The Lanka Academic

JUNE 7, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 62


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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
9 Killed in Sri Lanka Violence
Associated Press, Wed June 7, 2006 12:45 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) At least nine people were killed and 14 wounded by a land mine Wednesday in an area controlled by Tamil rebels in northeastern Sri Lanka - . The guerrillas blamed the military.

The rebels said the victims were civilians and seven of the wounded were in serious condition. The incident took place in Vadamunai village in eastern Batticaloa when a tractor carrying the victims exploded after hitting the mine, the rebels said.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe denied the army was involved.

``We are not involved in any way and also we do not enter'' areas under rebel control, Samarasinghe said.

The area's police chief, Deputy Inspector General Nihal Karunaratne, said he was told of the incident but had no details.

Maxi Procter, a senior police officer in the area, said six wounded and the body of one victim had been brought to a hospital in Batticaloa district, 140 miles east of Colombo.

A breakaway faction of the rebels, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for the attack.

T. Thuyavan, a spokesman for the renegades, said they targeted insurgents and denied the victims were civilians. The mainstream rebels accuse the military of helping the renegades, a charge the army denies.

The Tamil Tigers split in 2004 when a powerful leader from the east, known as Karuna, broke away from the northern group with about 6,000 fighters.

The uprising was suppressed later by the main rebel group, but sympathy for the breakaway leader remains strong among some Tamils in the east.

The violence came as government and rebel officials prepared to meet in the Norwegian capital Thursday and Friday to review the 2002 cease-fire, which appears increasingly tenuous. At least 375 people have been killed since the start of April.

The Oslo talks are aimed at reviewing the Norway-brokered cease-fire.

Tamil Tigers began fighting the government in 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination. At least 65,000 people died before the truce. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 7 17:53:28 EDT 2006

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At least one person 1 killed, 6 injured in a mine blast in northeast Sri Lanka  - Associated Press
Sri Lanka Tigers say 5 killed by mine ahead of talks  -
Five killed in Sri Lanka 's northeast, 14 wounded, says pro-Tamil rebel Web-site  - Associated Press

Parents, relatives pay homage to Sri Lankan soldiers killed in two-decade separatist war
Associated Press, Wed June 7, 2006 12:55 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - MAILAPITIYA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Hundreds of people lit clay lamps, offered flowers and wept over memorial stones Wednesday to commemorate soldiers who died in Sri Lanka - 's two-decade civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lanka - 's President Mahinda Rajapakse led the memorial day ceremony, placing a floral bouquet and lighting a ceremonial flame amid tight security in the village of Mailapitiya, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) east of the capital, Colombo.

The government said about 18,000 troops and police have been killed since the Tamil Tigers began fighting for a separate homeland in 1983. Another 9,000 have lost limbs, said Col. Lalith Gunaratne who is responsible for the welfare of Sri Lankan forces.

``My son joined the army and served for less than one month when we heard the news of his death,'' said a weeping G. Anulawathie, 69, as she lit a clay lamp where her the name of her son, D.V.D Bandara, was engraved on a memorial stone. Bandara was killed in a battle in 2000.

``He decided to join the military because of economic hardships after my husband's death. He wanted to provide for his five brothers and sisters,'' Anulawathie said.

Security was tight close to the memorial park with soldiers and policemen carrying automatic rifles while keeping watch and frisking visitors in an effort to prevent suicide attacks.

Six years ago, Sri Lankan Cabinet minister C.V Gooneratne was killed by a rebel suicide bomber while marking the June 7 memorial.

``Over the last two decades many soldiers have laid down their lives ... While honoring their valuable sacrifices, we will not hesitate to take all the action needed to ensure the country's security, which was these soldiers' paramount goal,'' Rajapakse said in a statement made available at the ceremony.

His comments came as surging violence threatens to drag the island nation back to civil war, after a Norway-brokered cease-fire brought relative peace to the country for nearly four years.

The violence, which the government and the rebels blame on each other, has killed more than 375 people since the beginning of April.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels began fighting the government in 1983 to create a separate state for the country's ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese-dominated state of discrimination.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the 2002 cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 7 14:16:09 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's embattled sides set for Norway talks on truce monitors
Associated Press, Wed June 7, 2006 09:56 EDT . DOUG MELLGREN - Associated Press Writer - OSLO, Norway (AP) Norwegian officials Wednesday praised the parties in Sri Lanka - 's civil war for coming this week to the Scandinavian country for talks on how to protect international observers monitoring the island's violence-marred cease fire. ``The situation on Sri Lanka - is extremely serious,'' said Norwegian Aid Minister Erik Solheim, who mediated the 2002 cease-fire. ``It is positive that the parties came to Oslo to discuss the situation.''

