The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 5, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 213

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
Sri Lanka plans new probe of abductions; invites international observers
Associated Press, Sun November 5, 2006 04:46 EST . DILIP GANGULY

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The Sri Lankan government said Sunday it is launching a new probe into a spate of disappearances that Tamil Tiger rebels and a rights group say were the work of pro-government forces amid a resurgence of fighting in a brutal separatist war.

The government appointed a retired judge in September to conduct an earlier investigation, but the judge has yet to submit his report.

The work of the new commission, headed by a Sri Lankan Supreme Court judge, will be observed by an 11-member group of international observers, chief government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told The Associated Press.

The life of the commission will be for one year, but the government expects to have a report of its findings as soon as possible, Rambukwella said. He gave no time frame.

It was not immediately clear how the new probe would fit with the one by the retired judge.

Among the foreign observers invited is a former Indian Supreme Court chief justice, P.N. Bhagwati, Rambukwella said.

The government has also asked the United States, Britain, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan to nominate members for the international observers group.

``This is the first time that our government is going for such a high-profile investigation,'' Rambukwella said.

The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, a private group, has said at least 400 Tamil youth have gone missing from Tamil-majority northern Jaffna peninsula since December.

Another 38 people, including some ethnic-majority Sinhalese, have been abducted from Colombo, relatives say.

Last month, the Asian Human Rights Commission, a private group based in Hong Kong, accused the Sri Lankan government of abducting suspected insurgents from the Tamil Tiger separatist group to weaken the campaign.

``This is totally untrue. The government is not involved in any way,'' Rambukwella said.

The rebels also have accused the military in most of the abductions.

``In Jaffna, it is the military intelligence which is behind most of the abductions,'' rebel spokesman Daya Master said Sunday by telephone from the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi.

``The government also wants the investigation to be truly transparent, therefore we are inviting foreign observers,'' Rambukwella said, adding that President Mahinda Rajapakse was eager that ``the perpetrators are brought to justice.''

Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting since 1983 to create a separate ethnic Tamil state. Some 67,000 people have been killed in the conflict and 1.6 million displaced. A 2002 cease-fire all but collapsed this year with almost daily killings. Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 5 05:37:06 EST 2006


Tamil Tigers say they have released 22 underage recruits
Associated Press, Sun November 5, 2006 01:08 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels, widely accused of forcibly recruiting child soldiers, said they released 22 underage recruits who lied about their age to join the separatist campaign. The insurgents control a vast area of northeast Sri Lanka - where they have their own laws, and run their own courts, police and administrative system.

International rights groups and the United Nations Children's Fund have accused the Tamil Tigers of using children to fight their separatist war against Sri Lankan government forces, despite promises to halt the practice.

The rebels have acknowledged using child combatants but claim the children join by lying about their age.

The new law prohibits the ``enlisting of children under 17 years in armed forces, (and) makes participation of under 18-year-olds in armed combat illegal.''

In July, UNICEF said 1,387 underage children were among the rebel ranks, but the Tigers challenged the figures, saying at least 800 names on the list were above 18 years old.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have fought the government since 1983 to carve out a separate homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, citing decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese-dominated state.

More than 65,000 people were killed in the fighting before Norway brokered a cease-fire in 2002. However, renewed fighting since early this year has killed another 2,000 people even though both sides claim that they still honor the truce.

Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 5 05:36:00 EST 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka toll nears 3,300 killed in 11 months despite truce
khaleejtimes.com, Sunday November 05, 2006 - 08:10. COLOMBO - Nearly 3,300 people have died in Sri Lanka since fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and troops flared in December, shattering a 2002 truce, defence ministry figures released Sunday showed.

After the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse came to power in November last year, 860 security personnel and 549 civilians were killed between December 1 to October 25, the defence ministry said.

It said security forces had also killed 1,880 Tamil Tiger guerrillas and wounded 1,303 others.

The fighting came despite a truce arranged and put in place by peace broker Norway in February 2002. The violence has flared anew following failed peace talks in Geneva last month.

There was no immediate word from the Liberation Tigers More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 5 08:10:26 EST 2006 Back to the top


One year on: Sri Lankan ‘civil war’ claims 3,300 lives
dailytimes.com.pk, November 06, 2006. COLOMBO: Nearly 3,300 people have died in Sri Lanka since fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and troops flared in December, shattering a 2002 truce, defence ministry figures released Sunday showed... Back to the top

Anti-LTTE US Lankans in bid to unseat pro-LTTE Congressman
nation.lk, Sunday November 05, 2006 - 08:10. Anti LTTE Sri Lankans in the United States has launched a campaign to unseat pro-LTTE Congressman Danny K... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's cricket legend says removing Australian umpire Hair good for future cricket
Associated Press, Sun November 5, 2006 03:28 EST . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Sunday welcomed the ICC's decision to ban Australia's Darrell Hair from international umpiring, accusing him of anti-Asian bias... Back to the top

No Pakistan military advisors in Sri Lanka
hindustantimes.com, November 4, 2006. The Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka has denied that there are Pakistanis in the island who are advising Sri Lanka on military matters... Back to the top

Predictions of doom after Sri Lanka talks fail
Yahoo News - AFP, Sunday November 05, 2006 - 01:00. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger rebels are again accusing each other of gearing up for war after peace talks collapsed in Switzerland, with analysts saying an upsurge in violence is inevitable... Back to the top

Tamil rebel bomb blast kills 2 sailors in eastern Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Sat November 4, 2006 04:50 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed two sailors Saturday in a roadside bomb attack in Sri Lanka - 's volatile east, the military said, a day after the air force bombed three rebel naval bases deepening a crisis that threatens to return the country to all-out war... Back to the top

Sri Lankan troops, Tamil rebels exchange artillery fire, 1 soldier wounded
Associated Press, Sat November 4, 2006 01:39 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - infantry and Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged artillery and mortar fire overnight, a day after air force raids raids on rebel naval bases killed a separatist, a government official and a pro-rebel Web site said Saturday... Back to the top

Saudi Aid Sent to Displaced Muslims of Sri Lanka
arabnews.com, 4, November. RIYADH, 4 November 2006 — The Kingdom yesterday sent a planeload of relief supplies for displaced Muslims in Muttur, eastern Sri Lanka, who fled their homes due to terrorist attacks... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president may visit India
dnaindia.com, Saturday November 04, 2006 - 07:20 EDT. NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse is likely to visit India soon, sources said on Saturday... Back to the top

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