The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 3, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 59
 

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Lanka appeals to youth to join Army
Asian Age, June 4. Deputy defence minister Anuruddha Ratwatte told the Sri Lankan broadcasting corporation that the people of Jaffna have requested the government not to withdraw forces from the peninsula as they do not want the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to take over their homeland. The minister said he recently received a petition with 10,000 signatures to this effect. General Ratwatte, who spent 12 days at the battlefront from May 18 to 30, said the morale of the soldiers was high and they were in fighting spirit after the government supplied them with latest weaponry. The Sri Lankan government on Saturday appealed to all parliamentarians to persuade at least 100 youths from each of their constituencies to enrol in the Army and vowed that the government will never allow the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to take control of the Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 22:53:45 EDT 2000

Misshapen Sri Lankan policy - An editorial
Tribune, June 4. New Delhi firmly believed that Jaffna would fall like a ripe mango, forcing it to rush both relief supplies and naval ships to take the defeated soldiers to safety. This has not happened and it appears that the Sri Lankan army may hold out for some more time. The offer of help in organising an orderly retreat now sounds premature and an inexplicable panic reaction. India earned the wrath of all sides with its promise of food and medicines.If the army loses Jaffna, the government loses the urgency to talk with the LTTE. If it wins, the ferocious Tigers will have no stomach to talk peace.Eelam is out of the question; barring two splinter groups in Tamil Nadu nobody will recognise it. India should deploy Mr Vaiko and Dr Ramadoss to impress on Prabhakaran his shrinking options and exploit the high degree of international interest to wrest maximum concessions. Alas, this does not find a place in the blurred policy papers of New Delhi. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 22:36:59 EDT 2000

Records never bother me: Jayasuriya
Hindustan Times, June 4. How do you fancy Sri Lanka’s chances in the Asia Cup? Jayasuriya: I think we have a good chance. But I never like to take things for granted. We have won against India but we still have the match against Pakistan. Then again there would be the final. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 18:16:23 EDT 2000

Jaffna MPs want India’s ‘humanitarian military aid’
Hindustan Times, June 4. MEMBERS OF Parliament (MPs) from Jaffna belonging to the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) have appealed to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to render "humanitarian military assistance" to the Sri Lankan security forces to help them save the civilians of Jaffna from the LTTE. All the Jaffna MPs, barring one, belong to the EPDP. Explaining the term "humanitarian military assistance", the EPDP's spokesman Dr K.Vigneswaran said that it involved a "limited military intervention" in the form of a "pre-emptive military assistance" to help the Sri Lankan Army and air force meet the LTTE's challenge. "India can, for example, give air support to the Sri Lankan Army. Without air support, it would be hard for the Sri Lankan forces to stem the LTTE onslaught," Dr Vigneswaran told The Hindustan Times. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 18:06:31 EDT 2000

Lanka rushes reinforcements to Jaffna
Broadcastindia.com/PTI/Doordarshan, Sunday June 4, 2000. Sri Lankan government has rushed over 4,000 more troops to counter the rebel offensive in Jaffna peninsula where an estimated 30,000 troops are resisting the LTTE, even as seven more rebels were killed in fresh fighting. More... [Watch]
Published: Sat Jun 3 18:01:15 EDT 2000

DMK chief's formula for solving Sri Lankan crisis
Hindu, June 4. In a dramatically major shift in the DMK's approach to resolve the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the party president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M.Karunanidhi, tonight said Sri Lanka should either agree for a `territorial separation' on the lines of the Czech and Slovakia republics or grant more rights to the Tamils to enable a ``permanent solution'' to the ethnic strife there. Asserting that there was ``nothing wrong'' in making this suggestion ``on behalf of the DMK if not on the behalf of the Tamil Nadu people, as other political parties have different views,'' he mooted the Czechoslovakian model of a ``completely peaceful resolution without shedding a drop of blood'' to resolve the Sri Lankan crisis. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 17:56:58 EDT 2000

Tamil 'psychopath' on the brink of key victory
New Zealand Herald Online, June 4, 2000. NEW DELHI - Communal fear and hatred following Sri Lanka's independence 52 years ago bred a monster named Velupillai Prabhakaran. Today, after a lifetime of murder and 17 years of civil war, the 46-year-old guerrilla leader of the Tamils is poised for a victory that could plunge the whole island republic into mayhem. In the process of building the Tigers, Prabhakaran has exploited certain tendencies which, other Tamils suggest, are morbidly present in their community. Chief among these is a willingness to follow leaders blindly and unquestioningly, and a readiness to sacrifice their lives in what they consider a righteous cause. But take the view of an Indian Tamil politician who knows the man well, and has had only friendly dealings with him. "Prabhakaran can never be a politician or a president," he told me. "He cannot learn politics - it requires too many compromises. He can only be a fighter. He will have to die in the fighting. That is the only answer." More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 17:39:16 EDT 2000

