The Lanka Academic

JUNE 22, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 77


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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Lankan Govt and LTTE should evolve devolution package: PM, June 22. New Delhi, June 22. (PTI): Emphasising the need to strengthen the ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Government and LTTE, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the two sides should work towards a devolution package that could command a consensus among major political parties and restore ethnic harmony.

During a briefing by visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraveera on the latest developments on the situation in the island nation, Singh affirmed India's commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country.

The Prime Minister said the legitimate aspirations of all sections of the Sri Lankan society needed to be addressed "expeditiously", the External Affairs Ministry said here.

On his part, Samaraveera conveyed that for his Government war was not an option and that it remained committed to a political solution to the ethnic issue.

He said the Sri Lankan Government had invited the LTTE to enter into a dialogue to strengthen the ceasefire. At the same time, the All Party Conference in Sri Lanka had decided to set up an advisory committee to look into different variants of a devolution package.

Published: Thu Jun 22 13:53:55 EDT 2006

Tamil Tigers want EU truce monitors out in four weeks
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, June 22nd, 2006, 2:00 pm. The Tamil Tiger rebels have given Norwegian peace brokers four week to exclude truce monitors from European Union countries, a move that the Sri Lankan government on Thursday, called "unreasonable."

The Tigers say the neutrality of 37 monitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland have been marred since those countries are apart of the EU, which listed the rebel group as terrorists last month.

The Tigers made their position formally known on Wednesday, when they responded to questions posed by Norway to both parties about their commitment to the peace process.

Norway _ desperately trying to salvage Sri Lanka's faltering peace bid _ had asked for six months to facilitate the transition and find replacement for the Swedes, Danes and Finns.

But the Tigers said a month would have to do.

It would be near impossible to replace the monitors in the Tiger-specified time frame.

A loss of the Swedes, Danes and Finns would leave the monitoring mission with just 20 monitors from Iceland and Norway as escalating violence moves Sri Lanka close to full-scale war.

Meanwhile, the government on Thursday, said in a statement it was "heartening," to hear about the Tigers' commitment to the Norwegian-brokered peace bid, but said the time frame given by the guerrillas to effect changes in the monitoring mission's composition was both "unreasonable," and "impractical."

A meeting between the five Nordic nations, facilitated by Norway, is set for June 29, to discuss how to overcome the present crisis. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jun 22 06:14:31 EDT 2006 Back to the top

In northern Sri Lanka , a once-vibrant Tamil city prepares for war
Associated Press, Thu June 22, 2006 15:17 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Judging by the scenes in the Tamil heartland the tanks, the armored personnel carriers, the soldiers digging bunkers this is a place preparing for battle. When the British left Sri Lanka - in 1948, Jaffna was a city with graceful colonial buildings, elegant Christian churches and Hindu temples. The city's main library was, before the civil war reduced it to little more than ruins, a world-famous repository of Tamil history and writing.

The Tamil uprising, fueled by years of alleged discrimination by the island's majority Sinhalese, began in 1983 on the Jaffna Peninsula. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who by then had eliminated most other Tamil militant groups seized control of the peninsula seven years later, running their own 1,000-square-mile virtual state.

After five years in power, the Tigers were pushed by government forces off most of the peninsula and into the jungles of Sri Lanka - 's north and east, where their now-fragmented de facto state is now based. The long, bloody series of battles destroyed parts of Jaffna city.

From their new capital, in the city of Kilinochchi, the rebels insist they are not getting ready for war.

``We are in a cease-fire now we are pursuing peace,'' senior rebel leader Seevaratnam Puleedevan told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday.

But asked whether Jaffna could become a theater of war, he said: ``In fact, the whole northeast is important for us as it is the homeland of Tamils.''

Across Jaffna, signs of preparations for combat are everywhere.

The region is dotted with bunkers protected by sandbags and nets to deflect grenades. Tanks and armored personnel carriers are kept in 24-hour readiness in areas vulnerable to rebel attack. Heavily armed soldiers guard key intersections.

Jaffna's residents desperately try to hold onto a semblance of normalcy: Most schools are open, offices do business and Internet cafes have opened.

But the undercurrent of fear is everywhere.

