The Lanka Academic

MAY 3, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 27


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
Under shadow of war, Sri Lanka 's ethnic divide hardens
Associated Press, Wed May 3, 2006 02:51 EDT . CHRIS BRUMMITT - Associated Press Writer - TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sinhalese traders were willing to talk about the campaign of intimidation by Tiger rebels against Sri Lanka - 's Tamil minority that has left their stalls deserted in this northeastern port. But few were prepared to give their names. At least 65,000 people were killed during the war, which began in 1983 after the rebels killed 13 soldiers in Jaffna, in the first major assault by the insurgents. Anti-Tamil riots followed, and many Tamils fled Sri Lanka - . Today, an estimated 800,000 Tamils live in abroad.

Also, thousands of Tamils fled to the north, while scores of Sinhalese and Muslims moved out of Tamil-majority districts fearing attacks by rebels from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE.

With each new attack, the two communities grow further apart, police warn.

``The people do not trust each other. That is the number one thing,'' said police inspector Nihal Samarakoon. ``Tension is there, always, as is fear.''

Despite the violence, relations between Sinhalese and Tamils are generally good outside the north and east. Most Tamils learn to speak Sinhalese, and marriages between the two groups are not uncommon.

The country is also home to a significant Muslim minority, which has largely stayed out of the conflict, although Muslims have sometimes been attacked in Tamil areas.

The traders, whose profits have slumped amid the tensions, insist that ordinary Tamils have nothing to fear at the market.

Onion seller Bandusiri lost his arm to a Tamil Tiger bomb in 1987, and says his two daughters were also injured in last month's blast at the market.

``I have no problem with the Tamil community, only with LTTE,'' the 51-year-old said. ``They are trying to divide us.'' Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 3 09:47:12 EDT 2006

Sri Lankan government pledges to investigate deadly attack on rebel-linked newspaper
Associated Press, Wed May 3, 2006 01:08 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government promised Wednesday to bring to justice assailants who gunned down two employees at a Tamil Tiger-linked newspaper, describing the brazen assault as an attack on freedom of expression.

Gunmen stormed the office of the independent newspaper Tuesday in northern Sri Lanka - and opened fire, killing two staffers and seriously wounding a third, the editor of the Uthayan newspaper said.

``The government considers this with utmost importance and believes this attack was intended to harm the government's image as a nation with freedom of expression and media independence,'' an official statement said Wednesday.

``The government ... will take every possible step to bring the culprits to book,'' the statement said.

Dressed in black, the attackers broke into the office of the newspaper based in the northern town of Jaffna, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo and began shooting.

Editor N. Vithyatharan said the gunmen demanded to see three reporters who managed to escape the office. He said the newspaper's editorial manager and a circulation assistant died, and another employee was seriously wounded.

Uthayan is an independent newspaper, but is considered to have close links to Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority.

``I have no doubts that this is a work of armed groups working with the government security forces,'' Vithyatharan said, adding the reason for the attack may have been a cartoon the newspaper published on Monday depicting a former rebel leader prostrating himself before the president.

The person shown in the cartoon, Douglas Devananda, is now a government minister.

Tamil Tiger rebels accuse the government of using other armed Tamil groups to attack the guerrillas. The groups, which once fought alongside the Tigers for a separate state, gave up their struggle after a failed India-arranged peace accord in 1987.

The government has denied backing such groups.

President Mahinda Rajapakse, scheduled to address an international media freedom conference in Colombo on Wednesday, phoned the newspaper publisher and denied any government involvement in the attack, Vithyatharan said.

``His thinking was that the Tigers had done it ahead of his speech to embarrass him. But we clearly told him that the government should bear the responsibility,'' Vithyatharan said.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate nation for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese-dominated state of discrimination.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before a Norway-brokered cease-fire was signed in 2002. Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 3 03:39:10 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan government offers Tamil rebels seaplanes for internal meeting ahead of talks
Associated Press, Wed May 3, 2006 07:36 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government, trying to salvage a fragile truce, said Wednesday it has offered the separatist Tamil Tigers seaplanes to use for the insurgents' internal meeting ahead of planned government-rebel peace talks.

