The Lanka Academic

VOL. 8, NO. 291


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Sri Lankan Conflict Won't Be Settled Militarily, Rajapaksa Says
bloomberg, Jan. 22. Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's 25-year conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam won't be settled militarily, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, as an all-party committee today presents proposals for a political solution.

``I am against a military solution,'' Rajapaksa said in a speech yesterday, according to the government's Web site. ``However, when it comes to terrorism, I think it is necessary to defeat it.''

The government's decision to end its 2002 cease-fire with the LTTE last week was taken because the Tamil Tigers showed they will continue to use terrorism to achieve their goal of creating a separate Tamil homeland, Rajapaksa said. Sri Lanka's All Party Representative Committee is scheduled to reveal its plan on devolution to the government today.

International donor nations, led by Japan, the U.S., the European Union and Norway, called on Rajapaksa's government to seek a political settlement after the cease-fire was formally terminated Jan. 16. Sri Lanka blamed the LTTE for an attack on a bus hours after the truce ended that killed 26 people and for the death of a government minister in a Jan. 8 landmine blast. More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 22 20:56:02 EST 2008

Sri Lanka's president defends scrapping cease-fire in civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels
Associated Press, Tue January 22, 2008 08:22 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka's president defended his internationally criticized decision to scrap a cease-fire deal with the Tamil Tiger rebels, saying Tuesday that his patience wore thin because the insurgents increased attacks on civilians. The government formally ended a Norway-brokered 2002 cease-fire on Jan. 16. Countries that donate aid to Sri Lanka or that backed the truce including Japan, Norway, United States and European Union members immediately raised concerns about human rights and civilian safety following the announcement.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he regretted the decision to end the truce.

Rajapaksa acknowledged that some countries have criticized the decision and said they did so out of a lack of understanding. He said the government has begun explaining its viewpoint to other countries.

He said his decision was hastened by a November bomb attack that killed nearly 20 civilians at a clothing store in a suburb of the capital, Colombo, and by a central Colombo roadside bombing that targeted a military bus and killed two schoolchildren earlier this month.

Intensified violence following the government's withdrawal from the truce has left more than 400 people dead in military clashes and airstrikes, as well as attacks on civilians even in the country's south, which has long been relatively peaceful.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the rebels are officially known, have fought the government since 1983 to create an independent homeland in the north and east for the country's minority ethnic Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades under a series of governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 22 11:05:40 EST 2008 Back to the top

Rajapaksa wants India to help resolve ethnic conflict
hindu, Jan. 23. COLOMBO: Emphasising that he would prefer India to any other country play a role in resolution of the ethnic conflict in the island nation, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday maintained that successive governments since the Indo-Lanka 1987 Accord could not implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on devolution of powers due to lack of national consensus.

In a 90-minute interaction with a group of journalists at the Presidential Palace, Mr. Rajapaksa was at pains to emphasise that his government did not believe in a military solution to the ethnic conflict and ultimately the “grievances” of the minorities in the island nation would have to be resolved through a political package.

At the same time, he maintained that terrorism would have to be defeated. More... Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 22 21:11:11 EST 2008 Back to the top

Project should not damage Ramar Sethu, says Jayalalithaa
hindu, Jan. 23. New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on January 28 a writ petition filed by Jayalalithaa, general secretary, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, for a direction to the Centre to implement the Sethusamudram project through an alternative route without damaging Ramar Sethu... Back to the top

Lanka mines sea borders to block Tamil Tigers
newindpress, Jan. 23. CHENNAI: The Sri Lankan Navy is believed to have laid mines along its maritime borders in an attempt to prevent LTTE cadre from fleeing to Tamil Nadu coast... Back to the top

LTTE calendars sold outside London temples: Report
pti, Jan. 23. COLOMBO: A calendar apparently depicting the logo of the banned rebel outfit LTTE and the map of a separate state of 'Tamil Eelam' was sold outside Hindu temples in London earlier this month... Back to the top

Sri Lanka signals shift in war on Tamil Tigers
afp, jan 22. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's President signalled a shift in the war against the Tamil Tigers, saying he did not want to push his troops into rebel-held territory to defeat the guerrillas... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Needs Credible Power-Sharing Accord, UK, India Say, Jan. 22. Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. and India called on Sri Lanka's government to produce a ``credible'' accord on devolving power to regions as the way to settle the issue of Tamil separatism in the South Asian island nation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gov't not pursuing military solution to conflict, January 22, 2008, 12:00 EDT. COLOMBO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse said Tuesday that his government was not pursuing a military effort to end the island's armed conflict despite his decision to unilaterally abrogate the truce agreement.

"I do not believe in a military solution... Back to the top

Military: 31 rebels, 4 soldiers, 3 policemen killed as fighting rages in Sri Lanka 's north
Associated Press, Tue January 22, 2008 01:57 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan officials said Tuesday that 16 rebels and two soldiers were killed in clashes raging across the country's north, bringing the death toll in a day of fierce fighting to 38... Back to the top

Sri Lanka pours forces into south after rebel attacks, 22 jan. COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lanka Tuesday poured thousands more security forces into the Sinhalese-dominated south on Tuesday after a string of Tamil rebel attacks left 37 civilians and three police dead, officials said... Back to the top

Military: Tamil Tiger rebel attack kills 3 policemen in southern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Mon January 21, 2008 11:33 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a police post in southern Sri Lanka on Monday, killing three policemen, the military said... Back to the top

No end to the Lanka violence in sight - Opinion
khaleej Times, jan 22. WITH the ceasefire agreement no more in place, the war is spreading to areas outside the north as last week’s events in the southern district of Moneragala show... Back to the top

At least 48 killed in fresh fighting: Sri Lanka military, 21 jan. COLOMBO (AFP) — Heavy fighting raged across Sri Lanka's north with the military destroying rebel bunkers and killing at least 46 guerrillas, the defence ministry said Monday... Back to the top

India, UK decide to strike at terror funding
IE, jan 22. NEW DELHI, JANUARY 21: India and Britain on Monday agreed to establish a “new, broad and high-level bilateral dialogue on terror financing”... Back to the top

Sri Lanka favourite place for Indian BPO majors
toi, Jan. 22. NEW DELHI: As Indian ITes players spread their wings and open global centres, Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a favourite destination for many vendors... Back to the top

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