The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 10, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 34

WESAK
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - Lord Buddha
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
Akashi hints at bigger Indian role in Sri Lanka 's peace process+
Associated Press, Wed May 10, 2006 05:47 EDT . - - COLOMBO, May 10 (Kyodo) Japan's special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi strongly hinted Wednesday that India may have a bigger role in Sri Lanka - 's faltering peace process. Sri Lanka - has been very anxious that India, a regional power with a major stake in peace in Sri Lanka - , joins the co-chairs. But New Delhi, while supportive of the peace process, has been adopting a hands-off approach.

''Colombo has been hoping that with the Tamil Nadu elections now over, this position will change,'' an Asian diplomat said on condition of anonymity, alluding to India's Tamil-majority southernmost state.

Akashi assessed the situation on the ground in Sri Lanka - as ''at its worst'' since he began playing a role in the peace process.

War clouds loom in a spiral of escalating violence between the government and rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that cost over 200 lives last month and is threatening the fragile cease-fire in force since February 2002,

Akashi stressed that the international community can only play a supporting role in the search for peace, and the process ''belongs to the two parties'' -- the government and the rebels.

''We're clearly in a subsidiary role,'' he said. ''We can't substitute for the parties.''

The Japanese diplomat welcomed a statement made in parliament earlier Wednesday by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who led the government delegation for direct talks with the rebels in February, ''vehemently condemning'' targeted killings of civilians, which have been blamed on the security forces, and assuring that all necessary action would be taken to punish the perpetrators.

He also said that at his talks with the S.P. Tamilchelvan, the head of the LTTE's political wing, expressed ''strong disapproval'' of the April 25 suicide bomb attack on Sri Lanka - 's army commander, claymore mine attacks on the security forces and other acts of violence.

Both sides must work at deescalating the violence, he stressed.

Tamilchelvan apologized to Akashi on behalf of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran for Prabhakaran's inability to meet the Japanese envoy, which had been interpreted as a snub by some sections of the media.

''I accepted that apology,'' Akashi said. Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 10 07:56:55 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
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Japanese envoy: Sri Lanka tensions at their worst level since 2002 cease-fire  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka to start work on its first ever coal power plant tomorrow
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, May 10, 2006, 5.41 p.m.. Work on Sri Lanka's first ever coal power plant will commence tomorrow morning, with President Mahinda Rajapakse scheduled to preside at the ceremony.

However the families who are displaced as a result of this project will be presented with a house, furniture, electronic items and other necessities.

According to the Power and Energy Ministry, these 74 families who currently dwell in thatched huts would be given a single storey house worth more than Rs. 500,000, consisting of two/three bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen. Each family will also be given two acres of land for them to carry out their cultivation activities. The Government will also gift a colour television, a fridge, a radio, and necessary furniture for each house.

Preliminary work in this regard kicked off last week and according to the Ministry's Media Secretary Harsha Abeykoon, work on the 'housing scheme' situated at Daluwa, several kilometres from the proposed power plant is scheduled to be completed within two months.

Meanwhile, special arrangements have also been made to provide 'Madel' to fishermen who would get displaced owing to this 300 MW power project funded by the Chinese Government at a cost of US $ 455 million.

"Arrangements have also been made to provide these fishermen with necessary fishing equipment including boats. An ice plant will also be constructed in the area so that they can preserve their catch," Abeykoon said.

Meanwhile, addressing the displaced families and villagers in Norochcholai recently, Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne had emphasised the need to expedite the power project if the country was to avert yet another power crisis in 2010.

"Sri Lanka has failed to construct even a single major scale power plant since 1994. The only power plant constructed during this period was the 80 MW Kukule Ganga project. The country's electricity requirement increases by 10% on an annual basis, thereby we have to add 150 MW to our national grid every year but consecutive governments have failed to provide for this requirement," he had noted.

"Arrangements have also been made to provide these fishermen with necessary fishing equipment including boats. An ice plant will also be constructed in the area so that they can preserve their catch," Abeykoon told the Weekend Standard.

Meanwhile, addressing the displaced families and villagers in Norochcholai, Minister Seneviratne had emphasised the need to expedite the power project if the country was to avert yet another power crisis in 2010.

