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November 18, 1994
For many people on this planet, the big election this month was in Sri Lanka. The outcome offers a hope, finally, of peace in that strife-torn island nation (population: 18 million) off the southern tip of India. That is not assured, but it is what the voters sought.The winner, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, became prime minister in August after her People's Alliance Party narrowly won parliamentary elections. She put on a peace blitz, negotiating with the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and won the presidential election by an authoritative 62 percent.
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NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2013
Christopher Van Hollen Sr., a retired Foreign Service officer and ambassador to Sri Lanka, died of Alzheimer's disease complications Jan. 30 at the Washington Home and Hospice. The former Baltimore resident was 90. Born in Baltimore and raised in Cedarcroft, he was the grandson of George Henry Van Hollen, a seafood packer and owner of the Atlantic Packing Co. The family also developed the Cedarcroft section of North Baltimore and lent its name to Hollen Road. His father, Donald Van Hollen, was a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employee who later worked at the family's seafood business.
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NEWS
By Balakrishnan Rajagopal | May 22, 2009
The Sri Lankan government's stunning defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was as swift as it was unusual in world history. Rarely has a government won so decisive a military victory against a long-running domestic armed group. However, this victory has come at a steep price. The regime of President Mahinda Rajapakse is now widely known to have been responsible for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Besides, the political settlement of the Tamil question is still unresolved.
NEWS
By Frank Roylance and Sun Reporter // Weather Blogger | January 15, 2010
T he moon is "new" today. Early this morning, it slipped between the Earth and the sun and produced a solar eclipse visible from Kenya, across the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, Burma and China. But because the moon was unusually far from Earth, it could not completely darken the sun's disk, leaving a fiery ring of light called an " annular" eclipse . The eclipse was partial from Central Europe, South Africa, Central and South Asia. The U.S. Southwest will see an annular eclipse in May 2012.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 28, 2005
New Delhi -- One could be forgiven for thinking Sri Lanka is at war. Yesterday, a landmine attack killed 11 soldiers on the northern Jaffna peninsula, while a policeman was killed patrolling the eastern town of Kalmunai; both attacks were blamed on the ethnic separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Early on Sunday, a pro-rebel parliamentarian was assassinated during Christmas Mass at a Roman Catholic service in Batticaloa, on the east coast; Tamil Tigers blamed it on pro-government militias.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | January 22, 1995
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Buddhist leaders, offended by Pope John Paul II's criticism of their beliefs, boycotted a meeting with him yesterday, a setback for both papal diplomacy and dialogue between faiths.The 74-year-old pope had arrived here Friday on the last stage of a grueling, 20,800-mile voyage through Asia and the Pacific, the 63rd of his papacy.He had been scheduled to meet with Buddhist leaders yesterday, along with six Hindu and six Muslim figures, for an interreligious dialogue before flying back to Rome.
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By Roch Eric Kubatko and Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF | April 16, 1996
The concerns of Sama Gunawardhana are typical of a parent whose child is away at college. But the distance between them is most unusual.Gunawardhana, who lives in Sri Lanka, an island off the southern tip of India, said he worries about his son's health "and about him being alone, about his food, about his beer. But I spent a lot of time with him when he was a kid that I am confident that he could do no wrong."That faith stretches a lot of miles, all the way to Mount St. Mary's, where Genuan Gunawardhana (pronounced Gen-a-wan Goon-a-var-duna)
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | August 31, 2006
NEW DELHI -- The massacre of 17 aid workers in war-torn Sri Lanka this month was almost certainly committed by government troops, international cease-fire monitors said yesterday. In a finding that drew furious official reaction, the independent Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission concluded that "there cannot be any other armed groups than the security forces who could actually have been behind" the Aug. 4 execution-style killings, which caused an international outcry. The victims, employees of the French humanitarian group Action Against Hunger, were working on tsunami-relief projects in northeast Sri Lanka.
NEWS
By Erika Hobbs and Erika Hobbs,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 6, 2005
Joseph LaFleur's work in Sri Lanka never made the evening news - he never bandaged gashes, gave water to babies or pitched tents for the homeless. But the Bel Air man's work behind the scenes had an impact. His low-profile effort among high-ranking Sri Lankan officials helped restructure a bare-bones emergency operations office so overwhelmed by the December tsunami that initially it could not track the more than 30,000 citizens to get aid to them. "He clearly was able to pull together a major, critical organization," said Brent Woodworth, worldwide manager for IBM's crisis response team.
NEWS
By Gina Davis and Gina Davis,SUN STAFF | December 29, 2004
Reaching out to survivors of the tsunamis that have killed tens of thousands of people in 11 countries from Thailand to Somalia, workers at Interchurch Medical Assistance Inc. in New Windsor have begun packing medical supplies for a shipment of 75 boxes bound for Sri Lanka, an official with the nonprofit organization said yesterday. "We know the response will have to be long-term to really provide what they need," said Vickie Johnson, communications director for Interchurch Medical Assistance.
