The Lanka Academic

MAY 25, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 49


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Security tight in Sri Lanka s capital amid fears of bomb attacks, May 25, 2006, 17:15 GMT . Colombo - Security around key buildings in Sri Lanka's capital was stepped up as Norwegians tried to salvage the moribund peace process between the government and Tamil rebels, officials said Thursday.

Four more policemen were killed by a landmine in eastern Sri Lanka on Thursday.

The policemen were on a routine patrol in the Kathankudy area of Batticaloa, 240 kilometres east of the capital when suspected Tamil rebels triggered the explosion.

In the capital, security around the 39-storey twin tower World Trade Centre and the main telecommunications building was stepped up with roads adjoining the two buildings closed down for vehicular traffic. More...

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Published: Thu May 25 14:18:24 EDT 2006

Anti-personnel mine blast kills 4 Sri Lankan policemen, army says
Associated Press, Thu May 25, 2006 05:16 EDT . ASHOK SHARMA - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A mine blast struck a police vehicle Thursday in eastern Sri Lanka - , killing four officers, as Norwegian envoys visited the country to try to salvage its disintegrating cease-fire, an army spokesman said. On Wednesday, three government forces were killed and a policeman was injured in two mine blasts in northern Sri Lanka - .

Also Wednesday, Norwegian envoy Jon Hannsen-Bauer arrived in Colombo and held talks with the government to encourage an early resumption of peace talks with the Tamil Tigers, government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.

Bauer was to be joined Friday by Erik Solheim, who negotiated Sri Lanka - 's 2002 government-rebel cease-fire and is Norway's international development minister.

Solheim is scheduled to meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday, after which he is expected to travel to New Delhi to discuss the Sri Lanka - situation with the Indian authorities, a Norwegian Foreign Ministry statement said.

Bauer is scheduled to meet Tamil Tiger leaders on Saturday, in hopes of persuading the guerrillas to return to the peace process, the ministry said.

S. Puleedevan, chief of the Tamil Tigers' peace secretariat, said the outcome of Saturday's talks would depend on the government's response to the upsurge in killings in the north and east.

Puleedevan noted the ambush killing last week of Col. Ramanan, the Tamil Tigers' No. 2 leader and intelligence chief for eastern Sri Lanka - . A breakaway Tamil group claimed responsibility, and the military denied involvement.

But the mainstream rebels blamed the government for Ramanan's killing.

``Violence should be stopped ... From our side, we are committed to the peace process,'' said Puleedevan when reached by satellite phone in the rebel stronghold in Kilinochchi.

In Oslo on Wednesday, Solheim sought to play down expectations for his Sri Lanka - mission, saying the situation in the country was difficult.

Yet he admitted his trip was important, coming before a May 30 meeting in Tokyo of sponsors of the peace process: the European Union, Japan, the U.S. and Norway.

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

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 been fighting 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.

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Published: Thu May 25 08:41:54 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Suspected Sri Lanka rebels kill 4 police in ambush  -
Policemen killed in Sri Lanka as Norwegians begin fresh peace ...  -
4 Policemen die in Mine Blast  - TLA

The moment of truth for India on LTTE, May 25. India’s policy towards the internationally proclaimed terrorist organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) now requires to be sharply defined before it is too late. Now is the moment of truth for clarity and transparency. Otherwise one more neighbour will float into the US sphere of influence.

At present there is confusion in India’s approach to Sri Lanka because of a hidden compulsion of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Notice that May 21, the unfortunate anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, passed by last week without a single Congress leader demanding the avenging of his death or the extradition of the prime culprit—LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran. Even the four LTTE-DK activists sentenced to death on May 12, 1999 by the Supreme Court have yet to be hanged for involvement in the dastardly act because of an inexplicable letter from Sonia Gandhi to the President of India pleading clemency for the four. The confusion is manifested in the following contradiction: On the one hand, the Indian government has banned the LTTE ( by Narasimha Rao) as a terrorist organisation because of its murderous activities, including the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, yet on the other hand, despite the continuing assassinations by the LTTE of pro-Indian Sri Lankan politicians and its open interference within India by financing pro-LTTE politicians and training terrorist organisations, the Indian government supports the “peace process” of the Sri Lanka government with the LTTE, i.e., talks that could end up legitimising the same terrorist outfit and making the ban meaningless. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu May 25 08:41:23 EDT 2006 Back to the top

105 Sri Lankan Tamils arrested while attempting to escape to India, navy says
Associated Press, Thu May 25, 2006 08:17 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's navy said Thursday it arrested 105 minority ethnic Tamils who were trying to flee to India, as surging violence threatens to re-ignite full-scale civil war in the island nation off India's southern coast... Back to the top

