The Lanka Academic

 
OCTOBER 31, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 208

TLA FORUM

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IN MEMORIAM

We have lost a great mathe- matician, engineer, scientist, an old timer of SLNet/LAcNet and a former LAcNet director. Pubudu Dayawansa (Daya) was instrumental in carrying out many LAcNet projects. He was responsible in setting up "Colombo Calling" a website that was designed to carry weekly articles from Sri Lankan Academic community and Human Rights activists. [ More...]
TLA FEATURE CORNER
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
Tamil Tiger boat suspected of carrying arms destroyed, military says
Associated Press, Tue October 31, 2006 11:31 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan navy on Tuesday destroyed a boat suspected of transporting arms and ammunition for Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's north, the military said.

``One of the LTTE boats bringing arms and ammunition was destroyed,'' military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said, referring to the rebels by the acronym of their formal name, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

He said the navy spotted a suspicious boat near Talaimannar seas, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the capital, Colombo and when it defied an order to stop the navy fired and destroyed the boat, he said.

A powerful explosion that came from the boat suggested that there was ammunition inside, Samarasinghe said.

There were no independent details of the incident and there was no immediate report on casualties.

Earlier Tuesday suspected rebels detonated a roadside bomb in the northern town of Vavuniya, killing a Sri Lankan government soldier and wounding three others, Samarasinghe said.

He said that the Tigers have also launched sporadic shell attacks on a two main military camps in eastern Batticaloa district.

The violence came amid rebel claims that the government was planning a major offensive against them in the wake of stalled peace talks held over the weekend in Geneva, raising fears of a return of a full-scale hostilities.

``The Sri Lanka government is planning to launch a big offensive attack toward (the Tamil held area of) Elephant Pass, and to capture Kilinochchi, the capital of the LTTE,'' rebel official Severathnam Puleedevan told The Associated Press on Monday.

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella on Tuesday called the rebel claim of an impending offensive ``propaganda.''

``We do not have a planned offensive on our table, but if our forces are attacked we will retaliate,'' Rambukwella told The Associated Press. ``The talk of a major offensive by us is propaganda by the LTTE,'' Rambukwella said.

The talks in Geneva, aimed at salvaging a 2002 cease-fire and halting more than two decades of conflict, failed after the government rejected a Tiger demand to reopen a key highway that connects the Tamil-dominated northern Jaffna peninsula with the rest of the country.

But the government said Tuesday it was willing to reopen the highway provided the rebels stop acts of violence.

``The closure of A-9 is not permanent and we are willing to reopen it provided the LTTE gives security guarantees and stops acts of hostility,'' Nimal Siripala De Silva, who headed the government delegation at the talks, told a news conference in Colombo.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels on the government's conditions.

The government offered during the talks to set up a sea delivery route, saying it would cheaper and safer, claiming the rebels themselves hamper deliveries by threatening and extorting those using the road. But the rebels rejected the offer.

The Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Tue Oct 31 13:30:11 EST 2006


Sri Lanka 's military present Tamil rebel surrendees to media
Associated Press, Tue October 31, 2006 10:10 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's military on Tuesday presented to the media some 25 ethnic Tamils who escaped after being forcibly recruited by Tamil Tigers and trained to join the rebels' separatist war.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the men from eastern Sri Lanka - had surrendered to troops in the past three weeks.

The Tamils asked journalists not to reveal their identities because they feared reprisals against them and their families living close to rebel strongholds. Tamil Tiger rebels have long been accused of forced conscription, including children as young as 12, to fight their separatist war against the Sri Lankan government.

Rebel leaders did not respond to repeated efforts for comment.

A 24-year-old driver from eastern Trincomalee district said the rebels had sent him a letter in March calling for him to join their training program, and that he attended out of fear.

After undergoing two months of initial training at a safehouse in a rebel-controlled village in Trincomalee, he escaped and hid in several locations for five months before surrendering to the army on Monday, he said.

The man, who is the only financial provider for his elderly mother, said he feared he could be identified by the rebels after Tuesday's media interviews and will attempt to leave the country.

Another recruit, a 15-year-old boy who had dropped out of school to support his poor family said he refused a rebel request to attend a 15-day training course. He said rebels then forcibly took him from his home on Oct.1 after beating his sick father who tried to stop them.

The boy said he and another person were kept inside an iron cage for nearly a month for refusing to undergo training. When released from the cage on Monday they escaped and surrendered to troops, he said.

Having to support two school-going sisters and his parents, the boy says he wants to return home to tend his garden.

Some 65,000 people were killed in the separatist war that flared up in 1983, until a Norway-brokered cease-fire was signed in 2002.

