The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 14, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 69

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Blast kills 20 passengers
Wire Reports, June 15. Wire services report that 20 passengers have been killed in Anuradhapura Sri Lanka due to a mine attack on a bus. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 14 23:44:41 EDT 2006

Sri Lanka responds to Norway's concerns
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, June 14th, 2006, 8:00 pm. The government on Wednesday sent a curt reply to Norwegian peace brokers reaffirming its commitment to the peace process but raising objection to theTamil Tigers being similarly asked to grant diplomatic immunity for European truce monitors, senior officials said.

The single-page letter was in response to a request by Norway on June 8, seeking written assurances from Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse and Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to five questions about the parties' commitment to the present peace bid.

The questions were;

1.Will the parties stand committed to the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of 22 February 2002?

2. Do the parties want the continued existence and operation of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission as a mission coordinated, facilitated and led by the Royal Norwegian Government with diplomatic immunity to ensure its impartial operation?

3. Are the parties able to provide full security guarantees for all monitors, employees and physical assets of the SLMM in all situations, in accordance with CFA Article 3.9?

4. Will the parties accept amendments to CFA Article 3.5 in order to enable the continued functioning of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission at its current operational levels and with the necessary security guarantees?

5. In the event that amendments to Article 3.5 are made, will the parties provide full security guarantees for current SLMM personnel and assets during a six-month transition phase until an amended solution has been identified, decided and fully implemented?

The government's peace secretariat did not respond to each question individually but replied in the "affirmative," as a whole, Palitha Kohona, head of the government's peace secretariat said, confirming the government had sent a written reply to Norway.

"As a sovereign state, we don't need to reaffirm the commitment we made under the cease-fire agreement and soma," he said.

In its response, the government also drew attention to the second question on diplomatic immunity and stressed it applies only to sovereign states, implying that it is not for the Tigers to provide such guarantees.

Norway's letter titled "Norway profoundly concerned with grave situation in Sri Lanka," was sent to the parties' hours after scheduled talks between the government and the rebels collapsed in Oslo, Norway on Thursday. The Tigers at the ninety-ninth moment said they would not participate on the grounds that the Sri Lankan delegation was too low-level.

The talks were to only discuss operations and security of unarmed truce monitors but many hoped it would serve to melt escalating tensions between the government and the rebels.

The Tigers also informed Norway they wanted cease-fire monitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland to exit from the truce mission as they were apart of the 25-member EU-bloc, which included the rebels on a list of terrorist organizations last month.

The Tiger delegation that flew to Oslo, returned earlier Wednesday. The rebel leader is yet to respond to Norway's letter.

"The responses by the parties to these questions will determine which steps will next have to be taken by the Royal Norwegian Government and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, in close partnership with other actors in the international community," Norway said. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 14 11:23:19 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Bomb found, defused on bus in Colombo; 6 killed in rebel-held north
Associated Press, Wed June 14, 2006 08:57 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The army defused a bomb found in a bus in the Sri Lankan capital on Wednesday, as violence in the country's volatile north left at least six people dead and two army officers missing, the police and military said. Separately, Tamil Tiger rebels attacked soldiers who the rebels claimed were planting land mines in Tiger-held territory in northern Sri Lanka - , sparking a gunbattle that killed two guerrillas and a soldier, according to the rebels and European observers.

The clash occurred Tuesday in Nedunkerny village, the rebels said on their Web site.

Thorfinnur Omarsson, a spokesman for the Sri Lanka - Monitoring Mission, a group of independent European cease-fire monitors, said ``it is apparently true'' that soldiers dressed in rebel uniforms were planting Claymore anti-personnel mines in the village.

Two rebels and one soldier were killed in the clash while four other government troops escaped unhurt, he said.

But military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the rebels had falsely accused the soldiers of bearing arms in rebel territory a violation of the cease-fire signed by the government and Tamil Tiger rebels in 2002.

``This is totally fabricated,'' Samarasinghe said. ``We totally deny'' that armed soldiers were in the rebel-held village.

On Wednesday, the military fatally shot a suspected rebel and insurgents killed a soldier and a policeman in the north, Samarasinghe said.

Two army officers have meanwhile gone missing in the north in the past two weeks, Samarasinghe said without providing details.

The government and the rebels have blamed each other for a recent spike in violence that threatens the fragile truce.