U.S. Sri Lankans protest fundraising in Canada
National Post, June 3. New York police set up barricades outside Canada's United Nations mission yesterday to allow American Sri Lankans to protest against alleged fundraising in Canada for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, one of the world's most ruthless terrorist organizations. In a letter addressed to Robert Fowler, Canada's Ambassador to the UN, the protesters said: "It is difficult for us to comprehend how the government of Canada hopes to convince the world that it is committed to international peace, considering the current laxity with which terrorist groups are treated there." The letter also alluded to a recent dinner organized by a Toronto-based Tamil group alleged to be a front for the rebels, and attended by Paul Martin, the Minister of Finance, and Maria Minna, Minister for International Cooperation. "Politicians who openly support these organizations need to be reproved," the letter said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 12:31:16 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's civil war and the Canadian connection
June 3. FACT was registered as a non-profit corporation in 1993 to act as an umbrella organization for the WTM and several other Tamil groups. The program handed out at the dinner attended by Mr. Martin listed the World Tamil Movement as one of eight "important constituent members" of FACT. The WTM received at least one government grant, $18,690 from the province of Ontario in 1994 to hire a volunteer co-ordinator for six months. The links between the LTTE and the WTM are so substantial that when arguing before the Canadian courts, Crown lawyers have referred to the groups simply as "WTM/LTTE," as if they were a single entity. "WTM is the leading front organization for the LTTE in Canada," writes Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, a leading authority on the Sri Lankan conflict, a contributor to Jane's and a research associate at both the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence in Scotland and the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy in Israel.

More..
Published: Sat Jun 3 12:30:11 EDT 2000


“LTTE support embarrassing Centre”
Chennaionline, June 3. “LTTE support embarrassing Centre”

Chennai, June 3: Bharatiya Janata Party Tamil Nadu unit President S P Kirupanithi today said that certain constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Tamil Nadu, were putting the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government in a dilemma by speaking in support of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and hailing its leaders.In a statement here, Kirupanithi said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Tamil Maanila Congress president G K Moopanar and the Congress (I) leadership at the national level had supported Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's Sri Lanka policy. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:42:56 EDT 2000


Nedumaran picks pro-LTTE team
Chennaionline, June 3. Tamizhar Desiya Iyakkam president P Nedumaran today nominated hardcore Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supporters as office bearers of his organisation. The Iyakkam itself is seen as a strong pro-LTTE outfit and is lobbying for lifting the ban on the LTTE. All the new office bearers are members of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation coordination committee which was once headed by defence minister George Fernandes when he was not in office. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:40:36 EDT 2000

Tiger 'submarine' found at Thai resort
SCMP, June 3. Thai authorities are evasive about the arms-smuggling charges, with spokesmen saying they know little about what is going on. Defence Ministry spokesman General Sanan Kachornklam denied Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai had ordered the army not to talk about the Tamil Tigers' activities. However, Sri Lanka believes Phuket is being used as a conduit to smuggle heavy weaponry to the Tigers from the Indochina region. However, the Government is wary about openly criticising Thailand and damaging relations.

A Sri Lankan Government source said the Tamil Tigers were engaged in numerous illegal fund-raising activities. "The Tigers have a worldwide network and smuggle arms, humans and drugs from the Golden Triangle and the Indochina region to the West," he said.

He suspected the separatists were linked to corrupt military officers in the region and he appealed to the West to pressure Thailand into doing more to clamp down on their activities. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:33:40 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka lifts meeting ban
BBC, June 3. The Sri Lankan Government has announced that it is lifting a ban on public meetings and rallies imposed last month as part of emergency war regulations with immediate effect. There had been widespread protests about the ban from opposition politicians, trade unions and human rights workers. Other regulations, which include stringent censorship of the media, still remain in force. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:21:16 EDT 2000

PM rules out military intervention in Lanka
Rediff, June 3. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee Saturday iterated that India would not send its military to Sri Lanka to solve the ethnic problem of that country. At a public meeting in Keylong (Himachal Pradesh), he said India wanted a peaceful solution to the Lankan crisis and that Colombo should change its policy against Tamils and adopt peaceful means. Meanwhile, a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam vehicle laden with explosives caught fire and exploded after security forces directed artillery fire at the vehicle Friday night even as seven Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed in sporadic clashes in Jaffna. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:16:28 EDT 2000

MDMK calls off rally on Sri Lankan Tamils' issue
Hindu, June 3. The MDMK today called off its proposed rally here on June 5 in support of the struggle of the Sri Lankan Tamils, saying it was being "postponed in deference to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's appeal to avoid problematic issues." More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:07:46 EDT 2000

Indian film Bombay gets the chop in Sri Lanka
123India-afp, June 3. COLOMBO, June 3 (AFP) - A private television station has cancelled a screening of an Indian film, Bombay, following representations that it could create racial hatred in the island nation, officials said on Saturday. The film, depicting clashes between Hindus and Muslims in India, was due to be shown on the network on Friday night, but the station removed it from the schedule voluntarily. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:04:55 EDT 2000

Trincomalee heralds old times as military overides tourist buck
123Indiaafp, June 3. TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, June 3 (AFP) - As a tourist mecca Trincomalee, on Sri Lanka's northeast coast, has been forced out of business and back to the days where it originally found fame -- as a bustling wartime port. The Rotary and the YMCA still welcome travellers into town. But gone are the tourists, hippies and Asia's nouveau riche. Only fishermen, monkeys, sacred cows and stray dogs roam the idyllic beaches and deserted resorts. The hoteliers groan that no one comes. "There's too much trouble," they say.

