The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 16, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 224

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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 Lankan president asks Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender weapons
Associated Press, Thu November 16, 2006 08:25 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's president on Thursday asked separatist Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender weapons and help end decades of bloodshed in the island nation, as a British envoy met with the insurgents to salvage a tenuous cease-fire.

In a speech to Parliament, President Mahinda Rajapakse asked the rebels to ``give up violence altogether, surrender arms ... and work toward promoting peace democracy and development in the interest of building a new Sri Lanka.''

Rajapakse, who is also the finance minister, was presenting his administration's annual budget for 2007, which saw a sharp 45 percent increase in defense spending.

``Increased violence compelled the government to channel more resources for security and humanitarian relief operations,'' Rajapakse said, justifying the increase.

There was no immediate reactions from the rebels, who have in the past rejected calls for giving up arms.

Also on Thursday, Paul Murphy a former British Cabinet minister closely associated with the Northern Ireland peace process drew parallels with that conflict and the separatist insurgency in Sri Lanka and said there is still hope that the separatist conflict could be resolved through dialogue.

``There are striking similarities between the Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka conflict,'' Murphy said according to a statement released after meeting the Tigers' political chief Suppiah Thamilselvan.

``Firstly and primarily is the loss of life _ 3,500 people out of 1.5 million died in Northern Ireland. In Sri Lanka, 65,000 people out of 20 million have died as a result of the conflict,'' the statement said.

Murphy, who arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday, was the Cabinet minister responsible for Northern Irish affairs between 2002 and 2005, and was closely involved in that region's peace process.

``Ten years ago, people didn't think that the Northern Ireland conflict could be resolved. But it has happened through political negotiations. There are similar hopes and prayers for a political solution in Sri Lanka,'' Murphy said.

But violence continued in Sri Lanka's northeast.

The military's spokesman, Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, accused the rebels of using civilians as human shields in the eastern Batticaloa district, which has come into sharp focus after military shelling killed at least 23 minority ethnic Tamil civilians last week, according to foreign cease-fire monitors.

Samarasinghe said that Tamil rebels fired artillery at military positions on Thursday, killing one soldier.

Separately, a roadside blast targeting a military car in northern Jaffna killed one civilian and injured six others including one soldier, the military and a hospital worker said.

Norwegian peace efforts that led to a cease-fire in 2002 between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels, formally called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Increasing violence has all but shattered the truce, with near-daily killings.

Both sides refuse to budge from their positions. The rebels want a separate homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority, while the government says regional autonomy is the maximum it will give.

More than 65,000 people were killed before the truce, and the Defense Ministry says an additional 3,200 were killed since last December. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 16 09:47:32 EST 2006

Related News Stories
·
Rajapakse invites LTTE for talks  - hindu.com

Published: Thu Nov 16 04:25:44 EST 2006 Back to the top
Military: Tamil rebels using civilians as human shields; soldier, civilian killed
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 23:43 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's military on Thursday accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of using civilians as human shields in eastern Batticaloa district, as artillery fire allegedly killed a soldier and civilian in the country's latest violence. ``The Sri Lankan armed forces have begun another large-scale offensive'' in eastern Sri Lanka - , the rebels said in an e-mail, accusing the military of occupying two schools and turning them into military camps.

Samarasinghe said the military was ``conducting defensive actions with the intention of neutralizing the LTTE artillery and mortar'' positions in the area, a hotbed of violence between the army and the separatist Tamil Tigers, formally called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

He accused the rebels of firing artillery at military positions, and said a soldier hit by artillery fragments has died.

Increasing violence has killed more than 3,200 people this year and all but shattered a 2002 cease-fire in Sri Lanka - , a tropical island nation off southern India.

The rebels demand a separate homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority, citing decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. The government says regional autonomy is the most it will give. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 16 04:25:44 EST 2006 Back to the top


Blast in northern Sri Lanka kills civilian, injure six
Associated Press, Thu November 16, 2006 04:48 EST . - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A roadside blast in northern Sri Lanka - on Thursday killed one civilian and injured six others, the military and a hospital worker said.

The blast targeted a car carrying government soldiers in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna, an official at the media Center for National Security said on condition of anonymity citing agency policy. He said a soldier sustained minor injuries.

