The Lanka Academic

MAY 31, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 55


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Report: Tamil Tigers use Malaysia, Singapore to channel rebel funds, Sri Lankan FM says
Associated Press, May 31. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Sri Lanka's foreign minister claims that Tamil Tiger rebels funnel contributions through Malaysia and Singapore to buy weapons in Thailand and Cambodia, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Mangala Pinsiri Samaraweera told The New Straits Times in Kuala Lumpur that his government has asked for help from those countries to curb fundraising and weapons purchases by the separatist rebels.

The rebels are believed to rely heavily on contributions from expatriate Tamils living in North America and Europe.

``The process of channeling funds raised in European Union nations and the United States to Malaysia and Singapore is rather complicated. That is why we are seeking the cooperation of countries like Malaysia,'' Samaraweera said in an interview with the Times.

``The Malaysia, Thai and Cambodian governments are taking this very seriously,'' he said.

The three governments did not respond to the claims by Samaraweera, but a statement by the Singapore Foreign Ministry said it would request the Sri Lankan government to provide more information.

``Singapore will take action against those who violate our laws,'' it said.

The Times reported Samaraweera as saying that most of the funds are used to buy weapons in Southeast Asia, especially Cambodia and Thailand. Samaraweera was in Malaysia for a meeting of the 116-nation Nonaligned Movement.

He said he has asked Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar to help and offered to share intelligence with Malaysia's security agencies.

He told the newspaper that some of the funds may be deposited in banks in Malaysia and around the region, but that the rebels may also be investing in legitimate businesses in Southeast Asia.

The newspaper said Samaraweera did not provide any evidence to support his claims.

The Tamil Tigers, formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. At least 65,000 people died before the government and rebels signed a cease-fire in 2002.

But a subsequent peace process has faltered and burgeoning violence since the beginning of April has killed more than 360 people and threatens to plunge the South Asian island nation back into full-scale civil war.

``One of the best ways to help the peace process is to ensure that the LTTE's moneymaking capabilities are curtailed,'' Samaraweera said.

Samaraweera hailed the EU's decision on Monday to put the Tamil Tiger rebels on a terrorist blacklist, saying it would deprive the separatist rebels of vital funds from the Tamil Diaspora in Europe.

The measure had not yet come into effect and it wasn't clear when a freeze of the rebel's assets within the 25-nation bloc would begin.

``The ban will curtail their fundraising activities and cripple the LTTE's ability to continue with its campaign of terror,'' he said, adding that it would encourage the Tamil Tigers to return to the negotiating table.

The United States, Canada and India already list the LTTE as a terrorist organization, hindering the Tigers' efforts to raise money from expatriate supporters there _ a crucial funding source for their rebellion.

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Published: Wed May 31 14:49:07 EDT 2006

Boucher Visits Sri Lanka as US Seeks Progress on Peace Talks, June 1. June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Richard Boucher, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, is visiting Sri Lanka to discuss the violence that is threatening to return the South Asian island nation to civil war.

Boucher is scheduled today to hold talks with Sri Lankan government officials and businessmen on the ``current political and economic climate'' in the country, the U.S. embassy in Colombo said in an e-mail statement.

Boucher arrived from Tokyo where he attended a meeting of Sri Lanka's international donors, which included Japan, the European Union and Norway, to assess the island's peace process. Donors have made progress toward a peace settlement a condition for providing $4.5 billion in aid to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have blamed each other for almost daily attacks since they met for the first time in three years in Geneva in February. The European Union on May 29 joined the U.S., the U.K. and India in listing the LTTE as a terrorist organization. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 31 21:29:06 EDT 2006 Back to the top

EU adds Tamil rebels to its list of banned terrorist groups
Shimali Senanayake(IHT), May 31. The European Union has added Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels to its list of banned terrorist organizations, a major political setback for the guerrillas that could reduce their ability to openly raise funds among Tamils living in Europe.

The designation freezes European assets of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and imposes travel restrictions. The European Union previously banned travel by official Tamil Tiger delegations to Europe. Britain, Canada, India, and the United States already proscribe the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist group.

The far more stringent restrictions by the 25 countries that make up the European Union came as violence took a sharp turn upward in the long-running ethnic conflict in this country, with even European-led truce monitors coming under rebel fire in recent weeks. The Tamil Tigers have accused the government of sheltering a breakaway rebel faction in the east.

The violence continued Tuesday, when the bodies of 12 ethnic Sinhalese construction workers were found near the eastern town of Welikanda. The police said that witnesses, including two who had escaped, reported that the workers had been lined up and executed. The police blame the Tamil Tigers. Separately, in the north, two policemen were wounded in a land-mine blast. No one has taken responsibility for either incident.