That trouble is blamed on the Tamil Tigers who have staked "Trinco" as the a key town in their sovereign state Eelam. It lies in the centre of the coastal strip along the eastern seaboard which the rebels say is also theirs. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:02:05 EDT 2000


No Way Out; The pressures are growing for outside help to end Sri Lanka's bloody civil war
FEER, COLOMBO, Issue dated June 8. TERROR HAS A WAY of attracting attention. Every year when the international focus on the 17-year-old civil war in Sri Lanka starts to wane, a fresh onslaught by the Tamil Tigers puts it back in the news headlines. This time round, though, it's more than just the media that's interested. Sri Lanka's re-emergence on the international agenda was underscored at the end of May with a visit by U.S. Under-Secretary of State Thomas Pickering. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:46:03 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers preparing for another push.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 17.15 Saturday.. Separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announced that its fighters are preparing for another massive offensive against government troops in northern Jaffna peninsula.

The announcement was made today over Tigers clandestine radio, the Voice of Tigers (VOT) in Wanni. The radio said the offensive would focus on liberating Jaffna peninsula from the clutches of government troops, who are presently poised for a major push against the rebels.

"It would be another phase of ongoing operation "Unceasing Waves-3", the radio said, but it did not say where or when the new offensive would begin.

Separatist Tamil Tigers are fighting to create an independent homeland for minority Tamils. The 18 years of ongoing conflict has claimed the lives of over 75,000 people.
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:36:42 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka pours in 4,000 more troops for Jaffna battle: minister
AFP, COLOMBO, June 3. Sri Lanka has deployed another 4,000 soldiers to defend the northern peninsula of Jaffna where some 30,000 troops are resisting a major Tamil rebel offensive, a senior minister said Saturday. "This is a very critical period, a very decisive moment," Ratwatte said in a phone-in program over state radio. He said a large number of deserters were rejoining as the military was gaining the upper hand. Some 4,000 troops were already on their way to Jaffna via the north-eastern port of Trincomalee, the minister said. He said several organisations, some with government backing, had led an anti-war campaign in recent years and that had helped to demoralise soldiers as well as discourage youngsters from joining the military. "They keep saying that the war is cruel, war is bad. Perhaps they were not aware that this war is an extension of a political strategy to bring peace to the country," Ratwatte said. He urged legislators in the 225-member national parliament to send at least 100 young men and women from each constituency to join the army to boost the battle against the Tigers. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:31:40 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers shifting Southeast Asia base to Thailand
AFP, BANGKOK, June 3. Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamhave made Thailand a hub of their Southeast Asian gun-running and fund-raising activities, sources close to Thai military intelligence said. The source told AFP the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, had been operating a sizeable base on a Thai island 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the southwest coast tourist resort of Phuket. Following Thai newspaper reports relating to the existence of the base in mid-May, Thai police engaged in a cover-up to prevent details of the Tigers' presence being revealed, the source said. Thai government officials have denied the existence of the base, although army chief General Surayud Chulanont has told reporters the military has known of Tiger operations in southern Thailand for some time. Sources told AFP the alleged base near Phuket was just the tip of the Tiger iceberg in Thailand, with LTTE funding activities and arms smuggling also taking place in Bangkok and in waters just off the Thai coast. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:22:29 EDT 2000

Role only if Colombo requests: Jaswant
The Hindu,By P. S. Suryanarayana , Saturday June 3 . SINGAPORE, JUNE 2. The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, who is here on a three-day official visit, today reaffirmed India's commitment to uphold the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and expressed the view that this could also be best preserved if the aspirations of all the people in Sri Lanka were met. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 06:55:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Censorship Challenged
AP, 00:35 SLT Saturday June 3 . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Editors of ten independent newspapers have petitioned Sri Lanka's Supreme Court to lift censorship laws imposed under an emergency decree, a newspaper said today. In a plea filed Friday, the editors alleged the censorship was "discriminatory, unreasonable and arbitrary,'' reported the Daily Mirror, whose editor is among the complainants. "Emergency regulations have resulted in censoring of news and comments that (do) not affect national security or public order,'' the petition said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 06:51:01 EDT 2000

U.S. Buddhism Leader Havanpola Ratanasara Dies
Elaine Woo, Times Staff Writer, LA Times, Friday, June 2, 2000. The Venerable Havanpola Ratanasara, a monk who strove to build an American style of Buddhism and led Buddhists, Catholics and other denominations in interfaith dialogues, has died. At 80, Ratanasara was believed to be the oldest Buddhist monk in Southern California. He suffered from diabetes and heart problems and died in his sleep last Friday surrounded by monks in his apartment at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles.

In the United States, Ratanasara began to ponder how Buddhists could join the mainstream of American society. Largely because of immigration, the nation has the largest variety of Buddhist traditions in the world, but Ratanasara saw differences of language and culture as major obstacles to unity within American Buddhism as well as to dialogue with other faiths. "How can we become Americanized, yet hold to the core of Buddhism? How can we develop an American Buddhism, which will be vital and appropriate to this society and still retain our individual, unique traditions?" Ratanasara asked in an interview several years ago.

In 1988, Ratanasara and his colleagues took a bold step by ordaining a Thai woman. The action revived a practice that had died out centuries ago in Ratanasara's Theravada Buddhist tradition, which is mainly practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 03:03:47 EDT 2000


Women's groups slam Lankan Press on gay ruling
Times of India, Saturday 3 June 2000. Human rights activists and women's groups reacted angrily Friday to a ruling by the Sri Lanka Press Council branding lesbianism as an act of sadism and commending a newspaper for publishing a virulently anti-lesbian article.

