The Lanka Academic

JUNE 25, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 80


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Headline Summary
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
LTTE suicide bombers kill Major General Parami Kulatunga
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, June 26, 2006, 9.15 a.m.. Major General Parami Kulatunga and two other army officers were killed today morning at Pannipitiya at around 7.45 a.m. today, when two LTTE suicide bombers travelling in a motor cycle rammed into the vehicle in which the Army officers were travelling in, a spokesman attached to the Media Centre for Sri Lanka's National Security told the Lanka Academic.

Major General Kulatunga who was also the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army reportedly died instantly following the attack. Unconfirmed reports stated that there have been civilian causalities owing to the incident. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jun 25 23:49:34 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
S.Lanka General killed in suspected suicide attack  - Reuters
Sri Lanka general killed in blast  - BBC
Sri Lanka army general assassinated in bomb blast: hospital  - AFP
Blast wounds Sri Lankan general  - CNN
Senior General wounded  - TLA

Tamil Tiger rebels extends deadline for EU monitors to quit ahead of crucial meeting
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, June 25th, 2006. Caving into diplomatic pressure from within and outside Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tiger rebels extended a deadline from four to nine weeks for truce monitors from EU countries to quit operations in the island.

Peace-broker Norway has called for a crucial meeting with representatives of countries representing the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on Thursday, in Oslo. The talks are to decide on the future of the monitors.

According to a top official involved in the Norway-brokered process, the options for the SLMM include to down-size the mission with offices only in Colombo and Kilinochchi, increase the number of monitors from Iceland and Norway or to even suspend the mission all together.

"Halting the mission is a last resort, but it is an option," said Thorfinnur Omarsson, SLMM spokesman.

He said this was up to Norway to decide.

The SLMM began weighing their limited options ahead of the June 29, crucial meeting.

The main purpose is to discuss the Tigers' four-week deadline for 37 monitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland to quit. However, on Saturday, the rebels' informed Norway that they had extended the timeline until September 1.

Omarsson confirmed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE's altered decision.

"Obviously, nine weeks are better than four weeks. It gives us some breathing space, but we need six months to get monitors to replace EU nationals," he said. " At this point, we still do not know if we can reorganize the SLMM and recruit a complete mission by Sept. 1."

The government, however, is strongly opposed to the LTTE's demand. The government has told Norwegian peace-brokers it is not "wedded," to the composition of the SLMM.

Senior government officials said, Colombo was even willing to amend the cease-fire or include an addendum to ensure the future functioning of the truce mission with non-Nordic members.

"If the monitors from the EU countries say they cannot function here because the LTTE has failed to assure their security, we will understand," a top government official said. "But not because of the EU ban."

The Tigers formally said on Wednesday, the neutrality of the Swedes, Danes and Finns had been marred, as the countries to which those monitors come from belong to the European Union, which included the LTTE in its list of terror groups last month.

This is despite the Tigers being repeatedly told that these monitors do not represent their individual countries but an independent monitoring organ.

The government has accused the LTTE of laying down a "hostile deadline," and assured the monitoring mission of support to carry out their mandate.

If the 37 monitors exit, the SLMM will be left with just 16 from Norway and four from Iceland.

Norwegian peace-brokers have said Tigers decision was regrettable.

"The LTTE's demand that SLMM monitors from EU countries be replaced is deeply regrettable and will weaken the SLMM in a critical period," Norway's Minister of International Development Erik Solheim said in a statement.

The government has stressed that any changes to the composition of the SLMM cannot be an unilateral decision between Norway and the LTTE, and the Sri Lanka has to be an integral part of the decision-making process.

Norway has invited the five countries from which monitors have been extracted to make up the SLMM to a meeting on Thursday, in Oslo, to discuss the safety, future and function of the SLMM, following the LTTE's demand.

But the government had made very clear that any decisions emanating from the meeting will have to be wetted subsequently by Colombo.

Article 3.5 of the Cease-fire Agreement clearly states that the SLMM will consist of 'Nordic' monitors. The government also signed a separate Status of Mission Agreement or SOMA, with Norway on March 18, 2002 spelling out the status of the monitors. Any change in the composition to bring in non-Nordic monitors calls for an amendment to both these agreements.

"These are matters that require negotiations by all parties concerned and cannot be addressed unilaterally to respond to the unreasonable sensitivities and the intransigent attitude of the LTTE," the statement from the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process said.

Norway had asked for six months to facilitate the transition and find substitutes for the EU monitors but the LTTE initially insisted four weeks will have to do.

If the Tigers' demand will be acceded to or a compromise kicked it will be clear only after Thursday's meeting.

According to the LTTE's demand, current Head of Mission Ulf Henricsson and his deputy Tommy Lakenmyr will have to quit their posts in less than a month because there are Swedish. So will Swedish chief of operations and also the head of logistics.

To re-appoint heads for the mission would take a minimum of two months. This would include to call in applications, short list and hold interviews.

And as one European diplomat put it, "It's like poya in Europe during the months of July and August," with most out on summer vacations.

The LTTE threats against the security of the monitors will be a prime focus at Thursday's meeting, officials involved in the process said on condition of anonymity. It is highly unlikely the Europeans will be willing to function in the North and East without adequate guarantees to the safety.

The SLMM currently operates six district offices placed in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. It maintains a liaison office in Kilinochchi and Naval monitoring in Jaffna and Trincomalee which is now at a standstill.

