The Lanka Academic

 
DECEMBER 8, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 246

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
No progress on resumption of peace talks after Norwegian envoy's visit to Tamil Tigers
Associated Press, Fri December 8, 2006 07:47 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Norwegian peace envoy met Friday with Tamil Tiger rebel leaders to discuss ways to resuscitate the island's moribund peace process, but no progress was made, a rebel official said.

Jon Hanssen-Bauer, who arrived in Sri Lanka - last week, has already met with government officials and discussed ways to restart the stalled peace talks between the government and Tigers. He arrived in the rebels' northern stronghold of Kilinochchi on Friday.

``We clearly stated our positions on various issues,'' rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan told The Associated Press. ``The only positive outcome was that there was a talk.''

The rebels continued to demand a permanent reopening of a vital transportation route that connects the Tamil-dominated northern Jaffna peninsula with the mainland before peace negotiations resume.

The A-9 highway was closed by the military in August after the Tigers attacked a military checkpoint and killed several soldiers. The military has said the move was necessary to stop rebels from transporting weapons and fighters into government-held areas.

However, nearly 500,000 Tamil civilians have been cut off from vital supplies since the highway's closure.

Last month, the government said it was ready to reopen the highway for a one-time supply run, but the rebels balked at the offer, calling it politically motivated.

``There is no change in our stand that the government must immediately reopen A-9 highway permanently,'' Ilanthirayan said.

Sri Lankan officials could not be reached for comment late Friday.

The Tiger rebels have been fighting for more than 20 years for a separate homeland for the island nation's 3.1 million-strong ethnic Tamil minority, citing decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

The government says it is willing to give autonomy to areas where Tamils are in the majority, but the rebels want sweeping changes that the government says will infringe on the country's sovereignty.

A sharp spike in violence this year has killed at least 3,500 fighters and civilians, leaving a 2002 cease-fire in tatters and the country in an undeclared civil war.

Discuss this story
Published: Fri Dec 8 08:48:59 EST 2006


Tamil rebels kill 3 civilians, injure 10 students, 1 teacher: Sri Lanka military
Associated Press, Thu December 7, 2006 04:32 EST . DILIP GANGULY

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A barrage of artillery the military said was fired by separatist Tamil Tigers hit a school and other civilian areas in northeast Sri Lanka on Thursday, killing three people and wounding 10 students and a teacher, officials said.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said Tamil Tigers fired artillery shells into government-held Kallaru _ on the border of Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts in the northeast _ hitting the school and wounding 10 mostly Muslim and Sinhalese students and one teacher.

Hours later, another shell hit the area, killing three civilians, he said, without elaborating.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan denied the Tigers had fired any artillery in the region, where the military has several small bases and both the government and the rebels hold neighboring pockets of territory.

The violence comes as the government reinvoked a strict counter-terrorism law, a move one Tamil lawmaker warned could strip all ethnic Tamils of their human rights.

``From now on there is no point of talking about human rights in Sri Lanka,'' said Nallathamby Sri Kantha, a Tamil member of Parliament.

The government's decision to reinvoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act followed a suspected suicide bombing by Tamil rebels that targeted the defense secretary last week. A renewal in fighting between Tamil Tigers and the government has killed more than 3,500 people this year.

The anti-terrorism law gives state security forces sweeping powers to detain anyone without a warrant for six months, raid any home and even demolish properties considered a threat to national security.

``Even a minor offense can be treated as an act of terrorism,'' Kantha said.

The new regulations prohibit all symbols relating to terrorism, and any contact with terrorist groups. Violators can be imprisoned for up to 20 years.

``These are very vague terms and our fear is that the state security will make use of them to suppress the Tamil voice,'' Kantha said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam _ who say they are fighting on behalf of the country's 3.1 million ethnic Tamil minority _ are banned in the United States, Britain, Canada, the EU and India.

The Cabinet decided not to ban the Tigers during a meeting Wednesday after rebel supporters warned it would effectively scupper a peace process already derailed by the spike in violence.

