The Lanka Academic

 
MAY 28, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 52

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Landmine blasts kill seven in Sri Lanka's largest national park
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, May 28th, 2006, 8:30 pm. Six wildlife enthusiasts and a park official were killed when landmines in Sri Lanka's largest national park blew up their vehicle, officials said Sunday.

"The remains of five males and two females were found deep in the jungles," said Wildlife Conservation chief Dayananda Kariyawasam. "Some body parts were strewn on trees," as a result of at least three anti-tank devices that left craters.

An army team trekked some 40 kilometers deep into the Wilpattu National Park on Sunday, to clear the route to the blast site fearing more mines being planted in the area.

"We suspect the mines were laid by the LTTE," said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, military spokesman, "No one else operates there."

The Tigers denied involvement.

A group of friends left the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Friday to the park 180 kilometers (105 miles) north. They had engaged in similar trips to the park on earlier occasions, family members of the victims revealed.

The group was booked at the Kokmote bungalow, one of the farthest in the park and had left on Saturday at the break of dawn on a safari, along with a park guide. The explosion is believed to have occurred a shot while later. A separate group that followed the same path several hours later had seen the blown up jeep and bodies, and had rushed back and reported the incident.

Among the victims was Nihal de Silva, a businessmen and author who won Sri Lanka's highest literary award in 2003 for his novel 'The Road from Elephant Pass,' related to the island's ethnic conflict. His love for wildlife was reflected in some of his more recent fictional works.

According to his family, de Silva had recently made some alterations in his jeep to accommodate more friends when on safaris.

Authorities couldn't reach the site through the dense forest on Saturday and proceeded only a day later after clearing the path amid fears more landmines may be laid.

The sprawling park is known as one of the best spots in Sri Lanka to see leopards. It was the most visited national park here, until it was shut in 1985 after ethnic clashes erupted in the northern Sri Lanka.

Wilpattu was reopened in 2003 after the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels signed a cease-fire agreement, but parts of the park were still considered unsafe due to rebel infiltration. Discuss this story
Published: Sun May 28 14:49:15 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
·
Eight feared dead in blast in Sri Lanka 's national park  - Associated Press
·
Seven feared killed in Wilpattu  - bbc

EU to cement LTTE ban this week
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, May 28th, 2006, 10:30 am STL. The European Union is expected to rubber-stamp a ban on the LTTE as a terrorist group this week as Sri Lanka's main international peace backers meet in Japan for crunch talks amid growing war fears in the island.

The proscription will forge ahead even as protests against it go on an overdrive on Monday with demonstrations planned by the Tamil diaspora in at least 12 European cities.

Europe accounts for an estimated 200,000 Tamil diaspora, whose financial support over the years has strengthened the backbone of the LTTE.

The EU proscription will effectively freeze all LTTE assets, bar fund-raising, halt travel and restrict diplomatic contacts in the 25 EU-member states.

It will not however, deter cease-fire monitoring operations of the Scandinavian truce mission overseeing Sri Lanka's increasingly fraying cease-fire. Finland, Denmark and Sweden are EU member countries that have representatives within the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission or SLMM.

"If the ban comes into effect, it should not affect our activities at all, as the monitors are not representing their nations but the SLMM," Yngne Lie, acting head of the Mannar district office said in an interview last week. He has a Swede and Dane in his team.

Regular council meetings in Brussels will continue and although the official ban on the LTTE is not set to be taken up on a particular date, it is expected to happen during the course of the week, a senior European official involved in the process said.

EU is also among the four principal nations _ the United States, Japan and Norway, known as the co-chairs, have led international support for Sri Lanka's quest for peace and are set to meet on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan's peace envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi, during a visit here earlier this month described the co-chair meeting as a "soul searching," exercise.

He also said there would be a complete review of the co-chairs role in Sri Lanka as their support was "on the premise that there was steady progress in the peace process." Although there has been "some progress," during the last four years, there have been "many setbacks," Akashi said, adding there was "deep anxiety over the escalating violence."

The government has pushed hard for the ban, arguing that it was necessary to pressure the Tigers back to the negotiating table. Last week, Foreign Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera also called on Arab states to all blacklist the Tigers.

But the LTTE has issued repeated caveats to the contrary, saying they will not be "bullied" into talks. In an article arguing their case last week, the pro-LTTE TamilNet Web site said, "War, it is expected, will not be long behind the EU ban." Discuss this story
Published: Sun May 28 03:25:41 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Norwegian mediator urges India to play bigger role in Sri Lanka
Daily India, May 27. New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Ahead of a meeting of Sri Lanka's donor co-chairs in Tokyo, Norwegian peace mediator Erik Solheim met Indian National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan Saturday on the escalating violence in Sri Lanka and sugggested a bigger role for India in restoring peace and stability in the island nation. Solheim briefed Narayanan about the discussions he had with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse Friday on the need for an early resumption of dialogue between the government and LTTE, official sources told IANS.

