurgents.

The 25-nation grouping is debating whether or not it should declare the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) a terrorist group, a public request for which was made only on April 23 by the Sri Lankan government.

Britain is the only European Union member that has outlawed the LTTE. Colombo feels that a ban across the continent, where the group maintains a string of offices and which is home to thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils, is bound to hurt the Tigers.

According to diplomatic sources here, the Nordic member countries of the European Union are particularly not in favour of banning the LTTE because they feel their own role in the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) would be affected as a result. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Apr 29 10:12:34 EDT 2006

Sri Lanka facing dangerous propaganda war: president
AFP/ Yahoo, Sat 29th Apr 9:10GMT. Sri Lanka is facing a propaganda war more dangerous than the recent violence in the country, the president said, as newspapers accused foreign journalists of biased coverage.

"Now we are confronted with a more dangerous war that is the propaganda war," President Mahinda Rajapakse told a meeting of political parties late Friday.


Discuss this story
Published: Sat Apr 29 05:11:24 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan government says it is ready to resume peace talks, two rebels die in mine attack
Associated Press, Sat April 29, 2006 07:34 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) European peace monitors said Saturday the Sri Lankan government had violated a cease-fire agreement when it launched deadly airstrikes on Tamil Tiger rebel territory, as the administration said it was prepared to resume peace talks in Switzerland. Meanwhile, a pro-rebel Web site blamed Sri Lanka - 's army of detonating a mine in a rebel-held region in northeastern Sri Lanka - Saturday, killing two guerrillas.

The blast took place in Manalaru, Mullaithivu district, a Tamil Tiger stronghold, 275 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo, the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site reported.

However, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe denied the allegation, saying that the military never entered rebel-held areas.

A Norway-brokered four-year-old cease-fire prohibits government military and Tamil Tigers from entering each other's territories with arms.

The government launched two days of airstrikes on rebel positions after a suicide attack in Colombo last Tuesday which wounded the country's top army commander and killed at least 11 others. The airstrikes killed 12 people and displaced thousands more.

``The air strikes that were conducted by the Sri Lankan government in Trincomalee district on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam targets ... are a clear violation of the cease-fire agreement,'' the SLMM said.

The monitors also urged the government ``to refrain from such operations as they can jeopardize the cease-fire further and will only add fuel to the conflict.''

The government earlier said it would not launch more airstrikes if the guerillas also stopped their attacks. No violence or airstrikes occurred overnight, Samarasinghe said.

The SLMM also criticized the rebels, saying it was ``inexcusable'' of them ``to place military or political targets among the civilian population close to schools and private houses.'' The rebels have said the 12 killed in the airstrikes were all civilians.

The monitors also raised fears Saturday that government security forces were conducting extrajudicial killings of civilians. They did not elaborate.

``This violence must stop immediately if the government of Sri Lanka - and the LTTE are to make any progress in returning to the negotiation table,'' they said.

The SLMM's comments came as the government said it was prepared to travel to Switzerland any time to resume peace talks with the rebels, amid fears the country may be slipping back toward a civil war.

``We are flexible on the dates. What we want is to resume the peace talks as soon as possible,'' government minister and spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told The Associated Press Saturday.

The government and the rebels were scheduled to meet in Geneva April 24-25, but the talks were stalled over disputes between the government and the rebels and insurgents' allegations that violence against Tamils must stop.

Norwegian peace brokers said in Oslo on Friday that the rebels and government agreed to meet, but that no date has been set. The two sides held a first round of peace talks in February.

The announcement followed a meeting in Oslo of representatives from the European Union, the United States, Norway and Japan the so-called ``co-chairs'' of the peace process to discuss ways to stop the escalation of violence in Sri Lanka - .

