The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 175


Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.

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Headline Summary
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Over 200 civilians killed in Sri Lanka fighting since July: monitors+
Associated Press, Thu September 28, 2006 10:30 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ At least 200 civilians have died in two months of fighting between government soldiers and separatist Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka, European cease-fire monitors said Thursday.

The figure was released as the government announced that Australian forensic experts will visit the country next week to probe last month's killing of 17 aid workers.

Since large-scale hostilities broke out in late July, ``over 200 civilians have been killed and several thousands are internally displaced, creating a serious humanitarian crisis,'' the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said in a report sent to the government and Tamil Tiger leaders.

The monitors accused both sides of serious violations of the cease-fire, including risking civilian lives, creating a refugee crisis, denying people access to food and blocking the entry of monitors and aid workers into conflict areas for investigations and to help trapped civilians.

The monitors said ``the gravity of the violations have led to a dangerous escalation in hostilities.''

``It is important that the parties realize the seriousness of the current situation and do whatever there is in their power to move forward instead of engaging in military confrontation,'' the monitors said in a statement.

The fighting began with a government offensive in eastern Sri Lanka to open an irrigation reservoir closed by the Tamil Tiger rebels. As the conflict spread to other areas, the government captured some strategic territories held by the rebels in the north and east.

At least 1,000 combatants and civilians were killed and some 220,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

The execution-style killing of 17 Sri Lankan aid workers of Action Against Hunger last month and the hacking deaths of 10 Muslim laborers on Sept. 17 in eastern Sri Lanka were among the worst incidents of violence against the civilians.

The foreign ministry announced on Thursday that Australian forensic experts will visit Sri Lanka next week to help probe the killing of the aid workers in the northeastern town of Muttur.

According to the terms, the experts will ``observe and at the request of Sri Lanka authorities, provide technical advice and assistance in the conduct of forensic investigations,'' the ministry statement said.

Nordic truce monitors have accused government troops of being behind the killings, a charge vehemently denied by the government.

Meanwhile, 12 international aid organization representatives met on Wednesday with the rebels' political head, Suppiah Thamilselvan, and discussed ways to provide humanitarian aid to people affected by the fighting and to boost security for aid workers, the groups said in a joint statement.

A similar meeting had previously been held with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's office, the statement said.

Foreign diplomats are struggling to revive a Norway-brokered cease-fire and a peace process severely undermined by the fighting.

The Tamil rebels began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for Tamils, Sri Lanka's largest ethnic minority, citing decades of discrimination by the Sinhalese majority. About 66,000 people died in nearly two decades of violence before the 2002 cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 28 11:37:28 EDT 2006

US for resumption of peace talks in Lanka, September 28, 2006 . Chennai, Sept 28: The US has expressed hope that negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and LTTE would continue and a system would be brought about to ensure peace and stability in the island republic, US Ambassador to India David Mulford said today. "The US is very much hopeful of continued negotiations there (in Sri Lanka) that will bring about a system that will ensure stability and peace and stem the flow of people (refugees)," Mulford told reporters at the residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. More...
Published: Thu Sep 28 17:42:41 EDT 2006 Back to the top

South Korean foreign minister remains front-runner for UN secretary-general in latest poll
Associated Press, Thu September 28, 2006 19:07 EDT . NICK WADHAMS - Associated Press Writer - The other three candidates former U.N. disarmament chief Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka - , Jordan's U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein and former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani each received only three votes in favor.

So far there was no indication that anyone would drop out of the race. Thailand's U.N. ambassador, Laxanachantorn Laohaphan, said Surakiart would not withdraw, and Ghani said in an interview that his campaign would continue.

``In the past there have been all kinds of indications from the council that have not proven right,'' Ghani said. ``One cannot read the council from the outside.''

Diplomats generally agree that the next secretary-general should come from Asia because of a tradition that the post rotate among the regions of the world. The last Asian secretary-general was Burma's U Thant, who served from 1961-71.

Annan steps down on Dec. 31, when his second five-year term expires. Diplomats have said they want the race wrapped up by the end of October so the next secretary-general can have time to prepare for the job.

In the next Security Council straw poll, set for Monday, the five veto-wielding members of the council will use different colored ballots than the other 10 non-permanent members. A veto from one of the five Britain, China, France, Russia or the United States could doom a candidate's campaign.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said he would have preferred using the colored ballots Thursday.

``We should have had a differentiated ballot today,'' Bolton said in a statement. ``I look forward to a real vote on Monday, when we'll have two different colored ballots.

Bangladesh's U.N. Ambassador Iftekhar Chowdhury said he attended a speech Ban gave on Wednesday and approved.

``He came out quite good mature, balanced, and with the right amount of experience, gravitas, the qualities that you seek in a secretary-general,'' Chowdhury said. ``We think he'll make an excellent secretary-general, of course.''

Associated Press reporter Edith M. Lederer contributed to this story.
Published: Thu Sep 28 21:48:19 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Norway steps up Sri Lanka peace effort
Yahoo News, Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:19 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway stepped up moves to arrange a face-to-face meet between the warring parties after Colombo accepted a rebel pledge to resume talks, diplomats said... Back to the top

Panchayati raj useful to Sri Lanka: Aiyar, Sep 29, 2006. COLOMBO: The Indian experiment on devolution of powers through Panchayati raj model could be useful for Sri Lanka in dealing with its ethnic strife, Union Minister for Panchayat Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports, Mani Shankar Aiyar, said here on Tuesday... Back to the top

Indian guru gifts white shawl to LTTE chief, 2006/9/28 . New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has gifted a white shawl to Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran... Back to the top

LTTE supremo agrees to resume talks with Lankan Govt., Wed, September 27, 2006 - 08:20 EDT. Colombo, Sept. 27 (PTI): Raising hopes for the revival of the peace process, Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has agreed to open talks with the Sri Lankan Government and pledged "commitment" to the process.

"We need concrete positive commitments from the leader of the LTTE to resume talks... Back to the top

Some say terror label prolongs Sri Lanka war, 28-Sep-2006 . The streets of Jaffna were lined with government soldiers. Posted every 50 metres, leaning up against pockmarked walls, or standing in the thin shadow of a tree in the blazing sun... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military, rebels violate truce-monitors, Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:19 EDT. COLOMBO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military and the Tamil Tigers have grossly violated a 2002 ceasefire in the past two months, Nordic truce monitors said on Thursday, accusing both sides of hampering their work... Back to the top

Fear, hunger stalk Sri Lanka's Jaffna Tamils
Reuters, 27 Sep 2006 08:44:00 GMT. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, Sept 27 (Reuters) - First driven from their homes by a Tamil Tiger warning, then forced to move back as the military emptied schools-turned-refugee camps, many residents in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula are hungry and afraid... Back to the top

Pallone tips for peace in Sri Lanka, 2006-09-27. BEVERLY HILLS: Voicing concern over the recent conflicts in Sri Lanka, India’s island neighbor, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey’s sixth district was hosted by the IAFC in the VIP room of the newly opened Chakra Restaurant Saturday night... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebel defects, surrenders to Sri Lanka 's army, government says
Associated Press, Wed September 27, 2006 02:26 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Presss Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A man who joined the separatist Tamil Tigers in eastern Sri Lanka broke away from the rebel group and has surrendered to the country's army, claiming he was beaten by the insurgents, the government said Wednesday... Back to the top

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