UN Advisor Recommends Disaster-Prone Countries Turn to Insurance Policies, Not Rely on International Aid

UN Adviser Jeffrey Sachs has recommended that countries at risk for frequent hurricanes consider purchasing national insurance policies to prepare in advance for disaster relief needs, rather than rely on international aid appeals to help residents after a disaster strikes.

LTTE Refuses to Attend Ceasefire Talks

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) announced they will not attend talks with the Sri Lankan government, scheduled for 24-25 April 2006 in order to strengthen an increasingly fragile 2002 ceasefire.

Residents of Aceh Jaya Regency Urge Government to Suspend Three Recently-Issued Forest Concession Permits

The permits are intended to accommodate the demand for wood in Aceh’s post-tsunami reconstruction effort. But residents complain that they were not consulted and that they will have to bear the brunt of adverse consequences, such as increased flooding dangers.

U.S. Supreme Court: To Gain Formal Protection, Wetlands Must Have "Significant Nexus" to Waterways

Mangrove A recent Supreme Court decision could make it harder for conservationists to safeguard wetland areas previously protected under the U.S. Clean Water Act.

The United Nations Announces the Creation of a Central Emergency Response Fund to Permit Faster Relief Action After Disasters

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is designed to allow faster responses to disasters. UN agencies and their implementing partners will be able to access the Fund within 72 hours of an emergency being declared, enabling more lives to be saved in the earliest moments of a disaster when people are at most risk.

Stepped-up International Pressure from the International Community Needed to Revive the Stalled Peace Process

Michael Vatikiotis, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, argues that the small Nordic monitoring mission—the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission or SLMM, with just 64 observers—is inadequate.

Indonesia's Supreme Audit Agency Finds Massive Irregularities in the Use of Post-Tsunami Emergency Funds

A total of 5,8 trillion Rupiahs ($650 million) were collected from domestic and international donors. The value of aid was deflated in translating foreign currencies into Indonesian Rupiahs.

Reconstruction Decision-Making Puts Barriers in the Path of the Displaced

The “Bring New Orleans Back Commission” has designated parts of New Orleans East “delayed recovery”—which means that residents can rebuild only at their own risk, without any guarantee that there will be any basic public services in the near future.

Some Kashmiri Separatist Leaders Seeking New Ideas for Resolving the Kashmir Conflict

The options usually discussed include maintaining the status quo; Kashmir independence; and Kashmir joining either Pakistan or India in its entirety. But the governments in New Delhi and Islamabad and the people of Kashmir never found consensus around any of these options, and perhaps never will.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are a "Wounded Tiger"

According to an analysis by the Indian-based South Asia Analysis Group, since March 2004, the LTTE has suffered a series of setbacks that influence both its ability to wage renewed war and its willingness to make peace.
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