The Tigers have said they must hold a meeting among themselves before they agree to attend the planned peace talks in Geneva.

But the talks, originally scheduled for April 25, became mired in disputes over travel arrangements and spiraling violence, as the country teeters on the edge of a return to civil war.

The Tigers had demanded that government helicopters fly their commanders to the rebels' headquarters for the internal meeting before any future peace talks are held.

The government had instead proposed using private helicopters, but the rebels rejected the idea. The dispute strained relations, and the insurgents pulled out of the talks.

On Wednesday, government peace secretariat chief Palitha Kohona said, ``We have offered them (the Tigers) seaplanes and have agreed on the landing site.''

``On behalf of the peace secretariat, we hope the LTTE will take this opportunity to complete their internal consultations so that (they) could proceed to Geneva for the talks,'' said Kohona, referring to the rebels by the initials of their formal name, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels.

Kohona's comment came a day after President Mahinda Rajapakse urged the Tigers to resume peace talks.

The talks are meant to salvage a 2002 cease-fire that appears to be on the verge of collapse amid violence which claimed about 150 people, including 79 government troops, in April.

The Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a separate state for minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the country's Sinhalese majority.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the fighting before Norway brokered the 2002 cease-fire Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 3 09:46:49 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to buy arms from Pakistan, May 3. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, May 3 (UPI) -- Following India's reluctance to supply them with arms as a result of the island's Tamil conflict, Sri Lanka has approached Pakistan for defense supplies... Back to the top

In Sri Lanka, two killed in attack on Tamil newspaper
CPJ, may 2. New York, May 2, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s attack on the Tamil-language daily Uthayan... Back to the top

Japan s special envoy to Sri Lanka to visit India, 03 May . By M.R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi: Japan's special envoy to Sri Lanka will visit India next week to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in the island nation and ways to avert a possible resumption of a full-scale war... Back to the top

Colombo stocks fall, lack of buying support, April 03, 2006, 11:55 EDT. May 03 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks fell Wednesday after a four-day winning streak in the absence of buying support from institutional investors, traders said... Back to the top

Canada pinches Tamil Tigers' pocketbooks
CSM, May 2. TORONTO – As Sri Lanka teeters on the brink of civil war half a world away, Canada is cracking down on a rebel group that has long relied on expatriate funding to fuel its fight for an independent homeland there... Back to the top

Police recover 3 blindfolded bodies in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed May 3, 2006 03:01 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police on Wednesday found the bodies of three blindfolded men with stab wounds on a roadside in northern Sri Lanka - , an official said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president says 'enough is enough,' calls for immediate peace talks
Associated Press, Tue May 2, 2006 11:46 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday said his tropical island had seen enough violence and called for immediate peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka main opposition to support gov't in possible war, May 2. COLOMBO, May 2, 2006 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lanka's main opposition party said here Tuesday that peace process was the only way to resolve the country's separatist armed conflict orchestrated by the Tamil Tigers, but the party would back the government if it opted for a military solution... Back to the top

Scandinavian monitors climb down on Lanka killings charge, May 2. Colombo, May. 2 (PTI): The Scandinavians monitoring Sri Lanka's ceasefire today climbed down from an allegation that government forces may have been responsible for extrajudicial killings of civilians. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said it was "clarifying" a statement issued Saturday which virtually held government forces responsible for extrajudicial killings... Back to the top

Sri Lankan trying to build a life
Union tribune, May 03, 2006, 08:02 EDT. LANCASTER – It has been just a few weeks since Ahilan Nadarajah was freed from a San Diego immigration jail, and he is already calling his roommates “homeboys” and proclaiming “American Idol” and “America's Most Wanted” his favorite shows... Back to the top

