The visit to Sri Lanka by a senior United Nations official sparks speculation that Colombo may be looking for a way to replace Norway as peace facilitator with the UN.
The spate of attacks on the Suderoli newspaper could be linked to Sinhala nationalists' mobilisation in the run up to Presidential elections or their efforts to promote the political ambitions of the renegade LTTE commander, Karuna.
As the two main candidates for Sri Lanka’s forthcoming elections launched their campaigns in earnest, the customary horsetrading with other political parties also got into full swing.
The LTTE is building a citizens’ militia that can provide a measure of protection for their own villages, particularly against Army-backed irregulars, and could be drafted into relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters.
‘The fruits of peace must be tangible. Rebuilding their houses, rebuilding their livelihoods, being able to move freely. Unfortunately, these things are not happening.’
‘All new recruits were given a year’s basic training. This included literacy skills for those who couldn’t read and write and depending on their interests and capabilities, advanced training for the jobs they would take up.’
The EU has scrapped taxes on 90% of its imports from Sri Lanka as part of its tsunami-related aid and shipping insurers have taken the island off their ‘war-risk’ list.
The devastation of schools by the December 26 tsunami was a heavy blow to ordinary people, especially the students, in this district along Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. Only at two destroyed schools has reconstruction even begun.