The Lanka Academic

MAY 5, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 29


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
India in no hurry to clear Lanka arms requests, MAY 5. Colombo might have turned to Pakistan with a comprehensive list of weapons and other military hardware it wants to procure after India kept it waiting, but the UPA Government seems in no hurry to change the status quo.

Of the various requests Sri Lanka made to Delhi over the past 18 months, very few items were actually cleared for transfer. While Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samarweera’s visit to India on May 7-9 is now confirmed, the Government is likely to maintain its stance.

While one reason for the Government dragging its feet is the LTTE, another is the lack of a comprehensive Indo-Lankan defence cooperation agreement, despite talks going on it for over two years now, according to Defence Ministry sources. More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 5 22:02:51 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
Lanka’s arms shopping not worrying India  -

Sri Lankan navy foils suspected boat bomb attack
Associated Press, Fri May 5, 2006 06:57 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's navy on Friday thwarted a suspected attempted suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels using an explosive-laden boat, which blew up when it was hit by fire from navy vessels, a military spokesman said. Friday's attacks were the latest in a cycle of violence in Sri Lanka - that has escalated dramatically in recent weeks, raising fears the country may be headed back toward all-out civil war.

Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake said five navy boats were patrolling near Kalpitiya, a fishing area about 140 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of the capital, Colombo, when they were attacked by four boats.

``When our naval crafts were patrolling in the sea two suspicious boats approached. Another two joined them shortly and started firing at (the) navy boats,'' Dassanayake said.

The navy boats fired back and one of the attacking boats exploded and sank, Dassanayake said. The size of the blast and the fragments left behind by the blast indicated it was packed with explosives and intended to be used in a suicide attack.

The other attacks boats fled back to shore and were pursued by navy vessels, which were then fired upon by suspected rebels positioned on the coast, air force spokesman Group Captain Ajantha Silva said. He said air force helicopters retaliated, forcing the rebels on land to flee.

No casualties from the incidents were reported by the navy side.

There was no independent confirmation of the incident.

In the northern town of Vavuniya, three police officers and three civilians were injured when suspected Tiger rebels detonated an anti-personnel mine, local police officer G.M. Dharmadasa said.

Dharmadasa said the mine targeted a police patrol in the town, which is about 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Colombo and is the last government-held town before entering territory controlled by the rebels.

Two explosions and a grenade attack in the same town on Thursday killed three government security personnel and wounded 14, including 10 civilians.

More than 150 people have been killed in spiraling violence since April, threatening the 2002 cease-fire brokered by Norway.

The latest violence comes as Japan the island's top aid donor prepared to send envoy Yasushi Akashi to discuss ``the current situation of the peace process'' with President Mahinda Rajapakse and other government officials, the Japanese Embassy said in a statement Friday.

The statement said the embassy was ``seeking the possibility'' for him to travel to rebel-held north to meet with rebel leadership.

Sri Lankan troops killed seven suspected rebels Thursday when they attacked a checkpoint in the northern town of Nelliady in the Jaffna Peninsula, which ethnic Tamil separatists consider part of their homeland.

Peace talks originally scheduled for last month in Switzerland were postponed due to disputes between the two sides over travel arrangements and the recent spiraling violence.

The Tigers began fighting in 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination. More than 65,000 people died in the conflict before the truce. Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 5 09:02:42 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
S.Lanka navy, air force sink rebel boats  -
Sri Lanka sinks suicide boat  -
Sri Lankan navy says it has destroyed a Tamil Tiger suicide boat in the country's west.  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka, rebels talk transport as violence rages, Fri 5 May 2006. The two sides fought for two decades, successive governments in Colombo refusing to give in to Tiger demands for an ethnic Tamil homeland. The 2002 ceasefire lookes increasingly battered but continues to hold along most stretches of the frontline.

Officials remain relentlessly optimistic talks can take place, pencilling in May 10 as a tentative date. But some analysts say they are simply doing that to retain confidence in the $20 billion economy and avoid driving tourists away.

