The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 11, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 66

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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Pakistan opens massive military supply to Lanka
dnaindia.com, June 12. NEW DELHI: Pakistan has opened a massive $250 million credit line for supplying Sri Lankan military equipment, including many offensive weapon systems such as tanks, say authoritative sources. The figure contradicts recent reports about Pakistan providing around $50 million military assistance to Lanka.

Indian sources insist that an eager Pakistan is stepping it up to $250 million, raising several new uncomfortable questions for India. The report comes at a time when India is worriedly looking at Pakistan planning to gift two of its old submarines to Bangladesh. With China too exhibiting interest in cultivating India’s neighbourhood, New Delhi has a much more complex region to deal with. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jun 11 23:28:17 EDT 2006


Norway wants Sri Lanka, Tamil rebels to take a stride toward peace amid war fears
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, June 11th, 2006, 3:30 pm. Norwegian peace brokers have urged the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to take firm steps toward peace, without which the island risks sliding back to full-scale war.

"The parties for the last six months, refused to listen to our advice. They have not used the opportunities we have created for them by visits to Sri Lanka, Geneva or Oslo," Erik Solheim, Norway's International Development Minister and chief peace broker said by telephone from Oslo.

He expressed anger and disappointment that the planned talks in Oslo, failed to even get off the ground.

"They (the parties) should stop making demands on the facilitator. The time has come for the government or the LTTE or both to make a serious initiative toward peace."

In an "unprecedented," move on Thursday, Norway sought written assurances in the form of answers to five questions from President Mahinda Rajapakse and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran about their individual commitment to the Norwegian-brokered process.

Top on the list was the commitment of the protagonists to the Feb. 22, 2002, cease-fire agreement. The five questions also sought guarantees for the security of the Scandinavian truce monitors.

Although the Norwegians had given the parties two weeks to respond, the government is expected to make known their position this week, presidential aides said.

The officials however, expressed disappointment that these could have been issues which could have been discussed and responded to across the table instead of via communiqu=E9s, if not for the intransigence of the LTTE.

The only interaction the government and LTTE delegations had in Oslo was a brief exchange during dinner, officials involved in the process said on condition of anonymity, during which no indication was made that the Tigers were unwilling to sit across the table.

The LTTE has also objected to monitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland being apart of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, saying their neutrality has been impaired by the EU listing of the LTTE as a terrorist organization last month.

Some 37 of the 57 monitors overseeing Sri Lanka's cease-fire are from Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The Tigers have not made any alternative suggestions of countries from which a replacement may be sought and said they leave it to Norway to decide, rebel sources said, yesterday.

Senior government officials said Sri Lanka is not "wedded," to the current composition of the SLMM and were willing to discuss alternatives.

Norwegian peace brokers have expressed frustration and say they will not take the initiative to find replacements until firm commitments are made by the parties to the process and for the security of the monitors.

The government delegation left Oslo hours after the Tigers refused direct talks with them.

"We are disappointed that the LTTE after coming to Oslo, with such a large delegation and at the expense of the Royal Norwegian Government, should have sought to so blatantly humiliate them by not participating at talks," Dr. Palitha Kohona, head of the government's peace secretariat said from London, en route to Sri Lanka.

He said the government remained committed to the peace process and were ready to hold negotiations with the LTTE.

Asked if the collapse of the Oslo talks will result in worsening violence in Sri Lanka, Dr. Kohona said, "Escalation of violence is entirely in the hands of the LTTE, that is categoric. We will not be the first to draw our swords."

On Friday, the Tamil rebels reiterated their call for "self determination," just hours after the government delegation left the Norwegian capital to Colombo.

The Tamil Resurgence Organization, largely considered a front-group of the LTTE warned yesterday of more attacks on government targets.

Dr. Kohona, who led the government delegation to Oslo, is expected back in the island later on Sunday.

The Oslo talks, though limited to discuss the operations and security of the truce monitors, was expected to melt-down tensions between the government and the LTTE that have soared to unprecedented levels in recent weeks. Instead, it has led to deepening the fissures between the parties.

Meanwhile, foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will begin a visit to Norway on Monday.

Samaraweera's visit although, previous planned, will discuss Sri-Lanka's tenuous cease-fire and future of the peace process with Norwegian peace brokers, officials at the ministry of foreign affairs said.