"It is extremely offensive to have responsible people (in the press council) making statements like this, irrespective of sexual orientation. The question was: did the letter incite someone to commit rape? The ruling is a hate speech (against lesbians)," said Kumudini Samuel of Women and Media Collective. She said women's groups and human rights groups were "absolutely appalled" and Sri Lankan activists attending a United Nations parley on women's rights in New York had been informed of the council's statements.

"We hope they bring it up there at a caucus on violence against women," Samuel said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:47:13 EDT 2000


New Delhi rules out UN role in Sri Lanka
The Dawn, Singapore, June 2. Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh on Friday ruled out a role for the United Nations in the war-torn Sri Lanka and reiterated that New Delhi would only get involved in the conflict there if asked by Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:34:32 EDT 2000

Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara passes away
CBS/AP, Los Angeles, June 02, 2000 22:05. Havanpola Ratanasara, a prominent Southern California Buddhist monk who led efforts to unite culturally diverse believers and to ordain women as monks, died May 26. He was 80. Ratanasara was a United Nations delegate for Sri Lanka in 1957. Ratanasara also was the Buddhist representative during Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles in 1987, and he co-founded the Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue with the Roman Catholic archdiocese. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:13:43 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka loosens restrictions
United Press International, June 03, 2000 01:14. The Sri Lankan government Saturday lifted a ban on public meetings, demonstrations and protests clamped down a month ago under public security ordnance. The government had said it would not continue the ban if the situation improved. It has revoked the ban, honoring the word it had given to the political parties in the country. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:08:23 EDT 2000

15 LTTE rebels, 3 soldiers killed in fighting
India Express, Saturday, June 3, 2000. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan government today said 15 LTTE rebels and three soldiers had been killed in heavy exchange of mortar shelling between the army and the guerrillas in Chavakachcheri area, south of Jaffna town, since yesterday, and claimed that the Tamil Tigers had withdrawn most its cadre and mortars from Vavunathivu area,reports PTI. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 01:03:48 EDT 2000

Tamil Nadu tightens security along coast
India Daily, Saturday, June 3, 2000. Chennai : The Sri Lankan Navy's weekend action against the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the LTTE, has forced Tamil Nadu to further tighten security along its coast to check smuggling and a renewed refugee influx. The Sri Lankan Navy on Monday said it had sunk seven "barges loaded with supplies" More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 01:00:45 EDT 2000

Lesbians sadists, Sri Lanka press council says
The Staits Times, June 3, 2000. COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's Press Council has ruled that lesbianism is an ""act of sadism'' and that a letter in a paper calling for convicted rapists to be unleashed on lesbians was published in the interest of the community. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 00:50:53 EDT 2000

Press council attacks lesbianism
BBC, June 2. Sri Lanka's Press Council has come out in support of a letter in a newspaper, urging that convicted rapists should be unleashed on lesbians. The Council said the letter, in the Island newspaper, was published in the interest of the community. It also imposed a fine of $28 on the man who brought the complaint, Sherman de Rose. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 22:39:04 EDT 2000

Over a lakh displaced in Jaffna in Lankan conflict
NDTV, June 3. In the bloody war in Sri Lanka, what's often forgotten is a huge human crisis--a crisis that's been buried under the daily reports on military successes and defeats. More than 1,20,000 people have been driven out of their homes in the Jaffna peninsula because of the fighting between the LTTE and Sri Lankan Army. They have nowhere to go because the peninsula is completely sealed off from the rest of Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.

Leela and her family are from Ariyali, on the outskirts of Jaffna city and one of worst areas of fighting. Now, in the humid heat of summer, they live in a school building in Kokuvil, west of Jaffna. "We are all suffering because of the war. All of us--husbands, brothers and wives. We want a peaceful solution. Sons without fathers, mothers without sons. I too have lost a son.We want peace. We do not want war, we want peace." These are the desperate voices of the Tamils of Jaffna--voices that are heard again and again. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 21:47:34 EDT 2000


Karunanidhi denies permission for rally in support of LTTE
NDTV, June 3. It is a decision that could mean trouble between the DMK and its ally in Tamil Nadu, the MDMK. The Karunaidhi government in the state has not given permission to the MDMK to hold a rally in support of a separate state of Eelam in Sri Lanka. However, the MDMK has so far not reacted to this decision. Placards are being prepared for the MDMK's rally in support of Eelam for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Even as preparations for the rally continue in full swing, opposition parties have demanded that permission be denied to the MDMK for holding the rally. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 21:43:31 EDT 2000

Obit- U.S. Buddhism Leader Havanpola Ratanasara Dies
LA Times , June 2. The Venerable Havanpola Ratanasara, a monk who strove to build an American style of Buddhism and led Buddhists, Catholics and other denominations in interfaith dialogues, has died. At 80, Ratanasara was believed to be the oldest Buddhist monk in Southern California. He suffered from diabetes and heart problems and died in his sleep last Friday surrounded by monks in his apartment at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles.Ratanasara was a native of Sri Lanka who immigrated to the United States in 1980 and became a U.S. citizen. After undergraduate work in Sri Lanka, he earned a master's degree at Columbia University and a PhD in education at the University of London. In addition to holding university positions in Sri Lanka, he was a United Nations delegate for that country in 1957. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 21:38:51 EDT 2000

