The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 182


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Sri Lanka 's political rivals reach consensus to solve separatist conflict, lawmakers say
Associated Press, Thu October 5, 2006 10:37 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's largest political parties, considered arch rivals, on Thursday agreed on a common program to solve the country's pressing problems, mainly a bloody two-decade civil war, lawmakers said.

Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the chief member of the country's ruling coalition and main opposition United National Party have agreed on dealing with six key issues including the war, economic development, electoral reforms, good governance, educational reforms and social development, opposition lawmaker Gamini Peiris said.

``The plenary agreed that this whole exercise must be completed before Oct.15 and the final step will be the signing of a memorandum of understanding,'' he told reporters.

``It was the wish of the public over the years that the two main parties get together and work for the welfare off the people,'' said Maithripala Sirisena, a government minister.

The parties together control 125 seats in Sri Lanka's 225-member Parliament and their consensus is vital to muster a two-thirds majority to push through any constitutional reforms for minorities.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels have fought the government since 1983 demanding a separate state for the country's ethnic minority Tamils following decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese-dominated state.

More than 66,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

A Norway-brokered cease-fire signed in 2002 has nearly crumbled with renewed fighting killed 1,000 combatants and civilians. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Oct 5 11:22:30 EDT 2006

LTTE must cease violence: Colombo, Thursday October 05, 2006 - 22:45 EDT. COLOMBO: Hours after the Government announced new round of talks with the LTTE in Switzerland on October 28 and 29, Sri Lanka Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva who is head of the Government Peace Negotiating Team demanded, "the LTTE must also immediately cease all acts of violence." According to the Information Department web site, the Minister claimed that while the Government has always abided by its commitments and undertakings, the LTTE has repeatedly and blatantly violated their commitments and undertakings. He said theGovernment would engage in the talks. At the same time he made it known that the Government "reserved its right to adopt all appropriate counter measurers" should the LTTE undertake any actions of an offensive and provocative nature. More...
Published: Thu Oct 5 22:47:04 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lankan President Slams Country's Envoys For Not Doing Enough
bernama, 5 oct. cOLOMBO, Oct 5 (Bernama) -- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a no-holds barred pep talk to the country's overseas envoys, has urged them to treat Sri Lankan migrant workers with compassion and gratitude.

There are close to a million Sri Lanka workers, many of them females based in the Middle East. Most of these workers, particularly women, are poorly treated by Sri Lankan embassies abroad.

Addressing over 50 heads of overseas Sri Lankan missions at the presidential secretariat Wednesday, Rajapaksa said these workers were earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.

"You should in a way, act like their parents and address their grievances in any way permissible. You should be polite and courteous to these innocent Sri Lankans who are often in difficulty.

"From my past experience as Labour and Vocational Training Minister, I have learnt that some officials of our embassies even decline to speak to them, let alone address their grievances. There should be a radical change in this," he said.

Women form the core of Sri Lankan migrant workers -- more than 60 per cent -- and in fact represent the face of the country's economy in many respects. Sri Lanka's three main foreign exchange earners -- migrant workers, garment exports and tea plantations -- are dominated by women. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Oct 5 13:56:11 EDT 2006 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers agree to talks dates
BBC News, Thursday October 5, 2006 - 1:50 EDT. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels say they have agreed to hold talks with the government by the end of this month... Back to the top

Sri Lanka suggests date for talks with separatist Tamil rebels as violence soars
Associated Press, Thu October 5, 2006 06:39 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government on Thursday said it was willing to attend talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels at the end of the month, a government spokesman said, as a bomb blast blamed on rebels killed a soldier and the air force continued a raid in the north... Back to the top

Sri Lankan war refugees live in appalling conditions in southern ..., Oct 3rd, 2006 7:26 AM . Fleeing death and destruction in Sri Lanka, around 15,000 people have escaped to the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu since January, amid an escalating war on the island between the security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Air raids, bombs despite Sri Lanka peace talk vows, Thursday October 5, 2006 - 08:40 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Air Force bombed Tamil Tiger bases for a third day on Thursday, and suspected rebels clashed with government soldiers, after the foes agreed to crunch talks aimed at halting renewed civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Says Rebels Mount Attacks After Agreeing to Talks, Thursday October 05, 2006 - 01:15 EDT. By Anusha Ondaatjie and Paul Tighe

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's government accused the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of mounting attacks after the rebels agreed to hold peace talks to try to end the worst fighting since a 2002 cease-fire.

``The track record of the Tigers during the last 24 hours, a day since they agreed to hold talks with the government, is clear evidence of their insincerity in entering peace talks,'' the Media Center for National Security said yesterday on its Web site... Back to the top

Bomb blast kills 1 soldier, wounds 2 others in Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Thu October 5, 2006 02:17 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels exploded a roadside bomb in northern Sri Lanka - on Thursday, killing one soldier and wounding two others, the military said... Back to the top

Lankan Govt announces fresh talks with LTTE on Oct 28, 29, Thursday October 5, 2006 - 12:00 EDT. Colombo, Oct 5.: The Sri Lanka Government on Thursday announced that fresh talks with the LTTE would be held in Switzerland on October 28 and 29. A statement issued by the Government Peace Secretariat said that the Government has conveyed to the Norwegian facilitator that it proposes to engage in discussions on `substantive' issues... Back to the top

Lankan Americans protest LTTE policies, Oct. 5. Washington, Oct. 5 (PTI): Sri Lankan Americans held a demonstration outside the White House to protest the policies of Tamil Tiger rebels, including the recruitment of child soldiers and ethnic cleansing. The demonstrators, who held a banner saying that the Island Nation was with the United States in the war against terrorism, thanked Washington for recently unearthing agents of the LTTE who were trying to procure arms in this country... Back to the top

Lanka, LTTE to hold talks on Oct 28 in Geneva, October 5, 2006. The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE have agreed to hold talks in Geneva from October 28 to 30... Back to the top

Sri Lankan air force pound rebel positions in north; bomb recovered in capital
Associated Press, Wed October 4, 2006 06:27 EDT . HARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's air force bombed Tamil Tiger rebels' mortar positions in the embattled north on Wednesday, a day after the insurgents agreed to peace talks with the government but warned that further military action would see them pull out of a shaky four-year-old cease-fire... Back to the top

Government-condoned militia abducting hundreds on Sri Lanka 's east coast
Associated Press, Wed October 4, 2006 08:08 EDT . ANTHONY DEUTSCH - Associated Press Writer - BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka - (AP) A feared militia along Sri Lanka's volatile eastern coast has abducted hundreds of men and boys some as young as 12 and is training them for combat in camps operated with the government's consent, witnesses and officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka peace bid hits snags over venue
afp, October 4, 2006. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels remained divided on a venue for peace talks but showed signs of a compromise over dates after Norway renewed its bid to end a surge in violence... Back to the top

Jurists say barred from Sri Lanka massacre inquest, Wed Oct 4, 2006 11:52 PM IST. GENEVA (Reuters) - The International Committee of Jurists (ICJ) said on Wednesday Sri Lanka had refused to allow it to send an observer to the inquest into the killing of 17 aid workers in the northeast of the country in August... Back to the top

Powerful bomb found in Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Wed October 4, 2006 01:11 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan police on Wednesday found a powerful bomb hidden in a garbage dump in Sri Lanka - 's capital but it was not set to go off and someone may have been storing it there, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lankans snap up new Audis amidst new levies, 03 October 2006 17:15:35. October 03 2006 (LBO) Ė Sri Lankans are still snapping up luxury cars like Audiís despite stiff government taxes, to discourage vehicle sales and curb fuel consumption, officials said... Back to the top

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