There was no immediate comment available from the rebels about attending the Geneva talks.
Published: Sat Apr 29 09:45:12 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Hits Rebel Positions, Leaving 12 Dead  - NYT - SHimali Senanayake

Sri Lanka Tigers, army exchange fire, Sat 29th Apr 12:50GMT. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers and the military exchanged fire across front lines on Saturday, overshadowing efforts to return to long-delayed peace talks amid fears the country could slip into a renewed civil war... Back to the top

European monitors say they fear extra-judicial killings by Sri Lankan forces
Associated Press, Sat April 29, 2006 12:25 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) European peace monitors said Saturday the Sri Lankan government had violated a cease-fire agreement by launching deadly airstrikes against Tamil Tiger rebel territory, and that security forces may also have conducted extra-judicial killings in the country's Tamil-majority north and east... Back to the top

For Lanka, India matters, April 29, 2006, 19:40 EDT. Two decades of bloodshed, truce violations, mass displacements and peace parleys going on and off the platter has left little hope for Sri Lanka -- a nation battling for peace... Back to the top

Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tigers agree to meet in Geneva for peace talks
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 11:47 EDT . JAIME ESPANTALEON - Associated Press Writer - OSLO, Norway (AP) The Sri Lanka - government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to meet for peace talks in Geneva, but no date has been set, a Norwegian peace envoy said Friday... Back to the top

Masked gunmen bring death to a Sri Lankan village, 27 April 2006 16:02:52. SERUVILA, Sri Lanka, Apr. 27 (AFP) - The two men who came to kill her and her family wore masks and spoke Sinhalese, a wounded Josep Devi, wincing in pain, said from her hospital bed in this northeastern Sri Lankan town Thursday. "I managed to save my baby by rolling on her as I fell when a bullet hit me," Devi, a Tamil speaker, told AFP through an interpreter... Back to the top

Tamil suicide bomber who targeted Sri Lanka top general was pregnant, investigator says
DILIP GANGULY , Associated Press, Fri 28th Apr 05:30GMT. The Tamil bomber who blew herself up targeting Sri Lanka's top general was pregnant and that helped her to conceal explosives and get inside army headquarters for a maternity check, an investigator says... Back to the top

Observations by SLMM Head on Trincomalee & Sampoor
SCOPP Press Release, Fri 28th Apr 11:45GMT. Major General Ulf Henricsson, Head of Mission of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) met with Dr... Back to the top

Sri Lankan peace deal in danger as five government troops die in mine attacks
CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press, Fri 28th Apr 05:30GMT. Mine explosions killed five government military personnel, and police found five decapitated bodies dumped in a rubber plantation, as violence that has pushed Sri Lanka to the brink of civil war showed no signs of letting up... Back to the top

Guilty Plea Marks Stunning Fall for Kumar
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 15:25 EDT . FRANK ELTMAN - Associated Press Writer - The plea marked a stunning fall for man who emigrated to the U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka urges EU to put LTTE on terror list, April 28, 2006, 16:05EDT. NEW DELHI - Sri Lanka said on Friday it would not denounce the ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, even as it urged the European Union to put the LTTE on its list of terror groups... Back to the top

Increasing intimidation exacerbates displacement in Sri Lanka, April 28, 2006, 16:05EDT. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Apr 28 (UNHCR) – UNHCR is calling for access to all areas where people have fled their homes in recent days in north-eastern Sri Lanka following the recent upsurge of violence in the island nation... Back to the top

Axia Hands Over Tsunami Houses built for SOS Village in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 12:26 EDT . - - Homes in Sri Lanka -

SAN DIEGO, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- S... Back to the top

UN raps Lanka, Tigers for upsurge in killings, rights abuse, April 28, 2006, 16:05EDT. Colombo, April. 28 (PTI): The United Nations today rapped both Sri Lankan forces and Tamil Tigers for the fresh spate of violence and called for an end to extra-judicial killings and human rights violations. A spate of killings had contributed to the recent violence leading to Tuesday's suicide bomb attack on the army commander and the reprisal bombing of Tiger positions, said Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions... Back to the top

Media rights groups criticize Sri Lanka for failing to solve Tamil journalist's killing
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 11:50 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Media rights groups on Friday criticized Sri Lanka - for failing to solve the killing of an ethnic Tamil journalist whose writings favored separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas... Back to the top