Indian armed forces and Sri Lanka
Hindu, June 3. Grappling with the complexity of the Sri Lankan situation, a section of the security establishment outside the armed forces is of the view that any Indian initiative in Sri Lanka must have the LTTE on board. Not surprisingly, a message has been sent to the Tigers ``loud and clear'' that creation of a Tamil Eelam is out of the question, but genuine autonomy which met Tamil aspirations could always be considered. Given the LTTE's rigid hierarchy, reaching out to the LTTE supremo V.Prabhakaran is becoming inevitable. The message which may have to be delivered to Prabhakaran is that he has a chance to emerge a ``statesman'' if he accepts the demand for ``seamless autonomy'' within the ambit of a united Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 21:29:57 EDT 2000

LTTE spreads message via Web
Asian Age, June 3. The Internet and the Tamil diaspora have emerged as key weapons for the Tamil Tigers in their war against Colombo. The World Wide Web has helped the Tigers to mobilise support in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, which now stretches from Canada to Australia.The only way we can return to our land and families is with the creation of Eelam. Ours is a very close-knit community and we do our bit to help the LTTE in whatever way we can,” said a leading light of the Tamil community in Britain, who did not wish to be identified.“Sixty per cent of the Tamils live peacefully side-by-side with Sinhalese, Muslims and others in Sri Lanka. The 150,000 Tamils in Canada or the 100,000 Tamils in Australia are keen to keep this war going because its in their interest. Most of these people do not plan to go back even if there is an Eelam,” said Dr Samarasingha president of the International Federation of Sri Lankans. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 21:25:57 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka focuses on a political solution
Asian Age, June 3. The recent military debacles in the north and the involvement of Norway as a facilitator to bring the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to the negotiating table and international pressure, including from India and the United States, have added a new urgency for the government and the UNP to arrive at a consensus. More..
Published: Fri Jun 2 21:20:19 EDT 2000

Colombo boosts troops' morale
Star Online, June 3. A shake-up in Sri Lanka's field commanders and new weapons have boosted morale and reversed the "withdrawal mentality'' of 30,000 troops defending the key northern town of Jaffna, a senior minister said.n remarks published yesterday, Energy Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte admitted that soldiers in the northern peninsula of Jaffna had been trying to withdraw in the face of heavy Tamil rebel attacks until he flew there on May 18.I noticed that the morale was low and they were also suffering from a withdrawal syndrome,'' he said in an interview published in the state media yesterday. "They were drawing lines behind the front line so that they could withdraw,'' Ratwatte said. "I told them, in future there will be no drawing lines behind you. "You only go forward,'' he added. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 20:48:51 EDT 2000

‘Confederation’ move divides Sri Lankans on ethnic lines
Hindustan Times, June 3. THE SRI Lankans are divided on ethnic lines over an American suggestion to replace the present unitary Sri Lanka by a “loose confederation” comprising two autonomous units, one a predominantly Tamil unit and the other a predominantly Sinhala unit, to bring an end to the war and the ethnic conflict.“Confederation is not possible at all. Confederations have been tried out before and have never worked. Libya and Egypt broke off. So did Malaya and Singapore,” argued Mr Tilak Karunaratne of the Sinhala Urumaya.But Tamil analysts think that a confederation is not only a good idea but practicable too. According to Mr Kethesh Loganathan of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a system of substantial devolution to the Tamil North East coupled with a significant minority representation with veto power in a bicameral legislature at the Centre, may be described as a loose confederation.The idea of a confederation was thrown up by a former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ms Teresita Schaffer, in an article in the latest issue of the South Asia Monitor, a publication of the Washington think-tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 20:29:40 EDT 2000

India ready for role in Lanka, says Jaswant:
Rediff, June 2. Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh reiterated Friday that New Delhi was prepared to evacuate embattled Sri Lankan troops pinned down in the northern Jaffna peninsula, but only at Colombo's request. "We cannot independently assume the role in Sri Lanka," he said after a talk on security issues in Asia organised by the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. "We have always said that the best result is if all aspirations of the people in Sri Lanka are fully met," added Singh, who arrived here Thursday for a two-day visit. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 20:21:16 EDT 2000

DMK in a fix over MDMK rally
Rediff, June 2. The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazagham is in a dilemma whether to grant permission to a Marumalarchi DMK rally on Monday on the Sri Lankan crisis. Both parties are partners in the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the Centre. A DMK politician said, "If we grant permission, we may be identified with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, since the MDMK is known for its soft corner for the outfit. If we refuse permission, we will be seen as anti-Tamil. Either way, it could hurt." The DMK is seen as the parent pan-Tamil party, but the changing voter mood, and Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, changed all that. Even last month, party supremo and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi openly welcomed the extension of the ban on the LTTE by the Centre. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 20:18:41 EDT 2000

Canadian funds back terrorism: CSIS chief
National Post, June 2. Canada's most senior intelligence officer is warning that the country faces serious problems unless it cracks down on terrorist groups and their supporters who are openly organizing and raising funds here to finance political violence abroad.

Ward Elcock, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said terrorist organizations such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are exploiting Canada's wealth to finance bloodshed around the world. "If you tolerate these activities, you can run into problems," he said.

"People think that the LTTE is or isn't a terrorist organization because they happen to like the goals or believe more in the goals, for any number of reasons.

