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Sri Lanka PM vows peace with security as Tamil Tiger peace process flounders

by Amal Jayasinghe

COLOMBO, Sept 1 (AFP) - Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe vowed "peace with full security" in a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga released Monday, amid fears that the Norwegian-backed peace process is in jeopardy.

Wickremesinghe said the government was trying to get peace broker Norway to have a controversial Tamil Tiger rebel camp removed from the eastern district of Trincomalee and had stepped up security in the region.

The refusal of Tiger rebels to vacate the camp has further strained the already acrimonious relations between

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CWS helps families in Sri Lanka fight hunger and poverty

Many people living in Sri Lanka are often poor, hungry, and without access to the education and training needed to obtain jobs that will adequately support their families.
Sri Lanka, an island nation south of India, has developed slowly during the last 20 years while a civil war in the northern part of the country has been ongoing. Like in many other poor rural countries, people have migrated to urban areas of Sri Lanka in search of work, a phenomenon that has resulted in deep pockets of urban poverty.

For the past decade, Church World Service

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World + 4 others
Gender and Armed Conflict Supporting Resources Collection

Report
BRIDGE
This collection of resources on gender and armed conflict sheds light on how gender inequality intersects with armed conflict and its aftermath, resulting in gender-specific disadvantage that is often overlooked. It forms part of the Cutting Edge Pack on gender and armed conflict, and provides summaries of key resources, tools and guides covering a range of themes including: conflict prevention and management; understanding and addressing gender-based violence; men and masculinity; health and HIV/AIDS; small arms and light weapons; protecting displaced
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USAID Field Report Sri Lanka Aug 2003

Program Description
USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) program has the goal of supporting the peace process in Sri Lanka. To do this, OTI has two main objectives: to enhance citizen support for a negotiated settlement and to assist targeted vulnerable communities.

Based on these objectives OTI provides grants that: support positive, community-based interaction among diverse groups of people; promote citizen involvement in community decision making, particularly for rehabilitating community-based infrastructure; improve

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Sri Lanka: Flooding and Landslides Emergency Appeal No. 13/03 Operations Update no. 4

Appeal launched on 20 May 2003 for CHF 1,212,000 (USD 934,598 or EUR 801,424) for 3 months for 125,000 beneficiaries; budget increased to CHF 2,632,584 to assist some 700,000 beneficiaries for 6 months, i.e. 20 November 2003.
Period covered: 13 June to 27 August2003

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org

In Brief

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UN grants 3.2 million dollars for Sri Lanka mine clearance

COLOMBO, Aug 28 (AFP) - The United Nations granted 3.2 million dollars to strengthen Sri Lanka's de-mining efforts Thursday even though the war-torn island has not ratified the Ottawa convention banning land mines.

UN resident representative Miguel Bermeo and two top government officials signed the agreement granting the money to be spent over 16 months from September.

"It is estimated that there are approximately 1.5 million mines which were laid during the conflict," the government said in a statement. "It is the government's intention

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Sri Lanka banks on peace and begins spending war savings

by Amal Jayasinghe

COLOMBO, Aug 26 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government Tuesday announced it was spending 181 million dollars to build roads and expand the electricity grid, from money saved as a result of a ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Government spokesman G.L. Peiris said they expected a resurgence of the rural economy with the new spending that would be spread over 18 months and was aimed at creating thousands of new jobs.

"We are able to spend this money because of the savings we have made as a result of the ceasefire agreement

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Sri Lanka: Tigers agree to reconsider dismantling camp after US ire

COLOMBO, Aug 25 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to reconsider their refusal to dismantle a controversial camp that sparked US-led international outrage, Scandinavian truce monitors said Monday.

The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had agreed to reconsider their position "within a week to 10 days."

"They have agreed to come back with a response in the near future," SLMM spokeswoman Agnes Bragadottir said. "This is an urgent issue, we expect a response in not more than

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Fresh curfews imposed in Sri Lanka Muslim region

COLOMBO, Aug 22 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Friday slapped fresh curfews in Muslim towns in the island's east as sectarian tensions mounted after the abduction of two villagers by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said.

The night curfew which was eased at dawn in Kalmunai and Sammanturai was being reimposed immediately after Friday prayers in the two Muslim-majority towns, police officials said.

They said tension had gripped the region following the abduction of two Muslim men on Tuesday by suspected members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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US to train Sri Lankan troops in demining

COLOMBO, Aug 22 (AFP) - The US government will provide demining training to the Sri Lankan military, the US embassy here said Friday.

"Under the terms of the agreement, six demining experts -- including four Americans -- will train Sri Lankan military personnel in techniques to de-mine Sri Lankan soil to international standards," the embassy said in a statement.

It said the 2.2 million-dollar US-funded program will begin Sunday and continue through February next year.