Hundreds of government soldiers and dozens of Tamil Tigers have been killed since April, but both sides deny responsibility for the violence. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jun 14 09:18:55 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
Bomb found in a passenger bus in Colombo  - Associated Press

Tamil Tigers clash with Sri Lankan soldiers, 3 killed
Associated Press, Wed June 14, 2006 03:19 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels attacked government soldiers who were planting land mines in rebel-held territory in northern Sri Lanka - , sparking a gunbattle that killed two guerrillas and a soldier, the rebels and a truce monitor said Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka violence continues as Tigers return home
scotsman.com, 14 june. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas killed a Home Guard trooper on Wednesday, police said, in another sign of escalating violence following failed talks between the government and the rebels in Norway... Back to the top

India should take initiative to help Sri Lankan Tamils: PMK
hindu.com, June 13. Chennai, June 13. (PTI): PMK, a constituent of the ruling UPA at the Centre, on Monday said that India should take an initiative to help Sri Lankan Tamils, who are facing human rights abuses... Back to the top

UN says 3,000 flee Sri Lanka war
bbc.co.uk, 14 June 2006. Almost 3,000 people have fled Sri Lanka for India since the start of this year, the United Nations refugee agency says... Back to the top

India deeply worried over Sri Lanka
hindustantimes.com, June 14, 2006. With Sri Lanka sliding towards war, India is studying various scenarios even as it has its fingers tightly crossed... Back to the top

Tamil poet's plea for peace
BBC, June 14. "I am really sad and disappointed," says Tamil poet VIS Jayapalan... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers return to Sri Lanka after aborted Oslo talks
people.com.cn, June 14. The Tamil Tiger delegation which had gone to the Norwegian capital of Oslo returned to Sri Lanka Wednesday morning after aborted talks with the government, airport officials said... Back to the top

Tigers accuse Sri Lanka of mine attacks, one soldier killed
hindu.com, June 14. Colombo, June 14. (PTI): Tamil Tiger rebels today said they killed a soldier, when the troops were allegedly laying mines in a rebel-held area of Sri Lanka's north... Back to the top

Indonesian-owned fishing boat catches fire off Sri Lanka , police say
Associated Press, Wed June 14, 2006 08:07 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ An Indonesian-owned fishing vessel caught fire in the sea off Sri Lanka's main harbor Wednesday, police and a harbor official said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka unhappy over Norway s attitude towards Tigers
xinhuanet.com, 2006-06-14 19:55:26 . COLOMBO, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lanka government said Wednesday that it has noted with concern an alleged attempt by the Norwegian peace facilitators to confer equal status to the Tiger rebels as that of the government in facilitating peace in the island... Back to the top

Tamil rebels rule out direct talks with government
GulfNews, june 14. Colombo: Tamil rebels have ruled out direct talks with the Sri Lankan government to end the country's minority ethnic conflict... Back to the top

Norway not to present new peace initiatives in Sri Lanka s ...
people.com.cn, June 14, 2006. Norway would shy away from presenting any new mediation or peace initiatives in Sri Lanka's civil conflict, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said... Back to the top

2 Trains Collide in Sri Lanka ; 42 Hurt
Associated Press, Tue June 13, 2006 10:54 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Two trains collided in southern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, leaving at least 42 passengers injured, police and hospital officials said... Back to the top

Nurse's blends tout medicinal benefits of tea
Associated Press, Tue June 13, 2006 16:06 EDT . MARTA HEPLER DRAHOS - - ``It's the real article,'' said Macke, whose tea leaves come from certified organic and fair trade farms in Sri Lanka - , India, Nepal, Taiwan and China... Back to the top

'No talks' on self-determination
BBC, June 13. The government of Sri Lanka will not enter into talks with the Tamil Tigers based upon the division of Sri Lanka, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said... Back to the top

Police close Sri Lankan capital's main road in bomb scare, authorities say
Associated Press, Tue June 13, 2006 02:16 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police temporarily closed a main road in Sri Lanka - 's capital Tuesday as explosives experts searched a bank building for a possible bomb, but no explosives were found, the military said... Back to the top

2 Sri Lankan soldiers wounded in grenade blast
Associated Press, Tue June 13, 2006 02:23 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hurled a grenade at a group of Sri Lankan soldiers Tuesday, wounding two, the military said, as continuing violence threatened to drag the island nation back into full-scale civil war... Back to the top

Norwegian prime minister in Finland to discuss EU affairs with upcoming bloc president
Associated Press, Tue June 13, 2006 03:10 EDT . Vanhanen and Stoltenberg will also discuss international issues, including the Middle East, Iran and the conflict in Sri Lanka - , Vanhanen's office said... Back to the top

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