Head of all the six districts as well as naval monitors are either Swedes or Finns. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jun 25 11:40:23 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Rajapaksa offers 2-week de facto truce with LTTE, June 25, 2006 - 13:17 EDT. The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had this week proposed a two-week de facto ceasefire with the LTTE, to defuse the current tense situation when the formal Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) is in tatters and the country seems to be drifting towards open war.

Reports in the The Nation and The Sunday Leader said that the President had made this proposal to the LTTE on Tuesday, using the good offices of two well-known Tamil media persons, V Saravanapavan and N Vithiatharan.

According to The Sunday Leader the President said that he would see to it that the renegade LTTE leader Karuna did not attack the LTTE during the two-week ceasefire.

Published: Sun Jun 25 13:18:02 EDT 2006 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka seeks direct deal with Tamil Tigers  -

Rajapakse seeks direct peace deal with LTTE, June 25, 2006 - 09:30 EDT. Colombo, June 25 (PTI): With peace-broker, Norway, failing to arrange a face-to-face meeting between the two sides, Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse, is seeking a direct deal with Tamil Tigers which would halt attacks in the island in return for containing a breakaway rebel faction... Back to the top

S.Lanka rebels extend EU truce monitors' deadline
Reuters, 24 Jun 2006 13:03:56 GMT. By Simon Gardner COLOMBO, June 24 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers on Saturday extended a deadline for European Union truce monitors to withdraw from the island, while the army accused the rebels of shooting dead two soldiers in the northwest... Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks to boost trade with Israel
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Jayawardene the natural born leader has Sri Lanka jumping for joy, 26/06/2006. "No Murali, No Magic" proclaimed an optimistic banner at the Riverside on Saturday, which clearly took no account of Mahela Jayawardene... Back to the top

Anti-rebel party member shot dead in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun June 25, 2006 05:28 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A member of a political party that opposes separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka was shot dead Sunday in the country's troubled north, a party official said... Back to the top

2 Sri Lankan soldiers killed in apparent rebel ambush
Associated Press, Sat June 24, 2006 07:04 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday fatally shot two soldiers who were patrolling in a northern Sri Lankan city, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president expected to visit Bangladesh in July, June 25, 2006 - 13:21 EDT. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to pay a 3-day official visit to Bangladesh on July 12-14 to hold talks with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on bilateral as well as SAARC matters, private news agency UNB reported Thursday... Back to the top

Norway s next step key to Lanka s faltering peace: Analysts, June 25, 2006 - 09:30 EDT. Colombo, June 25: A tense calm has settled over Sri Lanka as the government and Tamil Tiger guerrillas await a decision from peace broker Norway that could make or break the fragile truce keeping the island from returning to war, analysts say... Back to the top

Presidents of Iran, Sri Lanka discuss ties in phone conversation, June 25, 2006 - 13:21 EDT. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Sunday in a phone conversation with his Sri Lankan counterpart urged the need to expand bilateral relations in political and economic fields... Back to the top

Sri Lanka may recall retired senior police officers to help control spiraling violence
Associated Press, Sun June 25, 2006 03:08 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government may call 10 senior retired policemen back into service to help control surging violence that many fear could lead to renewed war between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, a newspaper reported Sunday... Back to the top

As Sri Lanka boils, India faces daunting challenges
com, June 24, 2006 - 00:40 EDT. New Delhi - Four years after Norway brokered an unprecedented truce, India is battling major strategic and foreign policy challenges, with Sri Lanka seemingly sliding towards an inevitable war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s progress impresses Arthur, June 25, 2006 - 09:36 EDT. Sri Lanka's improved showing in England has impressed Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, who has been observing their progress ahead of his team's tour of Sri Lanka in August... Back to the top

Norway-LTTE bid to change monitors violates agreement: SL, June 24, 2006. The Sri Lankan government has said that the bid by the Norwegian government and the LTTE to change the members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is against the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA), which set up the SLMM in February 2002... Back to the top

Directions: FO warning on Sri Lanka, june 25, 2006 - 00:40 EDT. New Delhi - Four years after Norway brokered an unprecedented truce, India is battling major strategic and foreign policy challenges, with Sri Lanka seemingly sliding towards an inevitable war... Back to the top

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels abduct 2 teenagers in troubled eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sat June 24, 2006 02:04 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels have abducted two teenagers in troubled eastern Sri Lanka - , the military said Saturday... Back to the top

No military solution to conflict in Lanka: PM, June 25, 2006. Bangalore, June 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was no military solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, which has to be resolved through "dialogue, discussion and give-and-take"... Back to the top

Sri Lanka eye clean sweep, June 25, 2006 - 13:21 EDT. Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is eyeing a whitewash of England after his side took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series... Back to the top

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Sri Lanka wins one-day series with 8-wicket victory over England
Associated Press, Sat June 24, 2006 13:23 EDT . CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP) Captain Mahela Jayawardene hit an undefeated 126 and Sri Lanka - cruised to an 8-wicket victory against England on Saturday in the third one-day international at Riverside... Back to the top

Seeking a negotiated settlement with LTTE, June 24, 2006 - 09:35 EDT. The world has not realized the true nature of the ongoing armed conflict in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka, Malaysia hold joint commission meeting, June 24, 2006 - 09:40 EDT. Sri Lanka-Malaysia-Ties A meeting of the Sri Lanka-Malasia Joint Commission was held in Colombo on Friday focusing on a number of issues of interest to both sides on the economic and commercial fields, technical and scientific cooperation and cooperation in areas such as tourism, culture, sports, immigration and development of human resources... Back to the top

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