The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 30, 2006 EST, USA
VOL. 7, NO. 146


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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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
Government Rejects Speculative Conclusion by SLMM on Killing of Aid Workers in Muttur
SCOPP, August 31. The Government regrets the unprofessional and rather irresponsible stand taken by the Head of SLMM with regard to the incident in Muttur concerning the death of 17 aid workers. The Head of SLMM has derived specific conclusions even before investigations and forensic examination of evidence has been concluded.

The determination lacks any factual evidence to substantiate its conclusion. The determination is based on misleading inferences that the SLMM was prevented from travelling to Muttur, and speculates that the inability to travel to Muttur as sufficient evidence of culpability in the deaths of 17 aid workers. There was an advise against travel to Muttur for safety reasons during operational periods. Immediately after securing the town journalists, humanitarian workers and community leaders travelled to Muttur without any restrictions. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 30 21:32:38 EDT 2006

LEAD: Cease-fire monitors slam Sri Lanka gov't, Tamil Tigers+
Associated Press, Wed August 30, 2006 10:14 EDT . COLOMBO, Aug. 30 (Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING FOREIGN MINISTER'S REACTION IN 7TH-8TH GRAFS)

European cease-fire monitors said Wednesday that Sri Lankan government forces were responsible for the Aug. 4 killing of 17 ethnic Tamil aid workers with a French nongovernmental organization, while Tamil rebels were behind the blowing up of a civilian bus on June 15 that killed 64 people and injured more than 80.

The killing of the aid workers belonging to Action Against Hunger (ACF-Action Contre la Faim) in Muttur in Sri Lanka's northeast as well as the bombing of a packed bus in Kebetigollewa in the Polonnaruwa district drew international condemnation.

The Nordic Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission or SLMM said in rulings released Wednesday that the Muttur killings were a ''gross violation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA)'' of February 2002 by security forces of Sri Lanka and the bus bombing was also a ''gross violation'' by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam.

''The committed act of assassination has proved to be one of the most serious recent crimes against humanitarian aid workers worldwide and has been strongly condemned internationally,'' SLMM said of the aid worker killings.

SLMM reported ''very strong indications'' of military involvement in the case despite denials, making pointed reference to restrictions of movement into the location of the massacre.

The ruling on the aid worker killings said that such restrictions strongly indicated ''the government's eagerness to conceal the matter from the SLMM.''

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who is now in London with President Mahinda Rajapakse, reacted to the publication of the SLMM ruling against the military by rejecting it as ''outrageous.''

He told the BBC in London that SLMM had made its comments ahead of the completion of a police investigation and said the SLMM statement was ''extremely irresponsible.''

On the Kebetigollewa killings, the ruling rejected Tiger denials over the bombing, saying that well-known LTTE methods had been used.

The ruling held the Tigers as ''the only element with the motive, capability and capacity to carry out the attack'' and said they must bear the responsibility for the killings which were a ''gross violation'' by the LTTE of the CFA.

''SLMM considers it highly probable that there can be no other armed element than the LTTE and LTTE-affiliated forces that have had the motive to carry out the attack, in particular in government-controlled areas,'' it said.

The ruling said there were strong indications that the attack on Sinhalese majority civilians was a deliberate retaliation against recent killings of civilians and LTTE cadres in rebel-controlled areas in the northeast.

Ulf Henricsson, the head of SLMM who signed the rulings, said on the Muttur killings that he had ''confidential conversations with highly reliable sources'' who were not named about who the likely culprits were.

SLMM called for a thorough investigation into the killings and urged the government to do its utmost to stop violence against civilians. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Aug 30 11:22:24 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Europe accuses Sri Lankan army of assassinating aid workers  - Independnt
Truce monitors 'convinced' security forces behind killing of Sri Lankan aid workers  - Associated Press
Monitors' statement on Sri Lanka killings  - BBC
Cease-fire monitors slam Sri Lanka gov't, Tamil Tigers+  - Associated Press

U.N. threatens to halt Sri Lanka work after aid killings
Reuters, 31 Aug 2006 02:41:23 GMT. .
By Simon Gardner

COLOMBO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - The United Nations threatened overnight to suspend aid operations in Sri Lanka after truce monitors accused the security forces of executing aid workers.

Nordic truce monitors on Wednesday formally accused the security forces of being behind the execution-style murders of 17 local staff of aid agency Action Contre La Faim earlier this month in the northeast.

The government denies it.

"We have no independent information ourselves in the U.N., but I say we cannot continue in this area unless people will be held accountable for the execution of 17 of our colleagues," the U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, told reporters in New York.

The victims, mostly Tamils, were found shot dead in their compound in the northeastern town of Mutur, around 135 miles (220 km) northeast of the capital Colombo. It was the worst mass murder of aid staff since a 2003 bomb attack on the United Nations compound in Baghdad.

