The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 265


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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...]
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
UN slams govt, LTTE over slow progress, 27 December, 2006. The United Nations slammed Sri Lanka’s warring parties for stalling tsunami reconstruction efforts yesterday as the island marked the second anniversary of the disaster. The outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blamed both Colombo and the Tamil Tiger rebels for the violence that has slowed rebuilding after the December 26, 2004 tsunami that killed an estimated 31,000 people in the island.

In a statement, he said the conflict between the government and rebels had made reconstruction even more difficult in the mainly Buddhist nation.

“No one could have prevented the tsunami’s wave of destruction. But together we can stem the tide of conflict, which threatens once again to engulf the people of Sri Lanka,” Annan said.

Peacebroker Norway tried to arrange a sharing of the huge foreign aid for reconstruction between the government and the Tigers, but the Supreme Court shot down the idea last year, saying it violated the constitution.

Since then, the two sides have escalated attacks against each other, with both blaming the other for the rising violence that has virtually halted all reconstruction work in the embattled northeast.

Rebel areas suffered the most damage in the tsunami. More than two-thirds of reconstruction is in the northern and eastern regions, mostly held by the Tigers.

In contrast, Indonesia, which suffered the biggest losses, was praised by Annan, who noted a spirit of solidarity in troubled Indonesia’s Aceh province following the disaster, which killed 220,000 people around Asia.

“Alas, in Sri Lanka, that spirit has not been sustained. Instead, the spiral of tension and open conflict, which had wrought so much misery and destruction over the years, has resumed,” Annan said.

“I am deeply disheartened by this turn of events. Let me remind all parties of their obligation to respect human rights... and particularly to protect and allow access to the civilian population.”

President Mahinda Rajapake, who last year admitted reconstruction was too slow, led the nation Tuesday in remembering tsunami victims.

He observed a moment’s silence at his office here and was due to unveil a statue of Buddha at the site where 1,000 passengers died when their train was wrecked by the tsunami. Sri Lanka also declared yesterday “national safety day”. The disaster management ministry set up after the tsunami said the date would be marked by ceremonies aimed at creating awareness on how to deal with disasters.

“We want to move on,” a presidential spokesman said. Official records and whistle blowers say corruption and violence is still blocking foreign aid for tsunami survivors.

Only 56% of the estimated 100,000 devastated homes have been rebuilt, officials say. Thousands still live in tents. Sri Lanka received $3.2bn in foreign aid pledges but how much of that was received is not known. The state auditor general in September 2005 noted that out of $1.16bn committed by donors, only 13.5% had been spent. Since then, there has been no fresh government audit. – AFP
Published: Wed Dec 27 16:17:25 EST 2006

Sri Lanka s Economic Growth Probably Slowed in Third Quarter, 27 dec. Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's economic growth probably slowed for a second quarter as interest rates at a four-year high and renewed violence in the island's civil war hit spending. The South Asian economy expanded 7 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, after a 7.6 percent gain in the three months to June 30, according to the median forecast of five economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The central bank is due to release the figures in Colombo tomorrow at noon. More...
Published: Wed Dec 27 19:08:25 EST 2006 Back to the top

3 rebels, policeman killed in Sri Lankan violence
Associated Press, Wed December 27, 2006 06:03 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government forces killed three suspected Tamil rebels in two separate incidents in Sri Lanka - 's volatile northeast on Wednesday, while a roadside bomb blamed on the rebels killed a policeman, the military said. Sri Lanka - 's two-decade civil war largely subsided in 2002 with a Norway brokered a cease-fire, but the truce has come under serious threat due to escalating violence.

The rebels say they are fighting to create a separate homeland for the country's 3.1 million ethnic minority Tamils, who face discrimination at the hands of the majority Sinhalese.

The government says it can give limited autonomy to Tamils, but only within a united Sri Lanka - .
Published: Wed Dec 27 06:26:41 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
7 dead in Sri Lanka violence  -
Military says roadside bomb triggered by rebels kills 1 in Sri Lanka  - Associated Press

Colombo, LTTE to blame, says Annan, 27 Dec 2006 - 21:10 EDT. COLOMBO: Amid a low-key second anniversary to mark the tsunami, the U... Back to the top

Pranab to visit Lanka, 27 dec. NEW DELHI DEC 27: External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to hold top-level talks on the progress of the peace process in Sri Lanka when he visits that country in the early part of next month... Back to the top

Buddhists, Muslims join Sri Lanka Catholics in remembering tsunami ..., 26 dec. GALLE, Sri Lanka (CNS) – Hundreds of Buddhist and Muslim tsunami victims braved incessant rain and joined church workers in Galle to mark the second anniversary of the tsunami and to dedicate a new Caritas-built village... Back to the top

Why the international interventionists failed in Sri Lanka, 27 Dec. 2006 - 10:50 EDT. The various phases of the history of peace-making in Sri Lanka have consolidated collectively into an entirely separate segment in the chain of bloody events dragged on by the on-again-off-again war waged by the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

New Zealand wins toss, bats in first
Associated Press, Wed December 27, 2006 16:57 EST . - - NAPIER, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand's stand-in captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and elected to bat in the first of five limited-overs cricket internationals against Sri Lanka - on Thursday... Back to the top

Skirmishes continues with heavy losses to the LTTE, 27 dec. The fresh round of violence unleashed by the LTTE terrorists since the Christmas Day is still continuing in the North and East, military sources said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels forced way onto Jordan ship-crew
Yahoo News - reuters, 26 Dec 2006 - 12:46 EDT. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels fired shots in the air and forced their way onto a Jordanian cargo ship that strayed into waters near a rebel stronghold in the north, the vessel's captain said on Tuesday... Back to the top

This Christmas in Sri Lanka, 27 dec. (27 Dec 2006 RV) Sri Lanka was in the thoughts and prayers of Pope Benedict this Christmas... Back to the top

Colombo takes action for separate administration in two provinces, 27 dec. COLOMBO: Over two months after the Sri Lanka Supreme Court declared temporary merger of north and east as `null and void', the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government has initiated action for separate administration in the two provinces... Back to the top

Lanka Christmas violence toll hits 9, ship crew released, 26 dec. At least nine people, including four Sri Lankan security force members, were killed in clashes with Tamil Tiger rebels over Christmas, the defence ministry said Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president salutes parents of soldiers, 26 dec. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said Saturday that parents who send their children to join the security forces in the battle against the Tamil Tiger rebels deserve special praise... Back to the top

Fighting in Sri Lanka leaves 8 dead, 13 wounded
Associated Press, Tue December 26, 2006 06:46 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a roadside bomb, killing three government soldiers in northern Jaffna, while troops killed five guerrillas elsewhere on the peninsula, Sri Lanka - 's military said Tuesday... Back to the top

Captain of Jordanian ship says Tamil rebels forced crew from ship, 3 sailors hurt
Associated Press, Tue December 26, 2006 04:38 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The captain of a Jordanian ship whose vessel was seized by Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels said Tuesday the guerrillas fired shots as they boarded and ordered the crew to leave the ship... Back to the top

Sioux Falls aid worker: Sri Lanka unprepared, 27 dec. Aid workers continue to toil away in Southeast Asia, two years after an earthquake and tsunami killed 230,000 people in the region... Back to the top

Sri Lanka erects first of 100 tsunami warning towers to mark disaster anniversary
Associated Press, Tue December 26, 2006 00:20 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - HIKKADUWA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - on Tuesday marked the anniversary of the 2004 tsunami that killed 35,000 people on the island by erecting the first of 100 coastal warning towers and offering Buddhist hymns for the dead... Back to the top

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