The Tigers tamed? Why Sri Lanka's president believes peace is within reach
FT.Com, May 25. Have the Tamil Tigers finally been cornered? In a diplomatic coup for President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese nationalist hardliners who elected him last November, the European Union is expected on Monday to add the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to its list of banned terrorist groups... Back to the top

Tamil people preparing for war: LTTE, Thursday, May 25, 2006 . Colombo, May 25: The Tamil people are preparing for war and nobody can defeat them, a top Sri Lankan rebel military commander was quoted as saying today... Back to the top

Tamil guerrillas release 16 young fighters in Sri Lanka , says rebel Web site.
Associated Press, Thu May 25, 2006 10:51 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels, accused of abducting young people and using them fighters, said Thursday that they have released 16 youths ages 15-17 back to their families in April and May... Back to the top

England in control of second test against Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu May 25, 2006 13:50 EDT . VALKERIE MANGNALL - AP Sports Writer - BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) England's bowlers skittled Sri Lanka - 's batting lineup for 141 by tea and the home team trailed by just three runs with seven wickets in hand at stumps on the opening day of the second test at Edgbaston... Back to the top

Sri Lanka expensive to do business despite trade pact: India, 25 May 2006 17:41:52. May 25, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's excessive holidays, arbitrary salary increases and the government's reluctance to settle billions to India's main oil retailer, is turning out to be a stumbling block for Indians to invest here, officials said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bans Da Vinci Code movie, newspaper reports
Associated Press, Wed May 24, 2006 23:51 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - has banned screenings of ``The Da Vinci Code'' in theaters and local television channels following an appeal by the country's Catholic Bishops Conference, a state-run daily said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tamil massacre mystery, May 25. Sri Lanka is in a dirty war. Almost 300 people have been killed since the beginning of April... Back to the top

NGOs start pulling out after LTTE attack
Dawn, May 25, 2006. Local and foreign non-governmental organizations are moving out of the eastern region of the country after an LTTE attack on three aid offices in the area... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gov t says efforts to revive talks still on, 2006-05-25 04:47:07. COLOMBO, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday that the efforts to revive the stalled peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels was still underway despite the ongoing violence... Back to the top

INTERVIEW-Sri Lanka wants Gulf Arabs to ban Tamil rebels, 24 May 2006 16:28:00 GMT. DOHA, May 24 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it wants Gulf Arab states to ban Tamil Tiger rebels and starve them of funds by cracking down on members who force Tamil expatriates in the region to chip in for its activities... Back to the top

Norwegian peace envoy plays down expectations before trip to Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed May 24, 2006 08:54 EDT . OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Norway's Development Minister Erik Solheim on Wednesday sought to downplay expectations for his upcoming peace mission to Sri Lanka, saying the situation in the country was difficult... Back to the top

Aust aids Sri Lankan mine clearance, May 25, 2006, 07:55 EDT. The Federal Government has committed more than $1 million to help communities affected by landmines in northern and eastern Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Anti-personnel mine blast kills 2 Sri Lanka soldiers, 1 policeman
Associated Press, Wed May 24, 2006 00:56 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An anti-personnel mine exploded in a northern Sri Lanka - town Wednesday, killing two government soldiers and a policeman, the area's police chief said... Back to the top

Govt. 'forcing Tamils towards LTTE
bbc, may 24. The main Tamil political party in Sri Lanka has accused authorities of doing enough to protect minority Tamil community in the island... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels say peace envoy visit to yield little, May 24, 2006, 06:55 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Norway's peace envoy flew to Sri Lanka on Wednesday for a fresh round of separate meetings with government officials and the Tamil Tigers, but the rebels played down hopes of breaking a deadlock over stalled peace talks... Back to the top

Police recover bodies of two Sri Lankans believed drowned while fleeing to India
Associated Press, Wed May 24, 2006 09:49 EDT . - - JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police on Wednesday said they recovered the bodies of two Sri Lankans which they believe drowned while trying to escape to India because of mounting violence in northern Jaffna peninsula... Back to the top

140 refugees arrive from Sri Lanka, May 24, 2006, 08:15 EDT. Rameswaram(TN): The arrival of refugees from violence-hit Sri Lanka continued today with 140 people from Trincomallee landing at Dhanushkodi near here... Back to the top

Jayasuriya misses second test as S.Lanka stick to youth, May 24, 2006 . BIRMINGHAM, England, May 24 (Reuters) - Sanath Jayasuriya appears to have flown to England in vain after captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka would stick to its youth policy... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s People s Bank profits rise 22%, May 24, 2006, 08:15 EDT. May 24, 2006 (LBO) – People's Bank, Sri Lanka's second-largest state bank in terms of assets, said group net profits for the three-months to March 31 rose 22.1 percent to 926.23 million rupees... Back to the top

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