A hospital worker in Jaffna said six injured persons were admitted to hospital and one succumbed to injuries. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 16 06:44:14 EST 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lanka rescue Indian fisherman
hindu.com, Thursday November 16, 2006 - 12:25 EDT. Colombo, Nov 16. (PTI): Sri Lanka today said, it has rescued an Indian fisherman from the clutches of Tamil Tigers and claimed it pointed to evidence that fishing boats from India were being captured by the rebels to smuggle weapons and explosives into the island nation... Back to the top

Sri Lankan starves to death in north,first on record
alertnet.org, Thursday November 16, 2006 - 06:50 EDT. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, Nov 16 (Reuters) - An odd-job man has starved to death in Sri Lanka's war-torn north, officials said on Thursday, the first such death since state records began in 1991... Back to the top

India to raise concerns of Tamils to Sri Lanka
dnaindia.com, Thursday November 16, 2006 - 06:50 EDT. CHENNAI: Expressing concern over the recent developments in Sri Lanka and the Tamils' plight there, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he will convey India's concern to the Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse in an appropriate fashion during the latter's visit to the country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka records higher trade deficit
hindu.com, November 16, 2006 . COLOMBO, Nov. 16 (Xinhua): Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened in the first nine months of 2006 to 2.6 billion US dollars, while the country's overall balance of payments had registered a surplus of 49 million dollars, the country's central bank said late Tuesday. The bank said that the cumulative exports in the first nine months of 2006 grew by 8.8 per cent to 5.0 billion dollars from the same period of 2005, while the imports grew by 17.4 per cent to 7.6 billion dollars... Back to the top

Clinton seeks political reconciliation in Sri Lanka
hindustantimes.com, Thursday November 16, 2006 - 06:50 EDT. Noting that escalating violence in Sri Lanka has hindered tsunami recovery efforts, former United States President Bill Clinton has sought political reconciliation in the island nation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Escalation of conflict leaves tens of thousands of IDPs ...
reliefweb.int, Thursday November 16, 2006 - 06:50 EDT. The protracted armed conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has escalated dramatically since the beginning of 2006, with an estimated 3,300 people having been killed and over 200,000 internally displaced, in addition to the hundreds of thousands uprooted earlier on in the conflict and by the tsunami of December 2004... Back to the top

British official to visit Tamil Tigers' stronghold
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 00:40 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A former British Cabinet minister closely associated with the Northern Ireland peace process will hold talks with Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels in the guerrillas' northern stronghold on Thursday, a British High Commission official and a rebel spokesman said... Back to the top

Government promises better budget for Sri Lanka; opposition ...
lankabusinessonline.com, 16 November 2006 06:20:18. The government says the upcoming budget would be growth oriented, with medium term objectives in view, while the opposition which is supporting the budget in parliament, warns that the poor would be hurt if fiscal weaknesses continue... Back to the top

Military: Tamil rebels using civilians as human shields; soldier, civilian killed
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 23:43 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's military on Thursday accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of using civilians as human shields in eastern Batticaloa district, as artillery fire allegedly killed a soldier and civilian in the country's latest violence... Back to the top

5 Tamil youths abducted in Sri Lanka ; bodies of 4 other Tamils found
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 03:26 EST . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Armed men abducted four Tamil teens working on tsunami reconstruction projects, police and a news report said Wednesday, after the U... Back to the top

Northern Sri Lanka shuts down as slain Tamil lawmaker cremated
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 08:53 EST . VINCENT JEYAN - Associated Press Writer - CHAVAKACHCHERI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Shops, offices and schools were closed in protest and mourning in northern Jaffna peninsula Wednesday as the remains of a pro-rebel member of Parliament were cremated at his hometown... Back to the top

Sri Lanka suffers short power outage, officials suspect heavy rains to blame
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 11:01 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Much of Sri Lanka - , including the capital, Colombo, was in darkness for about an hour Wednesday night after a power blackout which officials attributed to a technical failure at an electricity distribution point... Back to the top

India needn t play direct role in Lanka: Rajapaksa
hindustantimes.com, November 15, 2006. In an interesting comment, which comes in the wake of a vociferous demand in Tamil Nadu that India should intervene in Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that India need not play a direct role in the peace process in his country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka navy seeks help for sailors release
people.com.cn, Wed, November 15, 2006 - 12:20 EDT. Sri Lanka navy said Wednesday that it had asked for the intervention of human rights organizations to secure the release of four sailors held captive by the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka names cricket squads for New Zealand tour
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 07:33 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Batsman Chamara Silva was recalled to the Sri Lankan national cricket squad for the first time in more than four years Wednesday when selectors named the touring party for its upcoming tour of New Zealand... Back to the top

Russia, Sri Lanka to sign WTO protocol Nov 17
itar-tass.com, 15.11.2006. MOSCOW, November 15 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Sri Lanka will sign a protocol on completion of bilateral talks over Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, the press service of the Economic Development Ministry reported... Back to the top

Sri Lanka plans war budget
Yahoo News - AFP, Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 03:42 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka plans to announce a war budget Thursday in which it will hike defence spending next year by 45 percent amid a spiralling conflict with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, officials say... Back to the top

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