The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 30, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 238

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
Norwegian peace envoy begins talks with Sri Lankan officials on moribund peace process
Associated Press, Thu November 30, 2006 07:56 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A Norwegian peace envoy on Thursday began talks with Sri Lankan government representatives on ways to save the island's moribund peace process with Tamil Tiger guerrillas, an official said.

Jon Hanssen-Bauer, who arrived earlier Thursday, met with the government's chief peace negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva, a close aide of the Sri Lankan official said.

He said de Silva discussed ways to restart the stalled peace talks with the rebels.

A round of talks held in Switzerland late last month failed when the rebels insisted that a key highway linking the Tamil-majority Jaffna peninsula with the rest of the country be reopened, a request the government flatly rejected.

Jaffna residents face acute shortages of food and medicine because of the road's closure since August because of heavy fighting.

The rebels want the road reopened immediately to send essentials, while the government says it can send the goods by sea or through an alternate land route. The government maintains the rebels could use the highway to transport fighters and weapons and extort money from motorists.

Some 500,000 people are trapped in the Jaffna peninsula while another 36,000 people are isolated in Vaharai village in eastern Batticaloa district, because access roads are closed.

Hanssen-Bauer's visit comes amid escalating violence between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that has imperiled a 2002 cease-fire and threatened to return the country to all-out war.

The Tiger's top leader earlier this week called the Oslo-brokered cease-fire ``defunct,'' but the rebels later clarified they would abide by the truce.

Tamil Tiger spokesman, Rasiah Ilanthirayan, said Hanssen-Bauer was scheduled to meet with the rebel leadership on Dec. 4 and that political wing chief, Suppiah Thamilselvan, would explain the rebels' aims.

Ilanthirayan, meanwhile, accused Sri Lanka's navy of attacking a unit from the rebels' sea wing off the northwest coast, wounding one fighter. ``We retaliated to the navy attack causing damages to their boats,'' he said.

The navy, however, denied the attack occurred, and claimed the Tigers shot dead a local fishermen at sea and wounded another.

``They fled the scene when navy boats approached and no gunbattle took place,'' said a navy official on condition of anonymity, as he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Also on Thursday, army seized two explosives-laden jackets from an abandoned house in northern Jaffna peninsula.

Spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said besides the jackets, the military also found two rocket propelled grenades and two T-56 automatic weapons and ammunition during the search late Wednesday.

``We got a tip-off and found the explosives which were to be used against us,'' Samarasinghe said.

Suicide attacks are the hallmark of the rebels, who are fighting the Sri Lankan government to create a separate homeland for the country's 3.1 million ethnic Tamil minority.

Sri Lanka's open civil war stopped after the 2002 truce, but since a spike in violence this year the agreement now only exists on paper, with more than 3,500 fighters and civilians killed in assassinations, mine blasts, suicide attacks, artillery exchanges, sea battles and airstrikes, according to government figures.

The government says it is willing to give autonomy to areas where Tamils are in the majority, but rebels insist on sweeping changes that the government says will infringe on the country's sovereignty. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 30 11:16:25 EST 2006


Norwegian peace envoy arrives, scheduled to meet government, Tamil leaders
Associated Press, Thu November 30, 2006 00:30 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A Norwegian peace envoy arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday for talks with government and rebel officials that would include the island's moribund peace process, a spokesman for the Norwegian embassy said.

Jon Hanssen-Bauer ``is here on a routine visit,'' embassy spokesman, Erik Nurnberg, said. ``Naturally, he will be discussing all the issues.''

Hanssen-Bauer's visit comes amid escalating violence between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that has imperiled a 2002 cease-fire and threatened to return the country to all-out war.

The Tiger's top leader earlier this week called the Oslo-brokered cease-fire ``defunct,'' but the rebels later clarified they would abide by the truce.

Hanssen-Bauer would travel to the rebels' northern stronghold early next week, Nurnberg said.

Tiger spokesman, Rasiah Ilanthirayan, said Hanssen-Bauer was scheduled to meet with the rebel leadership on Dec. 4 and that political wing chief, Suppiah Thamilselvan, would explain the rebels' aims.

Separately, the Sri Lankan military said Thursday they seized two explosive-laden jackets from an abandoned house in northern Jaffna peninsula.

Spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said besides the jackets, the military also found two rocket propelled grenades and two T-56 automatic weapons and ammunition during the search late Wednesday.

``We got a tip-off and found the explosives which were to be used against us,'' Samarasinghe said, blaming Tamil Tiger rebels for hiding the explosives.

Suicide attacks are the hallmark of the rebels, who are fighting the Sri Lankan government to create a separate homeland for the country's 3.1 million ethnic Tamil minority.

Sri Lanka's open civil war stopped after the 2002 truce, but since a spike in violence this year the agreement now only exists on paper, with more than 3,500 fighters and civilians killed in assassinations, mine blasts, suicide attacks, artillery exchanges, sea battles and air strikes, according to government figures.