He is also set to hold talks with Norway's prime minister and other senior government officials.

The ministerial visit will begin a day after the LTTE leaves the Norwegian capital after meetings with its supporters who visited them at Thorbj=F8rnrud Hotel in Jevnaker, Oslo, Tiger sources said.

Observers say it is important for the LTTE to show the Tamil diaspora, whose support is paramount, that they still can travel in Europe _ that is in at least the few countries which have not proscribed them.

The Tigers will spend a day a Zurich, Switzerland before heading to Colombo on Wednesday. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jun 11 07:05:45 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Five dead in Sri Lanka unrest
com, 12/06/2006 01:13:23 AEST Five dead in Sri Lan. At least five people have been shot dead in Sri Lanka's restive northeastern port district of Trincomalee and the main city of Colombo over the weekend. Police say Tamil Tiger rebels are believed to be responsible for the killings. The killings come as peace broker nation, Norway, has failed to arrange a meeting between the Tigers rebels and the Sri Lankan government to discuss the safety of Scandinavians who are monitoring an unstable four-year ceasefire. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 14:03:26 EDT 2006 Back to the top

War clouds spark fear in Sri Lanka’s northeast
com, June 11th, 2006. New Delhi - Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger guerrillas are preparing for war, telling people living under their control that the internationally-brokered peace process cannot resolve the dragging ethnic conflict... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military recovers powerful anti-personnel mine in Tamil north
Associated Press, Sun June 11, 2006 04:47 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's military said it averted a deadly strike on its forces Sunday when a team recovered a powerful anti-personnel mine from a road in the Tamil-majority Jaffna Peninsula that was to be used by a military convoy... Back to the top

Sri Lanka raises fuel prices
people.com.cn, June 11, 2006. Sri Lanka has raised its retail fuel prices with effect from midnight Saturday, petroleum officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka names veteran pilot to head air force
Associated Press, June 10, 2006 . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan government on Sunday named a veteran pilot to head the air force, as surging violence threatens to drag the island nation back to full-scale civil war with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Solution to conflict should be based on "right to self-determination": LTTE
Hindu, June 10. COLOMBO: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Friday "reaffirmed" its position that a solution to the decades-long separatist conflict should be based on the "right to self-determination... Back to the top

Top Tamil rebel commander, three guerrillas killed in mine blast
Associated Press, Sat June 10, 2006 08:03 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A top Tamil rebel commander and three other guerrillas were killed in a mine blast in northwestern Sri Lanka Saturday, a pro-rebel report said, as surging violence threatens to drag the island nation back to full-scale civil war... Back to the top

Attacks to intensify, S.Lanka rebel front warns
alertnet.org, 10 Jun 2006 14:37:41 GMT. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, June 10 (Reuters) - A suspected Tamil Tiger front organisation vowed on Saturday to intensify attacks against Sri Lanka's military as mounting violence stokes fears that the island is sliding back into civil war... Back to the top

Norway reaffirms Sri Lanka peace broker role
ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia, June 11. Norway says it will continue to act as peace broker between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels despite the recent breakdown in talks between the two sides... Back to the top

Nadarajah Sethurupan arrested in London and held in custody
AsianTribune, June 11. London, 11 June, (Asiantribune.com): The notorious Nadarajah Sethurupan, the Editor of the now defunct “Oslo Voice” the web news portal based from Oslo, Norway and also one alleged to be associated with Nitharsanam.com – ‘the messenger of death’ and his colleague Rajan Thamotherampillai of London are at present held under police custody in London. According to reports, police has released the third person... Back to the top

Norway cites EU as hurdle to Sri Lankan peace
dailytimes.com.pk, June 11. STOCKHOLM: Norway said Saturday that it would continue to act as peace broker between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels despite the recent breakdown in talks between the two sides... Back to the top

Confident keeper of the Sri Lankan faith
guardian.co.uk, Sunday June 11, 2006. It is a sign of the somewhat childish times we live in that so much energy is expended in anticipating things... Back to the top

Ethnic Tamil man and child killed inside passenger bus in northeastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sat June 10, 2006 06:01 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A gunman boarded a passenger bus and shot dead an ethnic Tamil man and a 10-year-old boy Saturday in northeastern Sri Lanka - , the government said... Back to the top

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