Lanka sent Pak its arms wishlist, May 2. NEW DELHI, MAY 2: While India grapples with limited options to somehow save the ceasefire agreement in Sri Lanka, a desperate Colombo is gradually looking away, and has approached Pakistan for defence supplies after India dragged its feet for reasons rooted in domestic Tamil politics... Back to the top

Gunmen storm Sri Lanka news office killing two, May 03, 2006, 07:42 EDT. Colombo, May 03: Gunmen stormed a Tamil newspaper office in Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula killing two people and further raising the toll in the bloodiest month since a 2002 truce took effect, officials said today... Back to the top

Bombs, curfew spell kiss of death for normal life in Sri Lankan ..., May 1, 2006. There's nothing quite like a bloody bombing followed by a strict night curfew to deliver the kiss of death to normal day-to-day life in a town, as residents of Trincomalee will testify... Back to the top

Breakaway Sri Lankan rebels say they attacked mainstream Tamil Tigers, killing 8
Associated Press, Tue May 2, 2006 08:06 EDT . CHRIS BRUMMITT - Associated Press Writer - TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka - (AP) A breakaway rebel faction said Tuesday it attacked a mainstream Tamil Tiger guerrilla camp in northeastern Sri Lanka - , killing eight of the group's fighters in the latest violence threatening a return to civil war... Back to the top

LTTE asserts right to use sea violating truce pact, May 2, 2006.
PK Balachandran
Colombo, May 2, 2006 In a clear bid to escalate confrontation with the Sri Lankan government and avoid going for peace talks in Geneva, the LTTE has decided to use the sea to transport its cadres in its own vessels, and with its own armed escort, in violation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of February 2002... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels blame military for attack on camp, say 1 civilian wounded
Associated Press, Tue May 2, 2006 05:50 EDT . CHRIS BRUMMITT - Associated Press Writer - TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels accused the Sri Lankan military of shelling one of their camps on Tuesday, wounding one person, a day after a suspected rebel blast killed five people in the latest violence to threaten the four-year-old cease-fire... Back to the top

Future of Sri Lanka, May 02, 2006, 08:20 EDT. Recently, Bhuvana, a woman from Sri Lanka, the wife of a general manager of a leading telecom company there, asked me whether war was possible in her country? I had said categorically 'yes' and quoted my past predictions... Back to the top

The bloody mosaic of Sri Lanka, May 2. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will be in Delhi on May 7 to meet with the top Indian leadership in the wake of the dastardly suicide-bomber attack on the island nation’s Army Chief, General Sarath Fonseka in Colombo on April 25... Back to the top

Sri Lanka is not a workers’ paradise anymore, May 2. AS I drove past Colombo’s Hyde Park Corner on the May Day morning, the place, which was once synonymous with the struggle of Sri Lanka’s labour movement, was desolate... Back to the top

Sri Lanka tracks suicide bomber s contacts, May 02, 2006, 08:25 EDT. Colombo, Apr 29: Sri Lankan police have reconstructed the face of the female suicide bomber who tried to assassinate the country's army chief, but it was not medically proved if she was indeed pregnant as she had claimed... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s war battered north fears more violence, May 02, 2006, 08:15 EDT. Support for the rebels, who want Jaffna as part of a Tamil homeland and whose leader Velupillai Prabhakaran hails from the town, is seen as strong... Back to the top

S.Lanka Tigers say shelled as violence simmers, May 02, 2006, 08:15 EDT. Local police said it might instead be a clash between the Tigers and breakaway faction the Karuna group, which the rebels say is government backed... Back to the top

Sri Lanka violence highlights difficulties in ending one of Asia's bloodiest wars
Associated Press, Mon May 1, 2006 23:41 EDT . CHRIS BRUMMITT - Associated Press Writer - TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Subedra pulled back the blanket covering his mother's bloody corpse and kissed her face, wailing in grief... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says rebel boats attack navy vessel, May 02, 2006, 08:25 EDT. COLOMBO: Suspected Tamil Tigers killed at least seven people in a mine blast and a shooting on Monday and the navy said it came under attack from the rebels' sea wing intensifying fears of a return to civil war... Back to the top

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