Govt-LTTE mull use of sea plane, April 28, 2006, 11:16 EDT. Chances of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE have brightened with the two sides likely to come to an agreement soon on the controversial issue of the transport of the LTTE's top commanders... Back to the top

Nations overseeing Sri Lanka peace process meet in Norway
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 05:29 EDT . - - OSLO, Norway (AP) Representatives from nations overseeing the Sri Lanka - peace process were meeting in Oslo Friday to discuss ways to stop the escalation of violence between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Foreign donors hold crucial talks on Sri Lanka unrest, April 28, 2006, 11:28 EDT. Colombo, April. 28 (PTI): Sri Lankan peace mediator Norway today said it was "extremely concerned" about the escalating violence in the island nation and strongly urged Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume talks. "We strongly urge the parties to sit down together for talks in order to put a stop to the violence," Eric Solheim, the Norwegian Minister for International Development said ahead of an emergency meeting in Oslo of top aid donors and backers of the peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror (subscription), April 28, 2006, 11:16 EDT. The government last night vowed to take all necessary action to counter and prevent terrorist acts while condemning yesterday’s assassination attempt on Army Commander Sarath Fonseka... Back to the top

S.Lanka army raids shopping mall, grabs Tamil woman, COLOMBO, April 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troo. COLOMBO, April 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops wearing motorcycle helmets stormed into a shopping mall in the capital Colombo on Friday, Reuters witnesses said, grabbing a woman who police said they suspected was linked to Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

UN official calls for full protection of civilians in Sri Lanka, April 27 . UNITED NATIONS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland on Thursday called on parties in Sri Lanka to ensure full protection of civilians... Back to the top

Sri Lankan President meets Indian High Commissioner, April 28. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse met and briefed the Indian High Commissioner and the Colombo-based diplomatic heads of mission of the donor co-chairs, on the assassination bid on the army chief in Colombo and the government's retaliatory strikes on the `selected targets' in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-held area in the eastern Trincomalee district... Back to the top

Sri Lanka arrest GoldQuest upliners under anti-pyramiding statute, Fri, 28 April 2006 18:50:12 . Apr. 27 (LBO) – Seven persons who were caught promoting the GoldQuest network marketing scheme have been arrested in southern Sri Lanka, police said. The seven who were having a GoldQuest promotional scheme were arrested under the new anti-pyamiding provisions of the Banking Act, police in the town of Karandeniya in the southern provincial, Galle district said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan violence jogs envoy s memory, Thursday, April 27, 2006. Recent violence in Sri Lanka brought back vivid memories of child suicide bombers to a former U... Back to the top

U.N. expects people displaced by Sri Lanka violence to return home
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 06:48 EDT . - - GENEVA (AP) The U.N. refugee agency said Friday it expects many of the people displaced by fighting in Sri Lanka - to start returning home after two days of airstrikes against guerrilla areas ended... Back to the top

Sri Lanka reopens roads, airstrikes end, but civil war threat remains
Associated Press, Fri April 28, 2006 01:42 EDT . CHRIS BRUMMITT - Associated Press Writer - TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - reopened roads linking government and Tamil Tiger rebel-held territory Friday after two days of airstrikes against guerrilla areas ended, but the threat of a return to civil war remained amid continuing bloodshed... Back to the top

India loathes Tigers, fears impact of Sri Lanka war, Fri 28th Apr 05:30GMT. No country distrusts the Tamil Tigers more than India but when Sri Lanka began bombing rebel positions this week its giant neighbor got nervous... Back to the top

Tamil leaders angered by RCMP raids, deny fundraising for terrorist group
Associated Press, Fri 28th Apr 05:30GMT. Leaders of Montreal's Tamil community say they don't fund the Tamil Tigers and they resent being tarred as terrorist supporters after a recent RCMP raid on their headquarters... Back to the top

International rating agencies lower Sri Lanka's credit outlook, Fri 28th Apr 05:30GMT. International rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's Thursday cut Sri Lanka's credit outlook to negative from stable, reflecting the island's worsening security situation... Back to the top

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