The government says it is willing to give autonomy to areas where Tamils are in the majority, but rebels insist on sweeping changes that the government says will infringe on the country's sovereignty. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 30 04:03:10 EST 2006 Back to the top


Cambodian leader pledges to prevent flow of arms to Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu November 30, 2006 03:19 EST . - - PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) The Cambodian government will not allow any weapons to be smuggled out of the country to Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka - , an official said Thursday. ``We would like the Sri Lankan government to feel confident that Cambodia is firmly preventing any weapons from flowing to Sri Lanka - ,'' Hun Sen told Wickramanayake, according to Khieu Kanharith.

Wickramanayake arrived Wednesday for a four-day visit to Cambodia, the first visit by a Sri Lankan prime minister in some 40 years.

Cambodia has been living in peace since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge movement in 1999. But the country is still awash with weapons left over from three decades of civil war.

During their meeting, Hun Sen told Wickramanayake that when Cambodia was still grappling with its civil war, weapons had been smuggled out of the country to Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tigers and also to rebels in the Philippines, Khieu Kanharith said.

The weapons were likely sold by Cambodian factions fighting the central government in Phnom Penh from the late 1970s, he said.

Hun Sen offered his support to the Sri Lankan government's efforts to finding a peaceful solution with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Cambodian leader also condemned the rebel group for pursuing violence in its bid to create an independent homeland. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Nov 30 06:58:15 EST 2006 Back to the top


Freelance Tamil journalist arrested
CPJ, December 1. New York, November 30, 2006—Sri Lankan authorities should either charge or release a freelance Tamil journalist detained for nearly a week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today... Back to the top

France warns nationals against Sri Lanka visits
alertnet.org, Thu Nov 30 20:20:25 2006. PARIS, Nov 30 (Reuters) - France warned its nationals against making non-essential visits to Sri Lanka on Thursday because of an increase in violence and suicide attacks... Back to the top

ULFA linked to LTTE: Assam police
ndtv.com, November 30, 2006 . The banned ULFA has established links with the LTTE but there is no evidence that it is receiving arms supplies from the Sri Lankan rebel group, a top Assam Police official has said... Back to the top

AS-GEN--Sri Lanka-Train Accident
Associated Press, Thu November 30, 2006 04:26 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Three policemen and two army soldiers were killed Thursday when the vehicle they were traveling in was crushed by a train at a crossing, police said... Back to the top

S.Lanka assures India on power sharing with Tamils
Reuters, November 30. NEW DELHI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's president assured giant neighbour India on Wednesday that he was pushing for a power-sharing deal with the Tamil Tigers to help bring peace to the island despite signs of an escalating civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lankan premier arrives in Cambodia on official visit+
Associated Press, Wed November 29, 2006 08:47 EST . - - Government sources said a key topic in talks with Hun Sen will be the prevention of possible smuggling of weapons to Sri Lanka - 's Tamil rebels... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers isolated in bid for own state in Sri Lanka
afp, November 29. COLOMBO (AFP) - A rebel bid for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka has run into outright international rejection with the United States leading calls for new peace talks and an end to bloodshed... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers not withdrawing from cease-fire; Sri Lanka calls for peace talks
Associated Press, Wed November 29, 2006 00:57 EST . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have not quit a truce despite calling it ``defunct,'' European cease-fire monitors said Wednesday, as the government called for renewed peace talks... Back to the top

Food convoys return from Sri Lanka s rebel held area
people.com.cn, November 30, 2006. Some 38 lorries of a convoy of 119 lorries carrying food to the civilians trapped in a Tamil Tiger rebel held area in Sri Lanka's east returned to the government territory as the military charged the rebels of using truce to build bunkers and replenish cadres... Back to the top

India rebuffs LTTE statement, wants negotiated settlement
hindu.com, November 29. New Delhi, Nov 29. (PTI): Virtually rebuffing LTTE for declaring intentions to resume all-out armed campaign, India today emphasised the need for finding a negotiated settlement to Sri Lanka's problems... Back to the top

Norway denies giving television to Sri Lankan rebel leader
Associated Press, Wed November 29, 2006 05:52 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Peace-broker Norway on Wednesday denied a report that it gave a six-foot (1.8 meter) television to Sri Lanka's reclusive rebel leader, who is said to like watching Hollywood movies and copy methods for attacks and assassinations... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: humanitarian convoy reaches Vakarai
alertnet.org, 29 Nov 2006 . Colombo / Geneva (ICRC) – A convoy of 35 trucks, organised by the Department of Essential Services in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations reached the town of Vakarai, Batticaloa district of eastern Sri Lanka, in the early afternoon local time today The convoy brought 250 MT of food, water and other items such as tents, hygienic kits and medicines for distribution to more than 30,000 displaced people fleeing the fighting in the north of the district... Back to the top

Terrifying 'heroes' - Editorial
Washington Times, November 29. In his annual "Heroes' Day" statement, the leader of the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakaran, attempts to shift blame for the conflict that is tearing apart the small South Asian country away from his violent rebel group and onto the Sri Lankan government... Back to the top

PM seeks end to rights abuses in Lanka
indiatimes.com, 29 Nov, 2006 . NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday urged Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to take steps to end rights abuses in the island and politically resolve the dragging ethnic conflict... Back to the top

US condemns LTTE for fuelling hostility
indiatimes.com, 29 Nov. WASHINGTON: The United States has condemned Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) for fuelling violence and hostility, while urging them and the Colombo government to honour their 2002 ceasefire agreement... Back to the top

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