The Lanka Academic

MAY 17, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 41

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - Lord Buddha

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
Panel set to investigate weapons purchases
GulfNews, may 18. Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse has appointed a commission to investigate the procurement of high-value weapons and military equipment during a five- year period before he assumed office last year.

Three Supreme Court judges headed by Shiranee Tilakawardane have been named to carry out the probe which will deal with all aspects of purchases including violation of tender procedures and guidelines on such purchases.

The probe will be in addition to the commission appointed to investigate procurement of weapons by the Navy which has already begun its investigation.

The probe over military purchases comes in the wake of serious allegations that some of the former military officers were involved in large scale fraud in purchasing equipment for the military and as a result the armed forces were ill-equipped or were provided with poor quality weapons. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 17 22:40:21 EDT 2006

Jayasuriya's surprise Test recall spells trouble for De Mel, may 18. Asantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's new selection panel chairman, already asked to explain his about turn to top Sri Lanka cricket officials on Sanath Jayasuriya's Test recall, is to be questioned again whether a financial kickback was behind the left-hand batsman's recall.

Two month's ago De Mel told a Sri Lanka private television station sports presenter before the series involving Pakistan, that Jayasuriya should have retired as a Test player after being dropped from the squad selected to play India last December. Now Jayasuriya has admitted that he stood to lose a LKR2-million (about US$20,000) advertising deal if he did not reverse his retirement decision and was recalled as a Test player.

Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee has asked the board's cricket affairs commission, headed by Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC chief match referee, to seek further information regarding the advertising deal and whether De Mel was to benefit in any way from the contract if Jayasuriya was recalled as a Test player. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 17 20:38:29 EDT 2006 Back to the top

The omens are bad for Sri Lanka, May 17, 2006, 17:07 EDT. NEW DELHI: Concerned about the war clouds gathering over Sri Lanka, Donald Camp, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for south and central Asia, took a quick trip there to assess the situation and see what could be done to save the island from another bout of blood letting.

Squarely blaming the LTTE for the recent increase in violent incidents in the island, Camp said, "The trend lines are not good. There is a concern that given the LTTE provocations, Sri Lanka could considerably go back to a major conflict," Camp said. "The ceasefire is holding in the sense that both sides — the government and LTTE — are saying that they are obeying the ceasefire.

But, the kind of attacks that have been taking place, are clearly a violation of the spirit of the agreement," he added. Camp however stopped short of saying Sri Lanka has reached the stage of civil war, but admitted "The omens are bad…."

On Wednesday he was in Delhi to share views and exchange notes with Indian officials. But while the international community can exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government there is little leverage the world has on the LTTE. The one thing which hurts the Tigers is freezing fund collection abroad.

Expatriate Tamils from US, Canada and Europe have provided the Tigers with massive donations. While the US and Canada have put a stop to the funding, EU has stubbornly refused to do so. "We banned the LTTE in 1997. And since then, it is a criminal offence in the US to provide any assistance to it," said Camp. He warned the LTTE of further international isolation if it did not stop violence. "International respectability was an important goal of the LTTE. Recent events suggest that the LTTE is not deterred by the prospect of losing respectability," he explained.

Asked if the US would ask its friends in EU to ban the LTTE, as requested by Colombo, Camp said, "The Eu knows our views." But in an interview to Lanka's state owned Rupavahini Camp channel Camp said, "We have encouraged the EU to list the LTTE. We think the LTTE is very deserving of that label."

Published: Wed May 17 17:07:10 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Four killed in new Sri Lanka violence
Associated Press, Wed May 17, 2006 03:56 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated two mines in separate places in eastern Sri Lanka - on Wednesday, killing two soldiers and a policeman, the military said, in continuing violence that threatens to push the island nation back into civil war... Back to the top

Top Sri Lankan diplomat arrives in Tokyo for talks
Associated Press, Wed May 17, 2006 09:56 EDT . TOKYO (AP) Sri Lanka - 's foreign minister arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday for talks with his Japanese counterpart on the South Asian island nation's crumbling peace process, the Foreign Ministry said... Back to the top

US asks Sri Lanka to address Tamil grievances
IANS/Yahoo, May 17. Colombo, May 16 (IANS) The US Tuesday described the Tamil Tigers as a 'first order' terrorist group but at the same time urged Sri Lanka to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil minority... Back to the top

US and India discuss Sri Lanka, Nepal, May 17. Donald Camp, US diplomat for South and Central Asian Affairs, met his Indian counterpart in South Block on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Sri Lanka and Nepal... Back to the top

US encourages European Union to ban Tamil Tigers
Associated Press, Tue May 16, 2006 13:52 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The United States on Tuesday encouraged the European Union to list Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels as terrorists, as spiraling violence pushes the Indian Ocean island country toward a resumption of civil war... Back to the top

Tamils are escalating violence in Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Wed May 17, 2006 08:40 EDT . GAVIN RABINOWITZ - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels are escalating the level of their attacks, the Sri Lankan military said Wednesday, as surging violence that threatens to torpedo a four-year cease-fire left four people dead... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Amnesty International condemns killings of civilians
AI, May 16. Sri Lanka: Amnesty International condemns killings of civilians Amnesty International is alarmed by the increasing number of civilians killed as a low-intensity armed conflict appears to be escalating, despite a 2002 ceasefire agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Lanka close to civil war: US, May 17, 2006 . WASHINGTON : Warning that Sri Lanka was perilously close to a civil war, the United States has said the government and the people of the island nation must get rid of the pernicious influence of the LTTE... Back to the top