``We all are hoping for peace. We don't want war,'' said the Rev. Roy Ferdinandz, a Catholic priest.

The civil war ground to a halt in 2002 with the signing of a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire. But talks to build on the truce faltered, and rising tensions in recent months peaked following a June 15 bus bombing that killed 67 people the bloodiest attack since the cease-fire.

The government, diplomats and many Sinhalese blamed the Tigers who denied a role in the bombing and the military responded by bombing rebels' positions.

Since then, nearly every day has seen some sort of violence.

Mark, the army brigadier, said Tamil fighters have infiltrated the city posing as civilians.

``We have to be very alert, as Tigers are throwing hand grenades and using pistols and other small weapons to attack us,'' said soldier Gamini Piyatissa, speaking inside a cement- and sandbag-lined bunker.

``They attack us and run and mingle among civilians, making it difficult for us to track them down,'' he said.

Beyond preparing for war, the military is also trying to win Tamil loyalty with free medical clinics.

It's difficult to gauge how much popular support the Tigers have among the Tamil population. Their intelligence network is thought to be everywhere and the punishment for people they see as traitors death is believed to be carried out regularly. Few people living in Tiger-controlled areas dare to criticize them.

But, the army said, people find ways. Residents often leave scribbled notes near checkpoints, fingering undercover rebel fighters or weapons caches, said army Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya.

For most Tamils, life now is just about getting by.

Chandrapalan Gopinath, a 23-year-old fisherman, suffers from shooting pains from gastritis that often force him to keep off his boat which means going hungry. He was lined up on a recent day at a free military clinic in Point Pedro, a small port town.

His desires were few, but seemed impossibly distant.

``I wish that peace would return to my country so that we can enjoy our lives,'' he said. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jun 22 16:48:50 EDT 2006 Back to the top

LTTE threatens more bombings, June 22, 2006 - 16:50 EDT. KILINOCHCHI: Sri Lanka should expect more suicide bombings if the island returns to full-scale war, the Tamil Tiger rebels' political chief warned on Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rules out war with Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Thu June 22, 2006 12:42 EDT . ASHOK SHARMA Associated Press Writer NEW DELHI (AP ) _ Sri Lanka's foreign minister said Thursday that renewed civil war with Tamil rebels is not an option despite escalating violence in the island nation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rejects Tigers demand, June 22, 2006 - 14:30 EDT. The Sri Lankan government has rejected a Tamil Tiger demand that ceasefire monitors from European Union (EU) countries be replaced within a month... Back to the top

U.N. children's agency accuses breakaway rebel faction of kidnapping Sri Lankan children
Associated Press, Thu June 22, 2006 09:27 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The U.N. children's agency on Thursday accused a breakaway faction of ethnic Tamil rebels of abducting up to 30 children for use as combatants against the mainstream guerrillas... Back to the top

We don t want war with LTTE, Lanka tells India, June 22. New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Thursday told Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his country was firmly committed to peace no matter what attitude the Tamil Tigers took... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Deploys Housing Tracking Module in Synergy Development ..., June 22, 2006 - 14:30 EDT. VIENNA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 22, 2006--Synergy International Systems, Inc. (Synergy), the Intelligent Data Manager(TM) company for mission-critical data collection, analysis and dissemination, today announced that the government of Sri Lanka's Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) has launched a new Housing Program module within its deployment of Synergy's Development Assistance Database (DAD) and Synergy Portal... Back to the top

SCOPP Welcomes LTTE’s Reaffirmation of Commitment to the CFA and the Peace Process
http//, 22 June 2006. It is heartening and encouraging that media reports (AFP, Reuters etc) have cited the Secretary-General of the LTTE’s Peace Secretariat Mr... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's electricity sector in jeopardy
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, June 21, 2006, 11.28 p.m.. A top-notch trade union of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has warned the Sri Lankan Government that any moves to deviate from a finalized concept paper on restructuring the CEB would lead to the collapse of the entire reform process... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government rejects rebel demand to replace EU truce monitors
Associated Press, Thu June 22, 2006 03:57 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government on Thursday rejected a Tamil Tiger rebel demand that cease-fire monitors from European Union countries be excluded from the truce team... Back to the top

