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VOL. 8, NO. 282


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'Cross-border terrorism has never stopped'
IBN, jan 14. Karan Thapar: Last week the Sri Lankan government announced that with effect from January 15 it intends to abrogate the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE. In your eyes is this a mistake or this given the spate of LTTE attacks in recent months both understandable and perhaps also inevitable?

Pranab Mukherjee: We shall have to see what impact it has. Of late clashes between Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE terrorists have increased. So far as terrorism is concerned India’s position is quite clear: zero tolerance. Therefore, any country that takes action against terrorists is free to do so within their legal system.

Karan Thapar: But you are not criticising Sri Lanka for abrogating the ceasefire accord?

Pranab Mukherjee: Because we are not party to it, please remember that. We were never a party to it; attempts were made to drag us to be a party to it but we scrupulously avoided it for obvious reasons. More... [Listen] Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 13 17:08:23 EST 2008

Sri Lanka President 'plants' APRC final draft
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, January 13, 2008, 11.55 p.m.. In an allegedly blatant display of despotism, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has virtually 'planted' a proposal as the solution to the ethnic conflict, which he wants the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) to submit to him in a "much better" format on January 23, as if it was the committee's own final draft, highly placed sources said, the Nation newspaper reported on Sunday

The incident had transpired on Wednesday when the APRC met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa had reportedly pulled out a document, which was given to the committee members, and told them that it included the guidelines on how he wanted the final draft from the APRC.

He had said that the document should be given to him in a much better format and, if necessary, with 'slight amendments' by the middle of the month as the original draft of the APRC.

The guidelines basically recommend that the 13th Amendment should be fully implemented. However, the majority of the APRC members had been furious with the way the President had dictated terms to them.

"The issue got even worse after Presidential aides virtually planted stories in newspapers to the effect that the APRC had recommended the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, which was factually incorrect," a committee member who spoke on conditions of anonymity told The Nation.

The member emphasised that the APRC had made no such recommendation. Angry committee members contacted the APRC Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitarana and requested him to convene a special meeting on Thursday after seeing the 'plant,' which appeared in both local and foreign media.

During the special meeting, most of the members, especially the minority party representatives and even representatives of the left parties, had expressed anger over Wednesday's turnaround, and had also requested the APRC Chairman to issue a statement clarifying the 'plant.'

"Why should the APRC make such a recommendation? The President has all the powers to implement it if he wants to. Why should he ask us to do something which is already there and only needs action from his side?" another committee member told The Nation.

When the APRC members had queried from the President as to what they were supposed to do with the draft which the committee had almost finalised, the President had allegedly said, "Keep deliberating over that, we will see about that later." ( Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 13 14:41:27 EST 2008 Back to the top

SLMM wraps up operations
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, January 13, 2008, 11.55 p.m.. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission will shut down its Jaffna office tomorrow, in a bid to wrap up its operations in the North and East Provinces, just ahead of D-Day.

The Mission was scheduled to close its office in Vavuniya yesterday and shut down the SLMM Kilinochchi office on Friday. The Mission's Spokesperson Pia Hansson told The Nation that the SLMM has already shut down all its offices in the Eastern Province, including in the Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts.

The Mission consists of 32 international monitors from Norway and Iceland. Just hours before they depart, the SLMM is set to address the media on Wednesday, the day the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) officially comes to an end.

The Mission will give an overview of its activities in the country ever since they arrived in Sri Lanka, soon after the CFA was signed in February 2002.

The SLMM is also expected to express its 'regret' over the turn of events resulting in the abrogation of the CFA, which was signed between then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The departing monitors, while warning of further escalation of hostilities between the two parties, will also make use of this week's news conference to appeal to the two warring parties to cease hostilities and look at renewing peace talks, sources said

Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 13 14:39:14 EST 2008 Back to the top

S Lankan spent 50 years on remand
bbc, jan 14. A man has been released from prison in Sri Lanka after being held on remand for 50 years without conviction... Back to the top

Vital aid to Sri Lanka could be denied: Japanese envoy
afp, jan 14. COLOMBO (AFP) - Japan's peace envoy opened talks in Sri Lanka on Sunday, hinting international donors may hold back much-needed foreign aid if the island's decades-long ethnic conflict escalates, officials said... Back to the top

Japanese peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka as fighting kills 27 Tamil rebels, 2 soldiers
Associated Press, Sun January 13, 2008 07:35 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi arrived in Sri Lanka - on Sunday to discuss the country's moribund peace process, a day after 29 combatants were killed in the latest violence since the government withdrew from a truce with the Tamil separatists... Back to the top

Japanese envoy meets Marxist leader in Sri Lanka
TOI, jan 14. COLOMBO: Japan's peace envoy, who arrived here on Sunday for crucial talks with the Sri Lankan government in the backdrop of its failed ceasefire agreement (CFA) with the LTTE, met the leader of the country's main Left party... Back to the top