TamilNet, a pro-rebel Web site, criticized the regulations.

``The Cabinet decision, viewed as a major breach of the CFA (cease-fire agreement), gives excessive powers of arrest and detention to the Sri Lankan armed forces,'' the Web site said, referring to a 2002 truce left in tatters by this year's violence.

``Thousands of Tamil men, women and children were indiscriminately arrested, tortured and detained for indefinite periods under the PTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) until Colombo agreed to temporarily suspend the application of the act under the provisions of the CFA,'' TamilNet said.

The rebels have fought the government since 1983 to carve out a separate state for ethnic Tamils, citing discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. More than 65,000 people were killed before the cease-fire. Discuss this story
Published: Thu Dec 7 07:42:30 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka says rebels shell school  - scotsman.com

Concern over situation in Sri Lanka
hindu.com, Friday, Dec 08, 2006. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday said that the Assembly expressed concern over aggravation of the situation in Sri Lanka causing insecurity to lives and properties of the Tamils. The House also appealed to the Centre to make appropriate efforts to end the agony of the island Tamils and enable them to acquire all rights and live in peace he added.

Responding to issues raised by members including leader of the Pattali Makkal Katchi, G.K. Mani, Congress Legislature Party leader D. Sudarssanam and leader of the Communist Party of India V. Sivapunniam regarding the plight of the island Tamils, the Chief Minister said his remarks could be taken as a resolution of the House. More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri Dec 8 15:47:05 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Ready to sacrifice power for Eelam: MK  - chennaionline.com

In the rice paddies of Sri Lanka, a new enemy: salt
Guardian, Dec 9 2006 . Under a dark sky on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, his bare feet buried in sticky mud, SD Ranjith thwacked a trowel into his sodden paddy field and lamented the passing of better times... Back to the top

TN Police Looking For LTTE Agents
army.lk, 2006-12-06. FOLLOWING THE UNEARTHING of a major arms manufacturing hub in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Police are on the lookout for agents involved in smuggling gelex boosters for the LTTE, says a report in the ‘Indian Express’ newspaper... Back to the top

Explosion at water line affects potable water supply to parts of Sri Lankan capital
IHT, December 7. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Parts of the Sri Lankan capital were without potable tap water Thursday after an explosion at a supply line, the government said... Back to the top

Gas leak breaks out at Sri Lanka s top confectionary giant, Ceylon ...
lankabusinessonline.com, Fri, 8 December 2006 . A gas leak has broken out at confectionary giant Ceylon Biscuits Ltd's plant in the suburbs of Colombo, early Friday morning, police said... Back to the top

Amnesty to feature ‘killing match’ in Lanka
dailymirror.lk, December 07, 2006. The cover story of the winter 2006 Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) magazine is to feature what it terms as a ‘killing match’ in Sri Lanka - a reference given to the intense conflict between Government troops and the LTTE... Back to the top

Democracy hurting battle against terrorism: Lanka
hindustantimes.com, December 7, 2006. Asking his country's population of millions to choose between the "common man" and "terrorists", Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said fighting terrorism has become difficult because of democracy, which can be abused as a "deadly joke... Back to the top

Sri Lanka mount fierce comeback
co.nz, Dec 8, 2006 . Dangerous spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas have clawed Sri Lanka back into contention on day two of the first test at Jade Stadium... Back to the top

School shelled as 10 dead in fresh violence in Sri Lanka
Yahoo, Dec 7, 9:07 AM ET. COLOMBO (AFP) - At least eight civilians and two soldiers were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka hours after the government announced tough anti-terror laws to battle Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said... Back to the top

Tamil lawmaker says anti-terrorism law will strip ethnic minority group of human rights
Associated Press, Thu December 7, 2006 03:13 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Tamil lawmaker said Thursday a decision by the Sri Lankan government to enforce a tough anti-terrorism law will strip the ethnic minority group of human rights... Back to the top

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