The Lanka Academic

MAY 26, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 50


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
Sri Lankan Tamil refugees refuse to return home, after illegal migration foiled
Associated Press, Fri May 26, 2006 13:33 EDT . SANATH PRIYANTHA - Associated Press Writer - TALAIMANNAR, Sri Lanka - (AP) More than 100 ethnic Tamils intercepted by Sri Lanka - 's navy as they tried to flee to India are living in a church in this northwestern town, fearing a return to their villages in the east because of escalating violence there, officials said Friday. About 1,188 Sri Lankan refugees have already arrived at a port in Tamil Nadu in recent months as they flee Sri Lanka - 's violence, according to reports from the Press Trust of India, or PTI, news agency.

The state is home to nearly 56 million Tamils, many with close family ties to ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka - .

Last week, 10 Sri Lankan refugees went missing and were presumed drowned after their boat capsized near the Indian coast in southern Tamil Nadu state.

The boat, carrying 19 people, sank before it reached the Indian mainland, PTI said, citing local officials.

Nearly 300 people have been killed since April threatening a 2002 cease-fire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, raising fears that Sri Lanka - is heading back to all-out war.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate homeland for ethnic minority Tamils accusing majority Sinhalese of discrimination.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 26 22:31:37 EDT 2006

Solheim, Narayanan to discuss Sri Lanka scene Saturday
com, May 26, 2006, 23:30 EDT. nNew Delhi - Days before a meeting of Sri Lanka’s donor co-chairs in Tokyo, Norwegian peace mediator Erik Solheim will brief Indian officials Saturday and discuss ways of bringing the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels to the negotiating table.n nSolheim, who is also the Norwegian minister for international development, will arrive here Friday night. nHe will meet National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan Saturday and brief him on his appraisal of escalating violence, which many fear can blow into a full-scale civil war. nSolheim will also tell Narayanan about the 25-nation European Union’s decision to proscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). nSolheim, accompanied by Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hannsen-Bauer, met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse early Friday and underlined the need for an early resumption of dialogue between the government and LTTE. nBoth discussed the possibility of the second round of peace talks between the government and the rebels in Geneva. nNew Delhi is ‘worried’ about the civil war-like situation in Sri Lanka and is specially concerned by the increasing influx of Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu. More...
Published: Fri May 26 23:30:17 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Norway envoys push for Sri Lanka peace talks; army kills 2 suspected Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Fri May 26, 2006 07:30 EDT . ASHOK SHARMA - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The army shot and killed two suspected Tamil rebels and unidentified gunmen killed an ethnic Tamil civil servant Friday as Norwegian envoys met with Sri Lanka - 's president in a bid to prevent the island nation from sliding back into full-blown conflict. A 2002 cease-fire agreement between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels has been disintegrating amid an upsurge in violence and clashes, including last month's assassination attempt on Sri Lanka - 's army chief.

Friday's shootout occurred in Kopay, a small town in government-controlled northern Jaffna peninsula, when the army stopped two suspected guerrillas riding a motorbike, said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, an army spokesman.

The suspected insurgents opened fire on the troops sparking the firefight that killed both Tamils and wounded one soldier, the spokesman said.

Jaffna is 300 kilometers (250 miles) north of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.

In the eastern town of Batticaloa, rebels tried to blow up an army truck, causing minor damage but no casualties, Samarasinghe said. Batticaloa is 225 kilometers (140 miles) east of Colombo.

Also in Batticaloa, gunmen fatally shot Ratnam Rathnarajah, an ethnic Tamil civil servant in front of his office, area police chief D. Ranasinghe said. The motive and the identity of the assailants were not immediately known, said Ranasinghe. Police were investigating.

Attempts by Norway, which brokered the truce, to revive a peace process that stalled in 2003, have so far fallen flat.

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

Nearly 300 people have been killed since April, raising fears that Sri Lanka - is heading back to all-out war.

The Norwegian envoys' efforts at restarting talks to permanently end the conflict come before a May 30 meeting in Tokyo of sponsors of the peace process: the European Union, Japan, the U.S. and Norway.

Solheim was scheduled to fly to neighboring India later Friday to brief officials in New Delhi, a Norwegian Foreign Ministry statement said.

India sent peacekeeping troops to Sri Lanka - in 1987, but withdrew them three years later after more than 1,100 Indian soldiers died in clashes with the Tigers.

Hannsen-Bauer, meanwhile, planned to meet Tamil Tiger leaders Saturday in hopes of persuading the guerrillas to return to the peace table.

He has called for an early resumption of peace talks in meetings this week with government officials and political leaders, but Solheim has sought to play down expectations, saying the situation in the country was difficult.

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

``Violence should be stopped,'' Puleedevan said by satellite phone Thursday from the rebel stronghold in the northern town of Kilinochchi. ``From our side, we are committed to the peace process.''

The Tamil Tigers began fighting the government in 1983 for a separate homeland for minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. More than 65,000 people were killed before the 2002 cease-fire.

Associated Press writer Bhartha Mallawarachi contributed to this report. Discuss this story
Published: Fri May 26 08:12:35 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Envoys meet Sri Lanka president, May 26, 2006, 08:13. Norwegian envoys have met Sri Lanka's president in an effort to jump-start peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Lanka unearths illegal spice exports to India, May 26, 2006, 23:30 EDT. Kochi , May 26 Apprehensions raised by the Indian spices trading community about the illegal imports of certain spices appears to be true following a reported crackdown by the Sri Lankan Customs on a racket involving exports of Indonesian cloves and arecanuts to India under the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA)... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to operate direct flights to Goa
in, May 26, 2006, 23:35 EDT. HERALD NEWS BUREAU PANJIM, MAY 24 - If Blessed Joseph Vaz cemented ties between Goa and Sri Lanka in the 17th century, the link between the two places is literally poised to reach new heights... Back to the top

Spinner s heroics not enough to snap Sri Lanka out of cold, May 26, 2006, 23:35 EDT. Watching Muttiah Muralitharan almost single-handedly take on England's batsmen yesterday evoked painful memories for your correspondent... Back to the top

Pietersen steers England to 52-run lead over Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri May 26, 2006 08:45 EDT . VALKERIE MANGNALL - AP Sports Writer - BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) An unbeaten half century by Kevin Pietersen steered England to a 52-run lead over Sri Lanka - on day two of the second test at Edgbaston on Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s other war, 26 May 2006 . With the Ceasefire Agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2002 all but a piece of paper now, both sides are currently preparing for a possible war where the fight for international public opinion is as important as what happens on the battlefield... Back to the top

Norwegian envoys to meet Sri Lankan president for resumption of talks with Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Fri May 26, 2006 00:37 EDT . ASHOK SHARMA - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two Norwegian envoys were scheduled to meet with Sri Lanka - 's president on Friday in an effort to jump start peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels and prevent the island nation from sliding back into full-scale civil war... Back to the top

NEC tapped for submarine network linking Maldives and Sri Lanka, May 25. May 25, 2006 Tokyo -- Dhiraagu (Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Private Limited), the largest telecom carrier in the Maldives, and Sri Lanka Telecom have tapped NEC Corp... Back to the top

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