In the House of Commons yesterday, the Liberals faced yet more questions about why two cabinet ministers, Paul Martin and Maria Minna, attended a $60-a-plate dinner last month for an organization that has been branded a front for the Tamil Tigers. But Monte Solberg, a Canadian Alliance MP, said a report published by CSIS called the organizers of the dinner, the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils, "one of the more active fronts for the Sri Lankan group, the Tamil Tigers," which assassinated Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian prime minister. "FACT is a fundraising organization for the Tamil Tigers, that's well-established," Mr. Solberg said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 19:56:12 EDT 2000


Lesbians are 'sadists' in Sri Lanka
IOL News, June 2. Sri Lanka's Press Council has ruled that lesbianism is an "act of sadism" and that a letter in a newspaper calling for convicted rapists to be unleashed on lesbians was published in the interest of the community. The council, in a ruling published on Friday, said that a gay rights activist, Sherman de Rose, who objected to a letter published in The Island newspaper had no standing in the case as he was a male.De Rose's Companions on a Journey gay rights movement complained to the Press Council that the letter published in August last year was promoting violence and hatred of lesbians. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 19:45:17 EDT 2000

UNP has nexus with LTTE, says Lanka minister
Deccan Herald, Colombo, June 2. In a devastating attack on the opposition United National Party at a time when the Chandrika Kumaratunga administration is seeking to reach a consensus with it on the devolution package, Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera has accused that party of having an unholy alliance with the LTTE and promoting a defeatist mentality at a critical period in the country`s history.

He said the need of the hour was to free the people from the LTTEs murder machine and it was the bounden duty of the UNP to extend unstinted cooperation to President Kumaratunga to usher in peace. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 19:34:54 EDT 2000


Sri Lankan cricket in new crisis
BBC, Friday, 2 June, 2000, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK. Sri Lankan cricket is in fresh crisis after the interim committee managing its board resigned after problems with sports authorities. It is the second time the committee have resigned en masse in four months - they wanted to go in February but were persuaded to stay until an audit report was completed. "We are concerned the authorities appear to be taking Sri Lankan cricket down the path of destruction," said interim chairman Rienzi Wijetilleke. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 19:30:22 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers raising funds in Phuket
Straits Times Interactive, June 2, 2000. Supporters of the Sri Lankan rebels have set up front companies on the Thai island to raise funds for buying weapons for their struggle. According to a Bangkok-based analyst, Sri Lankan Tamil businessmen have over the past year set up fishery, finance, and shipping companies in the southern Thai island as a cover for their activities. The Thai government said it was aware of the rebels' presence in Phuket and was monitoring their activities closely. Army commander General Surayud Chulanont was reported by the Bangkok Post this week as saying that the rebels had moved theiroperations from Myanmar to Phuket, apparently because of the Sri Lankan government's pressure on Yangon. He also denied allegations of the Thai military's involvement in arms shipments to the LTTE. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 17:26:21 EDT 2000

15 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees arrive
The Hindu, June 2 . 15 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees arrive Rameswaram, June 2. (UNI): Fifteen Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including eight women and three children, arrived here from Jaffna yesterday. The refugees, who were ferried reportedly by the LTTE boat agents, landed on the shores near the Kothandaramar temple here. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:44:23 EDT 2000

TAMIL TIGERS: Mini submersible surfaces in southern shipyard; Discovery sinks rebel separatists' intrigue
Bangkok Post, Friday, June 2 2000. Thai authorities have stumbled on a half-built submersible thought to have been ordered for use by the Tamil Tigers at a shipyard in Phuket province. Well-informed government sources said yesterday the vessel, which is about 10m long, could accommodate 2-3 people. Found at a shipyard on Koh Si-lae, the submersible was of the same type the vessel Sri lankan government forces seized in Mullaitive City, southeast of Jaffna, the sources said. The shipyard was partly owned by a Tamil separatist sympathiser. It was possible the guerrillas had ordered the vessel for surprise raids or laying mines. The half-built vessel was not impounded. Its being built here was not a violation of Thai law, the sources said. However, the shipyard was now under close watch to prevent the submersible being being moved. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:44:04 EDT 2000

Indian fishermen `tortured' by Lanka navy
Times of India, June 3 . THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After nearly four months in captivity in Sri Lanka, seven of the 17 Indian fishermen returned home on Friday and alleged they were tortured by the Lankan navy leading to the death of a fisherman.The fishermen, who arrived here by an Indian Airlines flight, said they were "brutally tortured" by the Lankan navy due to which 38-year-old Raviraja from Madurai died. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:41:33 EDT 2000

Spotlight on devolution in Lanka
Times of India, June 3. A senior minister said it took an appeal by him to their sense of pride and the prospects of going back to their villages in shame to make the Sri Lankan soldiers stand and fight against marauding Tamil Tiger rebels in Jaffna peninsula and turn around a precarious military situation. Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte, who spent 12 days on the battlefront in the peninsula, said his talks with the soldiers and the infusion of new weapons helped stall the attempt by the LTTE to capture Jaffna town, their former bastion. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:36:11 EDT 2000

Red Cross asks Lankan Army to follow war rules
Times of India, June 3. The International Committee of the Red Cross has asked the Sri Lankan Army to follow the rules of combat during battles with the Tamil Tiger rebels. The ICRC's Sri Lanka chief, Isabelle Barras, met the chief of staff, Major-General Lionel Balagalle, on Thursday and handed over 20,000 booklets and 6,000 posters depicting basic rules for behavior in combat, spokesman Harsha Gunawardene said. The ICRC regularly meets with Tamil rebels and hold discussions on the same subjects with them, Gunawardene said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:33:08 EDT 2000

'India must support Tamils, not Lanka govt'
Rediff, June 2. Dr Krishnaswamy of the Puthiya Thamizhagam had been a very vocal supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He was from the pro-LTTE camp. But, when he spoke to Shobha Warrier, he tried a different line. "Let us not focus on any organisation. What is more important is the welfare of the people," he said. He suggested that we not differentiate between the people and any organisation fighting for their cause.