"Sri Lanka has failed to construct even a single major scale power plant since 1994. The only power plant constructed during this period was the 80 MW Kukule Ganga project. The country's electricity requirement increases by 10% on an annual basis, thereby we have to add 150 MW to our national grid every year but consecutive governments have failed to provide for this requirement," he had noted.

The Minister also vowed to proceed with the coal power project despite any form of opposition. "This was a project which should have been built in 1994, if this project was built as scheduled the country would never have had to face a power crisis," he added Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 10 07:43:05 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka peace process: Japan invites India to join co-chairs
hindustantimes.com, May 10, 2006, 16:33 EDT. Japan has invited India to join the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donors' Conference, the Japanese Special Peace Envoy for Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, told newspersons in Colombo on Wednesday. On the response from India to the invitation, Akashi said that the "indications were positive." The Japanese peace envoy, who would be in New Delhi for talks with the Indian leaders on Thursday, said that at the meeting of the co-chairs to be held in Tokyo at the end of May, procedural changes would be made to render participation "comfortable" for India. Having banned the LTTE, following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, India cannot sit with the LTTE at the same More...
Published: Wed May 10 16:33:53 EDT 2006 Back to the top

India rules out Defence Pact with Sri Lanka?
com, May 10, 2006, 08:11 EDT. The threat to Sri Lanka's peace talks with LTTE look to have gone in a cold storage... Back to the top

Sri Lanka selectors play politics as retired Jayasuriya is ...
guardian.co.uk, May 11, 2006. No matter how much Sri Lanka emphasised that their only interest was in the first Test, which starts today, they would not have been human had thoughts not strayed from NW8 to the power struggle unfolding in Colombo... Back to the top

Civilians await war in Sri Lanka Tigers lair
reuters.co.uk, May 10, 2006, 06:40 EDT. KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - In rebel Tamil Tiger-held Sri Lanka, residents already scarred by decades of war are putting rebuilding on hold as they brace for a new conflict they say is now inevitable... Back to the top

Sri Lanka offers oil block to India
chennaionline.com, May 10, 2006, 23:00 EDT. New Delhi, May 9: Sri Lanka today offered an oil block to India for exploration as the two countries decided to expedite talks on a Comprehensive Economic Parntership Agreement (CEPA) with an aim of signing the deal this year... Back to the top

Mine attack wounds 2 Sri Lankan sailors; bodies of 2 Tamils found in north
Associated Press, Wed May 10, 2006 04:04 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels triggered an anti-personnel mine that wounded at least two Sri Lankan sailors Wednesday, a navy spokesman said, as spiraling violence threatened a return to civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s new order braced for the return of past master
timesonline.co.uk, May 10, 2006, 21:23 EDT. AS IF it is not tough enough for cricketers brought up on sun-baked pitches to play in this country in May, the shadow of Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka’s most prolific and charismatic batsman, will loom over their fledgeling openers when they face England in the first Test match at Lord’s today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka authorities start cracking down on illegal foreign workers
lankabusinessonline.com, 10 May 2006. Sri Lanka authorities have initiated a major crackdown on illegal foreign labour in the country, starting with workers in foreign owned factories... Back to the top

Jayasuriya ready to come out of retirement: Sri Lankan chief selector
Associated Press, Wed May 10, 2006 08:11 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's prolific batsman Sanath Jayasuriya is ready to make a return to test cricket, a month after he announced his retirement, a cricket official said Wednesday... Back to the top

International surfing competition canceled in Sri Lanka over security concerns
Associated Press, Wed May 10, 2006 07:46 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Organizers have canceled an international surfing competition in Sri Lanka - because of security concerns after a Japanese peace envoy was unable to convince the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume peace talks, officials said Wednesday... Back to the top

Countries should ban Tamil Tigers from fundraising: Sri Lankan FM
Associated Press, Tue May 9, 2006 11:19 EDT . NIRMALA GEORGE - Associated Press Writer - NEW DELHI (AP) The international community should ban Tamil Tiger supporters from raising funds in foreign countries and take stringent measures to cut off the cash flow to the rebels in Sri Lanka - , its foreign minister said Tuesday... Back to the top

India will be invited to Sri Lanka s financial backers meet
newkerala.com, May 10, 2006, 08:08 EDT. Colombo: India would be invited to attend a key meeting of Sri Lanka's main financial backers who would take stock of their involvement in the island's faltering peace process, a top Japanese envoy said here today... Back to the top