NEWS
By Balakrishnan Rajagopal | May 22, 2009
The Sri Lankan government's stunning defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was as swift as it was unusual in world history. Rarely has a government won so decisive a military victory against a long-running domestic armed group. However, this victory has come at a steep price. The regime of President Mahinda Rajapakse is now widely known to have been responsible for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Besides, the political settlement of the Tamil question is still unresolved.
NEWS
By FROM SUN NEWS REPORTS | January 3, 2009
Separatists' capital falls to government COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan forces captured the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital yesterday, winning a major victory in a decades-long battle to destroy the ethnic separatists and crush their dream of establishing an independent state. The rebels, who still control 620 square miles of northeastern jungle, swiftly sent the message that they would fight on. They carried out a suicide attack near air force headquarters in the capital, Colombo, killing three airmen and wounding 37 other people, authorities said.
NEWS
By Nick Madigan and Nick Madigan,Sun Reporter | July 11, 2008
A retired Indonesian Marine Corps general was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison for orchestrating a deal in Baltimore to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high-tech weapons to rebels in Sri Lanka whom the U.S. government considers terrorists. Erick Wotulo, 61, whom authorities considered the mastermind of the operation, is to be deported after serving his sentence in federal prison, according to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake. Authorities who conducted a three-year investigation of the deals said undercover FBI agents posed as weapons dealers, put up a Singapore arms broker in a four-star Inner Harbor hotel, arranged for him to attend religious services at a mosque in Laurel and invited him to test-fire machine guns at a Harford County firing range.
NEWS
By Matthew Dolan and Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter | January 4, 2008
Before consummating the arms deal, buyers for a South Asian rebel group needed an expert. So they turned to Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, a citizen of Sri Lanka and a member of the Tamil Tigers, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. Prosecutors say he knew how to inspect the fully automatic weapons and surface-to-air missiles to determine whether they had flaws. Varatharasa was arrested in Guam after inspecting the military hardware during a clandestine meeting with undercover American agents from Maryland.
NEWS
By Matthew Dolan and Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter | December 15, 2007
A federal judge in Baltimore yesterday brushed aside prosecutors' calls to impose a hefty prison sentence on an Indonesian arms dealer who attempted to send almost $1 million worth of American military-class weapons to a Sri Lankan rebel group. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake instead imposed a prison term of slightly more than three years for Haji Subandi, describing the recommended guidelines calculated for the case - a prison term between 46 and 57 months - as "somewhat higher than necessary."
NEWS
By Matthew Dolan and Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter | February 24, 2007
A former Indonesian general pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore yesterday after he was ensnared in an undercover operation targeting illegal arms dealers. In September, federal customs agents arrested six South Asian arms dealers who were accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to ship restricted, high-tech weapons to rebels in Sri Lanka and the Indonesian Army. The elaborate sting was centered in Baltimore last year, where federal agents put up a Singapore arms broker at an Inner Harbor hotel and took him to a shooting range in Harford County so he could test-fire machine guns.
NEWS
February 2, 1996
FOR TERRORISM to succeed politically, all peaceful options have to be foreclosed and its objectives have to be achievable. The suicide truck bombing of the central bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo, killing at least 73 and wounding 1,400 and crippling the poor little country's economy, is likely to fail, having met neither of these tests.Of some 18 million people in the island country, little more than 3 million are Tamils. Ghettoized in the far north and identified with a far larger Tamil population across the Palk Strait in southern India, the Sri Lankan Tamils do not have the makings of a nation state.
NEWS
By Henry Chu and Henry Chu,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 28, 2006
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- In what could be the last hope for averting all-out war, the government of this island nation and the rebel Tamil Tigers are to sit down today for their first face-to-face talks in months over one of Asia's most intractable conflicts. Both sides have been stung by heavy losses and international criticism in recent weeks, after a surge in combat that has left hundreds of people dead and thousands more refugees in their own country, forced to flee homes and livelihoods to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.
NEWS
By Matthew Dolan and Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter | January 31, 2007
Two of the half-dozen men charged with paying undercover customs agents in Maryland to export restricted high-tech weapons to rebels in Sri Lanka and the Indonesian army pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom in Baltimore yesterday. Dressed in prison clothing, Reinhard Rusli, 34, and Helmi Soedirdja, 33, both citizens of Indonesia, entered guilty pleas to attempting to illegally export arms and money laundering. Prosecutors accused Rusli and Soedirdja of contacting undercover agents to buy monocular night vision and holographic weapons sight devices, which they indicated would be used by the Indonesian military.
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