More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed May 31 12:14:22 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Europe faults Sri Lanka for upsurge in violence  -
Sri Lanka 's Tamil Tigers officially added to EU terrorist blacklist  - Associated Press

Artillery duel between security forces, LTTE in Jaffna, May 31 . Colombo, May 31 (PTI): Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged artillery fire today along a de facto frontline in the northern peninsula of Jaffna... Back to the top

Ban on LTTE no surprise: EU, May 31, 2006, 18:15 EDT. NEW DELHI: The European Union's decision to list the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organisation should come as a surprise to nobody, the Austrian Presidency of the EU said in a statement on Wednesday... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers still undecided about attending Oslo talks
Associated Press, Wed May 31, 2006 07:26 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday they still may attend upcoming cease-fire talks in Norway despite a European Union decision to officially brand them as terrorists... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to attend Oslo meeting on ceasefire monitoring
com, May 31, 2006, 18:11 EDT. Colombo, May 31 (DPA) The Sri Lankan government Wednesday said it would attend a meeting in Oslo next month to discuss fresh security arrangements for Scandinavian ceasefire monitors in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, while Tamil rebels were yet to decide on attending the meet... Back to the top

EU inks Sri Lanka rebel ban, urges end to killings, 31 May 2006 . COLOMBO, May 31 (Reuters) - The European Union on Wednesday formalised a ban of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, and urged both the rebels and the island's government to halt a rash of killings that are threatening to plunge the island back into civil war... Back to the top

India; No threat of Lankan refugee influx, May 31, 2006, 18:11 EDT. NEW DELHI, May 31 (UPI) -- The increase of Sri Lanka refugees is not seen as a threat in southern Tamil Nadu nor a possible increase in LTTE infiltration by India... Back to the top

Colombo rules out military option
GulfNews, May 31. Colombo: Sri Lanka's Government has firmly ruled out a military option to the country's ethnic problem and declared that it would pursue a political solution based on democracy and human rights despite the ban imposed by the European Union on the rebels... Back to the top

India s Lanka dilemma, May 31, 2006. The spike in violence in Sri Lanka "will inevitably become an element of domestic politics in Tamil Nadu... Back to the top

Lanka, SAfrica tour finalised, May 30, 2006, 18:11 EDT. Representatives of Sri Lanka and South African cricket boards met BCCI officials on Wednesday to finalise the programme of the national squad's tour of the Emerald Isle in August and the tour to South Africa in November-December... Back to the top

Bond yields rise, on rising inflation; tourism stocks drag Colombo ..., 31 May 2006 16:47:47. May 31, 2006 (LBO) Stocks in Sri Lanka weakened as investors shied away from tourism related firms fearing a European wide ban on Tamil Tiger rebels and continuing violence would deter tourists from visiting the island, brokers said... Back to the top

US to let Delhi decide on mediation, 31 May, 2006. COLOMBO: The United States was engaged in an active dialogue with India on the developments in Sri Lanka, where the stepped up attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were particularly 'very troublesome', Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Richard Boucher has said in an interview to PTI at the State Department in Washington... Back to the top

Alleged execution-style killings raise war fears in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Tue May 30, 2006 10:05 EDT . GEMUNU AMARASINGHE Associated Press Writer OMADIAMADU, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The 14 men had just wound up a hard day's work digging an irrigation canal in eastern Sri Lanka when a group of gunmen slipped out of the dark, forced them to line up and then shot them in the head... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers suggest their attendance at Oslo talks depends on wording of EU ban
Associated Press, Wed May 31, 2006 02:05 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday they would make a final decision on attending Sri Lanka - cease-fire talks in Norway only after seeing details of the recent European Union decision to label them as terrorists... Back to the top

EU puts Sri Lanka 's Tamil Tigers rebel group on terrorist blacklist
Associated Press, Tue May 30, 2006 03:51 EDT . CONSTANT BRAND - Associated Press Writer - BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) European Union governments agreed to put Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels on their terrorist blacklist, diplomats said Tuesday, a move that could affect Sri Lanka - 's shaky peace process... Back to the top

FACTBOX-Sri Lanka s Tamil Tiger rebels, May 30, 2006, 08:48 EDT. May 30 (Reuters) - The 25-nation European Union listed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a banned terrorist organisation amid a sharp escalation in attacks and clashes with Sri Lanka's military, diplomats said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Donors Warn War Will Mean End of International Support
com, May 30, 2006, 16:20 EDT. Sri Lanka's main donor nations have called on the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to halt violence and honor their ceasefire agreement if they want international aid to continue... Back to the top

Pull back from crisis: Co-chairs to LTTE, Lanka, May 30. The Co-Chairs of the 2003 Aid Lanka Conference, who met in Tokyo on Tuesday, called upon the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to pull back from the present crisis, take immediate steps to reverse the deteriorating situation, and put Sri Lanka back on the road to peace... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government says it wants peace talks with Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Tue May 30, 2006 05:35 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government on Tuesday ruled out using military force to end weeks of bloody unrest, saying it wants to resume peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels despite their being added to the European Union's terrorist blacklist... Back to the top

Boucher to visit Sri Lanka, May 30 . Colombo, May 30 (IANS) Richard A. Boucher, the US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, will visit Sri Lanka Thursday to discuss the political and economic climate in the country... Back to the top

Japan warns sanctions on table unless Tamil rebels halt violence+
Associated Press, Tue May 30, 2006 08:15 EDT . TOKYO, May 30 (Kyodo) Japan, Norway, the United States and the European Union held a one-day meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka - , with Japan's envoy to Sri Lanka - 's peace talks warning that imposing sanctions on the Tamil Tiger rebels could be on the table unless the rebels halt their violence against the Sri Lankan government... Back to the top

Sponsors of Sri Lanka 's peace process call for halt to violence
Associated Press, Tue May 30, 2006 05:31 EDT . CARL FREIRE - Associated Press Writer - TOKYO (AP) The overseers of Sri Lanka - 's peace process on Tuesday urged both the Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan government to take steps to halt escalating violence... Back to the top

EU puts Sri Lanka s Tamil rebels on terror list, May 30, 2006, 08:48 EDT. The European Union (EU) has banned the LTTE, thus joining the US, UK, Australia, Canada and India... Back to the top

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