It was a difficult to pin him down, as he has been traveling from one district to another, holding meetings to garner support for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Excerpts from the interview: More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:15:44 EDT 2000


Hatares Square: Sri Lanka's most wanted last post
Yahoo-afp, June 2. At the last checkpost about 60 kilometres (36 miles) before Trincomolee on Sri Lanka's northeast coast, S.P. Somadasa sits in his squalid shop and weighs-up his options."Go or stay. We are frightened of the Tamils. We are really frightened if they come and capture us," he says on behalf of his wife and five children.One trooper says there are no Tigers here now, earning a scowl from his superior and laughs from the ranks. "Well maybe," he adds.Somadasa says he's not so sure. "The Tamils (Tigers) say they will come and that's their word."

More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 16:01:56 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka ruling seen shelving phosphate mine
MSNBC-Reuters, June 2. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a plan by a U.S.-Japanese consortium to mine a phosphate deposit in the country's north-central province threatened to violate the rights of local residents. The head of an environmental group which funded a legal challenge by seven residents of the Eppawela area where the deposit is located, said the court ruling effectively shelved plans by the consortium to open a mine to produce diammonium phosphate, a high-quality fertiliser, for export. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 15:58:17 EDT 2000

Who Speaks for Peace?
JUNE 5, 2000. As the brutal leader of the Tigers silences all critics, Sri Lanka's moderate Tamils find they have no voice. Sporting an honorific normally accorded to parliamentarians and judges, "The Hon." Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the world's most successful terrorist group, has emerged from the seclusion of the Sri Lankan jungle and onto the Internet. As his Tamil Tiger insurgents tighten their grip around Jaffna town, Prabhakaran, supreme leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is taking his struggle online.

More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 14:39:35 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka Jaffna's Curfew Relaxed, Schools Reopen - Govt
Yahoo-ap, June 2. Sri Lanka's military Friday reduced curfew hours in the northern city of Jaffna to allow schools to reopen after four weeks of war raging on the city's outskirts, a government spokesman said. "The reopening of the schools is the first definite sign that things are really improving up there," said Ariya Rubasinghe, the chief government spokesman and censor. His comments couldn't be verified because journalists are forbidden in Jaffna and the government censors all reports about the war situation.

More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 14:21:19 EDT 2000


Lankans protest spiralling prices
ChennaiOnline, June 2. Public protest in Sri Lanka is mounting over the hike in LPG prices and electricity and telecom rates. The authorities are hard put to explain why these increases had to be imposed. The people, recovering from the hikes announced on Thursday, were in for another blow – a hike in water rates. A 12.5 kg domestic gas cylinder now costs Rs 470 as against Rs 365 earlier (30 per cent). Electricity charges went up by five to 10 per cent. The Sri Lankan telecom has also announced an upward revision of its rates in both local and international calls.

More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 13:53:58 EDT 2000


CM asks Vaiko to desist from rally
ChennaiOnline, June 2. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today asked MDMK leader Vaiko to desist from conducting the controversial rally in support of the LTTE on June 5. "It would be better if he did not hold this rally as it appears to be a controversial subject," he said and asked Vaiko to treat it as "his birthday message." The CM celebrates his 77th birthday tomorrrow. The problem is that two Tamil Nadu parties, MDMK and the Pattali Makkal Katchi, have both been making strident noises in support of the LTTE, an outfit that has been banned in India and one that is guilty of murdering a former prime minister.

More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 11:49:40 EDT 2000


Money, guns and bombs: Washington frets for India in Sri Lanka
Yahoo-afp, June 2. Washington's rejection of Tiger Tamil claims for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka stem more from trade ties with India than concern for the country's future, analysts said Friday. But they that added with four billion dollars of deals signed between Indian and US business interests in March, it was only natural for Washington to act out of self-interest.Prabhakarana, who deploys guerrilla tactics and has reared a squad of suicide bombers, has also claimed one third of Sri Lanka's land and two thirds of the country's entire coastline as Eelam.Prabhakaran is not fighting to be a provincial chief. He is fighting to be prime minister of Eelam and he won't budge," the analyst said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 10:13:07 EDT 2000

15 LTTE rebels killed in renewed fighting
Hindu, June 2. Fifteen Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealem (LTTE) rebels have been killed in renewed fighting in Chavakachcheri in northern Jaffna even as security forces in the area came under heavy mortar fire from the LTTE.The spokesman said the LTTE had forced 10,000 civilians in eastern Batticaloa to vacate their houses to launch an attack at the Vavunativu Army camp a few days ago. However, the LTTE could not achieve their aim as troops stood ground courageously amidst the LTTE mortar fire. Due to pressure from the displaced civilians for disrupting their normality, the LTTE is reported to have withdrawn most of their cadres and mortars.