The Nordic Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which oversees a 2002 truce that now only holds on paper, says Sri Lankan authorities have obstructed their efforts to investigate, and says it is convinced no armed groups other than the security services could have been responsible. More...
Published: Wed Aug 30 23:13:09 EDT 2006 Back to the top

U.N. appealed for US$37.5 million to help war-afflicted population in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Wed August 30, 2006 08:41 EDT . ELIANE ENGELER - Associated Press Writer - GENEVA (AP) The United Nations appealed Wednesday for US$37.5 million (euro29.3 million) to help tens of thousands of people who were driven from their homes or cut off by rebel-government fighting in the north and east of Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

Missing Tamil journalist freed in Sri Lanka , says he couldn't identify kidnappers
Associated Press, Wed August 30, 2006 01:02 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An ethnic Tamil journalist whose abduction raised an outcry over press freedom in Sri Lanka - was released Wednesday after 20 hours, and said he was traumatized but unharmed and that he doesn't know who abducted him or why... Back to the top

India not to give military aid to Lanka
Rediff, August 30. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday assured Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko that India would not offer any military help to Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Doctors fear monsoon epidemics in Sri Lanka camps
Reauters, 30 Aug 2006 03:03:00 GMT. .
By Simon Gardner KANTALE, Sri Lanka, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Doctors treating hundreds of sick and injured war-displaced in northeast Sri Lanka worry the arrival of monsoon rains could trigger epidemics such as chicken pox in overcrowded refugee camps. Staff at hospitals and camps clinics in and around the town of Kantale, around 125 miles (200 km) northeast of the capital Colombo, are already stretched trying to cope with diarrhoea, respiratory problems and wounds... Back to the top

Asia needs jobs that provide ``decent work,'' attendees of U.N. labor conference say
Associated Press, Wed August 30, 2006 04:04 EDT . KELLY OLSEN - AP Business Writer - ``We all agree that getting people access to work is the surest way out of poverty,'' said Athauda Senewiratne, Sri Lanka - 's minister of labor relations... Back to the top

Muslim party for ‘national govt’ in Lanka
Dawn, By Our Correspondent COLOMBO, Aug 29. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said on Monday it would support moves made by President Mahinda Rajapakse to establish a national government comprising all political parties... Back to the top

Schools reopen in Sri Lanka 's besieged Jaffna, fighting rages in the east
Associated Press, Wed August 30, 2006 04:12 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Schools in Sri Lanka - 's northern Jaffna Peninsula reopened for the first time in nearly three weeks on Wednesday, an official said, as the military continued to pound rebel-held areas in the east, sending hundreds fleeing from the shelling... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Army Offensive Will End Truce Agreement, Rebels Say, Tuesday Augudt 29, 2006 - 22;00 EDT. Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's 2002 cease-fire accord will collapse unless the army stops its offensive near the northeastern port of Trincomalee, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said. ``If the Sri Lankan military aggression continued, it would set a full stop to the February 2002 cease-fire agreement,'' Irasaiah Ilanthirayan, an LTTE military spokesman, said yesterday, according to TamilNet... Back to the top

Military offensive in northeast Sri Lanka leaves 95 combatants dead
Associated Press, Tue August 29, 2006 07:57 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Three days of clashes between security forces and ethnic Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east has killed at least 95 people, the military said Tuesday... Back to the top

Lanka President makes surprise visit to London
Zee News, Tuesday Augudt 29, 2006 - 21;57 EDT. Colombo, Aug 29: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday made an unannounced visit to London, leaving even some of his top aides unawares... Back to the top

Tamil Canadians stand against Terrorism
Roy Edwards from Toronto., August 28. A Canadian Tamil group says that a Majority of Tamil Canadians do not support terrorism and criticized the LTTE front organizations in Canada for misleading the Tamils living in the country... Back to the top

Tigers feted on campus
National Post, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 15:00 EDT. WATERLOO - Martyrdom celebrations that praised Tamil Tiger soldiers and suicide bombers were held openly in the student centre of the University of Waterloo, where the FBI alleges a "procurement cell" for the terrorist organization was centred... Back to the top

Scores dead in Sri Lanka fighting
The Hindu, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 14:40 EDT. Scores of government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels were killed on Tuesday, the second day of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces' offensive to capture Sampur and Mutur East overlooking Trincomalee harbour... Back to the top

Sri Lanka army battles rebels in northeast
Reuters, 29 Aug 2006 03:29:19 GMT. -
By Peter Apps COLOMBO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army said on Tuesday it continued an offensive into Tamil Tiger-controlled territory, with military sources saying the ultimate aim was to sweep the rebels from the entrance of a strategic harbour... Back to the top

India calls for immediate truce, Sri Lanka says no
The Hindu, Tuesday Augudt 29, 2006 - 06:10 EDT. India and the rest of the international community have sought an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Aid workers targeted in Sri Lanka 's resurgent conflict
Associated Press, Tue August 29, 2006 08:02 EDT . CASSIE BIGGS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Seventeen Sri Lankan aid workers are killed execution-style... Back to the top

FEATURE-Sri Lankans displaced by war face bleak future
Reauters, 29 Aug 2006 01:03:09 GMT. -
By Simon Gardner KANTALE, Sri Lanka, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Sheltering from the burning sun under a ragged awning in one of dozens of cramped refugee camps in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged east, 18-year-old Sharmila Rahim dreams of being a teacher and should be studying... Back to the top

Ethnic Tamil journalist abducted in Sri Lanka , says media rights group
Associated Press, Tue August 29, 2006 02:02 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An ethnic Tamil journalist was abducted near Sri Lanka - 's capital early morning Tuesday while he was on his way for work, a media rights group said... Back to the top

HL:University reviews Tamil group after arrests linked to Waterloo, Ont. campus
Associated Press, Tue August 29, 2006 06:32 EDT . - - U.S. and Canadian authorities arrested a dozen suspects last week on charges of lending support to the outlawed Sri Lanka - -based Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

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