A spike in suspected rebel attacks in December and January ended after the two sides finally agreed on Switzerland as a venue for talks, but violence began with an even greater ferocity in early April after the latest transport dispute.

The rebels wanted an army helicopter to transport their eastern leaders, the government said no. The government offered a ferry, but the Tigers pulled out of that at the last minute. The government offered private helicopters, the rebels said they were too small. With the government agreeing to a Tiger plan for a seaplane to carry the commanders north, there looked to be a light at the end of the tunnel. But now the rebels say they are worried about the road transport bringing the commanders to the seaplane.

"As long as this violence is continuing, the gulf is getting wider and wider," said Janes' Defence Weekly analyst Iqbal Athas. "But neither side wants to be seen to have pulled out of the ceasefire." More...
Published: Fri May 5 09:45:39 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Jaffna Varsity Vice Chancellor flees Sri Lanka with family
TamilWeek, May 4. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have through terror tactics caused a prominent Tamil academic and Jaffna University Vice - Chancellor Dr... Back to the top

At least 5 suspected Tamil rebels die in military retaliation
Associated Press, Thu May 4, 2006 07:26 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ At least five suspected Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in northern Sri Lanka Thursday when military fired in retaliation when attacked with hand grenades, a policeman said... Back to the top

Civil war in the jungle: The demons that haunt Sri Lanka, May 05, 2006, 08:40 EDT. Puli Kutty's ambition in life is to become a suicide bomber... Back to the top

S.Lanka s air force destroys rebel boat, May 05, 2006, 08:40 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's air force destroyed a rebel Tamil Tiger boat off the island's northwest coast on Friday, a senior official said, adding that a second boat had been destroyed by the navy in an incident already reported... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's government bans open display of meat in markets
Associated Press, Thu May 4, 2006 10:11 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka's government on Thursday announced a ban on the open display of meat in markets to coincide with the 2,550th anniversary of Buddha's death... Back to the top

Northern Sri Lankan town holds strike to protest killings in newspaper office
Associated Press, Thu May 4, 2006 07:19 EDT . JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Shops, offices and banks were shut and transportation came to a standstill in a northern Sri Lankan town Thursday to protest an attack on a Tamil rebel-linked newspaper in which two employees were killed... Back to the top

Explosion in northern Sri Lanka kills 2, wounds 2
Associated Press, Thu May 4, 2006 01:06 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An explosion in a northern Sri Lankan town killed two neighborhood guards and wounded two others on Thursday, the area's senior police officer said... Back to the top

Nine more are killed in northern Sri Lanka, May 04, 2006, 16:20 EDT. Colombo - Two policemen and seven suspected Tamil rebels were killed in Sri Lanka Thursday as security in northern and eastern parts of the country deteriorated, military officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan foreign minister coming to India, May 04, 2006, 16:20 EDT. New Delhi: India will get a "first hand assessment" of the volatile situation in Sri Lanka and the floundering peace process when Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera comes here on a three-day visit beginning Sunday... Back to the top

Fighting continues in Sri Lanka as Japan dispatches envoy to halt slide into civil war
Associated Press, Thu May 4, 2006 10:43 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Separatist fighting continued at levels not seen since the Sri Lankan government and rebels signed a truce four years ago, as the nation's top donor Japan said Thursday it was sending a peace envoy to halt a backslide toward civil war... Back to the top

Lanka minister hopeful of peace talks’ success
Dawn, May 4. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva who headed the government delegation to peace talks in Geneva in February is proving to be a staunch optimist... Back to the top

Lanka govt offers seaplanes to Tamil rebels for meeting, May 04, 2006, 9:00 EDT. Colombo, May 04: Sri Lanka's government, trying to salvage a fragile truce, today said that it has offered the separatist Tamil Tigers seaplanes to use for the insurgents' internal meeting ahead of planned government-rebel peace talks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s state railways want money to make urgent repairs, May 04, 2006, 9:00 EDT. May 4 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's state-owned railway is trying to find money to make urgent repairs to dilapidated tracks, which is forcing trains to run slow... Back to the top

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