The Lanka Academic

MAY 23, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 47

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
European Union asks Sri Lanka to take action against those who attacked aid agency offices
Associated Press, Tue May 23, 2006 04:57 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The European Union asked the Sri Lankan government on Tuesday to prosecute those who lobbed hand grenades at the offices of three international aid groups, saying such ``barbaric acts'' must not go unpunished.

A Serbian aid worker and two passers-by were wounded in the simultaneous attacks Sunday in the northern town of Muttur in Trincomalee District. No one claimed responsibility.

The EU issued a statement saying it welcomed a government statement condemning the attack and calling for an investigation, but noted that previous assaults had gone unpunished.

``The EU is concerned about the lack of effective follow up on past violent acts and the development of a culture of impunity,'' the statement said.

``The EU turns to the government to follow up its statement by investigating these incidents and bringing prosecutions so that no one is in doubt that such barbaric acts will be tackled,'' it said.

The offices attacked included the Nonviolent Peaceforce, an international group that promotes nonviolent conflict resolution, as well as ZOA, a Dutch agency helping refugees, and Intersos, an Italian relief organization. Discuss this story
Published: Tue May 23 06:32:00 EDT 2006

Sri Lankan Tamil party urges international community not to be one-sided
Xinhua, May 23. Sri Lanka's main political party for the Tamil minority Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has appealed to the international community to have a "more even handed approach" towards the ethnic conflict in this Indian Ocean island.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) proxy party, the TNA, in a statement issued late Monday referred to a reported move by the European Union to list the Tigers as a terrorist organization.

"TNA urges that no action be taken which casts the blame on one side. Such a step can irretrievably harm the legitimate interests of the long suffering Tamil people," the statement said.

The government expects the EU ban to be an encouragement for the rebels to stay in the process of negotiations.

Keheliya Rambukwella, the minister of policy planning and the government's defense spokesman said earlier that the government wants to engage the LTTE in talks to stop the present "low intensity war."

Over 200 people were killed since early April in the upsurge of violence with Tigers deciding to stay away from scheduled talks in Geneva to discuss the violence and the breaches of the 2002 Norwegian backed ceasefire. More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue May 23 17:28:43 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers reject direct meeting with Sri Lanka 's president
Associated Press, Tue May 23, 2006 12:42 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday rejected pleas from Buddhist and Catholic priests to hold direct talks with Sri Lanka - 's president to stop the island nation from sliding back to full-scale civil war. Norway has played a mediatory role in Sri Lanka - 's peace process since 2000.

The priests told Thamilselvan that Rajapakse had expressed his desire to meet the reclusive leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakaran, to find a negotiated solution to the island's protracted conflict.

Erik Solheim, who negotiated Sri Lanka - 's 2002 government-rebel cease-fire and is now Norway's international development minister, was set to arrive Thursday to join fellow envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, due a day earlier, said government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella.

The envoys hope talks with government and rebel leaders will bring them back to peace talks that have stalled amid rising violence and recriminations between the sides. A senior Tamil Tiger rebel leader said the envoys' chances were ``bleak.''

On Tuesday, the military said that they killed a guerrilla after a group of rebels fired at the soldiers in eastern Sri Lanka - , the army media unit said.

The attack took place close to eastern Batticaloa town, 220 kilometers (140 miles) east of the capital, Colombo, while the soldiers were patrolling the streets on foot. Government troops did not suffer injuries, it added.

``They will talk to the parties to make them return to the table,'' Rambukwella said. ``We are ready to resume the peace process.''

Senior rebel leader Seevaratnam Puleedevan said resuming peace talks is unlikely as long as attacks he blamed on the government were still being launched.

``The situation has not improved; violence against us is going on,'' Puleedevan said by the telephone from Kilinochchi.

``The prospects are bleak, but nevertheless let the Norwegian envoys discuss how the situation can be improved,'' he said. ``We have to wait and see.''

The government and the rebels held peace talks in Geneva in February but a second round slated for April was canceled after the two sides blamed rising violence on each other.

Tensions rose again on Saturday, when Col. Ramanan, the Tigers' No. 2 leader and intelligence chief for eastern Sri Lanka - , was killed in an ambush.

A breakaway Tamil group claimed responsibility, and the military denied involvement. But the mainstream rebels blamed the government.

``LTTE considers this attack is intended to end all efforts toward peace and drag the LTTE into a major war,'' said a statement on a rebel Web site.

The rebel movement split in 2004, when one of its military commanders broke away with 6,000 fighters.

The Tigers accuse the government of supporting the breakaway group in its attacks on the mainstream faction's fighters a charge the army denies.

Surging violence has killed nearly 300 people since April, raising fears that Sri Lanka - is heading back to full-scale civil war.

The Tigers have fought the government since 1983, demanding a separate homeland for the minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

More than 65,000 people were killed before the 2002 cease-fire accord halted 19 years of open warfare.

Discuss this story
Published: Tue May 23 14:06:53 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Sri Lankan Rebels Reject Pleas for Talks  - Associated Press

Norwegian peace envoys to visit Sri Lanka , Tamil rebels warn of major war
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Sri Lanka military says they killed Tamil Tiger guerrilla in retaliatory fire
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The Death of Peace
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Dengue threat looms in Sri Lanka, 2006-05-23 . COLOMBO, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The threat of dengue epidemic is looming in Sri Lanka with nearly 3,500 dengue patients by May 17 this year, the largest number during this period in its history, the official Daily News reported Tuesday... Back to the top

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