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29 Aug 2003 description

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

28 Aug 2003 description

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.

26 Aug 2003 description

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.

25 Aug 2003 description

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.

22 Aug 2003 description

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.

22 Aug 2003 description

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).

20 Aug 2003 description

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.

15 Aug 2003 description

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.

14 Aug 2003 description

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.

12 Aug 2003 description

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.

11 Aug 2003 description

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.

08 Aug 2003 description

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 chief Hagrup Haukland said.

07 Aug 2003 description

COLOMBO, Aug 7 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's stalled peace talks are expected to resume in September following a crucial internal meeting of Tamil Tiger rebels this week in Paris, the government's top negotiator said Thursday.

G. L.

07 Aug 2003 description
report Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

07 Aug 2003 description

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.

07 Aug 2003 description
report Human Rights Watch

(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.

07 Aug 2003 description
report Amnesty

AI Index: ASA 37/003/2003 (Public)
News Service No: 186