The Lanka Academic

 
DECEMBER 13, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 251

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 appeals to ICRC, foreign monitors to help create safe haven for civilians
Associated Press, Wed December 13, 2006 02:51 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The government asked the International Committee of the Red Cross and foreign cease-fire monitors Wednesday to seek help from the Tamil rebels to create a safe haven for about 35,000 civilians caught in violence in Sri Lanka - 's east. ``We have made the proposal and we are waiting for a response,'' Palitha Kohona, the chief of Sri Lanka - 's Peace Secretariat, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The ICRC said it is in constant touch with the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to find ways to protect civilians.

``Discussions are going on, but the issue is the responsibility of the government and the LTTE. We can only help but we cannot impose our decision,'' ICRC spokesman Davide Vignati said Wednesday

Kohona said the rebels have been using displaced civilians as human shields.

The LTTE hit back, accusing the government of blocking a road and making it difficult for displaced people to reach safer places.

``In spite of these random shellings that have so far taken 89 refugee lives, the assault has not been condemned,'' the rebels said in a statement e-mailed to news organizations based in the capital, Colombo.

The government closed the A-15 route connecting the Vaharai area with the rest of the district in mid-September to prevent rebels moving their fighters and weapons for new attacks.

``Accusations are being made that the LTTE is not allowing people to leave. At least the A-15 route could be opened and (only) then accusations could be made that the LTTE is preventing the people from leaving,'' the rebels said in their statement.

Relations have been deteriorating quickly between the rebels and the government, who signed a 2002 cease-fire to halt open war after two decades of fighting. But the truce is now in tatters and almost daily killing has brought fear of open war.

The United Nations issued a statement Tuesday calling for urgent action to help about 35,000 civilians, mostly Tamils, trapped in Batticaloa as the army and the rebels fight over territory.

On Monday, Sri Lanka - 's military said a daylong artillery and mortar battle in the area killed 24 soldiers and 40 rebels.

``The United Nations is deeply concerned about indiscriminate shelling of civilian residential areas, leading to death, injuries and evacuation of communities out of danger zones,'' it said.

``The critical need of the moment is the protection of these desperate civilians,'' the U.N. said.
Published: Wed Dec 13 05:08:15 EST 2006


Blow to Lanka power devolution
Yahoo, 13 Dec 2006 - 23:00 EDT. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna's decision to quit the All Party Conference (APC) in protest against the recommendations of the majority of the members of the Experts Committee on devolution, has scuttled President Mahinda Rajapaksa's efforts to find a national consensus on a political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Rocking the peace boat, which is already in stormy waters with a war going on in the East of the island, the JVP quit the APC on Tuesday, saying that it did not want to be part of a group which seemed poised to take a decision hostile to the country. The party was alluding to the radical devolution proposals made by 11 of the 17 members of the Experts Committee, which the APC would be debating soon. The JVP's action puts Rajapaksa in a tight spot for two reasons: one is that it hampers his efforts to find a national consensus, and the other is that it puts his government itself in danger, because it depends on the JVP's MPs to get the required majority in parliament. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 23:09:18 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka : Tamil Crisis forgotten behind Cricket Feaver - ABC ...
tamilbrisbane.com, 13 Dec 2006 - 23:00 EDT. With violence once again erupting in Sri Lanka, Rear Vision traces the historical roots of the conflict. Australian ABC's Annabelle Quince speaks with Jonathan Spencer, Dr. Jayadeva Uyangoda & Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu . Transcript Annabelle Quince: Welcome to Rear Vision; I'm Annabelle Quince. This week, a look at the conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhalese on the island of Sri Lanka. Mark Colvin: Officially, Sri Lanka remains in a state of cease-fire, agreed to by both sides four years ago, but neither the government nor the rebels seem to be doing much to prevent a return to all-out war. Reporter: Thousands of government troops have been attempting to re-take control ever since. The worst violence centred on the town on Muttoor, where thousand of residents were caught in the crossfire. Jehan Pereira: These murders took place at a time when the government and the LCD were fighting over the town of Muttoor. Both sides are blaming each other for the killing. Annabelle Quince: For 23 years the island of Sri Lanka has been ripped apart by civil war; the primary protagonists, the majority Sinhalese, about 74% of the population, and the minority Tamils, about 18% of the population. The Tamils want a separate state or at the very least their own autonomous region. The Sinhalese on the other hand, want to maintain the unity of Sri Lanka. Jonathan Spencer is Professor of the Anthropology of South Asia at the University of Edinburgh. Jonathan Spencer: The island is a relatively small one; it's roughly the size of Scotland, for example. It's much more densely populated; it's probably 18-million or 19-million people at the moment. The population's divided in a number of different ways. The one that matters most in terms of the current conflict is the division by language between people who speak Tamil, a South Indian language, and people who speak Sinhala, which has its origins in the language funnily, that comes fro More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 23:00:52 EST 2006 Back to the top

