The Lanka Academic

MAY 22, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 47


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Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka 's police says curfew in Muslim town after retaliatory killings
Associated Press, Thu May 22, 2008 06:28 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's police say a curfew has been imposed on a predominantly Muslim town in the east after four people died in retaliatory killings.

Police spokesman N.K. Ilangakoon says the violence was sparked Thursday after two men from a pro-government ethnic Tamil militia were shot to death in eastern Kattankudy town.

Later, some men believed to be from the militia stormed the town and killed two Muslims and wounded four others.
Published: Thu May 22 08:14:18 EDT 2008

Rights group urges Sri Lanka to reassess policies after losing bid for UN Human Rights Council
Associated Press, Thu May 22, 2008 02:26 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An international rights group Thursday urged Sri Lanka - 's government to reassess its human rights policies after the war-torn island nation lost its re-election bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka - , which has been strongly criticized for its human rights record, lost its bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday, but four other countries with poor rights records won seats Pakistan, Bahrain, Gabon and Zambia.

The election for 15 seats on the 47-member council, whose performance has also come under attack, was the subject of intense lobbying.

Candidates for the Geneva-based council are chosen by regional groups, with the entire 192-member General Assembly voting by secret ballot.

Voting is by region and in Wednesday's election Africa and Latin America had uncontested slates while other regions including Asia had contested slates.

In the contest for four council seats from the Asian region, Japan, Bahrain, South Korea and Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka - and East Timor.

In its statement Human Rights Watch urged the Sri Lankan government to reassess its human rights policies and practices, including its rejection of an international human rights monitoring mission.

``President Mahinda Rajapaksa hopefully will get the General Assembly's message and start taking real action to end human rights abuses in Sri Lanka - ,'' Brad Adams, the group's Asia director said in the statement.

Sri Lanka - has rejected growing pressure from international rights groups to establish a U.N. mission to monitor abuses in the country, saying it would infringe on its sovereignty.

Instead, president Rajapaksa established several advisory panels in an attempt to allay international concerns over killings, abductions and forcible disappearances plaguing the country.

One international advisory panel resigned last month, saying Sri Lanka - 's government lacked the will to properly investigate alleged human rights abuses committed during a surge in fighting between the military and Tamil rebels in the island's north.

The International Independent Group of Eminent Persons, or IIGEP, was created by Rajapaksa two years ago with experts from India, Japan, the United States and other countries to oversee a government commission investigating 16 human rights cases.

They included the 2006 execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers and the 2005 assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, allegedly by the rebels.

When they resigned the panel said their ``critiques and suggestions'' had been ``largely disregarded.''

Violence has spiked since the government withdrew from a long-ignored cease-fire with Tamil rebels in January.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for minority ethnic Tamils, who have been marginalized for decades by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Published: Thu May 22 07:06:52 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka s east hit by political violence, may 23. COLOMBO (AFP) A curfew was imposed in part of eastern Sri Lanka Thursday following an outbreak of deadly political violence involving Tamil Tiger defectors now allied to the government. Two members of the Tamil People's Liberation Tigers (TMVP) -- a party made up of Tamil rebels who switched sides -- were gunned down near the lagoon town of Batticaloa, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. This sparked revenge killings against a local Muslim community -- which during provincial elections in the area earlier this month had largely allied itself with the island's main opposition parties. More...
Published: Thu May 22 21:34:21 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Fearing shortage, Sri Lanka imports rice from Myanmar, May 22nd, 2008 . Colombo, May 22 (IANS) Building up a buffer stock to prevent a looming rice crisis, Sri Lanka is importing 7,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar and is hopeful 43,000 tonnes of rice would also be brought from that country in the near future... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military: Fighting in north kills 20 rebels, 2 soldiers
Associated Press, Thu May 22, 2008 04:45 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Scattered battles across Sri Lanka - 's volatile northern region killed 20 ethnic Tamil rebels and two government soldiers, the military said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka defeated for seat on UN Human Rights Council; France and Britain defeat Spain
Associated Press, Wed May 21, 2008 12:56 EDT . - - UNITED NATIONS (AP) Sri Lanka - , criticized for its human rights record, has lost its bid for a seat on the U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka slams door on rights monitors after UN blow, May 22, 2008. COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka's hawkish government on Thursday angrily ruled out allowing foreign monitoring of the island's human rights situation after being denied a seat on the UN Human Rights Council... Back to the top

'I will resign' - Chief Justice
BBC Sinhala News, May 21, 2008. Chief Justice Sarath N De Silva said he will hand in his resignation if the government does not agree to increase the salaries of the High Court and Magistrate Court judges... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Military: Helicopter gunships attack Tamil rebels as infantry clashes kill 25 rebels
Associated Press, Wed May 21, 2008 04:57 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's air force launched a strike on Tamil Tiger rebels near the front lines in the war-ravaged northern region while infantry clashes killed 25 rebels, the military said Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil Rebels Say Unit Commander Dies of Heart Attack, 21 may. May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels said a commander of its military forces died of a heart attack, the latest blow to the group as it battles to hold bases in the north, the last area of the South Asian island it controls... Back to the top

Sri Lanka launches attacks after top rebel s death, May 21, 2008, 06:52 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) Sri Lanka's armed forces launched ground and air attacks in the rebel-held north of the island Wednesday, as the Tigers mourned the death of a top commander, officials said... Back to the top

Interpol says 176 terror suspects from Asia, Mideast arrested since 2004, mostly in Europe
Associated Press, Tue May 20, 2008 08:05 EDT . - - rgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka - and Nepal... Back to the top

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