An earlier US-funded effort, the Quick

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Tigers leave for key Paris talks on Sri Lanka peace offer

by Amal Jayasinghe

COLOMBO, Aug 20 (AFP) - Top Tamil Tiger leaders left Wednesday for a key internal meeting in Paris expected to deliver a verdict on the Sri Lankan government's offer to restart the faltering peace process.

Twelve members of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) boarded a flight for Bangkok en route to Paris where they will start a week of discussions Thursday, officials said.

The delegation had travelled Tuesday from rebel-held territory aboard government military helicopters to Sri Lanka's only international airport in Colombo.

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Thailand offers rehab help to war-ravaged Sri Lanka

by Amal Jayasinghe

COLOMBO, Aug 15 (AFP) - Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra offered help Friday to rebuild Sri Lanka's war-torn areas, granted 20 million dollars in export credits and vowed to boost bilateral trade to a billion dollars.

Addressing the Sri Lankan parliament on the second and final day of an official visit, Thaksin said Thailand was ready to join the international community in supporting Sri Lanka's reconstruction effort.

"We shall be pleased to share our experience in the reconstruction of East Timor, Afghanistan and now Iraq,

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ACT Appeal Sri Lanka: Rehabilitation of flood affected - ASSL-31

Appeal Target: US$ 178,041
Balance Requested from ACT Network: US$ 78,783

Geneva, 15 August 2003

Dear Colleagues,

During May the country usually receives scattered rainfall. This year the rains started on the 16th and on 17 and 18 May there was unusually heavy rainfall causing devastating floods, which severely affected four of Sri Lanka's nine provinces. ACT member the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCC-SL) responded immediately to the floods through their member churches in three regions, initially using their own

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Sri Lanka warns peace confidence eroding amid Tiger killings

by Amal Jayasinghe

COLOMBO, Aug 14 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government expressed fears Thursday that public confidence in the island's faltering peace process was eroding due to a spate of killings blamed on its negotiating partner, the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Chief government negotiator G. L. Peiris admitted that alleged killings of opponents and military informants by the Tigers had had a "negative impact" on the Norwegian-backed process seeking to end three decades of ethnic bloodshed.

Two more Muslim men were gunned down

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Sri Lanka: Informal dispute resolution in the north east and Puttalam

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE GENERAL OVERVIEW

Mechanisms encountered A number of informal dispute resolution mechanisms with varying degrees of structure were encountered during the research. NGO-established peace committees engage in various peace activities, one of which is informal dispute resolution. NGOestablished development committees created to implement development programmes also engage in some informal dispute resolution, often through centralised village committees. Indigenous community-based organisations, which function independently

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Norway's special envoy arrives in Sri Lanka to revive peace process

Colombo (dpa) - Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, arrived in Colombo for talks with Tamil rebels aimed at reviving a stalled peace process, officials said Tuesday.

Solheim, who arrived Tuesday morning was due to travel to the rebel-held Kilinochchi area, 320 kilometres north of the capital, for talks with the head of their political wing, S.P. Thamilselvan.

He was also to meet government representatives involved in the peace process before leaving Friday, officials said.

A Norwegian-backed peace process between

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Tigers defy Scandinavian monitors further troubling Sri Lanka peace bid

by Amal Jayasinghe

COLOMBO, Aug 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have openly defied Scandinavian truce monitors by refusng to dismantle a controversial camp, sparking the first major stand-off in the island's Norwegian-brokered ceasefire, a spokesman said Friday.

The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said the Tigers in a letter Thursday rejected a ruling by the monitors to take down the camp.

"We have reported the matter to the Sri Lankan government and the facilitator (Norway)," SLMM deputy

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EU Humanitarian aid - focus on "forgotten" crises

(Draft press release)
Helping people who are most in need, irrespective of their nationality, religion or ethnic origin, is a key principle of the European Union's humanitarian aid policy. This is reflected in the support channelled by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), which falls under the responsibility of Commissioner Poul Nielson, to crisis zones that have slipped out of the international media spotlight. ECHO is one of the world's largest donors of relief assistance, with an overall budget of €538 million in 2002. According to Mr Nielson:
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Sri Lanka: Rights groups say LTTE-linked killings continue with impunity

(New York, August 7, 2003) - There is convincing evidence that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are taking advantage of the ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government to murder political opponents, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today.
"The end of the fighting in Sri Lanka has not meant an end to the killing," said Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. "Members of Tamil political parties are being gunned down and the available evidence points to the Tamil Tigers."
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US pressure on Tigers to resume Sri Lanka talks

COLOMBO, Aug 7 (AFP) - The United States has asked Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to renounce terrorism, stop political killings and resume peace talks with the Colombo government, the US embassy here said Thursday.

The embassy quoted state department spokesman Philip T. Reeker as saying they were concerned that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas were undermining peace prospects in the island.

The US designated the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organisation in October 1997 and further tightened screws on

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