But renewed fighting since early this year has killed another 2,000 fighters from both sides and civilians causing the cease-fire to virtually collapse.

Two days of talks held in Switzerland last weekend to try and salvage the truce, ended without a breakthrough. Discuss this story
Published: Tue Oct 31 11:53:12 EST 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka says willing to open highway if Tamil rebels cease violence
Associated Press, Tue October 31, 2006 03:40 EST . - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Tuesday it was willing to reopen a highway that connects the rebel-held north with the mainland, the blockade of which led to the failure of the just concluded peace talks in Geneva.

``The closure of A-9 is not permanent and we are willing to reopen it provided the LTTE (rebel group) gives security guarantee and stops acts of hostility,'' said Nimal Siripala De Silva, who headed the government delegation at the talks.

The talks, aimed at salvaging a 2002 cease-fire and halting more than two decades of conflict, failed after the government rejected a Tiger demand to reopen the highway. Discuss this story
Published: Tue Oct 31 06:44:48 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
LTTE demand selfish: Colombo  - The Hindu

New violence hits Sri Lanka killing soldier dead, Tamil rebels fire artillery
Associated Press, Tue October 31, 2006 04:29 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil rebels fired artillery at Sri Lankan military positions and set off a roadside bomb, killing a Sri Lankan soldier and wounding three others, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Tuesday... Back to the top

Roadside bomb kills 1 Sri Lanka soldier, wounds 3, says army
Associated Press, Mon October 30, 2006 23:59 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a roadside bomb in a northern town Tuesday, killing a Sri Lankan government soldier and wounding three others, a military spokesman said... Back to the top

Deputy leader is wrong - UNP
BBC Sinhala , Tuesday October 31, 2006 - 15:06 EDT. The deputy leader of the United National Party is calling for reforms in the leadership of the UNP in a public statement issued on Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka moots retirement fund for migrant workers
lankabusinessonline.com, 31 October 2006 12:44:36. October 31, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is toying with the idea of starting a provident fund for migrant workers in an attempt to give countrymen a form of saving to live after retirement... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military, rebels exchange artillery fire after peace talks fail; 1 Tamil killed
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Japan provides relief goods to strife-torn Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Mon October 30, 2006 21:56 EST . TOKYO, Oct. 31 (Kyodo) The Japanese government decided Tuesday to provide relief goods for about 10,000 people in Sri Lanka - who have been affected by the intense fighting between the country's military forces and rebel Tamil Tigers, the Foreign Ministry said. The provision of goods, in accordance with a request by the Office of the U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka is drowning, literally and metaphorically
khaleejtimes.com, 31 October 2006. LITERALLY and metaphorically, we are a drowning nation. With half the country under water as a result of intense inter-monsoon rains, the gloomy weather was symbolic of Sri Lanka’s plight... Back to the top

Sri Lankan MPs head home with peace at heart
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Tamil Tiger delegation cancels trip to Norway, Iceland following failed peace talks
Associated Press, Mon October 30, 2006 11:09 EST . FRANK JORDANS Associated Press Writer GENEVA (AP) _ A Tamil Tiger delegation which met with Sri Lankan government officials in Switzerland this weekend will head straight back to the Indian Ocean island instead of traveling to Norway and Iceland as planned, a delegate said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military, Tamil rebels exchange artillery fire after failed peace talks
Associated Press, Mon October 30, 2006 00:34 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lanka - government troops exchanged artillery fire in the country's north on Monday, the Defense Ministry said, a day after peace talks to salvage the country's cease-fire failed to make any headway... Back to the top

Iran to Build 2000 Residential Units for Sri Lanka
farsnews.com, 31 Oct 2006. TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran's housing cooperatives, in cooperation with the Ministry of Cooperation, will construct 2000 residential units for Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Nexus of ISI-LTTE working in South India
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Is A9 Sri Lanka s road to war?
hindustantimes.com, Mondya October 30, 2006 - 11:30 EDT. With the peace talks in Geneva breaking down over the issue of re-opening the strategic A9 highway linking south Sri Lanka with Jaffna in the north, Sri Lankans are bracing themselves for a resumption of war and terrorist bombings... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels cut short tour after Swiss talks fail
Yahoo News - AFP, Monday October 30, 2006 - 06:45 EDT. GENEVA (AFP) - Sri Lanka's rebel Tamil Tiger negotiators have cut short a planned visit to truce monitors Norway and Iceland, and will return home immediately after Swiss peace talks failed, the top guerrilla leader said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka woos India Inc.
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