Sri Lanka eastern town under curfew after road mishap
people.com.cn, 13 december. Sri Lanka's eastern provincial town of Sammanturai, 280 km from the capital Colombo, was placed under a police curfew following civil unrest caused by a motor accident, police said Wednsday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka vows to flush out LTTE
thenews.com.pk, wednesday, 13th December. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s army chief vowed to drive out Tiger guerrillas from the island’s restive east as dozens of civilians fled their shelters on Wednesday amid a lull in shelling... Back to the top

Is LTTE getting arms from India?
dnaindia.com, Wednesday, 13th December. CHENNAI: As the war in Sri Lanka intensifies, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may be getting a little help from across the Palk Straits, especially from Tamil Nadu, intelligence agencies believe... Back to the top

LTTE banned the sale of Thina Murasu in Paris
defence.lk, 12/11/2006. he sale of "Thina Murasu," a most popular Tamil weekly paper has been banned in Paris by Parithi, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in France... Back to the top

LTTE TV/Radio stations fleeing France
nmatnet.com, Wednesday, December 13th. NMAT. December 12, 2006. The Tamil Tiger leadership in France is presently taking frantic moves to shift the Tamil Television Network (TTN), the TV station out of Paris to Geneva in Switzerland... Back to the top

UN wants assurance of civilians protection in Lanka
irna.ir, Wednesday, 13th December. The UN resident co-coordinator in Sri Lanka has urged the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to ensure protection of civilians in the conflict zones in the eastern region of the island... Back to the top

UN calls on Sri Lanka to respect law
dailymirror.lk, Wednesday, 13th December. Amidst reports of increasing clashes in the north and east of Sri Lanka leading to many casualties and the movement of internally displaced persons, the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict yesterday called for respect for humanitarian law... Back to the top

India must play decisive role in Lankan crisis
hindu.com, Wednesday, 13th December. India has to play a more decisive role for a successful negotiated settlement to the crisis in Sri Lanka, a Tamil MP from the island nation said yesterday... Back to the top

Roots of Conflict in Sri Lanka
zmag.org, December 12, 2006. In 2006, Sri Lanka was witness to the worst violence between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam since a ceasefire was signed between the two groups in 2002... Back to the top

Family of drowning victim facing deportation; fath
Associated Press, Tue December 12, 2006 19:17 EST . TORONTO (AP) _ A Sri Lankan family grieving the death of an 11-year-old son who drowned attempting to save a friend also faces the threat of deportation amid allegations that the patriarch is a ``top international leader'' of the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

Sri Lanka power-sharing moves hit major snag
zeenews.com, 12 Dec 2006 - 03:00 EDT. Colombo, Dec 13: Sri Lanka's moves to share power with minority Tamils and end decades of ethnic bloodshed hit a major snag yesterday after a panel formed to devise a plan came up with four different drafts... Back to the top

Deadly shelling in Sri Lanka violates human rights, says UN
businessday.co.za, 12 Dec 2006 - 03:00 EDT. COLOMBO — Deadly artillery shelling of civilians by both Sri Lanka’s military and the Tamil Tiger rebels was violating human rights, a deeply concerned United Nations (UN) said yesterday, appealing to both sides to stop... Back to the top

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