Dravidian parties adopt cautious approach to Sri Lanka crisis, June 22, 2006 - 06:30 EDT. CHENNAI: The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have chosen to adopt a cautious approach to the Sri Lankan crisis, even as the issue is taking centre stage in the State's political discourse... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Bishop describes Church attack, calls for forgiveness, 22 june. A Sri Lankan Bishop has written to the Holy See, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell and other Church and civic leaders detailing a lethal attack on a Catholic Church in a Sri Lankan Tamil village... Back to the top

UN helps Sri Lanka fight child sex tourism, 22 june. 20 June 2006 – Proclaiming a message of “zero tolerance” for child sex tourism in Sri Lanka, the United Nations is supporting a two-year action plan launched by the country’s tourist board to stop such exploitation, targeting visitors, children and adolescents, hoteliers, journalists, families and community leaders... Back to the top

U.N. deluged with mail from Americans protesting small arms conference
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 18:33 EDT . NICK WADHAMS - Associated Press Writer - ``And the American people will never let you take away the rights that our 4th of July holiday represents,'' says the form letter addressed to Prasad Kariyawasam, the conference chair and U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka-Violence
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 01:48 EDT . MATTHEW ROSENBERG Associated Press Writer KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The political chief of the Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday that his group would use all means necessary _ including suicide bombers _ if full-scale war erupts on this island nation... Back to the top

16,000 houses for Lanka refugees
BBC news, Madras, 21 June, 2006 - Published 17:13 GMT. A high level ministerial team has recommended the government of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to build more than 16,000 houses to accommodate refugees from Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Norway ambassador: Tamil Tigers don't want Finns, Swedes, Danes as peace monitors
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 03:50 EDT . - - KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels want anyone from Finland, Sweden or Denmark excluded from Sri Lanka - 's Nordic peace monitoring mission because those countries belong to the European Union, which lists the Tigers as a terrorist group, Norway's ambassador said Wednesday... Back to the top

India may intervene in Lanka again, Chennai, June 21. India might intervene in the imbroglio between Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE), if not directly like the last time, but indirectly... Back to the top

Sri Lanka not planning to ban Tamil rebel group+
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 03:20 EDT . COLOMBO, June 21 (Kyodo) _ Sri Lanka's government does not plan to ban the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels as demanded by the minority government's key Marxist ally, a government minister who is also the defense spokesman told Kyodo News... Back to the top

Sri Lankan foreign minister to visit India amid upsurge in violence in his island nation
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 09:28 EDT . - - NEW DELHI (AP) Sri Lanka - 's foreign minister is scheduled to meet with leaders in India on Thursday to discuss the deteriorating situation in his island nation, an official said Wednesday... Back to the top

AP Blog: on the Road to Meet Tiger Rebels
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 16:39 EDT . The Associated Press - - AP Correspondent Matthew Rosenberg is in Sri Lanka - covering the recent upsurge in violence and is reporting from the rebel-controlled zone in the north... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says rebel factions clash, Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:23pm ET. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military said eight Tamil Tigers were killed during an overnight clash with a band of breakaway former comrades, but the rebels denied it on Wednesday and accused the army of shelling their territory... Back to the top

UN to help end child exploitation in Lanka, June 21. United Nations, June 21 (PTI): The United Nations has extended financial and technical support to the Sri Lankan Tourists Board's endeavour to end sex tourism in the country and enforcing a "zero tolerance" policy... Back to the top

Sri Lanka’s tourist board chief prevented from leaving the ..., June 21, 2006 - 08:07 EDT. June 19, 2006 (LBO) - The chairman of the Sri Lanka’s tourist board was prevented from leaving the country at the Bandaranaike International Airport early Monday morning, an official said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka raises 250 mln usd via bond issue to finance oil imports, June 21, 2006 - 06:35 EDT. COLOMBO (XFN-ASIA) - Sri Lanka has raised 250 mln dollars by way of a bond issue after the island's sovereign rating was downgraded amid escalating violence, central bank officials said... Back to the top

Anti-piracy agreement signed by 11 Asian countries will take effect in September
Associated Press, Wed June 21, 2006 02:56 EDT . - - The pact has been ratified by Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, South Korea, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka - , while Brunei is in the process of final approval, the statement said... Back to the top

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