Japanese envoy prepares to visit India after failing to restart Sri Lanka peace talks
Associated Press, Wed May 10, 2006 01:31 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Japanese envoy prepared to visit India to enlist support for peace efforts in Sri Lanka - after failing to persuade Tamil Tigers rebels to hold immediate talks with the government to prevent a slide back into civil war... Back to the top

Anti-personnel mine wounds 2 Sri Lankan sailors in the north
Associated Press, Wed May 10, 2006 02:34 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil rebels triggered an anti-personnel mine targeting a group of Sri Lankan sailors in northern Kayts island Wednesday, wounding at least two of them, a navy spokesman said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels warn Akashi of imminent war+
Associated Press, Tue May 9, 2006 07:50 EDT . COLOMBO, May 9 (Kyodo) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels warned a Japanese special peace envoy Tuesday a war that could ''bring doom'' to the island country is imminent unless the spiraling violence of recent weeks is immediately halted... Back to the top

Cuba, Saudi Arabia and China win seats on new rights council despite poor rights records
Associated Press, Tue May 9, 2006 23:54 EDT . EDITH M. LEDERER - Associated Press Writer - Even before the vote, Roth said the council was much improved over the discredited panel because many countries accused of violations who had been members didn't seek seats, including Sudan, Zimbabwe, Libya, Congo, Syria, Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka - , Eritrea and Ethiopia... Back to the top

NGOs challenge LTTE dictat
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, May 9, 2006, 4.54 p.m.. In the face an apparent LTTE order restricting women from working for NGOs, a consortium of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) both international and local have stressed upon the need for all community members to play a role in supporting the rights of women to work whether be it in NGOs, hospitals, schools or private enterprises... Back to the top

Lanka pushes for defence pact with India
dnaindia.com, May 09, 2006. NEW DELHI: The threat to Sri Lanka's fragile peace process triggered by the LTTE's attack on the army commander was on the top of the agenda during foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s coastal drinking water suffers of 2004 tsunami
pravda.ru, May 10, 2006, 08:08 EDT. Thousands of wells along Sri Lanka's coast remain unusable because of contamination caused by the Asian tsunami 17 months ago, a government official said, as international monitors urged new measures to tackle the problem... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's coastal drinking water still suffers effects of 2004 tsunami
Associated Press, Tue May 9, 2006 08:36 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Thousands of wells along Sri Lanka - 's coast remain unusable because of saltwater contamination caused by the 2004 Asian tsunami, a government official said Tuesday, as an international research team urged new measures to tackle the problem... Back to the top

Look who’s thrown his weight behind Jayasuriya: Ranatunga
expressindia.com, MAY 9. It took time for the wheels to turn as he had been out of the country, but former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga, now deputy tourism minister, is known to have instigated the downfall of the selection panel that terminated Sanath Jayasuriya’s Test career last month... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to offer oil exploration block to ONGC
indianexpress.com, May 10. NEW Delhi: : Sri Lanka will offer one oil and gas exploration block to Oil and Natural Gas Corp on a preferential basis, the country’s foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, said on Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka cricket makes $35 mn profit
expressindia.com, Tuesday, May 09, 2006. Sri Lanka cricket said on Tuesday its finances were on a good wicket after clinching commercial sponsorships for the sale of television rights and ongoing tournaments... Back to the top

Fighting between LTTE, rivals on
navhindtimes.com, May 8, 2006. Fighting between Tamil Tiger guerrillas and their main rival group has left some 30 cadres dead in Sri Lanka’s north-east, state-run television reported on Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka troops recover suspected Tamil Tiger munitions
lankabusinessonline.com, 9 May 2006 20:32:43 . May 9, 2006 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops recovered Tuesday seven Claymore mines, guns and a large quantity of ammunition belonging to Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defence ministry said... Back to the top

India, Sri Lanka consider open sky policy
newkerala.com, May 09, 2006, 11:00 EDT. New Delhi: In a bid to enhance connectivity, India and Sri Lanka are considering an open sky policy within the framework of the air traffic agreement of the SAARC nations... Back to the top

In pictures: Women in Sri Lanka conflict
bbc.co.uk, Tuesday, 9 May 2006. Ganeshwary Santhanam, 27, is a mother in eastern Sri Lanka... Back to the top

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