Solheim urged a cautious New Delhi to play a 'bigger role' in the Lankan peace process and repeated a request made earlier for India to join the other co-chairs at the Tokyo meeting beginning Monday. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat May 27 20:35:53 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Norway wants Sri Lanka to show 'political maturity'
DailyIndia, May 28. New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Sri Lanka is likely to face intense international pressure to implement the pledges it made in Geneva if and when the European Union outlaws the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Sri Lanka seize 18 vehicles in Jaffna area carrying explosives
lankabusinessonline.com, 28 May 2006 17:50:23. May 28, 2006 (AFP) - Sri Lankan police Sunday detained the drivers of 18 vehicles trying to smuggle explosives across a de facto frontier post into the government-controlled part of the Jaffna peninsula, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Peace Is in Peril, Norwegian Envoy Warns
SHIMALI SENANAYAKE(NYT), May 28, 2006. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, May 27 (NYT) A top Norwegian envoy warned Saturday that Sri Lanka could be headed toward war, even as the parties agreed in principle to meet for talks to discuss the safety of northern European cease-fire monitors... Back to the top

England beats Sri Lanka by six wickets in second test
Associated Press, Sun May 28, 2006 10:23 EDT . VALKERIE MANGNALL - AP Sports Writer - BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) England beat Sri Lanka - by six wickets Sunday after a career-best performance from paceman Liam Plunkett gave his team an easily attainable victory target on day four of the second test at Edgbaston... Back to the top

US engaged in active dialogue with India on Sri Lanka: Boucher
hindu.com, May 28, 2006 : 0300 Hrs. Washington, May 28 (PTI): The US has said it was engaged in an "active dialogue" with India on the developments in Sri Lanka, where the stepped up attacks by Tamil Tigers were particularly "very troublesome," but stressed that it was up to New Delhi to decide the kind of role it wanted to play... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers agree to discuss peace monitoring with government in Norway
Associated Press, Sat May 27, 2006 06:04 EDT . VINCENT JEYAN - Associated Press Writer - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tigers on Saturday agreed to visit Norway next month and discuss with the Sri Lankan government peace monitoring by Nordic officials, a decision likely to ease fears of the island nation sliding back into full-scale war... Back to the top

British rapper MIA denied U.S. visa
UPI, May 28. LONDON, May 26 (UPI) -- U.S. immigration officials have refused to let British rapper MIA enter the United States because of her lyrics supporting Sri Lanka's rebel Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Lanka Prez talks tough as six more killed
Hindustan Times, may 27. Six persons were killed in the troubled Sri Lankan North East, as President Mahinda Rajapaksa took a tough line in his interaction with the Norwegian Peace Envoys, Erik Solheim and Jon Hanssen-Bauer, in Colombo on Friday... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers would could withdraw from cease-fire if EU imposes ban, rebel official says
Associated Press, Sat May 27, 2006 11:28 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil rebels said Saturday they would consider withdrawing from cease-fire talks with the Sri Lankan government if the European Union imposes a ban on the organization, a rebel official was quoted as saying Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan refugees thank Indian forces for rescuing them
Hindustan Times, may 27. People who fled from violence-hit Sri Lanka on Saturday expressed their gratitude to the Indian Navy and Coast Guard for rescuing and bringing them to refugee camps in Tamil Nadu... Back to the top

Norway peace envoy calls Sri Lanka situation 'very grave'+
Associated Press, Sat May 27, 2006 08:21 EDT . - - NEW DELHI, May 27 (Kyodo) The situation in Sri Lanka - remains very grave and there is ''no doubt'' a major crisis is looming, the Norwegian facilitator in the Sri Lankan peace process said in India on Saturday... Back to the top

World Bank official killed
bbc, may 27. The World Bank has extended condolences to the family of murdered engineer Ratnam Ratnarajah... Back to the top

US in talks with India on Lanka
dnaindia.com, May 27, 2006, 11:03 EDT. WASHINGTON: The United States has said it was engaged in "active dialogue" with India on the developments in Sri Lanka, where the stepped up attacks by Tamil Tigers were particularly "very troublesome," but stressed that it was up to New Delhi to decide the kind of role it wanted to play... Back to the top

Lanka says no to UN peacekeepers
hindustantimes.com, May 27, 2006, 10:37 EDT. The Sri Lankan government said on Saturday that it had no plans to invite a UN peacekeeping force... Back to the top

Sri Lanka takes narrow lead over England
Associated Press, Sat May 27, 2006 15:11 EDT . VALKERIE MANGNALL - AP Sports Writer - BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Half centuries by Michael Vandort and Tillakaratne Dilshan gave Sri Lanka - a 40-run lead over England at stumps Saturday on a rain-interrupted third day of the second test at Edgbaston... Back to the top

Bihar rejects Sri Lanka`s plea for Buddha relics
deepikaglobal.com, May 27. Patna, May 27 (UNI) Bihar government today categorically turned down the Lankan government's proposal for sending relics of Buddha to that country for public display next month... Back to the top

Sri Lankan political parties agree on electoral reform
people.com.cn, May 27, 2006, 10:37 EDT. Sri Lankan political parties agree on electoral reform Sri Lanka's political parties have agreed to effect changes to the country's system of elections, parliamentary officials said here Thursday... Back to the top

Donors to Sri Lanka likely to be urged to boost aid+
Associated Press, Sat May 27, 2006 06:36 EDT . - - TOKYO, May 27 (Kyodo) Japan, the European Union, Norway and the United States will call for an increase in an internationally pledged $4.5 billion aid for war-torn Sri Lanka - at their review meeting next Tuesday in Tokyo, sources close to the matter said Saturday... Back to the top

Norwegian envoy to push Tamil rebels for Sri Lanka peace talks
Associated Press, Sat May 27, 2006 01:12 EDT . VINCENT JEYAN - Associated Press Writer - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Norwegian envoy traveled to northern Sri Lanka - on Saturday to meet with Tamil Tiger leaders in hopes of persuading the rebels to resume peace talks with the government and prevent the island nation from returning to full-blown civil war... Back to the top

M sia Can Urge LTTE To Start Negotiation, Says Sri Lankan Envoy
bernama.com.my, May 27, 2006, 06:27 EDT. PUTRAJAYA, May 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia can help persuade the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to resume negotiations with the Sri Lankan government to resolve the 30-year civil war that has claimed more than 64,000 lives, a Sri Lankan envoy said Saturday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : Diamond jewellery puts sterling performance on export ...
fibre2fashion.com, May 27, 2006, 07:10 EDT. Board Of Investment (BOI) Sri Lanka releases statement by Mr... Back to the top

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