More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 09:25:47 EDT 2000


The Balancing Factor
Outlook , June 2. The LTTE has given sufficient hint through Norwegians that it would observe total cease-fire to facilitate evacuation of the Sri Lankan soldiers. But an LTTE source in Paris also made it clear that the organisation would permit soldiers to leave the peninsula only with their personal belongings and there was no question of removing arms, ammunitions and military hardware from Jaffna. "We accept that rescuing soldiers is an humanitarian aid. But the movement of tanks, artillery guns and rocket launchers, by no stretch of imagination, can be construed as humanitarian aid," the source observed. T More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 09:05:35 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Claims Rebel Reversals
Yahoo-AP, June 2. Using newly acquired weapons including Israeli warplanes, Sri Lanka's military halted the Tamil rebels one mile from Jaffna, the government said Thursday.It said the government forces were gaining the upper hand and had killed three guerrillas in a clash near Sarasalai, a village in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, where fighting was raging.Small groups of Tamil Tiger rebels came as close as one mile from the city center, but they were driven back, the military said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 08:55:51 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Jan-Apr 2000 trade gap up sharply
Reuters, 3:30 SLT Friday June 2 . COLOMBO, June 2 (Reuters) - A sharp rise in imports saw Sri Lanka's trade gap in the first four months of this year widening to a provisional $746.5 million against $410.1 million a year earlier, the Central Bank said on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 07:06:41 EDT 2000

Star wars over battle for Jaffna
India Today,By L.R. Jagadheesan, SLT Friday June 2. Star wars over battle for Jaffna While the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE guerillas are fighting a fierce battle in the jungles of Jaffna, their well-wishers are busy seeking divine aid in India. Interestingly, both sides have got positive predictions for themselves from two different Indian astrologers. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 06:10:56 EDT 2000

Troops, Rebels Clash in Sri Lanka's Jaffna
Reuters, 2.20 p.m. SLT Friday June 2. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan troops exchanged mortar fire Friday in the country's far northern Jaffna peninsula, a government statement said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 05:42:46 EDT 2000

Cricket-Itinerary for Pakistan, Safrica teams in Sri Lanka
Reuters, SLT Friday June 2. COLOMBO, June 2 (Reuters) - Final schedule for Pakistan's tour to Sri Lanka and the triangular series involving South Africa. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 05:37:27 EDT 2000

Cricket-Sri Lanka interim board resigns ahead of elections
Reuters, SLT Friday June 2. COLOMBO, June 2 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan cricket plunged into a fresh crisis on Friday as the interim committee managing the board resigned after new frictions with the sports authorities, days before elections are to be held for new officials. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 05:33:27 EDT 2000

India rules out U.N. role in Sri Lanka
Reuters, Friday June 2. SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh on Friday ruled out a role for the United Nations in war-torn Sri Lanka and reiterated that New Delhi would only get involved in the conflict there if asked by Colombo. ``I personally do not see a role for the United Nations as such,'' Singh said at a question-and-answer session after a speech on India and regional security in Singapore. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 05:31:29 EDT 2000

Soldiers in withdrawal syndrome, says Lanka
Asian Age/PTI/UNI, Colombo, June 1. The Sri Lankan government has said that a series of military setbacks against the LTTE, coupled with the “acquisition of a high degree” of firepower by the rebels, have caused mental depression among Lankan soldiers, forcing them to slip into withdrawal syndrome.

Gen. Ratwatte said he noticed that mental depression was prevalent among certain sections of soldiers, adding that another reason for the withdrawal syndrome among the soldiers was the setback they had suffered in northern Vanni last November. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 02:27:41 EDT 2000


IT visas get German Cabinet's okay
The Straits Times, June 2, 2000. The German Cabinet has approved a controversial plan to offer up to 20,000 visas to foreign computer experts, to boost its software industry. The Chancellor revealed that 10,000 five-year visas, so-called green cards, for foreign computer-experts and their families would be offered, with the number to rise to 20,000 if necessary. He said the visa's five-year period could be extended.

He said this need was true for other countries too, such as the United States, whose economic boom of the last decade he largely attributed to settlers arriving from abroad. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 02:01:18 EDT 2000


US think tank moots confederal Sri Lanka
Daccan Herald/PTI, Washington, June 1. Well-known US-based think tank, 'South Asia Monitor` has suggested a confederal Sri Lanka as a way out to bring peace to the island in the ongoing crisis. ''Resolving the problem will require a much more radical approach to power sharing. This will be very hard to sell to both the Sinhalese political mainstream and the LTTE but it will only get harder with time,`` 'South Asia Monitor`, issued by the South Asia programme at the Centre for strategic and international studies, said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 2 01:56:10 EDT 2000

Lanka to hold talks with India soon: Kadirgamar
India Today, June 1, 2000. Sri Lanka will start talks with India "very soon" to explore the possibility of involving New Delhi in negotiations with LTTE to find an amicable solution to the ethnic conflict in Jaffna peninsula. "The LTTE track record is not very good. In respect of the settlement, this (enforcement) is very big question. How far India wishes to go and the position India like to be in. The extent of the India involvement should be decided by India itself, the parameters and implications," he said. More... [Watch in Hindi]
Published: Fri Jun 2 01:42:14 EDT 2000


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