Int l monitoring group in Sri Lanka to wind-up operations, 2008-01-13 23:56:44. COLOMBO, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the international truce monitoring group in Sri Lanka's faltering Norwegian backed peace process with the Tamil Tigers, said Sunday it will wind-up its operations on Wednesday in the coming week. Pia Hansson, the SLMM spokesman told reporters that all their district offices in Vavuniya district in the north, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts in the east have been already shut down with the government announcement to abrogate the ceasefire with effect from Jan... Back to the top

SL, jan 14. Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga feels more local umpires should stand in international matches... Back to the top

Rajapaksa says India-Sri Lanka accord can solve ethnic issue
ians, jan 13. Colombo, Jan 13 (IANS) Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the India-Sri Lanka accord of 1987 offers the best solution for the ethnic problem in his country... Back to the top

Colombo Should Accommodate India's Security Concerns: JVP Leader (Interview)
newpostindia, jan 13. India should avoid the mistakes of the past while Sri Lanka should accommodate New Delhi's security concerns in the spirit of 'true friendship' between the two neighbours, the leader of Sri Lanka's radical Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has said... Back to the top

Vital aid to Sri Lanka could be denied: Japanese envoy, Sunday, January 13, 2008, 12:11 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) — Japan's peace envoy opened talks in Sri Lanka on Sunday, hinting international donors may hold back much-needed foreign aid if the island's decades-long ethnic conflict escalates, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka tightens security for peace envoy visit: military
afp, jan 13. COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lanka's army stepped up security in cities across the island Sunday as a Japanese peace envoy arrived to assess Asia's longest-running civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lanka international airport food monopoly ends
lbo, jan 13. Jan 13, 2008 (LBO) - A second catering firm has set up shop in Sri Lanka's international airport in Katunayake, breaking a 30 year monopoly held by national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, officials said... Back to the top

India move up to 2nd in ICC Test rankings
pti, jan 13. Dubai (PTI): Successive losses to Australia notwithstanding, India have moved up to second in the latest ICC Test Championship table announced on Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka donors voice concern as war toll climbs, Jan 12. COLOMBO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's main foreign donors voiced concern on Saturday at the island's escalating civil war, calling on the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to respect human rights as the death toll steadily climbs... Back to the top

Fierce clashes kill 95 in Sri Lanka, January 12. At least 95 Tamil Tigers were killed in fierce fighting with Sri Lankan troops in the island's embattled north, the military said on Saturday, as clashes intensified after the government last week decided to pull out of a six-year-old ceasefire with the rebels... Back to the top

Global pressure mounts on Sri Lanka to return to cease-fire+
Associated Press, Sat January 12, 2008 10:22 EST . COLOMBO, Jan. 12 (Kyodo) _ An influential group of global powers including Japan on Saturday jointly expressed ''strong concerns'' about the Sri Lankan government's decision to withdraw from the cease-fire agreement with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Norway, Japan, the United States and the European Union, grouped together as the so-called ''Tokyo Co-Chairs,'' also said they support Norway's continuing role as ''facilitator'' of the peace process... Back to the top

Lanka peace more difficult with CFA scrapping: US, January 12, 2008. The US has cautioned that Sri Lanka's scrapping of the ceasefire agreement could make it "more difficult" to achieve a negotiated settlement to the Tamil ethnic conflict even as it pledged to stop the flow of arms and money to the LTTE... Back to the top

Sri Lanka has a right to take action against terrorists: Pranab, 12/1/2008. Sri Lanka is well within its right to take action against terrorists, but the government should also continue efforts to arrive at a solution to the problem of ethnic minorities, including the Tamils, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said... Back to the top

Fighting in Sri Lanka's volatile north kills 59 rebels, 1 soldier, military says
Associated Press, jan 12. BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Government soldiers and Tamil separatists fought a series of gunbattles in Sri Lanka's embattled north, leaving 59 insurgents and one soldier dead, the military said Saturday... Back to the top

Lanka says Prabhakaran may be injured
hindu, jan 12. Colombo (PTI): There are strong indications that elusive LTTE Supremo V Prabhakaran was injured, Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka has said claiming that the military had reduced the rebel strength to half... Back to the top

Will hand over LTTE chief to India: Rajapakse, January 12,. Days before the official ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE ends on Tuesday, January 15, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse has promised to hand over the LTTE chief to India if his forces catch him... Back to the top

LTTE Will Be Defeated By Year-end: Sri Lanka Army Chief, Sat, january 12, 2008, 1:45 EDT. Saturday 12th of January 2008

The Sri Lankan Army Commander, Lt... Back to the top

'Ruthless' LTTE inspired Al Qaeda in Iraq, says FBI
Hindustan Times, Sat, January 12, 2008, 1:49 EDT. PK Balachandran, Indo-Asian News Service

Colombo, January 12, 2008

The "ruthless tactics" of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers have inspired terrorist networks worldwide, including the Al Qaeda in Iraq, says the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)... Back to the top

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