Norway which brokered a 2002 cease-fire that ended 19 years of open civil war called the two-day talks after a surge in violence killed at least 375 people in Sri Lanka - since April.

However, Norway's officials stressed that the meeting was no substitute for the actual talks between Sri Lanka - 's government and rebels on implementing the cease fire.

Those peace talks were held in Geneva in February, but a second round slated for April was canceled after the embattled sides blamed each other for rising violence.

``These are not peace talks, addressing the core political issues. This is about the security and operations of the monitors,'' Espen Gullikstad, spokesman for the Norwegian Aid Ministry, said of the meeting near Oslo.

Solheim, who will be attending the talks, said Norway would do its ``best, as a facilitator, to enable the parties to find practical solutions'' on the Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission, or SLMM. He also expressed gratitude for the monitors' efforts ``in this difficult period.''

The 60-member monitoring mission in Sri Lanka - is composed of monitors from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

Last month, the monitors suspended sea patrols around Sri Lanka - after the rebels attacked a government navy convoy carrying a truce monitor on board. Seventeen sailors and about 50 guerrillas died in the battle, according to the navy. The monitor escaped unharmed.

The talks in Norway were also closed to media, but a news conference summing up the meetings was due at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) Friday in Oslo.

``Sometimes it's good for people to be able to concentrate on the job that has to be done,'' Gullikstad said about the sealed meeting.

Sri Lanka - 's civil war between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels began in 1983 and claimed more than 65,000 lives until the 2002 cease-fire.

The rebels want to carve out a separate homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese-dominated state of discrimination. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 7 11:58:08 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Q K: We ll involve LTTE in drafting new constitution, June 7. Palitha Kohona is Colombo's man to negotiate peace with the LTTE... Back to the top

Sri Lanka steps up security ahead of Oslo talks
Yahoo/AFP, June 07. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka has stepped up security after bomb blasts near the capital raised fears of more attacks, police said, as the warring parties prepare for a face-to-face meeting in Oslo... Back to the top

Barbecues and basketball: Most suspects in Canada terror plot came from middle-class suburbs
Associated Press, Wed June 7, 2006 15:01 EDT . DAVID CRARY - Associated Press Writer - Five of the suspects are minors; no information about them has been released... Back to the top

Karunanidhi defines Tamil Nadu role in Sri Lanka
TOI, june 7. NEW DELHI: In one stroke of a sentence, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi has made it clear that he has no intention of whipping up passions over violence in Sri Lanka or the refugee flow from that country to his state... Back to the top

Japan envoy calls for end to fighting in Sri Lanka , vows no immediate change to aid
Associated Press, Wed June 7, 2006 04:37 EDT . TOKYO (AP) The escalation of violence in Sri Lanka - is a serious concern, but Japan has no immediate plans to reduce or stop economic and humanitarian aid to the troubled South Asian nation, a Japanese peace envoy said Wednesday... Back to the top

Government bonds go online in Sri Lanka, 07 June 2006 14:16:04. June 7, 2006 (LBO) - Sri Lanka Wednesday formally launched an electronic trading platform for government bonds, with the aim of broad basing the ownership of treasury securities, the Central Bank said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka probing Indian trader s killing, June 07. NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka has launched an investigation into the mysterious murder of a sari trader from Tamil Nadu who was tortured to death in the island's restive east... Back to the top

Suspected Tamil rebels detonate mines near Sri Lanka capital; two policemen in north
Associated Press, Tue June 6, 2006 07:44 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil rebels triggered two anti-personnel mines outside Sri Lanka - 's capital early Tuesday, wounding two people, the military said, in the first such attacks near Colombo since the country's 2002 cease-fire... Back to the top

Sri Lanka mulls subsidy, faces dry IOC fuel pumps, June 7, 2006. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka will decide this week when to repay $74.5 million in unpaid subsidies to fuel retailer Lanka IOC, the government said on Tuesday, as the firm said it was stopping supplies to its filling pumps... Back to the top

Boycott criticises England bowlers for failing to bomb Lankan tail, June 07/2006, 08:00 EDT. London, June 7 (UNI): Finding it hard to digest England's Trent Bridge defeat against Sri Lanka, former captain Geoffrey Boycott came down heavily on the bowlers, saying they are yet to master the art of knocking over the tail-enders... Back to the top

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