Sri Lanka is on the brink, again, May 16, 2006, 16:55 EDT. The seriously tattered ceasefire is still in place, but the government will be forced to respond if the Tamil Tigers continue with attacks on government forces, says Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse... Back to the top

Soaring oil prices forecasted to cost Sri Lanka US$ 2.2 bn in 2006, 17 May 2006 15:55:22. May 17, 2006 (LBO) – Runaway global oil prices is expected to cost Sri Lanka 2,250 million dollars this year, the government said Wednesday, in a broad hint that a retail fuel price revision was around the corner... Back to the top

Two soldiers killed in mine blast in eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed May 17, 2006 00:39 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels triggered an anti-personnel mine in eastern Sri Lanka - on Wednesday, killing two soldiers and injuring one, the military said, in continuing violence that threatens to push the island nation back into civil war... Back to the top

Efforts to make LTTE attend Geneva II fail, May 16, 2006, 16:55 EDT. By M.R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi: Geneva II is out. Persistent efforts by Norway and others to persuade Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers to attend the second round of peace talks with Colombo in the Swiss city have more or less fizzled out... Back to the top

Farmers learn to fight from Sri Lanka s Tamil Tigers, Wed 17 May 2006. Tamil farmer Thuraichami Wardanayagam is happiest tending his aubergine and chilli crops, but war clouds hang over his native Sri Lanka and he has turned to Tamil Tiger rebels for combat training... Back to the top

Australian support in preventing civil war in Sri Lanka, may 17. “Australia could contribute to international efforts to pre-empt collapse of the shaky ceasefire in Sri Lanka” said Paul O’Callaghan, Executive Director of ACFID... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebel leader says Tigers are ready for resumption of war
Associated Press, Tue May 16, 2006 04:37 EDT . GAVIN RABINOWITZ - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A senior Tamil Tiger rebel leader said Tuesday that surging violence in Sri Lanka - has turned into a ``low-intensity war,'' and his guerrillas are ready if the nation plunges back into full-scale civil war... Back to the top

Lanka s children paying high price for escalating violence: UNICEF, May 16, 2006, 16:55 EDT. Colombo, May 16 (UNI) The United Nations Agency for Children today claimed that ''Sri Lankan children in areas most affected by recent clashes are paying a high price for the escalating tension in the island'' and urged the parties to ''take immediate action'' to avoid the country slipping back to bloody ethnic war... Back to the top

Truce monitors extend suspension of sea monitoring in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue May 16, 2006 11:18 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) European cease-fire monitors on Tuesday said they would continue to suspend their patrols of Sri Lanka - 's seas until the government and Tamil Tiger rebels are able to guarantee their safety... Back to the top

England v Sri Lanka at Lord’s - Match Report, May 16, 2006, 21:00 EDT. The revelation by Andrew Strauss halfway through this match that England’s slip fielders had been practicing dropping catches in order to snaffle the rebounds was proof enough of that... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Truth, bias and the BBC, Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 15:06 GMT. A cartoon on our office wall shows the BBC crouching low to paint whitewash on the backside of a tiger, representing of course, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lankan children threatened by surge in violence: UNICEF+
Associated Press, Tue May 16, 2006 09:24 EDT . - - COLOMBO, May 16 (Kyodo) Thousands of children remain displaced by recent violence in Sri Lanka - with those in most affected areas ''paying a high price for the escalating tension in the island,'' UNICEF said Tuesday... Back to the top

U.S. envoy urges Sri Lanka to resume peace process
Associated Press, Tue May 16, 2006 06:50 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An American envoy urged Sri Lankan leaders and representatives of ethnic Tamils to return to peace talks amid spiraling violence that has left the country on the brink of civil war, a U... Back to the top

Policeman killed in Sri Lanka blasts, 16 may. May 16, 2006 (AFP) - A policeman was killed and two others wounded Tuesday in two claymore mine explosions in Sri Lanka's restive north-eastern district of Trincomalee, the military said... Back to the top

S.Lanka monitors believe ex-Tigers work with army, 05/16/2006. Former Tamil Tigers now part of a breakaway group appear to be carrying out attacks and extortion in Sri Lanka's north and probably have army backing, despite denials, international truce monitors say... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s central bank raises economic growth forecast, May 16, 2006. Sri Lanka's central bank on Monday raised its 2006 economic growth forecast to 6.9 percent from 6 percent in April despite escalating violence threatens a truce between the government and the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Lanka at virtual war with LTTE, May 16, 2006, 06:45 EDT. Tuesday, May 16, 2006 (Colombo): After being on the brink of battle last month, Sri Lanka continues to be tense... Back to the top

Anti-personnel mines explode in Sri Lanka ; village guard killed, 2 police wounded
Associated Press, Tue May 16, 2006 00:38 EDT . GAVIN RABINOWITZ - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two anti-personnel mines intended to target Sri Lankan military vehicles exploded prematurely Tuesday killing a village guard and wounding two policemen in the country's restive northeast, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka draw first Test, May 16, 2006, 06:45 EDT. LONDON: Bad weather and the wagging tail-enders helped Sri Lanka to escape with a draw in the first Test against England at Lord's on Tuesday... Back to the top

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